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. 🙂

Sneeze, cough, sleep…being sick sucks!

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Hello again everyone, I am sorry for the lack of posts for the past while. I am finally feeling up to sitting here and composing a post to let you all know what’s been going on.

This cold or flu or whatever it is hit me on January 16th. When it did it hit me like a Mac truck. In fact, I hopped on my Facebook account and asked if anyone had gotten the license plate. LOL

It was weird the way it took turns with my body parts. It started with a sore throat then went to headaches. From there it hit me with such a lethargy I spent a lot of time sleeping and reading.

Fever was the next stage and at this point I was miserable. Then came the sneezing and runny nose which reactivated a sore throat and headaches.

I don’t mean to go on and on whining is really not me. I just wanted to let you all know if there was any way to keep content going here on my blog and on my YouTube channel I would have made it happen.

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I think now that I must have picked up this bug at church although it could have been anywhere really.

Somehow I fought nausea and coughing etc. to keep up my commitments to my church. We have only a couple of people, myself included, that can run the sound board.

I didn’t want to leave them stranded with no one and figured I would not infect anyone if I didn’t hug anyone or get too close. The entire service I stayed up in the sound booth and tended the board.

Everyone who saw me, including the Pastor, commented that I should be home in bed but if I was determined to come in that they would pray for me. We even joked that we should pray the rest of them not get this. So we did just that!

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Slowly I am feeling better each day and this blog post is step one to getting back to my routine. I still take naps when I need to and am restricting activities to what I need to do.

So what else have you been up to Susan?

Okay, I did work on my story outline for my grandson’s book a little bit.

I have a cast of characters listed which includes; King James, Queen Crystal and Prince Ethan, the townsfolk in the kingdom and our friendly dragon of course. I still haven’t thought of a name for him.

Basically, I am going for a story in the style of Robert Munsch. I want to introduce the Kingdom of? (no idea what to call that either yet) the castle and those who live in it. I will then expand out to touch on a few of the townsfolk.

Word will come from an attack on the kingdom from the next kingdom over. Prince Ethan will be playing in the backyard of the castle and befriend a dragon perched on the castle wall.

Through this friendship, Prince Ethan will save the kingdom when the attack happens by calling on his new friend the dragon to chase away the attackers.

Once the kingdom is safe again there will be a huge banquet held in honor of Prince Ethan the hero. His dragon will make an appearance at the banquet to share in the glory.

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Again…thinking of drawing a dragon like this guy. ^ (I did not draw this it is just meant as an example).

I know this storyline has been written many, many times before but by personalizing it to Ethan and his parents and coming up with my own dragon I will make it my own.

What do you think so far? I would love to know your thoughts on the direction I am going with this.

I am considering making the book using plastic page protectors which I can slide pages into back to back and then seal the tops with tape.

I think this would give the pages some durability from the many, many times it is read to him (hopefully). I will probably then stitch the pages together using the holes where they are meant to be put in a binder.

If I just slap them in a binder some would get lost once he learns how to spring the clips open. Trust me with my grandson this will not take long to figure out….he is pretty determined when he wants something. 😀

On a final note, I just learned, today, how to run the laptop using Easy Worship 2009 to put the pictures and words to songs, scripture etc up on the screen at the front of the church.

Our usual person who runs the laptop during service is away right now so the one other person who can do soundboard will sub for me there and I will be on the laptop this Sunday.

Life is interesting if nothing else and it continues to be a busy one for me so I am glad that I am finally on the mend.

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog post once again my friends. I really appreciate you sticking with me even though the postings are erratic. That means the world to me that you do that and I don’t take your attention for granted, ever.  🙂

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Self Imposed Deadlines & Expectations

 

Why do I do this to myself? No, really, why do I put this pressure on myself? Well, I suppose the answer to that is, I guess, I work better under pressure. Left to my own devices I will delay and procrastinate but if I set something in motion I am more apt to keep going and make it happen.

This is something I have found out about myself through trial and error in my life. If I am reluctant to start or follow through with something I will do or say something that will ensure I HAVE to start it or follow through with it.

Okay, I see you scratching your head in confusion so I will give you some examples in an effort to be clearer. Say I am reluctant to see the dentist because I know there is a filling that needs attention and there is some pain in my future. I will call and make an appointment for a date some week or two later. The way this works is I will be more reluctant to call and cancel or reschedule because I would feel ashamed knowing that I was wussing out instead of doing the adult thing and getting my teeth taken care of. So, I would follow through and show up for that appointment and face it rather than face the failure that cancelling the appointment would represent.

I have called the doctor’s office to make an appointment to  discuss something embarrassing (to me) with the doctor. When I am taking to the nurse/receptionist and I am asked what the appointment is for (they always ask because that way they know how long and how urgent the reason for the booking is) I will blurt out the reason. It is on the phone and the nurse/receptionist is ALWAYS too busy with the other lines ringing to ask too many questions. I hang up the phone knowing that I have set something in motion that I will have to deal with at a later date. Full stop. Upon seeing the doctor he will look at his computer screen and bring the topic up, asking for further information about the subject.

Well, I have done it once (twice?) again. Finally, we arrive at the true subject matter of this blog post. I have a YouTube channel as well as this blog. I want to keep both running smoothly providing consistent content to keep my subscribers and followers entertained. I have discovered scheduling and it is glorious! =D

So I now have videos uploaded and scheduled to go live every day on my YouTube channel. I have two videos waiting for tomorrow and the next day. As for this blog, I have two to three posts waiting to be published every third day. You will notice I have added the announcement on the top of the page to remind me and keep the pressure up on myself to follow through and make it happen. I have even placed a calendar widget along the right-hand side for posting dates. The days that a post is published the date will be highlighted and is clickable to take you straight to that day’s post.

Oh, one last thing. Those little guys up there in the pictures? The first picture is how I see myself with YouTube pulling me one way and this blog pulling me the other way. I have to divide my time between them because I love doing both! The second picture represents how I see myself…I am the one turning the handle on the vice but it is for the best possible reasons. When I look back on things I am very happy now that both of my endeavours are now being produced consistently. It sure feels better than beating myself up and kicking myself because I haven’t posted in a while or added to my YouTube channel enough to keep people interested and happy they subscribed. 

Thanks for dropping by my blog again, friends. I do appreciate it when you like and comment on my writing. I have a question for you, do you do this sort of thing to yourself? Are you pretty consistent with getting things done normally or do you feel the need to sabotage yourself like I do? =) Have a good one!