Monday, July 15, 2019

Life Is Beautiful// O Death Where Is Thy Sting?

It's been a hard time for me, personally. My grandpa (Stenersen) had a stroke and has been struggling physically and mentally, and I have been having a hard time coping with death. 
 When you watch loved ones through the years leave this world behind, it leaves a scar on your heart, and I secretly struggle with separation issues. 
 It's been really rough lately, and sometimes I'd look at my mom, or my dad, at any of my siblings, and fear would overwhelm me when I realized that one day, they're going to die. 
 The thought of being left alone on this Earth without them terrified me. 
 What will I do when my mom leaves me? My dad? 
How will I live without them? 
 My grandma passed away, and that left a hole no one can fill. I couldn't imagine going on without my parents. 
I went to church yesterday, it being Sunday and heard a beautiful sermon, of which I can remember very little, I am ashamed to say. 
 I just know that I felt rebuked, comforted and reminded all at the same time, and my heart was warmed by God's word. 
 But during that sermon, for reasons I cannot recall, grief for my Grandma came flooding through me, so strongly I felt the need to weep. 
 I honestly can't say what triggered it; I only know that I sat there in the church pew wishing I could see her once more. 
 I kept telling myself she had to die, she was meant to go, and not question God's ways, but something in me suddenly cried "But I had her for such a little time." 
 I realized that I was mourning more than her...I was mourning the chance to really, truly remember her. I was only nine when she passed away; some memories are so foggy. Longing would well up in me whenever my mom spoke about something her mom had said. I wanted to know her. And it wasn't fair that I never really had the chance.
 Tears welled up in my eyes, but I forced them down and tried to focus on the sermon. 
 After a while the feeling went away and I was able to go on through day without giving it a second thought. 
 Then last night I had a dream. 
I can't remember it all; it's a little hazy. But I know that my Grandma was there, smiling at me. There were gold pillars all around, and greenery, and we were sitting by a quiet little stream. She took my hand and placed something in my palm; I wish I could remember what it was. A gold chain?
 Then she touched my cheek and said something like: "I had to go. You don't need me anymore." 
 Normally everything in me would protest, and scream "No, I need you. My mom needs you!"
 But I didn't. Tears rolled down my cheeks as she held my hand, and for the first in my life I believed her words. We didn't need her anymore.
 Then I was standing on a porch that looked out into nothing but a cloudy sky, crying with my mom and telling her about my dream. 
 Suddenly the clouds started rolling back in wispy balls, the most beautiful singing I'd ever heard roared through the skies, and someone said in quiet awe, "Jesus is coming." 
 My quiet timid self seemed to vanish as unspeakable joy welled up from my heart, and I threw my hands into the air, crying, "Jesus is coming!" 
 I gazed at the sky in joyful anticipation, but there was nothing there but vast, unmeasurable sky.
 I turned around then, and saw a large group of people, all members of my large family, smiling and singing. I remember my aunt Mary was there, giggling and clapping her hands, and my Grandpa Stenersen was standing there, not singing, but smiling. 
 Then I awoke. 
What did it all mean? I kept asking myself throughout the day, pondering the puzzling dream, until I came to the conclusion. 
Grandma had to go, I know that now, although I guess I will never truly understand why. Not in this life. But it was okay.

 "I've let go the need to know why. I'll take what answers You supply. You know better than I."

 And He was giving me a small glimpse of the glory waiting for us all on the Other Side. The joy I had then was like nothing is ever had before, nor will ever have until that great day.
 And we were all together. 
Death doesn't separate us; we will all be together when we cross that Great Divide, surrounded by God's everlasting love. And that's all that matters. 

It seemed as if God was gathering me in His arms and reminding me that His love is stronger than death. 

And it's gonna be okay. 

So I guess I felt the need to share this small revelation. Death isn't something to be feared.
God's got us in His mighty hand, and He is never going to let us go. And our loved ones are going to be just fine. He's got them, too.

Rest with that tonight.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Some more Random Facts About Me

It's been so long, I have decided maybe it's time for us to get 'reacquainted'. So here are a few random facts about me! 

 1. I have social anxiety
If you're with me in public, you won't always know that I'm having anxiety. I try to fight it, and keep it hidden, but sometimes when the crowd is too large, or the atmosphere too noisy, I start to feel "closed in" or panicky. 

2. I have an unique vocabulary 
If you've ever heard me speak, you'd know what I mean. I use strange phrases and words a lot of people (especially from this side of the nation) don't normally use.
 "Shoot the duck's hind end with a silver bullet." is something I use in place of "oh man" or "Oh no."
I learned it from my mom's side of the family, although everyone had their own variation of it. "Shoot the duck's hind end with a rubber bullet" or simply "Shoot the duck's hind rear." *cough*
 If I'm really feeling it, like, let's say I stub my toe. Out springs from my lips:
"Shoot the duck's hind end with a silver bullet, then fry it in a skillet..." and it goes on from there through clenched teeth.
Other phrases:
"For Pete's sake, Orville." (other folks in my family say this one. My Great-Grandpa's name was Orville)
"Well, slap me up and knock me down and let me lie." (this one isn't as common, but I do say it)
I can't think of any more, but I'm sure my siblings or friends could come up with some.
 I also call people "sugar", "sweetie", or "honey" and the ever-common "children"; a trait I also learned my mother's side.
It can be rather embarrassing when you're out in public with your friends and you let it slip without meaning to.
Daminika: "Should I buy this?"
Me: "You do whatever your little heart desires, honey."
Girls start bickering, and I say, "Calm down, children."
Woman next to is gives me an odd look. Oops.

Also, while we're on the subject, I have a really weird, unique voice. I can't really explain it. Kinda soft, and nasally, and squeaky? Ugh. Anyways, take my word for it. It's different. 

3. I am obsessed with leather bound books

Gold-sprayed edges, heavy duty covers, and pretty designs.
Need I say anymore?

4. I love to sing
I don't do it very often in front of people, but I love to sing. Hymns, country, folk, jazz... it doesn't matter. Music helps me cope, helps me think, and honestly, helps me breathe.

5. I love to go shooting and driving four wheelers
I don't do it very often, but I think it's a lot of fun. I grew up on four wheelers, and will probably never outgrow the sudden ache to jump on one and drive away

6. I suffer from allergies and have trouble sleeping at night

7. I dream of visiting Greece

8. I hate flying
But we all knew that right?

9. I love going to the ocean on a foggy day

10. I love the mountains

11. I dream of owning at least 50 acres someday, with a cabin and a fourwheeler to drive as far and long as I please

12. little things like tea, dark chocolate,  and pretty socks make me happy

13. I love cooking and baking

14. I love stars 

15. I enjoy pinning things on Pinterest for my future home, especially my kitchen 

And that's it! 
 What are some random facts about you? Comment below! I love to hear from you! 

 Roses Are Red has a new post up! Go check it out when you have the time <3 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Random Rant//I'm Back?

I’m a Civil War geek, rock-bound Yankee, and Northern supporter from way back, and I’ll explain why:
First of all, despite what anyone may argue, the conflict was centered around the issue of slavery; should people be allowed to own another human being? Was it their right as an American?
 The South will tell you until their blue(or gray) in the face that it was about state rights, but just what right were they fighting for other than the right to choose whether or not they could have slaves?
 Many will argue that had they been allowed to decide it for themselves, eventually they would have abolished the horrific act. But how do they know that?
 If the South intended to eventually free their slaves, then why the sudden panic to secession when a known Anti-Slavery President was elected? (Huge Lincoln nerd, by the way)
 Now I believe in state rights. Each state should be allowed to have their say on certain matters, and vote on laws that they believe need to be addressed.
 But no country or state, on God’s planet, has the right to decide whether they want to keep another human in bondage; that innocent man has a right to his freedom, a right given to him by God Himself, not some state law.
 That is what the Abolitionists of the time were trying to say. It wasn’t the government’s say that made all men free and equal. It was God Almighty’s.
 And these states had no right to demand the “right” to decide.

It’s the same reason I am Pro-Life. No woman has the right to decide whether she can take the life of an unborn child. Because that child has God-given rights, endowed by it’s Creator. And no state, law, or king can say that it is legal and “up to the mother” to take away it’s right to life.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their Creator with certain, unalienable rights: that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The Declaration of Independence, 1776

This does NOT state that all men are free to do whatever they desire, but that they are given the right to life and freedom from fear; no age, sex,(men refers to all mankind) or color was mentioned. And may I also point out that the word 'born' is not used here. 
 Instead they state simply, 'Created'. 

I guess I needed to get a couple things off my chest? lol 
 Here I've been absent for quite a while, and then I come in, swinging both fists. 

I would really like to take up blogging again, but I seem to lost all my followers interest. 
 So.... you all tell me! What were your favorite posts from the past year? What kind of posts would you like see more of? 

I guess I haven't felt the need to write as often because all of my 'writer energy' has been going into my novel (I have finally decided on a name!) Strength in Measure. (taken from the hymn, Day by Day) 
Which as been come along pretty well, actually! 
I love immersing myself in the little world I've created, and seeing where the road takes them (and me!) I've actually met a few characters along the way that I never planned on. 
 It's like my novel has a mind of it's own? 

Anyways, ya'll, I'm back, but whether I'm back to stay is up to you! 
 And if you show enough interest in wanting my jabbering 'fingers' (since technically I'm not talking with my mouth) back, then we'll once again be rockin', rollin' and writin' together! 

Don't let me down! What would you like to see more of?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Spiders and Snakes

Hey ya'll! I know it's been...way too long, but hey,

Blogging just isn't a huge priority for me anymore.

First news: I'm flying to New Hampshire in a few days!
 As a gift for my 21st birthday, a few of my cousins and some of my siblings surprised me with a plane ticket to NH.
 I was completely astonished and blow away by all my wonderful people, and it's been busy, busy, trying to get work and shopping done before the day comes.
 Daminika will be flying with me (because we're practically connected at the hip) and we will be gone for three weeks.
 Three weeks off from work!
Which brings me to my little story for the day:
Daminika and I clean houses for a living, as most of you already know, and today we cleaned one of our once-a-month houses.
 In this house, there is a son, a daughter, mom and dad, and a boarder. (we think?)
The son has a pet snake and tarantula in his room (YES) and I am always so nervous to enter that danger zone, no matter how much I like living on the edge.
 We always have our share of mishaps at this house; Daminika slipped while scrubbing the bathtub and doused herself in bleach or the time I found the tarantula's shed on the dresser and had a mini heart attack.
 But today, my friends. Today's incident beats them all.
As I went upstairs and entered that dreaded man-cave, reaching to strip his bed, I glanced at the chest/trunk in the corner.
 My heart stopped beating when I saw a three-foot snake draped across the chest.
A snake, ya'll!
 For a moment I thought it was fake. (Because of the spider incident) I mean, there is no way there's an actual snake in the room with me, right?
I flew from the room in a state of fear and called softly, "Daminika? Why don't you come take a peek at his bedroom with me?"
 Obviously she knew something was up by the sound of my voice and she cautiously came around the corner, looking concerned.
 Together we stared at the huge, fat reptile and whispered to each other, "Is it real?"
Then it moved. 

Oh, boy, let me tell you. My stomach plummeted straight into my toes, my heart did a little boogie in my chest, and for a split second, I thought for sure I would swoon. 
 A few choice words came to mind, but I am lady, after all. 
 As it slithered down the chest and to the floor, we slammed the door shut and I began to squeak, "What'll we do? What'll we do?" 
There was a big old crack beneath the door, and I knew that beast would come right through it and dash after me. 
Flailing my arms, on the verge of hysterics, I scrambled to find something to shove under the door. 
 A pillow! A pillow would work!
I snatched up a pillow from the daughter's bed and crammed it into the crack, but it wasn't big enough. There was still at least a four inch empty space. 
 What now?! (Daminika was calmly watching me hyperventilate during all of this and offered no assistance.)
Running to the boarder's room, I saw a sweatshirt hanging on the desk chair and grabbed it, stuffing it into the remaining hole. 
 There now. It'll never get away. 
But we had to clean that room (it's a GUY'S room, for pete's sake) which was occupied by a wretched serpent on the warpath. 
 "How did it get out?" Daminika wanted to know. "Someone had to have let it out." 
Of course, even in my state of hysterics, I was still forgiving and kind, and willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. 
 "I'll kill him." 
Daminika thought it was all rather funny, watching me wheeze and puff out dire threats to that 'skinny little nerd.' "I'll break his scrawny ankle with my bare hands."
 As I struggled to calm my galloping heart and wheezing lungs, I pulled out my phone to text my boss. 
 In not so many words, I informed her that the snake had gotten loose, I was about to die and under no circumstances would I set foot in that bedroom. 
 She called me, and as I put the phone to me ear, I could hear the laughter in her voice.

"So the snake is out?" 
"Yes." There is a killer snake in the same house as me. I'm dead. 
"Are you sure it's out? Did you see it?"
"Yes, we saw it." The panic in my voice doesn't assure you that YES I SAW IT?
"Oh, that's funny... well, I mean, it isn't, but it is." 
You're laughing at this? And I suppose hangings are humorous, too.
"Well, it doesn't have teeth, just so you know." 
Oh, and that's supposed to make everything better?
 She laughed a little at my predicament. 
 "Can you put a towel under the door? It can get out otherwise." 
Thanks for that. I'm going to die. I'm so going to die. 

Eventually the son came from school and went upstairs to catch the culprit, amused that I would dare be afraid of a slithering, three-foot vermin. Amused!
 You see? This is what I have to live with. 

 This vacation is really starting to look good, if you know what I mean.

What would you have done? 

I'll see you all in a few weeks! maybe....

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Question//I Need Your Help

I tried to get the theme as much as I could 

I have been working on a novel for some time now, and I am happy to say it's been a slow, steady progress. I hope to be finished with it before 2020, but we will see...
 Anyways, I have been toying around with a title for quite a while, but nothing seems to really catch my attention. 
I was wondering if the blogger world could help me!
 First, I better give you a quick summary of the main plot point.

Setting: Eastern Oregon (fictional town in the mountains) 1939-1945 

Themes: God's everlasting love, dealing with grief, World War II, music, the bond of family

Characters: A young girl, newly married. A Christian mountain family

Although Katie is the main character in this story, there are many key characters that play a big role and the book basically centers around the entire Hayes family. 
 After losing their father, the family struggles to cope with the empty place at table, and the members slowly begin to pull away from each other. 
Katherine, "Katie", is newly married and also has to learn to cope with the problems and joys of marriage, while trying to find a way to bring the family back together again. 
 Without giving away too many spoilers, the family has to deal with a lot more grief later on in the book, and only the strength and love of God can keep them from completely falling apart. 
 *bounces a little in the chair, because I want to tell so much moooore*

Because of the Hayes' love for music, I was toying around with the idea of using a song title or lyric for the book's title. 

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow? 

He Leadeth Me? 

 Maybe a hymn? Or even an old folk song? Or even a Bible-verse-inspired title? What are your thoughts?

Let me know in the comments below! I'm kind of stuck right now

Friday, January 11, 2019

Unique Blogger Award

So waaaaaaaaay back in November, Shantelle tagged me for this. 
 After a few months absence, I have decided to give blogging one more try, so... Better late than never. Right?

Anywho. Rules:

Answer all the questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
Share the link of the blogger who nominated you
Nominate 8 to 13 bloggers for the same award
Ask 3 questions

1. What are you passionate about? Tell us all about it!
 I'm an American history geek. I'm not ashamed to say it. 
Typically, I am the most passionate about the wars in America's pasts, but some peaceful times catch my interest as well. (The Lewis and Clark Expedition<33333, The Oregon Trail, Jim Bridger and other mountain men, The Great Depression; if that's considered peaceful...) 
 I used to be a huge Civil War fanatic, and I still am, mind you, but the war that grabs at my heart and mind is definitely the Second World War. 
 I mean, they were called the Greatest Generation for a reason, and they deserve to be remembered. <3

2. What is one of the best books, novel or nonfiction, that you've read in your lifetime? What is it you love about it?
That's a tough one.....I've read so many books. 
Uncle Tom's Cabin is a book that never fails to dig deep into my heart and reminds me of how strong the love of Christ can be. It gives us the strength to forgive even the most wicked enemy.

I just know I'm going to think of six more after I click the 'publish' button. *shrugs*

3. What is your favorite holiday? Why
I'd have to say either Christmas or Independence Day. 
 Christmas is kind of a given. Who doesn't love the warm feeling it brings, as the household buzzes around, preparing for the holiday? The smells, sounds, and sights are something that stays in your mind for years. 
 Independence Day has always been an exciting time for me. Maybe because I'm such a patriot? I don't know. 
 There's something about the smell of gunpowder, the sound of fireworks, the speeches and songs that make your heart swell and you sincerely pray, 'God bless America'. 
I tag: 

1. What is one sound that will always remind you of being a kid? 

2. What is one of the best movies you've watched in your lifetime? 

3. What is your favorite country song? 

If any of you would like to do it, feel free! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2018 Wrap Up// HUGE Photo Dump

It's a new year!
 And because I have been absent for over three months, this post is going to be loaded with photos, so if you can make it to the bottom, well.... I'll think of something to give you. *wink*

Highlights of this past year: 

 It was a crazy time, planning the wedding, picking up the decorations, dress shopping, bridal shower, Last Night Out, rehearsal and decorating, then the big day came... saying goodbye. 
 But it was a lot of fun, too, and I'm wishing someone else would get married so we can do it all over again! 
Adventures with Kirsten Jean are always the best <3
I'm about ready to go back now, if anybody wants to give me free tickets ;P 
My dog died :(
Family Reunion
So much fuuuuuun

Epic Movies watched: 

Avengers: Infinity War

The Greatest Showman

Christopher Robin

I did so many things, my mind can't even....

I took a lot of trips, did a lot of odd jobs, ate a lot of food. lol

Photo Dump


On the road to meet Kirsten Jean and family at the beach

I love the PNW <3

morning walks with friends always involves coffee<3

headed back home

Daminika's birthday coffee date

headed to work 

Harvest Party (I take all credit for Liberty's costume)

Snuggles with cousins!


drawing practice

redoing the fireplace

And done!

Christmas bazaars

December: (I took very few pics in December)

Christmas Eve pjs

Christmas morning grapefruit (from my stocking)

Coffee date with the sisters and other gals 

And then of course, we can't leave out our 
group chats. Can you tell which are the witty ones?

When your friend says there are men outside looking for a reported bear

And of course, 'sisterly' arguments

Inside jokes and discussing the "society's" initiation 
my many 'oops' moments

Also, can we talk about how many drinks a person can consume in one year?!
I didn't even use all of the photos I took of my beverages.  

So many things can change in just one year. 
 I can't wait to see what's around the next corner 

And a great song to start out the New Year, 2019

Sorry about the delay!