Category Archives: Journal Entries

For the use of personal challenges and progress trackers in any given area of life.

Recognizing Brilliance: Reader Appreciation Award

I received this award from Aalif a few days ago. I probably wouldn’t put this much effort into accepting an award if I didn’t really appreciate every one of aalif’s posts. It’s a good thing to be spreading around, anyways. All writers and artists know how amazing it is to have people who give what they do the time of day, whether it’s recreational or not. It’s said that writers are among the most self-absorbed people around as they do not care to read the works of other writers. So, I would encourage you to become an exception to the rule.

Side Note: I don’t know the difference between those who read my blog and those who mindlessly click the “like” button, so I’ll be using this as a “Writer Appreciation Award” versus one for readers.

Recipients of the award are asked to:

  1. Identify the awards and who gave them to you.
  2. Post the Logo on your blog.
  3. Share 7 items about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5-10 other bloggers to receive this award, and notify them on their blogs.

Here’s some of my favorite blogs, the people whose work I am silently challenged and inspired by. A few of them don’t even know I read their work. I hardly use that pesky “like” button, so I pray that this award will make up for my lack of recognition.

  1. Chester Maynes – weaves wonderfully mellifluous poems
  2. Subhan Zein – a talented writer and a lively, passionate student of the universe.
  3. LadyRomp – lifting women up everywhere with her informative and inspiring posts.
  4. Maggie Mae – I wish I knew her. Her words are always raw and genuine with sharp edges of brilliance that’ll cut straight to your core, almost as if the way to your heart was already freshly paved.
  5. Sean Lynch – His blog doesn’t have quite the following I most certainly think it should have. I don’t know what to say about it. I guess you’ll have to check it out to see what I mean.
  6. Coco J. Ginger – Vibrant poetry with a noticeable focus on introspection and love. She writes like one who has been touched, but not broken by the world. Thank God for people like that, the force that pushes blood through my veins and whatnot.
  7. Ex Nihilo Infinitum – I wish I could not mention him, but his writing, mostly his poetry, sends me into fits of consuming envy. To pump out beautifully-crafted intellectual discourse as consistently as he does, I would murder all of the earth’s most beautiful creatures. It’s sick, truly.

Seven things about myself:

  1. Agoraphobia and panic disorder are the two driving forces that have held me back in almost every area of my life. I am doing my best to weed out my own fear without the use of CBT or medication. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but Love will not be defeated.
  2. I’m socially retarded. People don’t take me seriously enough when I say that.
  3. I have worked with developmentally disabled children for the past two years, and I have general disdain for people that assume I’m a good person just because they view my job as a charitable line of work.
  4. I have high hopes to become a delightful curmudgeon in my old age.
  5. In a few weeks, I’ll be attending college for the first time in years to obtain my English degree. I’m more nervous than I should be.
  6. I have been almost completely clean from illegal drugs for two years and four months. I’m not too horribly ashamed to admit I’ve gotten high a few times since then.
  7. My friends do not consider me to be a person who cries much, but nothing moves my heart quite like the beauty of God.

A Journal Entry: The Vow of Silence

For the past three days, my voice has been becoming more weak and more hoarse, my breathing made labored, and the amount of times I’ve coughed and had to clear my throat have increased at parallel rates. I did some quick self-diagnosing and found that I was most likely developing laryngitis. Further confirming this diagnosis, I woke up just before midnight today, and found that I could no longer speak at all. My thoughts frantically searched for a way to communicate with the friend whose house I had woken up at. There was no paper, no pens, my phone was dead and I do not know sign language beyond the alphabet.

I came to a rest in a chair by the bedroom window. Hours passed as I sat and watched in a calm stillness as the rays of the early morning sun began slowly filling the room. I thought to myself of the deaf and the mute, romanticizing the idea of never being able to speak again. I began to think of the series we’re currently covering at Sunday School; It’s on the value and the impact of words. For months, I have become more and more agitated by the sheer vanity of the things that proceed from my heart to my mouth, so this series is timely and fitting for me. It seemed like a natural conclusion to come to that I would take a vow of silence in this time, and perhaps it is a cheap sacrifice with my current condition aiding the choice, but it is a matter I feel strongly about pursuing nonetheless.

I noted that if I was serious, I needed to think about what it was that I wanted to gain out of this. It came pretty quickly to me that I wanted to reinstate an awareness of my words and the impact they have on others; I often offend people without intending to, due to a lack of premeditation, and frankly, out of carelessness. I also have a tendency to speak out of anger, sadness, or jealousy and in the same breath, wishing I could take back all the damaging words I’ve said. Even more frustrating is that I’ve found a way to cause harm to others when acting out of joy, too, by speaking faith and encouragement into areas of their lives where I didn’t have any business poking my ruddy fingers into. Obviously, I need to learn to take more time thinking about my responses, before releasing them out into the world. Ultimately, I want the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be pleasing to the Lord.

Thirdly and lastly, another desired outcome I conjured up out of my subconscious was that I wanted to hear G-d in stillness. I have heard Him in noise, in the voices of others, and in music. I have seen Him in the Word, in a sunset or a circumstance, but very rarely, if ever, have I heard Him or known Him by and/or in silence. I often sing that song, “In the secret, in the quiet place, in the stillness, You are there,” and have felt His presence in the song, but not genuinely related to the words. I am excited to see the ways G-d will move in my silence. I am excited to be reminded that He knows my heart and therefore hears the prayers of my heart, even when I choose not to place them into words – a simple truth that I so often forget.

My progress and any unexpected outcomes will surely be noted, as I will probably be documenting any change or progress through this blog, manipulating it as a journal of sorts… for the time being, anyways.

Scriptural References: Psalm 91:1, Psalm 37:7, Luke 6:45, Matthew 12:34, Psalm 19:14, Psalm 44:21, Proverbs 15:1, so on, so forth.