Five Minute Friday: Roots

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Roots

START

Each day this month I am posting to Twitter and Facebook something for which I am thankful. This morning before looking at the Five Minute Friday prompt, I wrote,

“‎30 Days of #Thanksgiving, Day 2: I am thankful to have parents who are always there for me & raised me with good values & responsibility.”

When I looked at the prompt for this morning, ideas were already coming to my mind, but nothing was too terribly clear. I decided to go ahead and find a quote about roots to see if that prompted any more clear words for writing. This is the quote I found:

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Denis Waitley 

I guess this has been God’s way of saying that I have some pretty awesome parents who taught me how important responsibility is. While they have taught me independence, too, I also know that they are still right there behind me to catch me if I fall. Instances like this morning are how God speaks to me. Today he’s showing me that my roots are strong, and I will continue to weather the storms and thrive in the sun.

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P.S. After publishing this post, WordPress reminded me that this makes my 100th Post!

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Roots’.

NaBloPoMo November 2012
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31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Future

Day 31: Future

It’s hard to believe that Day 31 is here, and I made it through every single day! There was only one day this month (just a few days ago) where I didn’t have my entry ready to post at midnight, but I did get it posted later that day. I have a problem with following through with things like this, usually because it sounded like a good idea at the time, then it gets boring or tedious or I take on too much. I feel accomplished that I stuck to it, and it tells me that I can do this!

You know what, though? I’m actually kind of sad that it’s ending. I’ve actually been dreading this day for the last week or so because it’s been really nice to already know what I am going to write about, so now I feel like I have to come up with all new content. I probably won’t continue to blog everyday and go back to blogging a few times a week when the words need to get out of my head. Strike that! I started writing this earlier in the day then received an email from BlogHer about November’s NaBloPoMo this afternoon and just might have been hopped up on novocaine from a dental appointment, but I decided that I’m going to participate. I’m making no concrete promises that I will participate every day, but I’m going to make an effort. It helps that the blogging prompts for November have already been posted. There’s no pressure from BlogHer to stick to those prompts, but they seem like reasonable prompts for my style of writing.

I purposely saved the journaling prompt of Future for the last day of the challenge because I feel like beyond this entry is the future of my blog. Well, duh! It’s the future of everything, right? Of course it is, but I feel like these past 31 days have really set the groundwork for what I’m going to do with my writing and this site. After a very long time, I’m really close to feeling like a real writer. I’ve learned that I don’t have to have a published novel or have a full time job writing to be a writer. I can be a writer for my own enjoyment and the people who read what I have to say.

I am a writer and this is the beginning of my future. I hope you will join me in my journey.

What does your future look like? What goals are you looking forward to achieving?

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of Powerful Words @ Cindy H Ramsey

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Potential

Day 30: Potential

All my life I’ve heard that very few people live up to their potential. While I won’t argue with that statement, I do wonder at what level one would have to be in order to live up to the throne of using all of one’s potential? Did Albert Einstein, Marie Curie or Alexander Fleming live up to their full potential or could they have discovered something even greater? Where’s the limit?

When I was in high school and college, without a doubt I was smarter than the effort I put into my work. I wouldn’t say that I was lazy, but I know I could have tried harder. That pretty much sums up everything in my life. Let me pause here and say that I am NOT putting myself down or anything like that. I’m simply saying that there are numerous times where I know that I could try harder. I’m sure it’s the case for most people. There’s always going to be something that we halfway do for a variety of different reasons, such as lack of time, commitment, interest or resources. We live in a society where just getting by is good enough most of the time. Do the minimum to get it done. This isn’t always by choice, either. There might be a project at work that I would love to spend much more time doing and completing to perfection, but then there are other projects that need my attention.

I know that I could be a better writer if I ventured out more and tried other genres. As much as I enjoy reading fiction, I am not comfortable writing fiction. I’m sure if I worked on it or took a creative writing course, then I could excel at it or at least be decent with it. However, at this stage in my life, I am fine with the voice that I have with writing. It’s much easier to just be myself than to be someone else. Maybe someday I will try fiction again.

If writing is something that you are interested in, whether it be journaling your thoughts like I do or creative writing with fictional characters, I would like to encourage you to start exercising your writing skills by using the 31 Journaling Prompts that I have written about this month. They could easily be used for both fiction and non-fiction writing. Another great resource for me is Writing Through Life, a website with weekly journaling prompts, as well as a free 4-week Journaling 101 course. Finally, my awesome friend, Rebekah, wrote a Guest Post On Being A Writer that offers some practical tips on getting started. 

Whatever area of your life you have more potential than you are using, I encourage you to seek it out and try to be more than you are. In the long run, it will definitely be worth your time and effort.

In what area do you have more potential than you are using? Do you stick with just getting by or do you go all the way? 

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” – Winston Churchill

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days: The Thrift Project @ Beautiful Objects

 

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Inspiration

Day 29: Inspiration

In my writing, I seek inspiration for myself, as well as sharing with others in hopes that they find inspiration, as well. At the end of most every entry I write in my blog, I include a quote or Bible verse that has spoken to me. I write include it just as much for myself as I do for anyone reading. I also gather inspiration from the words that I read in books and blogs written by others.

Inspiration is everywhere!

There have been a few times during this 31 Day journey that I have had a bit of writer’s block, though I admit that it’s not been as frequent as I feared when I challenged myself to this project. In the past, I’ve tried writing fiction, and those times usually end with incredible bouts of writer’s block to the point where I realized that fictional writing is not my genre. The words that long to get out of my head and onto paper (or the screen) are my thoughts and perceptions of what is in and around my life, therefore the inspiration that I find to write is all around me everyday and everywhere. There are times that I wish I had something that recorded my thoughts so that it would be easier for me to write them out later. But really, who wouldn’t want that? Okay, except for those thoughts that you don’t want to share with others. I’d need an on/off switch for sure.

Pinterest is incredibly popular right now and provides an excellent source for inspiration, as well as procrastination*. While I’ll be the first to admit that I have wasted many hours scrolling through Pinterest and adding pins of interesting projects or yummy meals, I have benefitted greatly from using Pinterest as inspiration, as well. My creativity often requires that I produce some sort of craft, and we all know there is a multitude of inspiring crafts on Pinterest. There’s also been memorable quotes and words to contribute to my contentment, fantastic meals I might not have discovered and DIY Tips to make life a little easier. While I know that Pinterest has been more positive for me than negative, I do try to be aware of how much time I spend there so I don’t get behind in other areas of my life.

Inspiration can also be found in your surroundings. Art is everywhere, whether created by man or by God. The beautiful season of Fall is here, and while driving this past weekend, I noted how inspiring the changing colors of the leaves can be inspiring to me to recycle, renew and reuse things in my own life. Our lives can cycle through different seasons, as well. We don’t have to constantly stay the same and it’s okay to go back to what we know and love.

How do you find inspiration? What inspires you? 

*Note: I’m so glad that I didn’t choose Procrastination as one of this month’s journaling prompts, though maybe I should have!

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” – Thomas Merton

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13  

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Inspiring Days @ Ladybugs, Butterflies & Boxing

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

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31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Contentment

Day 28: Contentment

So far I’ve been ahead of the game with having my entries ready to post at midnight every night. Yesterday’s post was about Excuses, and yesterday was the first day that I didn’t have the next day’s entry already written. I could give some valid reasons as to why that happened, but in reality they’d just be excuses. It’s really as simple as saying that living life came first.

Contentment is a difficult topic for me because it’s something that I struggle with daily. I frequently fall victim to thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, there’s something I’d rather have or I wish, I wish, I wish… Seriously, it’s pretty bad. To be honest, when I got to today’s topic, I admit that I dreaded writing about it, because of how bad it can be for me. However, I know that I am not alone.

I’ve been reading (off and on), a book entitled, Calm My Anxious Heart, by Linda Dillow. I started reading it with a few other bloggers but quickly fell behind in reading it along with the others. I picked it back up the other day when I was looking over my list of journaling prompts and saw that this day was coming soon. I wanted to feel more prepared to write this entry. In retrospect, it’s probably good that I fell behind in reading, because last night I read some really interesting information about why Americans are so discontent with what we have when we already have so much: marketing and advertising.

While I don’t also want to fall victim to giving excuses, I can definitely see how marketing has targeted us to believe that we need more and more and more. We’re given false hope that happiness can be achieved by what we own, so we continue to accumulate more stuff, only to find that it doesn’t make us any more content, therefore we must buy more. It’s a vicious cycle that is never going to get us anywhere, and it’s certainly never going to make us more content.

The author of the book even goes on to say that she met a family from Poland when Poland was still under communism who asked why Americans need God when we already have so much. Can we say WOW? It was an eye opening experience for me to consider that someone would think that we don’t need God because of material possessions. But truly, isn’t that what we’re striving for even if we don’t realize it? I don’t consciously say to myself that buying things will lessen my need for God, but that’s what I am doing. I need to seek contentment by seeking God and not accumulating possessions.

In addition to marketing and advertising, we also fall victim to comparing ourselves with others. It’s so easy to notice that person who appears to have it all: the great marriage, excellent job, nice car, a beautiful home, perfect kids, and so on. We only see those perfect traits of that apparently contented person and think that if we have all that he or she has, then we’ll be more content just like that. If we just had one of those things…or even all of those things, then life will be perfect, and we’ll never have problems ever. Come on, you know you do it! I do it all the time, and it makes me miss out on the joys of what is in my life that truly make me happy. We can’t see the good stuff in our life when our focus is on what others have. I encourage you to take inventory of what is in your life that leads to contentment and focus on finding your contentment in God and not what you don’t have or what others have.

Do you fall victim to the greener grass of other pastures? What could you do differently to finding contentment than what you’re currently doing? 

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” ― Oprah Winfrey

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”  ― Dale Carnegie

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days Away from Comparison Island @ Daily Bread & Butter

31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Excuses

Day 27: Excuses

Oh my! Excuses? I can’t believe that I chose this as a journaling prompt. It’s probably good that I saved it for the last part of the month, as I can only imagine the excuses that I would have come up with to NOT write about it.

You know, as the end of the month draws near, I am admittedly surprised that I have not come up with excuses to not write or to skip a day here and there. It’s Day 27, and I have written everyday on time. There were even a couple of days earlier in the month where I had a few written early, and I’m glad I did since we had a death in the family this month that could have put me behind if I hadn’t been prepared. That would have been a good excuse to pause my writing or quit all together, but thankfully I kept going.

I have been working on making it a conscious effort to not make excuses to do things or to excuse bad behaviors. In the long run, it’s better to just accept it, learn from it and move on instead of excusing it as something normal. However, don’t worry, as I am far away from perfecting this behavior. Just ask my dog, who sometimes doesn’t get his monthly flea/tick and heartworm medication until it’s almost time for the next month. Also, ask my husband about the clutter-filled tables that end up being junk catchers when coming from the car to the door. I’m SO guilty, but I’m working on it.

For the past month or so, my motivation has been slowly waning when it comes to keeping a clean house, picking up after myself, eating better and exercising. I shrugged it off and told myself (others)  that it happens every year around this time, and while that seems to be mostly true, it’s still a very (lame) excuse of bad habits. Why does this year have to be like the previous years. I can certainly break that cycle if I truly want to…and I do! I just need to make it happen.

These past 27 days have been an excellent example of starting a good habit of writing every day instead of making excuses as to why I can’t write or no one is reading my writing. I know I can do it!

What are some (lame) excuses that you give? How would you plan to start acting instead of excusing? 

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” ― George Washington
“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.” ― Steve Maraboli

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days of (Lame) Excuses @ A Slob Comes Clean

 

Five Minute Friday: Voice

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Voice

START

My writing voice is something that I have been coming to love more and more throughout this month as I have challenged myself to write every day this month for 31 days. I knew before October began that I was comparing myself way too much with other writers and bloggers, and that was contributing to me not feeling like I was worthy to call myself a writer. I felt like because I wrote differently that no one would want to read my words. For a while I even tried writing like the other bloggers whose writing I enjoy reading, but I felt so fake. I felt that it was no longer me, and I started to lose my voice.

So what really began with participating in Five Minute Friday where I just write without planning, I started to do that more and more frequently. Some days I had a general idea of what I was going to write in my head, but I found that I truly enjoyed the entries where I just wrote my feelings and let the words flow freely without worrying so much about how I compare to others. It was MY voice coming out in those words and not what I assumed people would want to read.

Still, I find myself slipping every once in awhile and wondering if maybe I wrote like other people would like me more. Putting it like that makes me feel like I’m still going through puberty and worried that no one will be my friend. I guess maybe my blog is still going through puberty, and one day it will blossom into what it is meant to be in this world…unique, just like everyone else! 🙂

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“A choir is made up of many voices, including yours and mine. If one by one all go silent then all that will be left are the soloists.
Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song.” 
― Vera Nazarian

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Voice’.
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