Pen and paper. Napkin if I must. Anything to scratch down the words brewing inside. It’s February 1st, 2023. I have goals this year.
As I woke this morning, lingering and breathing through the thick in-between of sleep and consciousness, it settled upon me: I am to act as if I have already obtained my goals. DO things I would do if I had achieved them. FEEL what I would feel as if they are mine.
Act as if. Feel as if.
“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
What hopes materialize from a lack of faith? What evidence emerges from emptiness, fear, or desperation? “Every good and perfect gift” comes from a place charged with faith, fullness, contentment, and actions.
Maybe this is why Paul insisted in Philippians 4:11, despite his dire conditions, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
Content until complete. Faithful until filled. Act as if. Feel as if.
February 1st, 2023; I have goals this year.
Reference James 1:17, KJV: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
So, thoughts on AI?
Mind-boggling. And amazing. Scary. And also sad. I asked AI to write blog posts, copy, Youtube scripts, poetry, short stories, essays, resumes, articles, HR manuals, social media posts, cover letters, country songs, raps, and even add musical notation. It has done everything almost flawlessly. It has generated stunning art pieces at a few commands in any style or interpretation I can imagine.
I am fascinated that so much productivity and ingenuity await at our fingertips. They say the mission of AI is to make life easier for humans. And in numerous ways, it will.
Is easier always best?
As a creative, I want the creatives to create, the writers to write, and the artists to express themselves in all mediums. I desire us to have a platform for our work and our passion. As AI noted yesterday in its generated poem: the poet’s words live on through a machine. No. And although I see AI offers one medium of expression, I hope we won’t believe it can replace the experience of vulnerable human emotion.
I take comfort that authentic writers, creatives, artists, and dancers (thankfully, AI can’t take dance!) will continue to do their thing.They must; no machine that can stop it. I just hope there will be a place left for it in the world.
This post was written by me. A human. Erin.
Evening, July 18, 2022
I am able to move and use my arm more and more. I work it daily, pushing the range of motion, stretching out the tautness and attempting to build back muscle. My leg, however, seems to be in stalemate. Not getting worse, but not improving either. I am unable to walk correctly. I hobble around, especially without shoes, and I struggle to descend the stairs.
I hope that one day it will all improve. I keep reminding myself I saved my arm. I could have lost my elbow and use of my hand. I was brave. I am proud of myself for facing the surgery, as this is no easy task.
I dislike limitations. I dislike hearing I can’t do something from someone, some thing, or from my own body. I also dislike when random men message me and act creepy. Blocked. And when I allow myself to raise my voice at my daughter. Stopped. All in a Monday.
I feel a lightness about me. If I equated myself to water, I would be a small stream gently flowing. I’m at ease and peaceful. I love the quiet, the silence. Sometimes more than others; this is one of those times.
Wherever you are, I hope you can find a moment of silence. Even if it is just a few minutes, and even if you have to struggle and force yourself to sit quietly and breathe. Silence is a friend that eventually reaps the reward of peace.
Sending love 💞,
Let me know in the comments what you are celebrating or struggling with today. ✨ 🙏
This is what happened to me: Surgery, Bones, and Building
While most of the world quarantined, I adventure; braving the pandemic, drive, and inaccessibility to food, to visit Colorado in June 2020. One trip led me to visit the beautiful Zapata Falls located in Mosca, Colorado.
Mosca, Colorado is located in Alamosa County in southern Colorado, roughly mid-state. It sits at an elevation of 7,559′ above sea level. For comparison, Denver, the mile-high city, is situated at 5,280′.
You will find little in the way of entertainment in this sleepy Rocky mountain pass, but you will discover nature opportunities galore. The main attraction is the Great Sand Dunes National Park, located on Highway 150.
It is worth stopping three miles south of the entrance to the National Park for this family-friendly hike up to Zapata Falls. The hardest part about this excursion is not the hike itself but the car ride to get there. Once leaving the main road, there is a 3.5-mile brutal, gravel pitted car ride to reach the parking lot and trailhead. We found ample parking and restrooms available. Both the hike and parking are free.
The hike itself is a .8-mile one-way hike, made up of flat dirt with some rocky terrain and an exquisite view of the San Luis Valley and the Great Sand Dunes. Surprisingly, the trail was full of people. As we neared the end, the roar of the waterfall grew louder. We kept trekking through ankle and knee-deep water. Crawling over, on top, and around slippery rocks and crowds of people. We finally reached the crevice of the mountain and were able to peer into the gorge to see the beauty of the falls.
Tip: Take water shoes and prepare to get wet. The water depth depends on the weather and time of year – it may even be frozen!
Lodging: There are a few lodging options near the falls. You can find mid-range hotels in Alamosa, Colorado located 45 min from the park. Camping is also an option. There is a small state-owned campground at the falls that offers 23 primitive sites at an extremely affordable rate plus a couple other nearby campgrounds.
• NPS-Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
• USFS-Rio Grande National Forest and Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.
• BLM-Blanca Wetlands Recreation Area.
• USFWS-Baca and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuges.
• Great Sand Dunes Oasis-Restaurant, gift shop, and lodge (near GRSA Park entrance).
• Ft. Garland Museum and Cultural Center.
• Colorado Gators Reptile Park.
• UFO Watchtower.
• Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool.
Other Nearby Campgrounds: Pinyon Flats CG, Great Sand Dunes NPP
Enjoy your trip to Mosca, Colorado and Zapata Falls!
They say to be a good writer, I must write every day, regardless if I want to or not. They say it separates the hobbyists from the skilled workers. The professionals from the amateurs. The women from the girls.
I do write every day. In my journal. All-day long. I scribble thoughts, then a bit of overheard conversation, a line from a book, a lyric that touched my soul. I must examine later why it touched my soul.
I write with purpose, it is my lifeblood, but I do not write to publish. And when faced with the arduous task of writing to publish, it gets sticky, like glue covers my mind and words. I don’t know what to write. My grammar sounds off and awkward, and who would want to read any of this anyhow? Those kinds of thoughts march through my head, one by one. Like the ants on the sidewalk that I dodged on my morning walk. The red ones.
I will change, I tell myself. I will let down these thick, protective walls and publish the damn thing. How hard can it be to tap a little icon? Tap it. It can be tough when that icon reads, publish now. Then you expose a very you, and a very true side of you, to the world.
I’ve lived long enough to know that most people don’t care. Selfish creatures we are, occupied with own our lives. Let’s face it – it should be that way. Today on Dr. Wayne Dyer’s podcast, a woman asked, “what is the greatest thing we can do to help others?” He replied: live your life fully and be a role model.
So, it is normal and healthy to be busy with ourselves. In living free, we set others free. In loving ourselves, we love others. But we also desire the best for those around us, and we are willing to serve in whatever capacity we can. We live free, and we ask, how can I serve?
But back to the daily grind, the daily writing, a daily outlet of servitude. Why must, at times, it feel like a chore, and at other times feel like I have reached the pinnacle, where my gifts and callings collide within me. I do not like this ride.
Writing is a treacherous and dangerous thing. It is annoying and disturbing and sometimes dark, yet, it seems to bring light to the world. And reason out of chaos. And shape nations, minds, and moments.
Turn on a song, would you, and get lost in the lyrics. A writer did that. Most likely a poet. A human who sat at their keyboard and went deep within to find the right words. They proclaimed: today I am a skilled worker – not a hobbyist, a professional – not an amateur, a woman – not a girl. Today, I am a writer.
Self-image shapes our personality, happiness, and success. We can change our self-image thereby changing our future. The way we do this is to give our brains, which operate somewhat like machines, the correct data. Maltz relates this idea to programming a missile to hit a target. The missile will aim for the set location and will correct itself several times in route to stay on course.
We program our brains by visualizing desires until we have the feeling of success. Our brains do not know the difference and will kick in and act accordingly. While striving toward our goals, we will correct course several times as we learn. But when the brain has the correct data, we will reach our desired destination.
Maltz, a plastic surgeon by trade, uses medical, scientific, and case studies from his practice to prove the life-changing effects of his methods. He then lays out how to apply these methods to real-life situations.
I was surprised to find a Christian undertone and worldview in this book. Maltz sprinkles Biblical scriptures and teachings to strengthen theories or ideas about the human psyche.
Psycho-Cybernetics has stood the test of time for a reason. I recommend this book to anyone serious about changing the trajectory of their life. It extends hope in situations that may seem out of control. I find the few religious references to be encouraging and life-giving and fit well within the text.
You will finish this book armed with immediate and practical applications. Many well-known self-help gurus have built their work on the writings of Maxwell Maltz. Not surprising, as over 35 million copies of Psycho-cybernetics have sold worldwide.
“Dude, love that book! It has done wonders for me.” – SV
Get your own copy of Psycho-Cybernetics here: https://amzn.to/3iWN0Kv (Affiliate Link)
4-month surgery follow-up at #mayo is complete! The bone is healed, no sign of tumor, and I’m encouraged to do aggressive therapy! I’m incredibly thankful for the help & love from so many people in my life. ❤️ I couldn’t have gotten through this without you. Let’s go 2022! ✨💪🏼
I’m a midwest gal, and there’s nothing quite as cozy as cuddling up in a dark, cool basement. Where else would we have family movie nights, tornado “parties, ” and shoot pool? And then I moved to Texas. You might be asking as I did; where are the basements??
Compared to the soft, dry soil of the northern states, Texas soil is typically clay or limestone. Clay changes composition often, so it isn’t stable. Limestone is too hard to cut through. It is more workable and cost-efficient to add the square footage up and out rather than down.
Builders pour foundations below the frost line, which up north is 5-6′ below ground; this makes it easy and inexpensive to add a basement. The frost line in Texas is only about 1′ below ground. The builders don’t need to dig deeper, so why add unnecessary work and expense.
The water table is the level below which the ground is saturated with water. In Texas, this is only a few feet below ground, making texas basements susceptible to flooding. The cost to prevent flooding and buy flood insurance is too high to be worth it for most buyers.
I still itch to hide in a basement, especially when blasted by crazy Texas storms. But, living here makes up for that loss in several other ways. Did you have a basement in your hometown? Share in the comments below!
For more articles related to moving and Texas check out:
5 Easy Ways to Make Friends in a New City and Texas Replaces Vehicles with Horses Amid Gas Price Spike
All eyes are on a particular pulpit this week, as a Christian pastor preached Jesus is the only way to heaven.
The pastor, who wishes to stay anonymous, hopes to redefine Christianity in America to: Those who believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. But many in the Christian church disagree.
“Blasphemy,” said one church elder. “We didn’t hire him to preach nonsense.” “Outrageous!” agreed another. “A complete embarrassment to our faith and organization. Where did he get this ridiculous notion?”
Sources close to the pastor say he might have gotten this bizarre idea from the Bible.
Today, congregants introduced a petition to remove the pastor for his heinous crime. It appears, though, he will not go without a fight. A plan is in the works to appeal to the denominational conference, but officials say it will only lead to a dead-end. The Bishop’s recent announcement – Jesus is not the literal son of God- leaves little hope for one weary man.
Frisco, Texas. This bustling metropolitan north of Dallas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, bursting at the seams with opportunity, and entertainment is no exception.
At one time, the area now known as Frisco was just a wagon stop along the Shawnee Trail. Discover this rich history and more at the Frisco Heritage Center. This 16,000 sq ft museum showcases the early days of this wild west town through indoor and outdoor exhibits, original memorabilia, restored architecture, and interactive fun. Stroll through an old church, sit at a desk at a schoolhouse, and peer behind bars inside a replicated jail cell. Visit the Frisco Heritage Center to learn the history of the town you will be proud to call home.
Yes, everything is bigger in Texas. This 91-acre campus, opened in 2016, is home to the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility. Take a tour of all things Cowboys, throw a ball around the 50-yard turf field, watch movies on the larger-than-life screen, dine, shop, drink and relax at the district or watch football in action at the Ford Center. The Star has something for everyone in the family.
The National Video Game Museum is 10,400 sq ft of family fun, combining video game artifacts and memorabilia with hands-on play. Visitors take a journey through the history of video games, from conception to the present, with consoles dating back to the 1950s, home computers, a 1980s style arcade, video game prototypes, and much more. Don’t miss this acclaimed museum after your move to Frisco.
For an eye-popping, cozy Christmas activity, drive-by or walk-by the Burkman Holiday Home, located in West Frisco’s residential neighborhood, Rivendale on the Lake. Take part in this holiday extravaganza that has delighted families and charities for over 20 years. Expect long lines for this once-a-year treat!
Snuggle up in the front of a personal fire at this unique find tucked away in Frisco’s Rail District. This locally owned wine bar and kitchen won Living Magazine’s Readers Choice Award for Best Wine Bar and Best Patio in 2019. Drop-in for a glass or two, a craft beer, and an array of appetizers and entrees. Check out the full schedule of live music to enjoy while you dine. Reservations recommended!
Thank you for visiting The Jar!
For more Frisco fun and original images, follow: VisitFrisco.com and Friscotexas.gov
Cover Photo by Nancy Jo Lambert on Unsplash