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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Where’s My Backbone? OR I Matter Too!

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Today’s blog post comes from the Daily Prompt from February 20th, 2016  titled Shape Up or Ship Out

Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done.

Thanks for the great idea, Iam Who Iam.

OK…here goes.

Dear Pacifist Spirit,

This letter has been a long time coming and I should have written it long ago. I am talking about years and years ago before we got into this mess, that is when I should have said something to you. I just hope it is not too late to change your annoying habit of giving in. I have a bone or two to pick with you (pardon the pun) about how you go about life always conceding your will to just about, no strike that, anybody else’s will. You give up far too much and don’t consider MY feelings at all. Frankly, I am getting sick and tired of it! The pressure has been building for quite some time now and I just can’t be silent about it anymore. This has to be said and damn it you are going to listen. It is time for you to shape up or ship out. I mean it.

If someone wants the last cookie you are all too willing to just hand it over even though they have eaten the majority of the bag and I have had maybe two cookies. They were great cookies…I really liked those ones. When it comes to money matters you always stay quiet when someone asks if you want or need something. I know people don’t often ask us because they just assume we will meekly sit by while they take and take and take…but that’s not the point. You got us into this mess by consistently proving we won’t say anything. So they feel free to keep taking without considering us. But, we do want and we do need but will you say it? Nope. The opportunity passes by and you just let it. Then you bug me by whispering in my ear that nobody cares what we want or need. Well, you should have said something when asked shouldn’t you? It is too late now to moan and groan about how life is unfair if you aren’t willing to reach out for what you want.

It has always been like this with us hasn’t it? When did this all really start anyway? Oh I know, way back when we were children. You learned very well not to be seen or heard and now when we can be vocal, be noticed, be counted you stay silent. Why? Gawd you make me so angry and frustrated. It is a long ingrained habit I hear you say and one that is just not that easy to break. Are we doomed to be like this until we are dead then? Is that what you are telling me? I refuse to believe that. I refuse to go to my grave never being seen or heard, cared about or considered. I matter too DAMN IT!

Look, here’s the bottom line. If you don’t shape up and start speaking up for yourself (and me) life is going to continue to pass us by. There is never going to be a time when someone looks at us and says to themselves, “what does she want and what can I do to make her happy?” I am not happy, not with the way things are and certainly not with how you are behaving. So cut it out and I mean right now! From this point on, either you shape up or ship out because you are of no use to me at all being like you are. It is time to change for the better. This is your first and your last warning. I will not stand for this any longer. Do you hear me?

Sincerely,

Me