Tuesday, September 26, 2017

#WriterRevelations: Rely On the Source (Manna From Heaven)

Boy, it always amazes me how much God uses my life to preach and teach to my readers. After two months of very few updates, I am back with three new posts over the next month!

It's been almost a year since I got fired from Wal-mart. And ten months since I quit working seasonally for UPS. Yet, I've managed to work as a freelance writer for the span of two years. And no matter the client, I've always done my best work because that's how I am when it comes to writing, it's my best work, or I step back and wait for it.

The same goes with these blog posts. I pray, pray, and pray for a word for you guys and then magically the happenings in my life seem to mirror the overall theme I receive during my Bible study and then I sit down to write. You can bet I pray about plots and subplots for my novel as well. If I am going to write it, I always bring it to the throne room for the final anointing so God can use it to minister and encourage his children.

I used to blog about my daily occurrences but this year, God asked me to start a new series called Writer Revelations: A writer chick using the Bible to explain and challenge people to live their best life. So anything I want to be silly about or less than serious gets posted elsewhere (mostly Twitter), and here is where I present what God wants you to know.

You don't have to be a Christian to receive these messages. Whatever faith or denomination you subscribe to, as long as you believe in a higher power, these words of encouragement will work to make a difference in your life.

And if you don't believe me, that's fine. I will just preach this to myself. LOL.

Since the beginning of the year, I've been planning a short trip to Disney in order to give myself some hands-on experience in the parks so that my novel reads authentically. Plus, I figured it was a grad trip I could give myself for getting past 20,000 words in my WIP.

Come the end of August, things were looking like I may or may not go. Then, my mom happened to write to her cousin via social media and ask if she could get us $79 tickets for our trip. Yet, she asked when we were planning to come out, and it turned out she was off that day, and because she is a Disney World Castmember, she could get us in absolutely free.

God-wink #1.

Then, came the news of Hurricane Irma, and people everywhere started to panic. Prior to this news, Panera Bread notified me that I was chosen to receive a free Daily Bagel From Panera.  

 I bet you are thinking, "Ok, what does that have to do with anything?" As you may remember, I was kicked off food stamps back in May, and have struggled with that for the past four months, so God provided manna for the month of September so I would remember who the source of all things really is.

Yet, since the Hurricane was heading for my home state, Panera was closed for a week, and my trip truly looked like it wasn't going to happen. There was nothing that I could do except one: it doesn't get enough credit but it's probably the most vital thing we can do at anytime in this life.
Yet, Irma came and left without my house suffering severe damage other than our front fence falling down. We never lost power, got flooded or even evacuated because we have faith in the Source.

My faith was high and I was floating like a leaf in the blistery, hurricane force winds. Yet, the day following the aftermath, my boss of two years wrote me saying he did not know when he was going to be able to pay me. I got a little concerned. Here I was heading to Orlando, about to spend every dime I had managed to save starting with my tax refund at the beginning of the year, and my boss was making me rethink this whole trip.

To make a long story short, I ended up choosing to trust in God despite the fear of lack and poverty that besought me, and God rewarded me for it.

I went on my trip and had a killer time. For a full 25 minute video of the whole experience, please check out my #WaltLife VLOG.

This trip proved so many things to me but basically #1 is that

If God cares about the number of hairs on your head, what makes you think whether you go on vacation or not does not matter to him? So, whatever you perceive as fun, God cares about that.

God showed me that with my trip because every little detail of it was taken care of and I was able to just enjoy being in the moment for the first time in a while. Plus, he cares about the fate of my novel which boggles my mind because it's just this glorified Ryan Sheckler Disney fanfiction that I started when I was 14 but he has turned it into best-selling material that will speak to people from all walks of life which I can further praise him for.

I came back from my trip to find out that not only did I still have a job but my boss is going to pay me the full amount he owes me for 3 weeks of work, plus he even agreed to let me work two weeks in October after originally thinking he would need me to take a month off.

Thank God for his infinite love!

Sometimes I feel that ever since I started working when I was in college, it is easy to start to look at your self and your efforts and think of your job as your only source of income, provision, or prosperity but God has proven this year alone, that he still is REIGNING as the Source of all every time he rains his love, favor, and blessings on me.

My next post will go into this further but there has never been a month since being fired and prior to working at Wal-mart where I lacked for food, shelter, or a bed to sleep on. And even more amazing is when during those really hard months God will give me extra manna to buy that whatever I have my heart set on: whether it be a gift for my family member or dogs (I love to spoil my dogs in case that wasn't clear) or my favorite artists new album, or even a new athletic outfit to workout in.

MY God is so AMAZING to me because he CARES about it all.

The Lord is inviting you and I to trust Him and live in both the adventure and security of a life of faith.

Until next time remember,

In Christ Like Love and Confidence,


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.