Quick Tip 8

1. “It was a time where when people talked about one another.”
‘Time’ is not a place. It cannot be a ‘where’ it must be a ‘when.’

2. “It’s a situation where in which no solution seems possible.”

For this second example, ‘where’ is a little more acceptable, but for it to be absolutely correct ‘in which’ is the way to go.

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Quick Tip 7

“Piece of dialogue.” He said. 

** Okay, honestly, if you do this in your writing, don’t. Just stop. For your sake as a writer and for all of your readers, avoid it. 

The correct way to write that sentence is: “Piece of dialogue,” he said.

Replace your period inside the quotations with a comma and make the capital ‘H’ a lowercase ‘h.’

Penuel

Penuel is the name of the floor I live on in my dorm. It is also the name of the mountain where Jacob wrestled with God. The name Penuel means “Face of God.” Jacob named the mountain that because it is where he saw the face of God and was spared.

Why do I mention this? Because I keep fighting God at every turn. You remember that last post? Yeah… I’m still telling God no. I’m much more reluctant about it, but no is still no, and God is still expecting a yes.

Just recently I am beginnnig to fully understand how much of a superiority complex I have. Before you roll your eyes or sarcastically gasp, let me clarify, I have always know I’ve had a superiority complex. I know I’m pridefull, and I know I think I’m better than everyone. That doesn’t go unnoticed by me. I just didn’t realize how deep that complex went until I looked around one of my classes and thought that everyone there was stupid and I was better than them.

God has been telling me to seek Him. All I have been doing, and quite frankly, want to do, is seek out my own gain.

Recently my chaplain said:

We have to surrender the surrender.

That hurts. I feel like the one thing I still have control of is what I give and what I don’t give to God. All the while God is holding out his plate asking for more of the pie I cooked. I’m running low and I’m not happy. I want to keep hold of something, or at least I want something in return. So often I feel like I seek God and I seek God and I seek God and I seek God and I seek God and I… the process of seeking goes on forever.

“God, I’ve been in the prayer tower every day! I’ve been seeking you! I’ve been quoting scripture and living in your throne room! Where is my reward for my faithfulness? Why haven’t I seen your faithfulness?” And all I hear in return is, “Seek me, it’s coming.”

What the heck does that mean! I’ve been seeking God. I’ve been on my knees. I’ve been raising my hands and dancing as an act of worship. What more can I do.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

~ Proverbs 3:5-8

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

~ Matthew 6:33

Delight theyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass.

~ Psalm 37:4-5

They kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

~ Matthew 6:10

I listened to a message by Steven Furtick tonight and he said, “Trust and time are inseparable because trust takes time.”

Seek God. Trust God. Do it again. Seek God. Trust God. Repeat. It’s a lifestyle that doesn’t end. Trust in the Lord and He will direct your paths. Seek His kingdom and all things will be added unto you. Delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of you heart. Seek His will not your own.

Do you know how hard that is? That means catching yourself in every decision and trusting that God is leading you and guiding you. That is knowing that you can’t but God can. You can do all things through God who gives you strength, and all things are possible with God.

So often I ask myself, “Elizabeth, are you in God and are you with God?”

All I have to do to answer that question is look at the outcome of my situations.

I am such a prideful human being. But I have to understand that I can’t live off of the confidence I have in myself. My confidence needs to reside in the goodness of the Lord.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

~ Psalm 27:13NIV

Where is your confidence?

I know, I’m probably speaking to the choir, but this is everything I’ve needed to hear, and I’m still hearing. Now it’s just a matter of listening, getting it through my thick skull, and acting on it. As hard as everything is, and as tired as I am getting, both mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, all I know to do right now is to keep seeking God and trusting Him. There is nothing better I can do. I have seen His faithfulness before, and I will see it again. I know my God. He is my Daddy.

Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Of if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

~ Matthew 7:7-11

When you don’t know what to do, do what you know. I heard an old youth pastor of mine say that before. Right now, I know how to wake up, go to class, eat food, and enter into the prayer tower. It is a monotonous routine, but I know my God is not boring, and I will see Him in the land of the living. There are no shortcuts. He is not going to take me around the Red sea through the land of the Philistines. Rather, He will split the sea, so I can walk right throught it. My God is faithful, and I will see Him on Penuel in the land of the living.

Therefore, I will remain confident, not in myself, not in my ability, but in fact that when I am weak He is strong.

My Life ft. My Stupidity

I came to college expecting so much, and I am still expecting so much. I am expecting God to move powerfully. This first week, however, was like fighting Goliath. On Thursday, last week, classes began, and my thought was, “What could possibly happen in the first week?” Let me tell you, apparently everything can happen in the first week. It was like a silver platter full rotten food was handed to me, and I had a choice to eat the rotten meat and bug infested fruit or I could staple a return to sender, and go eat at SAGA (the cafeteria here on campus, which probably isn’t much better.) I’ll be honest, I took a bite from a few of the apples given to me.

Just within the first week I have found myself resisting God. Pray? No. Read the Bible? No. Worship? No. I want to sit here in anger, and do things my way. I don’t want to reach expectations. I don’t like being told what to do. “God, why don’t you just sit on the sidelines? I’ll take care of this. I can do it so much better.” Okay, stop laughing at me. I know what I did wrong, but my story isn’t over. So, when everything goes kaput after I take control, I throw my hands up and say, “What the heck, God!” All I get is the same response. “Yeah, what the heck Elizabeth?” Alright, fair point. Everyday I try to bring my own plans for my future to fruition, I fail. Let’s be real. I woke up on Monday and said, “Yes, today is going to be a good day.” And like a friend of mine said, it was like a narrator was right behind me saying, “Today was not going to be a good day,” in that deep, slow, ominous, somewhat comedic voice. (That was a rotten apple with several worms.)

Why am I so afraid of admitting that I can’t do something and allowing God to have the first and final say about things? Why am I so afraid of surrenduring and relinquishing control when I know how good and great God is? Well, I think this comes down to the fact that I’m afraid of admitting my feelings to myself, anyone, and God. Being honest is a hard thing for me to do when it comes to confessing how I really feel.

“Okay, Elizabeth. Wow. Take a deep breath.” 

Yeah. It’s a lot. Despite all of that though, I do trust in God’s goodness. I know that despite everything I am feeling, I will see the goodness of the Lord.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

And despite all of the things that have happened in the first week, there were a lot of good moments too. Thursday night was campus worship, I did something Friday night (not that I remember), and Saturday night was Partiestival which was a blast. Sunday I went to the Aquarium. It was my first time there. I really enjoyed it! I took pictures of all the fish and put it on SnapChat. Monday is not worth recounting. Most of the week is not worth recounting. Thursday night was interesting. Roommate and I were up until 3 in the morning praying and witnessing to each other. Friday night I saw the movie “Dirty Dancing” for the first time. I fell in love with it! I love watching dance movies or musicals. Saturday I spent all day with a friend of mine whom we will call Charlie (Female). Sunday I didn’t do much accept study for ages and get all my homework done. And now here we are: the beginning of week two of classes. I am trusting this week to be a hundred times better. There has been a lot of self discovery in the past week. I’m still thinking about a lot of it, and trying to journal about it.

“Wow. You’re busy. When do you have time for anything?”

Good question. I’m not sure. Because of how stressful the first week was, I’ve already gone crying to my chaplain. (Let’s be real, I didn’t cry.) Chaplain told me that I need to find time to rest and relax. This week I plan on finding time to read and to perhaps watch an episode of T.V. on occasion. Because I am so busy and can barely find time to relax, I am scheduling posts to be posted without me having to write everyday. I can just do it all of my writing at once. Some of the the things coming up are “Quick Tips” about writing by the one and only Professor Gogan. “Quick Tips” will be posted every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I am on the search for quotes that I think say a lot, and those will go up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I thought all of you would like those. I will have a few short stories coming soon, and I will continue to do updates on my life, but that might only be once a week now. 

I think that’s about it. This semester I have 18 credit hours. I’m in two language classes (Chinese 301 and Spanish 101), assisting in one (Chinese 101), and showing up for another just because I can (Chinese 201). I love all of my classes this semester. I’m happy I am given the opportunity to get into the swing of things before I start my work study. (I think I’ll have about ten hours of work mixed in between my classes.)

Okay. That’s all. I’ve given you an semi-clear update of the past week. 

我爱你!加油!再见!Fighting! Good luck! I love you guys! 

Current Reads and Random Stuff

My tent is collapsing and I’m not moving. It’s windy, I’m cold, but I will not sit in the sun. If I never post again, it’s because I died from a collapsed canopy. (What a way to go.)

*** Update: we took the tent down. I’m in the sun.

As the title promises, Current Reads. (Yes, readsssssss. Plural.)

  1. Whispers of the Fallen by J. D. Netto. (My phone corrected Netto to Metro. How embarrassing would that be if didn’t catch that?)
  2. Dust to Flesh: The Beginning of the End by R. L. Stoll.
  3. Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster.

A fourth book may be added soon. I’ll let you know if/when it happens.

Today I brought my laptop to the firework stand. I might just get some writing done today. I will have all of tomorrow off of work. That will be nice. I’ll see if I can go to the gym. Do some meditating. Journaling and Bible study.

Yesterday, momma took me shopping. I finally have some short sleeved shirts. I’m tellin’ ya, my wardrobe consist of 30% sweaters, 30% dresses, 30% workout clothes, and 10% socially acceptable summer shirts.

Why am I like this???

Last Christmas break, Michigan Best Friend and I went to Goodwill so I could get some summer clothes. (My first mistake was shopping for summer during winter.) I left with five sweaters. … It’s okay. Let that sink in. Laugh at me. Everyone else did. I’m addicted to them, I swear. *I eyeroll at myself.*

Wow. I’ve made this blog to be like my journal without all the emotional stuff. *shrugs shoulder*

Okay. Whatever. That’s enough of my blabbering.

再见!

Fighting! 加油!Good luck!

Pity Parties, Quality Time, and Explosives.

Just like the title, this weekend was a roller coaster. Nothing was altogether easy, but in away, I believe everything that happened was necessary. It all go me thinking about a lot of things I needed to encounter, and it provoked a much needed conversation between me and Little Sister.

For starters, yesterday I went to the Michigan International Speedway NASCAR Race. I went with Aunt, Uncle, and Mother. We left at five in the morning and arrived at MIS around 7:15a.m. The day started well. We set up the tailgate and headed to Gypsy Row. The only thing missing was Father and Little Sister. (He was at work and she was at church.) We bought several things, providing me with four shirts and a plastic back pack. (The back pack was cool and I bought it, while everything else Mom and Aunt Joan got me. Also what from what a bird said, it sounds like everyone was cammanded to get me what I wanted. So being spoiled a bit and getting some quality time with family was wonderful.) Due to rain, we left Gypsy Row and headed back to the truck. We sat around for a while, then headed in to walk around a bit more (not at Gypsy Row, but I don’t know what it was called.) We tried some free McDonald’s mango smoothie, then played a game which entailed tossing giant, foam Chicken Nuggets into an equally giant, cardboard Chicken Nugget box. (Up close, the nuggets looked like delicious cakes, but they felt really weird!) The only person who won was Mother. She got a McDonald’s t-shirt. We did a few other things but nothing too exciting. There was on guys on stilts who was funny. I should have gotten a picture with him, but talking to strangers scares me. (Having to socialize? Ewe.) We all went to the tailgate and cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, relaxed a bit, and then headed up into the stands to watch the race. Nothing too exciting happened. There were some spin outs and a couple blown tires, but nothing to oggle over. After the race we went and ate dinner, packed up the tailgate and went home. I was probably up until one in the morning.

Then my next day started at 7:30a.m.

I struggled to get up, but whatever. Got dressed. Fixed my hair in the bathroom. Michigan Best Friend arrived. Cool. I was awkward. Ugh. When am I not. The morning went by casually and slowly. Big Brother arrived to clean out a stinky, moldy, cooler. We talked and he helped me put some things into perspective. (Which will be discussed further down.) He left. Michigan Best Friend and I started watching Got7, BTS, and Seventeen video memes. (Dude, the addiction, the struggle is so real.) We laughed. Yay! Then mother arrived and we got busy getting ready to go set up the firework stand. (Yes, this is my third year working at Yellow Box Fireworks. Do I love it? Eh. I enjoy it to some extent, but I would much rather be at home writing or studying Mandarin. (Not that I do that now in my free time.) But I am with family, so that’s a bonus, and it’s a rather easy way to bring in a little extra spending money.) While Mother and I were getting things together before we left, she said some things I disagreed with (not to be discussed later, because it really doesn’t matter. If I say anything it makes her feelings invalid, and in no way do I ever wish to do that to someone.) and that, I admit, I allowed to begin the bad mood I would continue to sit in for the rest of the day. (No, that’s wrong. What started everything, was the fact that I woke up with a mysterious rash on my arm and neck. Before we left, Mother had me take a Benadryl.)

*Fast forward*

We’re at the firework stand. Things are going well. I have a question about some of the fireworks I was taping wicks down on. I turn to Big Brother who is talking to Mother and call his name. Nothing. I call his name again. Nothing. I wait for there to be a pause in the conversation. I call his name, just as I say it he begins talking again. “Story of my entire life,” I say. Best Friend comments, saying, “Well, he is talking to your mom.” This is true, so maybe I was interrupting; however, people do it to me all the time. I take a deep breath, I try not to get defensive, (even though I already did.) and wait. He stops talking to mother and walks right past me. He never even heard me say his name. Whatever. Now I’m mad, but I’ll move on. I won’t finish this row, I’ll move to the next shelf. The cakes (a type of firework) on this shelf were packed so much tighter then everything else that it made me even more mad. I set the tape down, removed everything, and looked for the tape. It had put it right there and now it’s gone! Frustrated, thinking I won’t do anything since I obviously can’t, I put everything back, and ta-da! there’s the tape. It was behind all the product I just put back. Now I’m pissed. I’m tired, I have a rash, I’m on Benadryl, the light is too bright, I have a headache, the world is spinning around me, and I’m ready to either collapse or go sit down. I remove myself from the yellow box (Yellow Box Fireworks is really just a giant, yellow container.) and go sit in the car. My thought process was the worst thing ever.

Me to myself: Wow. You were ignored. You never have anything important to say. No one really cares. Ugh. Look at Best Friend working so hard. Why are you so lazy? You never do anything you’re supposed to. You’re eating a freagging bag of Cheetos and Gluten Free Oreos. You need help. You should pray. Gosh, don’t blame it on demons, Elizabeth. Sometimes bad things happen, and sometimes it’s just sin. Pull yourself together. Look, if your family weren’t so negative this wouldn’t be an issue. Like you’re one to talk! Look at all this negativity you’re spewing out right now! Like this will actually help anything.

I’ll stop it right there. You get the gist. I had about ten minutes of just that. My brain was searching for anything and everything to be negative about. It was horrible. I was in a pissy mood from then on. Eventually it faded after about two hours. *I am having such a hard time keeping my eyes open right now. Holy Cow.* TWO HOURS OF THAT STINKY CRAP FILLING MY BRAIN. Gross. G. R. O. S. S. From then on, it was a battle of me trying to stay happy and light.

Did I succeed? Only for so long.

I have never seen such a striking contrast between trusting in God and letting him handle things, and trusting in my own ability to handle things. Let me tell you something: I fail every single time.

Okay, let’s continue on here.

Got home (on a flat tire). Yay. Found Little Sister, and sat and talked with her for a good while about the family and many many things. I think, the most important being how our words change our world. I believe that very literally. For years I said I was going to travel the world, and now next year I am going to China. I also think that how we say what we say changes our world too.

If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.

~ Every mom on the planet ever

This hit me so hard today. This not only goes toward what I say about other people but what I say about myself. If it isn’t nice, encouraging, uplifting, or complementing, I shouldn’t be saying it. After all “life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). I want to be giving life to the world around me. Certainly I want to be giving life to myself.

A lot of times I talk about or think about how negative other people are, when I’m right there in the same boat with them. The short stream of consciousness that I gave you is just a snippet of what I say to myself daily. Unfortunately, I’m saying things like that about other people too. What a hypocrite.

This also then goes back to the conversation I had with Big Brother. He had told me how busy he was. I said, “Man, I wish I was that busy. All I do is sit around watching T.V. and writing. Ya know, gotta get those blog posts up. But, ya know, writing for a blog or anything isn’t a job, so I don’t get a lot of the respect that you do.”

Big Brother said, “I wish I had your life. I never have time for anything anymore. I work at the coffee shop, I’m the bookkeeper for the cleaning service, and now with the firework stand starting off, and then at night I’m recording with Best Friend.”

It was simple, but it helped me see that I wasn’t completely lazy and that my life is a life too. I guess “the grass is always greener on the other side” is right.

I need to learn to trust God, move forward, and enjoy the moments I’m in. Like right now. I’m here writing this blog post, and my  Michigan Best Friend is on the couch two seats down from me scrolling through Facebook and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is such a small moment, but I’m at peace and this is something to cherish.

Anyway, it’s a lot to think about, and a lot for me to journal…. tomorrow. I’m going to bed. Goodnight.

Fighting! 加油!Good luck!