Stepping Out on Faith and Sowing Seeds into Your Own Success

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14: 22-33

 

I have so much trouble with investing in myself, in particular, in the business that I am trying to build up.  It seems every time that I actually take the initiative and have the faith to go ahead and make an investment towards getting my business firmly off the ground, I turn around and face the almost immediate needs of my daughter.  Now of course children need things all the time and I always make sure she’s taken care of first.  However, it seems like just when I’m at a point where she appears to have everything she needs for the time being and I feel I can actually put money into myself (my writing career) then a sudden need arises and I start to feel guilty that I’ve just put this money into me and not into her where it clearly needed to go.  

Now Ms. L. lectured me about feeling guilty last night and reminded me that taking care of me first sometimes is the best way to take care of her all the time but it doesn’t always feel that way.  When I was in the gym this morning the guys were having a specific conversation that seemed to be perfect for the guilt (or possible lack of faith) that I was feeling.  Oddly enough, I almost did not go to the gym this morning because it was raining and I had planned on using the rain as my excuse to stay home.  But God had other plans and made sure that I went anyway.  

They were talking about the story from the bible of when Jesus walked on water and he walked out to the boat with his disciples in it and Peter told Jesus that if it was in fact him to call him over to him, and he went and Peter was walking to Jesus on water.  He was doing fine until he felt a gust of wind and a burst of fear and lost sight of Jesus and his faith in him and he began to sink into the water, drowing.  He cried out for Jesus to save him and Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”  If Peter had felt the wind and still had faith and kept his eyes on Jesus he would have been fine.  If he had just kept his faith and had not doubted, not even for a second, he would not have felt the fear of drowning.  

I feel that story not only applies to what I am dealing with, but also anyone out there who is struggling with their faith in what it is they are trying to do, what they may be called to do.  If I were to stop taking my focus off of God and his plans for me, if I were to stop letting every little gusts of wind throw me off and make me afraid, I could only imagine how far I might be in my journey by now.  I could imagine the voice of God in my head as he talks to me saying something to the effect of ‘If you would just have faith in what I have planned for you and follow through without getting afraid then you could be halfway there by now’.  If he did say that, he would one hundred percent right.  

I don’t always have a good track record of trusting in the unknown and the things that have no guarantees.  It’s not that I don’t have faith in God and his plan for me, it’s that my nature to worry about all of the what ifs has a tendency to take me off the faith driven path (just a bit).  It’s something that I struggle with and am constantly working on, not taking my eyes off of God and his plans for me, learning not to worry about all of the what ifs that pop into my head and knowing that God has never let me down yet and wouldn’t start now.  I struggle with not having the comfort of knowing what’s waiting for me on the other side.  The truth is that I have to realize that it’s not always for me to know, but for me to trust in the guidance of God and know that he would never steer me wrong.  

Oftentimes we tend to get caught up in the worrying of it all that we forget to just let go and have some faith.  Whatever is going to happen, whatever God is going to do, will be one anyway, whether it’s what we expected or not.  We can’t be so riddled with doubt in ourselves and in his plans that we never even step out of the boat.  We’ve got to have faith and know that God would not lead us on the water only to let us drown.    

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Sometimes the Mission Chooses You

“You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won’t help, but that is no excuse, you must still act.”
~Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 

It’s hard for anyone to know as a small child what they will be when they grow up.  Lots of children say they want to be a doctor or a teacher and then they change their minds when they find another thing they are more passionate about.  Some children (like me) discover a passion and it never goes away.  I’m not sure how many people aspired to be an activist when they were younger but it is amazing how the experiences in your childhood could fuel a mission that you never even knew was waiting for you. 

When I was younger I was bullied and picked on a lot and not just by the kids at school.  Mostly it was because of my weight but a lot of it was also because I didn’t necessarily fit in with the other kids at school.  I was always a creative, artsy, type and most of the kids didn’t really understand me.  I had hoped that when I had a child that the bullying would skip over her and that she would not have to endure that kind of hell.  Unfortunately kids have not changed much since I was little, in fact, they’ve only gotten worse. 

Seeing the bullying that goes on in today’s society makes what I went through (at least by the kids at school anyway) look like it was nothing.  Kids now just really like to humiliate other kids that have even the slightest appearance of a weakness or a difference.  They don’t stop at just hurtful and derogatory words, they are getting physical and their attitude is nonchalant about anyone else’s feelings but their own.  The kids in my daughters class literally make me want to forget that I am a Christian because when I see how they act I want to shake them and ask them what their problem is.  They are bullies and they are proud of it. 

I started thinking about what I could do to change things if I was in the position that I had planned on being by now.  If I were someone like Oprah or Lady GaGa, with their money, their prestige, and their power (in a sense) just imagine what I could do as far as taking a stand against the bullying that is relentless in schools today.  But when I watched Oprah’s next chapter last night, which was a special on Lady GaGa and her Born This Way Foundation (fighting against bullying), I realized that someone without all of that money, prestige, and power, can still be effective right where they live.  

I started to realize, with all of the bullying that is getting worse as the years go on, and the kids who are literally pushed so far that they sometimes take their own life, it doesn’t matter who is taking a stand as long as someone takes one.  Just as I am sure that Lady GaGa and Oprah never set out to be an activist of any kind, I am also sure that the experiences that they went through in their youth were somehow, even then, preparing them for that exact journey.  

I myself would have never thought that there would be anything good that could’ve possibly come from my childhood experiences.  However, I am starting to feel something inside me that is pulling me in the direction of using those experiences to take a stand against bullying.  I may not be able to reach people on a national level but I most certainly think that there has to be something that I can do, or get the right people to do, for the schools in my immediate area (starting with my daughter’s school).  

I’m no Oprah or Lady GaGa, but I am me and I think that if I wait until I am in the position that they are in (because I do believe I will get there someday in the near future) that it may just be too late (especially for my own daughter).  I think that I want to start looking into the ways that ordinary people like me can do something about this epidemic (because that’s what it’s becoming).  Who knew that I would ever want to be an activist of any kind?  I guess sometimes those childhood traumas you thought you would never get past can be used to help prevent someone else from going through the same kind of pain that you did. 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Building a Better Relationship with Your Writer Self

On my post the other day I wrote about my “marriage” to writing and my wanting to improve my relationship.  Well I wanted to share with all of you, some of the different ways that any writer can improve their relationship to their writing and become more harmonious and at ease with their craft.  I hope that some of these tips help you the way they are helping me. 

1)      Read, read, read!  Don’t forget that you have to still be a good reader too.  A writer can not be so caught up with trying to write their great work of art that they forget to read others great works of art as well.

2)      Keep a separate notebook that is just for the ideas that come to your mind sporadically.  You have to be ready to capture those thoughts at a moment’s notice because if you wait too long you can lose them (trust me I know).

3)      For all of those techno-savvy people out there who have completely given up the (seemingly) dying art of paper and pen, put down the ipad from time to time and remind yourself what it feels like to put pen to paper.  There is nothing like writing longhand to get your thoughts flowing so don’t lose sight of that.

4)      If you are a planner (like me) and you know that planning things out works better for you then don’t give into the advice that some writers will give you about writing without a plan.  That does not work for everyone and if you know that having a list of what projects you need to work on will help you get it done quicker, then make that list.  If you know that outlining will help you write that novel better and quicker then write that outline.  Good advice is only good if it actually works for you and not against you.

5)      Sign up for a writing course or a writing networking event or conference.  It gives you the opportunity to talk to and get to know other writers who may be struggling with some of the same things you are, or writers that you can help as well.  It will also give you a chance to make contacts that you will be thankful you have in the future.

 

I hope that something on the list above helps someone else out there other than me.  Of course what is important for every writer out there to do to have a good relationship with their writer selves is to actually write.  I hope you are all crafting some wonderful stories this weekend!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Everybody Does Not Need To Know Your Status

Okay for anyone who knows me, either personally or through this blog, you know that I am not a huge fan of social media and the overuse of technology.  As a writer it has become necessary for me to learn how to adapt to using social media and truthfully I still have some work to do in that department as far as using it effectively.  Now I use facebook and twitter and other forms of social media to share my writing and things about me as a writer, and to network with other writers or like minded business people.  

I know that there are others who use social media for those purposes as well but that take it to a whole other level by displaying every, little, single, detail of their personal life on the internet.  I still do not understand this, and I don’t think that I ever will.  There is no logical reason that everyone in the whole entire world (and that’s what the internet includes) needs to know what you had to eat for a particular meal, or how bad (or good) your relationship is going on any given day of the week.  

There is no reason why people (possibly future or present employers) need to see the enormous amount of partying that you may have done over the weekend or the half nudity that you chose to display (because you thought it was cute and your friends were not honest enough to tell you otherwise).  I don’t think that facebook was ever intended for the unfolding of one’s every move on the internet for all to bear witness to.  

In fact Mark Zuckerberg originally created facebook so that the college students attending Harvard could be aware of the activities going on within the campus.  If you go to his facebook page he does not even take facebook to the ridiculous extremes that everyone else has chosen to take it to.  Somewhere between when social networking sites were developed up until now people seem to have lost sight of the whole point which was to actually network.  

Networking does not include (last time I checked) sharing what meal you had for lunch (unless it is a meal that you had at some type of business event or conference), or that you saw someone walking around with a very unflattering outfit on that you couldn’t help but judge them for, or that you let the world see you half-naked pouring countless alcoholic beverages down your throat.  It certainly does not mean that everyone in the world needs to know who you are dating and whether your relationship with them is in a good or bad place.  That is not networking.  That is simply sharing too much unnecessary personal information.  

It amazes me how people are so surprised that someone (sometimes their employers) they never told anything to somehow ended up knowing intimate details of their lives.  It’s because you choose to air your dirty (or clean) laundry out for all to see.  It’s pretty simple, if you don’t show it or tell it all on facebook or twitter or whatever form of social media you are using at the moment, then everyone (that you might not want to be) won’t be all in your personal life.  

Let’s try and remember what networking truly means (but just in case any of you out there might have forgotten it is centered below) and maybe we could actually avoid abusing and misusing the social media networking sites.    

Definition of NETWORKING

net·work·ing (noun) 

‘The exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.’ 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

My Up and Down Marriage to Writing

“Marriage is a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters in prose.” 

~Beverley Nichols

Ms. L. and I always joke about writing and our laptops being our husbands.  It seems like more of a reality as time goes on and as I pour more of myself into it.  If I were truly married to my writing, then I think that our marriage might be in trouble and standing on very shaky ground right now.  Marriage of any kind needs love constantly poured into it, attention consistently given to it, passion infused all through it, and it needs to be nurtured through all of its years of commitment and union.  

As I think about my writing in those terms, I realize that I haven’t been a good wife to it lately.  At times I have neglected my writing and have been completely lazy when it comes to my talent.  I haven’t spent enough time with my craft and I have let way too many other personal dilemmas stand in the way of me taking my writing career to the next level (or stage of our relationship).  I haven’t nurtured my gift for expressing myself through my words as I know that I can and at times I have appeared to have completely given up on the relationship altogether.  But I haven’t given up.  

My writing may be the only constant relationship I have had since I developed a love for it at the age of ten.  It has been by my side and it has never abandoned me (at least not for extremely large amounts of time), nor has it judged me.  It has allowed me to use it as my vessel to the rest of the world and lately I have taken advantage that it will always be around for me.  I have not showed it just how much I truly treasure it and how passionate I still feel about it and I am sorry for that.          

I know that if I don’t stop neglecting my writing and my purpose altogether, then it will soon leave me.  It gives me warnings every time I come down with writer’s block but I’m sure that it feels that it hasn’t gotten through to me.  I know that there are times when it just weeps at the fact that I appear to have abandoned it for the fear (the invisible third party in our relationship) that I will never do it justice.  Well writing, I want you to know that you have gotten through to me.  I am ready to recommit myself to you from this day forward.  

I am turning my back on the fear that has interfered with us and plagued us for quite some time now.  I have finally realized that if I don’t give you the love and time that you need, you can’t give me the fulfillment that I need in return.  I know that I have to nurture you and take time to enhance our relationship so that it only gets better and more purposeful as the years go on.  

I plan to spend as many seconds and minutes of the day with you that I can on a daily basis no matter how impossible it may seem to make it happen.  I thank you for hanging in there and giving me continuous chances to get our relationship back on the right track.  From now until forever I will make sure to honor you and be true to you so that we can prosper in this life together.  

I love Writing and I’m just thankful that Writing still loves me right back. 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

I Guess I’m All Out of Sick Days Now

Oh how I have missed my blog!  I know I haven’t posted since last week and it was completely unintentional.  I came down with a really bad cold at the end of last week and I just wasn’t able to produce anything that I felt was worthy of being read and then my daughter had a virus over the weekend, which I in turn was inflicted with on Monday and Tuesday.  

Needless to say, I have had more than enough time to realize just how important it is to have back up posts and plans of what to have ready for your blog in case of emergencies or necessary sick days that may need to be taken.  In the regular work world where you go to an office from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday you get a set amount of sick days (that’s not to be confused with vacation days) and typically it’s about five.  Well it’s been about that many days for me (I don’t count Sunday because I don’t blog on Sundays anyway) so I suppose that means I have completely used up my sick days for the year.  

I guess that just means I really don’t have any more excuses but to buckle down and cast that self doubt I have about myself and my abilities out of my mind and do what I know needs to be done as far as my writing career.  I have a lot of plans and things to work on and put in motion before this month is over and there is literally no time to waste anymore.    

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Seeing Yourself Through Someone Else’s Eyes

“Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.”

~Ellen DeGeneres 

It is really nice when you have someone that believes in you enough for the both of you.  I discovered that I had someone else in my corner today, someone that’s always been in my corner but I guess I just didn’t really see it.  My friend (we’ll just call him Mr. C.) was very motivating for me today.  He spoke about me and my dreams the way that I had expressed them to him and made me reenergized about them again.  I was starting to believe that it was just too late for me to take my brand and my name and become the success that I had always dreamed of being.  Today when I saw myself through his eyes, the way he said he saw things, I felt like I had already accomplished so much.  

He reminded me of all of the plans that I had laid out to him around the time that we first met and pinpointed all of the goals that I had actually managed to accomplish thus far.  I don’t really know why I hadn’t realized that I am not exactly at the starting point, but rather somewhere ahead of the halfway point.  I know that Ms. L. is going to read this and say ‘I told you all of that stuff already’ and it’s not that I didn’t hear her but hearing it from someone who I didn’t realize was paying attention somehow has a different affect.  I knew that Mr. C. had confidence in me and that he thought I was capable of many things, but I never saw just how fiercely he believed in me.  

It’s always interesting to see yourself through someone else’s eyes because a lot of the times you find that you are only seeing what hasn’t been done when they are looking at the bigger picture.  They are looking at what your goals were to begin with, and what strides you have already made towards those goals, and they see the potential of you finishing those goals.  I don’t know why it sometimes seems so hard for me to look at myself and my life the way that others seem to see it but I am starting to get the message now. 

If I keep stopping at every bench mark on my roadmap of success and picking apart everything that I had already done and diminishing it into being nothing then that’s what it will amount to, nothing.  Holding up someone else’s mirror to your life is very revealing and meaningful because you can’t always see what someone else sees.  Sometimes it takes the vision of someone else to make clear to you that you are on the right path.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

A Moment to Pray

I am still not feeling much like writing (or doing much of anything else) lately.  I thought that I might be coming out of my funk this morning when I woke up but somewhere throughout the course of the day that same mood crept back in.  I’m not going to lie, I gave into it today.  But I really am trying here to pull myself out of whatever this feeling is that suddenly came over me.  So in an effort to try and re-motivate myself I have been trying to read uplifting and motivating things and I came upon a book that I was given a few years ago called ‘Dear God, It’s Me and It’s Urgent: Prayers for every season of a woman’s life’ by Marion Stroud.  I look through it from time to time and some days it helps.  Tonight I was looking through it and came across this one prayer that I just wanted to share a part of.  

Thank you, Lord, that you provide this belt of truth.

Please help me to discern the half truths and the lies hurled at me by the enemy.

And when they scream for entry at the doorway of my mind,

Help me to refuse, both to receive them or believe them.

Thank you for the breastplate that protects my heart and my emotions.

Keeping me from being wounded by the jibes of others,

Or being bound by the fear of the reactions of those

Whose good opinion is so important to me.

Banish compromise please Lord,

Enabling me to do what’s right-consistently.

And as I wear these running shoes of the readiness to share your love,

Keep me from being sidetracked, Lord,

or from avoiding the stony paths.

Help me to be ready to go wherever you may send me,

and prepared to set out at a moment’s notice.     

The prayer goes on for another page or so but I just wanted to share the part that struck me the most.  There was also a scripture in the book that accompanied the prayer. 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

– Ephesians 6:10-11, NIV 

I just wanted to share this with all of you and I hope that these words help someone else beside me today.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Control Issues

I haven’t really been feeling myself lately and it’s started to affect my writing but I suppose the truth is that it’s only been able to affect my writing because I have subconsciously allowed it too.  I got a good lecture from Ms. L. today about how I can not allow myself to get so depressed over the things that I can’t control that it takes away my power to do what it is I can control.  So I have to somehow drag myself out of this funk that I seem to be in and pour my energy into doing what I know I’m supposed to be doing right now.  I can’t control the things that are continuing to go wrong in my life but my writing career is something that I can control (at least the aspects of it that don’t involve investing money right now) so I have to direct my focus on that.  I know what I need to do now I just have to buckle down and do it.  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Revisiting an Old Love

When I was younger and started writing all I wrote was poetry.  I fell in love with what poetry did for me.  It allowed me to say everything that I needed to say and express all of the pain that I felt without having to say anything to anyone in particular.  I filled up reams and reams of paper with my thoughts and my feelings that I either felt could not be shared with anyone else, or no one cared enough to listen.  For years, I suppose until I left a sufficient amount of emotions on the pages that I filled up, that was all that I wrote.  Then I found and fell in love with telling a story in novel form and I set out to be a novelist.  

In the last couple of days, as I’ve been sorting through some feelings that I don’t even really understand right now, I have somehow found poetry again.  Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that poetry has found me again.  Now I haven’t actually formulated a whole entire poem yet but I can hear it in my head.  The different lines from several different soon to be written poems continue to repeat themselves in my head over and over again but they haven’t decided to come together just yet.  But I haven’t felt the vibe to write poetry in a very long time and it feels like it might be coming back to me.  What’s funny is that I didn’t even realize that I had missed it. 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress