Animals/Pets, Children/YA/Family, Current Events, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Religion/Morality

Interview with Kathy Dunn for ‘Shepherding All God’s Creatures’ a Christian Animal Organization #interview #nonfiction #animalrights #Christianity


Welcome to another biweekly interview for my interviews series. I apologize I am behind with interviews as other projects have been keeping me extremely busy. Today I have a wonderful interview for you with Kathy Dunn, her team, and their blog for the cause of bringing awareness for animals in a Christian context. Kathy’s blog is called:  Shepherding All God’s Creatures


Credit: Kathy Dunn (From Left ) – Roselyne Smith and Kathy Dunn

1. What is Your Name and the Name of Your Cause? Where are you located? 

My Name is Kathy Dunn, and I love animals! Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in SAGC’s ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!  

My team includes myself, Kathy Dunn, from Minnesota, US; Roslyne Smith from Leeds, England; Marcello Newall from Italy; Jessica Lopez from Florida, US; and Philip Guyott from London, England. 


2. Please Tell Us About Your Cause and What You Are Trying to Accomplish?

We are Christians who love animals. I (Kathy) started a spiritual venture a few years ago that led me to blog. One day I was awakened to the industrialization and incorporating of animals into factory settings. I realized animals are exploited on every level by man for factory farms for food, the skin and fur trades, vivisection, puppy mills, hunting, and animals in entertainment. In the wild, animals face unprecedented pressure just to survive; many species are endangered and face extinction. In homes, some people mistreat and abuse family pets.

Our organization seeks to accomplish certain goals including: 

  • Using a Biblical approach, to share Christ’s love for us and all of creation, following the Holy Spirit’s lead, and using the truth of scripture. 
  • To focus on animals and exploring their role in creation as well as to explore what mankind’s role is as a caretaker of creation and the earth in general according to The Bible.
  • To provide resources on our blog page so that readers have a place to find educational material on the topic of animal exploitation and abuse. They can also find information on how to become involved and take action against animal abuse. There is also information on diet and how to live a Vegan life-style.
  • To encourage others to speak out to church leaders about the need for Creation Care Ministries within the church.
  • To serve as a tool for people to take information to their church bodies, as churches awaken to their role of caring for creation. On our site, we hope to provide some material that leaders can use to help them create ‘Creation Care Ministries’ for their church.
  • To work alongside the animal welfare movement in their most important work, bringing the love of Christ and knowledge of scripture with us to minister to people who do not know God. For those who don’t know Him, we invite you to take a look and make an informed decision as to what this life all about!
  • Our ministry encourages people to have a heart for Jesus and for His truth, that God will show up for them (Jeremiah 29:13) and is real. He is there to comfort people and loves people and animals. His intent was not that mankind would exploit animals but care for them. We believe Jesus Christ is the answer to overcoming every kind of evil plaguing this troubled world.

 “Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in the SAGC ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn- Mercello
Credit: Kathy Dunn (Right) Marcello Newal

3. When Did You Begin Writing and/or Blogging for Your Cause and Why?

I started our blog in December 2013, when I asked Roslyne to join me in my endeavor. In 2014, we asked Marcello to join us. As well, in 2017, we asked Jessica to join as an author and prayer event leader. We are in process of bringing aboard Philip as an author as well as our Information Technology blog and web designer.


4. Why is Your Cause Meaningful for You and Your Team? How Does it Help Other People and Animals?

Our cause is meaningful as it fulfills our desire to help animals according to God and His word in the Bible. It is a calling I have felt since the onset. I have heard from others who follow us, how our ministry is helpful for people in finding support and understanding through our faith-based cause, focusing on animal welfare. 

Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world to bring hope, love, mercy, kindness, and peace for all of God’s creation.


“Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another, in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn - Jessica Lopez
Credit: Kathy Dunn – Picture of Jessica Lopez

5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Continue in Your Cause? Why Is Your Cause Important to You and Your Team?

I am motivated by my faith in Jesus Christ and other people whom I share my personal walk with Christ with. Reading The Bible and studying scripture – the written Word – as well as the spoken and Living Word of Jesus also inspires me. As well, sermons from going to church and other blogs add to my inspiration. Knowing about animal suffering and how it break the hearts of my team at SAGC and God’s heart, leads me to urgently want to share our message.



SAGC’s cause is significant because a lot depends upon it!  The spiritual world manifests itself in the physical world. War, hatred, bloodshed, and death, were never intended to be experienced by people or animals. One day, Jesus is going to return to the physical world as he says he will in the Bible. “Our reward,” Jesus says, “is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:12) for following and believing in Him.

Our organization believes that all who entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.


6. How Does Your Blog and Writing Habits Fit with Your Cause? 

We hope and pray that our blog raises awareness of caring for animals and creation from a Biblical perspective. We want it to encourage people of faith to reach out to their communities and leaders, insisting that they take up animal and earth welfare issues. People are responsible for these issues such as any other social justice issue that affects people such as poverty and sickness.

We desire to bridge the gap between secular animal welfare and faith-based outreach, showing the world that Jesus cares about animals and the earth and  drawing people to Him so the can achieve salvation through Christ.


“We believe that all who believe and entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.” – Kathy Dunn


7. Have You Published Anything On Your Cause Outside of Blog Posts? Have You Held Any Special Events for Your Cause or Do You Have Future Plans to Do So? 

In 2016, the article, “God, Love, Peace and the Animal Kingdom” was published in the annual edition of Twin Cities, Veg Living, a publication by Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA). They are a local animal welfare organization dedicated to building community and raising awareness to the suffering of animals in factory farms, and advocating for a Vegan lifestyle.

CAA also interviewed me for a Podcast, “Christianity and Advocating for Animals” This link is also found on the SAGC blog page under “Feature Podcast.”

SAGC hosts ‘Animal Christian Concern’ through Roslyne’s group in the UK. You can also check out this book compiled by Roselyne Louis Smith:A Collection of Animal Christian Concern Articles” which is available on Amazon. 

For Special Events:  We host Prayer Events Online and recently, SAGC absorbed “Christian Vegan Prayer Calls Group” and their membership which was led by Jessica Lopez. We will host the prayer conference call which was the main feature of Jessica’s prior group on a monthly basis (to begin with). Members can join in this call for prayer as the prayer leader (Jessica) leads them.

For the future, there are many considerations. After attending the’ Creature Conference’ hosted by Sarx in the UK (March 18, 2017), I have been feeling inspired to put together a similar event here in America. This event would be dedicated to bringing faith groups together to strategize on common goals of animal and earth care issues, while unifying, finding support, renewal, and encouragement for the cause of our blog as well as our calling as Christians in the world.


6. Can You Briefly Describe How Your Blog and Your Cause Began?

In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur.  I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

It led me on a journey seeking all the realities of our industries where animals are concerned; I wanted to know what was going on in our world. I discovered many of the various uses mankind utilizes animals for, treating them as “things” at their disposal. I kept asking myself “where is the church?” This took me on a spiritual journey to find that answer and the SAGC blog was born three short years later.


“In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur.  I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn - Philip Guyott (right)
Credit: Kathy Dunn – (Right) Philip Guyott

7. What Is Involved In Supporting Your Cause and Blogging for It? 

Staying on top of the issues and current news around the world in regards to animal welfare issues is vital. I do a lot of this work by gleaning through other animal welfare organizations and what is happening with them. I also study the Bible and read the related material and educational books both from a faith/theological perspective as well as from a secular animal welfare venue. Networking with other people and other organizations with God’s guidance is also important!


8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for other Bloggers/Writers who are Blogging/Writing for A Cause?

Follow your passion where God leads you! Read, study, don’t be quick to judge but find out as much about your cause and its background including: people involved, the culture, the history of the cause, and other particulars about your cause as to gain as much truthful knowledge and understanding as possible.You will find confidence approaching your cause this way, knowing you know the material thoroughly. 

A favorite piece of scripture of mine is:  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness; and to Godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”  (2 Peter 1:5-7) 

God has given us everything we need to work with for supporting causes such as animal welfare in a Christian context.


9. Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share with Readers of This Interview, Pertinent to Your Cause or Your Organization? 

Always be ready to go the extra mile!  Causes are human made – all social justice issues are the result of a fallen world and man rejecting God. It is easy to fall under the influence of the powers and principalities of evil at work in this world.

Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly. 


“Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly.” – Kathy Dunn


10. For Fun, Please Tell Us Your Three Favorite Blogs?

  •  Greg Boyd — A theologian, Bible scholar, and teaching pastor at Woodland Hills Church; he is the author of this blog. His wonderful teaching keeps me seeking and ever hungry for truth and knowledge of God
  • Swords To Plowshares — Craig Wescoe is a wonderful writer in his knowledge of scripture and our Biblical responsibilities for the earth and animal kingdom
  • Animals Are Feeling Beings Too — LeeAnn’s blog is uplifting with a serious side. I love all the photos and videos she finds and shares.  She is very creative and her posts are short and to the point.

11. Please Share with Us Some Favourite Link From Your Cause’s Blog:

Praying The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN:
Father, we come to you now in the midst of great division among the people in the United States and around the world.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME:
First, we honor you as Creator of all and PRAISE YOU for all that you have made! Without you, we can do nothing (Joh 15:5). We want to put on display the glory of the Father by bringing about the rule and will of God on earth – guide us in doing so and protect us as we work at it with the Spirit’s guidance.

THY KINGDOM COME:
In us and through us, with us and without us, because of us, for the animals the earth, the downtrodden, abused, voiceless, marginalized among us so that we are an example of Christ for those who live by the power of the sword, who are living by the patterns of this world, that they also might humble themselves and repent and find you, Jesus; shower your Spirit upon us, enable us to be that example of Christ the world needs to see, guide us in studying what that means and to apply it in ALL we do – You are the answer to ALL that ails mankind.

THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN:
When I think of your will being done on earth as it is in heaven, I think of the Garden of Eden and what a pristine, peaceful world would look like for ALL that you created. I think of how we would treat each other, the animals and the earth, under your complete Lordship and that love is the goal – may we all pray for our world according to this model and the visions he gives each of us. Help us use our imaginations when we pray and in how we live out what we see in as much as we can in this broken world by the power of the Holy Spirit; help us love as Christ loved. We are asking that your reign is accomplished now in us, through us, in spite of us, and without us!

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD:
We ask that all that we need daily to remain steadfast in a dark world ruled by Satanic powers will be supplied and that we will utterly rely on the Father to trust him for all that we will be needing as we work to bring about your kingdom on earth.

AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS:
Lord that we would extend the same forgiveness to others that you extend to us, unworthy though we all are. We are admonished by you to extend grace to all, including those we consider our enemies (maybe there is no love lost for animal abusers, or perhaps in light of the American election, a candidate who won the election that we may feel is our vehement enemy) – Lord not that we sway to and fro with the powers that be in every kind of wickedness or agree necessarily, but that we stand our ground on the basis of what Jesus taught, act like he did when he came against enemies, and that we leave the final judgment of a person’s character and any revenge for wrongs done up to the Father. As Micah reminds us, we are to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” Micah 6:8

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE:
Lord, please protect us from the hardships that accompany our kingdom work; yet when they come as they will in this war zone in which we live, strengthen us to place all our hope and faith in Jesus and to carry on, knowing that like Paul said, no matter the situation, whether well fed or hungry, with plenty or little…. we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:12, 13); enable us to put on all the armor of God (Eph 6:10-20) and having done all to stand; and Lord that we will not give up, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not! (Gal 6:9)

In the Holy name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN


For an excellent article on the Lord’s Prayer, go here.

Thank you for reading and following our blog, we hope you are blessed by it and will share it with others!  ~Kathy


Here Are Some More Links to Kathy’s Blog Here:


Thanks to Kathy Dunn and all the members of her blog and organization. The preservation of the earth and the ethical treatment of animals is an extremely important issue in today’s world so thank you for sharing your cause with us and from your unique Christian perspective as well. Here is the link to Kathy’s Home Page again: Shepherding All God’s Creatures.


If you would like to have your blog or writing featured on my biweekly interviews please reach out to me on my blog Contact Page. I am happy to interview writers/bloggers in most any kind of writing, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and any kind of blog theme including blog pages for causes such as animal welfare.  See You Again Soon!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Quotes, Religion/Morality, Writing

Interview With Jackelyn Santana


Welcome back to another December issue of my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing the gracious and beautiful Jackelyn Santana who was recently married. She has a faith based blog here: Faith Walking Hebrews 11:1. She describes her blog using the Hebrews 1:11 Bible Verse: “Now Faith Is The Assurance of Things Hoped For, The Conviction of things Not Seen.”


jackelyninterview
Jackelyn Santana

1. Jackelyn, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

My name is Jackelyn Santana, I am from Miami, FL, and my family is of Cuban descent.I am a child of God and passionate about my faith. I LOVE reading, blogging, and spending time with my family.  I was married on November 11, 2016 and  I am a mother to an amazing six-year-old and a stepmother to two beautiful young ladies.

This year has been full of blessings. To emotionally prepare myself for our marriage, I spent the year analyzing myself and I’m finally at a place where I can embrace my authenticity. I spent a good portion of my life internalizing my pain, wearing masks to cope, and believing something was wrong because I didn’t have everything as it seemed everyone around me had.

Having this frame of mind enslaved me. There wasn’t anything wrong with what I was facing, but because there’s a stigma associated with imperfection and emotional struggle, I thought it was a ‘ME’ problem. I didn’t realize the truth, my problems were natural and universal.

As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.

The most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed is a group of hopeless lost souls coming together and loving each other back to life. We found a reason to smile again. This world is in such need of healing. I would love nothing more than to help spread love and healing wherever I go in my life.


” As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more  people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.” – Jackelyn Santana


2. When Did You Begin Blogging? What Does Blogging and Writing Mean To You?

I started blogging about four months ago July 20, 2016 to be exact. Blogging means everything to me! It’s liberated me. I’m free!! The more I write about things, the less ashamed I am of what I’ve faced. With each post I’ve removed the chains of emotions and experiences I kept a secret. These emotions and experiences have lost power over me.

This has allowed me to acknowledge and celebrate my spiritual growth. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers. Blogging also gives me an inside view of my soul. Sometimes I’m shocked when I read older posts because when I wrote, I let the words flow from my soul and they expressed things I wouldn’t voice out loud.


3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?

I am inspired by my faith and other bloggers. I began blogging about one-year ago, but I didn’t think I could write posts people would want to read. I’m better at public speaking than I am at writing. A co-worker of mine kept pushing me to write. I would share advice with her and she would nudge me to put it on paper. I finally decided to test the waters by submitting a guest post on Proverbs 31 Women.

They approved my guest post one-month later and I was shocked and honored.  I started writing away on my blog often. My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs. It’s become a way of life for me and I want to help others learn about Jesus in practical terms.

Many times when we think of the Bible we think of a standard which is too high for most of us to reach. The Bible comes across as something only ‘Holy’ people read. Or, we become intimidated by it because we find it unrelatable since The Bible was written many moons ago and times have changed.

These ideas of Christianity couldn’t be further from the truth. We need to find the right tools to break down barriers from reading God’s Word, The Bible, and help others understand faith in simpler terms. Believing in Jesus can guide us towards love and happiness. Once we understand the basics, our soul will keep searching for more – our hearts will be “homing our Heavenly home,” if you will, and we will grow spiritually.

By identifying with examples from the stories in The Bible, we can understand our obstacles are not too much, our lives can be molded in a way which allows us to serve both God, our families, and friends because they’re all related.

God acknowledges our need for connection and sent his son Jesus not only so that we could be saved, but so we could identify with Jesus and strive to imitate His way of life. As a woman, fiancee, and mother, I have been able to love more purely and unconditionally through The Bible’s teachings, making them a way of life.

Reflecting on the dark moments I’ve faced, I see how fine the line between good and evil can be — being saved or being lost; I want to help others be saved as I am saved through Jesus’s death and resurrection. 


“My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs.’ – Jackelyn Santana


jackelyninterview2
Jackelyn Santana

4. When Do You Like to Write and Do You Have Any Current Special Writing Projects?

There isn’t a time of day that inspires me the most. I write whenever my heart moves me to write. As of today I’m only blogging. My passion and dream is to help others. Perhaps join /create a traveling retreat group, or participate in spiritual workshops. This is a concept similar to a ‘Women of Faith’ tour, but on a smaller more personal level.

There would be one to one interaction, healing exercises, and honest group talk. I would love to help others come out of their shells and be saved through faith in Jesus and God as I was. My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.


5. Are You Planning on Publishing Any Written Work in The Future?

I have not published anything. Perhaps later in life I will be presented the opportunity to do so, or I will submit writing drafts. With only four-months of blogging under my belt I’m focusing on identifying my writing voice, interacting with others through my writing, and improving my writing skills which are at a novice level. I would also like to study theology and I think it would further advance my writing.


“My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.”


6. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

I sit in front of my laptop or a notepad and I pray, relax, and set my soul free to express itself. When an idea pops into my mind I write it down either on my phone’s notepad, or sticky notes. I may begin draft posts that I revisit at a later time when I can give my writing undivided attention. I have about fourteen draft posts which I’ve begun and I’m saving for the future blog posts.

When I first started blogging I would write and post instantly. I’ve learned to slow down and process topics, allowing my mind to continue digging for information. I will officially post my writing after I have looked at every angle.


7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers Starting Out?

Write about topics you are passionate about. It feels great to do what you love. I love what I write about and it’s how I live my life. If you’re on the fence about writing I would suggest you take a leap of faith and see what comes from this desire.

WordPress has a wonderful community of bloggers and this community helps you grow as a writer. Don’t write posts for the sake of increasing traffic and followers, write on topics you enjoy writing about.  


8. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Your Writing?

I am God’s creation, I am human, I am imperfect, and I am meant to depend on God. Read this post to learn more about me.


9. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Favorite Blog Posts:

Slogging Through The Tears

By Jackelyn Santana

*****

“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature.  They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of  highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings.  They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs  the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.” –Shannon L. Alder

 *****

I am on an emotional roller coaster ride.

rollercoaster

I will not try to deny it, this is who I am, sensitivity and all. I wear my sensitivity as a badge of honor, although throughout life I have been ridiculed or further wounded because of it. I cannot control the sensitive nature of my heart. I may pretend something has not stabbed or wounded me, but more likely than not this is not the case.

For many years I have tried to harden myself, hoping that I would become immune to the blows of life, and the harsh words received from those I hold with high esteem. Despite my efforts, my sensitive nature is unchanged.

My sensitive nature is misunderstood.

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Those closest to me believe they understand me and my motives. They believe they can read between the lines. Many dare to correct me when I express my intentions and motives, determined their interpretation of my position is correct. My hard and serious exterior denies me the right to ever be recognized as a victim, although, my heart tells me otherwise. Many times I find myself confused, doubting my heart, thinking that there is something severely wrong because I’m always wrong and never right about my own feelings. Maybe I am bad at the core?

One Of My Favorite Bible Verses:

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.”  Romans 7:15

broken-heartIn my case, I do not understand why I continue to love and care the way I do. I know better, yet I cannot help it. I continue to express my vulnerabilities to those I care about in hopes that I will be understood. The more I explain myself, the further away I get from MY truth, and the closer I get to shedding unfavorable light on myself. I allow the fighter in me to get the best of me when I feel taken advantage of. This without a doubt, is used against me as I fail to be consistent, giving in to my human frailty. I can only be silent for so long without jumping into protective mode. I can only shed so many tears without lashing out. The cruelty I spew is the cruelty I have learned through life, it is not the natural nature of my heart. I would never purposely provoke tears from anyone, not even those who have hurt me profoundly. Yet sometimes acting in this manner is the only way I can get someone to listen to my voice and believe my truth. I am neither too proud to extend an apology when deserved and make amends with those I’ve offended. My truest desire is to maintain peace.

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I am not taken seriously in my tender moments; my tenderness is taken for granted. The world demands yet resents my tenderness. Should a loved one offend me, my tenderness is an inconvenience because my tears take away from focusing on the “root” of the problem, and I am forced to slog against the tears. Should I act sternly with others, not allowing my emotions to flinch, I’m accused of being cold and harsh. The combination of my emotions is never seen as right.

It seems my sensitivity is to be used at the convenience of others. I can never be me. I’m never entitled to the beauty of my emotions. My view of my emotions is brushed off because I am overly sensitive. Yet, I cannot label the world as overly cruel, overly angry, or overly unforgiving.

I read once that instead of numbing our pain we need to identify the source of our pain and work on the problem instead of the symptom. For example, we may have a headache because we are dehydrated, hungry, or stressed. We should work on fixing those issues rather than silencing the headache calling out for attention.

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The same goes for my tears. My tears, the ‘water works’ as they’ve been called, are not crocodile tears. It’s not an act or an attempt to manipulate; these statements couldn’t be further from the truth. My tears are indicators that my soul is experiencing pain, something is hurting me. To stop my pain at it’s root I need to either freeze my heart (which I have failed to accomplish) or excuse myself from the undesirable situation until I’m emotionally ready. This I can rarely accomplish without ridicule that I cannot work through a topic, without being accused of being overly dramatic.

I am always apologizing, but rarely entitled to an apology when hurt because my over-sensitivity is what causes the pain, not the actions or words of others.

When is my sensitive nature ever right for me!?

People say my tears and sensitive nature take away from the moment. I have slogged away for a good portion of my life to hide these parts of myself. I keep my tears a secret and am ashamed of my weakness.

As an adult, I find that my sensitive nature and heart are not the problem. The problem is the lack of sensitivity in the world. It’s not the compassionate who are the problem; a lack of empathy is the problem!  I will continue to embrace my sensitivity, tears and all. I do not lose hope there are more sensitive people out there. I won’t (and truthfully can’t) harden myself and lose hope because I find the world to be cruel and unloving. I am who I am. I am transparent.My anger is pain masked with anger. It’s sadness for being the recipient of a pain I would never wish to inflict on others. It’s a betrayal I never foresaw. It’s the second opportunity no one else would’ve extended, yet I’ve already extended a third to my offender while knowing how the situation will likely end. It’s fighting the urge to assume the worst in others. It’s the unconditional love I am willing to give which is rarely cashed in.

It’s the product of a broken heart living in a broken world that is trying to break the best in me.

  “Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a “hot mess” or having “too many issues” are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” – Anthon St. Maarten

Slog

*****


Here Are More of Jackelyn’s Posts:


Thank you so much Jackelyn for agreeing to be interviewed. I am thrilled to find out so much about you and hope your struggles in life have become easier to handle through your faith. I hope you have more peaceful moments, than times which stress you out. Here is one more link to Jackelyn’s BlogFaith Walking Hebrews 11:1


Thanks for reading! If you would like to answer some interview questions about writing/blogging/poetry and your unique perspective and process on writing, I would encourage you to reach-out to me on my Contact Page. I would love to have you featured as a biweekly interviewee. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lists, Nonfiction, Pinterest, Quotes

Notable Quotes: November Part One #quotes #pinterest #cursebreakerenchanted #melindakucsera


Before I give you my first round of monthly quotes for November, I would like to tell you all about a special event my talented friend and writer Melinda Kucsera is holding for her newly published book: Curse Breaker Enchanted. 

From November 13 to November 19, Melinda is holding her ‘Kindle Count Down.’ You can purchase her wonderful fantasy tale for 99 cents during her count down. To visit her page please click her book title above or click HERE
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http://www.amazon.com

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On to the quotes. My apologies if there are any repeats from the Three Quotes for Three Days Challenge: 

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http://www.pinterest.com

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http://www.pinterest.com

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http://www.pinterest.com

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11. 

http://www.pinterest.com

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13. 

http://www.pinterest.com

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http://www.pinterest.com

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15. 

http://www.pinterest.com

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Letting Him Get Away.


It was along time before I had my first ‘real’ relationship. I went on Plenty Of a Fish, because my friend had met her husband on that site. My ex-boyfriend,  was not like the other men I talked to. He didn’t ask me what my job was or about sex. He asked me about my religion. He was Muslim and wanted to date a nice girl with morals, ethics, and who was close to her family. I was reluctant to date him because my ex’s religion is Islam and I grew up with Christianity. But I had never dated anyone longterm before. My ex-boyfriend was attractive and fun so I began dating him. 

My ex worked up North, where all the people who worked in the oil field, lived in camps. My ex worked three weeks on and one week off. I saw him once a week when he was home My ex was accepting of my condition. He didn’t mind that I lived with a mental illness which caused me fatigue and limited how long I could be out with him. He was quiet to begin with but later he opened up to me.

Our relationship functioned for awhile. My health improved so we were going out three times a week when he was here. Often, my ex would take an extra week off. My ex was gentle and he listened well. He gave good advice. But there were some issues in our relationship that became apparent.

The biggest issue was my ex staying in contact while working up North. Eventually, we were texting once or twice a day and I would call him every couple of weeks. It took three years to get to this point and a lot of hardwork on my end. When my ex was home we were together a lot. But I had to be diligent about making ‘talking’ and ‘getting to know each other better’ happen. 

My ex would also come back from work and go on a trip without telling me where he was going. Suddenly, there was no way for me to talk to him, sometimes for two-weeks. I learned he was seeing friends or had gone off on a road trip for awhile with his cousin. At first, I worried a great deal when all communication was cut-off. I often thought early on, he had decided not see me anymore. He accused me of seeing other guys in the beginning.

Ramadan was an extremely difficult time for our relationship. For the first couple of years we were together, my ex went to Saskatchewan to do his fasting with friends. Almost the entirety of June and July would pass and I barely was able talk or contact my ex because the cell reception wasn’t good. He was scarcely able to use Internet and he never tried to phone me. Although, I attempted to phone him. 

It was along time before my ex talked to me during Ramadan and an even longer time before he would go out with me in the daytime. Males can’t touch a woman they’re not married to during Ramadan before sunset. Muslims also spend a great deal of time reading the Quran in the day. I had no problem with my ex practising his faith during Ramadan, it was the fact he barely paid attention to me. Later, when my health became worse it was a challenge to see him at night anytime before 11:00 pm. It also took my ex an eternity to meet my family. He was scared of my Dad. He met my Mom a couple of times but not my Dad until the fourth year we were dating. 

The issue that finished us was me. I didn’t find the relationship to be fulfilling, I never felt secure. When I didn’t hear from him for awhile or he wouldn’t listen to me, I would break up with him because I couldn’t handle it. I broke up four more times with my ex because I felt he was ignoring me and he wasn’t giving time to our relationship. I didn’t hear anything from him for a month one time. He wanted to get married but he valued all the activities he wanted to do above his time with me. My family is also special to me and so was my ex becoming apart of my family, which he never attempted.

I went the last nine months without breaking up with him. He wanted to get married. I went to a friend’s wedding at her church. She was walked down the aisle by her Dad and her husband and she made their vows before God. 

At this point, I knew something was wrong with my ex’s and my relationship big time. I wanted to be like my friend and walk down the church aisle when I married. I believed in a Jesus who wasn’t merely a prophet but God’s Son. If I ever had kids, I wanted them brought up with The Bible and Jesus’ promise of salvation.

My ex hadn’t even told his Muslim family back home about me, even though Muslims are allowed to marry Christian girls. I knew his cousin because he lived with him and had been introduced to the odd friend of my ex’s at the bar. But after four years, I had no idea who most of his good friends were. Some of our problems were due to my health. I became worse for awhile and it became too much to date him often because he usually wanted to get together at night. 

Mostly, I needed a fresh start. I needed to develop myself as a person on my own. I needed freedom. It was hard letting go of my ex but the religion issue finally pushed me over the edge. My family is extremely Christian and I couldn’t deal with relatives who didn’t think our relationship was right, when I wasn’t into my ex anymore. I wanted a guy who involved himself in my family, friends, and life — who could relate to my lifestyle.

I’m busy in my single life. My ex was a good boyfriend but he was not the guy for me. In a relationship, when it is the right relationship, you want to be with the other person exceedingly. You want to be with the other person so much because you love them and can work together to build a life sharing similar values. I wanted freedom and a chance to see what the world outside of “us” offered; for this reason my ex is my ex.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

My Thoughts

Poem: Spaces


I find God in the spaces we leave inbetween,

In the impact of a heart beating,

In a walk to the bus, while the leaves are gently streaming

I find Him in versus of poets long ago — in Tennyson and Donne.

And even poets who never liked Him.

I find God in the people who do kind things,

Just to be kind, not because they want a favour.

And I find Him in a leather book, that “in the beginning was the Word,”

A disciple John once wrote.

And I find him in a strangers wonder, a pivotal question, that needs answering. 

And I find Him in a past that’s frought with pain, and suffering, and time lost.

I find him every Christmas in a stable, while wiseman followed a star.

I find him in a memory of a pet who helped me through rough times.

I find him in the pain of a moment, because I know He experienced suffering too.

And I find Him as a friend battles cancer, and she is the one doing the uplifting.

I find God, when I’m so frustrated I cry, because then I can see clearly. 

I find Him in a the wiseness of the elderly, a great – grandmother who said “stop worrying.”

I find God in the moments of silence, when everything is still, and I can only be still.

God is in front of you, but he’s also in those tight spaces, 

Where you’d never even think to look.

He is there, and He is just waiting, because time is nothing to Him.

He waits and He acts in every place.

Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Religion/Morality, Writing

To Fight or Stand and Wait: An Internal Struggle


www.uk.urbenest.com
http://www.uk.urbenest.com

Sometimes life can be a real struggle. And while we fight our own fights other people can be dealing with worse things in life. They can be fighting for their life while you are trying to climb over an obstacle in life. I always try to think about this when I am having troubles, that I am really blessed, I just have to remember to not take the things in my life for granted. After all, we only have so long in life to live, then we are no more.

Right now I think about all the people I know fighting cancer, especially one close friend and I’m in awe of how they can take the pressure and the all the treatments they have to take to get better. That’s a disease I am exceedingly grateful I don’t have and hope I or my loved one’s never have. I look at my life and think that life maybe difficult but I am not fighting to survive.

But sometimes it’s hard being me. I feel trapped, that I need to take this new medication even though it makes me feel out of it half the time, makes my stomach upset every day, and energy wise has made my standard of life worse — but I can sleep at night. That’s a really big deal. But somedays I wonder what I’m sleeping for if I go out and then come home feeling so sick I am snowed the next day. But I try to tell myself that everything is going to work out and be okay, that God does not let this happen in my life for no reason; even if I cannot see this reason. He has something bigger and better in mind for me, then everything I’ve lost due to mental illness and chronic fatigue.

I went to my Uncle Darvin’s funeral yesterday at church. I haven’t been there in awhile.

www.oxford.anglican.org
http://www.oxford.anglican.org

Ithink part of the reason I haven’t been there is because I’m angry with God that He won’t make me better. That my friends new and old, are moving on with their lives getting married and having kids. They are at a good place in their careers and I don’t even have one. I always thought things would be okay for me because I was an an adaptable person, that I could handle change and my personality fit in well with most anybody. But now I am not sure what my purpose is in life? I didn’t even know I was angry at God until I was talking to a psychologist and started crying when she asked me if I still think God is punishing me. I don’t think he is but it really made me think. I have no right to be angry at God —  it is the fact that their is sin in this world from Adam and Eve (original sin) that their is disease and a whole lot of awful diseases, events, and people that exist. We are born into sin, just as I am genetically predisposed to have a sensitivity to depression or affective disorders.

But I question why God allows these bad things to happen when he has the power to stop them? Maybe, we are being tested? Maybe, God is teaching us to be faithful to Him and to pay less attention to the world? Maybe, we are meant to bring others to faith through illness? Maybe, God is teaching us to love Him through our suffering? He tells us three-hundred and sixty-seven times in the Bible to not be afraid. But I’m afraid of living my life like this when I cannot fully take care of myself, cooking meals when I need to, going to places I need to go, affording to take care of myself, and having my own life which I can develope relationships with new people. I guess that is why you just take life one day at a time. Because if you looked at the whole picture it might terrify you.

Cima_da_Conegliano,_God_the_FatherBut I was glad to be in church yesterday. There was a lot of people I grew up with there that it was good to see. But it made me realize that a lot of these people are growing old and won’t be around forever. So, I need to make a better effort to visit them, even if I am not feeling up to it. It felt familiar to sing hymns and it was good to say goodbye to Uncle Darvin and hear about his life.

I have always thought God made me fighter. Gave me strength to get through the things I need to get through. But sometimes I wonder if he wants us to fight or if as the Bible says he will fight for us, “we need only be still.” One of my favorite songs is called “Be Still.” I have shared and talked about it on this blog several times, its by The Fray. The lead singer the in song maybe talking to his girlfriend or friend but I think, or like to believe, that He is singing the voice of God, telling us to ” remember hard the words [he] said, be still, be still, and know” that he is here for us.

https://youtu.be/Vtp-p7qFI2I (See my Blog For “Be Still” music video)

Another thought on the subject is the last line of the poem “On His Blindness” by John Milton a favourite poet. John Milton was a writer most famous for Paradise Lost and later in life became blind. He got his daughters to write for him at that point. But he questioned God (he was a Christian) and why God would let this happen. He writes ” [a]nd that one talent which is death to hide / [l]odg’d with me useless . . . (1-2)”. And I kind of feel like him sometimes. At home with my writing and english language skills, how I am serving God and humanity with my talents when I cannot not concentrate long and get a job where I can use these skills or do any volunteer work that uses my talents. But in his poem, Milton comes to an answer about our talents and what God needs of us. He writes in lines ten to fourteen: ”

‘God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.’ “

www.biography.com
http://www.biography.com

It’s something to think about that God does not require us to be useful as the world does. “They also serve who only stand and wait.” (14) Like servants waiting for a King those who simply wait to serve God, and never seem useful in life, they also serve God, they are useful to Him.

I think that clears my mind a bit and gives you some insight into my life lately. I know not everybody believes in God or my God but I hope you find it enlightening despite that. Or maybe you will find it helpful, I hope you do. Here is the full poem by John Milton:

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Current Events

On Religion, Costco, and Misspoken Idiots!


If you haven’t heard in the news, Costco got into a bit of trouble lately when they classified the Bible as “fiction” in their book

www.belenheim.com
http://www.belenheim.com

section. I was quite offended when my friend posted this article, not by Costco, but by the comments of people who said The Bible belonged there and that Christianity was a joke. These people made no attempt to think and put themselves in a believing Christian person’s shoes, to wonder why some people would be offended by Costco’s actions. What’s more they were extremely discriminatory of Christian beliefs and religion saying the Bible should be put next to coloring books and that it would be more offensive if the Bible was put in the non-fiction section. It was their prejudice and discrimination that really made me angry.

In this day in age, when it is offensive and politically incorrect to make comments about gay people, about the Muslim religion, and secularism, when you have to watch what you say publicly about anyone’s belief system, those comments just seemed incredibly uneducated and rude. I always grew up believing that when I dealt with people I was to put myself in their place, as Atticus taught into ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Obviously, a lot of people never heard of this way of behaving, are too selfish to empathize with other people, and/or never read the book.

The Bible has existed in some form since the time of Moses, these so-called ‘stories’ have historical precedent and have been proven by many archaeologists and writer’s from around the time of Jesus’ death (for example). Historians such as Josephus and many more have matched up events going on in the time of the Romans with the events of the Bible. Through wars and through many times of discontent, the Bible has survived into modern times and it is the basis of Christianity because it is the inspired word of God to Christian’s around the world.

Now most people who are being reasonable are just going to say Costco made a stupid mistake no biggie. But some people if you really believe that the Bible is God’s word, you can see why they would be offended by having the Bible categorized as fictional. It was an ‘accidental’ judgement on the Christian religion by Costco, on my Christian religion, to assume the Bible is fictional. But I know people are imperfect and make mistakes so I think, no problem, Costco just should have classified it in a religion section. People shouldn’t get so upset at Costco, but it is pertinent that you understand why they would.

Secondly, for the people who do not understand Christianity and view the Bible as a coloring book or worse. Have you bothered to do any research into the Bible, even if you grew up with it, into different denominations then what you grew up with? For instance, Catholic beliefs are quite different from my own Lutheran beliefs. What we do agree on is that Jesus died on the cross to save people from their sins. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because you believe some of a particular faith is wrong, and you maybe right, does not mean every part is wrong. But in general, I just don’t think you should be discriminating against any one’s beliefs whatever their denomination or faith.

images (12)You shouldn’t discriminate against Muslim’s, Atheists, Secularists, or any denomination of Christianity. Nobody has that right. But people are sure quick to abuse religion, like it is something being forced upon them. Everyone has the choice to believe whatever they want and if you don’t want to be a Christian that is your choice. But it is not your choice to make judgments about a religion you are against or uneducated in. It is not your choice to make a judgement on people who believe that the Bible is non-fiction. You believe whatever you want but leave my religion alone. I am sensitive about your lack of belief so be sensitive to my insistence that my religion is true. I am empathize with other beliefs too. My boyfriend for example, is Muslim for heaven’s sake, and I don’t judge him even though I am a Christian.  So, is it so hard for you to show me the same courtesy?

In closing I have this to say: leave your discrimination and hate outside the topic of religion and personal beliefs because you are being offensive and being prejudiced and in this day and age that is not acceptable. I have the right to believe what I want, it’s called freedom of religion, and if you don’t agree show some manners and just keep your mouth shut, especially on public forums such as Facebook.

My Thoughts

How will I become that?


He's got the whole world ................
He’s got the whole world ……………. (Photo credit: ClaraDon)

In the Bible, God promises that his Word will be a “light unto our path” and a “lamp unto our feet” (Psalm 119:105). The problem I find with this statement comes when you actually picture it. A person, walking in darkness along a path holding a lamp, a light above their  head trying to see where they should place the next footstep, at least that’s the picture I get of Psalm 119:105. The thing is, holding that little light up in your hand you cannot see very far down that path, you can only see where your next footstep goes if that; you are unable to anticipate what lies more than a footstep ahead of you. I liken, this to life. We want to know where we  will we go, what we will we be, and were trying are best to foresee where that is, but the truth is we can barely see a footstep in front of us, that is all we really know.

Thinking about this predicament scares me a bit. I cannot begin to relate the life of spunky 23-year-old moving her way up in a commercial development company to the somewhat wiser, albeit not as fearless 27  year old before me fighting for energy just to do every day things sometimes, just to attend one class a week, at night, and pay attention to what is being taught; to do her part in her group project just like she said she would, even though truth be told her energy is low, like light of the sun peaking through the sky. It is just a small thing to some people, but for her it is a big thing. It means she can do something, use her skills for something productive, and towards a future, but looking at the future she cannot even imagine being off this couch studying, trying to make it work in the ‘real’ world again, dealing with all those people, starting to work her way back up the corporate ladder again. That is one of my biggest fears in a nutshell. Because I can only see and do what I can in this Business course now as I work, not for this project, not for this course, not for the semester, not for the year, and certainly not in the grande scheme of life. And as I am reading the textbook and reading about all the little things involved in an interior design business,  all the little things that go into a business plan, the process becomes overwhelming; I become overwhelmed. Then I look back to point ‘A’ years ago in University, in High School, starting to work, always so sure of myself, but not anymore. Now truly if I am lucky, I see only a “lamp unto my feet” (Psalm 119:105)  So how at one time was I the student who was so sure of herself, am I the older Student who is so unsure of herself, and how does she relate to the ‘adult’ who needs to be able to support and take care of herself, in her future?

I do not know the answer. We cannot tell the future and that is the truth. And we never even when things looked good, knew what lay ahead, we just thought we did. What occurs to me is that I have very little control over my life that is sharply destined by God, bad things, and the whims of other people; that even when I try to exert some control I just end up where ever  anyways. There is a plan alright, but on days like today, I cannot see that plan in action. The best thing I can think of to do on days like this where I can barely see what lies ahead of me is to take my worries and my problems and literally place them in God’s hands. Just like the song, “He’s Got the The Whole World in His Hands” I guess now he has my little problems too. I still wonder and I am still scared, but at the same time I feel this big weight lifted off my shoulders because the only answer to this problem, is that Jesus has to deal with it. Just as he dealt with the sins of all people on the cross, he must deal with my inadequacies too. So I am okay for a little while, the sun is peaking out, and one day when I have the strength to handle the responsibilities I am working towards, I will. Just like that.