Mystery Blogger Award

Thanks so much to Jessica at ellDimensional for nominating me for this award! I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one before, but here goes!

The Mystery Blogger Award…

  • is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get.
  • is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.
  • was created by Okoto Enigma.

Guidelinesmystery

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
  • Nominate 10–20 bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post.

Three Things About Me

  1. I am very easily amused. I burst out laughing at the simplest things. Most people notice this and assume I am an idiot, and I’m not going to deny the fact that I may very well be an idiot. 🙂
  2. The upside of item #1 is that it does not take much to make me happy. Give me a book, some coffee, and some introvert time and I’m good. I’m not a BMW. I don’t require a complicated and expensive maintenance routine.
  3. I enjoy self-deprecating humor. (One time, I used the word “self-deprecating” when talking to my dad and he said, “Self-defecating? Does that mean you’ve reached the point in your life that you can take a s–t without having someone else wipe your ass?”)

The Questions I Have to Answer

  1. Weird question: Are you afraid of the dark?
    Not really. The only times I am are when I’m driving in an unfamiliar area or when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I feel like monsters (i.e., cats) might attack me.
  2. What is your favorite genre to write? Or, what genre do you wish you could write?
    Fiction, more specifically young adult fiction. I wish I could write more nonfiction (you know, the kind with footnotes and endnotes and in-depth citations of sources), but ain’t nobody got time for that.
  3. What are your thoughts on vampires? As in, do you find them corny, overdone, classic, entertaining, or something else?
    I really liked vampires until the Twilight series came about, then my interest waned rapidly. I still prefer vampires over werewolves, though.
  4. Your favorite movie, along with your favorite actor/actress.
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Favorite actor: John Cassavetes (favorite living actor: Hayden Christensen, only because he looks good. He is a horrible actor). Favorite actress: Susan Lucci (favorite dead actress: Ava Gardner, but I haven’t seen any of her movies. It’s ’cause she was married to Frank Sinatra).
  5. The last book you read.
    Peter Kreeft’s Jesus Shock. It’s super short and very insightful. Honestly, they better make Dr. Kreeft a doctor of the Church once he passes on.

Nominees

I always cheat and say that anyone who follows and/or reads this blog can participate, and the same applies here.

…And Their Questions

  1. Weird question (actually, all these questions are somewhat weird): If you could live inside a TV show or movie, which would it be?
  2. If you had the time, money, and/or incentive to learn a foreign language, which would you learn?
  3. Who is your favorite philosopher?
  4. What is something you always think “what if” about?
  5. What quote do you try to live by?

My Best Post

There are a few I’ve written that I really like… and they are not the same as the ones that get the most hits, so I put one of each:

  1. It’s been getting lots of hits recently even though I wrote it over 3 years ago: The Absolute Worst Book I Have Ever Read
  2. The one I like most (there are others, but this is my current favorite): Hopeless and Defeated

Trust Takes Time

What is trust? I could break the word down into a handy acronym/mnemonic, but I’ll leave that to my fiancé, who is a much better wordsmith than me. 🙂 So I’ll rely on good ol’ Webster:

trust (n.) assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

When I think of trust, I think of that time in ninth grade when we were asked to do trust falls in PE class (What did that have to do with PE? To this day, I have no idea.), and I did not trust my classmates to catch me as I fell backward because the previous week, they had thrown me quite roughly over the volleyball net, leaving me with a bruised tailbone. (Our student teacher had a lot of unconventional ideas about what high school PE classes should look like.)

To get back on track in a very “Captain Obvious” manner: There will come a time when everyone on earth, even yourself, will fail you. This should not completely break your trust in these people but should remind you that humans are weak and that trust is better placed in Someone else.

But the question I struggle with is… How does one place trust in God? Is it simply a matter of letting go of what you want for yourself and conforming to His will? If that is the case, how does one discern His will? Sometimes I wish it was as easy as locking oneself into a cloister for hours of prayer or spending years in solitude composing a work such as the translation of the Latin Vulgate or the entire Summa Theologica… oh, wait, that’s not exactly easy.

Discerning the will of God and learning to trust in him are probably even more challenging in today’s secularized world than ever before, especially with all the distractions that face us. Nobody seems to have time for spiritual matters, even spending five minutes in church after Mass has ended. Everyone’s got a to-do list a mile long and an equally long list of places to be.

I think a simple way to trust in God would be to invoke His name in every situation. If it’s a sunny day, thank Him. If you hear that someone in your family is sick, ask Him to heal that person. If a project goes well at work, thank Him. If you lose something, ask Him (or St. Anthony) to help you find it. Another way to trust in God would be to look back at the past and previous situations where you requested and received His help. If you were able to trust Him then, you can surely trust Him now.

When we fail to trust, it is most likely caused by a lack of patience on our part. We read about the saints and other spiritual heroes, we see stuff on social media, and we assume that trust in God and habits of prayer come easily and quickly, when in reality, it takes a lifetime. We trust in God to give us the answer, but we forget that He gives us the answer in His timing, so when we lose patience, we lose trust in Him and feel as though we can rely only on ourselves or on our fellow humans.

Family Dollar, Dollar General, Super 10

dollar store journal and found pen
Flying back to RDU from Atlanta at an ungodly hour is a great time to journal!

First, a story about the pen in the picture. It has become The Pen™ because it has stayed in my purse or on my person since I accidentally stole it from Pizza Hut back in 2012. (You know how they give you a pen to let you sign the receipt? Yeah. They gave me the pen, I signed the slip, then pocketed the pen without thinking. Not sure if that counts as stealing.) Later on, I was taking a closer look at the pen and realized that the sole purpose in its plastic life was to advertise the spiritual services of Cornerstone Family Church. It must have failed miserably at doing that because the name of the church was misspelled as “Conerstone” on the pen. Now I see why someone left it behind, and now I see why I was meant to find it and keep it with me—as a daily reminder that my job, which involves picking at minutiae like misplaced commas, is actually meaningful.

Anyway… the real story in this post is supposed to be about cheap journals that were bought from the dollar store. I can’t remember whether I got the journal in the picture from Family Dollar, the Dollar General, the Super Ten, Five Below, or any of the other myriad “cheap” retail stores. All I remember is that I got it from the cheap retail store by the Walmart. I bought it because it was super cute* and it was only a dollar. I had cash burning a hole in my pocket and figured, “Well, I only have eight million blank notebooks hanging around my bedroom… why not get another one?” Not sure that Dave Ramsey would be happy with my impulse buy… but it was only a dollar!

For a dollar store journal, it was pretty durable. I was expecting the binding to come loose or the orange band to come off, but neither of those unfortunate events happened in the two months I was writing in it. The paper was fairly thin and probably made of a very cheap, cancer-causing material, but it wasn’t thin enough that ink bled through the pages. So the only lesson from this otherwise pointless story is that the dollar store is not a bad place to buy journals, provided that you don’t come in with high expectations. You want a Moleskine, you go to Barnes & Noble.

*Apparently, I was not the only one to think this. I was sitting in a hotel restaurant with the notebook by my side, and a waiter (not my waiter, so he didn’t do it for a tip) came up to me and told me my notebook was cute. Good to know that another person shares my taste in stationery.