I Am Finding That Being Part Of A Community Is So Important To Me

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It occurred to me that this, the topic of community, would be a great thing to blog about as I come back, once again, from an extended absence from my blog.

What has kept me from blogging this past almost month has been a community, my local faith community, and the commitments I have made to them.

My last post was on January 27th and I wanted to fill you in on what my February has been like thus far. First, though, I want to offer my deepest apologies for the lack of posts.

I have been more fulfilled and happy this past month, even though I have been extremely busy to the point of not getting to blog as much. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy blogging.

I plan to continue blogging but my posts will be as I am able to write them. If you are following this blog please know you have my thanks and I enjoy talking with you in the comments.

You will continue to be notified when I post a new blog. I hope that by expanding my time spent in my community I will have more topics and thoughts to share with all of you.

In one sense by being away from my blog, at times, I will actually be bringing more to it when I do write posts. At least that is my hope.

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The reason being part of a community is so important to me is because I feel like I am part of a team, that my contributions and volunteering of my skills matters and they are valued.

That is an amazing feeling. I think we are all hard wired with the need to belong.

From February 1st until today has been an extremely busy time for me. As many of you know I run the soundboard at our church. I also help clean the top floor of the church every week.

This means I have to be there for worship practice in order to set the correct levels ahead of Sunday morning’s services. We usually practice once a week on a Tuesday night.

Last week we had two practice nights during the week because we are introducing new songs to our church congregation. Our congregation consists of mostly elderly men and women.

These folks are so used to singing hymns and as a result, our church is not attracting any younger people in the community to come out and join our church or hear the gospel.

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The younger people are looking for a place to worship with a more contemporary feel and more upbeat music. So, the plan is to slowly (we are talking baby steps here) introduce new songs that are just that.

There will be a great deal of the music the congregation knows and loves but one new song will be added to the mix. That new song will then be repeated every Sunday for a few weeks so that people can learn and become familiar with it.

We started this Sunday (today as I am writing this) which, as I mentioned, was the reason for extra practice this week. It seemed to go over well but we shall see if the pastor gets much flak before next Sunday.

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On top of the soundboard and cleaning I do at the church I have been asked to take pictures of all the special events held at the church. These photographs will be posted on the church website.

The pastor explained it to me as a kind of free advertising to show anyone visiting the website that our church is active and doing things.

It is hoped that the pictures will help make others feel welcome and make them curious enough to come out and join us to see for themselves what we have to offer.

All I need to do is take the pictures as there is someone who takes care of the website and posts the Sunday message audio file on it every week. I record this as part of my duties on the soundboard.

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There have been two special events at the church this month and a third one began tonight.

On February 5th we held a free movie night to show a screening of the movie God Is NOT Dead 2. There was a modest turnout for the movie and I tried my best to take some photos even with the low light conditions.

On February 11th we held Valentine’s Day Dinner (actually just ahead of Valentines Day) which included a half hour of worship songs prior to going downstairs for a full roast beef dinner.

That was an event where I wore a couple of hats; soundboard and photographer. The music portion of the evening was an extra half hour of music to practice on top of our regular Sunday worship.

The man in the bottom picture holding the coffee pot is our pastor. His name is Pastor Dave Johnston.

Tonight, February 19th we began a six-week course entitled Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage. My husband and I attended this same course at our previous church many years ago.

We are attending this one as well since it is a good refresher and the speaker is hilarious to listen to while getting his points across loud and clear.

Besides, I am the official photographer and once again this is a low light situation so I must try to get the best shots possible.

I must take photos all while respecting that attendees may not want their photo taken for a website given that this is a marriage seminar. Here are the photos I took tonight.

I am thankful that there are five more Sunday nights to try and get better photos before they are posted to the church website.

Anyway, on top of all this activity at the church, I have been creating videos and uploading them to my YouTube channel, answering emails and watching what I can of other YouTubers videos that I am subscribed to.

I am pleased to say my channel is finally starting to take off; I am gaining subscribers, 726 at last count, and doing a little better in the financial department.

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I have also been working on my storybook for Ethan here and there when I can. I now have a name for the dragon Ethan befriends and a rough outline of the story.

Next up is the plotting of what the wording on each page will be and the general layout of the book. From there I will get down to practicing drawing Ethan’s likeness in the various poses that the wording suggests.

I will also need to create a dragon that looks friendly and yet can transform into a fierce companion ready to come to Ethan’s aid when he needs him.

In my spare time, that is after all of the above plus doing dishes, cooking meals, doing laundry (in other words – life) I have been doing a fair bit of reading.

Reading is my favorite pastime by far. Doing more reading was one of my New Year’s Intentions and on that score, I am happy to say I am achieving what I set out to do.

This year’s Goodreads Book Challenge I have set 40 books as my goal. So far this year I have read seven books, that is two books ahead of schedule. Currently, I have a further two books on the go. The one I read at night before sleep and the other I read during the day.

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It is now eleven o’clock at night and I will end this post here so I can proofread and edit in order to publish it to my blog.

Thank you, as always, for stopping by to read my thoughts today/tonight. I really appreciate you all being out there. Until my next post – remember it is important to do what makes you happy. This is not a dress rehearsal…this is life and it is too short to spend it unhappy. 🙂

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Stubborn People Frustrate Me!

Frustration with stubborn people

Today’s post is inspired by the one word Daily Prompt

Stubborn

I don’t know about you but stubborn people frustrate the heck out of me. I try not to be stubborn myself although I mostly likely am stubborn from others’ viewpoints at times. I guess that really is a subjective measurement. What classifies as stubborn to one may not to another. This blog is about things from my perspective, however, so please proceed with that in mind.

The other day I had a little mishap with my ceramic top stove. A pot of mushroom soup boiled over and left a huge mess on the hot cooktop. Now I am the one who usually cooks in this house and as such am the one with the most knowledge and experience with this stove.

I have wanted a ceramic top stove ever since they came out but finances dictated that we buy used coil burner stoves for the longest time. Ugh, those stupid pots under the burners that catch things like boil overs. They are notoriously hard to clean even if you use one of those foil inserts to help protect them. Then there is the matter of the coil burners that sometimes shift and do not hold your pot level. Talk about frustrating!

I can deal with that frustration though since it is an inanimate object and there is no will behind the things messing up on the stove. It is simply a stove messing up due to lousy design. Finally, though,  we were able to afford not only a ceramic top stove but a brand new one. So I hope you can understand my protectiveness over it.

People, on the other hand, are another matter entirely. Their stubbornness tells me that they are so sure they are right that they will continue doing whatever they want regardless of what I have to say. It is as if I don’t matter like I know nothing and couldn’t possibly be right about what I am saying.

Okay, back to the mushroom soup boil over on my ceramic top stove…someone happened to be in the kitchen with me at the time and leaped into action. I already had my hand on the pot handle and was moving it off the active burner. They grabbed a washcloth ran it under the cold water and proceeded to try to wipe up the mess on and around the burner!

Now, I do understand they were trying to help me and their intentions were good in that sense. But, that is the fastest way to crack the cooktop and I rapidly told them this. The owners manual advises to let the mess be until the stove has cooled completely at which time you use the special cleaner for the stove and the non-scratching pad for this purpose to apply the cleaner. Then you take a microfiber cloth and wipe it clean and buff to a shine.

Since I had wanted a stove like this for years and I was the one who had the most experience with it and had studied the care, cleaning and use of it I was offended when they didn’t immediately stop when I told them they could crack it.

They did stop, eventually…but oh, the stress and frustration I was dealing with by then. Now, I do feel horrible telling you all this about someone who was only trying to help when it happened but it is the most direct example of frustrating people I can think of at the moment. It illustrates my point precisely.

I guess what I am trying to say by saying all of that is that sometimes, just sometimes, I need people to listen to me.

What I know and what I say has value. I just want to be heard.

I will admit that this has been an ongoing issue, a sore spot, for me from years and years ago when I was growing up. I need to figure out how to heal that old wound so it doesn’t aggravate my life now, but how?

That is the question, isn’t it?

I would be interested to know how you deal with stubborn people. If there are any helpful techniques I could practice I would sure appreciate hearing about them.

Thanks for stopping by and reading another rant post from me. I just had to get that off my chest and make others aware of the dangers of hot versus cold when it comes to ceramic tops.

Have a wonderful day/night (whatever it is when you are reading this) my friends.  =)

Profound Thoughts

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Today’s post was inspired by The Daily Prompt, the one-word subject – Profound

Let’s start this discussion with the definition of profound, shall we? I would just like to make sure we are all on the same page when it comes to our understanding of what the word means.

From the Gage Canadian Dictionary Second Printing 1984 Edition:

(page 898)

profound – adj. 1.very deep: a profound sigh, a profound sleep.

2.deeply felt; very great: profound despair, profound sympathy.

3. having or showing a great depth of knowledge or understanding: a profound book, a profound thinker.

4. low; carried far down; going far down: a profound bow.

[ME < OF < L profundus < pro~ towards + fundus bottom] – pro-foundly, adv. – pro-foundness, n.

What an interesting word this is, profound. Just the mere sound of the word imparts a sense of intense knowledge to me. It implies that something, be it thought, experience, knowledge has been hard earned. Indeed, my life has brought me a lot of profound moments and experiences and knowledge over the years. All these profound things have given my life a substance and depth that I doubt I would otherwise have known. You know what they say…even though my life has been hard I wouldn’t change a thing because everything that has happened to me has made me the person I am today.

Major clinical depression has been haunting me for many, many years now. Every now and then the chemical balances in my brain change and I need medication for a while to pull me out of the blue funk that steals my life away. I sleep too much, I cry at the drop of a hat and I lose interest in everything that once gave me happiness. You could say I have a profound understanding of the depths of despair depression can take you to. I could describe that feeling, that ennui, to someone in the throws of depression and they would agreeably nod their head knowing that I know what they are going through. I have this same sense myself, having been through countless therapists and well-meaning friends who try to empathize when they have never been there themselves. Immediately, I can tell that they really don’t understand and can’t empathize but merely sympathize with my condition.

The same can be said of my experiences as an abuse survivor. I can tell when someone does not truly understand what it is like and the challenges one faces from that side of a relationship where words and fists are thrown with the intent to hurt. It is through my experiences over the years learning when it is safe to speak, to dare to figure out a plan to get away (or to even imagine that getting away was a possibility) that I have a profound knowledge of what it means to have the freedom to be me taken away. I am thankful that I now know what it means to be free to be myself and not live in fear anymore.

Life itself is a profound experience, a profound journey if you will. How can it not be? Everything that happens to you has to affect you in some way. I mean really consider it, you are a thinking and feeling human being and what happens to you makes a difference in your life. It makes you feel something, believes something or changes something for you. That has a deep impact on the person you become as you get older. You gain knowledge from all the situations you go through just by the virtue of going through them. That knowledge will tell you if it is something you should strive to experience again or if it is something to be avoided in future.

Your life does not have to be horrible to be profound either. As the dictionary entry suggests you can be a profound thinker or write a profound book or have a profound effect on someone else. I would be interested to hear if anything profound has happened in your life that you would care to share in the comments section below. Is it the profound happiness you feel at becoming a parent for the first time? Maybe it is winning the lottery that has made a profound change in your life knowing that you do not have to worry about paying the bills anymore. Don’t we all wish that were true? LOL

Have a wonderful day/night my friends and thank you as always for dropping by my blog to read my thoughts in this post. I do appreciate it, very much. 🙂 You guys rock!

Work Never Ends…

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There are old adages that state things like “No rest for the wicked or the wise” and “A woman’s work is never done” or something like that and today I have to admit it is so true! I have another huge To Do list today and some of it will end up being cycled onto tomorrow’s To Do list because that is usually the way it goes. *sigh* To give you an idea of what I have on my list to tackle these are today’s entries:

  • Do the dishes
  • Write a blog post (doing that now, thanks list for reminding me) LOL
  • Wash walls and counters in kitchen in prep for painting the walls
  • Make breakfast
  • Make lunch
  • Make dinner
  • Vacuum all rugs
  • Make bed
  • Catch up on emails
  • Make a shout out video for my YouTube channel
  • Edit video
  • Upload video
  • Share video all over social media
  • Go back check on email again
  • Play Minecraft and work out how to mount a horse (or pig apparently LOL)
  • Make a video showing how to mount a horse when you figure it out, yes, for YouTube
  • Check out some blogs – follow and/ or comment on them
  • Go back and check email again….there should be more emails to answer by now
  • Watch some TV to relax
  • Play some games online to just have fun
  • Do laundry
  • Go to bed
  • Get up tomorrow and do it all again!

This list may seem simplistic and simplified but all of this takes time. For example, when I check my email I usually get around 60- 100 emails per shot. Some require me to watch some other You Tubers video and comment on it or like it (or both). Some are comments or questions on my YouTube videos that people have sent me that I must answer back. It is important to stay connected and involved with your subscribers to continue to grow your channel. These emails can chew up a good one and a half to two hours easily. Housework, as we are all well aware, never ends. You can do all of the laundry in the house…get ready for bed and BAM!! more laundry. =( Prepare and eat a meal…and BAM!! more dishes. While I am busy building my You Tube Channel and starting this whole blogging adventure this is my life. Don’t get me  wrong I love it…I like all of it, every facet. I am just trying to let you see the other side of the computer screen – a little look into my life and what it involves just focusing on these two things – You Tube and Blogging. This is my choice though and I am not complaining at all. I am my own boss, I set my hours and am free to come and go as I please without punching a time clock or requesting time off. This, my friends, is the life! I love it all…creating videos for You Tube and writing on this blog. I meet new people through the internet and in person when hubby and I go RCing at our local parks, hiking trails, beaches and so on. Not sure what RCing is….please check out my You Tube channel for examples straight from my videos. I have a page on this blog with all my social links – you will find my link to my You Tube there.

Thanks for checking in with me again. It is always nice to see you here. I must close for now though and get back to striking things off my list. LOL Until next time…be good to each other. Life is hard enough! =)