Monday, December 12, 2011

Published on SparkLife!

Everyone knows about SparkNotes, right? Well, SparkLife is a different story.

I usually race on to Sparknotes, get the info I need, then race off. Until one day, when I saw something on the left side bar that caught my eye...

Cleverly-titled articles beckoned me, with expertly-drawn pictures describing the contents within them. "Take a Study Break", SparkNotes said, and I obeyed.

Only my "break" turned into a full-fledged exploration through the mass of awesomesauce on SparkLife.

The articles were relatable, funny, and -most importantly- well written. I spent who-knows-how-long wandering through this maze of amazingness, then I came upon this article.

Write for SparkNotes, eh? Sounded like fun, even though I doubted anything I sent in would ever get published. I made up a list, tried to throw a few dashes of humor and sarcasm in there, and sent it in.

The next day, December 12th, I checked my e-mail anxiously. Lo and behold, an e-mail from SparkNotes had arrived. "It's too soon," I thought, "probably got rejected right away, it was my first submission, after all".

I clicked on the message only to confirm my thoughts, when I saw the words.The wonderful words that said, "Thanks for a great post! It just went up."

...what? WHAT?! My published on SparkNotes? No way.

After I had finished freaking out, I clicked on the link to make sure it wasn't a sick joke. It wasn't. It's right here.

Sure, it's just a few words and a list, but I wrote it. Other people read it, thought about it, and replied to it with comments.

If you can't tell, I'm pretty darn happy!

Now that I have more confidence in my writing, I will definitely try to write more-for this, SparkNotes, and just for the heck of it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What if?

What if we replaced the word “hate” with “love”?
What if we actually meant it when we said “love”?
What if we offered forgiveness to others, no matter what?
What if we stopped holding grudges, and just let things go?
What if we actually put every single effort into being the best we could be?
What if we built each other up instead of tearing each other down?
What if we started truly appreciating the things and people in our lives, good and bad?
What if we acted the way we do around people we look up to all the time?
What if we stopped making excuses, and started taking responsibility for our own actions?
What if we loved others the way Jesus loves us?
What if we actually showed our love, instead of just saying it?
What if we were willing to give people anything we had?
What if we actually lived the way we are called to live?

These shouldn’t be “what ifs”, this is how we should be living every day. Loving others; not betraying them. Giving; not stealing. Using the abilities God has given us for His glory; not tossing them aside, like they’re not even worth half a penny.

While I was writing this, the song “I Refuse” by Josh Wilson came to mind. This song is basically about how he wants to completely live for God, not just at church, but all the time. One of my favorite verses says, “I don't want to say another empty prayer”. When I first heard that, I couldn’t help but think back to all the times I had thought, “Oh, forgot to pray today” and then just make up some prayer I didn’t mean. Do you think the Creator of the universe, everything in it, and of you and me, deserves that? You don’t have to think; it’s a fact. He doesn’t. Sometimes we think there’s some “quota” to the number of times we should pray a day. The Bible says to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). I don’t see a number anywhere in there, and I’m pretty sure “ceasing” means end, so “without” + “ceasing”= never ending. But praying without ceasing doesn't do any good if you don't mean a word you say.

I hope this post made you think, it sure made me while was writing it.

This was inspired by a post written by one of my friends and fellow bloggers, Funmilayo, the owner of the blog “Inspiration and Beyond”. Thanks for the inspiration, Layo. (: {you’re such an alto (; }