The Reset Button {How Introverting Work}

I called it my Reset Button long before I actually knew how it worked.

It was simple really but seemed so convoluted and illogical that I wasn’t sure how to explain it. I would get into a good rhythm with going to bed on time, sleep well, and then work hard all day long. It felt glorious, but all too soon I’d feel abnormally tired and not be able to function like I should. It befuddled me.

Finally, after a week or so of this happening, I’d throw bedtimes out the window and indulge in a late night reading session. The thing that confused me most is that sometimes the book I was reading wasn’t even all that exciting – or maybe it was a re-read. So, it wasn’t the stellar story itself keeping me up, but I’d feel compelled to keep turning the pages.

Then the next day instead of feeling extra tired like I’d expect, I felt fantastic and was ready to tackle another day. Say what?

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It happened fairly often and I began to greatly look forward to the stillness of a sleeping house and dim lights where it seemed like my book and I were the only thing in existence.

Years passed and I simply referred to it as my reset button and moved on with life. Then one day a few months ago I was exhausted – like I could barely keep my eyes open exhausted. I settled in for the night, but then instead of going to sleep like would be the “smart” thing to do, I pulled out a book.

Then I lay there confused. Why? Why was I reading a book on a night like this? My sister had just gotten married and I didn’t really care about the book I held in my hands. I didn’t really care about anything at that moment, I was just bone-tired. But instead of sleeping I was going to read. And read I did, glancing at my phone every once in a while to watch the hours slide by.

Then it hit me.

My reset button worked when I was more people-tired than I was physically tired. 

I stayed up late at night reading because sleeping didn’t rejuvenate the introverted-need-to-be-alone side of my personality. And sometimes, no matter how worn out I was physically, my people-fatigue trumped all else and, for me, there’s nothing like being the only one awake for miles around and delighting in the complete stillness of the world around me, to find restoration.

Being an introvert is a gift. Being an extrovert is a gift. Being a human is a gift.

Recently I’ve been working on learning about how to manage the various aspects of my personality that make me, me. I’m learning how to use my introvertedness as a tool to help me become a better person.

And do you know what? Having a reset button helps a huge amount. 😉

November 2018 in Review

What I Focused on in November:
1. Family time – visiting grandparents in Florida, Thanksgiving, and staying with my “adopted” mom, talking late at night, and just hanging out
2. Getting back into the rhythm of blogging, taking Instagram pictures, and working on writing, etc…
3. Youth Camp – I attended as staff, plus did a fair amount of computer work for it beforehand

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Reading Update:
Fiction – 4
Nonfiction – 5
Audiobooks – 2 (?)

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Traveling:
12 Nights. New places? None.

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Goals:
1. Walk 20 Miles (bonus 30 miles) – YES & YES
2. Track all money spent – YES
3. Thanksgiving with family – YES
4. Stay with skunk mama – YES
5. Review 4 books – YES
6. Read 3 non-fiction books – YES
7. Cook at Youth Retreat – YES
8. Blog 4 days a week – YES
9. Beta Read twice a week – NOPE
10. Edit 3 times a week except for last week – NOPE

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What I’ve Been Learning:

November is always one of my favorite months, and this year was no exception. Looking back I see it as the month where I began to find my new normal. After the craziness of the first ten months of the year, I started settling back into life and discovering the joys of this season of my world.

A lot of what I learned during the month wasn’t anything I consciously decided to work on learning, it was mostly little things that I took note of in my life and realized I needed to change, work on, add, or eliminate from my everyday existence.

I also got back into the rhythm of reading nonfiction which was a lot more fun than I had realized it would be. Bless Your Husband and Unexpected Blessings were both great reads that covered a lot of information that I’d already heard, but they pulled it together nicely. Winning the Battle for Your Mind, Will, and Emotions was very beneficial to me and continues to be. It reminded me of how important our thought lives are, and how much control we really do have over our lives. (Or at least control with how we handle what goes on in our lives.) Unimaginable and Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts were my two favorite reads of the month and opened my mind to a new set of thoughts which then in turned help change little day-to-day things in my life.

In addition to reading books, going to Camp proved to be a great learning experience for me. For instance, faceplanting in ice cream while hiding in a pantry actually works wonders. Highly recommend. I also realized (once again) how much I love people. Like, a whole, whole lot. But I also not only crave but actually need alone time. Having a way of escape (aka an apron) is something of a necessity to me.

Learning about myself and reading books that deal with human feelings, thoughts, and actions as a whole is something that has helped me a lot in life. Being able to gauge what’s (probably) going on in certain situations – especially when I’m not in my comfort zone – is really important to me.

My comfort zone is small, so I have to bust out of it a lot, and I do. Also, although it’s slightly terrifying, being outside of one’s comfort zone kinda provides a rush and can be very beneficial.

God is totally fantastic and amazing. I knew that, of course, but November reinforced it. I was praying about several specific things, and those prayers were answered beyond what I had imagined. Not totally what I was imaginaing, but better than I could have wanted because guess what? God knows and sees everything. I’m still in awe that the God who knows everything from beginning to end pays special attention to my life. So cool, right? I’m also rather convinced He has a sense of humor.

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Other:

Y’all. I love my family. And by “family” I mean both those who are related by blood and those who have become family to me and will push me into a pantry and tell me to calm down when I’m completely freaking out in public.

November was a hugely wonderful month for me. It was cozy. Gray. Filled with blankets, car rides, airplane rides, kitchens, and swinging late into the night. November was filled with people, like, huge amounts of people. And so it was good but exhausting. And rather memorable.

I started out the month in Florida, bopped around in Ohio, then ended the month in Tennessee. Sometimes my life amazes me.

Camp was fantastic and so far outside my comfort zone that I followed my few comforting people around like a little puppy dog, and found a few more people who I felt free to freak out in front of, then commenced to freaking out quite thoroughly. It was probably enlightening to anyone who happened to be in the vicinity.

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What was your favorite part of November?

 

My Most Anticipated Read of the Year!

Y’all. This book! This book! I’ve been wanting to read it for forever and a day and here it is, sitting next to me, waiting to be gobbled up.

Yes, folks, you heard it right: I have an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Miss Stephanie’s newest book. Excuse me while I go fangirl for the next several weeks. 😉 Thank you so, so, so much Stephanie for sending it to me! I can’t wait to dive in!

When Reading Has No Chill

As it turns out, my reading is up and down and all over the place almost to an extreme. I’ve given up on reading predictions, reading goals, TBR stacks, and bookish challenges.

When it comes to reading, I go with the ebb and flow of life, cravings, and (sometimes) deadlines. Mostly though, I just pick up a book and read it without a lot of pre-meditation or over-analyzing. Tracking the books I read and trying to at least note when it was that I read them has proved to be most amusing to me.

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For instance, between May 21st and November of this year, I read a grand total of one nonfiction book – and that one was a beta project for me. Considering the fact that I read a nonfiction book basically every week last year I was rather horrified with myself when I realized the track record I was producing for 2018.

I decided to read a couple of nonfiction books in November and was just pretty surprised when I looked at Goodreads and saw I read five of them last month. Yeah, that’s right. After over five months of no nonfiction reading (except for the Bible), I polished off five of them without really even trying.

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I sit at my computer today – over a third of the way through the month and have to shrug my shoulders at my reading for December. How many books have I finished, you may ask? Zero. In fact, I’ve only read probably a 150 pages altogether during the last two weeks.

Last month I read around 2,362 pages, which equals nearly 79 a day. That sounds way impressive when compared to the average of 15 pages a day I’ve read this month, but when I compare it to my record, which was 1,200 pages in one day….Well? Then it sounds minuscule.

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Do you know what my point with all these random stats is? Reading is a tool. A vacation. A joy. And yes, part of my job as a writer. But reading is something I control, not something that controls me. I’m not going to let it stress me out when I don’t get reading in, and I’m not going to feel like a super-human when I catch up with books. Books, reading, words… They’re all wonderful things, but they don’t define me.

This week I’m fine with being chill. And who knows? Maybe next week I’ll swallow books whole. With me you never really know. 😉

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That Comfort Zone Busting Move {AKA, Youth Camp}

I’m not one of those kids who grew up going to camp. In fact, I never went to one. I didn’t really feel like I was missing out and I was perfectly fine with my track record for a long time. Then my siblings began going to week-long Bible Schools and Youth Camps – a place to learn, fellowship, and make memories. Most of the time the age range for these types of things goes from ages 15 or 16 to mid-twenties.

When my siblings would get home from these events I would enjoy listening to them talk about their experiences, but once again, I didn’t really have a desire to attend one myself. (This was because of a multitude of reasons, including health, personality, and a bad experience I had at the one youth-themed event I did go to when I was thirteen.)

Then my next-younger sister went to a youth camp and after hearing her stories I began praying about going to one myself. Fast-forward eight months and my youngest sister married the brother-in-law to one of the guys who helps lead the Youth Camp I’d been praying about. By this time I was really wanting to go to one – but I didn’t want to attend as a student.

It took a while for me to work up my courage to ask, but I finally offered my services as a cook. And thus set into motion a week that totally threw me out of my comfort zone, was utterly amazing, and very much not what I was expecting.

Although I didn’t attend many of the teaching sessions because I was staff and therefore working in the kitchen, I still learned a ton – both from listening to others talk about the sessions, and from forcing myself outside of my comfort zone. I also realized that my comfort zone while away from home consists mainly of my siblings and so I might have trailed after them like a puppy every time they were around. (This is the part where we pretend like they’re the older siblings and I’m the youngest instead of the other way around.)

When I sat down to write this post this morning I looked through my phone for pictures and then remembered that I basically didn’t have my phone out at all during the week, so pictures are pretty nonexistent. I did video the students singing though, so if you want a 30-second look at that part of camp, then yay. 🙂

Youth Camp was wonderful, stretching, and a lot more fun than I had thought it would be. It was also rather exhausting and I’m still struggling to catch up with life now that I’m home. But guess what? I’m already looking forward to next year, and that’s a big win. 😉

Have you ever gone to a camp?

And Then She Returns

Yo, folks! I was gone working at camp all of last week and part of this week and goodness is it hard getting back into the swing of things here. Good, but hard.

It’s full-blown December here at home and I’m pretty thrilled with that. I just took a walk in the snow without a coat (it sounded like a good idea at the time), and now am all happy and energized as I had off to work.

How have you been?

Unimaginable

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FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 240
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Title: Unimaginable: What Our World Would Be Like Without Christianity
Author: Jeremiah J. Johnston
Nonfiction

BACK COVER BLURB:

A Stirring Account of Christianity’s Power for Good

In a day when Christians are often attacked for their beliefs, professor and speaker Jeremiah Johnston offers an inspiring look at the positive influence of Christianity, both historically and today. In Unimaginable, you’ll discover the far-reaching ways that Christianity is good for the world–and has been since the first century AD–including:
· How the plights of women and children in society were forever changed by Jesus
· Why democracy and our education and legal systems owe much to Christianity
· How early believers demonstrated the inherent value of human life by caring for the sick, handicapped, and dying
· How Christians today are extending God’s kingdom through charities, social justice efforts, and other profound ways

Like It’s a Wonderful Life, the classic film that showed George Bailey how different Bedford Falls would be without his presence, Unimaginable guides readers through the halls of history to see how Jesus’ teachings dramatically changed the world and continue to be the most powerful force for good today. This provocative and enlightening book is sure to encourage believers and challenge doubters.

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK:

The concept of the book really grasped my attention. Other than that, I don’t quite remember why I chose this book because I got it a while ago. I didn’t read it for about a year because I thought it was going to be really heavy and I wasn’t in the mood for that type of book. But then I read it and…

WHAT I THOUGHT OF THIS BOOK:

Folks! I could barely put this book down. It was so good and grabbed my interest from the first page. Most of the time I skim read books – at least to a point – but I had to read every word of this book to get the full story. I read it over the period of two and a half days and want to read more by the same author.

The book was divided into three parts, so I’ll give a brief overview of each of the parts:

The World Before Christianity
This is probably the segment that I found most interesting. It talked a lot about what the world looked like before Jesus’ time, and how we often see the world back then through the eyes of how our world is today. Mr. Johnston then spent several chapters breaking it down subject by subject and showing the worldview was quite different back then. I really like history, so this part of the book was right up my alley.

The World Without Christianity
This section discussed some of the big influencers of philosophical thoughts from the nineteenth century – men like Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud. There were several other men named also, and we got a brief overview of each of their lives, as well as what they thought/taught and what impact their teachings then had on the world.

This part was also highly interesting to me and made me want to read more books like it. I had to keep my phone next to me so I could look up what was being said from time to time because there were a lot of concepts I wasn’t familiar with.

The main point of this segment was pointing out what happens when men try to take God out of the picture, and what a disaster that turns into. (Examples: WW2 and Communism.)

The World With Christianity
The last section opens with a bunch of stats and that was really intriguing to me. (In fact, I promptly found a few people who I could share some of them with because it’s so interesting.) Overall though, the last few chapters of the book found my attention lagging a bit. I’m not sure if it’s because it covered more information that I knew already, or if I was simply ready to move on, but it was the last few chapters that brought the book from a five star read to a four star read for me. I still learned a lot from the last segment though.

Conclusion:

There were several things I didn’t agree with, plus a few things that left me confused. For instance: Mr. Johnston clearly sees how Darwin’s teachings negatively affected the world, and yet Mr. Johnston seems to believe that evolution is true instead of a literal interpretation of Genesis.
At times there were also concluding statements that were made that sounded reasonable, but I’m not sure if they were entirely accurate.
One warning: This book does deal with some harsh realities of the world, as well as talking about some pretty bad beliefs some people hold, so I don’t recommend it to anyone under the age of 15.

RATING:

This book was just a millimeter away from five stars. So Good! And yet, in the end, I’m giving it four out of five stars. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for reviewing it on my blog and I’m so thankful for the opportunity!