Short Story Thursday

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Image from Keith Putnam. See his flickr

Hi everyone! Here is my short story Thursday submission. Enjoy.

The twinkle in her eye hinted at danger and it drew him in. She raised her eyebrow, half smiled at him, and turned, beckoning him to follow. She sauntered towards the door and pushed it open. He rushed after her and when he made it to the door he found it locked.

He pushed harder and pounded on the door. Nothing happened. Exasperated, he turned around and searched for another exit. He ran down the stairs to the darker corridor below. His pulse quickened as each door he found was also locked.

He reached the end of the corridor with a green door with the word dream spray painted in white. He noted the Corridor Z sign above. He inhaled and steeled himself for whatever might come. He pressed the door and it opened. Inside he saw an orb that floated, illuminating the path it wanted him to take.

He followed the orb and noticed that the air started to smell more musty, like they were heading deeper underground. The path began narrowing and getting steeper as it continued its descent. He walked in silence for what seemed like an hour.

The path finally leveled out and the orb paused at an entrance to a cave. He cautiously entered the cave. He heard a voice call out. “Hello, Dr. Hughes.  What a pleasure to finally meet you in person.”

 

That’s it guys. Stay tuned for more! Thanks.

 

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I Took the Plunge

Today I posted on a Facebook group my county uses to sell items an ad wanting children for my inhome daycare. I said I would provide diapers and references. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I okay if this flops? Yes. I did it even though I was afraid of what people would say and even though I might not get any replies.

Yesterday in my devotional I read about taking the first step and the Lord providing the rest. Psalm 56:3-4 was the passage. It talked about leaning and relying on God and putting my trust in him and not fearing the outcome.

Boy is that hard for me to do. I like to be in control and know what is going to happen.

Then today’s devotional had Joshua 1:5 that said, “No man shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”

That was what I needed to hear. If this is God’s will, then he will make it happen. If it is not His will, then it won’t. I don’t need to stress and fear about me not being prepared enough. I’ve read time and again that he equips the called, not calls the equipped.

I feel often too afraid to try things because I am not experienced enough. But that isn’t what God is asking. He is asking me to go and He will provide me with whatever I need. He hasn’t failed me yet, so why would He now?

Wish me luck. I’ll need it.

Why I’ve Stopped Trying to Understand Why People Do Things

This week, my dad quit his job. To understand the implications of this, you must know a bit about my backstory. My parents married and had me before they were 20. My father is Native American and my mother is white. My father’s family didn’t (and still don’t really like) my mother. So there was a pull right from the beginning of my dad leaving the matriarchal society of his tribe to be with my mother in the patriarchal white society.

This has negatively impacted my dad so much. He left everything he knew about how a family should be run to go into a society where he was expected to do so much more than he was used to doing. In Christianity my dad was supposed to be the head of the household and the main provider. That’s not how it worked in his tribe. The women were heads of households. They made the most important decisions.

My father has had a history of quitting his job and leaving my mother and us kids in snowy Illinois to return to his family in Oklahoma. He always leaves around the time of year of his younger brother’s passing – autumn. Then after the holidays (and around tax time), he would come back and we would try to mend our lives.

This was awful. There was no sense of stability and there was more than a bit of resentment towards him and my mother and my extended family. We aren’t really sure why my dad keeps doing this.

Most people have stopped caring or trying to help when he leaves and give us looks of disgust when he comes back. But those people aren’t in the predicaments my family is in. First, my family is poor. My mother has a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education but that doesn’t make much money. So having two incomes is definitely better than one.

My mother is a Christian and her church believes that people shouldn’t divorce and they should try and work on things. For the children. But when this happens more than once, then it is my mother’s fault for trying to make things work. There are so many societal and economical reasons why my mother does what she does.

Back to the heart of the matter. I stopped trying to figure out why my dad keeps leaving my sophomore year of college. What I’ve gone through in my life is just as traumatic as children from divorced parents, except it keeps happening. I’ve got all kinds of daddy issues.

But I’ve learned to let it go. It was killing me. I was drowning in the hurt and self doubt and questioning my worth if the one man who was not supposed to hurt me, left me. What did that make me? Unlovable? Unworthy?

If I had let this negative thinking and talk influence my whole life I would not be where I am today. I’ve realized that my father is going to do what he is going to do. I can’t influence him in any way. I can’t convince him to stay in my life and be a good parent. I can’t make him not quit his job. I can’t keep him away from his extended family.

I can’t begin to understand why he does this. I’ve learned to accept him as he is. He may not be a good father every day. But I can’t let his actions determine what I think about myself, my family, or anything else in my life.

Does it still hurt? Yes. Will it ever get easier? No. My dad may be a good person but a bad dad. He may be the best son but the worst person. It isn’t up to me to judge him. And I’m one of the ones who has the most cause to judge.

People are going to do what they want to do. Trying to understand why will only bring you more hurt and restlessness. I’ve spent years wrestling with this. I can only do so much. Then I have to give the rest to God and let God’s peace take over my heart and soul. I’ve forgiven my father for being who he is. I can’t expect him to act in the way I want. I’ve just learned to live with who he is and love him anyway. Even when it hurts.

Easy Crockpot Chili

This recipe I got from my mother-in-law. My husband loves it and kept asking me to try it. She cooks it all on the stove but I love using my slow cooker so I adapted the recipe to fit.

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For this recipe I used a pound or so of ground beef, 2 large cans of tomato soup, 2 cans of red beans(undrained), 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, a packet of chili seasoning, and some diced onion (not pictured).

I browned the ground beef then put everything in the crockpot. That simple!

You can add more or less brown sugar to fit your tastes. I like the Mrs. Dash chili packets because it is less sodium but you can use any chili seasoning or make your own. My mother in law just uses chili powder itself.

If you’re looking to be more frugal there are certainly ways to do it. You can also add more vegetables like bell peppers.

Enjoy!

What now…?

Cross at Surfers memorial site, at Bodhisattva Beach, near Pillar's Point / Mavericks, Pacific Coast, California, USA  By WonderLane https://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/3209392344/in/photolist-4Xjj5y-26ujyY-3GTD3-4V2gr9-5TAYwL-4j2kWN-3j98yZ-5d8aDn-7Q4568-5sgWFK-b84pMF-4D6fYP-6SYDKf-4zCA5S-EXmry-5n8GX7-5m5G44-5ixGkT-EYHSM-zwnm4-EYCi3-4CmF7Z-9SH7mH-5jkkxs-75uQnk-6usmpW-vBBW3-7WU1Hu-2FVCMt-6dZAwb-iJAtq-4J8UfC-vBBVY-5vQYCS-a6WEqv-9tcnUa-8bW2Nn-bDLASP-5oYB6n-6ueCwL-4B87Q8-4Sv1TT-6zk7Vw-3EbXKS-6TL8Pb-5prK3S-m4zfN-8fdqGD-xiDcq-D4koR/
Cross at Surfers memorial site, at Bodhisattva Beach, near Pillar’s Point / Mavericks, Pacific Coast, California, USA
By WonderLane
Credit to Wonderlane

Well my life basically turned to crap. I lost the job where I was planning on working my whole career. I don’t exactly know what to do now. I’ve been running myself ragged with anxiety. I want to be able to support myself and be happy at the same time.

Honestly, I was not happy at the job. I didn’t give my all.  I wasn’t efficient neither did I learn as fast as my employer wanted, which is why they fired me. I couldn’t see myself working there forever because I would have hated it. But I would have done it because it is what I thought would have made me happy.

It felt like punch in the gut but a sigh of relief as well. So now I am without work and scrambling for money. I have a few ideas but I’m not sure what I can do well. I though about maybe doing in home day care. I’ve tested it out and it seems okay. I love children and helping them learn.

I just know that I really don’t want to work at a desk 40 hours a week. There’s just something about that lifestyle that signals trap instead of freedom.

Something else interesting happened this week. I decided to give going to church another try. I had a lightbulb moment. I had been trying for so long to combine the warring sides of Christianity and my personal beliefs about social issues. I felt that there was no church I could go to that had  beliefs like I did and they would shun me and look down on me for it.

Then I realized that I could believe in God and have my truths. I could go to church and not conform to the pastor’s beliefs. I could be a Christian and a liberal. It may not make sense to anyone who wasn’t raised in the church but I spent much of my life feeling guilty for wanting to have my own opinions.

I never fit into the “good Christian girl” model and never will. I’ve finally realized that I don’t have to. God made me this way. He wants me to believe in what I believe or else he would have made me a sheep.

This might ruffle some feathers on the conservative right but they don’t get to claim God for solely themselves. I say God loves everyone and would want everyone to love and believe in him regardless of what they think of the tax system.

I have a peace now that is something I’ve never experienced before. My anxiety is finally under control and there is a peace in my soul that I can thank God for. I know that no matter what happens to me in my life that He will provide.

I finally feel better than I have in my whole life. The three pieces of my person (spirit, soul, body) are starting to come together and I know that the rest of my life will fall in to place as well.

I know that God has put this break into my life for some reason and I need to learn to wait and be patient and still and listen to what the Lord has to say. That will be more difficult than ever but he has me in His hands. I have more than I need and am blessed. I am so thankful for all I’ve been given and pray to be a light through this storm.

Short Story Tuesday!

Hi everyone! This will be a regular feature on my blog. I will take pictures of things and make a fun short story out of them.

First up: The Trail

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     Sara walked quickly through the crunching leaves. The warm sun cutting through the brisk Autumn wind. Her hands hugged around her body as she noticed all the life in the forest suddenly quieted.
     She felt the hair on the back of her neck rise as she looked around her. The forest slowly became darker and a

First place and feeling….?

Today was an interesting day.  I feel like every day brings new challenges and opportunities to learn. I completed my first 5k race in years.  I had a horrible time and my ankle hurt which caused me to walk a few times.  And yet I won first place in my age group… because no one else was in my age group.  It was a small race for a Christian school. 

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     I’m not sure whether to feel proud or embarrassed.  What it did do, however, was to remind me that I enjoy running and I need to practice it more. I’ve been off my fitness routine lately and haven’t trained for running in months.  I realized that I want to be a better well rounded person in regards to exercise.  I want to be able to run, lift, and stretch/do yoga to my heart’s content. That is why I’ve found a new exercise program I’m excited to try. 

     It is a four day split with two upset body days, two lower body days,  and two running &

yoga days with one rest day. I enjoy lifting so much more than running so I’m going to keep
that my focus and then throw in cardio and yoga twice a week. I’m not sure how long it will take me to see results but I’ll update my progress. 

     I also learned how good it feels to accomplish what you set out to do in a day.  I’ve been so busy today but I was still able to study what I planned for and clean the house a little. It makes me happy to check things off my list and get things under control. This gives me a boost to keep it up!  Yay for instant gratification!