Loving People Like Jesus

Hello there!

I’m so sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. My priorities have been to focus on my upgrades for college and now that those are done it’s a waiting process to get my marks back. Since that’s done I’m hoping to be able to put a bit more of a priority on my blogging and novel writing. But today I’m gonna work on writing up some posts and finishing up ones I started so today my friend Cori has written another guest post so I’ll let her share what she’s written.

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Growing up I learned that people are not always the easiest to love all the time. I was taught that you have to love everyone, even if you don’t like them.

One of the most important commandments is to love your neighbors as yourself. God said that himself. Treat others the way you would want to be treated is something my youth pastor would say often. Although not always the easiest route, it is the way that Jesus lived himself.

Jesus hung out with people that you wouldn’t really expect. He made friends with the liars and cheats. The outcasts. The people nobody wanted to be. I think He did this to set an example for us today. He didn’t have to love on those people. But he chose to show them the love and respect every person needs.

Now that doesn’t mean that Jesus took crap from people either. He would correct them when they were wrong, in a very polite yet clever way most of the time.

Don’t think I’m telling you to hang around a murderer and be best friends with them. But I am telling you to love that person no matter the sins they struggle with because, in the end, his sin is the same as mine. Even if mine seems minuscule in comparison God sees all sin as the same.

When I was in grade school the teachers would always pair the new kids or the weird kids with me because In my house you treated everybody the way you would want to be treated, therefor I was always the nice one in class, even when I didn’t want to be I was paired with them. Now I was a very shy kid. It was pretty hard for me to do this. But I felt the call that God put on my life to follow him at a young age and I knew it was the right thing to do.

There was this one kid who nobody got along with. I’m not gonna share her name but she was a nice kid. Just a bit strange. Once one of my friends asked me why I hung out with her so much. I simply told them that she deserved to have friends too. At the end of the school year, we went our separate ways but her mom came up to me and thanked me for being so nice to this girl. She was a bit hyper and talked A LOT but I did enjoy her company and learned to love her very much.

I wish more kids would give each other a chance rather than judging a book by its cover. It’s so hard for me to see all the bullying and abuse that goes on In schools these days. It’s sad.

I learned pretty young that it’s honestly so rewarding and worth getting to know a person no matter how much they annoy you.

Now I know we aren’t all in grade school here. That was just one example. I have another. Take homeless people for example. I have worked and served homeless people for as long as I can remember. But some people won’t even look in their direction. Some Christians don’t even see them as people.

I’ll never forget the day that I went up to a homeless man and gave him some food and he looked at me with tears in his eyes. He said nobody would even look at him that day. He searches in his bag for a ring he had made and he gave it to me saying that he wishes there were more people like me in this world.

I’ve given people on the streets Christmas presents that haven’t gotten anything for 25 years and they’ve broken down and asked me to watch them open it. It wasn’t much just some essentials and little things and a book but he was so thankful for his gift. He said that maybe there really is a God that loved him all because I treated him like a normal person for a few minutes.

I love these experiences. Ones with people who think they don’t even deserve it anymore. Broken people. I see them as a beautiful creation of God and it’s almost magical seeing these moments.

If people could just open their eyes and see them as people in a bad circumstance the world would be a much more beautiful place. But let’s move on to another example.

Now we’ve all had that one neighbor that everybody hates right? I have anyways. Those people are one of the hardest to love. Just the meanest most annoying people you’ve ever met right? Well God calls us to love even them. I know crazy right?! Well, I know for a fact that Jesus would have gone up to that guy and said: “I love you no matter what the sin you are struggling with.” So we are called to do the same. That’s not always the easy thing to do but sometimes the hard choice is the best choice.

So many times in the Bible the Pharisees would scold Jesus for hanging out with “that guy” like why would a guy like you hang out with a guy like them? Love, that’s the answer. Unconditional unfailing love.

I know these words aren’t really something easy to read but it’s very important. So next time you just can’t stand someone, pray for them. It not only changes them but it changes your heart towards them. I’m not saying you have to like them, but you must love them.

“Lord help me to love like you do. Help me to love my enemy’s and pray for them. Help me to go up to the weird kid and be their friend. I thank you for your love and grace on us. We don’t deserve it but you made us deserve it by dying on the cross for us. Help me to spread love through out the world and shine your light through me. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen”

How To Find Peace In Your Imperfections

Hello Loves!

This week has been super crazy with work and school and my boyfriend visiting and I forgot to post this guest post by the lovely Molly Shaffer. So I’ll step aside and let her take over the blog today.

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For over three decades, I’ve struggled with self-hate. So much so that I couldn’t stand to see the woman staring back at me in the mirror. The world said I had to change in order to be beautiful. My face, without makeup, was not beautiful. The stretch marks that etched across my body were not beautiful. The cellulite, pimples, smile lines, and God knows how many other countless flaws, were not beautiful. In fact, there was nothing redeeming about me, and beautiful was a word meant for other people, not someone as broken as me. Lies!

This past year, the infamous 2016, was my year of self-growth. My New Year’s Resolution was different from my past ones, the ones where a number defined my life. In 2016, I made the resolution to become healthy: mind, body, and soul. Little did I know that uttering those words would send me on the most gut-wrenching journey of my life. A year of pain, growth, and ultimately, the beginnings of self-love…truly, honestly, lasting self-love.

How did I do it? How did I go from an inability to stare at my own reflection to becoming my own champion? Faith, quiet time, and most importantly, banishing the negative thoughts that were at war in my head. It took a lifetime to hate myself, and a year to come to peace, but it will take a daily commitment to choose love, in order to make lasting changes in my life. This is how you begin the process. This is where change resides. Not in a miracle pill or fad diet, but in rewiring your brain. Realizing that weight is truly just a number, but health runs much deeper than beauty ever will.

 

Step 1: Recognize the lies

One morning, I woke up ready to start a brand new day. I had a song in my head and a smile on my lips, but one step in front of the mirror, and my entire mood changed. Like a light switch turning off in my head, I felt the negativity creep in. My hair was in disarray, and my mascara smeared under my eyes, creating dark circles that would make a raccoon envious. I sat at my vanity, my head in my hands, and I cried. What happened to that strong woman from a second ago? Where did the warriorNowherewhere. She was inside me at that very moment. I had silenced her with a lie.

I picked up my head, and forced myself to look in the mirror. My eyes watered, but I refused to look away. I stared until my face blurred, and I ignored the menacing voice in my head…the liar. Slowly, ever so slowly, I began to make out an image. A cute button nose and full lips. Finally, a positive thought. I liked my nose and my lips. I ran with these thoughts, and as soon as the liar emerged once again, I had a weapon. Sure my eyebrows need to be shaped, but have you seen my nose. Damn, that’s a good nose. I took that first step, which lead to two more, and then, I was running.

 

Step 2: Find a Mantra

The negativity had defined me for far too long. The time had come to find my life quote…the one I could use to defeat the enemy…my war cry. I read through scripture until I came across the verse that spoke to my soul. Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ.” I had read this verse many times before, but for some reason it held a new meaning for me. I can do anything. Anything. Give up the bad habits. Strengthen my body and soul. Heck, I could even love myself. Why not? My life verse echoed…all things. The key word being all. I can do this. I will do this.

You may not be religious, and that is okay. Find your life verse. The verse that clings to you, or better yet, the verse you cling to. You’re going to need it, because the liar is strong in you. You’re going to need a mantra to defeat that cycle of abuse. Find your verse, memorize it, and repeat it until it sticks. Over and over again, like a song on repeat. You can do this.

 

Step 3: Phone a Friend

I have an accountability partner. Her name is Jessica, and she is my sister from a different mister. There are moments that I feel we are the same person in different bodies. Kindred souls thousands of miles apart. It’s kind of freaky how well we mesh. The best part, I can be real with this woman, and she doesn’t judge me. She pours truth into my life, refuses to sugar coat my failures, or accept my excuses. She isn’t harsh in her redirections. I don’t need a drill sergeant. I need a friend. Someone I can cry out to and laugh with. Jessica is that friend to me.

My journey will not work if I try it alone. I can talk myself into some stupid mistakes. “Go ahead, girl, you deserve a slice of that chocolate cake…no, you deserve the whole cake.” So, before I make a bad choice, I text Jessica. She either affirms my madness, or gently redirects me. Find your Jessica. She’s out there.

 

Step 4: Give Yourself Grace

You’re going to screw up. It’s inevitable. The best thing you can do when you muck everything up, is to realize you haven’t really mucked everything up. Stand up, dust off your bum, and get back on course. So you failed: who cares? That’s part of the process. Don’t slit your other three tires because you have a flat (I love that analogy). Give yourself the same grace you would give to your best friend, because after all, you need to begin seeing yourself as your best friend.

 

Step 5: Perfect isn’t Real

For most of my life, I sought perfection, until recently. I read this amazing book, Present Over Perfect, and I had an epiphany. Perfect is cold. Perfect is plastic. Perfect isn’t real. I want warm, comfortable, snuggly, and sometimes that comes with messy, flawed, and blemished…and that’s okay.

The price I paid for perfection is profuse. I spent countless hours inspecting my physique, holding myself to severe standards, and beating myself up when I didn’t reach the unattainable. Sound familiar? It’s the anthem of our world. Kill yourself so others will love you. Well, I say, love yourself and kill the negativity. Once you can see the lies you’ve believed about yourself are just that…lies…you can begin to speak truth into your soul. That’s where real transformation begins, and I’m here to tell you, life on the other side is great!

 
If you’d like to read more about my journey to self-love, visit my website: www.mollyshaffer.com. I’ll be the one with the love of words. The messy chick with a crooked grin. But guess what, I’ll be the one smiling!

Loving Who God Made You To Be

Hello there lovelies!

Today we have a guest post from my friend Cori. She was one of the first people to volunteer to write a blog post for this new blog post series I wanna do throughout the year and I LOVE what she has to say.

I hope you all receive some encouragement from this lovely gals words of wisdom.

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Well, it’s a new year again and our social media is filled with “New year new me” posts and new years resolutions that will last a couple of weeks.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with trying to better yourself, but when its all about me, me, me I think we might just be missing the point. My resolution is to grow closer to Christ and to love who He made me.
        The world tells us that it is all about you. You do you. You only live once. I agree to make the most of your life but when your life revolves around you and you only that isn’t exactly what God has planned. God tells us to live humbly and to always put your neighbor before yourself. He tells us to give a homeless man the clothes off our backs if he doesn’t have any. He tells us to pray for our enemies and love them no matter the harm they’ve caused you.  That may not be very easy, but that is what we are called to. There is a difference between loving who God made you and being a self centered jerk
        Now my life hasn’t been that easy. I was sexually abused, I’ve harmed myself and did for many years, and I even attempted suicide. Growing up I’ve had major self esteem problems.  I would look at myself in the mirror and hate everything about my reflection. I would cry at night because I wasn’t good enough for society or even myself. It wasn’t until recently, actually, that I realized  I wasn’t living how God had planned. It took a mental hospital being waved over my head for me to finally get my act together.  My point is this: God made you who you are for a reason and you are perfectly and wonderfully made. He planned out every inch of you, beautifully, inside of your mother and God, the God of the universe, does not make mistakes. (Psalms 139:13-18)
        Now I pray that in this new year you learn to love yourself for who God made you. Not for what the world wants you to be. Serve your Lord with all your heart soul and mind and love every bit of yourself because the creator of everything there ever was and is to come made you and that is pretty amazing if you think about it.
    Now I still deal with all of these things today. I am not saying that life is gonna be a bundle of joy on a sunny day. Life sucks, there’s no other way to put it, but it is so much easier to have hope and to love who God made you to be then to dwell on things and to try to be this perfect person society makes the standard out to be. You will never be perfect. You will never be “Good enough” , but you know what? That’s why Christ died for us. So that in Him we are good enough and always will be. God doesn’t look at us for all the bad things we have done.  He looks at us as perfect, just as He made us perfectly.

“Lord help me to love who You made me to be. Help me serve you in any way that i can in this new year. I pray that in the new year i grow spiritually and grow to love others more than myself, thank you for all these blessings, i pray that my self esteem will be high this year. In your name I pray , Amen.”

Yours Truly,
Cori Heck

New Years Blogging Schedule!

Hello Readers!

I’m still technically on a blog break until the new year, BUT I thought I would share my new blogging schedule with you all. In January I’ll be doing some trial runs so it may yet change come February BUT I will be back in January….but not with many posts.

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I only have about 4/5 posts for the month set in stone leaving room for cover reveals and stuff as they come or if I wanna do a few extra posts.

 

Also, you are probably noticing The Fandom Studio thing and that, my friends, is a new fandom blog! Myself and 6 other gals started this website on Monday and we are beyond excited to share it with people. If you are a fangirl/fanboy then you’re gonna wanna check this out!

 

Blog: The Fandom Studio

FB Page: The Fandom Studio FB

Twitter: @TheFandomStudio

Until The New Year!

Adriana G.

A to Z Challenge || Letter C: CampNaNoWriMo

Hello Readers!

*Please Note that I will be away until Monday. I will have internet at points so I may not reply to comments right away but I WILL reply.*

So, as you all know, I am doing CampNaNoWriMo this month (again) and so, today my letter for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is the letter ‘C’ (I feel like I’m on Sesame Street) so I will be talking about CampNaNoWriMo.

CI was going to give you all a CampNaNo update today, but so far there isn’t much to share besides what I already have planned/scheduled for snippets SO I’m just gonna totally brag about my CampNaNo Cabin Buddies and just tell you why I love CampNaNo. Okay? Okay.

 

 

For those of you who may not know what CampNaNo (or NaNoWriMo) is, it is an event where writers come together (In an online community obviously, cause we writers are all quite introverted people.) and in a month write a novel or 50k word equivalent. The original event, NaNoWriMo,  is usually held in November but in the spring and summer there is something called ‘CampNaNoWriMo’. CampNaNo is the same thing just in the months of April and July over November.

Why I especially love CampNaNoWriMo is two things.

1. You can chose your word count goal. 

Unlike NaNoWriMo in November you can chose your WC Goal. So, if you wanted to write a poetry book that wasn’t going to equal a final number of 50K then you could change the WC goal to your liking. I especially like this because, when writing Contemporary, I tend to write about 40k as a final first draft. So I set my final WC goal for just that.

2. You have Cabin Buddies!

One feature I love about CampNaNoWriMo is that you get assigned Cabin Buddies which is basically just yourself and 10 other writers in a private chat lounge where you can find support, brainstorm ideas or just encourage each other. It is the best feature that I hope they will one day move to the November NaNoWriMo Event.

I love my CampNaNo Cabin Buddies this year! Such amazing gals! (Some of which I already knew before this event so thats cool! ) Shoutout to them all!

Cabin Buddies

Cabin Buddies

^^ These are my Buddies! They are fantastic! Be jealous 😉

 

So, that’s my post for today! Is there any specific reason you like CampNaNoWriMo over the original NaNoWriMo? Is this the first you’ve heard of these events? Have you done either event before?

 

Until Next Time!

Adriana Gabrielle

 

Distraction Free Writing

Hello Readers!

So today I am going to share a few tips with you lovely people on how I go about getting the most out of my writing….Which means going distraction free.

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Now, I don’t know about you guys, but as my days go on I find myself getting more and more distracted every morning I sit down to write. Whether that be by the internet or my phone. Over the past couple days, I’ve asked a couple of my friends about what distracts them from writing and just made a list of different ways you can go about focusing on your writing but still staying connected. (As in, if you wanna keep Twitter open, then great! Go ahead 😀 ) Now, I’m sure all these ideas are not new to y’all but sometimes I myself like a little reminder of alternatives to keep from getting distracted.  *writes the author as she gets distracted and ends up taking a ten minute twitter break*

Anyways! Here is a list of different distraction free approaches (all of which I use) to writing.

1. Do a series of Word Wars/Word Sprints.

Probably my favourite thing to do. I’m quite competitive so a little playful competition can really get me going. Because, setting a timeframe where I have to write and knowing that someone else is racing me to get the most words, really gets me going.

 

2. Have another writer friend keep you accountable.

This is another thing I do. If I am texting or chatting with another writer friend online and I need/want to go write. Sometimes I will say things like: ‘Okay. I am going to write for twenty minutes. If you see me online feel free to call me out on it and set me straight.’

That helps me keep accountable because the last thing I want is for my friends to scold me and think I’m a terrible writer! *gasp* That would not be good at all.

 

3. Use the ‘Distraction Free Writing’ setting on your word processor.

So, yeah. Just discovered this for WordPress ( WOOOOHOOO!) and I recently came to discover that both word processors that I use have this! It has worked wonders for me simply because. I love Twitter and my novel playlists are on Youtube. Both are distracting, and let me loose on Youtube and I’ll be watching every Ricky Dillon video in existence…a million times over. So, thats always nice when you have a playlist going or something and still don’t want to be distracted.

 

4. Set a timer.

Pretty simple. Turn on a timer and get writing. I find, by having a timer and KNOWING the minutes are counting down, that I get less distracted with everything else around me. (See #1 for similar alternative)

 

Bonus: 5. Turn off your Wifi and put away that phone

So, with this one, you can’t really stay connected or online considering you are turning off your Wi-fi. BUT this is my back-up plan. If I’m getting distracted, with the click of a button I turn off my wifi for a bit.  Next thing I do is put away my phone. Or if its sitting beside me, I will flip it so I can’t see the screen light up if I get a notification of any sort.

 

So, thats it! There is my list of ways I write without distractions. Do you have certain ways you go about not getting distracted while writing? If so, tell me them in the comments! 😀 I’d love to hear from you all on how you go about avoiding distractions.

 

Until Next Time!

Adriana Gabrielle

 

‘Bout The Blogger (Tag from PaperFury.com)

Hello Readers!

So, I have some writing posts I am going to be plugging away at today. (I really need to get back on schedule here, Yikes!) but until then, I am doing a tag from Cait over at Paper Fury (formerly known as the notebook sisters but you will now find the blog at www.paperfury.com )

 

So, let’s do this! Today’s tag is an ‘About The Blogger’ Tag where I’m gonna answer some questions about my blog and make shoutout to other bloggers and so much amazingness! 😀 So let’s do this!

‘BOUT THIS BLOGGER

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I wanted to share the things I learned being a Teen Writer and a full time reader 😀
2. What’s the story behind your blog’s name?

No real story. Adriana Gabrielle is my pen name and I write. Simple as that heehee. Though as some of you may know (judging by how when I link up to social media its usually under my actual name which is ‘Adriana Lister’ and also how some of you know me in real life… ) that Gabrielle is my grandma’s name. I never met my grandma but from what I’ve heard she was a wonderful and artistic woman and I guess by using the name ‘Gabrielle’ I am kinda…oh I don’t know how to word it…honouring her? (still not sure if that is the right word to use) anyways, you get my point. The name Gabrielle is special to me and my family and thats why I use it as my pen name and therefore in my blog title.
3. How many designs have you been through since you started blogging? (Pictures! We demand pictures!)

Ummm…. I’m trying to think. I know for the first few days I had my blog up I went through multiple different blog themes but then I stuck with this one until I switched to this most recent design about a month ago:

Old Blog Theme
4. Have you ever switched blog platforms? What made you move? If you haven’t ever changed…why?

I decided to use WordPress for my blog and haven’t switched to any other platform. The reason? I used to use blogger for a blog I had at one point but I didn’t like how the themes on blogger were. I didn’t like how they didn’t look professional enough for my taste no matter what I did. Though there are many blogs I visit that are Blogger and they look wonderful! Blogger just wasn’t for me is all, I guess 😛

5. How long does it take you to write a post? What’s your postly process like?

Usually it takes me about half hour to forty-five minutes to write a post…*cough* but lately the blog has been a teensy bit dead over the last week but I am gonna pick it all up now and it will be wonderful! (The post idea bank is all full again meaning more writing posts! Wooh!) As for how the post writing process goes, I write my post then I read through it to check for typos (but sometimes they still slip through) then I add a million tags and then publish it. Voila! Finished! You have a post 😀

6. Have you ever been super nervous about a post? Why?! What was it?

Confession time…I am nervous about every single post I do! I really am. My reason? I’m in no way a professional writer so I always get nervous posting how I do things when I write because sometimes I feel I can come across as very demanding and basically saying ‘It’s my way or the highway’ but….I still have readers and you guys seem to love me …*nervous chuckle* right?

7. Do you have a blogging schedule?

I do….but this last week has been a little off. (and I keep forgetting about my music posts O.O) So here is my schedule:

-Mondays– Share The Love posts which are anything from talking about a book I read (or want to read), Book reviews, Reviews on movie adaptations of books (haven’t done that yet but it’s coming!) and pretty much anything book related!

-Tuesdays– Novel Time posts which is writing tips, things I’ve learned while writing, or info about my novels or anything writing related. (I kind of need to work on actually posting on Tuesdays but I’m getting there….I’m thinking I really need to start scheduling my posts…)

-Wednesdays through Thursdays-I don’t have things scheduled but sometimes that when I’ll throw a bonus post in or something…and that also leaves the options opened so if I want to do different posts and such on those days 🙂

-Fridays– Is when I do (or should be doing *cough cough*) my Music Mania posts where I review a movie soundtrack, Cd’s, artists, music videos…anything music related,really!

8. Do you tell people In-Real-Life about your blog? Their reactions?

I most certainly do! Usually when I tell people I blog they ask for the link to my blog and then I get an email or text the next day saying how much they loved my posts and such…but there was this one time I told a girl at a homeschool event that I wrote and had a blog (not sure how it came up exactly cause I only bring up my blog if on the topic of writing or something…) and she sounded rather disgusted and said: ‘Oh, you’re one of those people?’

Uhhhhh….Yes? I think so? haha. I really tried not to laugh but other than that one reaction most people  love to hear that I blog and love it when I give them the link so…yeah! Wooh!
9. Top ten blogs you read/comment on the most! Go! Go!

I don’t have that many blogs I read frequently….and I would say that I don’t think they add up to ten but then we all know I would then have trouble picking ten of them so, here goes! By the way these are in no particular order as to favourites. Just the top 10.

1. Carissa @ Digressions of a Demented Scribe,

2. Cait @ (what is now) Paper Fury,

3. Laura Smith @ Laura L. Smith,

4.Playlist Fiction Blog,

5.Aidyl Ewoh @ Noveltea

6. Tori @Stori Tori’s Blog

7. Desolation of Blog (If you are in ANY fandom check this blog out!)

8. Rachel @ Rachel H. Day

9. Stacia @ S.J Aisling

So, I can’t think of a 10th blog so it’s only 9 I guess…But I was close!

10. If you could change/improve things about your blog, what would they be?

You know, I haven’t really thought about it. At the moment I am quite happy with my blog and how it is, but eventually being able to design my own blog and make it a little more personal would be cool…But i have a lot to learn in the ways of design first I think 😛

 

So, that was my tag from Cait over at Paper Fury. Her new blog design is extremely epic and amazing and her blog in general is amazing so if you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should!

Well, Until Next Time!

Adriana Gabrielle