You had me at hello…or not

I work in retail, customer service to be specific and among the many things that tend to bother me about my current position, is a simple lack of courtesy.  Courtesy from the public that I so graciously serve (ha, but I do with a smile and kindness almost always) and my goodness, I often wonder if manners even exist anymore.  I grew up with my parents teaching me that if I was spoken to, I should speak back especially when it came to family, but don’t let me get started on that. My dad always told me, you don’t have to like someone, but you always greet them and then if you choose to say nothing more, that’s your prerogative.  In any context, never mind just work, if I make an effort to say hello, you should make an effort to say something back.  Hi, hey, howdy, how goes it, all very different then the silence I too often receive.  At work, I’m not asking for your life story, I’m just asking for common decency.  Say hi back!  How hard is that?  “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7

If I make the effort to speak to you, be courteous and do the same.  It’s not as though I’m asking you to hang the moon.  What if the tables were turned and you greeted your mom, dad, sister, best friend and did not receive a greeting back?  Would you not rethink that relationship?  Would your mother not say hello?  She’s the one that taught you manners so of course she’d say hello!  My job requires me to be kind to you, but that’s not the only reason that I am friendly.  Everyone has tough days, everyone has their own problems and I feel like sometimes, simply saying hello to someone is just enough to let you know that someone cares.  Can you imagine having to go through this world alone?  See some people do this by isolating themselves without even knowing it.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been down in the dumps and a simple hello, be it verbal, a text, an email, made me perk up and realize that there are people out there that care.  No, it doesn’t completely solve all your problems, but a simple hello can make all the difference sometimes.  Not to mention that we are never alone!  If you’re ever feeling under appreciated and unloved, open up your bible and see that there is someone that loves you so much, he sacrificed himself on the cross to pay for our sins that we have committed and have yet to commit.  What other love do you know that is that great?  The sacrifice to save us is just incredible.  I challenge you to say hello to the next person you see, be they a stranger, a cashier, a child, stop and say hello to your fellow man/woman.  The world needs kindness to exist still because without it, well the world would be a lot colder.

Amber, I’m not going to ask you again to take your spoon out of those poppy seeds!

Growing up, my great grandma would fuss at me every time I “helped” her make kolaches and goodness gracious that woman could make some kolaches!  I have yet to fully enjoy a kolache like I used to, since she passed because, no one made them quite like her.  Kolaches were a staple of my childhood, as well as a Texas favorite!  I mean, this Czech/mex kid here lived for holidays simply for the fact that there would be homemade kolaches and tamales overflowing the table!  Poppyseed was and always will be my favorite, followed by cottage cheese kolaches (sounds gross, but they were delightful) granny also made prune, (gross) Apple, lemon and cherry but I never touched those, saved those for the grown ups.  I can remember being about 5 years old and having more flour on myself then on the actual kolaches.  But even though I didn’t necessarily learn how to make kolaches, it was the bonding and spending time with granny that I loved the most as a kid.  To watch her put so much effort into every little detail of these yummy pastry delights, even though I didn’t know it then, was like a metaphor for life. You love something so much, and you want your product to come out just right and be something you are proud to serve your family with, then every little detail is important.  The effort she put into these little kolaches was something I never had seen before. Every little detail was important to the overall product.  If you skip the yeast, the kolaches wouldn’t rise.  Too much yeast, the kolaches would be out of control!  Mix up the salt/sugar ratio…hurl!  Bad flour? Throw the whole thing away cause there was no saving it. Same prep went in with her homemade noodles and boy let me tell you, granny could make a mean homemade chicken noodle soup it soon became the only part of thanksgiving/Christmas dinner.  86 the turkey and dressing and give me the soup!  So back to those noodles though, to prepare them she would first make the dough, then let it rise in these great big bowls with her kitchen dish towels over them and don’t think she wasted that time that the dough was rising, simultaneously she was making us kids lunch and watching her soaps and honestly probably working on a quilt all at the same time.  Wonder Woman right there!  After the dough rises, she’d roll it out and cut them into strips, or noodles and put them on newspaper in the sunroom to dry all day.  The best thing about those noodles was the way there was no uniform to them.  Sometimes you’d get a long thin one, other times you’d get a short fat one, but they were all equally delicious!  Granny’s projects, were always all day projects.  She never took shortcuts, and that’s the thing.  This day and age we are all about finding the shortcuts.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  I’m always looking for a shortcut!  I work in the afternoons til late evening then I workout until the early morning and then most days I sleep til 11 or 12 get back up and do it all over again.  I don’t want any parts of the a.m. If granny was around, she’d be up at 5 getting everything done throughout the day and sleeping at night like a normal person!  As far as kolaches go, I wouldn’t have the patience not to mention the patience enough to do something that took longer than an hour to prepare but hey that’s just me.  And to be honest, an hour is stretching it.  You’re talking to the kid who seasons chicken breast and throws it in the oven and just kind of prays it comes out right!  This blogger leaves you with this question though, in a generation based in instant gratification, who’s going to make the kolaches?

But, why are you standing still?

I had a pretty restless night of sleep last night, as I often do (Yay insomnia)  when I finally decided to wake up and do my devotionals, of course Christ was there to talk to me about my previous night.  It’s amazing how that works out right?  I am currently making my way through Jesus Calling, I’m about a month behind at the moment.  Along with anything I start, I tend to put things down for days at a time gotta love depression but nevertheless, July 5th has really spoken to me today on August 5th.  “Draw near to me with a thankful heart, aware that your cup is overflowing with blessings.”  I am so blessed!  I forget this all the time.  My family is amazing, my friends are wonderful, my job is sub par but its a job.  I’m back to a few of my old hobbies and honestly, life has never felt so good but yes I am still painfully aware that something is missing.  “You will never be in control of your life circumstances, but you can relax and trust in My control.  Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, seek to know Me in greater depth and breadth.  I long to make your life a glorious adventure, but you must stop clinging to old ways”  Once more, “You will never be in control of your life circumstances,”  Do you hear that Amber?  You are not in control, nor is your family, your friends no one is in control but Christ.  It is very easy for me to get caught up in the same thing over and over again because its comfortable, its not scary, I don’t have to think about what numbers to add or what buttons to push however, will I ever really live life without risk?  No, I will not.  So today I vow to take more risks in life.  I vow to write more and attempt to be published again, I vow to work on a resume and possibly leave a job of 8+ years simply because it is full-time, flexible and comfortable.  I recently had some car troubles and depending on how much I will have to put into it, I will plan on taking one to two trips before the end of the year.  Right now, it seems as though I may be heading to NYC for the weekend of September 11th.  I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions that I will feel being there.  I’ve got a brand new, very nice camera that was my graduation gift and I can’t wait to get out there and use it.  I am also going to actively look for a new church!  I have expressed wanting to look, but I have not yet begun.  It’s scary for me, out of my comfort zone but I need more Christian friends to share my ideas and thoughts from scripture with.  If you are a part of my real world, feel free to give me a swift kick in the rear if you do not see me working on these things.  “Be on the lookout for all that I have prepared for you.”  I’m ready!  My life is in your hands!

Wait, you started a blog and then stopped?

Yes, I started a blog and then stopped.  Story of my life.  Started to lose weight and then stopped, started to go to school and then stopped, started to get my life together but then stopped, started a novel but then stopped.  I see a pattern here.  Well, it is true I’m not good at routine and I’m not good at finishing things.  I don’t like to be taken out of my comfort zone but I will change this.  I am currently participating in a dietbet to get myself back on track with the gym.  If I lose 13 pounds in a month which, I think is plausible, I will split a pot that keeps getting bigger but last I checked was at 37,000 dollars.  So there’s that.  I’m back to reading about 2-3 devotionals a day and making my way through the Bible.  That’s one thing I haven’t lost hope in.  To quote the ever talented kind of creepy Miley Cyrus, “It’s all about the climb”  well you know what it really is.  I’ve been through the ringer and I keep coming back for more.  I recently went to Los Angeles and decided I was going to get as close to that Hollywood sign as I could.  No one told me I would hike about 10 miles that day, and mostly uphill.  That wasn’t the challenge I faced at all.  Yes I’m a bit overweight but I love to climb things so that was the easy part.  The challenges that I faced were the heat and dragging my friend and their “broken back” up these steep scary paths they were not able to.  But the thing is, I had seen pictures from where I was heading and they were breathtaking and it was something I had to see for myself, with my own eyes.  So I did the hike in some parts 2 to 3 times trying to find the easiest way to get my friend up the path and when we got there some hours later, let me tell you the journey was more than worth it.  So I leave you with this, the path to the beauty ahead, does not come easy.  There will be struggles, there will be failures but the beauty in life comes from what you make out of it.  It does not matter what others are doing with their lives it matters only what you are doing with yours.  When you look back at your life, will it be lived, or will it be just a routine that you were a part of, never actually climbing that mountain to see what the scenery had to offer?cali

Independently Happy

I’ve been at a loss as too what to write about lately.  I’ve been thinking a lot about life in general.  I know that I should be out there actively searching for a career but I’m not done enjoying life yet.  Not to say that I won’t enjoy my life with a new career but I like the availability and the freedom my current job gives me.  I am so beyond excited to go see some more of the world in less than a month.  I will be spending as much time as possible on the beaches of California and I can not contain begin to describe how happy this makes me.  I just finished a book called Adulting.  I recommend it to anyone who is out there trying to pursue the “right” way to be a grown-up.  I’ve picked up a lot of insights from this book and I fully intend on using these.  I want to grow a small herb garden dill, cilantro, mint to start with.  I am missing being a child at my grannys and having her send us to the yard to pull fresh sprigs of dill to cook with.  I try to a devotional a day at least, and todays devotional was about hate and how we really should not have hate in our hearts.  I struggled with this for a few years after a very terrible breakup but I know that despite all that has happened, and all that I’ve been through, I can not hate someone.  Its easy to focus all your energy on hatred for one person but, that also consumes you.  It’s just as easy to pick up a few hobbies, work on yourself and commit to being happy.  Easier said then done, but happiness is a journey.  A journey that sometimes is found in hitting the gym everyday or doing a devotional everyday or even cleaning that rats nest that you call a room that has consumed you while you were not happy.  Some days happiness may be found in making brownies and binge watching your favorite series on netflix.  Maybe perhaps happiness is something else to you, maybe a person however, when that person is gone it is up to you to be happy on your own.  Sometimes its hard to do anything but sulk.  No, get yourself up, take a shower, or a bath with some lovely lush products, get out of bed and go do something.  I’ve found in this last week or so that the best thing for me to do, is get out of bed, make it and do not return for the rest of the day.  I’ve found my hobbies again I love to read, collect and listen to records, and travel.  Being on my own gives me plenty of time to do these things and peace and quiet.  I’m attempting this blog here and though sometimes I may not want to write, I know that there are too many words just fumbling about in my head that need to be written down so they are not lost forever.  As long as I have an audience, or heck even if I don’t, I’ll continue to share my sporadic thoughts.

Musings of an insomniac

Today was long.  I’m attempting to try to put some order into the chaos that is my life.  Lists. Lists are good for Amber.  I made a list today, most of those things got done therefore another list will be in store for tomorrow.  I woke up did made some coffee, did my devotional and got ready to go to the dentist this morning.  All of these are crazy awesome because I have to drag myself out of bed at the last possible second most days and I just show up like hey I’m here brushes a wrinkle out of my clothes and I tend to overlook this messy hair of mine.  Came back home after being tortured at the dentist went to take Billy, my goat, (yes I have a goat) some old food that I put together for him.  Nothing goes to waste when you have a goat by the way.  Went to work and dragged, literally my butt to the gym.  Its really cold in Texas today.  Texas amber does not like the cold she will use this as an excuse to not go to the gym but I was forced and cohersed so I went and I’m happy I went.  I did about 30 mins of cardio ran for a solid 1 minute 10 seconds.  Laugh all you want but for someone who has never ran in their life this is pretty sweet.  Hit the weights, I like the weights and saunaed a bit.  I came home and typed up this story I wrote about friendships to be considered for a book.  I don’t think my name will be mentioned per se but I’ll know I wrote it and I get a free copy of the book if mine gets choosen so fingers crossed.  Well lovely readers, all 16 of you, its 3am and I have to be up at 7am so Im signing off.  Thank you for reading.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 6:34

Friendly hello to all of you that might waste your time reading my ramblings.

Howdy!  I am going to attempt this blog thing again to work on getting in the habit of writing more often.  Basically, should you choose to read this, you will find here a mix of my day as well as things that I might want to share as I embark about this thing they call life.  A little about your blogger, the name is Amber im 28 and have used such horrible grammer while texting that I have all but forgot how to correctly punctuate a sentence.  If this is a problem you probably should stop here.  If you’re still here, I’d like to continue.  Right now I am on a journey to finding peace of mind as well as my place in the world.  Without going all woe is me, I was in a bad place relationship, healthwise etc for about 7 years of my life and I’m trying now to live my life as though that never happened.  I live my life by this philosophy, “I was miserable for so long that I am now going to do what makes me happy” you see I gave up a lot of my time and a lot of my opportunities to focus on things that did not matter to my wellbeing and at the end of the day the only one that suffered was me.  Some things that I will be working on through this blog will be my fitness goal.  The gym is like my shrink.  This is where I go to blow off steam and feel better about myself.  I can make my body stronger and that is the plan.  Also, you may read a bit about my spirtual journey.  I am very shy and presently do not have a home church so I spend a lot of my own time in solitarity reading the Bible as well as devotionals and kind of going through my own spiritual walk.  I have a great mentor that I’ve known for quite a long time and she encourages me through this walk.  I may even share some of my own things that I have written here.  One of my goals for 2015 is to be more open with my writing.  Usually I keep it to myself, but I know if I ever do plan on being published, I’m going to have to share a bit.  I’ll end this by telling you a personal thought.  Today (really yesterday) was my Wella’s Birthday.  She passed away when I was about 1.  Though I do not remember her much, I know that she really was an amazing person because, you see she raised someone as wonderful as my Dad who just so happens to be my rock.  He is so wise and so intelligent, that i cannot even begin to do him justice.  My Dad has been through so much healthwise but he still is so dedicated to his family and probably the most unselfish person I know.  In fact, when I was younger and got myself into some trouble let me tell you my dad was busting out of that hospital to come get me.  He is the most important man in my life and will always be.  I thank God for him and my Mom because I do believe that I have two of the greatest parents in the world.  I know that they are their parents children and I hope that I come out of all this with even just a fraction of my parents greatness in me.  Happy Birthday Wella thank you for giving me my dad and thank you for giving him a heart of gold.