Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#WriterWednesday: The Strength in Utilizing Grace by @ChelseaDeVries

Sunday morning on my way to church, I opened a Snap that an innocent friend sent me but it's nature was a bit...unwelcome.

Saturday night, I posted a Snapchat picture of me celebrating a victory for my presidential candidate. I won't reveal who that is because he isn't very popular among people with opinions.

I ignored my friends Snap because one thing you will never see me do is openly discuss politics with anyone. That's mostly because throughout my six years as being a voting citizen of the USA, I found that someone, somewhere will always find a way to argue with you about who you think would make a great president.

It all stems from the human's unanimous need to be right which stems from the innate need to be valued, appreciated, and accepted for who they are.

Which turns out was what my pastor was preaching about at church on Sunday and I couldn't believe how sweet his message was simply because I literally just got done telling my mom why I had ignored my friend's Snapchat.

What was he preaching on?  You ask.

Grace. Simple grace. And it seems like a lot of people in church talk about this topic a whole heck of a lot. It's a major theme in the Christian faith, if you consider yourself a member of it.

Yet, one thing people don't realize is that true strength lies in utilizing grace every day.

Grace to be a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Feminist, Hip Hop Music Enthusiast, etc.

This world wants to put everyone in a box and when you go against the grain (it's like I was born going against the grain because somehow I always find myself doing it without thinking), this world will tell you that your voice, your beliefs, you as a person do not matter.

Thank God for grace. What is grace? According to the Vine's Bible Dictionary, Grace is something beautiful; something free. It also means to extend kindness to those that don't deserve it.

Grace encourages individuality. -Ephesians 2:10

God created us to be different. It seems lately that the election has really brought the demons out of the people I call friends because of course, I don't agree with everything they believe and stand for, and they definitely don't agree with me. Yet, one thing I love about the election is that it gets people talking about the issues in our nation that need to be talked about. One thing I love about Democrats is how they want everyone to be happy. One thing I love about Republicans is that they care about the people that easily get forgotten. And one thing I love about Independents is that they respect everyone as individuals.

So with all this talk about politics and who's right and who's wrong, we are in desperate need as a nation for Grace.

Grace is accepting who the Lord created you to be. -Colossians 1:15-18

Grace is accepting people just the way they are. -1 John 4:7-8

Grace frees us from the tyranny of pleasing people -Galatians 1:10

Grace offers people freedom and choices. -Joshua 24:15-16

Yeah, I'm not always popular because I don't always follow popular opinion but hey, I'm me and I'm free. And to the friend who I ignored your Snapchat, I love and accept you for who you are. I hope you will forgive me and allow me the same courtesy.

Until next time, remember: Strong grace not only allows us to be who the Lord wants us to be but also allows us to love people just the way they are.

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!
~Just Keep Swimming~

P.S. If you feel this message inspired you positively, please do share it via the button to your right that reads TWEET. Thanks so much♥

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#WriterWednesday: Why I Deleted My Tinder

Spoiler Alert: It's not for the reasons you are thinking. No, I am not off the market. I am not settling down with a studly man and moving into his Great Gatsby style mansion.

I got a Tinder account because my sister basically put a metaphorical gun to my head and blatantly seemed like she was concerned that I don't put myself out there enough.

I was perfectly okay with creating one because I love meeting new people and I like talking to people. Yet, I knew when I made the account, that I was never going to go on a date with any of the guys I talked on there with.


I don't like dating. And I know that comes off really weird simply because I have no experience with dating but it's because for the most part, I already know what I am looking for in a man and can tell if he's someone I can develop a relationship with even before we go on a date.

What's the secret?

Tinder is known for being a sex app. And people every day use it for that sole purpose. Yet, I wasn't one of those people.

See, for every guy that messaged me on there, I could instantly tell if he was just on there for sex and to buy me a drank, or if he really wanted to get to know me.

It's no mystery that guys don't really like texting. Yet, for me, if a guy can hold a descent conversation via text or in this case, Tinder, I will not only give him my number but I will also open up to him.

The true test of whether a guy is worth my time is how he reacts when he finds out I'm not only a writer but I'm already published.

As a girl who since my teens has a habit of obsessing and fangirling over guys I like (celebrity or average joes alike), I finally realized why Tinder didn't work for me.

When it comes down to it, one trait I am looking for in a potential mate or date is that they are willing to become my biggest fan. As a writer and also as a person, I face rejection every single day. Now I know I'm not alone there but still, it's a little hard to be me.

The reason I decided to delete my Tinder is because I was snapping and texting a few guys from Tinder about a new poem I wrote. The reason I told everyone about it is because I figured it wasn't a crime to share my writing with them. I had talked to them for a good month or so and figured what would be the harm in sharing a poem with everyone. I mean it was on my public blog.

As a result, I found out that a lot of the guys were not supportive in the slightest. A few wrote back: "Are you looking for more followers? others said, "Is this an ad?" It really hurt at first because they showed absolutely no interest in my writing and my writing is a reflection of me especially when it comes to poetry. With poetry, I really release a lot of emotions I've been experiencing.

One guy texted me this: It's a thought provoking piece that may or may not intimidate a prospective lover.

It all comes down to me being too intimidating. Ahahaha story of my life.

Well at least that guy was honest. Which is why I've deleted my Tinder.

When it comes to love, I'm not interested in settling at being anyone less than who I am:

Mouthy (especially when I have too much coffee)
Addicted to coffee
and reading a good book
lover of Jesus
doesn't trust people too easily
because of the rejection I've faced throughout my life
College educated
Loves working out but likes a good cookie or brownie every now and then
Dog guru

Who also happens to be someone who refuses to settle inside a man's shadow and I set out every day to do something to make my dreams a reality and in the meantime, I hope I inspire you to do the same, and be all you are and never let anyone tell you that you intimidate them or to tone down who you are for them.

Speaking of not giving up or toning myself down for anyone, I recently shared that I left Chanillo.com. Yet, I know a lot of you wanted to read my new re-write project, Kickflip My Heart.

You can do that here. ABSOLUTELY FREE I MIGHT ADD. So far, only the first two chapters are up but once I reach 100 views, I will add another installment.

Until next time remember,

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!
~Just Keep Swimming~

Monday, February 15, 2016

#MondayBlogs: Update on my recent series, Kickflip My Heart

Unfortunately, I decided that Chanillo wasn't the proper home for it.

It reminded me too much of how it felt to be self-published I was paying to use the site to publish and although it was only five dollars a month for me, it just felt like I was paying and nobody was buying.

I apologize to all the winners of my giveaway but this doesn't mean you can't use Chanillo and read some other series on there. I still hope you enjoy it.

This was a creative decision I jumped into and didn't really think through.

Sometimes those types of decisions work themselves out but I personally felt like Chanillo was a bit prejudiced to me as a young author. And for demanding that all writers pay 4.99, it sure wasn't a bargain investment when they don't even help their writers by marketing them.

I will announce soon where my new home is for the re-write (most likely free for now) but thank you so much for helping me come to realize this. It was the lack of support I received while on Chanillo that made me feel too much like I was selling my book chapters when all I really want to do is write them and for them to sell themselves.

Plus, my Chanillo effort showed me who my true friends were so there's also that positive to realize.

And for any writer who is considering Chanillo, you'd be better off releasing your chapters on your blog or on another platform site because no one really even knows what Chanillo is.

Just be warned! It's a scam of sorts.

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#Viral Video- #CraftsWithChelly: DIY Valentine's

This year, I wanted to do something different for Valentine's Day! Enjoy my video. Last year, I wrote A Valentine's Day Tale which you should totally also check out if you missed it!

Lastly, here's a little guide on how to subscribe and read my newest series, Kickflip My Heart.

Until next time, remember:

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!
~Just Keep Swimming~

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

#WriterWednesday: The Power of a Wink

A wink is defined by Webster's dictionary as: close and open one eye quickly, typically to indicate that something is a joke or a secret or as a signal of affection or greeting.

We all know how awesome it is when someone winks at you. You get that first text from your crush that has a wink at the end. For me, I'm blown away when my dogs wink at me. Now that is something you just have to witness in the flesh and not at all virtually. ;-)

Recently, I got a job offer I just couldn't refuse. It was in my field, it was local, and it was everything I was looking for in a public relations job for someone whose college degree is literally fresh off the printer.

I got up early on a Friday morning about two weeks ago and I took a Snapchat video, said a prayer, and headed into the office wearing a nice business professional outfit and a smile.

I headed to the elevator because this company had their particular office suite on the second floor. I got a little lost on the second floor but found my way to the suite and arrived to be greeted by the receptionist warmly.

They asked me to fill out a candidate information sheet including my hobbies and interests. I listed writing, reading, listening to music, and street skateboarding. Sitting down in the waiting room along with two other potential candidates, ESPN was playing on the tv and Demi Lovato's "Confident" came on as part of the ESPN Sports Center promo showing basketball players heading out on the court ready to play the game. Here was the first God wink: The ball is in your court, Chelsea. Aim high and slamdunk this interview. ;-)

Finally, the hiring manager came in and shook my hand and led me to his office about five steps from the waiting room I was walking out of. I sat in a chair adjacent his desk.

As soon as we sat down, the interview started out with an icebreaker.

Hiring manager: I see you're a writer. I myself have started writing a book and am looking for some tips on how to go about the writing process. Should I take some writing classes?

Me: Yeah, definitely. I just have learned about the craft by basically reading books on the craft and I definitely recommend the Writer Magazine.

The interview was instantly a breeze after that because I felt comfortable with him because common ground had been established. The hiring manager went on to tell me what kind of marketing the company did.

They worked with big brands like Vizio, Samsung, etc, doing direct marketing campaigns in Costco's and Best Buy stores.

As soon as I heard marketing for Best Buy, my ears started ringing and I can't begin to tell you anything else he said. God wink number two: You didn't get that job working in Best Buy because I'd rather you work marketing for Best Buy. ;-)

I left very excited for the possibility of working for this company. I actually laughed with my mom on the drive back home at God's sense of humor with this one.

Time passed and I never received another call from them regarding the second interview, and it kind of bummed me out at first.

Then I realized this whole interview was a God wink in itself. To show me what I could attract and what God has planned for me.

I can see pieces coming together today but I urge you to look at your own life, and maybe even look twice. Because God is winking at you in big and small ways, believe me.

Recently, I felt God urging me to apply to publish my re-write of Dream Girl and Jessica's Choice on an online platform and it was accepted, and my series is now live:

To subscribe, you only pay $4.99 where you end up getting access to not only my series but 9 other series. That's about ten books for $5. Now that's a bibliophile's dream come true.

Until next time, Remember: 

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!
~Just Keep Swimming~

Monday, February 1, 2016

#Congratulations To the Winners of My Giveaway!!!

This is a formal announcement of the official winners of my giveaway in promotion of the release of my book, KickFlip My Heart on Chanillo.

Love Times Infinity,
God Bless!
~Just Keep Swimming~