Blog

A Christmas Wish

Christmas is something we are supposed to carry with us all year long but there’s a magic to this season.  I don’t know if it’s the snow-filled Christmases that we all dream of, the chestnuts on the open fire, the gathering of friends, family and loved ones, or just the fact that we all seem to be a little nicer during this holiday.   Forget about how people can be downright rude when we are shopping and in parking lots, or how about tempers can flare.  This is a season of love.

This Christmas my heart has no idea what material things to wish for.  I look around and I see families and couples filled with the holiday spirit and often find myself a little jealous.  You see, Christmas is something we are supposed to carry with us all year long but there’s a magic to this season.  I don’t know if it’s the snow-filled Christmases that we all dream of, the chestnuts on the open fire, the gathering of friends, family and loved ones, or just the fact that we all seem to be a little nicer during this holiday.   Forget about how people can be downright rude when we are shopping and in parking lots, or how about tempers can flare.  This is a season of love.

If you are religious like I am, you think about the love that God has for all of us by sending his Son to us.  Think about it.  A baby in a manger that will sacrifice everything for all.  I can’t say that I’d do the same.  And yet, we never know how much love we have in our hearts because there is always room for more.  If you aren’t religious, think about how showing love to others makes this world a little more tolerant and believe me, we need a lot more tolerance.

I know someone who doesn’t believe.  His mom does.  She believes in God very strongly but his faith isn’t like hers.  He’s beginning to be more open to conversations but that doesn’t mean that he’s willing to share her belief.  My Christmas wish for him is that he learns to let other people love him enough to show that no matter how much pain he’s living with, it will pale in comparison to the shutting out he does to others.  My Christmas wish for everyone is that they open their eyes and see the people who love them for themselves.  Christmas isn’t about presents.  It’s about the presence we have in each other’s lives.  It’s about unconditional love and acceptance.  It’s about finding a little more in common with one another to help make the transitions in our lives a little more meaningful.

I know a young woman who is fighting cancer with everything she has.  She believes strongly in God.  She wants her children to see that she is a fighter and isn’t willing to succumb to cancer that has invaded her body but not her mind.  She shows Christmas magic in her positive demeanor.  She is a warrior.  She is slaying demons and dragons called Cancer and not letting it ruin her Christmas.  Her children are her angels among others who are helping her navigate this Christmas holiday by giving her the incentive to keep going even when she feels she can’t take another step.  My Christmas wish for her is that she finds healing from cancer but also that she continues to inspire others on her journey to survival.

I know another young woman who is fleeing an abusive situation.  She is doing everything she can to provide a better life for her and her children.  She has lost so much faith in herself and forgotten that she is a woman of strength and courage.  She fights every day to ensure that she and her children can make it and even though this Christmas will be one that they don’t have as many presents as they’d like, they are all alive and are going to get through this because they have the love and support of a community.  My Christmas wish for them is that they continue their quest to break free of a person who has controlled, abused, and manipulated them.  I wish for them to find the peace and tranquility they deserve.

These are just some of the people who are touching my life right now.  There are many others with many stories yet to be told.  This Christmas I really hope and pray that my Christmas wishes are granted for people.  I believe we all deserve the holiday love and magic that is associated with the season.  My Christmas wish is simple.  I wish that we all can find the inner happiness and joy that children seem to carry with them.  I wish everyone peace, love, happiness and the knowledge that we are never alone.  I know I’m willing to do things to change my wishes into reality.  As long as we all have life, then we have the opportunities to change lives.   Maybe there are those around you that you have wondered if someone intervened, could their lives be changed?  What can you do to make those wishes be expedited a little?

Merry Christmas everyone.  Be good to each other.  Ask what you can do to make someone’s Christmas wish a reality, and above all, celebrate with your loved ones.  Don’t push people away during this season.  Tomorrow is never guaranteed but the love of the season and the Spirit that comes with it won’t die as long as we all keep our hearts open to the joys of the Holiday.

My Christmas Wish List, old style

 

 

 

A Reflection

I look in the mirror and see my own reflection.  It reminds me of the stigmas that society likes to place.  Society says that I’m overweight for my age.  All I see is a person who is a fighter.  Society can’t see the scars that I have.  Nor can they see the anguish and frustration of things that have never gone the way I wanted.  I always envisioned that I would be happily married with a family of my own.  I had no way of knowing that my marriage would succumb because of a poor match or that my body was incapable of producing an heir.

The excessive weight I carry is partly my fault and partly because of things I have little control over.  Sure it’s mind over matter but there are those days that the mind just doesn’t feel like it matters.  Every pound that gets added is just another reminder that I’m a disappointment.  Every muscle in my body that feels overwhelmed does this because of stress and a lack of a healthy environment.

It’s important for society to see that every person has a struggle.  Some folks struggle with their identity.  How can anyone understand what a person is going through if they haven’t walked in their shoes?  If we aren’t willing to stop belittling each other and start propping one another up, then we are doomed to fall.  We all tend to fall in a pattern.  Sometimes that pattern can stem into depression.  I for one, thought that depression was something that a person could just snap out of.  I was wrong.  Depression is something that is like cancer.  It starts out small and gets bigger over time if you don’t address it.  It’s a part of our health that gets ignored more than it should.  It’s easy to say we aren’t depressed.  What’s not easy is to identify it and then figure out ways to learn to deal with our depression so that it doesn’t deal with us in a way that we can’t function.

I’m going on record and admitting I fight depression every day.  I have fought for higher education and then when I do achieve my goals, society loves to keep me in a box for low wages and secretarial types of jobs.  This in turn has made me not want to keep fighting for myself.  Then I realize that it’s this type of mentality that makes it easy for others to label me.  If I’m willing to label myself, then why wouldn’t others want to label me in return?  In reflection, I don’t see the girl who couldn’t make her dreams come true.  I see the woman who is slaying the everyday dragons and demons.  I see a woman who is a survivor.  She’s been burned by love and keeps loving anyway.  I see a woman who dreams.  Her dreams are filled with mystery and adventure.  She sees visions of the past and of the future and yet she perseveres anyway.  I see a woman who believes in the goodness of people even when society shows the rotten seeds of many.  More importantly, I see a woman who even though she struggles knows the battle is worth it in the end.  At the end of the day, I see a woman of strength, of courage, and of worth.

I don’t just see myself.  I see each one of us with the same qualities.  I see a society who is worth it.  I see people who have yet to see their own self worth rising from the bottom of the sea and swimming like the champions they are.  We may all feel like we are drowning but in the end, we will learn to swim, to fly, dance, sing, and anything else we can imagine because as people we have the keys inside all of us to dare to be anything we want.

So what if I gained weight?  I will lose it.  What I won’t lose is the belief that I can achieve anything and I know that I’m not alone.  I lost myself in the negativity but I’ve found my voice and learned that sometimes we need that voice in order to find our way out of our own doomsday.  If you are fighting the same types of battles, I urge you to reach out and get help.  You might not need professional help but you do need to talk about these things with someone you trust.  Sometimes getting things out in the open will change your perspective.  I know it changed mine.

I hope this blog helps you to see that we all fight with ourselves.  The question is how do we want the fight to go?  Do we want to allow ourselves to take the punches of society and life without keeping up our defenses or are we willing to keep ourselves in the fight by keeping a strong defense and in return offense.  If you are a basketball fan like me, you’ll understand what I mean.  We don’t have to be physical in our fight but emotionally we have to be willing to protect ourselves by learning that words have meaning.  They can cut, heal, and create numbness all at the same time.  Words have the power to change our reflections.  They have the power to take a negative light and create a positive and incredible journey.  The question is now yours.  What reflection of yourself do you want to see?

reflection

Themes, Widgets, and Menus

Themes are usually defined as the style of your site.  When I think about what a theme is, I think about what points I want to convey.  What do I want the site to reflect?  Do I want the site to be engaging or do I want the site to just being cute for my own enjoyment and whoever may follow?  The point is that the themes reflect not just your brand, but also reflect you as an overseer of the site.

I love the fact that you can change not just the theme but the color schematics with the customization.  A lot of folks like to post videos on their site.  I think it’s a great option.  For this assignment, I changed my header to keep my site from looking so busy in a bad way.  When I was first playing with the layouts, I couldn’t get the original layout to allow me to add pages to my menu.  I wanted to make it user-friendly and not be a hot mess.

I chose the twenty sixteen theme because I liked the simpler layout.  I found it much easier to navigate throughout the various menus and also found it easier to change my options.  It was much simpler to add pages to the menu, change the color schemes, add widgets, and change the header and logo.

Speaking of widgets, I added several new widgets to the bottom of the site.  I added the FB widget, the Google translation widget, a calendar, and Twitter.  Now, you may be asking me why in the world would I include a calendar on my widget?  Well, it’s simple.  The calendar will be used to have any events that are upcoming mission opportunities listed on there as well as written information.  Plus, it will allow that feature for folks to see the dates in question rather than flipping to their phone or looking it up on their computer.

Now, we’ve mentioned menus already.  Let me go into a little more detail with that.  As we move more into the design of this site, my menu options will continue to grow a little.  I want to be able to create easy navigation to help others find the right missions for them to assist.  If someone is in Timbuktoo, it’s a pretty safe bet that they aren’t going to want to go 3000 miles away to help on a mission project unless it’s something they are passionate about.  But, if there are opportunities locally that a person can assist with, chances are they will want to find ways to help.  A prime example of this was Hurricane Florence.  People have come from all over to help with the disaster relief and it’s only one of the thousands of other projects that people need assistance with.  The menu option will have the about and contact tabs, it will also include the blog, posts and other items that need to be displayed.

All in all, I’ve had fun working with these options.  I think it will only get better from here.

themes widgets menus

What is a Blog?

A blog can be considered many things. It’s an open, conversational journal that allows people to know your thoughts on a particular subject matter.

A blog can be considered many things.  I found several definitions that explain blogging but to me, a blog is like a journal.  It’s an open, conversational journal that allows people to know your thoughts on a particular subject matter.  A blog is usually only a component of one’s website.  In my case, I have another website that I use blogging for and it does help to drive people to my business.

Spunky Pest

Above is the link to my blogging site.  This is only one of the blogs that I have used on my website but it gives you an idea as to what types of blogs I generally do and use.

I must admit.  Using this site in a classroom setting is helping me to better understand WordPress.  However, having said that, the version we are using in this course is making it difficult for me to see when pages get added.

What is Word Press?

WordPress is primarily used for blogging.   Its language in the computer world is mostly based on PHP and MySQL.  Its features include a template as well as plugins.  No, I don’t mean the kind of plugin for air fresheners but it’s a great hack in order to be able to get things to do what you want them to.  It can help make the appearance of your blog better.  The biggest difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com is who is actually hosting your website.

I chose 000webhost because Gwiddle messed me up.  I wasn’t able to use the one I wanted to so after speaking through email with my instructor, he recommended 000webhost.  I’ve been using YouTube to figure out how to navigate it and so far I understand some of it and am still struggling to figure out how to make it work for my advantage.

My experience installing WordPress has been a difficult one at times and simplistic at others.  With Gwiddle, because there was an issue with my URL, it was an absolute nightmare to link the accounts but with 000Webhost it’s been like night and day.  I personally like working with WordPress because it is fairly simple to use.  It has great features and an ease of working within the system.