Angchronicles Receives WP Family Award

It’s been one year since I’ve been blogging consistently, to call myself a blogger. So, I was quite surprised when my new blogger friend  Kathryn Chastain Treat  at Allergictolifemybattle bestowed me with the “WordPress Family Award.” 

I am humbled. I often wonder who reads these posts, and have learned that frequently readers stop by without leaving comments or pressing the like button. Just last week, I bumped into a Facebook friend who said, “I noticed you started a blog, but I have not time to read.” A few months ago, I was chastened for not posting, and then chastened for something I said. I love it, because I’m a blogger.

So, this award shows a connection that bloggers share through their words and actions, making us more than a community of bloggers, but a blogging family.  I have been following Kathryn’s blog for months. She has opened my eyes to my own mother’s allergic reactions to life. At one time, I thought it was mental, mostly imagined. But Kathryn has confirmed my mother’s allergies, allowing me to even reconsider how I can live a healthier lifestyle. One way, I’m tossing all my plastics and buying Pyrex—getting rid of toxins. Kathryn and I also share being list-makers. It’s nice to meet someone obsessed with list.

Ironically, while reading Pastor Mike’s post on Mustard Seed, I noticed he gravely opposes lists, unless it’s a prayer list. It’s still a list.

As part of the award, I, too, must nominate 10 other bloggers according to the rules below. And here’s why, I’ve chosen nine out of the ten. Jen offers writing inspiration, Sharla is the first blogger friend, Joan reminds me of my faith walk, Pastor Mike has given me hope after reposting one of my prayers and others hit the like button, Morning Story and Dilbert and Wade show me that God has a sense of humor; therefore, I should laugh more. And Yahobahne writes awesome poetry and open letters, while the writers of Pages from Stages shares different stages of life, and finally Marlene reminds me that I’m writing a story for God’s glory.

The rules:

1) Display the award logo on your blog; 2) Link back to the person who nominated you; 3) Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family;  4) Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them; and  5) That is it.  Just please pick 10 people who have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

The nominees:

  1. Kathryn – allergictolifemybattle.wordpress.com/
  2. Jen – http://jenowenby.wordpress.com/
  3. Sharla- http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com
  4. Joan  http://jokondotnet.wordpress.com
  5. Pastor Mike–http://mustardseedbudget.wordpress.com
  6. Morning Story and Dilbert http://morningstoryanddilbert.wordpress.com
  7. Wade- http://laughoutloudloveourlord.com
  8. Yahobahne “Designs”http://his4glorydotcom.wordpress.com/
  9. Cherie, Julane, Sara, Susan http://pagesfromstages.wordpress.com

10. Marlene–http://writehisanswer.wordpress.com/Image

The Return of Angchronicles

ImageMy mother taught me that if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all. Hence for a few weeks angchronicles has had nothing good to say. Not because life is not good. I wake up every morning, sometimes later than I should, have food to eat, not always what I desire, and have real friends who love me.

Having true friends is important. The type who are honest, make me think about my actions, and are sometimes more enthusiastic about the things in my life than I am. And lately, I have not been enthusiastic. If you’ve every met me in person, you would understand. For instance, I responded to a Facebook message regarding an online women’s fiction group. When I spoke to the woman on the phone, she immediately said, “You’ll be great, you’ll bring so much enthusiasm to the group.” Here the kicker, she and I met once at a conference during lunchtime, 45 minutes. I was floored; didn’t realize my excitement rubbed off.

But lately, I have not been high-spirited simply because I seem to take two steps forward and three steps backwards. Ever been there? And although, I am a praying woman, righteous only because of Jesus, I trust that these obstacles are God’s way of showing me he’s in charge, not me. Despite whether I’m on the mountaintop or in the valley I have to trust him. I do. Yet sometimes my zeal wanes.

When my zeal wanes, I keep a low profile. Those true friends, I try to limit my conversation with them. They will detect my vanishing fervor. They will try to encourage me. Sometimes, I don’t want to be encouraged. I want to waddle in my self-pity. Have a pity party. Woe is me. However, if I can’t be revived, then how should I expect to revive others with my words? Hence, no blog post on angchronicles, which saddens me.

And God’s been dealing with me because even if one person likes a post, I have lifted someone’s spirit. That’s my call, that’ my job, that’s my ministry with my words. After all, I am a literary artist painting pictures as a writer, speaker and workshop leader.

But I did not come to the conclusion without introspective musing. From the reflection of the devotion “The Place of Exaltation,” I discovered sometimes I cannot and will not be on the mountaintop. Those mountaintop experiences are for inspiration, moments when God builds and mold my character. Upon my descent, into the valley where ordinary things happen, I must prove my stamina and strength that is the true test of my character. In which, I should have something good to say at all times even if I took three steps backward.

So stay tuned for angchronicles weekly Tuesday post.

Hard Pressed But Never Destroyed

January 4 2013BMy best friend and I not only shop together, call and text but we also pray together and share scriptures when needed.
So, today I’ve been praying for a specific need because that was her morning text. This afternoon she called a bit depressed and perplexed. I did what a friend does: I listened, agreed, offered comfort, listened some more, offered a bit more advise. When our silence grew deafening, the only thing I knew to do was pray over the phone for her in her ear.
She’s a praying woman and I know she will find her answer.
Afterwards, I began trolling through a list of things, although I’m supposed to  finish a chapter of my novel and send out two resumes. I was growing weary at the writing, and daunted by the task of job hunting. In my list of things, I found the following devotion that represented the day, ironically, I’m sure my best friend sent it to me on January 12, 2012.

Hard Pressed, But Not Destroyed

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, We are preserved not pickled! 2 Corinthians 4: 8 to 9 (NIV).

The Message translation of the Bible says this ”We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us in trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us our lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!”

When the sailors of old faced the worst of the storms, they would call out to encourage one another with this statement of faith, “Hold fast”. When the wave buffeted against them and the winds howled and the storm raged, and it seemed like everything was against them, they would call out, “hold fast”.

Ephesians 6:13 – 14  (NIV)  says, “and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then”.

At times we may feel like we are going through the mill, and we are having a hard time. That is the time you need to hear these words “Hold fast! For the storm will not last forever.”

Notice if you will, that no matter what life throws at you, no matter the circumstance, there is a  “But not” from God, but not crushed, but not in despair, but not forsaken, but not destroyed! -Because God is an awesome God. We are preserved not pickled!

Remember the words of the Apostle Paul from 2 Corinthians 4: 8 -9 (NIV)

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

No matter what we face, not matter how difficult the storms of life, it will not last forever, we will be preserved not pickled. Because if God be for us who can stand against us? Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

33 Days of Prayer Journey: Day 25

Dear God,

You are a gracious and welcome guest in my heart. Enter my heart and guide my prayer.

Thank you for all the opportunities and pleasures to keep today holy. Thank you for prayer and worship. Thank you for the books and music that uplift me, and the friendly chats with people. Thank for the peace that rules in my heart. 

Faithwalk: What happens when women talk?

 

I

“I can do the job better than those with Masters and Ph.D.s,”  the woman said.
“A woman who has a degree and has stayed at home to raise a family is usually the best candidate for the job,” the other woman said.
“They have more time, more organized, and career-driven.” Woman looked at text iphone message. “After raising kids,…”
“And caring for parents,” the other woman interjected.
“Less life interruptions,” the woman said.
“We’re better candidates, volunteerism and community service alone is major experience.” “You have a Masters,” the woman said. “And even freelance experience.”
“Yeah, but a Ph.D. got tenure track, not me,” the other woman said.
“Does she have children?”
“Two toddlers and a baby on the way,” the other woman said.
“I can’t imagine trying to take care of my babies and a full-time job,” the woman said. “But I made the sacrifice, family first.”
“Our life is in God’s hands,” the other woman said.
“His plans are always better than my plans.”

II

Two days later the women talked over the telephone.
“Speaking of plans have you been writing down your ideas?” The other woman said.
“Not really, working two jobs is exhausting,” the woman said.
“Do you know if you write things down it happens?” the other woman said.
“Please, Girl,” the woman said.
“I’ve been journaling for years, but last week I started rereading old journals and…”
“What did you find?”
“A list I wrote in 1999 and all things happened. Even you, a dear friend that I could trust,” the other woman said. “That’s not all. After the divorce I wrote a letter to God describing my next husband.”
“Did it happen?” the woman said.
“Money, homeowner, no kids; but he was creepy.”
“So sometimes we don’t know what we want even if we write it down, or not,” the woman said.
“Taught me a lesson, I need to leave room for God,” the other woman laughed.
“Did you throw that list away?”
“No, I crossed it out, and wrote Lord, you know best.,” the other woman said. “Now, when I look at that page in my journal, I’ll know who’s in charge.”
“Good way to look at it,” the woman said.
“I did have a fabulous summer traveling, and that was one of my prayers…that I wrote down.”
“Maybe I’ll try it.”

III

Three weeks later, the friends talk again.
“I got the full time position, a raise, and the company is paying for me to go back to school.” The woman throws her hands in the air. “Oh, my daughter is engaged. She’s waited for that man to propose for three years.”
“I’m happy for you.” The other woman smiled.
“I did what you said, I wrote it down.”

Faithwalk: Relationships


Check out my new car,” she said.
I got in.
“Nice, new.”
“It’s not a luxury car, but it runs.” My friend gave me a tour of her new car.
I had been praying that she would get a new car. We’re friends, and I hear her silent laments. A new car was one of them. Ironically, two days earlier, I was driving and asked the Lord when he was going to bless my friend with a new car. So, I was just as elated as she was.
“Seems luxurious to me. Hybrid, sunroof, satellite radio, and it’s spacious.” I checked out the cup holders and varying compartments. “I shouldn’t park next to you, though.”
She laughed. “Your turn next.”
This is why I love my friend; she’s an encourager. Every woman needs a girlfriend that cheers her on. You know, like Gail to Oprah. My friend believes I can earn a six-figure salary working in New York City. She’s got big dreams for me.
Anyway, I wasn’t really in the market for a new car. My car, although it has scars and wounds, is paid in full. I can’t imagine a car payment.
My car, a white Santa Fe Hyundai 2002, and I have been through a few battles. After knocking a mailbox off its hinges, I learned to slow down. After snagging the front driver’s side on a steel pole in an underground garage, I learned not to turn my wheel to soon. After we got our first garage, I learned to look out the side view mirror. Poor baby has scratches, scratches, and scratches.
One day, my cousin visited. He said, “Ang, who messed up your car?” I looked at him and pointed at me.
Yet, I love my car, despite the scars and wounds it’s faithful through torrents of rain, snowy hills, dark nights, and long trips. And I’ve been faithful: oil changes, new tires, car washes-inside and out- new battery, and new exhaust.
Then, one day last week, my car puttered, puttered to a halt–all the lights on the dashboard blacked out. Now, I should have taken notice when two days prior the battery and the check engine light came on.
The next day, my car went to the hospital for a new alternator, and I went to Enterprise for a rental. I reserved a compact car, but left the lot in a Camaro—a free upgrade. All I can say is wow! Sweet ride. And I rode for two days like I belonged in that sports car.
My mom said, “Looks like you need a second job.”
I said, “I know, I want one.”
Upon the return of the rental and the pick up of my faithful-no payment car, I thought: it’s time to rethink this relationship and dream big for me.