The topics in my Sunday Series will be all over the map. Do you see what I did there??? I incorporated travel into my NON travel series by using an analogy with the "map"! I'll give you a second to let that creative masterpiece sink in. (insert a few seconds time lapse for audience to get it--some may be slower than others). Wanna know the best part about that line? I didn't even think of it in advance. The words just came out of my head and I realized what I did only AFTER rereading my sentence. That's just how good I am!
I'm sneaky like that. You really gotta watch out when you're dealing with me. I like to blend all aspects of my life, ESPECIALLY the ones I am passionate about! There are only 2 things in my life that I am more passionate about than travel. They are (in the correct order):
1. JESUS. Yes, I said it. Some of you may be now immediately shutting down your mind (and computer) to what I have to say. You may be either a non believer, a former believer, or a believer that just doesn't like to talk about, or HEAR about Jesus. I'm not gonna say "Sorry" to you. While I am not a fan AT ALL of religion (and one mans view of it being preached as THE WAY), I am a HUGE fan of JESUS. Some people may either be turned off by this or scared that I am going to try and preach to them and save them from damnation. First of all----I am a Travel Professional---Not a Religious Professional (pastor, preacher, choir director, minister, counselor,................). I am not the type of Christian that feels I need to preach and stand on the corner with my "I LOVE JESUS" sign trying to save the world. As much as I love to talk, I prefer silent witnessing. I am also not the type of Christian that judges people because they either do not believe in God or they have a habit or hobby (drinking, smoking, clubbing, dancing, swearing, etc.) that some Christians feel make them a bad person (often referred to by this group as heathen or backslider). I have been judged by this type of Christian while sitting in church and so have my kids. I have never been this type of person and will never be this type of Christian. In the semi words of Michael Jackson, "I'm a lover, not a judger". I LOVE EVERYBODY! I'm not just saying that either. My Dad says I "hug the world" and that describes me perfectly. Besides, who am I to judge when I LOVE to dance and break out an occasional swear word now and then. I was never really a big user of cuss words. I stopped swearing completely as a Mom with young kids because I didn't want those words to be the ones my kids learned and repeated. Now that they are grown and out of the house, I don't worry if one slips out (or JUMPS out) every now and then. It's not something I do routinely or even often, just on a rare occasion in my home with no people around to hear. I don't smoke or drink because I don't like the taste or effects of either, not because I think they make you a bad person.
My mission with my website is not to turn you into a believer of God, it is to inspire you to travel and see the world. That, in and of itself, may turn you into a believer. If so, great. If not, thats fine. If you want to know the Jesus I know, you will seek him on YOUR terms when the time is right for YOU. That may or may not happen in an actual church. You don't need a building, structured religion or an actual Preacher to get you to Jesus. He has an open door policy where you are encouraged to go straight to him and avoid the middle manager/front line supervisor if necessary. I'm not gonna quote scripture (cuz I haven't read the bible all the way through and I'm TERRIBLE with memorizing anyway). My husband, on the other hand, has read the bible more than once and can rattle off Bible trivia and scripture like RainMan. HE is the one you want to call if you're ever in the Cash Cab and a Bible question comes up. He would be your lifeline in that scenario.
The other thing in my life that I am most passionate about besides travel is
2. MY FAMILY. This would be my Amazing Husband (who I will refer to as SUPERHUBBY), my 2 incredibly gifted and gorgeous kids (2GK), my beautiful and dedicated daughter in law currently serving our country, my MOST PRECIOUS GRANDBABY IN THE WORLD, my stunning, smart and talented God daughters, my Dad, brother, Mom and Dad in law, Aunts, Uncles, Soul Sisters, and anyone else in my life that I consider family.
Since most of my family values their privacy, I will not be sharing too much of them here on MY website. I want to respect their lives and also don't want to be THAT Mom and Grandma that constantly brags about how her kids are the best at everything, yadda, yadda, yadda. Since Jesus doesn't care so much about his privacy, I will probably be talking about him a little bit more. Let me go ahead and do that for a few more minutes and then let you go for today. If you don't like this topic, PLEASE at least stick around for the rest of the post. I should at least make you smile once or twice and EVERYONE needs to smile!
I call myself a Joyful Journalist for Jesus. There are 3 reasons why I chose this nickname for myself. The first reason is I am JOYFUL. The second reason is I am a JOURNALIST. And the third (and most important) reason is: I WORK FOR JESUS. He is my boss. I am accountable to HIM and only him. There is no middle manager telling me what I can and cannot say. No rules being enforced upon me as to what I can write about in MY blog. You wanna know the best thing about working directly for Jesus? He trusts me to do my job because he has been training me my whole life to do it. He has as much faith and trust in me as I do in him. Its an amazing situation to be in and I wouldn't want to work for anyone else EVER again! JESUS does not try and micromanage me. He gives me a task and lets me have at it. I will not allow another person to censor me and tell me I shouldn't write something because it might offend someone else. Because Jesus lives in my heart, HE is my censor (sort of like Jiminy Cricket).
J.C. WOW, that kind of just blew my mind a little. Someone at Disney clearly knows about his sense of humor! That should've made you smile right there :-) The fact that I used Jesus and Disney in the same sentence lets you know that I am also not a specific denomination that likes to boycott Disney often.
If I worried about offending someone every time I wrote something, I would never write anything. As a matter of fact, neither would any of the great writers let alone comedians who talk about family members and loved ones in their acts. As long as you are not being mean, hurtful or derogatory, you should be able to speak your mind and not worry about hurting someones feelings. People need to grow up and stop being so darn PC about EVERYTHING! These same people also need to learn to laugh at themselves. I laugh at myself everyday. I don't get embarrassed at anything I may do or say. I meant it when I said it so why should I apologize and be sorry?????
I used to apologize all the time. I mean, I had a serious apology addiction. I also took the blame for stuff (even if it happened in another state that I had never even been to) just to keep the peace. I hate confrontation and any kind of discord. I also didn't mind being the designated loser at board games and card games. For me, playing the game and the interaction was all that mattered. To some opponents, WINNING is all that mattered and their good time was based solely on this outcome. Rather than "win" a stupid game and have this person be mad because they lost, I would just let them win. They were happy (gloating and prancing around like a show pony) and I was fine with losing. I realized that apologizing for something that was not mean or meant to hurt feelings (just honest communication) was just not the best thing to do. It didn't help THAT person. It only justified their hurt feelings and made them feel right about feeling them. Don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to his or her feelings, we just need to put them aside sometimes so we can have truly honest communication.
Here's the deal: I am trippin' on a joyful journey through LIFE. In the second half of my life, I am doing this as a professional Joyful Journalist. (I've actually combined the words Journey and Journalist and created my own: Journeyist. I filed the patent for #JoyfulJourneyist and have big plans for my name. I view Life as Journey, filled with Joy and it's meant to be shared!) Because JESUS is my boss, there are gonna be days when I honor him. I mean, even Hallmark has a designated BOSS DAY where you can spend a few bucks on a sentimental card written by someone else. I prefer to use my own words and honor my boss right here on my public website.
Please feel free to share YOUR feelings with me in the comments below. Communication, like any good relationship, involves give and take. I just did the giving, now its time for me to take it! I promise, I won't get offended or embarrassed! (unless of course, that is what you want from me--I aim to please)