Monday, March 31, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #79: Cutting Through

Today's Video: "Ribbon Cutting"

Discuss/Describe what you need to cut through in your life. What are the barriers holding you back from drawing close to God? What “scissors” could you use to break these barriers between you and God?

Fear is definitely one. Fear keeps me from taking risks, from allowing God to have control of my life, from trusting him. I think it goes back to when my grandma died in 1999, even though I had prayed and prayed for her to get better. I felt disappointed with and angry at God. It was the first death in my family (though my dad's cancer the year before had made death a possibility) so that might be why it hit so hard for me. Then the next year the thing with Kyle happened and it broke my heart, and then I was mad at God for not warning me away from this disaster. In my junior year, school was really hard and I and my long-time friends started to drift apart. 9/11 also happened that year, which impacted a lot of us. During my senior year, I got my first job (which wasn't great cause it wasn't a steady job), my other grandma died, my best friend Amy moved away AND got pregnant out of wedlock...basically a lot happened. 

College wasn't much better, other than that I finally got a steady job. For the first time I was going to a secular school. I tried to stay connected to Christians through church and small groups. I also tried InterVarsity, but got burned out by them. Don't get me wrong, InterVarsity is a great organization. But the meetings seemed more targeted toward evangelism (that is, winning new people to Christ) than to nurturing/helping those of us who were already saved. Their Bible studies and retreats were a little better at this (I went to their retreats twice - once in Newport Beach and once in Catalina). Finally though I just stopped going to their meetings altogether. During this time is when I worked at Loaves and Fishes, so I had some Christian support there too.

Then I lost my job at Loaves and Fishes, and after much prayer I landed my current job. That's actually part of what has kept me here, despite the trouble - I felt like God must've wanted me here or he wouldn't have answered my prayer. 

However, my unpredictable work schedule and having to work on Sundays for the first time made it hard to keep up a churchgoing habit or be involved in small groups. I dropped small groups altogether, and went to church only when I got a Sunday off or was working late in the day. Now, granted, by law they have to give me time off for religious observance if I request it. But since the church I was going to at the time also had Saturday services, I never did. It wasn't until my last year at Cal State that I got involved in a Christian group again. I was at the school's Halloween carnival, helping to man the booth for Sigma Tau Delta, an honors society I had recently joined. There was nothing to do at the booth, so I walked around to see what other booths there were. And I came across the booth for Chi Alpha, a Christian group. They were giving away free mass-market copies of Lee Strobel books. I took a copy of The Case for a Creator and talked to the people there a bit. They gave me information about the club, and I soon started going to the meetings. The next semester I also met with the leader, Tara, weekly to do a special Bible study targeted to graduating seniors. 

Now I'm out of school, able to go to church more regularly, and drifting back closer to God. But I need support outside of Sundays, and want to serve in the church somewhere but am not sure where. (Not having a car really restricts things, plus my unpredictable work schedule). 

But yeah, it's fear, mostly. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of what others will think of me, fear of loss of control. I think there are definitely some pride issues too (I am very defensive when people accuse me of stuff, and I tend to play the blame game). I also complain a lot, likely because I am never content with my lot. "Comparison is the ultimate contentment killer," as this lady at church last night put it.

What can I use to break these barriers? Well, accepting God's love is probably a start (cause "Perfect love drives out fear"). Also I need to love and accept myself, because it's hard to love and accept others when you don't love and accept yourself. I need to get over my perfectionism and be okay with not being perfect all the time. I need to learn humility and contentment. There might be other "scissors" but I can't think of them right now.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #78: Connecting to God

Today's Video: "Pray for Me - Surprise"

Discuss/Describe what you do to connect with God when things are unknown?

I wish I could say I trust him, but I usually don't. In fact, I'm scared to take a risk, to go into the unknown without a plan. I want to be the one controlling what's going to happen. I need to trust that God knows what he's doing, but I'm afraid to give up control. Not sure what to do there.

Emma: Why are you doing this?
Mr. Gold: Because I wanna succeed.
Emma: What makes you think I'm gonna fail?
Mr. Gold: Well, how could you not? You don't believe in your parents, or in magic, or even yourself.
Emma: I slayed a dragon, I think I believe.
Mr. Gold: Only what was shown to you. When have you ever taken a real leap of faith? You know, the kind where there's absolutely no proof? I've known you some time, Miss Swan. And, sadly, despite everything you've been through, you're still just that... bail bonds-person, looking for evidence. Well, dearie, that's not gonna work in Neverland.
--Once Upon a Time, "The Heart of the Truest Believer"

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #77: God in a Box

Today's Video: "Rented Room"


Discuss/Describe what you are holding back from God. What do you need to surrender to him? What is the box you have God in?

I'm holding back practically everything. I'm scared to give him full control. I like to have some control over what happens in my life. I like life to be predictable (yet not boring). I need to trust him and let him have free reign, without becoming legalistic (to where everything in my life has to be Christian or ok for Christians, the way things used to be when I lived in a Christian bubble growing up and didn't know much else). I mean, I used to be so legalistic I would scold myself for inadvertently yawning during Chapel. Yawning meant boredom in my eyes, and the Word of God should not be responded to so disrespectfully.

I keep my life compartmentalized and God has his compartment along with everything else. I need to fix that.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #76: Trash of Our Lives

Today's Video: "Recycle"

Discuss/Describe the trash in your life that you need to give God. To go deeper, ask a mentor or close friend to reveal to you the trash in your life that you don’t see.

I have definitely had a lot of pain, depression, and worry in my life. Also problems with gossiping, talking behind others' backs, anger, bitterness, and guilt. I would like to get rid of that trash for sure.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #75: Pride

Today's Video: "Pride"

Discuss/Describe how pride shows itself in your life. Ask yourself how you can pay attention to your pride and have someone hold you accountable to bang you up when your pride shows up.

I'm very defensive when people tell me I'm wrong. I guess that's a sort of pride. I also have issues with arrogance, and I take criticism of my work very personally, as if it were an affront to me. 

I guess I just have to be alert and watch out for pride. I don't know how I can have someone hold me accountable though.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #74: Opposites

Today's Video: "Pool Table"

Discuss/Describe how God is a God of opposite. Why? Think about how playing pool is a game of opposites.

I guess he is a God of opposites in that he blesses you in ways you might not even think of when you follow him and do what he says. Your actions have ripples, affecting other things you may not even know are connected. Plus he knows what we want even before we ask. So he may bless us with something we wanted and we'd be surprised he knew about it. So I guess we need to be obedient and seek him, and let him do the rest?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #73: Disagreements

Today's Video: "Place de la Concorde"


Discuss/Describe who you have a strife or disagreement with. Who do you need to make peace with?

I have strife with people at my work who I just don't get along with - Lisa, Rosanelly, sometimes Sergio, also Adam sometimes. I also have strife with my mom a lot.

I need to be the better person and make peace with them. I do try to be at peace with everyone, to not rock the boat or get involved in people's drama, but because I'm so friendly and apparently trustworthy, and also curious enough to often overhear other people talking or to even eavesdrop intentionally, I end up finding out about said drama often times anyway, and getting involved sometimes when I did not want to. Not a good place to be in.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #72: Ingredients

Today's Video: "Perm"

Discuss/Describe the ingredients in your life that you want God to change. List one area that you need God’s hand of intervention.

I want to be more motivated in what I do, go back to how I was in high school when I worked hard and never procrastinated. I also want to not let fear run my life so much. And to stop making excuses so much and own up to my mistakes. And to be better able to ask directly for what I want instead of beating around the bush. Also I know I should probably lose some weight. (My problem there really is emotional overeating and lack of home I don't eat much - some cereal and toast for breakfast [and often for dinner too], and if I eat lunch at home, it's something easy like popcorn or pasta or a microwave meal. If I don't have breakfast for dinner, dinner is often the same as lunch. Where I really put on the pounds is junk food snacks [which I eat at home sometimes but mostly at work or away from home] or eating out, either at work or at a restaurant. I already know, from the tracking I've done, that most of my money goes to food. I could save a lot of money - and maybe eat healthier - if I brought my own lunch like I used to do in high school before I had a job, but I don't want to make the effort. As for exercise, I've never liked exercise, except walking, hiking, and swimming. The only exercise machines I like are the bikes. And that's cause I had to do P.E. at Mira Costa and go to their little gym. I also did ok on the treadmill. The eliptical scares me, cause I feel like I'm going to fall off. I have done ok playing Wii Fit Plus, and I have the Balance Board and everything, but I'm not motivated to play it). 

I also would like to move out and get my own place, but I don't know the first thing about it. My parents are ok with the idea (if my mom's threats about "if you want to just do whatever you want, then get your own place" are any indication). Also I really can't afford it on what I currently make, not without a roommate. The only thing I can afford without a roommate right now is renting a room in someone's house (which is kinda what I'm doing right now with my parents anyway) or low-income housing, which can take years to process. And I'm very solitary, so I'd almost rather not have a roommate. Besides, if I had a roommate, I'd have to make sure to keep things clean, something I am not very good at doing. 

Also I do not like my current job, and would like to change it, but I lack the motivation to do what it takes to get a better job. After all, the pay's decent, it's unionized, and has great health benefits.

One area I need God's intervention in...the biggest right now would be the job thing. That's weighing heavily on my mind right now.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #71: Full Power!!

Today's Video: "Pray for Me - Full Power"

Discuss/Describe an immediate situation where you need God to give you “full power”?

Definitely to move on with my life, find a new job, get a place of my own, really be an adult, find the purpose God made me for and do it. A tall order, I know, but it's what comes to mind right now.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #70: Judging Others

Today's Video: "Observation"

Discuss/Describe an example of how you prejudge people. Is it a sign of pride in your life?

I sometimes prejudge people based on outward things, like appearance or attitude, and don't want to have anything to do with them. But if I stopped to get to know them, it might be different. I'd say it's definitely a sign of pride in my life.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #69: Availability

Today's Video: "Candle"

Discuss/Describe how much of you is truly available to God. Do you have passion for our Lord today?

Not enough. I have made God a part of my life, but only a part.  I am hesitant to surrender everything to him, because I don't like giving up control. It scares me. Even though I know I should, that God knows a lot better than me. 

I used to have passion for our Lord. But not so much now. And I guess I may not have had enough even in the past seeing as I've never witnessed to anyone. But definitely before high school I did. Probably cause I was living in a Christian bubble - Christian home, Christian school, Christian church - and didn't know much else. I mean, I avoided reading Harry Potter because of how some Christians felt about it, and missed out largely on one heck of a fandom. 

I would like to have passion for him...but I'm afraid to give up control. Also the people I know who seem really on fire for him seem to talk about nothing else. God finds a way into every conversation. Which I guess is fine, but it just comes across as holier-than-thou to me. It might have to do with the situations in which I have primarily met these people though. People like Tara from Chi Alpha. My parents too, recently. 

I guess what I mean is, can I be an on-fire Christian and still have interests, like anime or history or Doctor Who? Cause if not than that sounds boring. It's like those people who believe all we'll do in Heaven is sit around on clouds and play harps. That idea never appealed to me. 

I want to have passion for God, like I have for other things. He is, as Ella Fitzgerald said of Stevie Wonder, "the genius in everything." But how?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #68: By Sight or Faith?

Today's Video: "Novocain"

Discuss/Describe why we walk by sight instead of walking by faith. How has God worked in your life, and when has your faith grown?

I guess walking by sight is easier because we're more likely to believe something we can see, feel, touch, experience with our senses. Something we can't see, can't explain, can't prove exists, that's harder. 

My faith grew when I was younger. I was very committed to church, really believed in God, and was a good Christian. Since high school, though, starting with the death of my grandma, who I prayed and prayed about, for her healing as well as her salvation, that went downhill. I think I had high expectations, because shortly before that, the daughter of one of the leaders in our junior high group at church had been deathly ill, and people had prayed (myself included), and she got better. I was mad at God for not answering my prayer. 

Then the next year the whole thing with Kyle happened, where I had my first close relationship with a guy, even allowed myself to feel something for him. But I suppressed the feelings, cause he had a girlfriend, and I wasn't going to take away from whatever they had. Then came the day I did a three-way call with him and this friend of his. I don't even know why we were doing that. Anyway, they kinda forgot I was there, I think, and I found out from that that Kyle wasn't what I thought he was. I'd met him at church, so I assumed he was a Christian. But I guess the tendency to shoot BBs at innocent birds, him wanting to put his arms around me at the Christmas Progressive Dinner, and his Project A-ko comics (which, while not porn, are pretty darn close) should've clued me in that maybe he wasn't the right sort of guy for me. It turned out he wasn't a Christian as I'd thought. Shortly after, when his girlfriend got on the phone one time when he called me (we went to different schools so we mostly just talked on the phone) and she was there, and yelled at me cause she thought I was inviting him to the Winter Formal at my school (I wasn't btw...I was just telling him it was happening), I confronted him about it and he didn't seem to care, blaming the outburst on PMS or her red hair. Now, I had met his girlfriend a couple times, and she had seemed pretty nice. But her outburst concerned me. I mean, I can see in retrospect why she was so upset. If I was dating a guy and he was calling another girl while I was at his house, I'd be upset too. Especially if I thought the other girl was asking him on a date. Anyway, after a while, even my parents were encouraging me to break things off. So I did, on Valentine's Day no less. And he called me before I could call him. When he said he was calling to wish me a happy Valentine's Day, I almost lost my nerve. But I went through with it, telling him not to call me so much, and when he didn't understand, I hung up on him.

We didn't speak for almost six months. Then I called him to ask him stuff about Comic-Con, at the prompting of my best friend Amy, who for some reason I hadn't told about the breakup. This prompted him to think it was ok to start calling me again, and finally about the middle of August, I properly ended it, telling him not to call me anymore.

I found out later, at my friend Tammy's graduation, that he and his girlfriend had had sex, and it gradually became apparent that he was more into the physical side of things, meaning it was good I got out when I did. 

A while later, he snuck up behind me while I was at InterVarsity Bible Study at MiraCosta to say hello. It was very embarrassing. I saw him a handful of times at the bus station after that, and during all of them he acted like we were still friends. I acted rather mean to him on purpose, trying to send the message that I wanted nothing to do with him, hoping he'd take the hint. I don't think he did, but the last time I saw him, he said he was moving away. I haven't seen or heard from him since. His sister Rhoda, who'd initially introduced us, remained on my FB friend list for a while, but I finally got her off it, cause it was too much of a reminder.

Then there were all the stresses of my junior year, growing apart from my long-time friends and so on, and my dad's mom's death in late 2002 (my senior year). 

Where I think it has really gone downhill is in the last 7 years. My work schedule made my church attendance sporadic at first, as my current job is the first one where I've had to work on Sundays. I tried to do mid-week church stuff too at first, but with my constantly changing work schedule, plus school on top of it, I stopped doing that cause I was worried about being flaky. So I haven't had the Christian support I used to have. I was also kinda burned out by InterVarsity at MiraCosta, which made me hesitant to join any sort of Christian group at school. It was only in my last year at CSUSM that I found out about Chi Alpha and got involved in that. That helped a little.

I think things are looking up somewhat. Hopefully things will get better.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #67: Love Yourself

Today's Video: "Manicure"

Discuss/Describe how you love yourself. What is one of your positive attributes? If you have trouble loving yourself, what is the best way to start?

I don't give up, even when I want to. I push myself to keep going. I encourage myself that life is worth living, in those dark moments when I wonder if it is. 

That's all I can think of. Sadly.

I have trouble loving myself. I'm very negative about everything and have trouble taking compliments. Instead of accepting them with a "thank you," I tend to divert them with some negative comment. I don't like super happy people because their happiness seems fake to me. It just seems impossible that anyone could really be that happy. So I think to avoid that I keep myself from being happy. There are rare moments when I am happy though, genuinely happy. When I get excited or I laugh. My brother Andrew has said he likes when I laugh. I do too. I also used to smile a lot more, but now I smile so rarely people actually tell me I need to smile more. But when I try I just can't do it. Not for more than a few seconds. It doesn't feel natural.

The best way to start loving myself...I don't know. I guess the root of it all is my negativity, but I'm not sure how to deal with that. It's so deeply ingrained now. :(

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #66: Count Your Blessings

Today's Video: "Lizard"

Discuss/Describe all the blessings you have. Take one minute to list them, then as yourself, why do we dwell on the things we don't have?

Blessings I Do Have

Roof over my head
Money to spend
Clean water
Glasses so I can see
Books to read
Literacy/ability to read
Ability to write
Use of all my senses
Use of my limbs

Plus probably many others I can't think of right now.

I think we dwell on what we don't have cause we're not satisfied in life. Some need is going unfulfilled, usually a deeper need than just wanting something you don't have. Like a lot of times I eat food, even if I'm not hungry, cause I'm bored or to soothe some emotion. 

Some people might sleep around or commit adultery cause they're not feeling fulfilled in their love/sex life. I think this is why there's that one Bible verse that says to married people to not give up sex for too long, except to devote time to prayer, last Satan get a foothold. (I found it - it's 1 Corinthians 7:5: "Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control" [NIV]). 

One of the Ten Commandments even tells us not to covet what others have. So it's a serious deal.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #65: Leftovers

Today's Video: "Leftovers"

Discuss/Describe what you are going to change in your life to make God a priority --  and not give God the leftovers (i.e., God backwards is dog).

I need to make him the center of my life and not just a part of it. Everything I do needs to be for him, like it says in Colossians:

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him....Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:17, 23-24)

How exactly I am going to do this though I have no idea. I need God's help on that one.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #64: Cheerful Giving

Today's Video: "Pray for Me - Great Satisfaction"

Discuss/Describe a recent experience of cheerful giving. Can you tell the difference between giving and joyful giving?

I guess I have probably given people my wisdom before. And encouragement. I can't think of a recent instance though. The difference between giving and joyful giving is that regular giving is often out of guilt or obligation, whereas joyful giving is giving cause you want to.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #63: Judas

Today's Video: "Judas"

Discuss/Describe who is a Judas in your life. Who has talked bad or thrown you under the bus? What will you do today to love them?

I know there are people, or have heard that people have talked bad about me (although I'm not sure if the person who told me that was telling me the truth or not).

I'm not sure what I'll do to love them, because I'm not sure who they are.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #62: Home Sweet Home

Today's Video: "Treehouse"

Discuss/Describe how you can be thankful to God for your home and for the home that He is ultimately preparing for you.

I can be thankful that I have a roof over my head, that I have clean water and food and a bed and TV and Internet and a phone and a place to do laundry. Not everyone has that sort of luxury. Some people have to drive to the laundromat to do their laundry.

I can't even imagine what sort of place God has prepared for me in Heaven. It'll be perfect, of course, and likely it'll have plenty of room for everything I need when I'm up there. (God and I both know I have storage issues). I don't know how customized each heavenly mansion will be to whoever lives in it. But if they are, hopefully mine will have a lot of books in it. :) Though I suppose I'll be busy doing whatever it is we're going to be doing up there (work, praising God, sitting on clouds playing harps, etc) so who knows if I'll have time. I guess I will, cause I'll be there for eternity. And because there's no evil or sin there, any book that will be there will be good to read, like good for you. Also I won't need glasses cause I won't be nearsighted anymore.

One way or another, it will be awesome. And beyond anything we can comprehend right now.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #61: God's Ringtone

Today's Video: "Ringtone"

Discuss/Describe God’s ringtone in your head. Do you recognize God’s voice? Are you clear about Him?

I'm afraid I don't. Sometimes I can't even distinguish my own voice in my head, cause I so often cope with things lately by slipping into a world of fantasy, meaning that often what's going on in my head isn't that realistic. And when I am on the right side of sane, firmly planted in reality, I still don't think I'm clear about him. Likely because I like to keep busy so I often don't stop to listen to/for his voice.

This is a problem...:( 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #60: Gifts and Talents

Today's Video: "Puzzle"

Discuss/Describe what gifts, talents, abilities do you think God has already given to you. How do you think this applies to God’s will for your life?

Well, let's see.

I am good at reading, writing, memorization, attention to detail, critical thinking, coming up with ideas, storytelling, explaining things, notetaking, analysis. English and History were my best subjects growing up. I'm good at picking up foreign languages. I like literature, mythology, and film. I am open to learning about other cultures (I am very into foreign films and TV, and I enjoy anime and manga). I'm thorough and meticulous. I am a good proofreader and fact checker. I love research. I can think in a complex way.

How does this apply to God's will for my life? I'm not sure to be honest. Knowledge has been #1 on a couple spiritual gifts tests I've taken. Maybe he wants me to teach? Cause I don't think I'd be a very good teacher. Sure, I could teach and explain stuff, but I lack the patience and social skills. Some people don't have the right temperament. And if you don't have the right temperament, the job won't be a good fit and you'll hate it, right? And I don't want to hate my job!

I'll have to mull over this list...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #59: God's Love

Today's Video: "Ocean"

Discuss/Describe an area of your life where you’d like a greater experience of God’s love.

I can't think of a certain area. I need his love throughout my whole life. I need to allow his love to come in, permeate my life, chase out the fear and worry that I struggle with, conquer my selfishness and pride, and help me with my low self-esteem. I need to know that I am loved and that I don't need to be perfect and that I don't need to worry so much about the opinions of others. The opinions of others do not define my worth as a person. I need his love everywhere.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #58: Spiritual Diet

Today's Video: "Lion Cub"

Discuss/Describe your current spiritual diet. How is it going to help or hinder you from becoming the person God wants you to be?

Well I finally got back to reading the Bible every day, and I'm doing devotionals through this Miles-a-Minute thing. I go to church nearly every Sunday.

I do need to pray more, though. I also need to get more plugged into the church, serving people and in some sort of small group. And I need to get back to tithing again - I didn't do that at all last year. And I should be memorizing the Bible - really haven't done that since I was a kid.

I would hope it would help me from being who God wants me to be, but I'm not sure if it is. Cause I can read the Bible all I want, but if I'm not applying it to my life, it's worthless. And that's the part I have trouble with - application. Especially stuff from the Old Testament.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #57: Supernatural Power

Today's Video: "Pray For Me - Supernatural Power"

Discuss/Describe a person or situation that requires the presence of God through your prayer.

I can't think of another person specifically, except maybe people at work, like Miyuki, who seems to think her ticket out of our work is fast money. For situations I can think of some for myself, but that's not what this video is about, is it? It's about others. Still, for myself, the job thing is the biggest thing right now. Should I go into a tech field after all, or go for writing? (My coming across the Girls Who Code website the other day got me thinking about this again). I'm hoping the Careers in Literature and Writing seminar I'm going to on Tuesday will help with that.

It says in Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Lord guide my prayers, be there with me, and work supernaturally through me regarding relating to my coworkers, being willing to pray for them either on my own or with their knowledge. In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #56: Personal Challenges

Today's Video: "Grass Roots"

Discuss/Describe a personal challenge you are struggling with. What do you think is the root of that problem? 

I have trouble trusting God, letting him have control over my life. I think the root of it is that I don't like feeling like I'm not in control of things. Whether that's pride or fear or something else, I don't know. (I know I am prideful). I guess it's fear, cause the idea of letting go and letting God does scare me, to be honest. And fear - of the unfamiliar, of what others think, of risk - is what keeps me from doing most things. I'd rather stay where it's safe, where I can predict or even control what's going to happen.

One sign of this is that I tend to cope with life by thinking of it like a play, where I have internal scripts telling me what to say and how to act. Cause I don't want to be caught off guard, be unable to control a situation and look like a fool. 

Just the other day, my coworker Adam basically revealed to me that some of our coworkers are gay. Including two girls. How he knows this, I don't know. He's not that social or anything (he has Asperger's like me, but it's more obvious in his case). And a lot of people on the front end, where he works, don't like him cause he tends to stand around and not do his work. Plus he's always complaining about stuff, like his schedule (though since he gets Social Security Disability because of his autism, that complaint is more legit, because if he makes too much he won't be able to get that anymore). That made me uncomfortable. Cause I don't know how to act around gay people. I was brought up to believe homosexuality is a sin. So just being around gay doesn't feel right, as awful as that sounds. Even after I found out about this, I was walking to the time clock and saw one of the girls who he'd said was gay, whose name is Yuni. And without really thinking, I said to myself "Yuri Yuni" in a kinda judgmental way which I regretted immediately. (Yuri is a term used in the anime and manga world for girl x girl romance; basically it's the female version of the better-known yaoi). 

Somewhat ironically, that same day I discovered Mark Gatiss, one of my favorite Doctor Who writers and the one who'd always been the showrunner in my fantasies about my Doctor Who fanfic The Companion's Diary of Alyson "Alys" Reed becoming a miniseries, is gay. In retrospect, I guess I should've figured that out already, since his fashion style does seem like what you sometimes see gay guys wear on TV. (I have no idea where I got that idea...bear with me). Come to think of it, Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock (who is played by Gatiss, in a series Gatiss co-created) never seems interested in women.

Gah. I sound SO ignorant and homophobic. Forgive me.

So yeah I think it's fear, ultimately.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #55: Being Real

Today's Video: "Son of God"

Discuss/Describe a part of your life you are “faking it, to make it” that you want God to help you “be real”.

I am faking it by pretending everything's ok in my life when in reality I am plagued by indecision, impatience, self-doubt, a lack of self-confidence, issues with pride, and a lack of trust in God. I also have picked up a bad habit of gossiping, and I have intense dissatisfaction with my life as it is now. Yet I am afraid to change my life for the better cause I'm afraid of risk. 

How would God help me be real? I guess he would help me be more genuine, more willing to change and to accept help when I need it. It would be hard to do that though. :(

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #54: Pride

Today's Video: "Black Sand"

Discuss/Describe a situation where your pride is getting the best of you and is making it difficult for you to be loving or honest with someone. 

My pride does make it hard for me to be loving with people I just don't get along with at work. It seems like there's always at least one person I have trouble getting along with. And in my pride sometimes I think I'm better than them or I don't have to be nice to them cause they're the unreasonable one or whatever, instead of trying to be loving and walk a mile in their shoes so to speak.

It's tough cause deep down I know I'm wrong, but I don't want to admit that.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Writing withdrawal

I actually told someone today I was buying a notebook because I was going through writing withdrawal.

Which sounds stupid in retrospect, but it's true though. I've been doing so much writing lately that it feels weird when I take a break from it. I keep feeling like I should be writing, regardless of whether I have a project to work on at the moment. (Actually I still have that project to work on for Miss Dream, the manga chapter summary one -- maybe I should bang that out in one blitz this weekend. Cause I feel bad that I am so bad with deadlines for stuff over there. I was really bad at getting the error guides up in good time most of the time).

I do feel like I need to assess my current project commitments and cut some stuff from my plate, cause I'm feeling overwhelmed again. I'm tempted to drop TARDIS Thoughts. It was fun for a while, but now writing the posts seems like a chore. They take like 2 hours each to write on average. And I say they're analysis, but they're totally just recaps. And there are plenty of those. Heck, there's quite a bit of analysis out there too (TARDIS Eruditorium, Doctor Who and Philosophy, etc). On the other hand, my posts do tend to get a fair amount of +1's when I share them on Google+, and the blog has had a nice amount of page views. (10,904 to be exact - just checked. And the blog has been up for about a year and a half). Apparently my most popular post at the moment is my post from the day before the Twelfth Doctor casting announcement, sharing my thoughts about Matt's then-imminent departure. I have gotten the blog linked to on Doctor Who and Combom, The Doctor Who Transcripts, and I think one or two other places. I also paid more money than I would've liked (mostly cause the person was so insistent about having my business they were willing to haggle with me on price, even when I was prepared to just walk away) to have it be advertised via banner advertising on a major fansite (advertising I still have to make or at least send them graphics for). I hope that op pays off cause $100+ for 3 months of banner advertising, plus some Twitter advertising thrown in to sweeten the deal, is a LOT.  And I am not making that mistake again, no matter how good their exposure is. 

When I think about it that way, I feel like I should keep that blog up. For those thousands of people who have read it and found it through Google (Google is my primary traffic source). And I did spend a lot of time making the custom header banner and tweaking the Wordpress-style layout, plus writing all the pages (and updating them periodically). I'm just SO behind on posts though. I need to make an effort to get them done. If they didn't take so long to write, I'd write a bunch at once and just schedule them. But I have like all of Series 3 to do right now. Plus the 50th and "The Time of The Doctor," along with a bit of Classic Who. Oh and Series 5 and 6, which I watched last December, with all the specials attached to them. And I still haven't seen Series 4 and the 2008-2010 specials.

I hope to start my pre-Series 8 Classic Who catchup soon, so I think I'll save the Classic Who posts for that. For now I need to get caught up on New Who. Oy so much work though...did I mention I feel overwhelmed?

In high school I would never have let things pile up like this. How did I get to be such a procrastinator??

Anyway...gonna take a shower. More on this later maybe.

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #53: Doubting God

Today's Video: "Big Rock"

Discuss/Describe a time when you doubted God’s love for you. 

I doubt it all the time now. But that's cause I have trouble trusting God, trouble knowing who he is in my heart. 

But I know particularly after I broke things off with Kyle, I was mad at God cause he didn't stop me from going forward with something that would break my heart and be one of the big reasons I am nervous about being friends with guys now. Cause I'm afraid of falling in love only to get hurt again. 

That's the moment that comes to mind, even 10+ years later.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #52: Pressure Rising

Today's Video: "Boiling Point"


Discuss/Describe what triggers in your life that cause your blood pressure to rise?

I am one of those people who normally can keep my composure under pressure pretty well. But if things pile up, then my ability to do so weakens, and gradually I get angry or stressed or frustrated or impatient, cause I can't keep it bottled up anymore.

Even worse, I'm not good at expressing how I feel (it's an Asperger's thing I think).  So if I get frustrated or whatever, I can't always explain why very well. Other than by complaining. I'm also by nature not very patient, which doesn't help.

Lately especially I've had major trouble with this. I need to get back to a point where I have better composure.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #51: Separation

Today's Video: "At Boshoff"

Discuss/describe what is separating you from your family and friends.

I tend to isolate myself from people. I'm very introverted. I like to be by myself. That I'm not good socially cause of my Asperger's contributes too. Sometimes though, I still get lonely.

Also, most of the things I'm interested in no one else in my family is, so I feel separated there. My parents don't even know much about my writing.

Nothing like apartheid separates my family though, or my friends. I may have some unintentional racism towards PoC that I know, but that is because I was raised in a predominantly white environment and don't know a lot about the world of PoC.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #50: Vision

Today's Video: "Pray For Me - Vision."

Discuss/Describe an area of your life God has given you clear vision on that you haven’t accepted or followed up on.

Well I think he definitely wants me to trust him more, let him control more of my life. But I am afraid to do that. I'm afraid to take the necessary risk.

Other than that, I think he definitely wants me to do something for him with my writing talent. I've known that since I was a kid. But I think I've gotten lost on the way on that one.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #49: Value

Today's Video: "Art Prize"


Discuss/Describe your value to family and friends.

Well my parents say I'm valuable at work because I have worked in so many positions (bakery, service deli, floral, floor GM, HABA, plus some bagger stuff). And I see what they mean, though to be honest I'd rather just be really good at one thing.

To friends...well, I try to be friendly to everyone, trustworthy, loyal. I try not to cause drama. I give advice where I can, and try to help where I can.

To family...I'm not so valuable around the house, like in terms of housework or cooking. But my dad does keep saying I'm a good girl. And my brother and I get along well, though we had a rough patch there a few years ago where he would be rude to me when his friends were over. But then when that came out during a family therapy session we did, he apologized for it and started being nicer.

Other than that, not sure how to answer this question.