Wednesday, September 6, 2017

#EncouragingDadsProject: Laughing In the Face of Trails

Honestly, I’d say I have a great sense of humor. If there is one thing about me that people can find likeable, it would be that. Yet, I inherited that trait from my father.
When I was young, he was always doing outlandish things to make me laugh, and he taught me the greatest lesson: life is easier to handle when you can laugh at it.
Eventually he had me memorizing jokes to tell my friends. I was so young that I didn’t even realize they were a bit too crude for my age group. Yet, I did happen to make people laugh, which ends up making the people around you feel as if you’re easy-going and you can find the good in life to focus on.
About a year ago, I went out with my dad and he happened to go to a barber shop. He said he had been going to that barber for many years but the shop was empty and the barber was way too quiet that it almost seemed as if he was only a mirage and not actually a person. When my dad and I got back into the car, he goes, “I swear that man was so old he may have been a ghost.” I said, “What?!” and busted out laughing. Then he goes, “Yeah, I think he’s a ghost barber.” We both laughed so hard we were tearing up. We even kept laughing all the way home. To this day, every time we drive by that barber shop, if one of us says “ghost barber,” we both start rolling in laughter.
So whether your dad is a bit of a hardworking man or imaginative like mine, you should find time to spend with him and something to laugh about because life is short and tomorrow really isn’t promised to no one.
Another example would be from my childhood, we used to have a hammock in my backyard. My dad and I would lay in the hammock and read The Terrible EEK! Retold by Patricia A. Campton. It’s a Japanese story but my dad would read it in such a way that we would both laugh and laugh. I even recently gave him a copy for his birthday.
These days, I don’t always agree with my dad but if I give him a little time, I know he’s going to make me laugh or try his best. And there’s no medicine better for when life is full of sadness, violence, hatred, and evil. Laugher is truly the best medicine and I wouldn’t know at all what it tastes like if it weren’t for my dad.
Before I go, here’s a joke I came up with myself:
What did the corn cob say when it was getting undressed?

Aww shucks. 

#EncouragingDadsProject Top 10 Piece: An Extraordinary Moment Arranged By My Dad

June 3, 2005. The day was charged with an excitement unlike any other because today was the day my dad was taking my sisters and I to the opening day of Lords of Dogtown. A movie about “skateboarding back in his day” was how he described it. I was peeking through the curtain of fourteen years of age. I was just absolutely stoked to be going to the movies with my dad who up to this point was actively involved in my life, teaching me to ride a bike, and soon he would start teaching me how to drive. A driver of some sort most of his life, my dad always was a dreamer and it was one thing I admired about him. He saw things through child-like eyes despite the fact that I was his first born, and he was my father.
                Yet, that movie awoke a fire in me that has yet to be extinguished. Not only did that movie entertain me and strengthen my bond with my dad but it caused me to relate to skateboarders on a whole other level. I saw the way they were rejected from popular society (even in the Dogtown era) and how what started out as a niche became a movement. As someone who was rejected by the popular kids most of my life, I empathized with that commonality: being true to yourself no matter who approves of you, and it’s why I ended up falling in love with skateboarding altogether.
                Fast forward to October 2005, my dad heard a radio advertisement for this event called the Dew Tour and one of the professional athletes named in the ad was fifteen year old skateboarding heartthrob Ryan Sheckler. My dad heard that and he said, let’s go on a family trip to Orlando and see this guy skate in person. There we were, October 15, 2015, sitting in the hot sun, establishing a good old fashioned Florida sunburn and I was wondering when Ryan was going to make an appearance. Finally, after walking in and out of the festivities, hoping to catch a glimpse of this rare breed of teenage boy. None of the boys at my school were as driven and ambitious as Ryan was when he skated, and I couldn’t help but admire that about him. It also helped that he was cute; we finally stood next to the skate course because they announced the prelims were about to start for skateboard park.
                All of a sudden, I was just about to turn to my dad and ask him if he’d seen Ryan, when out from under the skateboard park course crawled out right in front of the barricade where we stood, none other than Ryan himself. My dad instantly knew it was him, and yelled out, “Hey!” to Ryan. Yet, Ryan just nodded at him before looking over at me, and he kept his eyes on me as he walked up the embankment to get to the top of the ramp. I was floored. Was he really looking at me and not looking away? This young Phenom. Throughout the rest of the event, my mom kept nudging me and telling me Ryan kept looking at me.
                Overall, that first Dew Tour experience was a fangirl experience like no other. Thanks to my dad’s courageous “Hey,” I wrote Ryan a fan letter and we corresponded regularly over the next six or so years. I went on to star in a movie alongside Ryan (Street Dreams), have his mom set up a private meet and greet at the hotel because she recognized me, and Ryan even had the chance to meet my dog Geniveve on March 6, 2011. I’ve always been grateful to Ryan and his mom for being so gracious towards me and my family.
                Yet, it never would have happened at all, if my heavenly Father never set it up for my dad and I to bond over the sport of skateboarding, Lords of Dogtown, or even had my father hear that late night radio ad while long-haul truck driving. It’s something that is unforgettable, an experience like that and it’s all thanks to my dad.

                So fathers everywhere, be sure to recognize when your daughter has a dream or a goal, or even a celebrity crush, and go all out for her, because you never know if your daughter will end up being friends with a professional athlete thanks to your efforts.

An actual shot of where I stood on October 15,2005 and how close I was to the action.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

#WriterRevelations: The Power of Being Positive (Social Media)

Lately, it seems to me that the trend on social media is to be negative, pessimistic, or bragging. Or all three if you are really popular on social media. Here I was hoping that those rude and hateful posts would go away following the election of 2016. Yet, here we are, in 2017, and people are really becoming as the Bible says they would in 2 Timothy 3.

I have started to post less on Facebook (or as I call it Fakebook) mostly because people don't see my posts or they just ignore my posts on there. I've heard from others that it's not just me and it has to do with the algorithm Facebook encrypted into its server in 2015. Now Twitter seems to also be suffering from the same problem, and that makes me even more sad because I really enjoyed tweeting. I have been an avid user since when it started up in 2009, and I even helped celebrities like Ryan Sheckler learn about it.

Now everyone uses it and I feel as though people ruined it.

It used to feel like a safe space but now, I get all types of judgement from whatever I post there.

The social media platform I never expected to like was Instagram. What I had heard from the media was that Instagram was full of Selfies. The media once again hit us with a bit of fake news.

Actually, the nicest, most sincere people I've never met (and some I have) are on Instagram. People will support whatever you post there and guess what was even more surprising?!

Positive people thrive there!

I went from starting my Instagram with 200 followers and now I have almost 800, and I truly believe that the sole reason for that is because I always post motivational and positive quotes.

In college, my walls were covered from ceiling to floor with motivational and positive confessions and quotes because

The funny thing was I caught a lot of flack for it. Some people were actually truly hateful toward my #positiveonly vibes. One guy I was friendly with once said to me,

"You truly believe and see good in everything?" 

I replied, Yeah, it's better to be that way.

He retorted with, "No, it's not. It's not realistic. It's better to see things for what they are instead of for what they can be." 

I've been through some serious shit and I'm sure most people reading this have too in some way, shape, or form. Or maybe you identify with being hated on for who you are. Let this post be your motivation to keep on being that same positive, extremely valuable, love-worthy human being no matter how people treat you. Turn it into a positive: Keep being a light.

We all do it. That subtle offense we take when someone ignores our text, our post on social media, or the major offense we take when someone questions or argues with us via our posts. Whether it's on social media or in real life, you are better to just love people and pay no mind to whether they give you recognition. Besides, that offense comes from our pride, and pride is a deceitful little beast we should all tell more often to be quiet and remind ourselves that it isn't all about ME! 

Stop being so gosh darn selfish and I promise you, good things will start chasing you down and your positivity will attract all the right people but even if it's slow in coming, God always loves you and that's a great foundational truth to build your life on. 

Last month I wrote about diligence and I have to update you all that I finally faced my fears and drove on the real road. For all the shenanigans, check it out here.

If you are having trouble facing a fear, call to mind Moses didn't think he was the right person to deliver the Israelites from out of Egypt but God knew he was not only called but chosen:
And I'm not saying I never have a sad day but I choose to never let a sad day define me or ruin God's great plans for me, and sometimes I even take my frustrations and use them to further motivate me. When life is difficult and you don't know where to turn or who to talk to, start with this confession, write it out on Tumblr, and talk to God or a close friend. And always remember, suicide is never the answer!

Until next time, remember I love you and pray for you daily!

Choose encouragement over offense and you will live a long and happy life, I can guarantee it!

If you read this blog and it gave you positive vibes, please feel free to share it or the graphics with your social media network. Let's create a wave of #positivevibesonly and see how it ripples around the entire world!

In Christ-Like Love and Confidence,

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

#WriterRevelations: The Keys To Success (Christian Living)

Dear Lord, I'm so sorry. Some how I had all these intentions to post a blog last month but the month flew by and before you know it was Hazel's birthday.

If you're interested, here's some videos:

Have you ever felt discouraged about trying to live the Christian Life? If your efforts to make a difference in the world seem fruitless, following the Lord's example could change your outlook.

How was he so effective? Scripture tells us that Jesus did not speak or act on His own initiative but instead depended on His Father abiding in him to do the work (John 14:10). And we are to do likewise.

Even though we may pour great effort and long hours into ministry, these alone won't produce fruitfulness. It's far more important to minister as the Lord intended.

What comfort this should give us!

Until next time, remember:

In Christ-Like Love and Confidence,