Posted in Life

Stepping into your calling

Banner Year

Hello everyone, today I wanted to share with you a few things I been thinking about lately regarding my calling/purpose. See, unlike some people, when I was little – and up until this past year – I always seen kids who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. Some said firemen, others work for the police, and even a few doctors and nurses; however, I never really knew what I wanted as a kid. Fast forward to about 7 years ago and I began thinking about being a teacher. I wasn’t dead set on it, but the thought seemed like something I could see myself doing, you know? Then a year or two ago I began volunteering with a after school bible program for kids, and I really enjoyed it – especially when I got to teach. This of ‘course made me think I would just do this for fun and as a hobby, not something that I could make a career out of, and since I have been having trouble with the finances for school I never thought I would become a teacher. Well, after around February of this year, I knew I wanted to get a job and do something that would allow me to still work with the program – KCBS -, and make some extra cash so I could help pay down our debt, and that is when it happened. I found out through a friend about a school that was hiring teacher’s aides, and even though I thought I knew what they did, I was not prepared for the amazing things God was about to show and teach me.

Not only did I get the job, as some of you may know, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of being an aide. See, for those who were like me and don’t know exactly what an aide does, I got to help the teachers(I worked with both the pre-k teachers) with the various centers that help with verbal, communication, and skills they would need when beginning kindergarten and going on to further their education. I also of ‘course helped to maintain cleanliness in the class by keeping the floors swept and the tables cleaned after each activity and snack time, and help with lunch duties. I remember one day I literally got paid to set up an Easter egg hunt! It was probably a few weeks after Easter, and when I got to help with facilitating that egg hunt, that I realized this is what I wanted to do with my life. I really did want to be a teacher, and the avenue or pathway to getting my degree was going to be as an aide. See as an aide, you don’t have to have a degree, just need your diploma and some experience in working with children. This means I can work as an aide, and eventually finish my degree as the school pays for my training!! Of ‘course, currently I am not able to do this because of the school I am presently at, however, I am hopeful that as my husband is seeking another job elsewhere, that I will be able to find another job that is full – time and will pay for my training. I am starting to experience the joy most people talk about when they have finally found their niche or calling and are working for a place that they enjoy going to everyday!

Now, I know not everyone has had that aha! moment so to speak, but I hope that if you are not happy with where you are, this brings you hope to ask yourself and seek out that thing that reasonably makes you happy…and by reasonable, I mean use some common sense when thinking about it. I am not saying quit your job and go travel around the world abandoning those you love for some pipe dream, I mean really seeking your purpose and taking small steps to make it happen. Anyways, I hope this has helped you and brings you hope for your situation you are in. I know I have been greatly encouraged by my current job and the way my boss supports me in wanting to further my education, even if it means just saying a prayer for me to find a job elsewhere that will help me achieve my calling. If this helped you will you leave a comment below, subscribe, and share with your friends? My desire, besides being a teacher, is to write articles that help people and inspire them to be the best version of themselves, and in order to do that I need you to share this with those whom you think will benefit from my posts. Thanks in advance.

Till next time,

~Angie~

Posted in Writing Prompt

Growing Up In A Small Town

yellow flowers in bloom
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

For those who only follow on my blog here and not my other social media platforms, I want to apologize because of family and work stuff going on lately and also to mention that if you are not following me you really should. You don’t see my hubs as much since he has been working a lot lately, but I like to post little things I find interesting throughout my week and share them with y’all! This blog along with my other TNR social platforms are primarily to promote small towns, showcase the amazing finds through mom and pop shops around the U.S., and to give you a peek into our adventures we take – either big or small – each year. So as I was blowing the dust off this old blog I found a wonderful author by the name of Ty Noel, and his prompt for the week was on small towns(which you can find here). Therefore, today I would like to share my take on living in a small town in the Midwest, and the impact it had on my life. When you finish reading all the way through, which I hope you do, please make sure to subscribe and share with others #sharingiscaring !!

Midwest Living

Well, first of all living in the Midwest is not what you might be thinking. See, most people picture us one of two ways;

1 We are a group of rednecks who just sit around and drink on our front porch and talk funny. (Well, most of those whom I have associated with are not like this at least. LOL)

2. We are these strangers who people can’t quit figure out – I mean are we southerners that had to move to the Midwest because of it being overcrowded, or are we from one of the boarder states and imagined a “simpler life” in the Midwest where there is nothing but farms and small town shops?

This is just my experience, but that is what I have come to see when I meet people from other states and they hear my accent and are surprised I am from the Midwest. But I am getting ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning….32 years ago in a small town right outside of St. Louis, MO.

I might have been born in Phoenix, AZ but ever since I was one – or a little over that -, I lived in a small town right outside of St. Louis, MO called Dupo, IL….Yes you read that right, Dupo. It had maybe a little over 4 thousand people give or take and was made up of a few shops, a small grade school, a few trailer parks, and the usual – a few banks, two or three churches, and almost a bar on every corner(not really, but that is what it felt like). Anyways, that might be a stretch, but that is what I remember, I mean it has been almost 15 years since I lived there. So growing up in Dupo it was your generic small town, where most people knew everybody, and we didn’t go to many places – just Walmart which was about fifteen minutes out of town, church, and a few restaurants in the next town over. I think when I was in grade school I had a total class of 15, if that. Then my mom got the bright idea to homeschool me, which I am glad for it now, but it made my little extraverted self become a intro real quick. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love homeschooling. I just think it would have been better if we had the money to attend extra – curricular activities and such so I could be around other kids. Needless to say, I was bored to tears, and I couldn’t wait till I had the chance to get out of that town, let alone the state! Fast forward to now, and I remember the little library that was in town – not sure how long that was there but I just remember it when I was around 10 and getting my first library card. I also remember going to the ice cream shop in town and hanging out with my grandparents and aunts their families. Many of my other family members graduated from the high school there in town, or played games there. And of ‘ course I remember going to the little church in town and having to sit through mass with my grandma. There were some fun memories, but honestly, my grandparents – sometimes my parents – were so overprotective I didn’t do a whole lot. As I got older though, I am almost glad because I am way more respectful than some who have gone to school in town and lived there all their lives, and I have seen some of the dumb things that most of those I went to grade school with did and glad I never was involved with the shenanigans they would find themselves in. I lived a very boring life as a kid, and I think that is why I have such a spirit of adventure now that I am an adult. I can’t speak for everyone in the Midwest, or even in the town I grew up in, but this has been my experience.

What about you? Did you grow up in a small town, and if so what was it like for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe to this post so you can receive notifications when I write something new. Thanks in advance, have an awesome day!

Until next time,

Summer 2019   ~Angie~

Posted in Community

Nashville, TN

Batman Building

Last week my hubs, Chris, and I took some vacation time and went to one of our favorite places – Nashville, TN. Today I decided to write about our trip, and some of our favorite places to go when we are in Tennessee. Hope you enjoy, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you can be notified anytime I create a new post.

First, I should say it has been about four years since the hubs and I have gone to Nashville, five if you include actually spending time outside of camping near Percy lake. Chris has gone down to Nashville off and on for over ten years before he met me. When we met, he mentioned how he plays an online game called, “World of Warcraft,” and that he had met some friends on there that live in Nashville, Tenn. To make a long story short, he mentioned there was a huge Renaissance Festival that happens throughout the month of May, and he would plan to go every Memorial weekend to hang out with his friends and check out the various activities. Then, when we got engaged we went down so I can meet them and we could check out the famous Castle that resides across from the festival. I loved the festival and Nashville so much that I kept wanting to go back, so after we got married we planned on coming back twice a year….well, four years later, lol. At any rate, we love Nashville, and the surrounding areas so much that I thought I would make a list of the top ten things I love best about Nashville Metro, from least to greatest.

MY TOP TEN LIST OF PLACES TO VISIT IN NASHVILLE METRO:

10. Franklin Factory and outlet Shops –

Number ten would probably be the shops and factory in Franklin, Tenn. The Factory in Franklin was an old depression era factory that has since been converted in to various shops within the factory warehouse. There are so many rustic looking shops and classes that you can take – such as painting, potter, etc. – , and the last time we were down there, they had a few sculptures made out of medal. Plus if you like some of the big box stores, they are just a few minutes further. (1)

9. Lebanon Square – 

Another great place to check out is Lebanon Square, about northeast of Nashville. There is not much shops within the square per say, but the ones they have are amazing. We went down there this last time, and they have a few boutiques now, along with a great bar and grill type of restaurant that serves burgers, fish, and your all around American food. I highly recommend this to anyone who is going down to visit the outer parts of Nashville, and looking for some local shops and restaurants. (2)

8. Hermitage Winery – 

So I have to confess I haven’t actually been here. However, our friends and a few others we met down there said it is both relaxing and a sight to behold. There is multiple acres of land that has vineyards on the property, and a wine tasting event that happens often. Another great thing about this place, with it being summer and all, is there are various bands and such who come out to play and there are family – friendly activities going on – and the best part is it is free! I hope the hubs and I are able to check it out when we visit in September. (3)

7.  The back roads between Lebanon and Antioch – 

The reason I listen this was because Chris and I often find ourselves driving the back roads either between Nashville and Lebanon, or Lebanon and Antioch. It is relaxing to see all the animals, farm lands, and check out the amazing houses that have been built in these areas. If you enjoy hoping in the car and just going for a drive gazing at the scenery around you, this is definitely something you have to do when going down to Tennessee.

6. The OPRY MILLS Resort – 

For number six I listen Opry Mills because it is enormous, beautiful, and will make you stand in awe. We have never stayed here, but when Chris and I were engaged he took me in here for the first time. Now, you will have to check the site before going, because I am not sure if they allow outsiders anymore. However, if you are able to I would take a walk around the inside of the resort, and enjoy the many waterfalls and the beautiful scenery. Unfortunately you cannot use the waterpark unless you get a room there, but it is definitely on my bucket list to stay – even if it is to just attend the waterpark and see what the hotel rooms look like. (4)

5. The Grand Ole Opry – 

If you have never been to the Opry and did a backstage tour, it is definitely worth checking out. Chris took me when we were dating and I was like a kid in a candy store, I was grinning so hard that day my cheeks hurt the next morning. LOL There is so much to see here, and you even get a picture standing in front of the mic on stage. It is an experience that is a must when going to Nashville. (5)

4. The Bluebird Café – 

I have been trying since Chris and I were engaged to attend a show at this place. The problem we always had with it however, was that it is in downtown Nashville, and the traffic is horrible – to put it mildly. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nashville, and I been once to the downtown area, but the traffic is such a pain nine out of ten times if you want to do anything in the downtown area, you will be waiting in traffic for at least an hour – if not more. In saying that, this place is amazing and there has been so many local and well known artists come through their doors. This is a must if you are going to Nashville, and why it is my top 4 spot. (6)

3. The Local Eats – 

Now, there are various places to eat in Nashville, but my three favorites are the reason why they are in my top 3 spot. If you ever make it out to Nashville, you have to check out La Casa Fiesta, Shipley’s Do-nuts, and McNamara’s Irish Pub. Let me break each one down for you:

La Casa Fiesta – The food is delicious, the service is amazing, and I have never had a problem with waiting forever for our food or to get a refill. The only down side is the parking, but once you step inside, it is totally worth it. (7)

Shipley’s Do-nuts – Not only is their donuts made fresh every morning, but they have amazing coffee. Ever since Chris and I found them five or so years ago, I have been in love with this local company. You have to check this place out when you come into town. (8)

McNamara’s Irish Pub – If you like authentic Irish food – Shephard’s Pie, corn beef and cabbage, etc. – then you will love McNamara’s. Not only does it give that authentic feel, and is local to the community, but the food is delicious, the staff is amazing, and I believe they have a local band either every night, or on the weekends. There is a reason why this is in my top 3! (9)

2. Opry Mills Mall – 

I was debating whether this should be my first or my second favorite because I love everything about this place – and most times I don’t even buy anything when I am here! Even though there are a lot of big box store shops within the Mills Mall, I love the atmosphere there, as well as the fact they have an amazing Johnny Rockets! There is a store Chris and I found at the mall that used to be at the one in Franklin about five years ago, and it is operated by local artists within Nashville. We tried looking for it in Franklin this time around – since it has been a while that we were down there -, but couldn’t find it and thought they might have went out of business. Much to our surprise, it was a little smaller, yet still functioning within the Mills Mall. Also, another great thing they added over the last three or so years, was Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. This is a fun little museum which showcases various country, blues, and now 1960s artist among a few others. Plus you get to dress up and get your pictures taken towards the end of the museum and take it home as a momentum to your visit. I absolutely love this shop and the rest of the Mills, and it is my top 2. (10)

1. Percy Priest Lake Trail

My all – time favorite, and the one place we visit whether we are driving through Nashville or actually vacationing here, is the Percy Priest Lake & Trail. I love this area because it is both beautiful and a great place to get a little exercise. Plus, now that they have finished the construction, you can now walk or ride your bike/scooter/etc. from the dam all the way down to Opry Mills which is about 20 miles – I think. I also love to smell the honeysuckle down the trail in the summer time! This is my favorite place in Nashville, and this is my top ten list! (11)

See anything on the list you liked? Have your own list? Tell me below, and share the post with a friend! Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Angie

 

References:

  1. https://visitfranklin.com/see-and-do/factory-at-franklin
  2. https://www.facebook.com/downtownlebanontn/
  3. https://thehermitage.com/
  4. https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnago-gaylord-opryland-resort-and-convention-center
  5. https://www.opry.com/
  6. https://bluebirdcafe.com/
  7. https://www.casafiestabellrd.com/
  8. https://www.shipleydonuts.com/
  9. https://www.mcnamarasirishpub.com/
  10. A) https://www.simon.com/mall/opry-mills   B) https://www.madametussauds.com/nashville/en/
  11. http://www.percypriestlake.org/

 

 

 

Posted in Life

Staying Charged Up

battery charging device display
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

In a world where everyone is addicted to being busy, how do we stay connected with friends, family, and more importantly, God? In today’s post, I will share how being productive far outweighs being busy, and is definitely more fulfilling!

Since January, I have come to realize that God doesn’t desire me to be busy…and lately, that has been the case. I have realized I’m allowing life to get in the way of my relationship with God, my husband, and people I consider my close friends! I know I am not the only one though, because those who I thought were my friends have allowed life to get busy and every time I want to schedule us to hang out, well, the only response I get from them is, “sorry I am just so busy, but I can text,” and sometimes I don’t even get much of that. I am not condemning those who have texted me that, but it is giving me mixed messages as to whether you really want to be friends or just keeping up appearances.

Anyways, as I was saying, I am really busy this semester with working as a teacher’s aid, doing music and teaching for the Christian program I volunteer for, and helping with other various things throughout the week. I am enjoying the fact that I am keeping busy, but also feel a little isolated when it comes to my friends and keeping in contact with them. I find it funny the program I volunteer with is talking about using our senses to experience God in our lives. This has been helpful for me because the first one is about being still and looking for God in my everyday life.

How this relates to staying connected:

Through all the things I’m doing every day of the week, I am not just being productive, I am still feeling full and refreshed instead of feeling depleted and tired. I am learning to stay connected to God through prayer and reading the Bible, and this is giving me the energy to endure the week and not get tired out or experience fatigue. I am also learning to be content with where I am in life right now. There are things I would like to do, and people I would like to spend time with, but I am learning to just take each day one minute at a time and stay in the moment in a sense. I also am setting little goals for myself throughout the month, and I am taking time to rest – go to bed early(since I get up early), spending some “me time” where I am either reading a book; watching a show; or just enjoying nature by myself, and take time to take care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. After all, the Bible says in order to love others I need to love myself, and I am learning how to do that.

In conclusion,

I am learning to spend time with God in the morning before going to work, I am taking proper care of myself and speaking words of affirmation over myself, and I am learning to be content with myself and what is going on in my life right now. By doing this, I’m staying productive, listening for God with my senses and for His voice, and finding ways to serve others. I know if this has helped me, it will help others. I hope this has been a light for you, if in fact you are feeling depleted and find yourself comparing with others. Let me know your thoughts below and some things you are doing to stay productive and fight off the busyness of life.

Until next time,

Angie

 

Posted in Opportunity, Reflection

When Opportunity Knocks

 

springtimeHave you ever been offered an opportunity that you knew deep down you could do, but were scared out of your mind because you’ve never done it before? Well, recently I have found myself in that position. Because of the Anxiety Disorder, I have a hard time remembering things…important things usually. Because of this, I try to shy away from things where I am supposed to remember numbers, dates, etc. and sometimes that means not apply to a job or volunteering for something I know I could do if it was or AD. In an effort to pursue authenticity, honesty, and my purpose, I have begun to start stepping out, and when I begin to become anxious…well, I just use the techniques my counselors and psychiatrists have shown me.

Recently I began helping an outreach that I have volunteered for in the past, and I was asked to help with the music/dance portion of it. Now, I always loved this part of the program because it not only taught the children about the Bible, but it was fun and got them moving. The problem I have is, I don’t know if I can remember all the moves, and I guess you can say I’m afraid of messing up. The funny thing is someone once taught me a mantra, “Do it afraid!” and I recently read a book that spoke of the very same thing. So what do you do when opportunity is knocking and you are afraid you won’t live up to the expectations? From what I am learning, I just need to open the door. That’s it. Open the door, and take each moment one step at a time. Alone with this, I have learned to talk to God and trust Him to help me. You may think this as weak of me, but guess what? I am, and if you were honest, so are you. We all lean on and trust in something or someone, I just choose to lean on the one person who can actually help me.

So as I begin to take this step into the unknown, I hold on to hope and shift my focus from myself to helping those in the outreach. When I do this, I know that God will be there with me each step of the way, and in the end those I am serving will appreciate it…besides, as long as I don’t say anything, they won’t even know I was freaking out. I mean let’s be honest, most times we are scared and think people are judging our every move, the fact of the matter is they could care less what we are doing or not doing. I know that sounds harsh but honestly, most people are so wrapped up in their own stuff they barely take time to worry about what others are doing. So why not just take that step, open that door, and say yes to Opportunity?

As always, make sure to subscribe to the blog, share with friends, and comment below with something that stood out to you.

Until next time,

Angie

 

 

Posted in Book Review

Perfection is overrated!

Sheila Walsh Its Okay bookWhen someone asks you how you are doing, do you ever wish you could scream, “I’M NOT OKAY!!!” instead of the generic, “I’m fine”?Well, for the past two weeks I have been reviewing a book by Sheila Walsh called, “It’s okay not to be okay.” Today I will be discussing this book and my thoughts on it. If you enjoy it, please make sure to share this, and comment below with something that really stood out to you.

 

 

 

 

In this day and age, especially as women, we tend to compare ourselves with others, and look at what we don’t have verses what we have been given. In the first half of the book Walsh shares that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, He doesn’t even want us to be okay, all He ask of us is to trust Him with our lives and take each day one step at a time. Mrs. Sheila writes, “You don’t have to be perfect, just present. You can pour out your what-ifs to the Lord. When you take a step and things seem to go wrong, God is working, God is faithful, and God is a God of grace.” One of my favorite verses in the bible is Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”* It doesn’t say that everything in life will be good; but what it does say is that God will cause what was bad in our lives to turn around for our good. So that child abuse? God didn’t cause it, but later in life you will meet someone who was or is currently being abused and you can tell them that life may seem like it’s over, but there will be a brighter day! Isn’t that awesome?!?! What about losing someone you love dearly? Yes, they may have died, but instead of asking why it happened, what about asking yourself how you can bring glory to God and share his love with others during this time? I know it looks bad, and I have seen my fair share of heartache and pain – whether in my own life, or in the lives of those close to me.

Mrs. Sheila ends each chapter with exercises to help you put into practice what you just read. These are really great, and I encourage you to do each one of them. About three weeks ago I lost a dear friend of mine, and this book couldn’t not have come at a better time. Doing the exercises at the end has really helped me during this time, and I have been able to really grieve well without getting lost in deep depression. In chapter seven Mrs. Sheila says something that I think really sums up the book as a whole, “Christ meets us where we are. He doesn’t leave us there, but that’s where our journey begins. What’s not okay is to pretend you are okay when you’re not. Moving forward takes courage, but you will never walk one step of that journey by yourself. Christ is always with us.” Throughout the book she talks about journey and taking steps toward our healing. I not only believe this is a book every human being on the face of this earth needs to read this, but I think by applying these tools she implements, we will start to see a difference in our churches and communities and begin to see true change all around us.

Get your copy of Sheila Walsh’ new book, “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay” today at Amazon, or wherever books are sold. Remember to share this, comment below with something that stood out to you, and have an awesome day!

 

Posted in News

Monday Morning News

creative smartphone desk notebook
Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

 

Good morning everyone, or for some of you afternoon! I hope you are having a good Monday, and hope this post finds you well. I wanted to share a bit of news I came across as I was drinking my coffee and checking emails. Make sure to check out the links provided so you can read the articles in its entirety and then come back here and discuss with us your thoughts on the matter. As always, remember to be kind, and just because someone has a different opinion doesn’t mean they are wrong, just different. Without further ado, let’s get started!

State of Emergency for Nigeria?
The National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) says that heavy rains are the cause of overflow from the Niger and Benue Rivers resulting in over one hundred deaths recently. Because of the river banks bursting it has caused a series of floods across the country for over two weeks, with rural areas being the most vulnerable. The government has urged those along the waterways to relocate to someplace safe. BBC’s Is’haq Khalid, from the capital Abuja, mentioned that thousands of people have been displaced and vast swathes of farmlands are being destroyed in the process due to the flooding in central and southern Nigeria. The worst hit was in Niger state, where over forty people have died, according to Nema director Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja. Analysts are blaming the recurring flood disasters on lack of proper town planning, along with the blocked waterways and poor drainage systems throughout the country. To read the article in full, please visit MSN’s page here for more.

Deputy Sheriff from Kansas shot and killed in line of duty
According to Fox News website, Sheriff Deputy Robert Kunze III, from Sedgwick county in Kansas, was killed in the line of duty. The article talks about how Deputy Kunze was responding to a “suspicious character call” and at 1:48pm on Sunday he administered his emergency button to alert the dispatch he had been shot. The article goes on to say, “When a responding deputy arrived, he saw Kunze laying on his side next to the victim, who was laying face down on the ground next to a ’40 caliber weapon.’ “To read the article in its full entirety click here for more.

SpaceX to reveal its first passenger for a private trip to the moon??
On Space.com’s website there was an article about SpaceX finally being able to send their first passenger on a private solo trip to the moon. According to the article, the private spaceflight company SpaceX will reveal tonight its first passenger for a trip around the moon using the company’s massive BFR rocket (the name stands for Big Falcon Rocket). The webcast will air online tonight (Sept. 17) at 9/8 central at their Hawthorne, CA headquarters, courtesy of SpaceX. According to the article, this has been something SpaceX has hinted at for a while on their twitter page, and now after tonight it might become a reality, one where in the future regular citizens of planet earth might just be able to take. Of ‘course, the company still needs to build the BFR for such things, but to see the once in a lifetime event, as well as being able to check out the rest of the article, click here for more.

American – Israeli activist stabbed by Palestinian teen over weekend.
In an article, by Yahoo! News that was put out on Saturday (Sept. 15), An American – Israeli activist was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian teenager outside of a busy mall near the West Bank in Jerusalem.
Ari Fuld was a U.S. born activist and well – known in the local settler community, along with being an outspoken Israel advocate on social media. Video footage showed Fuld running and firing upon his assailant before collapsing, then shows other civilians firing upon him as he was leaving the scene. The Israeli media has identified the assailant as a 17 – year – old from a nearby Palestinian village, and reports he was in moderate condition. For Fuld, however, a 45 – year – old father of four who lived in the nearby settlement of Efrat, he was evacuated to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Fuld was a well – known English – language internet commenter on current affairs and the weekly Torah lesson. The article goes on to say he was known for his hard – line nationalist ideology and strong support for the Israeli military. To read the article in its entirety click here for more.

That is all the news for today. Hope you have a good rest of your Monday and as always;
Be Kind, be loving, and stay awesome!
Angie Frantz