Month 1 Bujo

Bullet journaling is a good thing. I get an idea of what my mood is – less negative that it feels. I get an idea of what my expenses are like – I need to save more, and spend less. I have an effective way to manage my work and social calendars. I write down what song gets to be my day’s soundtrack, with the earworm that won’t leave. I make a note of the books I’ve already read. I make notes of the best parts of my D&D session. I get to practice being fancyyyyy.

I get an idea of what my priorities are.  And here’s the crux of it.

The  fact that I even made a habit tracker, listing what habits I do want to start, that means that they are priority for me. Which is step one. Step two comes with the evaluation of those habits. We’re still a couple days from the end of the month, but so far, I think something needs to change.

No spending is easy enough to do, once I know what I want and know how to circumvent it. Eg, with my coffeehouse reloadable gift card, and a lower amount loaded onto it, I don’t spend $210.00 on donuts anymore. Of course, that’s if the cashiers know how to use it, which they sometimes don’t. It’s a 50/50 success rate with that one.

Reading and writing are easy enough goals. I’m still on my planning phase, and I get a month between D&D sessions. So that obligation keeps me at the keyboard. Reading is also easy, with interesting books that have been on my list forever, and with new ones being added all the time.

The one thing that really falls to the wayside is bible study. It’s not that difficult once you start, and get into the groove of things. It’s just starting that seems to be the problem for me. Also the timing. I get that daily is a goal to hit with it, and it’s a good one. Ideal. But I think, right now, that may be a bit ambitious. Next month I think I’ll scale it down to a couple times a week.

My next problem to solve is the method.  .^.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An extended rant for the first quarter of 2018

Forgive me, I’ve been on a Dungeon Mastering high and there was Critical Role going on (finally finished the Vox Machina campaign and then there’s the new one-) and then there’s work, and planning my own world for my players, where they can develop and everything away from the world that I underdeveloped for my brother and I,  and maybe planning to foster newbie DMs, where I’m the foster Mommy, despite only being somewhat competent at the role for about …. yesterday, if I’m honest.

What I’m saying is Dungeons and Dragons has taken over my life!!! Not to say that it isn’t fulfilling, but to be completely honest, I need a bit of a palate cleanser.

There really isn’t anything more satisfying than planning a session – one shot or otherwise – and seeing your players fully immerse themselves in that world. Conversely there’s nothing more stressful than planning for it and then seeing it fall apart.

(Yesterday’s oneshot about the upcoming Alias con took a turn for the better/worse but it was my high elven sorcerer who finally took down the Archfey that fed off fans’ energy since Alias Entertainment started, and – well, real life bled into the session)

Okay, I think  I ranted enough about DnD.

I do have a couple things on my mind, and I’m not entirely sure what I wanna make this post about? That there’s so much going on in my life outside of DnD is something that I regularly try to avoid, since there’s so much real world, life-affecting decisions to be made.

First of all.

Church.

I’ve been neglecting it so much, and it really just happened so long ago that even bringing it up now just seems like I’m making an excuse. Which I sort of am. Still. I mean. I mean, really, just getting disillusioned with one of the key locations in life, where you’re supposed to get a sense of peace and guidance, it really does take you so far from where you need to be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, even in terms of real life goals.

So sad to say, it’s probably been close to 2 years since I’ve been present, physically and/or mentally in a church service. (As I said before, DnD is taking over my life.)

But recently, I’ve been going to another church. Not gonna lie I had my reservations about going there since there pretty much was a mass exodus from my home church to this new one. But all things considered, I fully believe that considering that I’m feeling rather in a stage of transition in my life, I’m considering making that new church my home church.

That being said, I don’t want to condemn my old church. Like other things it’s going through its own transition, and it’s a really painful process. If it should grow from it, it will. But I really think it’s no longer for me.

I feel like there is much I need to return to, to move forward. I need to go back to prayer and fast. Been feeling it for a good while. Been feeling the 21 day fast, Miles Munroe style. (Okay I tried it with all good intentions, but I think –know– that I went into it dry. That went as well as you’d expect. Still, there was breakthrough, considering what I was fasting for. The 2 days I managed to do it before I got completely hangry and aggressive did what I wanted – just faster)

I really feel like I need to recover, first of all, then take it more seriously. Wean off the food a bit, get less junky. And take in the scriptures on prayer and fast and meditate on it. Then start back the fast. Maybe with something less intense than a full 21 days sans food.

Still. I mean. There is something to be said about prayer and fast. I’ve never gotten a true breakthrough before this. And I think it’s because I’d never believed in it as much as I should have. Don’t get me wrong. I fully believe that prayer and fast works. I’ve witnessed and heard testimonies about it from other people’s experiences. But I’d never really felt convicted to do it for a real purpose. With this last one, I did and geez did it work. Even for 2 days worth it really worked.

Another pressing thing that’s on my mind, my friend brought up something pretty interesting yesterday about me that I never saw. That def is a rant for another post, but tl;dr, the way that I grew up – transitioned from  the last developmental point she saw me at – to where I am now, it is significantly different from the other people in my friend groups, intimate and extended, if I think about it. I’m honestly not too sure how myself, since I grew up around me, and as far as I can see, I really haven’t grown up as much as I should by now. It’s def something to look at, a bit of introspection.

To be honest, if I’m doing that rant (which I probably will), it’ll feel like homework, since she brought it up with a purpose. Still…. has to be something there. She’s like the third person to tell me that.

Maybe I did grow up. The question is how.

 

Christianity and Tabletops

I usually start these articles with “Christianity vs -” but I think the break from the norm makes it more appropriate.

I’m ridiculously into Critical Role, about two years too late. I’m only on ep 57? I think? and they’re already on their way to another …. arc? show? come January. I love the characters, They’re relatable on most levels, and I love the drama-rama in everything. Matt Mercer is an excellent DM, a wonderful storyteller. And, honestly, I’m trying to follow his example for my own sessions between me and my players.

Beside the point here. But really it’s awesome, and if you haven’t already, check it out.

Okay, but now, I’m honestly getting to why I’m doing this up.

A bit of spoilers ahead, so you have been warned.

 

Like significant to the plot spoilers

 

Not inside joke spoilers, which I think are miffy, but okay.

 

Seriously, real spoilers.

 

Which gets me thinking, since it’s really important to this article.But seriously….

 

I shall forge on, because as I said, it’s important to the article.

 

But it is plot heavy stuff. Just saying.

 

  

The interaction between Pike and her patroness goddess Sarenrae and Vax’ildan and his patroness goddess (waaaaay down the line) the Raven Queen is so…. familiar. I’m in Pike’s shoes spiritually speaking. My family was converted to Christianity before my father was born, and so it’s easy for me to take for granted everything that I’ve experienced spiritually – the blessings both known and unknown, life, power, authority, comfort, ahhh, what else? Basically, everything that has allowed me to be who and what I am, even up to the doubts and just – pissy – moods that sometimes go against it. And Pike does that sometimes. Her ancestors experienced the pardon and transformation and blessings and warmth of Sarenrae, as has Pike. Yet, sometimes, it feels like she’s taking her patron for granted, as a means of power to draw from as needed. Like a bank.  And I know I do that as well. And it’s not the best way to go about it. But we’re both born into our religions; it’s an easy trap, really. I mean she knows Sarenrae will be there. I know God will definitely be there. Not necessarily in a way I want or expect, but I know I can count on Him.

And then there’s Vax and his interaction with the Raven Queen. She drew him to her, even allowing him to bring his sister back from Death, once he pledged himself to her. And he did. After much fighting against her. After much doubt. After finally realizing that there isn’t anything to fear with her. He still fears. But, I think he understands there will be comfort in her for him. So far, she has come through for him, saving him as necessary and coming when he calls. And even in this last episode I watched his prayer as a (multiclassed level 1) paladin was as simple as it hurts, please help (adlibbing, but yeah).

That prayer alone. It wasn’t big or extravagant. It didn’t start with Oh great Raven Queen goddess of Death we celebrate you – no. It was a sincere plea. And he was able to heal himself through her until the problem could be properly sorted. He received comfort and peace when needed. And wow. Prayer is important to me, so imagine me seeing elements that I…. am familiar with, or have been taught coming into play in someone else’s gameplay.

(Wow, Liam, your little bit of roleplay months ago is actually having real word significance on a  fan. There is no way I can not appreciate you. Or your character. Seriously, I’d already loved Vax and his love for Vex and now…. thank you? I guess? for this little spiritual reminder. Or conviction I think may be the word)

There is a lot to say in  the things that we come across. It’s easy to see why blogs like Between the Tangles exists. Even in fandoms, we see things that hail back to our Christianity. Granted, if I looked more into the bible, the way I look into…. just about any fandom I’m in, i’d be a proper theologian.(maybe. not really)

It’s easy for me to hear a preacher say “try to be a Mary, not a Martha” but even though I know a bit about them, I mean, I’ll get there with them, but for now, I think I’ll look to Pike and Vax. I  want to be like Vax. I want to fully give myself to God. Not necessarily without doubt or fear. But with full acceptance. And I thought I did, I really did think so. But there is still a little Pike in me. I still call when I need help. Primarily. Almost always only when I need help or need something. I can’t blame it on being born into it so I can take God for granted, while someone who experienced God firsthand while they were out in the world, just doing whatever  they did before could do magnificent things for God as new (Gen 1) Christians.

Maybe next time I’m a PC in D&D, I’ll be a cleric.

But that’ll open up a whole nother can o’ worms.

 

Christianity vs Life – Identity crisis

What’s so amazing, so bloody amazing is that for the first time in a year, I actually don’t feel like bible study has become a chore for me. It has, for the first time in a year, become something that I’m excited to get into more and more, and I’m a little upset that I have to work in a couple hours, so I can’t get into it more right now.

That being said, the little bit that I did do just…. mind blowing, how the things I had to force myself to read earlier, (took me 9 months to read 9 days worth of scripture. I’m still not done there) now come into play, with examples.

Lemme – beginning.

Anyone who knows me, knows that for years in secondary school,  I was a fan of Vic Mignogna. I still am, but  I’m not as vocal about it anymore. He’s an amazing voice actor, and a fun guy, and I still really appreciate him. What I do admire about him and will always do, is that he is a Christian, and strongly, never hiding his love of Christ. It’s why I’m a Ranger ^~^a

I was watching his video at Colossalcon this year (2017 for the archives). and he was talking about how God loves us, and how He would give us a chance to accept Him. Our identity as His creation, and reaffirming this, in spite of our bouts of low self confidence. About how we find satisfaction and contentment in  God.

After that I was listening to one of Joyce Meyer’s sermons about how our thoughts affect our walk with God. To me, these two videos were unrelated. Honestly, I just clicked them both thinking 1) I haven’t listened to Vic in a while, and 2) if I’m probably gonna keep missing church because work and any excuse, I may as well listen to a sermon, so Joyce.

And yet, as unrelated as these two people are, they both talked about the same topic at different events  to vastly different groups.

After the videos I looked into the scriptures that Joyce used to back up her topic, and you see more into the persona of God, about His characteristics,  about His actions for the sake of Humanity. You see the relationship Man has with God, where David speaks directly to Him in the Psalms. You see in Jeremiah 29:11 where God speaks directly to humanity where His plans for us can only benefit us. You see where humbling yourself (1 Peter 5:6) isn’t necessarily about subjugation to Him,  about submission before a fearsome god, but about trust in Him and belief in His Words. I haven’t gotten too far in the list yet. I did intend to sleep, but I started thinking about this and well….  ┐(‘~` )┌
I’m thinking about how in Jeremiah 29:11, God speaks directly to mankind. I have… for you.  I started thinking how belief in God’s Word and His promises and that implicit trust could only benefit us. 1 Peter 5:6 – humble yourself before God’s mighty hand and in time He may life you up.  Jesus humbled Himself. before God. Jesus did,  humbling Himself and trusting in the promises of God for mankind. Noah did  the same in Genesis , and believed the Word of God and he got life (survived the flood) prosperity and benefited. He wasn’t perfect, neither was David, but both were blessed following the Word of God. I started thinking about – David had that relationship with God. He knew God’s actions were for Man’s benefit. He knew that God’s thought  were for us and about us. He praised God for this remarkable reason. It’s mindboggling  that He’d think about us. About a single person. About me.

So both videos talked about knowing our identity as God’s loved ones, about our identity in Christ. If we were not sure about who we are as Christians, as believers, as followers in Christ, we’re probably either doing something wrong, or we just don’t understand. We really do need to get into the Word to see the scripture to understand the message and , even, I dunno, pick out examples that proved it.

I think what excited me was the fact that — for the longest time, for more than a year, I’ve steadily felt less encouraged in church, and more empty.  Which was aggravated more by the fact that shift work makes it hard for me to go, even though I’d try to push to go when I can. Steadily growing dysfunction at home isn’t helping either.

I’m not gonna lie, I started to question who I was anymore outside of the church. I think I blogged about it before. I felt that outside of church, outside of ministry, any time away from a strong foundation left me feeling so out of it. I did, I did say  I felt like I started to regress, and head back into things I’d previously left behind. Lately, I’d also picked up new things (D&D!) which, while really fun to plan, and play, and just do, it started to take up most of my time. I started being a little afraid of it. Not much, not intellectually, but spiritually, I knew I was using it to fill in for what I was missing.

So to get this little bit was so much to me. I’m so grateful, and honestly, I’ll take what little I can. Because even a little can be a lot. Crumbs from the table can be satisfying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Potter and the new Generation

That title alone got your interest, didn’t it? Well, if it dinnae, then do I have the clickbait for you! Well, a third, if that sentence didn’t do it. As a Christian, I’m gonna let my kids read Harry Potter. I’ll probably have to get an entirely new edition though. Mine are falling apart.

It’s a part of an ongoing list of movies, tv shows and books that I’m compiling, from  my life, from 7-27, that inspired me, that I loved, and that had subtle impacts, and, in the case of Harry Potter,  Major impact on me.

Of course, I’ll be bring it back to God, to the bible and the Church. But I wanna let them see the world as depicted in these forms of media, and just how the world seems to work and evolve. I want my kids to do some critical thinking, to understand why and how God applies, and just who God even is to them. And how we should treat each other and ourselves. I want them to develop strong identities and be comfortable in who they are and who they are in Christ.

It seems odd, I guess, to want to show God to children with some decidedly unchristian pieces of work (I’m also Including San Manuel Bueno, Martir  and Laberinto   by Borges… or any existentialist piece, because I’m that insane),  but I really think these pieces helped me seek out God some more. I know how crazy it sounds, but I also know that without a search for something more, without wanting to see further than what I saw, without wanting to understand something greater, I couldn’t have decided to be where I am, and to get where I’m going.

So yeah, I know that the witchcraft in Harry Potter and the darker themes in it would put off most Christian parents, and I understand why. Witchcraft is a very real thing. It’s dangerous, and it can open you up to so much that you may not understand. And I will explain that, including my own desire as child and teen to want to explore that myself. But you can’t deny that the relationships developed and explored in the series can only be beneficial to a developing child. They’ll see examples of good and bad relationships, parents who do what is hard because of what was right. How harmful ideas are perpetuated, and how they are erased. How people treat others. They’ll develop their own ideals and ideas, based on what they’ve explored and seen and experienced. And I want them exposed to these and others. I want them to see these through their own eyes, as taught by a mother who experienced life in and out of the church as well.

Before I chicken out

This is a topic that I’ve had in mind ever since I started this blog  years ago. But this is something that I really do need to address. This will affect the way I’m viewed, by myself, by my family and friends, by my followers and readers.

I’m afraid that this may cause me to lose some, but I honestly hope that isn’t the case, mainly because I could really use you all for support and accounting.

Bad habits are fun to create, hell to break. And I feel like that is meant literally.

Sex.

Basically.

That’s my habit. A major one.

Lemme explain.

I haven’t actually had sex yet. But sex and sexual actions are a vice for me. I keep saying that I need to break out of it. For reasons personal, spiritual, and emotional.

 

It started years ago, maybe more than 10 years ago, and it’s built up steadily over the years. It was a way to explore and get to know myself. Then a way to gain control over myself. A way to calm me down, to get sleep after studying, to give a sense of stability that I felt I needed.

Then pornography, getting more and more wild, getting deeper and deeper into learning and understanding  different fetishes and the like.

One good thing, I know what I would consider allowing to happen to me, and where I would draw the line. Almost a bittersweet consolation.

Still, as a Christian woman, this isn’t something I want hanging over me. I want a husband, I want a family, and I don’t want them to be subjected to the things I was, growing up – pornography and adultery being prominent regarding this particular subject. I really don’t want to perpetuate the cycle, and suggest that it’s okay for my sons and daughters to do.

In my head, I know that this is wrong. In my spirit, I’m constantly aware of the sinfulness behind it. Sex isn’t bad, but sexual immorality is. And these things fall under that. Emotionally, I don’t want to bear any more guilt about it. And it will get worse once I’m in a relationship if it continues. Given that last point, I’m glad I’m not in a relationship now.

Yet in my body, maybe in my heart, I really don’t want to stop it. It gave me  a sense of control over myself. It’s helped me sleep when I couldn’t. It pandered to the idea of being sexually wanted by men, even if it was a general audio, with descriptions of women vastly different to me.

It’s terrifying writing this, given that while a fair share of the female population do watch porn,  it’s not something many admit. Or even admit that it’s a problem. We’re aware of men’s sexual habits and vices that break up marriages and relationships, but we don’t talk about women’s.

And I think that’s how I want to start this spoke in the wheel. Admit that as a woman, I do this, admit that it’s a problem, admit that as a Christian that I’m seriously messed up and have seriously messed up. And start breaking it.

 

 

Pinterest worthy Prayer life

pinterest

I love my prayer journal. I love my bible study journals. Multiple, because, why not? Plus, I mean, multiple days for multiple topics, and there was so much pretty things and stationary and sense of purpose….

You see what I’m getting at?

I dunno when it happened, but it just dawned on me that so much of my journaling was – probably is to be honest – just about the action. having journals, making use of all those notebooks and  pretty journals I collected over the years, then having an excuse to buy more. It’s bible study after all. Improving prayer life. Learning  how to be a better Christian.

And yes, all those things are necessary. All those things are important in and of themselves. And having specific themes and topics studied and put down for later reference does come in handy. You are studying after all. Just like school, it’s good to have notes at your fingertips when it comes to learning, and being ready, and preparing to apply it.

Still, I have to admit Pinterest is a good source to start, but I think I’m getting a little too tied up in the presentation and potential of it all. I have my own method, and it’s working great for me. Still I’m looking for more, and how to be more creative, how to make my stuff more Pinterest worthy.

It cheapens the whole process. Almost falsifies it, I think. I dunno.

Presentation is important, true.

But life isn’t always perfect or presentable. There are ups and downs. Messes, perfect triumphs however big or small.

When I started my prayer journal, I knew it  wouldn’t be perfect. I knew there would be scratches and messy colouring, perfect handwriting, messy handwriting, lots of rewording because I never properly think through what i want to say and how I should say it. And in the beginning, remembering this, I was happy with it. I felt more…. purposeful. Now, looking at the posts and submissions on Pinterest, I’m getting a little less happy. Feeling like I could do better. Do more, make it prettier. Same with my bible study journals.

That’s a mistake on my part.

It’s a new day and a new chance to get back on track. First step is to admit my problems and mistakes. Next step is to do.

Maybe it’s time to close the tab.