Sunday, October 12, 2014

Check-In

Hubby is hanging with the fellas tonight. Thus I've been in my arTIST bubble this evening - creating, designing, blogging and now writing. It feels good to get back into the creative zone every now and then. Especially with a very analytical job. It feels like there's very little time to do anything extracurricular now a days. This weekend felt like the first in a LONG time that I got to chill. It rained all day Saturday and for the first time in a while, we had no spiritual obligations today. I literally have not seen the outdoors in two days except for the two times I walked my dog. Laying around with my husband is the best. Now I can't do it every weekend, but once in a while, it's needed.  

I just have to say that marriage has been exceptional y'all. I don't know where this peace is coming from but boooooyyyyyyy is it good. If I could describe my marriage in one word right now, it would 'laughter'. I love hearing hubby laugh and he's been doing a lot of that lately. No matter whether it's brought forth by me or the 15-second Instagram videos he likes to watch, I'll take it. In marriage, laughter can come and go real quick. So when you have it, you gotta cherish it. Needless to say, I'm happy, which mean life is good.

I told my manager that I'm ready for a promotion. I'm not a career driven person at all being that I have another career (my ministry) that's more important to me. However, I've been an analyst for almost 10 years now and the work I currently do exceeds that of an analyst. I simply want to be paid for what I do. It's time. So I wrote my list of accomplishments, an executive summary, a business need and the new job description to fit the work I currently do. My manager keeps saying he can't promise anything, but I know, he knows and executive management knows I deserve this. 

A couple of packages should be at my doorstop this week. Fall is here and I am NOT prepared. I need to switch out my summer clothes at the end of the month. While I'm sure I have things in my storage trunk that I forgot about, I know for sure that these new coats I ordered will be necessary. Being in the ministry with a short coat on is no longer doable for me. I'm not young anymore. My butt can't be out like that. I need something that comes down to my knees at LEAST. I really want a bad, ankle-sweeping, tailored coat but I STILL can't find the perfect one. Until I do, knee or shin length ones will have to do. The next thing I need is a brown bag, tall black heel boots for work and the meeting and wedge heel boots for the ministry. Flats kill my back. A little bit of a lift does wonders for me. 

How's every else doing out there? How's life treating you? Or rather, how are you treating life?

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Ran-dumb Thoughts

Good morning...
It's been awhile.
But I wanted to check in.
Say hi to the world.
See how everyone is doing.
Life's been good.
No complaints really.
My allergies are getting aggressive.
That's new for me.

What's on my mind?
Shopping honestly.
I paid off my credit cards last month.
Even though I have one more loan to payoff...
I thought I'd be able to have a 'me' party.
You know.
Shop a little.
Congratulate myself.
I worked hard to get rid of my credit cards.
But as soon as that was done...
Replace the hvac AND the water heater.
So ever since what I thought would be mine is now gone...
I've been thinking about the shopping I could have done.
I haven't bought a pair of jeans in FOREVER.
I need at least 3 new pairs.
A camel coat is desirable in prep for the fall.
A pair of black pumps.
Can you believe I don't own a pair of black pumps?
A black pencil skirt.
Something else basic that I don't own.
For real for real, I need all the basics.
A leather jacket.
Some white t-shirts.
A black blazer.
Black cigarette trousers.
Black, white, nude and gray camis.
I basically need to ground my wardrobe.

I'm in a transition period as far as my photography is concerned.
I looked a my photos one day and all of a sudden hated them all.
My photos are 1-dimensional.
There's no emotion in them.
So I'm on a journey.
I need to book some photo shoots after I figure out what type of day I want to shoot.
September will be the perfect month for shooting.

I am feenin and I mean FEENIN for a trip to Cali.
I'd love to go soon.
Let's see what flights are looking like.
Gotta connect with hubby to see when our money will be right.
Cali in the winter would be perfect.

Duty calls.
Later peeps.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Sweet Lips

Fell in love again. Music never fails me. Music has to be female because she's always right, and perfect when I need her.

Honey just put your sweet lips on my lips. We should just kiss like real people do.

Simplify

A question arose in an article I was reading.

Why not evaluate whether you can simplify your lifestyle? Can you decrease the number of possessions you have or are seeking to acquire?

Hmmm. It is my goal to preach in a foreign country. If I were asked to pick up and move to serve in Italy, Venezuela, Australia or London, would I be ready? Well the answer is obviously no, so what could I give away or trash to work in harmony with my long-term goal?

I have a whole bedroom full of crap in my house. Stuff that I never touch. I could start there. Or what about my expenses? That would affect me immediately if I got rid of some unnecessary expenses.

Utilities
Cable + Netflix
Food
Car + Gas
Hair
Religious Donations

What if we only had one car? We've done it in the past. What if I got rid of either cable or Netflix?

I always feel good when I clean out my closet. In addition to that extra bedroom, closet cleaning is a good place to start. Magazines, papers, trinkets, accessories, my wedding dress... it all needs to go.

Monday, August 04, 2014

International Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses

There's nothing more fulfilling than being a part of Jehovah's organization. Our international convention was remarkable. While our venue was new (FedEx field), distractions were high and we contended with some rain and heat, I am overwhelmed by the amount of love and unity we showed to each other. I am mostly overwhelmed by how much the slave gives and continues to give. I'm talking about the spiritual feast, the organization of a dozen international conventions put together for thousands upon thousands of people all over the earth and the hospitality. Oh the hospitality.

My husband and I were privileged to man the welcome and information desk at the Embassy Suites from 6am - 10am the day before the convention. Sitting there and happily waving to and helping brothers and sisters from different countries, some of who spoke not one lick of English was amazing. As witnesses in our local congregation meetings, we often speak about our international bond and the pure language, but to experience it is a completely different thing. I felt connected to the Brazilian couple who reminded me of me and my husband. The beauty and joy is something I will never forget. I never spoke to them, but we locked eyes, smiled and I waved like a fool to them across the convention corridor. At the information desk, I used my Google translate app to have a conversation with a sister who missed her tour bus. I gave her host directions to the botanical gardens along with my phone number in case anything went wrong. That sister called me and left a beautiful message about how wonderful everything went. When I randomly bumped into her at the convention amongst 60,000 other witnesses, we hugged and hugged and hugged.

Because of the novelty of the experience, I was very distracted. I mean who can concentrate when you are surrounded by 60,000 other witnesses from 20 something different countries. But I did manage to catch a few things. The highlights of the convention program were...

- The interview of the young brother from another country who was imprisoned for 1.5 years just a few years ago for being neutral and a JW. He almost died 3 times in a cell that was completely dark and stuffed with other witnesses.
- The candid and humorous talks given by Brother Morris, a member of the governing body. "Common sense is just not common." "That's just not bright." "I feel sorry for the time Nazis. They must lead a miserable life." His delivery was on point and he encouraged me to do nothing apart from the way Jehovah wants me to do things.
- The 2 videos that were shown depicting what the resurrection will be like and what the 1,000 years will bring after Armageddon is over. Watching that father see his resurrected child for the first time and watching that old man wash his face only to look into a mirror and notice he was young again... truly touching.
- Taking photos of my friend as she was baptized. I am so happy that she was finally able to reach her goal. As a single mother of two boys, I'm sure she was a pristine example to them when she took that wonderful step.
- My sister came Sunday afternoon............ I don't even know what else to say behind that.

I am so delighted with the way Thursday - Sunday went that I am dreading returning to this dreary, problem and stress ridden world. My friend, Shay, sent me a text message about how she could see my husband and wife up on the platform giving an interview one day about our work in the full-time service. It's amazing how many people have said that to us. So when I think about the two choices I have - to go back to work or to be in Jehovah's service - I tend to lean towards the later. I took note of all the missionaries that came out in the end to wave goodbye as they go back to their assignments. I took note of all the email addresses of international friends we could stay with if we travelled abroad. I took note of the different languages and happy blessings that some of the interviewees talked about. I took note of Marcus' old friend who moved to China and is preaching under ban. I wish I could see the world and experience this international brotherhood ALL of the time. Materialism and fear are what I think hold us back. The video release we received at the convention highlighted how strong a part faith plays in not only making big decisions but taking the steps towards those decisions. Faith is one strong fruit of the holy spirit. I can move mountains if you believe in it.

I can't forget to mention how ridiculously amazing it felt that my worldly talents were used for Jehovah. Not only did I get to choreograph a dance for the international delegates who came to visit us, but I also had the opportunity to do some photography work for the dcdelegates.org website - THE official website for the international convention for DC. I also was asked to take our congregation photo which was then given to the international delegates in their gift bags. Being used in this way really helps me to understand that I can be myself and be used by Jah. Having passions and hobbies that are outside of religion are really ok, as long as they don't crowd out spiritual things. So to have those passions be used for spiritual things is even better.

I am moved. So moved by the love the governing body shows for us. To think that it's only a FRACTION of the love that our Almighty God shows for us is...whew. There's no word to adequately describe it.  I am so thankful to have found this religion and to be a part of an organization that demonstrates how the world SHOULD be. Complete unity and love worldwide. May I NEVER take for granted being in Jehovah's love. Thank Jehovah for such a unique and wonderful experience.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ran-dumb Thoughts

Ignore me. I'm just getting my thoughts out. If you decide to read on, I may sound like a crazy person. So be warned.

I'm on a design-high
There's so much I want to do
But I must get rid of this credit card
I think I'm just going to do it
Transfer from savings and pay it off
Then I'll be free!
I'll use the money I put on pay off plan back into my savings
There
Done
Now what's first?
Powder room.
I need to do a storyboard to gather my thoughts
I also need a chair for my office
And a bulletin board so I can pin up inspiration
Bulletin Board
Chair
New sink fixtures
White paint
Vintage or wood light fixture
Big frame
My black and white art
Clear shelf
Rug for floor
Has anyone ever seen a small rug in a powder room
I want one
If people can have rugs around their toilets, I can have a rug
A black and white rug
Then after that is the fence
While we're saving for that, I will change out all my art
I'm sick of the happy colorful cookie cutter art I have
the 'Be Calm and...' poster
Over it
Then comes the living room
I want to move my furniture around
And get a new rug
Maybe an ottoman instead of the nesting tables
I like to put my feet up too much
A white ottoman
Or something light in color
Or leather!
Gotta make a careful choice
Ok, duty calls
List has been started and thoughts are cleared
Progress

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Positive Outlook

The lovely thing about marriage...well, marriage between two people who have the goal of making their God happy... is that it can only get better. That's the true eventuality of that relationship. Two people who have the goal of making their God happy, want to do things the right way. So with all the lessons learned early in the marriage, both parties can do nothing but mature and grow.

That's my belief. That's really what I base my whole marriage on. And I see it happening. Every time there's a disagreement, it's handled a little bit better than the last. Every time feelings are hurt, someone is a little less offended than before. When situations arise, Bible principles guide one more than previously.

Because, let's be honest. To go in the other direction is a result of stupidity. Even insanity. Why make the same mistakes over and over again? Who does that benefit? In my religion, when you make the same mistake over and over again, the consequences are not easy. That's because my God does not tolerate insanity and stupidity after one has been taught. After you get the lesson, you are expected to do better.

It's no different in marriage. And for that reason, I look forward to seeing where we'll be 10 years out. I'd actually give my thumb (not really because I need my thumb), to be 10 years out and to see how differently we handle situations. I so look forward to seeing where my husband is. How differently will he love me? If the same issue presented itself in 10 years, how different will his reaction be? I look forward to the wisdom that I will gain. What kind of application will I make? What will no longer be an issue for me?

So while I sometimes base my strength in marriage solely on what wonderfulness the future holds, I know that I have to live in today. In the here and now. So I try to not miss the process. The maturation of it all. The little victories we have. I can't forget that next week is also considered the future. With every passing wee, the growth process is existing. Day to day even. As long as I'm taking something I learned and applying to the next week, the next day, the next minute, growth is happening.

I've always been up for challenges in life and I've always gotten through them well. (Not to toot my own horn.) Marriage is so far the most challenging thing I've ever done, but just like in other challenges, I have a good feeling about how I'm doing. I am a perfectionist and I hate to fail, so I am determined to do this right.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

So True!

'I love the very idea of breakthrough moments, breakthrough times in our lives. I would have to say that the biggest breakthroughs for me have always happened when I was going through a difficult time and suddenly came across an "aha" moment or an opening.

So what I’ve learned from all of the breakthroughs in my life experience is that not one single thing you ever have to go through, or get through, is wasted. All experiences are greater possibilities for a moment of awakening and enlightenment.' - Oprah

I was just thinking about this idea the other day. I was participating in a Bible discussion about appreciating Jehovah's watchful care and how He helps us endure trials. Two questions arose. What might be one of the reasons why God does not intervene in solving our personal problems? and What realization might help you to avoid becoming impatient when waiting for Jehovah to help you through a trialsome situation? 
I've had the wonderful pleasure of going through some trialsome situations in which I learned more about myself than I would have otherwise. The break-up with my ex, the loss of a relationship with a old friend, a terrible mishap with my first love... Looking back on those experiences, I admit that they were all well-deserved. It was brought up in the Bible discussion that while we may feel that the other party bears most of the blame, God may view things differently. From His standpoint, you may be more at fault than you realize. I think that was the situation for me in ALL of my trials. It taught me a valuable lesson. If you stick to the paths outlined in God's Word, all will be fine. When you veer to the right or left or think you know better than God, bad things happen. Like Oprah said, not one single difficult experience was wasted. I was awakened and enlightened. 
Here's another quote for you from Zoe Saldana. 
“I was a ferocious dancer so therefore I was a ferocious up-and-coming actress. When it comes to auditions, I’m not competitive with anybody. I don’t even know who’s sitting next to me. I wouldn’t even tell you if it was a blonde or brunette. The moment you compare yourself, it weakens you.”
This chick isn't playing. I knew there was a reason I like her. I LOVE that last line.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Questions Answered

Thought I'd take a little time to answer some questions from what I've determined is my favorite website right now.

  1. If a doctor gave you five years to live, what would you try to accomplish?
  2. What is the difference between falling in love and being in love?
  3. Who do you think stands between you and happiness?

1. This is a timely question because I randomly read an article about the actress, Kate Hudson yesterday. Kate has this fly by the seat of her pants attitude. Real bohemian. She does daily meditations and whatever she wants to do, she does. She exercises by dancing around to music intensely until she's tired out and then does an interview immediately afterwards with sweat in her hair. That kind of attitude is so cool to me. If I had 5 years to live, I would cash out of savings and do whatever the heck I want to do. One of those things would HAVE to be traveling. I would dance more too - take some classes. I would also take more photos. Not of other people like I do now. I would capture more of my experiences and take photos of people I meet and places I see. I would then compile them right before I passed to leave them for my family. I would explore more. My city and others have so many gems to be seen. A friend just texted me asking me for furniture spots in DC. I told her I do all my shopping online which is a shame because there are probably all sorts of cool places sprinkled around the city. Oh, I would also see a lot of live music. All kinds of music. I don't care what it is. Long story short, I would try to accomplish the feeling of freedom, love and peace. Real bohemian of me huh?

2. The difference is that one is short term and the other is long term.

3. What ultimately stands between me and happiness is this current dark, twisted, festering system and the imperfection that feeds it. Happiness looks like not having to grind for a human/corporation who can give two craps about me, having a family with mini-mes or opposite-of-mes (lol), dealing with people who just want to love and do for others all the time. But while I'm living in it, what stands between me and happiness is...hmm... I don't know. I feel like the right answer should be 'myself', but I'm not sure if I would be true to my feelings if I said that. I know it's probably true. I mean it always comes back to ourselves. But taking a step back, this question assumes that I'm not already happy. I'm happy given the circumstances of this world. 

Here's another deep question. What gives your life meaning? 
I just sent texted this out to a group. Hard question to answer. What say you?
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