What A Writer Should Write

If your writing isn't affecting the reader someway, somehow
Then your writing is all wrong
Maybe your words don't form eloquently
Maybe what you write about is something from another realm
Maybe it's not supposed to make sense
And that's okay
That's perfect.
When it comes to writing 'correctly',
There's no right or wrong
You write what you want to write
No one is to say if it's good or bad
And if the reader finishes reading your words
And asks 'What in the world did I just read?'
You have succeeded.
If they say, 'This was beautiful'
Or 'This was sad'
Well done.
For in all these instances,
You have made them feel.
And as a writer,
That is - and always will be -
Your greatest goal.
Your greatest accomplishment.
Your greatest reward.


10 Ways To Scare Off A Guy

The following tips are news flashes to the girls who mean well, but are actually scaring guys off.
You're doing it all wrong, ladies, and maybe if you simmer down, you can find some love.


1.  Not giving him space.
So he's out with the guys?  Let him have a dudes night.  Don't call him 25 times.  Don't text him 58 times.

2.  Oversharing.
Because, let's face it, there are just some details that don't need to be spoken of.

3.  Being a drama queen.
Seriously.  He probably doesn't want to date a 20-going-on-5 year old.  He wants to be a boyfriend, not a babysitter.

4.  Over-complaining.
There is always gonna be something not going well or right and you just need to get it off your chest.  About your work, your parents, your siblings, your relatives, your dog, your cat, your makeup, your hair, you life.  But don't overdo it.  Know where to draw the line.

5.  Pushing for more.

6.  Talking incessantly about past relationships.
They're gonna come up, sure.  Memories will surface and you blurt out something about Ex #3 before realizing it.  But there are mistakes like that, and then there are continual talks and episodes about Ex #1 and #2 and #4.  Just don't.

7.  Saying 'I love you' too soon.
This scares guys into thinking that ohmygoshshewantstogetmarriedalready, when in reality, if you've only been seeing each other for a couple weeks, chances are he probably isn't considering marriage quite yet.  Let him make the first move on that one, okay?  I mean, unless, you've been dating for 4 years already.  Theeeeen, I'd say go for it.

8.  Being unreasonably jealous.

9.  Not eating.  
Eat food, okay?  Don't nibble.  Don't become a vegan overnight.  Be confident in who you are, what food you like, that you CAN actually stuff your mouth with a Chipotle burrito in front of the hottest guy you know.  Just don't look like a pig and use a napkin and you'll be fine.  I've heard - from multiple guys! - that a girl who eats well and healthy and has a good appetite is 'a huge turn on'.  So, I mean, c'mon, ladies.

10.  Being high maintenance.
Always asking him to buy you the newest fads.  Always wanting him to go shopping with you.  Always asking him to do things for you.  And making sure he knows that you're going to be like this for the rest of your life.  You need attention and gifts and to be spoiled.  And you make sure that you get the point across to him.


Then And Now

Things are so much different than I thought they would be.
When I was young, in my innocent little mind, I imagined life would be very much not the way I realized it is when I grew older.

I thought people waited until they were 21 to taste their first alcoholic drink.
I thought people didn't do drugs or smoke because they know it's bad for them.
I thought people waited till they were married to have sex.  And only had it with that one person.  And never got divorces.
I thought people met their soulmate at a young age, got married after college, and lived happily ever after.
I thought people who loved each other never got in fights, never said hurtful things, never lied, never cheated, never left.
I thought everyone went to college, but if you didn't, no one would bash you about it.
I thought your friends were your friends and they would stay your friends forever.
I thought everyone who said 'I love you' would mean it with their whole heart - like I did - and would prove it.
I thought when people said 'Okay', everyone would know and understand how much trust went into that four-letter word.
I thought heartbreaks were something in movies and books.

I think it's insane how innocent a young mind can be - full of love and hope and expectations.  But once you hit a certain age, you experience all sorts of different twists and turns and you finally have to realize that...this world is messed up.  It's broken.  And it's actually just life.  And you have to live it.

And you learn.  And you hurt.  And you might even break sometimes.  But never completely.  Because even when you feel broken, you need to remind yourself that you've survived 100% of your worst days, so you got this.  You're not dead.  You're just down.  And you need to pick yourself back up.  Be your own little hero in this world of villains.

And amidst the trauma and chaos, there will always be that innocent little wish for love and hope in this life.  It's small.  Like a little flickering candle.  Sometimes wavering, sometimes dim.  But it's there.  And it's something to always look for.  Keep wishing.  Keep hoping.  Keep praying.

Because I promise, God is still there too.


When You Need To Surrender

Believing that God is in control even amidst our anxiety, heartache or grief is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult places to be in life.  I have struggled with this many times, in many circumstances.  But in every instance, I have come to realize the truth of God's sovereignty in new and more intimate ways.  Each time, I had to decide if I would trust Him, even when my heart was aching within me.

Learning to obey God doesn't come overnight.  It's a process.  Just as is trusting Him.  We trust Him one circumstance at a time.  It's a choice we must make, otherwise our human nature will take over and our brains will burst into chaos.

"Trusting God is not a matter of my feelings, but of my will," says Jerry Bridges in his book 'Trust God: Even When Life Hurts'.

This statement is so true.  Our decision must be conscience-based, not emotional.

How many of you feel like letting go of what you're trying to handle or fix, and trust it all to God during times of great ordeal?  Uhh, none of us.  But you can choose to do so, even if you don't feel like it.  Jerry Bridges later says, "The act of will, though, must be based on belief, and belief must be based on truth."

Are you standing on His Truth?  On His promises?  Do you believe it?  Do you believe Him?

When you indeed surrender, God will ask you for your life.  For everything and everyone you love.  And you need to give everything over to Him.  Let Him strip you of all you hold dear.  And when you're left with nothing, you will see that He is all you need.

'We won't be fully satisfied when we get what we want.  Because God loves us and wants us to find our satisfaction in Him, He won't allow us to be satisfied.  To believe that we'll finally be happy when we get what we want is a lie.'
- Stephen Altrogge


Handwritten Letters

One night,
I stumbled upon some old letters.
Memories came flooding back.

I've decided that I have a love-hate relationship with handwritten letters by the way.

I love them because of how old-fashioned they are - and when someone takes valuable time to write one to me, it's just super special.
But sometimes, when that person isn't in your life anymore, you kind of want to get rid of the memories that are entwined in the words of their letters.
And that's where the hate comes in because no matter how hard you try, you can't bring yourself to place the letters in the pile of 'garbage'.
Because they're not garbage.
They're memories.

And memories are not easily disposed of.

So the letters tend to be kept.
In a box.
Tucked away.
Deep in a closet.
And next time I reorganize my room, I'll find them again.
And the memories will start all over again.
And I'll probably write about it...


When You Miss Someone

PC: Jon-Michael Gregoire
Sometimes, when you miss someone, you can’t really put into words how exactly you miss them.  
It’s more of just an ache.  
A dull pain.  
A gnawing soreness to be with them.  
It’s a desire to be held in their arms.  
A want to see their smile, hear their voice, smell their scent.  
You think back on the memories you’ve created with them.  Maybe some are filled with regrets on moments you didn’t take full advantage of, or something you wish you could’ve done differently.  But nevertheless, they themselves fill your mind constantly.  
You miss them.  
And to miss someone is just the way your heart reminds you that you love them.  And how much you love them.  
It’s honestly one of the worst feelings in the world.  And there’s no remedy for it.  All you can do is pray to God you get to be with that person again.  

“I don’t miss you and you alone.  I miss you and me together.”
- Pankaj


I'm Just Going To Let the Pictures Tell You About [Peru]

Peru.  South America.  Third time.  Second time for New Years.  2015-2016.

The Group: (front to back) L-R: Luke, Jon-Michael, Seth, Forrest, Sierra and Raquel


I miss each and every one of them.
My heart aches to be back in my Peruvian home.