Snow to sunshine. Tennessee to Texas. This is my week in photos.
For more weekly winner participants, head on over to our hostess, Lotus (aka Sarcastic Mom).
*Above photo appeared on Nashvillest this week.*
All of my photos available on my Flickr stream.
Lent. The period of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. The 40 days of preparation for Jesus’s resurrection.
I’ve been amazed by how many people are participating in “giving something up for Lent” this year, and it’s really made me feel good and hopeful. It’s been several years since I seriously gave something up for Lent. I’ve, year after year, set out with something in mind only to have to fall by the wayside a few weeks in. I’ve even failed to follow not having meat on Fridays!
Tonight at a buffet. A brother and a sister filling cups of ice cream. Little Boy: “OH NO! We weren’t to have any sweets!” Little Girl looking at her bowl of ice cream: “Oh well!”
I had to laugh at that exchange to myself. It was about when I was that little girl’s age that I, too, gave up candy for Lent. I made it! I slipped up by having a chocolate mint after supper one night, but I justified it by saying it was for fresh breath. Funny how I remember that so clearly.
This year, for some reason, I’m approaching Lent with a whole new (or perhaps a very old) frame of mind. I’m going at it full force. I even found out about Stations of the Cross in Nashville, and I hope I can make it one weekend.
I’ve decided to give up Dr. Pepper and Beer for Lent. The beer won’t be too tough. When I am at my parent’s house, I just don’t drink it much. It’ll be difficult, though, when I go home, as its just the thing to have when socializing. The Dr. Pepper, however, has already proven difficult. I saw a real sugar Dr. Pepper today, and I itched to grab it.
I’ve thought of a third thing to do for Lent, and I think I’m going to go for it. Even though I’m technically starting it a few days late. To write a blog entry every day of Lent. THIS will be the tough one, as some days I’m just too tired to be creative. Other days, I frankly just don’t have time. But in the spirit of my last entry, I think its a challenge I need to take on for myself.
So brace yourself. Time to put this blog on 10.
Or rather 40.
passion – a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept
My husband’s passion is music. It’s why he’s a musician. It’s why every time he gets fed up with the industry for awhile he doesn’t give up in the end. Its too much a part of who he is to ever give it up in frustration. It’s also why I won’t let him give it up. I’ll do anything I can to make sure he stays in and with the music.
Similarly, my dad is a bookkeeper and tax preparer. He’s notorious for counting things. When I was in band, he’d count how many people were in other bands. Or he’ll figure how many people can fit in a venue. Dad’s all about numbers, and he’s made a living working with them.
For me? I always find myself coming back to writing/photography/design work. Primarily writing.
When I look back on life, a recurring theme is writing. Already in third grade I was competing in writing competitions. Every time I had a new electives option, I’d go for the writing elective. In college, I majored in Journalism, and one of my favorite classes I ever took was a creative writing course.
I’ve had a private journal since 2001, and I worked for a year and a half at a newspaper. Now I have this blog and I’m more and more determined to nurture it and let it be a creative outlet.
At the end of the day, I know its what I want to make my living doing. Writing. It’s MY passion.
I thoroughly enjoy design in addition to it, and I’ve found a fascination with photography. I’ve never nurtured photography until I did my 365 Project, and that project sparked an interest that I want to explore further. Photography in addition to my writing just seems to make sense. One of these days I’ll upgrade from a point and shoot to advance myself in that medium.
Anyway, all this being said, I’m finding we all have our own passions in life. The talents we are given to use. Unfortunately, life and the economy often don’t care about passion. All they care about is the almighty dollar. Many times I’ve considered throwing in the towel on my writing dreams. It seems like this impossible mountain to climb — making a life at it.
But then I look at my husband, who has successfully made music his career. I look at so many others who have a talent and a dream, and they work to make it happen. I can do it, too.
I enjoy other jobs. I find joy simply in doing work. There’s satisfaction in a job well done, whatever that job may be. But at the end of the day, its writing that I love to do. And its writing that will remain my focus.
So I ask, what’s your passion? Are you living it? Or has it gotten lost in a maze of bills and bureaucracy?
We all have bad days. We all have good days. We all say hello. We all say good bye. We all have sunshine. We all have rainy days. The hope is that we each have enough of all of these to live a full and joyful life. That concept is the basis of the gift book, I Wish You Enough by Bob Perks.
Based on a wish shared in an airport, the book explores 8 elements needed to find true happiness.
Sun. Rain. Happiness. Pain. Gain. Loss.Hello. Good-bye.
These opposing elements are explored through short stories to show how they all come together to fill ones life with happiness and appreciation. Anyone who has ever experienced strife in their life should have a copy of this book within reach to remind them that it is even within our tough times that we can find strength and appreciation for the good times.
The book is short and an easy read. Every chapter, every page, is like a greeting card to the reader with each story containing a message pierces your heart and transforms your thoughts. Definitely taking the reader on a spiritual journey (each story even ends with a bible verse that is just the perfect bow on top of the story’s gift!), I read it on a recent business flight. Upon landing my location had not only changed, but so had my attitude and outlook on life. I wanted to hand every person around me a copy of the book. I highly recommend I Wish You Enough as a gift for a friend or just a gift for yourself.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. To those who think its just a “Hallmark Holiday” I say, “Bah humbug.” I’ve liked Valentine’s Day since I was a kid. I liked Valentine’s Day when I was single. I like Valentine’s Day now that I am married.
I remember that in Kindergarten, on Valentine’s Day my parents gave me a card/book with cherry heart lollipops. I honestly wish I still had that book! I can’t tell you anything about the story any more, but I remember getting my teacher to read it to the class that day. (Come to think about it now, I think I’ve always liked to “share with the class.” Hence blogging.)
The other day, I asked my niece if she was looking forward to her Valentine’s Day party at school. If she’d get lots of cards from her classmates. Her response was, “Like always.” I had to laugh to myself. I miss those little cards! I always liked the many ways “Denise” could be spelled, and there was something nice about having all your classmates have to think of you for a minute in the form of those little cards.
In high school, Valentine’s Day 1997, I attended my first concert ever. Bryan White — whom I admit I had a huge crush on at that time — was playing in Waco, TX. A girl friend and I had floor seats for the show, and I jokingly would say I had a date with Bryan for the night. It was an amazing night, and I have to say it was definitely THE night my life focus changed from being small-town Texas girl for life and setting my sights on Music City and the music business.
College days came and so did an “ok-ness” with being single. I had great Valentine’s in high school, but being single and NOT having roses in the office waiting for me all four years? Was almost worse than being picked last for dodge ball in elementary school. However, in college, there wasn’t the pressure or finger pointing of “single” or “dating” that there was before.
An excerpt from my LiveJournal on Feb. 14, 2002:
I am so content and happy with my singleness. I don’t need a man to validate me as a person or anything. I am me. I like me. Yeah, maybe it is “Singles Awareness Day”. Fine by me! I am aware I am single. And I’m okay with that.
I have the bestest friends. In real life and on the net. You guys just keep me grinning like mad. Most of you I’ve only know for a few months, but already you’ve helped me through some rough times. You’ve laughed with me. You’ve cried with me. You’ve done more than was necessary. I love you all from the bottom of my heart. How I got so lucky to get to know you, I’ll never know. Nor will I question it. I am just thankful for each and every one of you. Happy Valentine’s to you…
In 2003, I wrecked my truck the day before Valentine’s Day, and in 2004 I got my belly button pierced. You can’t say I don’t have eventful Valentine’s Days sometimes!
Three years after celebrating my singleness, on Valentine’s Day 2005, my now-husband and I said “I love you” for the first time. Quit dancing around it and said it. At least we picked an easy day to remember!
Now married three years, but due to work, my husband and I have only spent the last two Valentine’s Days together. And that’s okay… doesn’t make the day any less special. I know we should tell those we love that we do love them every chance you get. But there’s something nice about having a day set aside to really focus on that fact. To tell everyone — our “significant others,” our families, our friends — that we love them. That we care about them. That we are glad they are in our lives.
To everyone who reads this… Happy Valentine’s Day. May you love and be loved deeply.
(By the way, to those who think this holiday was created to sell cards, history tells us it was celebrated as far back as the Middle Ages… long before Hallmark cards. So. PBTHTHTHTHTHTH)