Friday, January 31, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #19: Virtues in Others

Here is my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Sand."

Discuss/Describe three virtues you admire in a specific friend or family. When will you make it a point to encourage him or her about these observations?

My best friend Amy is hard-working, kind, and I think a lot more patient than I am. I mean, handling three kids that are as loud and obnoxious as her kids are sometimes has got to require a lot of patience. And she doesn't mind that I talk a lot when we're together, unlike some people (like my mom). Maybe it's a testament to our long friendship (we've been friends since fourth grade). Our friendship has been tested the last ten years or so, with her moving away and getting married and having kids and stuff. We've reconnected online and also now that she lives down here again. But it still holds true.

I will try to encourage her about this stuff when I see her next. Don't know when that will be though. We try to get together on my days off from work, but she's got a life too, plus she gets sick a lot.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #18: Temptations

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Softball."

Discuss/Describe one temptation that you seem to always get stung by and what makes it so easy to get tripped up by it.

I've noticed particularly since I started working at my current job that I am often tempted to gossip and/or talk bad about people behind their back. At my work the environment is very conducive to that. It seems like people do it all the time. And in my attempt to fit in and be friendly with everyone, I find myself falling into the same trap. 

I also find myself knowing a lot about people at work, cause people confide in me a lot. This has gotten me into some awkward situations, where I knew both parties involved in a situation, and both wanted me to see their way on things, but since I was friends with both of them, I didn't want to pick a side. But sometimes I end up revealing to others what the person told me in the process of dealing with it. Usually only to the other party to find out if what the other person said was true, though not always. 

I think I fall so easily into this trap because so many other people do it, and I want to fit in and be accepted by the group. Plus I have a reporter's curiosity and like to find out things. And also a symptom of Asperger's is that you often vocalize your thoughts, so sometimes I even say stuff without meaning to. And now I have this nasty habit I'm not sure I can shake. Gah. What am I gonna do? I don't want to take this bad habit with me to my next job! :(

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #17: Damaging Habits

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Bentley."

Discuss/Describe one lifestyle habit contrary to the Bible, that you practice. Describe the ultimate damage it will do to your life.

Well, I don't take very good care of my body. I don't eat well. I don't exercise like I should. I often don't get the amount of sleep that I should. I stare at screens for too long and have eyestrain because of it. I neglect making the proper medical appointments that I should make (physicals, dental checkups - once I went 6 years without going to the dentist! - visits to the eye doctor, etc). I don't brush my teeth every day. I never replaced my retainer when it got messed up, so now my teeth are all messed up again. I never did anything with the referral to an oral surgeon about my wisdom teeth. I was supposed to make a follow-up appointment to discuss my cholesterol test results but never did. I haven't gotten a flu shot. I don't do any sort of skin care. I have a flaky scalp, resulting in dandruff issues. I have issues with earwax stopping up my ears. I've probably damaged my hearing somewhat listening to music too loud. I haven't looked into fixing my issue with being unable to blow out my nose (which my mom thinks might be a deviated septum).

And then there's my mental health. Aside from going and seeing Dr. Feder, an experiment that ultimately proved unhelpful for the most part, I haven't sought any help for my Asperger's. Often I think I may have depression too, though that might just be mood swings from PMS (which I often fail to recognize as such till my period starts) or just a case of the normal old blues. I think I may have an anxiety disorder as well, as Dr. Feder speculated. I have ways of coping that are relatively healthy (well, healthy in the sense that they aren't self-destructive, like cutting...though I guess my emotional overeating isn't that healthy). 

Ultimately, if I don't change my ways, it is going to negatively impact my health. I run the risk of becoming morbidly obese. This comes with all sorts of health risks, like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc. If I don't take care of my sight and hearing, I run the risk of losing them completely, something I fear almost as much as death itself. And there's risks for my dental health too (I think I already have some gum disease). 

As for my mental health, there might come a time I can't cope anymore and I might go insane or something. There are times I do actually fear I am losing my grip on reality. I guess that is one potentially unhealthy way I cope with situations - I slip into a world of fantasy, the world of the stories I write. But if I slip too far into them, I might start to think they're actually real and become delusional. And that's a scary thought.

Ok I'm scaring myself just writing all this. God, please help me to stop all this before it goes too far!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #16: Resources

Here is my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Ambassadors."

Discuss/Describe an incident when God sent more resources to support you than you thought you deserved.

Well, I know during tough times at school, when I was overwhelmed with papers to write and projects to do, and I was wondering how I would possibly get them done, God helped me then. He helped me buckle down and do the work and get the stuff done. In the case of Web Design 3, he gave me a teacher who was willing to stay after class to help me with stuff. He gave me the courage to go to my teachers' office hours to get help if I needed it. And also courage to challenge myself in my Writing Process class by writing stuff I might not have otherwise. 

Also, there's NaNoWriMo. I'll tell you, it is one of the most stressful writing challenges there is. Especially if you're not used to writing every day. But there is definitely support there if you want it. And God gave me the courage to seek it. I was more willing last year to go to the write-ins for my regional group. It meant a lot of Saturdays spent at Panera, but it was worth it. God gave me perseverance too, the drive to keep going and to win both times I've done it so far. And winning, even if you're striving for it from the beginning, is so rewarding. Cause it's real easy to fall behind, and sometimes I fell so far behind I'd need to write 4,000 words or more in a day to catch up. And I'd be like, there's no way I can do that. But sometimes, miraculously, I was able to. 

I don't access the resources God gives us as his ambassadors often enough though. And the examples I just gave were times when he gave me resources for my own use, not necessarily for furthering his work in the world. I need to work on that side of it more. :(

Monday, January 27, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #15: Commitments

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Bridge Locks."

Discuss/Describe: What do you believe are necessary commitments to having a lasting relationship?

Well I've never had a boyfriend, so it's hard for me to answer this. But I think you have to be committed to love each other no matter what, through the good times and the bad times. It's easy to love someone when things are going well, but when the hard times hit, it can be hard to love someone, unless your love is true. Times of trouble, the storms of life -- that's what proves what people are really made of. So I think that is the main commitment you have to make for a relationship to really last - to love each other unconditionally. As Christ loved us. Cause true love can survive anything.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #14: Will & Decisions

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Pray For Me - Will."

Discuss/Describe a choice you are making that is not the will of God. Use that choice in the prayer below.

I am not using my money very wisely. I didn't tithe at all last year. I kept meaning to set it up at The Rock after canceling the tithing I was giving our old church (since we have switched churches, I figured I should stop giving money there). But I have yet to do so. And most of my money is going to food, junk food that isn't good for me. And if not that, it's being spent on me at any rate. I'm not saving for the future or giving toward God's work. Yet, I'm afraid of spending too much money cause having money makes me feel secure. But I shouldn't trust in it, I know, because it's temporal. I can't help it though...

Dear Lord, help me realize the gift of free will. Give me strength to rely on YOUR will regarding how I use my money. In Luke 22:42 it says " saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Dear Lord, I pray that in all my choices I wait for YOU, and not my will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #13: Transformed Character

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Echo Location."

Discuss/Describe one aspect of your character that you know God’s Word would transform, and say what it would look like after it was changed.

My fear. My fear of failure, my fear of what other people think of me, my fear of not measuring up, my fear of not being in control. Because as it says, "Perfect love drives out fear," and God is love. So naturally his Word would be that too. 

If it were changed, I'm not saying I wouldn't still have fear. A certain amount of fear is healthy. It keeps you from doing stupid things and hurting yourself or others. And I'm not perfect, so I might still slip sometimes into old habits. But it would make me a better person, because I would not be so ruled by fear. It wouldn't have so much control over my life, my decisions, my thoughts. I'm not even sure what that would feel or look like, cause honestly I can't even remember a time anymore when I wasn't this way. But it would be nice, I think. Liberating. Good for me. Maybe I'd finally be happy and satisfied with my life. Maybe I'd even smile more. People tell me I don't smile enough. I used to smile a lot when I was a kid, but then I got self-conscious I guess. Not sure what happened.

Anyway, it would be nice to not be so bound by fear.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #12: Get to Steppin'

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Liberty Robot."

Discuss/Describe: Can you name one God command that you need to 'get to steppin' to get done?

I need to trust him more, let him direct my life instead of trying to do it on my own. Cause trying to do it on my own is not working very well. I fail, and then because I'm a perfectionist (and also have a near-paranoia fear of failure), I get mad at myself for failing. When it's not something I can do on my own anyway. :(

And yet, I'm scared of doing that very thing. The one thing that could make my life less miserable. *sigh*

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #11: Areas of Mistrust

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles a Minute video, "Fog."


Discuss/Describe the most difficult step of faith you are facing right now, and why it’s so hard to trust.

Definitely my most difficult step of faith right now is stepping into the next phase of my life, the post-college phase where I go into a career, hopefully move out on my own and become independent. I've put it off long enough. It has to happen. But honestly, I am scared. Scared of the risk. Scared of the uncertainty. 

It's hard for me to trust God on this because I like to be in control of the outcome of things. I like to know how things will end, or at least be able to reasonably predict them. I don't like surprises. But I haven't been doing well trying to deal with this on my own. Just been delaying the inevitable. So I guess I need to "let go, let God" on this one?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #10: On and On

Here's my Miles-a-Minute challenge answer for today's video, "On and On."

Discuss/Describe the subject that you can talk all day about, and compare it to your knowledge of God’s love for you.

Oh there are quite a few. Anime, literature, video games, now Doctor Who.  And then some. 

As for knowledge of God's love for me...I'm not completely ignorant of that. 13 years of Christian school and 20+ years of church haven't been for nothing. I know what Jesus did on the cross, and how he rose again, and how somebody can get saved. I know, in my head at least, that he loves me. It's in my heart that there is a lack of trust and possibly even belief and knowledge too. I call it the "Gummi Berry Juice problem," after this one episode of Disney's The Adventures of the Gummi Bears that I saw a long time ago (Season 1, Episode 14 - "The Secret of the Juice") where Sunni Gummi is only able to successfully make the famous Gummi Berry Juice when she has the recipe in both her head and her heart, as her grandma does. In my case, I use it to refer to a spiritual problem where I know all this spiritual stuff in my head but don't feel or believe or know it in my heart. It's a real problem, and I need to fix it. Is it because I don't trust God enough?

I tend to go through life using scripts. For various situations in life I have a mental script, detailing the sort of things I am supposed to say and routines I am supposed to follow. Sometimes I get these scripts mixed up though, asking people if they need help finding anything (a "GM on the floor" script line) when I'm in the service deli or something. (Also sometimes when people say "Thank you" I accidentally say "Thank you" back instead of "You're welcome"). I guess this idea is to compensate for my social difficulties, since I primarily use them in social situations. I don't know whether this would work with sharing God with people or not though, since I don't have experience with that.

On spiritual gifts tests, I've never rated high for Evangelism (though Missionary was #2 on one of them). I know I should evangelize anyway, cause all Christians are supposed to, but I'm quite certain I'm not gifted at it like Miles is. I suppose mainly what you're supposed to do is help point people toward God and salvation, since the one who actually saves people is God, working in their hearts through the Holy Spirit. It's kind of like the character Evangelist in The Pilgrim's Progress. He only tells Christian how to get to the Wicket Gate that leads to the path of salvation. It is Christian who must get himself there:

"Then said Evangelist, If this be thy condition, Why standest thou still? He [Christian] answered, Because I know not wither to go. Then he have him a Parchment Roll, and there was written within, Fly from the Wrath to come.

The Man therefore read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said, Whither must I fly? Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, Do you see yonder Wicket Gate? The man said, No: Then said the other, Do you see yonder Shining Light? He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that Light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the Gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do."

Quite a bit happens after that, before Christian even gets to the Gate. His family and neighbors try to stop him, he nearly sinks into the Slough of Despond, he is deceived by Mr. Worldly Wiseman, etc. But he gets there in the end, and through many other trials, before finally reaching the Celestial City, and his journey inspires his wife and children to later follow him. And later on, when they go, much the same thing is told Christiana by her heavenly helper:

"Then said the Visiter, Christiana! the Bitter is before the Sweet. Thou must through Troubles, as did he that went before thee, enter this Celestial City. Wherefore I advise thee to do as did Christian thy husband: Go to the Wicket-Gate yonder over the Plain, for that stands in the head of the Way up which thou must go, and I wish thee all good speed."

I suppose I could do that. But how though?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #9: Forgiveness and Mandela

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Mandela."


Discuss/Describe one relationship that can be strengthened by your forgiveness.

I think my relationship with my mom might be one. We don't always see eye to eye. She is always telling me how to dress, has never believed I could ever possibly drive a car, and half the time spoils my plans by saying me having a day off from work would be a good day to clean my room (though granted my room usually needs it when she says that). Also both she and my dad are really paranoid about me being out after dark, even though I am almost 30. Which is why usually I don't go anywhere after dark, or if I get off work at nighttime and can get myself home, I come straight home. I think this is why, subconsciously, I turn down almost every invite I get from coworkers to go to a party or otherwise hang out at night (the other reason is probably fear of an uncomfortable social situation). And I wonder why I hardly ever get invited anywhere.

I think I need to be more forgiving of my mom; after all, she is my mom and probably just doing this cause she thinks it's good for me. Recently she said I need to take more adult responsibility, that she and Papa have just been enabling me to live a life where little is expected of me. Which is true. I haven't had any motivation to really change my situation. I would've probably been fine being unemployed and focusing on school when I got let go from my job in late 2006. I wasn't really motivated to look for work. (Though I suppose I would've been once whatever money I had in the bank ran out). I only started job searching cause my parents put their foot down and insisted on it. I was unemployed for about 2 1/2 months, before I got the job I have now. And that was 7 years ago. Granted, I'm seriously overqualified for this job, but nothing came of the jobs I was qualified for that I applied for (in one case - a job in the North County Times's Classified department - I got an interview, but when I showed up for the interview, I waited for an hour in the waiting room and they never called me back into the office for my interview...after an hour I decided to leave cause this was getting ridiculous. And yes, I did tell them I was there. Also, there was the time I applied for a job at the library...I filled out the application, went downtown to take the required test, had the proctors laugh at my California ID picture, passed the test - though not with a very high score - and then kept having to play phone tag to find out my next step, before I gave up). That job got me through school though, and has union protection and health insurance.

Anyway, sorry, back on topic...I need to be more forgiving with my mom. She probably just wants the best for me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #8: Godly Counsel

Here is my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Hummingbird."

Discuss/Describe one situation in your life that you could use wise and godly counsel.

Where to go in my career is a big one. I am at the point in my life where I really ought to be going into a career, rather than working all these low-paying, part-time jobs. I am out of college and have my degree, so it's time. 

But the world of writing and publishing is a big, scary place, a lot more complicated than I ever thought when I was younger and writing for myself. So I could use all the counsel I can get. I don't know people personally who might be able to counsel me in person, except maybe the people in the San Diego Christian Writers' Guild, but there are definitely resources online that I can consult, including The Anomaly forum (a Christian speculative fiction forum) that I haven't been on in ages. There's also the NaNoWriMo forums, among other online communities. I also subscribe to Writer's Digest, one of the top magazines for writers. So there are places I can get counsel for sure. I just need to be humble enough to seek it out, and to actually take it to heart. 

Cause humility is essential when it comes to taking counsel. In my Bible reading today, I was reading the story of David being anointed king and then his fight against Goliath. He was the youngest son and a shepherd, not the one you'd expect to be the next king. But he was the one God chose. And ultimately he was well spoken of; it was Saul's servants who suggested David join Saul's service. Yet interestingly, at the end of 1 Samuel 17, Saul asks his commander "whose son is that man who just killed Goliath?" David had been serving Saul in his palace for some time, and even became Saul's armor bearer, plus Saul had just been talking to David earlier that day before he went out to Goliath, yet he seems to have totally forgotten who David is. Odd. I would be surprised that David, who made such an impression on everyone else, failed to make a lasting impression on Saul at this point.

Sorry...tangent. Anyway, getting godly counsel for my career decisions would be a good thing.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #7: Information & Wisdom

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles a Minute video, "Pray for Me - Wisdom."

Discuss/Describe one area of your life you have not been using the information given to you correctly. Use that area in the prayer below.

Well I know a lot about God, having grown up in church and Christian school. But I haven't been using that knowledge to tell others about Jesus and lead them to him. I just keep it hidden, to the point that often times people don't even know I am a Christian. And that's not good. I need to use that information correctly.

Dear Lord, please help me better understand the knowledge I have in the area of you and of the Bible. In Proverbs 2:6 it says " For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;” Dear Lord, help me in all my decisions. Let me be wise and lean on to YOU for all understanding. In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #6: Fleshly Appetites

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "White Castle."


Discuss/Describe one fleshly appetite that is preventing you from obeying God, such as a hunger for money, sex or power. Ask yourself, is this desire worth causing you to miss God’s best?

I think I do hunger for money, cause I freak out when I don't have money. Money is security to me. When I have a lot of it, I feel secure. Like I have some control over things. 

I think it is causing me to miss God's best because I am trusting more in the money than God. Also, a desire to hold on to my money might make me less inclined to tithe or to be generous to others.

There's nothing wrong with having money, but you aren't supposed to trust in it. "The love of money is the root of all evil" and stuff. Also the story of the rich young ruler, who wasn't willing to give up his wealth to follow Jesus. In that story, Jesus said it is hard for a rich person to enter heaven, and I think that is because rich people feel so confident in their wealth they think they don't need God. 

I need to learn to trust less in money...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #5: "A Fool Returns to his Folly"

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Dog Vomit." (I know, icky title...I don't title these).


Discuss/Describe one form of “vomit” you are chewing on right now. (Eeww!)

(Eeww is right!)

By "vomit" the question means something nasty in your life that you get rid of but then go back to. It comes from Proverbs 26:11, which says: "Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly" (ESV).

For me I guess it's junk food. I know junk food is bad for me, but I like it so much I can't stop eating it. Actually probably eating in general is the problem. I'm an emotional overeater; I often eat when I'm not even hungry. Sometimes for me it's just something to do when I'm bored, or a coping mechanism when I'm in a mood. Like cigarettes are to some people. Or it's just a habit thing. Usually when I get home from work I eat something, even if I'm not hungry. When I get to work too, since I usually get to work early. It's just routine. In fact, it's become so routine that when I don't buy something I usually buy (since I also tend to buy the same food all the time), my coworkers actually notice and ask me about it.

I'm not sure what to do about this. A doctor would probably say I have to deal with the emotional root of the issue, otherwise the cycle's not going to stop. But how? I'm not even sure what the root is. *sigh*

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #4: Character Cracks

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Dam."

Discuss/Describe the most likely crack in your character that could spring a leak if it was subjected to enough pressure.

The one that comes to mind is pride. I have a lot of pride. And I think my pride is largely why I want to control things in my life instead of trusting God to control things. I'm too proud to surrender control. Or am I too afraid? Not sure which. But I know pride is definitely an issue in my life which needs to be addressed. Cause at the moment I'm definitely not "letting go and letting God," and I don't like my life. But at the same time, my pride won't let me take the risk of giving up control and letting someone else lead. And the devil could easily exploit that and make me think I don't need God. So I need to work on that.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Miles a Minute Challenge #3: Underestimated Talents

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Leopards."

Discuss/Describe one person whose talents you have unfairly underestimated.

I guess I may have initially underestimated my coworker Miyuki. She's a pre-med bio major who wants to go into medical research. She knows way more about science and medicine than I do and enjoys talking about it with some authority.

You wouldn't expect such a science whiz to also be artistic - after all, science is left-brained and art is right-brained, right? Well, it's possible. Cause Miyuki is also an excellent cake decorator. She often turns out much more creative cakes than the two decorators we have now too. While they play it more safe, she is more out of the box. And it pays off cause her cakes look great, even if they don't always sell immediately. And others have noticed her talent too - she also decorates on the side, and just did somebody's wedding cake. I told her it would be cool if she had her own little cake shop, to which she joked she'd be "the doctor with the cake shop."

People underestimate autistic people I think as well. Just cause autistic people like me don't do well socially (some even withdraw from society significantly), that doesn't mean that we're not smart or nice or capable of great things. Many famous historical figures are speculated to have been autistic, including Thomas Jefferson, Einstein, Mozart, and Andy Warhol. There are well-known autistics out there today as well - like animal handling expert and autism advocate Temple Grandin, American Idol finalist James Durbin, America's Next Top Model contestant Heather Kuzmich, Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri, and Britain's Got Talent winner Susan Boyle. I was actually quite inspired by Grandin's story in the movie Temple Grandin and have read a couple of her books. The recent revelation of Boyle's autism was a surprise, but I guess makes her success on Britain's Got Talent even more amazing. I saw James Durbin on American Idol (he was on Season 10), and did like him a lot, even if his preferred style of music isn't my favorite. As a big fan of Pokémon, I was somewhat pleased to find out about Tajiri. It made me feel like I could understand why I was so drawn to Pokémon, a little.

I don't know yet why God made me autistic, and how he's going to use that in my life, and how my writing talent (which has been recognized since I was a kid by people other than me...sometimes I wonder if the reason I have such issues with people criticizing my writing is because when I was growing up all my teachers just praised my writing and kept saying how amazing it was and what a talented writer I was) will fit into it all. We'll see, I guess.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Miles a Minute Challenge #2: Bridges

Here's my Miles a Minute Challenge answer for today's video, "Coronado Bridge."


Discuss/Describe the bridges you are trusting in, to get you up to heaven. Good works? Money? A pretty face? Then discuss whether you believe those methods are foolproof, and have proven to have power over death itself.

Although I am a Christian and have grown up in church and Christian school, I think sometimes I do tend to focus on doing good works, and beat myself up for not "acting Christian." I went through this one phase where I was really legalistic and would get mad at myself if I yawned in chapel. Because to me, yawning meant I was bored, and when I was in chapel or church I shouldn't be bored. I should be there to worship God, pay attention to the sermon, do all the stuff you're supposed to do. 

But seeing as the majority of people in my life don't even know I am a Christian (I've had coworkers be surprised to learn I am one, which I guess I should be ashamed about), I guess I'm not doing a good job of "acting Christian" anyway.

So clearly doing just good works is not foolproof, and isn't going to have power over death itself. It's a good thing, but it's not enough.

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #1: Living Out of the Box

I recently downloaded the app Miles a Minute, which was made by the pastor of my church, Miles McPherson. It contains video devotionals for each day, plus a challenge and prayer for each. I thought I would blog my challenge answers here, just to have some place to share them. Here's the one for yesterday, which I forgot to do yesterday.


Discuss/Describe what an ‘out of the box’ version of your life would look like. Then surrender that picture to God and give Him permission to transform you.

I'm not even sure what that would look like. But I guess it would involve me taking more risks. Cause I don't do that enough. I'm afraid to. I don't like situations where I can't control things, predict the outcome. I don't like not knowing what's going to happen. 

For example, witnessing. I've never done that, at least in the traditional sense. I'm not even sure how. Yet when I took this one spiritual gifts test, Missionary was in my top three. And even if it is in my "gift mix," I'm afraid that using it will mean having to go out and preach to people in some jungle somewhere. I kinda secretly hope that I'll end up like Robin Jones Gunn, who wanted to do that sort of missionary work, but couldn't get it, and ended up being a missionary through her writing instead. Besides, I don't do well socially - I can't really help it, with my Asperger's. But I have been known to strike up conversations with complete strangers on the bus totally randomly, though usually cause of something they're wearing or something I overheard them say. 

On Christmas Day, we saw the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Based on the short story of the same name by James Thurber, it's about this guy who leads a fairly boring life working with photo negatives for Life magazine, who copes by engaging in a vibrant fantasy life, where he daydreams he's someone else, someone really awesome. Then, when he actually starts doing adventurous stuff in real life, he finds he daydreams less. 

I think I am the same way. I daydream all the time. I like to escape into some fantasy when I'm at work - or a lot of other places - just to keep from going completely mental. It's no wonder I don't have the kind of focus and work ethic I had in high school. 

But if maybe I lived more "out of the box," I'd do that less. Unfortunately, I'm scared as to what that might look like.

God, please help me. Help me not to be so afraid to take risks. Show me what living outside the box for me might look like, and help me to accept that to live that way could be better for me. Amen.