Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Memories - MMC (June 20, 2016)

"So, what's in it?" Alex dropped to his haunches and reached to lift the flap of the cardboard box. He pulled, then realized that it was still taped shut.

"I don't know." Avery raised his shoulders in a shrug. His arms hung still, almost as if in fear, at his side.

"You don't know? Why'd you bring me over here, then? What if it's something stupid, like old crafts gone badly from someone's kindergarten days, or something?" His cousin didn't look impressed.

Avery's gaze shifted to the box again and he drew a breath. "It's not. There have been some... other things I've found up here in the attic, and... this is something serious."

Alex looked at him with a skeptical glaze in his eyes, but Avery didn't look up as he got to his knees and slit the tape. Both were still a minute, wishing the other would be the one to move first and open it. Finally, Alex sighed and mumbled something to the extent of, "How bad can it be?" He flung open the flaps and the boys stared down at the contents.

For a moment, nothing would have compelled them to touch anything inside. But neither were they ready to turn away. 

"It's..." Alex began to state the obvious, but decided to ask something more important. "But why?" He lifted his gaze from the box for the first time since it had been opened and stared at the boy that had brought him up there.

Avery remained silent for a few moments more, gathering the right words to sum up the picture. When he spoke, he whispered. "Because someone didn't want Margaret's family to remember her. But they didn't want to remember the times she wasn't theirs, either. And most important, they didn't want her to remember."

Hey, guys! I used the picture prompt, and it's 301 words. I won 2nd place last week! I know this is a little vague, so sorry. It's a continuation of the stories about Margaret Johnson I wrote: this one, and Forgetting. Hope you all have a lovely week! And if you want to join the Monday's Minutes Challenge, go here!

- Maddie

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

She's Complicated...And So Are You

I am such a complicated person.

Half of the time, no one really knows what's going on inside me, and on the surface I can just look like I want to have a good time doing whatever I feel like and I'll get to whatever is important later. Which is true in a way. But it's not all I'm made of.

I'm an introvert.

I will tell you things in writing that I would never say aloud.

I can look like all I'm doing is staring out the window while my cereal gets soggy in front of me, when in actuality I'm thinking about whether our surroundings shape our personalities or our personalities shape the way we see our surroundings. (And you would never know if I was not writing this.)

I can be crying my eyes out after a simple little argument, but that's not the whole reason why. A lot of the time, that one little fight could be all it takes to send me plummeting over the side of the emotional cliff when it's been a rough day (or week or month or few hours), and then it all just bogs down on me and I can't stop until I've cried about it all.

But to tell you the truth...

I don't even always understand me.

The only reason I'm able to tell you this is because I've thought this all out and tried to figure myself out. And I'm beginning to learn when we say, "God knows you the best," we are speaking truth. I don't think I will or can ever fully understand myself. If that's true, I can't expect myself to fully understand everyone else. And I sure as heck can't expect to understand God Himself fully.

But come to find out...

We don't need to fully understand someone, in order to love them.

Of course, yes, we must understand them as best we can. If I gave a random person on the street a hug and called that love, I'd be deceiving myself. Was that person's love language actually touch? Did they even like hugs? Maybe they would have felt love through words of encouragement. Or service. Or quality time. I can't do any random act for anyone and call it love. In order to love someone, you must find out the way they feel loved, not how much love you feel towards them when you are doing it.

But I don't have to figure it all out before I start to show them love. I don't have to completely comprehend the way their mind works before I can tell them, "You're amazing," or before I do their laundry for them.

So now it's your turn.

You are such a complicated person.

You could either be laughing with me one minute of the day when I make a joke at the "right" time, or if I told it at the "wrong" time, you would tell me it offended you. You can get angry, and I don't even know why. Sometimes, I do something that hurts you, and when I apologize, feeling horrible, you say not to worry about it. Sometimes, you'll "forgive me," but I know you really don't. You can eat the weirdest things, like pickles on popcorn and shrimp and peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes, I just don't get what you mean, even when it seems to make complete sense to you. I don't fully understand you. Sometimes, I don't at all. But I love you. And I know you love me.

Do you find it hard to love people, or to feel loved by people? What are some ways that we can all feel loved?

- Maddie

Monday, June 20, 2016

Welcoming a New Birth (Blog)

Guys, I am so excited to announce this! *Squeals and does a happy dance* Are you ready for this? Okay, good.

Drum roll




Gah, you guys don't know how much I've waited for this.

A little about Mia (pronounced MY-a, not MEE-a):

Our families both joined the same missionary training group in 2010, and we've been best friends ever since.

Our families have lived in the same house, so we know each other preeettty well, I'd say, being around each other for literally 24/7 for much of the time we've known each other.

She's a writer (and a very good one, at that), so if you want to feel all the feels, I suggest you follower her.

Like it says in her About Page, she really, really loves chocolate and tea, so if you ever want to bribe her into being your friend, just send her a bunch. It worked for me! (Wait, what?) ;)

So now that you know about her and her new baby (er, blog) let's give her a big welcome!

Welcome to the blogging world, Mia! Can't wait to comment on allll your posts, and tag you in allll the tags!

And I order the rest of you to go now and follow her at Word and Tea Blending! (isn't that just a lovely name?)

Have a happy Tuesday, all!

- Maddie

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pity - MMC (June 6, 2016)

The rope. How could it have slipped? It wasn't as if she’d meant it to. And that was the pity.

She'd been tempted to pass him by when she had seen him hanging there. And why not? They weren't friends. In fact, they'd never spoken a civil word, either one to the other, in life. She could have walked right by, let him die. Not been accused of anything. That was the pity.

Instead, she'd tried to help. Put aside petty prejudice that had lasted a lifetime, and tried to help the man. Tried to save his life. And she was accused of murder. No one would believe her if she tried to deny it. And she could not blame them. How many times had she sworn she'd take out Jeremy Kindle, her opponent, even killing him if need be. How many times had he sworn the same of her. Their malice was not a private matter. And that was the pity.

Their oaths had been fulfilled without either party wanting them to be.

The mallet came down to smack the wood of the desk, sentencing her for the next 30 years.

The rope had snapped, dooming him to give up the rest of his life forever.

If words could be taken back, what each wouldn't give to do just that. Bucket load by bucket load.

It was a pity to learn the truth which the old grade school rhyme tried to hide.

Words do hurt.

Surprise! You guys still get a MMC story this week. 

I used the items prompt (rope, bucket, wood), and the story is 247 words. This was a really fun one! (Yeah, I know, I say that every time). Also, I won second place last time :D Thanks, Tessa, for hosting!

- Maddie

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

There and Back... and There and Back Again: The Current Story of My Crazy Life

Hello, my wonderful circle of friends! 
First off, how is everyone's summer so far? Congrats to the people who have graduated high school (like I have) and good luck for the fall, everyone, whether you're starting college, or another year of high school, or even middle school! And to those of us who are going to take a while off from school and take a breather, or just work, that's awesome, too!

So this post is about what's happening in my life right now. Because I keep saying that I'm going to write a post soon about this thing that happened the other day, or what I did yesterday, but I never follow through, and I have way too much that I could catch up on, and I would never get to this current point in life. So I've been thinking that I'm going to have to write a big recap post at the end of the year and tell all about the wonderful little things that have happened that I never had the chance to write about before. Sound good? And then next year, maybe I'll be able to start posting monthly wrap-ups. Your thoughts?
And now the actual post.

So, as you probably remember from this post, I started my first job at the beginning of April. Well, at the time that I took it, I knew that there was a slight possibility that my family would be moving away on another mission. But we were not 100% sure at the time, and I needed to have a way to pay back some people I owed (aka my parents), so I took it anyway. The first few days on the job, were terribly stressful. Switching my body over from days to nights was part of it. The other part was that there is so much pressure that comes with being a nurse aide because someone could literally die if you're not careful. Not to mention this was my first job, haha. 
Anyway, my co-workers were really amazing (shout out to C, J, D, M, A, and R, if you guys are somehow reading this), and helped me with little things that I probably should have known how to do but was too scared to do on my own. Their willingness to help was definitely what made me overcome my fear of accidentally killing someone, and I came to love my job and all the residents, even though working nights was still exhausting. That being said, it was heartbreaking when I found out that my family was indeed going to move after all. I had only been working there for about a month. I had just gotten down the residents' schedules. I was getting used to their personalities and their individual preferences, which could be so different and interesting to work with. I was just beginning to get really comfortable with my co-workers (I'm an introvert, and it takes time for me to open up to people). But for some reason, God didn't want me to continue on there. I am so grateful that He allowed me to have the job at that nursing home as my first. I learned so many things under the kind influence of people who were patient with me that I know I wouldn't have learned anywhere else. It was the perfect facility for me to learn at exactly what it takes to be a CNA.

So then, I graduated on May 21st! I still can't quite believe it. How did I grow up so fast?
You hope and wait for years and years for something, and then just when you're not thinking about it, it comes and surprises you out of nowhere. Anyway, I participated in my homeschool group's Mass and graduation ceremony - there were only five total of us Seniors! It was very nice, though. Lots of family and my best friends were there, and that's all I asked for :) Also, wow, people are generous when it comes to graduation gifts. Thanks so much, if any of you are reading this! And Mom and Dad, especially! I was so not expecting this, but... they gave me a laptop! I'm so blessed :D





Now comes the big news.

My family is serving at an Indian Reservation, and I am currently with them. We just arrived last week. However, a couple of weeks before we moved up here, my aunt had felt guided by the Holy Spirit to offer me a place to stay with her, so I could keep my CNA license in the State in which I was certified and not have to transfer it to the new State. We also didn't know if there would be any nursing homes hiring in the area where we would be living on the reservation. So a few days before the move, I interviewed at a nursing home in the town where I would live with my aunt, but I wouldn't find out whether or not I had gotten the position until after the move. I was still planning on going with my family to help settle in, and if I didn't get the job, I would obviously stay with them. 

Well, it turns out I did get the job.

And now I'm really scared because I'll be leaving my family for the first time. I'm going to be starting work at a new place, and I don't know if I'll get along wonderfully with my new co-workers or if it will be a less than pleasing experience. This facility is going to be twice the size of the one that I am used to, and I've never worked full-time on the day shift (praise God, though. I don't think I would do it if it were nights). I'll have bills to pay for the first time. I know that this is God's plan for me, I'm just scared about taking the step and heading into a new stage of life where I have absolutely no idea what could happen. I am moving in with my aunt and starting the new job in the middle of this month, so prayers would be so, so comforting.

In the meantime, I've been having a wonderful time here with my family, and I'm going to miss them and our mission partners and our parish priest so much! I feel like this is the perfect mission post for them, and am so excited to see what God has in store! 

Here are a few pictures that I've taken in the past few weeks. They include ones taken up until last Saturday!




In conclusion

I've been a lot of places in the past two months. I went with my Dad to visit the Indian Reservation in April, and then came back home. After we decided that we did want to move to that mission, my aunt offered me a place to stay with her. I then had an interview at a facility in her city and stayed with her for a few days to see how I would like it if I did end up coming back to live with her after the move with my family to the mission. We traveled up here and have been at the mission for 10 days. The facility I interviewed with called me a week ago and offered me the job, so I'll be heading back to live with my aunt and start the job in the middle of this month. Hence, there and back, and there and back again (now that I read it, it should have been three times, but that would have been too long of a title anyway). I'm nervous but excited to see what God has next for me! Please pray for me as I start out on this new adventure, and I will be praying for you and whatever plans God has for you!

- Maddie