So much hate.

One of the advantages to not having cable or regular television is that I don’t have a single news channel.  (To be completely honest, I seldom watched the news when I had access to it because it was generally depressing and made me feel small and powerless. )

Unfortunately, my not watching the news doesn’t mean that horrible things don’t still happen in the world or that I get to just ignore it.

I was saddened when the alert came over my phone to tell me about the shooting  that occurred in Orlando on June 12th. My heart broke for the families of those dead and injured and I immediately began praying for them and the family of the shooter before I even read the article.

While the shooting upset me, I was more horrified by what I learned yesterday evening.  After the attack, a pastor actually preached in his sermon that the only tragedy that had occurred was that more people weren’t killed in the attack.  He called those in the night club perverts and pedophiles.

My first thought when my cousin told me about the sermon was that it must’ve been those Westboro people and I kind of shrugged it off.  When he told me it wasn’t them, I didn’t really believe him.  So, of course, I asked the Google fairies…

My eyes were so full of tears I couldn’t even read the whole article.  Google had confirmed that not only did a pastor in Sacramento preach this hate-filled sermon, but that he continued to defend it and called for the government to murder a large portion of our population.

No matter what your personal beliefs are, that night club was filled with people.  They were/are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles… and I believe God loves each and every one of them.

I wish this was just an isolated incident, but there seems to be so much hate growing in the hearts of people.  It’s beyond my understanding and I struggle to control the anger that it ignites in me, but I refuse to let it get the better of me or harden my heart against humanity.

Some of the worst moments of my life ended up bringing me some of my biggest blessings.  That wouldn’t have been possible had I let my rage and hatred continue to fester and take over my thoughts and actions.   It would have tainted everything.

In the same way, if I let the words and actions of those who have chosen to let their hatred rule them affect the way that I look at the world,  I would do a disservice to myself and everyone around me.  I can’t help but wonder, how disappointed would the God I claim to love be with me then?

Instead, I choose to not only continue to pray for those who are persecuted against, but for their persecutors.  May God soften and change their hearts.  And I ask that others join me in consciously fighting against the instinct to hate the hateful and instead, show love to those we feel are undeserving of it.

 

Will I be a Successful Blogger?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Secret of Success.”

In case you guys haven’t been paying attention…  I’m writing my first novel!  YAY!!!

As I’ve said in previous posts, it’s been a really long time since I wrote fiction.  (Or anything just for fun, really.)  So, when I started working on my book I quickly realized that I needed some help.

I’ve read a TON of books on writing. If you read my post on sucking then you know how that’s been.  Although, I just started Stephen King’s On Writing – LOVE it!  Recommend it to both writers and non-writers (but not if curse words offend you – he has a potty mouth!).

I’m also taking a class called 12 Weeks to a First Draft at Writers Digest University.  This has been immensely helpful!

The most consistent advice I’ve received is just to write – and not just when working on my novel.  And that’s what started the whole idea for this blog.  It was supposed to just be a place for me to write.  But in these few short weeks since I started blogging, it’s become so much more than just practice for me.

It’s a place that I come when I’m having a bad day.  I have discovered that the blogging community is supportive, fun, and laid back (and often sarcastic – which I love!).  You get support from all over the globe.  And there’s always someone who can relate to what you’re going through.  With an internet full of bloggers and blog readers, bad days just aren’t so bad.  You guys rock!

It’s also a place to engage my competitive side (which I should have expected, but didn’t).  Everyday, I want to exceed the number of visitors and viewers from the previous day.  I find myself sometimes checking my stats a little too often…

Do you know how competitive a person has to be to compete against themselves?

Let me just give you an example…  I’m a runner, I love to run races.  This includes my own personal “race” at the grocery store.  After my shopping is done, I figure out the average cost I spent per item – and I “place” myself.  The goal is always $2.00/item.  So if I come in at $2.00 or below, it’s like coming in first place.  $2.00 – $2.10 is 2nd; $2.11 – $2.29 is 3rd and anything above that is dead last.    I once saved over $100 in coupons, but my average was $2.34/item.  My husband was very happy, but I was secretly crushed.  (Yes, I know how sad this is.  I have a problem.)

So, how will I know when my blog is successful?  The truth is, I don’t know.

Do I hope to have 1,000’s of followers one day?  Yes, of course!  But, that’s not what I’m basing my success on…

In a way, I already feel like it is a success.  My confidence has increased so much from the support I’ve found here.  I know that our blogs are supposed to be written for our readers, but the joy I get from writing here is really for me.  I don’t have a huge group of followers, but I do have some pretty loyal ones and that’s so much better!