Success or Fail?

This week was actually really good. I didn’t meet the goals I set…, which is horrible since I go back to college next Sunday. But I did get some writing done. I did do a little bit of reading, but not nearly as much as I should have done. After I’m done writing this, I am going to do some more editing and study some Chinese.

I found this really cool app/website called Coursera. It has a bunch of online courses available to take whenever. There are a ton of categories to choose from, and you can pay for the class or audit it. There is also some financial aid for those who can’t pay for the class.  While auditing is a great option for those who can’t pay, it does mean that there is some course work that can’t be accessed, but I still think it’s really cool. For me, someone who is super busy during the school year (and holds up a facade of business during the summer), the best part is the fact that it’s online. I can take the classes at my own pace, and learn on my time. Since I was homeschooled, I love this type of class/learning setting. It’s very comfortable to me.

It’s crazy that I’m down to my last week of summer before I go back to school, but I think I’m ready. I still feel there are some things that God is teaching me, but I know when the time comes, God will have completed the work He started in me at the beginning of the summer. One of those things, that will probably go with me into the semester, is I want to learn what it means to love God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.

I want to be able to love God to the fullest. More and more I am learning that it means not focusing on me but on God. It’s hard, but just in the few days that I’ve been quoting Deuteronomy and praying about it, I’ve learned a lot. It’s hard to pray that, then go do something and remind yourself that it’s not for you. Everything should be done all for the glory of God.

I’m loving it though. It’s amazing just how much more joy and love pours out of us for other people as we focus on God. The more of us we give up, the more of us He fills up. I would much rather be filled with God than with myself. I’m flawed and mess things up so many times, but He is perfect. In my weakness He is made strong, and that’s all I want.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  – 2 Corinthians 12:9

If I had to sum up my summer with God (even though I still have a week left) I would use the word trust. All summer God has taught me how much I need to trust in and rely on Him. I can’t do anything without Him, and He is still teaching me that. We’ll see what I have to say about all of this next Saturday. Haha.

Well, like I said, I plan on doing some editing and studying tonight.

再见!加油!Fighting! Good luck! Good bye!

 

**All in all, I think this week was a success.

 

Editing will forever be my bane.

So, it was pointed out to me that there were several huge errors in my book. I want to apologize to everyone for how inconvenient this is. I went through and edited it, so it is now back up for sale. *An entire imaginary crowd of like three people start clapping vigorously. One of them probably whistles.*

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The one and only beautiful, Dowager Queen, is once again available for sale. It went from a whopping 32 pages up to 40. (I was feeling inspired.) I really encourage you all to get it. It’s small and short, so it’s something you can carry with you everywhere and read anywhere.

If you want to buy a copy of it, you can click here.

Thank you all for your support and being patient with me. It really mean a lot to me.

我爱你!

Story Time

The Dragon Sash

I still wore the veil held in place by a jade comb, but I refused to wear the elaborate headdress. I relented to wearing everything else. The shoes I was wearing were made with a soft red fabric. Green turtles were stitched into the sides. The dress I was wearing was white with a red robe. The sash tied around my waist was also white but with red dragons stitched into it. It was the final piece to the whole ensemble. It was a gift, he had asked me to wear it.

We were out in the peach grove under all of the blossoming trees. I was in a palanquin, a light silk fabric screening my face from him. I came from just as much a royal family as he did. Surrounding me were twelve men. He was alone. We had only meant twice before and those times were only coincidences. He held out both hands. Folded over them was the sash. He said he would be honored if I wore it. How could I have refused him? It was probably the most beautiful gift I had ever been given. However, I should have known the intentions behind it, especially since it was coming from him.

It was only a few weeks after that, when I found myself sitting in my room surrounded by maids. They were all combing my hair, touching my skin, trying to decide how to paint my face. I turned to them and said, “Dress me how you want, but you must choose whether I wear the headdress or the sash. I will not wear both. I will not let others seal my fate when I am perfectly capable of deciding my future for myself.”

I was without the headdress, but the sash suddenly felt too tight. I wanted out of the Bridal Chair and into the open air. I wanted out from behind the curtains and the veil. Looking ahead I saw the palace doors open. Looking behind me, I watched them close. With the gates behind me and the crown prince somewhere in the palace in front of me, I knew the dragon sash tied around my waist had tied me to this occasion. I now had little to no part in my own future. I knew that whether I liked it or not, I was now bound to the crown prince and his future the moment I accepted the sash, something I never should have done.

Get ready ya’all.

I am so excited to announce, that I have been working hard at writing.

“What? Really? You write?”

Harhar. Yes. Yesterday. I wrote a whole chapbook (32 pages. Wooooow *hint of sarcasm*), and now am in the process of going through Lulu and self-publishing the little thing. It should be done and ready within a couple of weeks. I’m excited to show you guys the final product. I really hope you all like it. Little Sister is the only one who has read the whole thing, and Michigan Best Friend read part of it.

That’s the most exciting thing I’ve done.

Do I have anything else to talk about? Yes. Always. I’m slowly making my way through The Whispers of the Fallen. I am loving it so much. I’m actually surprised I haven’t finished it yet. I did finish milk and honey by Rupi Kaur. It was so beautiful. (I would like to let everyone know, I just spelled beautiful as butiful. *face palm*) I want to reread it again, but I won’t so soon. I should be putting a review up soon. Maybe I can get someone else to review it too. Hehe. Anyway, be on the look out for that.

**Just had a thought** Why is it, that when I start picking up the pace in writing and reading I lack in Chinese? or vice versa? What is this? Why can’t I just do everything and have a nice productive life? ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

Ooh! Yesterday, I went shopping, and came home with more clothes than I need. The thought of having to leave some home when I go back to college hurts my heart. I’m so emotionally attached to everything wear. I’m excited about these new clothes though, because I’ve been trying to adjust my style to look like more of the K-Pop trends. I think I did really well with that yesterday. I went to Walmart, Plato’s Closet, Maurices, and Barnes N Noble.

“Barnes N Noble? You can’t get clothes there.” No, you’re right. I can’t, but I did get a cute planner. I love it to pieces already. It’s cute and colorful with different shades of pink and red on it. I’m excited for the semester to start so that I can use the planner to its fullest.

Alright. That’s as much of an update (updete… that’s what I almost put.) as I think is necessary right now. Not unless you all really want to know about me going to the beach on Thursday? Friday? (I don’t remember.) and getting an iPad on Saturday, and how I’ll be going to the beach again tomorrow. (Now you know, and I probably already told you most of that stuff.)

See, my goodbyes and endings to these can’t possible get more awkward.

Fighting! Good luck! 加油!

Writing is a disease. I can’t decide if I want the cure or not.

Writing is the most painful thing right now. I love my degree. I love all the classes I take. I am always proud of my work when I complete it. I am thankful for God blessing me with this talent. However, any time I think about actually sitting down and writing, I immediately want to go and throw up. It’s a chore, not a fun hobby. Sometimes reading feels that way. All I want to do is sleep or watch T.V.

“Honey, you’re depressed.”

Maybe so, but if I watch T.V. for too long I get restless, and the only thing that cures that is either going to the gym or writing or both. I love studying character development and plot lines. I love seeing how other people write. One of the reasons I love reading is picking a part a book and learning how the author did it and how they wrote it. I learn a lot about the author by doing this. I learn a lot about how I can further develop my writing. But again, every time I sit down to write, I feel sick and just want to watch T.V.

Is there no cure? Is this something I just have to write through?

My initial reaction is to say, “I’ll just wait until God gives me the story, the time, and the passion to write.” Ha. I’ve done that before, and while being in God’s will is ideal, God wants me to work now. He wants me to do what I can in the natural while He does what He does in the supernatural. He wants to bless what I write, not write for me. Like the parent He is, He isn’t going to do my work for me. I need to do it myself and reap the rewards myself.

Me: “I dunno. If writing was what God really wanted you to do, then it wouldn’t feel like work and you would enjoy it.”

Me to myself: “This is true. It does feel like work and I don’t enjoy it that much lately.”

Me: “Quit. Go watch another K-Drama.”

Me to myself: “While that’s ideal, talking to people is work too, and God tells us to love people. I think I’ll stick to what I know and am good at: writing.”

That’s just the thing. It feels like work. It’s painful. It takes time. It’s often not respected aa a real job. However, I am good at it. I can write a five page paper about C. S. Lewis with my eyes closed at this point. (I took a C. S. Lewis and Inklings class last semester.) I once wrote and 8-10 page paper and found all 16 sources in five hours the night before it was due. I got a B on the paper. If that isn’t blessed talent, I don’t know what is.

I guess, though, my writing will stop being painful when I stop using it for my gain. When I start writing for God’s glory, for the advancement of His name, for the growth of His kingdom, then my writing will be covered in blessing and favor.

With that, I need to stop being afraid to write. There is no bigger hindrance to doing anything than fear. Fear of failure. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of commitment.

Not doing ‘it’ because you’re afraid of failing, is automatic failure.

~ Pastor Jeff Jones (not quoted exactly, but it was something like that.)

How many times do I need to tell myself that as long as I trust God, He will prove Himself faithful?

Probably many more times in the future.

Fighting! 加油!我爱你! 再见!Good luck!

 

*** Oddly, writing these blog posts isn’t painful. (Just writing the title of these blog posts is painful. I literally just wrote like ten different titles and deleted all of them just to go with this.) *eye roll*

Just. Freaking. Everything.

I AM DONE SELLING FIREWORKS.

First off, let’s celebrate that statement. While I really didn’t want to work there, God taught me a lot. He came through and proved just how faithful He really is if I only trust Him. There were so many things that happened that could not be denied as God. To add to it, last night I read Psalm 37:18-19

The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. [KJV]

This verse was comforting for me to read. With how my future is falling into place and the direction my family is going (NOT a bad direction), it’s nice to know that God will provide and be with me–with us–through everything.

There are three specific things that happened at the stand that I believe are worth documenting.

      1. I saw a car painted like a lady bug! (My nickname is BethyBug, and growing up my family always got me ladybug stuffed animals; now I’m obsessed with them.)
      2. One night, I was just there under the canopy when this truck drove by. It was late, and we were getting ready to close up, mom and I. The parking lot was nearly empty, but this truck drove by. I waved, and he waved back. THEN A CAT POPPED UP IN THE BACK WINDOW. I pointed and started screaming, and almost cried. Then he stopped the car. He got out, and brought a different cat, and she had pink nail cases on, and she was on a red leash, and her name was Cleopatra, and she was blind. AND I GOT TO HOLD HER FOR LIKE FIFTEEN MINUTES. I was so close to crying. It was beautiful. And I freaking love cats. And if you ever get me one, I will love you, and we will be best friends forever.
      3. This is the best thing out of everything that happened. I was checking this guy out and I asked, “How’s it going?” He said, “I’m fine.” Now, I thought about saying, Just fine? but I was like, nah, I don’t know him, no need to butt into his personal. So instead I asked, “How’s your fourth of July going?” (Because this was on the fourth.) He said, “It’s just like any other day.” He was so monotone, and I was like dang, I need to pray for him. As I was bagging his stuff I said, “I don’t mean to pry into your personal life, but is there anything I can pray for you about?” There was silence for maybe twenty seconds, then he said, “No, but you can pray for me right now.” So he grabbed my hand, and I prayed for him. The presence of the Holy Spirit fell in that moment, that he was shaking, I was shaking, and I was about to cry, and it seemed like he was about to cry. As I was praying I said, “Father let there be a reminder that all things work together for the good of those that love you, let there be a reminder that those who delight themselves in you, you give them the desires of their heart, and let there be a reminder that you have a good future planned for us.” I said all of that, and my thought was, Oh my gosh. Where am I going with this? He probably isn’t even a Christian. Good job. Finally I ended, “Amen.” THEN HE PRAYED FOR ME. I was like, Whoa. This is really happening. Then it got better. He started praying in tongues. It was such a beautiful moment. Then he said, “Amen,” gathered his things, and went to his car.

     

So those are the amazing things that happened.

I’ve been talking to mom about so many things too. It’s been really nice just mom and I hanging out. Kind of strengthening our relationship in a way before I leave for college again. One of the things I keep thinking about along the lines of going back to college is how unprepared and how not ready I am. However, I know God isn’t done working with me this summer. There are so many things he has planned. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface.

The great things about what I told you about above, is that I had specific goals set everyday, and everyday I saw a rainbow reminding me of God’s promises. At one point, I specifically prayed that working at the firework stand wouldn’t be dull, and wouldn’t be just a job, but that it would be a ministry. He was faithful, and all he asked me to do was trust him.

As far as anything else goes, here’s the update. The rest of this week and next week, I am going to finish my last freelance project. I’ll only freelance again if I feel I need a little extra income or if I want to. After that I’ll be working on my personal project.

With Chinese, I am going to buckle down and get to memorizing words, sentences, phrases, and start speaking it more. My future boss man recommended I take an hour every day to speak only Chinese.  I want to be fabulous when I go back to college.

Health wise, things are about to get heavy. I’m going to go to the gym in the mornings with Uncle around 5:15, then again at night with Little Sister. So with Uncle, I will focus mainly on strength training. I’ll do a little cardio, a lot of weight lifting. Then when I go with Little Sister, we’ll spend about twenty minutes to a half hour doing cardio and a little time to weight lifting. When it comes to eating, I’m going to start eating more vegetables and no gluten. (Like I’m supposed to anyway.) These past two weeks I have been eating so much junk, I’m ready to cleanse my body.

Okay. 好。再见。加油!Love you! Fighting!

Story Time

Thirty Seconds

“Choose one.”

On the table in front of me was a razor blade, a pair of scissors, a steak knife, a bottle of Hydrocodone, a bottle of Oxycontin, a syringe filled with Dilaudid (which is eight times stronger than morphine), a Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol, and a picture of my family whom I slaughtered. Behind me in white uniforms stood two men. In their hands they held long black staffs. The man standing behind my left shoulder raised his staff and hit the back of my head. I brought my head back up, flipping my hair over my shoulder. I rolled my eyes. “Only one? But they all look so fun.”

“Choose one.”

I raised my cuffed hands. “Do I get to administer my own death or am I even denied that pleasure?”

The man on the other side of the table in front of me slammed his hands down. His eyes were wide. I imagined that if they bulged out any further than they would pop right out of his head. “Any pleasure you have been denied is because you sacrificed it.”

I nodded toward the picture on the table. “Are you referring to them being a pleasure?” His right eye twitched. “Because, if so,” I leaned forward and rested my elbows on the table, “I didn’t find them pleasurable.”

“Choose. One. Now.”

“Pistol.” He reeled back and grabbed the pistol. He aimed it at me. “But, then again that would be too simple wouldn’t it be?” I smiled. He slammed the pistol on the table. “The steak knife, now that would be messy.”

“Choose one!”

I stretched my arms out and lightly ran my fingers across everything in front of me. “The medicine. That would be painless, but boring.” I brought my arms back and looked up at him. I pouted my lips and gave him the best doll face I could. “Don’t you have anything more fun than this?”

A vein in his neck began to pop out. I snorted as he got closer to my face. In a low voice he said, “Choose. One.”

“Syringe.” Before he could grab it, I snagged the needle in my cuffed hands and injected it into his neck. He quickly reached up and pulled it out. His elbow began to shake and eyes began to close.

I had thirty seconds before he collapsed. I snagged the gun. He fell onto the table. I stood up, and as I turned, I kicked the chair behind me. Both men easily avoided the chair. I shot the one who had stood behind my right shoulder. The one to the left was on me in seconds. He brought his staff down hard on my wrists forcing me to drop the gun. He quickly dropped his own staff and grabbed my wrists. He forced them above my head while he pushed me back onto the table. He placed one hand on my shoulder holding me down while He grabbed my wrists and brought them down to my abdomen. He flipped me over onto my stomach. The razor blade, the scissors, and the steak knife were right under me. I squirmed underneath the pressure of his hand on my back. He pressed harder. He pulled out a walky-talky and started calling for backup. There was a reply in seconds.

The pressure on my back lightened as he yelled orders into the walky-talky. He was giving the person on the other end a rundown of what I had just done. I squirmed a little more, maneuvering the steak knife into my hand. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the handle that I grabbed. I could feel the blade cutting into my skin, and I could feel the scissors pushing against my arm. I closed my eyes and took a deep a breath. I opened my eyes and began kicking at his legs. He momentarily lost his balance. I took that moment and was able to get my hands out from under me by moving them to the left. His hand slipped off my back and he fell on top of me. I quickly flipped the knife around in my hands so that I was holding the black handle. He braced his hands on the table and was about to push himself back up when I started repeatedly stabbing the steak knife into him. I was only going to count to five and then stop and push him off, but in my anger I lost count and continued stabbing him.

When I realized he wasn’t fighting to get up anymore, I shoved his body off of me. I took a few deep breaths before I got up myself. I dropped the knife and looked around the room. The man I had shot was lying on the floor. He had a hand pressed to his chest. Blood was bubbling out of his mouth. His lungs were filling with blood, and he was struggling to breathe. I picked up the gun and shot the man a second time. This time, I didn’t miss his cranium. I put the gun in the waistband of my pants. I moved back over to the table. I rolled over the man slumped on top and began rifling through his pockets. I pulled out a set of keys and pocketed them. Then I slid the picture off the table. I folded it in half and slid it into my pocket with the keys. I looked around the room before I left. It was time to go clear my name. I didn’t slaughter my family; they were still alive.