Posted in #everydayinspiration, Blogging U

Day 4: FINDING MY RAINBOW

Today I have been given the prompt, “A Story in A Single Image,” by #everydayinspiration, and so I chose the above picture that i saw yesterday on my way home. As i look at this picture i think about my purpose, and finding peace in every moment of my day. I have been in a funk lately because for the last ten years, more so in the last six, i have tried to use social media as a tool to help others, to share parts of my life in an effort to be relatable, and find ways to bring joy to others. Since i was 15 years old, i struggled with realizing my true identity. I found myself jumping from one thing to the next and switching my majors at school because “other people” wanted to know what i was going to do, and made me feel like i had to figure out my life choices before i turned 25. Because of this, i never knew who i truly was, which made me feel like the child in Charlie Brown who always had a rain cloud looming over him and that i would never be able to experience a break from the rain and see a rainbow on the other side. Growing up i always felt like if i were to be honest with others and share my struggles i was being weak or not having enough “faith” or hope that things would change and get better. It was so fake!

About a week ago i made the decision to cut back on social media, and start cutting away the people who were not producing life in my life, those who were fake friends in a sense. Since then i have been doing some thinking, some days i wonder if it is too much, and even though it has been a slow process, i feel like i am figuring out who i am and the things i like.

I think this rain shower is finally letting up in my life, and if i look close enough, i might just see the start of a rainbow and a little sunlight trying to break through. I hope this post helped you today, and if there is some hint you are going through and you feel like no one cares, i encourage you to send me a message, i don’t have all the answers but i am a good listener. Comment below with your thoughts and your own words of encouragement.

Till next time,

Angie

Posted in Stories

Short – Story Saturday

Growing up I used to love to write short stories, and until recently I had forgotten all about this. One in particular that I remember was when i was home schooled and I was given the topic “going out for milk,” and I had to write a story surrounding me going out for milk and the things I saw and did between my home and the local grocery store. This was a difficult activity at first, but then after doing some thinking i found it to be a lot of fun. I was nine years old at the time, and for that whole year i remember coming up with little stories, that to be honest, I have no clue what i did with. woman-typing-writing-windows.jpg

After doing some research, and trying to find topics to help me write more this year, one of the things that came to mind was writing short stories.  I was a little apprehensive at first to do this because i knew that writing in general was difficult for me, and obviously short stories take more work…but from the readings i found it is actually quite the opposite. So I hope you will bear with me over these next few weeks as I attempt to try something new, and hopefully expand my writing pallet. Without further ado, here is my short story for this week.

A Man and His Box

There once was a man who had a box. The man carried said box everywhere he went, and when people would ask him about it, he would simply reply, “It holds a priceless treasure.” One day this man befriends a little boy who was sitting by himself on the bus. Many years go by, and this little boy becomes a man, his mom helps the man with the box when his wife dies and he loses his home, and is even invited to the young man’s wedding. One night the young man and his wife get a phone call from the hospital that his dear friend is ill and wants to see him. When he arrives to the hospital he is led to the room where his friend is at. The young man looks at his friend and asked him, “All these years and you never once told me why you chose to befriend me and my mom. Why did you do it?” The man looked at him and pointed to the mysterious box, and upon it sat a letter. The young man walked over and grabbed the letter and began to read it. “Dear Joey, I remember the day we first met. You told me your father left before you were born, and your mother was determined to give you a proper education no matter what. This of ‘ course meant that you had to ride the local bus to get to school, but it never stopped you, not even for once. I think you were about eleven at the time, and you said it broke your mothers heart when she would drop you off each morning. I never asked anything of you or your mother, and yet i was taken in as part of your family, a stranger without a past. What you didn’t know was that I was family. See, my son’s name was Joseph, and he died in war when he was just twenty – one years of age. He left behind a wife and his first born son. I didn’t get a chance to meet either of them because we quit speaking up until a few years before he died. I never told your mother who I was except for being an old man with a lot of mistakes in his life. I feared telling your mother who I was because of what she might think of me, and the way I treated your father growing up. I feared losing him all over again if I spoke those words out loud. As I lay here on this bed, I think of what life would have been like had you known I was your grandfather. Would your life have turned out differently if you had known? That day on the bus when we first met, I might have changed your life, but ultimately you have changed mine. Because see my boy, for ten years i felt like I had my own son back. I felt that somehow I could right so many wrongs, and make amends by taking care of his family. If I don’t make it to see your little boy grow up, I hope you will take this box and cherish it, just as I have done all these years. Please take it, and hopefully you will find your own priceless treasure in the years to come.” After reading the letter he looked into the box, and inside of it were pictures of his dad growing up, his mom and dad’s wedding photo that was taken at the local courthouse, and a few of his father’s belongings – one of which was his dog tags that his mother never recovered. Joey looked at this man he befriended all these years, the man he came to know as Mister, his grandfather. With tears in his eyes he hugged Mister, and said a silent prayer to God for this man he had come to cherish. Eighteen Years pass, and Joey’s son, Joseph Nicolaus the third. – named after his grandfather and great granddad -, comes across a box in his father’s hall closet. “Dad, what is this?” He replied. Joey smiles and simply says, “It holds a priceless treasure son, a priceless treasure.”

If you have a short – story, or even a few of your favorite authors you would like to share, then list them below. Have a good weekend.

Angie

Posted in Blogging U

One Word Prompt

ABUNDANCE – AN AMPLE QUANTITY; AN ABUNDANT AMOUNT*

In today’s Prompt, I decided to write about abundance, and when I think of the word this is what I picture:

 

However, maybe you are not a coffee person, maybe you think of this: pexels-photo-772278.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever you picture, I want you to think of something that makes you truly happy and brings the purest joy – then think of it in abundance, a lifetime supply if you will. Got it? Ok here we go…

Do you live life in abundance? Do you cherish each moment of your day and make the most of it? How would you live life if you had an abundant amount of Joy, peace, patience, and not just love for others, but an unconditional love for you from someone? Well, you may be thinking that is impossible, but for me it is something that I am learning to embrace…because see for me? It is a reality.

The only resolution I set for myself on New Years, and I keep setting for myself every month for the rest of this year, is to grow in love and joy and live each moment on purpose. The best way to do that, from what i have been noticing is spending time with my Jesus, and being intentional in my relationships. When I say being intentional, what i mean is doing one thing around my house – usually it seems to just be dishes and cooking -, and making sure that i am not on my phone or computer when my husband gets home so we can talk and spend time with each other without the distractions of technology. Now sure, we will watch some shows or whatever an hour or so before bed, but that is because we invested in one another after he got home until that point. Also, I am learning ways to be intentional in my church family and how i serve others. I am finding ways to be kind, loving, and help in practical ways each Sunday when we go to set up for service. I also don’t play the comparison game; in other words, I don’t care what you think about me. The only opinion about myself that matters is my relationship with Jesus and what He says over me. I have learned to accept myself, in all of its glory, and just be ok with making small steps of progress. And finally, I think the other way I am being intentional is by letting my friends and family know that i cherish them.

As I take steps, and work hard to enjoy each moment of the day – even when some days are a little funky and my bed beckons me -, I have found that is the key to living in abundance and truly enjoying your life. What are some changes you need to make to start enjoying your life in every little moment? What steps have you taken to improve your life and how have they helped you? Let me know in the comments below, and as always don’t forget to follow us and share the site with your friends!!

Angela

Posted in Blogging U

A VOICE FOR CHANGE

 

       Is it just me or does it seem like every time you set out to do something life gets in the way and distracts you from accomplishing what you started? Well, this is a new year, and I am choosing to make 2018 better! I have signed up for writing prompts for my blogs, I will be taking classes for my photography business/hobby, and have already been pretty productive in accomplishing some things for my personal life. I heard a quote once, not sure who it was from, that said if you want success you have to be like a bull fighter and grab it by the reigns, holding on for dear life. I don’t know if you have ever been to a rodeo, but when I see those riders flailing about on that bull, I know one thing for certain…they are determined. I mean, you have to be determined to be getting on an animal that would like to do nothing but kill you in order to succeed in that sport. It is either that, or you are crazy…maybe a little of both, lol.

       Anyways, the reason I am writing this is because I am going to try and post everyday for probably the next month or so with a different prompt that i have been given.   Today I am starting with a topic that I was given describing why I chose to write. So without further ado, I would like to share a little bit about why I created this blog site. 

                                                A VOICE FOR CHANGE

pexels-photo-64057.jpeg

The reason I wanted to create The Narrow Road, and why I am still plugging away on my social media platforms and on here is because I desire to be a voice for change. Now there are plenty of people who want to see change, they talk about it – and a good majority tend to nag about it -, but very few step up to the mic and decide to do something about the ugliness they see around them. Most don’t do anything about it simply out of fear of rejection, others because they don’t really know where to start, and still there are those who have become numb to the violence and hate because all they do is stay plugged into the media instead of good organizations and places that promote positive change. I may be one voice in a billion or so people in the United States, even larger a number around the world; however, I believe that even if by standing up to injustice and bullies I can change just one life….well, then it was all worth it. I may not be the next Oprah Winfrey, Audrey Hepburn – in her later years -, or the late President Ronald Reagan, but I know that there are certain people who come into my life in one way or the other that i can be an influence on. I am a follower of Jesus, I am not religious – in fact i hate when people say they are a “Christian” because it is the cool thing to do or they profess to be one and then do/say stupid stuff to people. Am I perfect? No, but at least I am real and when i say or do something dumb I try and make amends. Anyways, in saying that, I am a follower of Jesus and I am taught that we should love others in a pure way – not bullying them or treating them less than human -, and be kind and generous, helping those around us who are in need. This is my anthem in life; I feel my calling or purpose in life is to help those in need and be an advocate for those who can’t or are too scared to stand up for themselves. That is why i care, and that is why i keep coming back here and sharing my life in all its glory. 

So in essence, to answer the question who I am and why I write? I am a follower of Jesus, a wife, an advocate for positive change and those in need, and I strive everyday to live out my faith the best way I am learning how….translation: I strive everyday to be kind, loving, compassionate, have joy and hope even when it seems there is no reason to because I believe in a brighter day. This is who I am and my passion.

I AM

   A VOICE FOR CHANGE!!

Thanks for reading this all the way to the end. If you would like to know more about me or follow along on this journey to positive change, then subscribe to this blog and make sure to check out my other social platforms:

Facebook: @TNRPage

Twitter: @TNRsocial

Periscope: @TNRsocial

Instagram: @loverevolution247

Twitch: @TNRsocial

 

#everydayinspiration

Posted in Blogging U

Where to go from here

282H

Wow, I am finally on day 20! My class may be over, but this blog is not! I plan on making this a place that feels inviting and where we can do life together. I want this to be a place i can share my adventures with y’all; where we can swap recipes and share our favorite books; and where you are not only encouraged to engage, but we can learn something from one another. I hope even though i am done with this class, you will not be done with me or this site. Let’s start by you sharing a picture of where you are right now and telling us a little bit about yourself in the comments below! Look forward to getting to know y’all!

Posted in Blogging U

Life through the camera lens

 

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Today I am speaking with Ces White who is the owner of IDEX Media, which is photography and videography company based out of Belleville, IL. In my writing class for WordPress i was encouraged to connect with another artist or writer and do a collaboration. Ces has been so gracious to help me out, and once he sends me the video i will be uploading that for anyone interested. For more information on Ces White and IDEX Media you can click here.

ANGIE: Hello everyone, thanks for joining us today, I have a guest here who not only loves taking pictures and recording videos, but he made a living out of it. Hey Ces, how are you doing today?

CES: Thanks, Hi how’s it going?

ANGIE: I like to start my interviews with a few relaxed questions. What is your name?

CES: What is your favorite color? [imitating, Monty Python’s “The Holy Grail”]

ANGIE: Well, I was going to ask for your quest! In all seriousness though, When did you know you wanted to go into photography?

CES: I actually started my business going into graphic design. I started doing banners, flyers, and posters for people in the Christian Hip – Hop music industry. In my head anytime i did their posters i thought, “Man, these photo’s are terrible!” But you know, you want to say that in the nicest way possible, so i started offering to do some photo’s for them. Back then, I actually wanted to get a better camera to take family photo’s and for recreation, and I really enjoyed taking pictures. When i decided to start taking photos professionally though, i guess you could say it snowballed into me starting my business as a photographer.

ANGIE: So how long have you been a professional photographer?

CES: Officially, it took me four years. Like i said before, i took photos for recreational purposes, but i didn’t really incorporate it into my business till two thousand twelve.

ANGIE: What kind of training did you need to become a photographer?

CES: Well, there are so many avenues; before you had to go to college or a trade school and then learn under someone before doing it professionally. I however didn’t need to do this; I simply did it out of hobby and interests, but when i started [taking pictures] for these projects i started taking it seriously. I followed up on a lot of “free information” that is available, and eventually it led me to take a few college courses to get a foundation of knowledge under my belt.

ANGIE: Now you’re also a videographer?

CES: Yes, that is correct.

ANGIE: How long have you been doing that, and what is the story on that?

CES: So, I like shooting video because even though it is similar to taking pictures, there are some aspects to it that make it different. There are things you can record on video you might miss through a single or series of photos. I actually have technical training through the Department of Defense or the DOD for broadcasting with the National Guard. I really like doing video because it opens up a new world of storytelling. When I am shooting a music video or something, it is a good way to tell a story. I started shooting videos for my church long before i was taking photos, and it wasn’t until i received my training through the DOD that i did anything professional regarding videography.

ANGIE: Wow, that’s awesome! Thank you for serving. How then has being a professional videographer and photographer changed your perspective on life around you?

CES: The privilege to take video and photos for others forces you to see everything from an artistic point of view. For example, when i do weddings i get to watch a love story unfold and see this special moment in someone’s life in a storytelling way that i can kind of package up and represent to them in some way. I get to capture that moment and package it up in a way they can have as a keepsake for years to come. In a sense I am putting flesh and bone on a memory.

“In a sense

i am putting flesh and bone

on a memory!”

 

CES: I do more than weddings of ‘ course, but i just love doing weddings because I didn’t have a videographer or photographer at my wedding.

ANGIE: Oh really?

CES: Oh yea, and the thing i love about weddings is i get to relive every moment in a unique way, because each person is different and each one is special in its own way. I get to relive that and put it into products i make.

ANGIE: That is great, i really like that. OK, well i am going to shift gears a bit. What advice would you give anyone who is interested in going into the photography and/or videography field?

CES: Wow, i would say don’t give up..because honestly, you are going to want to! I mean, it is all fun and games until you have bills to pay, you have to balance work life with your home life, until you have deadlines, and until you have to deliver a solid product that is good.

ANGIE: Basically, stick to it even when it is hard.

CES: Yea, yea totally. I mean one of the keys to success is to outlast the competition. Just keep going, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard, but people will want to give up and just don’t be them. Also, i would say keep learning. For a while i was getting really busy and…and i am not saying copy what others are doing, but in some way, basically just find a way to keep learning. There are so many different ways to learn, and free press in a sense to help you become better, and so don’t give up and keep learning and growing.

ANGIE: That is really good advice, and really can be applied to anything in life.

CES: Yea, and you know what? I have met too many jaded photographers in life. They think, “This is a job; I need to complete x, y, and z.” You know they have an attitude like they don’t really want to be there.

ANGIE: So you’re saying be in the moment?

CES: Yea, stay passionate about what you do!

ANGIE: Great. Now i want to wrap up by getting a little personal. What do you consider to be the best shot or series of shoots you have done?

CES: They’re all so good. Just kidding. No, I’ve got to say that i had a couple take me out to California for their wedding. They are an awesome couple, a lot of people know them. They are the sort of couple that was fun. This was one of those weddings where things went wrong, but they stilled rolled with the punches. I guess what made it memorable for me was the group of people. These were a group of people that had a certain outlook on life; they were believers – Christians; these people were super awesome to work with!

ANGIE: So they had a positive outlook on life?

CES: They had a positive outlook on life, they saw things through a pretty good perspective. The thing that made it memorable though was the fact that it was on the beach. I mean, it was pretty awesome. It was the beach, everyone wants to go to the beach!

ANGIE: Yea, that sounds amazing. Ok so is there a shot or shoot you wish you could do over?

CES: Uhm, so one of the things i learned is that you should have a personal project. I heard that somewhere and i really like that. I am sure there would be some that won’t agree but that is what i have learned. To answer your question though, one i would do over, and i wouldn’t necessarily do over but i think i could do better is one of my first fitness shoots. And i don’t think it was bad, but I think i could improve on it since then. I mean you should always want to find ways to improve, you know?

ANGIE: Yea, that is why i have been taking classes on my blog to become a better writer! Ok so, last question, is there a shot or series of photo’s you would love to do? What i mean is, is there a photoshoot or picture you have always wanted to capture?

CES: Ha, oh wow! Well there are tons, but i guess if i had to pick,  I would go with this site called bodybuilding.com. They do a series called, “Bodies of Work”, and they take athletes from all different types of athletic backgrounds such as powerlifting to volleyball, and they take photo’s of them. Now these shots are of them naked, and i don’t mean full frontal, but it shows them posing and it is shots of the body in its pure form. There are no distractions, except maybe a baseball bat or something, but I would take some of the best athletes and do a photoshoot with them for this series.

ANGIE: OK great! Well is there anything you would like to share with everyone?

CES: I think something that sets me apart from other photographers is the experience. I mean, I like to have fun with people, and you know I like to play music and smile. I don’t like to try and overdirect and just let you be you. I guess i would also add to keep enjoying your shoots, have fun!

ANGIE: Well thank you so much for the interview, i really think my readers are going to love this. You gave some good advice and it was great getting to sit down with you.

 

Thank you again to Ces for doing this interview with me, and again please go check out his website, he does amazing work. If you enjoyed this interview, then please tell your friends and make sure to hit that subscribe button. Thanks and have a wonderful day!

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging U

You may never believe this…Day 18

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SONY DSC

You may never believe this, but i love a good pickle and peanut butter sandwich.

You may never believe this, but as much as i love the city, i prefer the countryside within a few minutes of basic necessity shops(walmart, publix, etc).

You may never believe this, but when i was seven i had severe back pain where i would get stuck getting up when bending over.

You may never believe this, but did you know i used to be a blonde?

You may never believe this, but i love just getting in the car and driving…for no reason.

You may never believe this, but i am actually an ametuer video game nerd…I blame my brother – in – law! LOL.

What are some things that most people don’t know about you? Write them in the comments below!