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Everyone Hates Group Invites


Have you ever decided you wanted to do something and you think “I like to do this with a bunch of people. They’d probably enjoy this too!”? So you come up with a list of people who you really want to invite and perhaps add a few backups just in case the A List can’t make it. Then you decide to send out your invites either via email, text, Facebook messenger because no one really does snail mail invites anymore for non formal events.

Because you want to save time, you just send out one mass invite to everyone. Should be easy right?

Wrong.

You can’t send out group invites where everyone can see that other people are invited. It just doesn’t work.

You’re not going to hear back from everyone. Some people are going to reply, others will not. They will think they don’t need to because someone else will.

If they can see the guest list, there will be times when they will make their decision on who else is coming first. Unless this is something that they really want to do or they really enjoy spending time with you, these folks will NOT make their RSVP until they see who else is coming. Who’s going to be the first to push the button?

People also hate the reply all button. And unless you are using a platform like Facebook messenger which allows you to opt out of the group, you are stuck getting tons of text messages or emails that you do NOT want. It’s a pain to keep getting messages from people you don’t know especially when you can’t tell who it is. And since you never really wanted to be included on this in the first place, you’re really not going to reply back with a positive answer.

So what’s the trick to getting people to go out and do something with you?

Be super popular and be so cool that EVERYONE wants to be around you and asks YOU to hang out with them so much that you just decide to ignore people when they want to hang out with you.

Just kidding (sorta).

You have to be pro active about inviting. People are always going to have plans. Even when they don’t have active plans, sometimes if they don’t hear about anything going on they will just plan for a night in. Making last-minute plans can sometimes work, but if you know you want to do something in advance, you need to act early on it to make it happen.

You have to plan wisely. Realize that not everyone is going to be able to everything.

Also, DON’T SEND OUT GROUP INVITES.  People will get irritated with YOU for putting them on that list in the first place. They don’t want

If you MUST send out a group email, do what you do at work, and just BCC everyone. So what if people don’t know who else is coming? Unless they are totally freaked out or disgusted at hanging out one on one with you (then which they really shouldn’t be your friend in the first place), should it matter?

Basically just use judgement. Don’t include people on group texts, emails if you know they won’t go. People shouldn’t feel left out if they know they can’t come.

Personally invite each person that you want to go with you. Yes, this will take up more time and it’s not as convenient but it probably will get better results. People (despite everything we say about not having enough time or being too busy) still enjoy one on one personal interaction with people they care about. You may have to make the list smaller if you, yourself, are short on time.

It’s still not guaranteed though. Nothing is certain. You can personally invite someone, get a response, and they STILL leave you hanging.

Or you can read these very helpful articles

Making Plans with People

Worries People Often Have About Making Friends and Plans

Examples Of Organizing Various Group Social Plans

and if the worst thing happens and no one wants to go out with you?

Going Out Alone To Meet New Friends And Practice Your Social Skills

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I tip my glass to you

beer2

So this time last year, I talked about how I had started drinking more craft beers.

When I wrote that last post, I had only begun keeping track of what I was drinking on Untappd. Even though I had drank several beers before that, I only had started tracking and therefore only had 5 beers listed.

A year later? I’ve tried 260 unique beers.

Before I go into more detail let me add a few disclaimers/clarifications.

  1. I am a Christian and am strong in my faith. But I do not believe drinking to be a sin unless you are constantly abusing it. You can completely disagree with me but that is my personal stance.
  2. While I may have tried a large number of beers that does not necessarily mean I am drinking full pints every single time. A large amount of these are samples, tasters, or flights…which ties into….
  3. Even though it is a large number, many of these have come from sampling with friends or at tastings where the price is FREE to try many varieties of beers from different breweries.
  4. One does not want a beer belly so I work out and run to stay healthy.

That being said…

One year later, I’ve learned A LOT more about beer. This time last year I had 5 beers on my Untappd profile including TWO Blue Moons. Last year, I would have told you I liked Blue Moon and beers that taste like that. Now I can’t even drink a Blue Moon anymore just for the taste of it. I don’t mind trying out their seasonals but why drink the regular stuff when there’s so many other delicious beers to try out?

It’s funny that growing up I thought that if you drank any amount of beer, you’d instantly get drunk. But I’ve learned that it’s completely possible to drink and try out several different types of beers and not get wasted. While there are people who will abuse alcohol (just like you can abuse anything), it’s not something I’m looking to do. I don’t get drunk and I know my limits.

My favorite thing to do now is going to Total Wine or Wegmans and create my own 6 pack. That way I can try out different beers and never have to get the same one twice. It can also be a lot cheaper to do this than going out and getting a flight of beers. Of course, some beers may only be available on tap and taste better that way. So it’s really your call. Also, creating a 6 pack for someone is a great present idea. I have given these as Christmas presents and received one as a birthday present. It’s fun for the person picking out the beers and exciting for the one receiving the.

I’ve also been to four beer tasting classes at Total Wine and they were a ton of fun.

beerclass

I went on my own because I couldn’t find anyone else to do it with me and even though I was out of my comfort zone, I had a blast. There’s food and the atmosphere is really fun. I got to try all these different types of beer AND learn more about them. Two were brewery based where we got to try beers specific to that brewery and learn from the brewmaster about the history of the brewery and the process of making the beers. The other two were themed: fall beers (ie pumpkins, Oktoberfests, etc) and then stronger beers (beers over 8% ABV). This is perfect for someone like me who wants to know more about beer without having to commit to buying a whole bottle or pint. I assume this is like a wine tasting but since we all know I don’t drink wine, I’m so glad that this exists as well.

I’ve been doing things like researching breweries around the area (and there A LOT) and taking tours when I can. There’s a lot of local beers I liked to try as well as many just in our state alone. I like going out with my friends and just sampling beers with everyone. It’s a ton of fun for everyone to get their own flight and everyone have a taste of them. flights

And like I said previously, I’m using Untappd A LOT. I will admit that I’ve started to become a badge fanatic. I like using the app because it helps me keep track of what beers I’ve drank and what kinds of beers I like. Also if I’m going to drink, I might as well get something for it, right? So yeah badges are slightly addictive. I like tasting different beers and don’t really like trying the same thing more than once. Even though there are badges for doing that, I still cannot bring myself to get a six pack or continuously order the same beer. (Again feel free to friend me on there!)

I really like drinking different types of beer and I’m totally enjoying learning more about what I like and don’t like. Types of beers I really enjoy now are witbiers, Belgian Blonde/Goldens, saisons, hefeweizens, fruit beers, meads, radlers, hard ciders, and pumpkin beers. This doesn’t mean I like EVERY single beer in these categories but at least now I know what to look for when I go out.

That being said, for whatever reason, I get a lot of flack and teasing whenever I order beers. I mentioned this last week but again maybe it’s just the group of friends I have or maybe I’m just weird in general but every time I get a flight of beers, it happens. My beers tend to be lighter in color, usually on the lower ABV level, and generally more fruity or less bitter. I’m not a heavy hops fan so I tend to stay away from the bitter IPAs and I don’t really like the flavor of most stouts or porters. However, I don’t mind trying them because sometimes I do find surprises and end up discovering beers that I thought I’d hate but ended up enjoying very much.

I never judge anyone else on what they order (though if you refuse to try new things and have only drank the same old domestic beers, I might give you a look) and I never would make fun of someone for what they like or don’t like. And yet…I cannot figure out why people keep doing this to me. I could spend a long time trying to figure this out. Is there something wrong with me because I don’t like specific kinds of beer and like others? Am I doing something wrong?

It’s hilarious because I got called a beer snob because I like (and know) all different types of beer now. Please. I am the furthest thing from a beer snob. I have actively and frequently seen people who judge people’s tastes in beer. I’m not one of those people at all. Again, if you want to drink only Miller Lite, it’s your choice. I’m just sad because you won’t try something new but I am like that about all things in life when you get stuck in your comfort zone.

There are many things I still don’t know yet about beer. I am FAR from being knowledgeable about this topic. There’s so much to learn and to be honest, I don’t have enough time to spend really teaching myself about this subject. But I’m learning as I go and picking up what I can. There’s still SO MANY beers for me to try out that basically it’s never going to end. I know for me, I’m proud of myself for learning something new and seeing my growth in a year.

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Another one to cross off my list

I found out this week that Josh Groban is dating Kat Dennings.

While I am understandably heartbroken at the fact that he didn’t choose me, it is ok. I am happy that he is finally publicly dating someone again and he seems happy as well.

I’ve had many celeb crushes over the years and I’ve just gotten used to the fact that I will never end up with any of them.

So today, I will just feature my celeb crushes that just were not meant to be.

Adam Banks from The Mighty Ducks (Vincent LaRusso)

Spot Conlon from Newsies (Gabriel Damon)

Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez from The Sandlot (Mike Vitar)

JTT

Devon Sawa (Casper, Little Giants, Now and Then)

Mark Paul Gosselaar

Who were your crushes growing up?

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Can’t you just take a joke?

Even though I’ve come to accept that teasing is a way of life, I still don’t understand it.

Oh sure, I do it to other people as well. I mean I’m the oldest of three kids, it’s part of growing up. I don’t know why I do it. Sometimes it’s funny because I’ll get a laugh from other people but most of the time, it doesn’t make me feel any better. I think a lot of it also stems from this: where if we don’t like something, we can’t understand why someone else does (or vice versa). And because we can’t understand it, we use teasing as a defense mechanism to try to justify our way of thinking.

A lot of folks will just tell you to lighten up or don’t take it so seriously if you get offended by the teasing. I think the worst response I ever after I told someone to stop teasing me was “well you asked for it. It’s your fault.” Don’t ever tell someone that they asked for the teasing, that they wanted the teasing. You are in control of your own actions. Own up to it and admit it.

Growing up, I got teased a lot for being Asian. Kids would come up to me and bow at me, pull back their eyes, or say things like “CHING CHONG” at me. To this day I still cannot understand why this happens. Why do we make fun of things that are different from us? Did their parents just never educate them on different cultures? Were they unaware of what their kids were doing? Or did they themselves also make fun of Asians at home and their kids were just imitating them? As an aside, I think that’s why to this day even though I am proud of being Asian, culturally I fit better with being “American and white” because I didn’t want to stand out so much and get teased.

 

I still get teased a lot for things I like because other people either 1) don’t like them or 2) cannot understand why I like something they deem to be inferior. Example: I like lighter colored beers such as witbiers, belgian goldens, radlers, etc. I’m not a fan of the bitterness in a lot of IPAs and beers like stouts are just too much for me. I accept the fact that while I don’t mind trying new things because maybe I might like them, I pretty much know what I like and I’m good with that. I’m also proud that I discovered this on my own after multiple tastings and doing research vs. being completely clueless. That being said, I feel like every time I go out with people and order a beer that I like, I get teased mercilessly for being such a girl because of my choices. All the guys will have darker beers and I’ll have a flight of lighter colored beers. And I’m like….What on earth do you want me to do? Why am I getting teased for this? I AM A GIRL. This is what I like. You’re not going to respect me any more if I just do what you want me to do.

Usually I just ignore it because I know I’ve done nothing wrong but sometimes teasing like this gets really annoying.

While I’ve been teased my entire life, sometimes to the point where I end up crying, I’ve thankfully never been really bullied. And I feel so sorry for all the people who do, especially kids and teenagers who get bullied for things they truly cannot control. I really do not understand the mindset behind a bully. It’s so disgusting that someone gets so much happiness out of making someone miserable to the point where they end up killing themselves to stop the hurt. And even then it’s still not enough because the bullies keep targeting others. Maybe it’s a good thing I cannot understand this way of thinking.

But that’s the extreme way of teasing. I’m not saying that there should never be teasing in life. A good amount is healthy and if it’s good-natured, then it can be fun for everyone. Just be wise about it.

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Good Chinese Food is Hard to Find

One of the things about moving to a new area, whether it’s a cross-country move or a cross town move, is you have to go find new regular spots again. New doctor, new gym, new church, new library, etc.  After all the important things, then you start looking around at what food places are near you to eat. And if you’re anything like me, you will want to find the nearest Chinese take out place for when those cravings hit.

Do you know though how hard it is to find a favorite Chinese food place? It honestly is like trying to find a new doctor. Everyone has their own personal favorites and even if you recommend yours to someone else, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily going to like it as well.

I judge Chinese food places by how they do their lo mein. It’s a simple enough dish: noodles, minimal vegetables, and meat. I prefer roast pork though I will accept shrimp. First off, if the place does not offer pork as an option, well I’m not even going to consider you. The dish should not be overtly greasy yet there should be flavor. Minimal liquid is allowed but not so much that it becomes noodle soup. Noodles should be chewy. If you can pass that test, I’ll look into your other dishes.

Taste and customer service is key to finding a good place. Your food has to taste good but you also have to be somewhat nice when I call to order and when I go to pick up. If you treat me rudely then I’m definitely not coming back either. Even if your pork lo mein tastes like heaven.

I’ve lived in my current location for a little over 4 years and I STILL have not found a go to Chinese food place. There is about a mile down the road that can do in a pinch but they aren’t spectacular. The Chinese food at the Wegmans buffet is actually quite good but for 8.99 for a pound it’s freakishly expensive. I’ve tried different locations but I still have not been able to settle down on one to call all the time. It’s actually quite frustrating. It’s like trying to find the Golden Ticket of Chinese food.

Yes, I also know that American Chinese food isn’t technically real Chinese food. But I have no idea how to cook this stuff so hence why I need the take out. Also Pei Wei and Panda Express just don’t cut it.

This isn’t an easy task and there can be a lot of hit and misses. Plus you could always find the one you really like and they suddenly disappear. Also let’s not get me started on Chinese buffets. Down where my parents live there are a TON of good cheap ones. Up here in the DC metro area? Hah. Expect to pay top dollar for semi decent ones. The good ones are really pricey and the cheaper ones aren’t that good.

I had some rather decent lo mein the other night at my friends’ house the other night. Unfortunately they live 25 minutes away so that’s out of the question for repeat visits for me.

My quest continues.

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What Good Books Have You Been Reading Lately Vol 4

To new comers of this blog, this is a semi-regular feature on my blog. I have no set date on when these posts will go up. It all depends on how much I read and how good the books are that I read. Lately, I have been picking good books so it’s been good reading times for me. I’m now standing at 159 out of 225 books read for my 2014 goal with about 2.5 months left to go!

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee (Howard, 2014)

My blurb: As far as I can remember, the Queen of Sheba gets a blip of a mention in Sunday School but I don’t know that much about her other than she came to visit King Solomon and they had a lot of wise talks. This book takes her character and creates a whole story for her that is incredible. You can tell there was a lot of historical research that went into the book. Tired of safe fiction coming from the Christian fiction publishers? This one has lots of sex. Good stuff. Heh.

An Accidental Life by Pamela Binnings Ewen (B&H, 2013)

My blurb: This book is about woman lawyers and abortion. But lest you think it’s a preachy pro-life book, it actually isn’t. It’s more about the legal issues surrounding the pro-life/choice debate and makes for a very compelling read.

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas (Bethany House, 2014)

My blurb: To sum up this word in just a few words: West Virginia and food. Seriously there is a ton of food in this book. And the best part is that one of the characters has the gift of making more food come. But people think she’s a witch! Like I said…..West Virginia.

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon (Putnam Adult, 2014)

My blurb: I LOVED this book. I’ve read all the Mitford books and this one was just like going home again. You know how when some authors go back to their most popular books and they just cannot recreate the magic? Not this time. Everything and everyone was there. I also haven’t laughed so much while reading a story in a long time. This is wonderful comfort reading. I don’t know if there will be more books but even if there isn’t, this was a joy to read

Blur by Steven James (Skyscape, 2014)

My blurb: Confession: Even though I LOVE Steven James’s books, I nearly avoided this one because it wasn’t published by a mainstream publisher. (I’m snobby about that.) I’m glad that I went against my normal way of thinking because this was a really great read. It’s a YA suspense with some paranormal elements and it is GOOD. James writes the story from a first person teenage boy’s POV and I believed it.

The Miracle Thief by Iris Anthony (Sourcebooks Landmark, 2014)

My blurb: This book is an amazing historical fiction read set during France during the 900s which is a time period you don’t see a lot of these days in books. Stuff about miracles and witches and nuns and royalty. All good stuff. Also even though I know what the word means, this was the first time I’ve actually seen the word “palfrey” used in a book and multiples times at that.

Sing for Me by Karen Halvorsen Schreck (Howard, 2014)

My blurb: Interracial relationships! Jazz music! Immigrants! The 1930s during the Depression! This book was fantastic. There is a serious lack of interracial couples in Christian fiction so I’m really glad that this book happened. Lots of soul in this one.

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron (Thomas Nelson, 2014)

My blurb: Not your typical WWII Christian fiction book. It doesn’t romanticize the time period at all. But if you have a love of music and European history, you will definitely enjoy this book. Out of the box.


Overwhelmed: Winning the War Against Worry by Perry Noble (Tyndale, 2014)

My blurb: We all know I worry a lot. And how I’m really trying not to. I’ve watched sermons from Noble’s teachings online and I’ve read excerpts from this book in an online devotional and really liked his style of teaching. I basically devoured this book in a day. There’s a lot of what goes through my mind in this book and he really touches at the heart of the manner. I don’t read a ton of non fiction normally but this is one that I needed and definitely recommend.

That’s what I’ve been reading. What good books have YOU been reading lately?

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Say something, I’m giving up on you

Something must be wrong with my phone.

I mean that must be the reason why I haven’t heard anything back.

It’s not showing me that I have any notifications.

I don’t see a text. Or a call. Or a email. Or a chat.

After all I do have Sprint. I mean sometimes their service can be unreliable.

Maybe my message didn’t go through. Or perhaps the return message didn’t go through.

So it must be the phone’s fault.

It can’t be because I’m being deliberately ignored. Right?

I could think of a bunch of excuses. To justify the reason.

People get busy. People forget to respond.

Maybe it’s the OTHER phone’s fault. Maybe it got stolen. Or broken.

Or maybe there was a kidnapping, illness, natural disaster, moved away.

Hoping that there wasn’t a death and no one contacted me about it.

Most likely though, it’s not intentional. Though it could very well be.

Maybe there just needs to be space. And time. And waiting. And being patient.

There’s always a reason. I just don’t know it yet.

The point is that despite all the things I just wrote, I’m not worrying about it.

The message on Sunday in church was yet ANOTHER one of those ones when I was NOT expecting it to be relevant to me and yet it was again. The speaker filling in talked about having a “black water” experience, and how hard helmet diving is a good illustration about facing a trial when you’re a Christian. Just like diving into places where everything is pitch black and you can’t see anything, going through trials makes you feel like you’re isolated, alone, and in the dark. You don’t know what’s going to happen and you get lost and scared. The only thing that you can rely on is having trust in someone who will tell and show you what you need to do. And then when it’s all done, you’ll come out of the pit, the hole, the darkness and you’ll look and be amazed at what you went through and still made it.

God is the only one that knows what exactly is happening and why it’s happening in this way. From past experiences, I know that I’ll be in the pit looking up and I have to trust that God will rescue me and bring me back up. And when I do come back up, everything seems so much better. And I also know I couldn’t have done it without my faith.

The waves of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
“In my distress I called to the Lord;
I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears. (2 Samuel 22:5-7)

Basically, it’s going to be ok. It’s scary now not being able to see and not knowing what’s ahead. But because I know that I can trust in God, because I know that he’s not failed me in the past, it will be ok.

Maybe the phone will ring or a text will come. And maybe it won’t ever. It’ll still be ok.

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What’s Your Attention Span Like?

I know that I can get distracted pretty easily if I don’t have my mind set to finish something.

I can’t read a book if the TV is on in the background or even if I’m hearing music. It’s weird because I’m usually able to drown out actual conversation from real life people in the same room with me if I’m trying to focus on something. But when it comes to reading, I need complete silence. Otherwise my mind will just be drawn to the background noise like a moth to a flame even if I have absolutely no interest in it whatsoever.

That being said, when I DO put my mind to something, when I start getting an interest in something, I focus all my attention on it.

  • While running is probably never going to be my favorite thing in the world, I’m really proud at the dedication I’ve made with sticking with the Couch to 5k program. I’ve got 3 more workouts in it before I technically finish but I’ll continue to work out it to better my progress. I finished my first 5k race last week and though my time was rather horrible, I’m proud of myself for actually entering and then finishing. And now I know what I need to do to make it better. Plus I agreed to run a zombie 5k obstacle course at the end of the month because I’m crazy.
  • I’m not sure why I upped my reading goal to 225 books from 200 last year. But with 2 months left in the year and 69 books left to still be read, I’m putting all effort into finishing this goal.
  • This blog. Blogs are a dime a dozen. There’s ton of them out there. Why should people care about what I have to say? I’m not anyone important. And yet, I still write. Even if nothing ever comes out of this, I am still wanting to keep up with this blog. It’s been over a year since I started this and I hope I don’t stop anytime soon. I know of so many dead blogs out there even from people I know in person who get super excited in the beginning and then just stop completely for whatever reason. I’m not planning on this one to become one of them.

While I’m sure that there are still many things that I have wanted to try that I haven’t done or even lost interest in, I think that there’s a bigger part of me that wants to keep my word even to myself.

I know several people who put 110% in the first 10% of something and then the interest slowly wanes and then dies away completely. I also know that life happens and sometimes you have to choose between what you want to do and what you have to do. That being said, if you really want to make something happen….stick with it.

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Fall means ALL the TV, ALL the time

It’s that time of year when ALL the new TV shows are coming out. It’s a good year to be a geek when it comes to TV shows.

This time for Entertainment Weekly, I’ll be recapping Selfie on ABC.

Selfie2

It stars Karen Gillan (Amy Pond/Nebula) and John Cho (Harold/Sulu/MILF Guy #2) and is an updated version of My Fair Lady and Pygmalion. I know that the name and premise of the show turns people off but it’s actually not that bad. Though I watched the pilot online and then rewatched it when it aired this past Tuesday. And well…they changed things which I’m not sure why because I thought that they did not help the story. But we’ll see what happens. My first recap is up and if you’re watching it too, follow my Facebook page to get links to all season (or however long this show manages to stay on) as I recap the show. I will say that I DO love John Cho and think he’s fantastic.

I would totally like to watch Gotham but as I have already have Monday nights busy, I can’t watch it live. Hopefully I can catch it on On Demand. I would also really love to watch The Flash on the CW but I haven’t even gotten around to watching Arrow yet so that will probably have to wait.

Last year I started watching Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but then I got busy on Tuesday nights and missed the second half of the season. Which is a bummer because I know there was that whole tie in with Captain America: The Winter Solider (Hail Hydra!) Therefore sadly I cannot watch new episodes until I catch up from last year. Luckily one of libraries ordered the first season on DVD so I’m on the holds list for it. I’m annoyed this isn’t on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I hope I can catch up because I DO want to watch this show as well as the Peggy Carter spin-off that is coming.

I WAS able to catch the premiere of Gracepoint on Fox last night.

I haven’t seen the original show that it’s a remake of, Broadchurch, so I can’t compare but so far I am planning on watching as much as I can. I will admit, David Tennant’s American accent was the real reason why I tuned in but the show is actually good. I am trying not to look at spoilers of the original series.

I’m still watching Doctor Who. Peter Capaldi is GREAT as the Doctor and the episodes have been pretty good so far. He’s VERY different from Matt Smith but I think that’s a good thing.

The other show I can’t wait to come on again is The Walking Dead. I’m both geeked and terrified at what is going to happen in this season. It also doesn’t help/hurt that with the news about the Ebola virus coming to America that the zombie apocalypse might very well become a real thing one day…..


So yeah. That’s what I’m watching on TV this fall. What about you?

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Ask God a Question? You Get an Answer

It happened again.

Those times where I swear God decides that I’m being too dense and He chooses to speak directly at me through someone else so that I’ll actually listen to what He wants me to hear.

You may have noticed that I haven’t been really writing a lot of faith posts lately. Not because my faith has changed or gotten any less. It’s just I’ve been busy and focused on things. One of my major prayers got recently answered and while I’m very blessed and thankful, worries that had gone to the back burner are back in full force again.

It was one of those Sundays where I started off my drive to church being honest with God. I wasn’t angry at him this time. Just frustrated with things. And I told Him how it was making me feel. I know that some people don’t like complaining to God but I’m all for letting him know what’s going on my end.

This particular time I was frustrated with myself for worrying so much about the future. I’m a planner by nature. I like knowing how everything is going to be so that when it happens, there are no surprises that will cause me stress or worry. Ironically though because of this desire, I still get stressed out and get anxiety because I can’t make things go smoothly beforehand. I don’t like not knowing the future because I hate uncertainty yet worry about things makes it worse.

I told God about how I wish I could be someone who lives in the present and never seems to worry about anything. They have such a carefree anything goes attitude and just seem happy all the time. I feel like I could never be that kind of person however because I DO like planning ahead and the thought of never planning for anything is terrifying.

And then sometimes I feel like I live in the past. Not that I want to stay there but memories keep popping up and I want to get them out of my head and they just will not go away. I had been catching up with episodes of this season’s Doctor Who and there was a character who continually had memory wipes so that he could forget things. Even though I knew the consequences of not remembering things, I totally envied him because sometimes memories carry too much pain with them.

I walked into church feeling very meh that morning. I did pray that hopefully I would get something out of the sermon but I wasn’t feeling very into it. And then of course, it would be the Sunday that all the worship songs we sang seemed to jump out at me.

Focus my eyes
Away from myself
You become greater
I become less

Promise maker, promise keeper
You finish what You begin
Our provision through the desert
You see it through ‘til the end
You see it through ‘til the end
In the silence, in the waiting
Still we can know You are good
All Your plans are for Your glory
Yes, we can know You are good

When the songs finished and the guest pastor walked out, I was like oh, I’m not going to get anything out of today’s sermon. It’s not going to be anything I can relate to. This is ——“I am a planner. I am always thinking about the future. I am always thinking about what’s to come,” he said. I immediately shrunk down in my seat with my mouth slightly ajar.

Are you kidding me God? Seriously?

He then proceeded to talk about how we all tend to default to living in the past, present, and future. Some of us might focus on just one area, others will dabble.

(WHAT IS GOING ON???)

All have good qualities: you learn from the past and don’t want to repeat mistakes, by staying in the present you become less anxious and don’t worry as much, planning for the future can be wise. However all have negative qualities as well: you become focused on reliving the glory days or staying focused on what’s hurt you before, you have to keep getting a kind of “high” every day to stay happy, and too much living in the future makes you not focus on what’s in front of you.

We’ll have arguments with God where we just ask him to show us that he’s there, to throw us a bone, give us a sign, just prove to us that he’s there and hasn’t abandoned us. (Have I been bugged????)

He instead then said that the best thing to focus on was being in the presence of God. That no matter what is going on in life, no matter how good or bad things will get and how much you may worry, it’s better to realize that God is always there.

In Your presence there is freedom
In Your presence there is hope
In Your presence there is healing
Love restores me, I am whole

No matter how far I run
You are with me
No matter how far I fall

Your love is everlasting
Your kindness never ends
God You never leave me
Your presence goes before us
Your glory has no end
God You never leave me

The focus of the message was on John 14:1-17 and while I won’t post all of it here, the passage basically explains how Jesus is telling the disciples that they need to just believe in him. They don’t need signs or other miracles (though he has already shown them these things). Just have faith.

Well. Geez. I don’t think it could have been any clearer that God was choosing to speak to me through this message. Yes, I know that it wasn’t made specifically JUST for me. Yes, I know that all this had been planned for at least several days beforehand. And yes it does seem like a big coincidence.

But I know it isn’t. I know that God didn’t create specifically this for me because there are many people who benefited from hearing something like that. But He knew I needed to hear it and He knew WHEN I needed to hear it. It’s just always is incredibly freaky when it happens mere minutes after you tell and ask Him those exactly questions and He answers it immediately. True, it doesn’t always happen. And sometimes you may NEVER get an answer. But those times when it does happen? Awesome.

Therefore all my worries about God not caring and turning a deaf ear to me? Yeah…He just pretty much pulled one on me. God: Infinity. Deborah: Zero.