My Heart Aches

My time is not more important than anyone else’s time…but it IS important to me. When I get a day off work and my homework and housework is caught up, I get to choose what I am going to do with my free time.

Normally, I would prefer to watch whatever show I’m binging on Netflix, or curl up with a glass of wine and a good book. If I can’t make the trip to go see my best friend due to time constraints or lack of funds needed for gas prices, I try to reach out to friends I haven’t seen in a while.

I recognize that we all have crap going on in our lives, I’m an adult and I can handle being told that. What I can’t handle is being told that we can make plans and then getting blown off with no explanation. What’s worse is when that friend whines and complains about not having a life and never has anything to do. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!? Might as well just kick me in the gut and then turn your heel over my heart as soon as I hit the ground.

I’m so tired of being the one who reaches out and tries to make the plans. I’m tired of never being important enough. I’m tired of being taken for granted…neglected until I’m needed and then forgotten again.

I’d really like to tell you that some day, you might reach out and I won’t be there to catch you when you’re falling…I won’t be there to pick up your pieces and hug you back together. But the truth of the matter is that my heart is too big to be that cold. No matter how many times you break mine, I’ll still help you heal yours. And I’ll do it every single time you need me – even when you refuse to take responsibility for your part in my anger and heartache.

The Lives We Don’t Lead

Think back to your childhood, what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you want to pursue after high school? Did you attend college to follow a dream or because it was expected that you take that next step of higher education? Freshman year of college, had your dreams and aspirations changed? Where did you see yourself in 5 years? And where, pray tell, are you now?

I always wanted to be a criminal trial lawyer. I wanted to work my way up to Supreme Court Judge. In fact, I was so intent on this dream that I wore business suits and heels to school in the 5th grade. I thought that dressing the part would make me more apt to end up following that dream of mine. Then I found out how much schooling would be involved, and I really didn’t want to spend that much time in school.

When I was in the 8th grade, I became a Candy Striper at the hospital around the corner from my house. I spent my days after school rocking sick babies to sleep. It was then that I thought I was destined to work in the NICU at the hospital…then one of the babies took a turn for the worse and passed away. I was unable to return to my Candy Striping duties after that day.

In the 9th grade, I worked at a nursing home, which was great…until an old man got excited about a girl giving him a shower. I was 14 and had never seen a naked man before and it scared me to death! So I went to work at my first restaurant. I fell in love with that lifestyle. I found freedom in the kitchen, cooking for the masses. I spent the next 28 years in food service, dreaming of the day I would own my own restaurant and make my own rules.

I had other dreams about the life I would lead during that time too though. When I was 29, I started college. I received my Crime Scene Technician Certificate, went on to get an AAS in Criminal Justice, and then my BAS in Forensic Psychology. I was going to be just like Angelina Jolie’s character, Illeana Scott, in Taking Lives. I was going to be the FBI’s best profiler. I even drove out to Washington D.C. with the expectation that I would then go to Quantico, Virginia and start looking for a suitable place to move myself and my children so I could apply at the FBI. Truth be told, I was never brave enough to make such a change. I never believed in myself enough to think I could make a real difference. Too many people had made a career out of telling me I wasn’t good enough, and I believed them. So, once again, I gave up on the dream and I settled. Back to indentured servitude in the restaurant business, working for a pittance and believing that I would never amount to much.

I missed going to school…the allure of higher learning was calling my name. I decided to go back. I walked out of my restaurant job, took a menial job in a factory and hated it, left for lunch and never returned. Thank God I had such amazing parents that they encouraged me to take some time before getting another job. They encouraged me to pray about it and in turn, they paid my bills for a month. In that time, I enrolled in a Masters Program for Counseling and went to work for an appliance store in their service department. I’m not going to lie, I was good at that job. I took pride in it almost every single day. I worked hard at my schooling too. I was excited for the possibilities for my life. But, it never fails, just when I got comfortable being me, life threw me a curveball. I was unable to finish my schooling because my bosses went back on their word and they were not going to allow me to do my internship and work my job at the same time. I was at a crossroads and had to choose. Being a single mom, I had to choose the steady income, it was only logical right?

It was during that time that I met someone who was sure to change my life. Though I did not know it at the time, nor did I think that she would even entertain the idea of being my friend. You see, I was so insecure that I saw this beautiful woman with an amazing heart and thought “she would never be friends with someone like me, I mean look at me – I’m fat, unattractive, and poor”. Little did I know that this individual didn’t think like that. She challenged me though, still does really. Boy, she gets me out of my comfort zone and sometimes I just want to scream…but my life is better with her in it. In fact, she is the reason I finally admitted to myself that I wanted to write…and I enrolled in the Masters of Creative Writing in Fiction program. As of today, I have 30 days left in this program. And, since I am not making any money through my writing right now, I work the graveyard shift as a jailer at the county jail.

Up to this point, not a single dream I’ve dreamt has come true. Not in love, not in life, not in career. Truth be told, I’ve often wondered what’s the point? Why do I keep striving for that untouchable dream? Why do I even care anymore? I feel a bit lost…a bit adrift at sea. I’m a fish out of water at work, my schedule has all but alienated all of my friends, and I apparently suck at love…so what is the point? I’d like to believe that the point is that dreams CAN come true, they just often take more perseverance and hard work than we plan for. And, the life that we want to lead is just around the corner. We just have to choose to take the next step.

She Struggles Too

She’s there when you need her
In fact, she needs to be needed
But you don’t really see her
Or the storms behind her eyes
She comforts your heart
She prays for you daily
But the minute she doesn’t fit in your box
You stomp all over her heart
She tries to hide her hurting
As you smash her into pieces
You make her feel insignificant
And only important when it’s convenient for you
She’s not good at setting boundaries
Because she desperately wants you to be okay
She consistently lets others define her worth
She struggles too
But you’re far to interested in yourself to notice
And It’s ok, she’ll pick up her own pieces
She always has
And she’ll be there for you again
Hiding the pain in her eyes
Hoping that one day
You’ll appreciate and respect her value
~KCizek ‘22~

2022 – I’ve Got You

As this is my birthday month, I am reflecting on being another year older. And I’m okay with that. You see, some days, it’s a fight to put one foot in front of the other. So I don’t worry much about my age. I’m not concerned about the wrinkles, or the gray hairs (in my case, they’re white). What I concern myself with is that I’m still fighting for my dreams.

So many roadblocks have come up along the way, and I could’ve just stopped my journey and accepted that those roadblocks were to heavy to move or too inconvenient to go around. But I didn’t. Sure, there were times when I let them hinder me for far too long while I made up my mind as to what I was going to do, but I pressed on.

I don’t always make the best decisions, but I try to learn from them. I’m not always the greatest daughter, sister, mother, friend…but I don’t stop trying. If there’s something that you want out of life, something that you’re passionate about…fight. Don’t give up when it gets hard. Don’t let the roadblock leave you boxed in. Find a way to continually reach for your dreams. YOU are your biggest roadblock, so get out of your way and spread your wings and soar.

There isn’t anyone on the Earth who gets to determine your worth for you. There isn’t anyone on this Earth who gets to tell you what your dreams should and shouldn’t be. And there isn’t anyone on this Earth you should be in competition with except for the person you were yesterday – be better than that person.

You’re going to stumble and fall, but you get to decide if you’ll stand back up, dust yourself off and press on. YOU decide – no one else can do it for you. But if you need a cheerleader, a prayer warrior, a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine while having a shoulder to cry on – I’ve got you!
~Kira~

Devotional “Dangerous Prayers” 7-12-20

Disturb Me

What we pray about is important. But not only is it important, it’s also revealing. 

The content of our prayers tells us more about us and our relationship with God than most people might imagine. What we pray for reflects what we believe about God. If most of our prayers are for “ourselves” or “what matters to us,” then the content of our prayers communicates that we believe, deep down, that God exists primarily for us.

So take a moment and do a prayer audit. Think about everything you prayed for recently—not your whole lifetime, just the past seven days. Consider writing on a notepad or typing a memo on your phone and listing all the different things you petitioned God to do in the last week. Take a moment and give it some thought. Do you remember? What did you pray about? What did you ask God to do? 

Now answer honestly. If God said yes to every prayer you prayed in the last seven days, how would the world be different? 

If your prayers were the normal, safe ones, then maybe you would have had a good day, arrived safely, or enjoyed a blessed double cheeseburger, fries, and Diet Coke.

For years, if I did a prayer audit, the results would have been dismal. If God had done everything over a week’s period that I had asked him to do, the world wouldn’t have been much different at all. Honestly, some weeks I wouldn’t have prayed for anything. Other weeks, I might have prayed, but the prayers were all about me, and that doesn’t change much in the grand scheme of things.

My prayers were too safe.

I had access to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. The Great I am. The Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End. The all-powerful, ever-present, all-knowing God who can send fire from heaven, shut the mouths of hungry lions, or calm a raging storm. And all I asked him to do was keep me safe and help me have a good day.

For years, I never wanted to be interrupted. But after praying more dangerous prayers, I discovered that God’s gentle promptings would regularly interrupt my self-centered plans and he would direct me toward his eternal will.

My faith is stronger.

My life is richer.

My heart is fuller.

Think about what could be different if you prayed with more transparency. If you risked more. If you were more open to what God might do in you instead of just hoping he will do something for you. What if you prayed bolder prayers? Dreamed bigger? Recklessly pursued Jesus with daring, self-abandoned faith?

It’s time to change the way you pray. It’s time to abandon safe, comfortable, predictable, and easy-to-pray prayers. It’s time to pray with courage, to risk, to open yourself up to a different path to a better destination. It’s time to start praying dangerous prayers. It’s time to be disturbed.

If you truly want to make a difference on earth, you need power from heaven. If you want your life to matter, it’s time to pray big, bold, audacious prayers. 

Seek God and dream big. Refuse to fear failure. It’s time to venture out. To trust. To dare. To believe. Your life won’t always feel safe. And it will take faith. But without faith, it’s impossible to please God.

What are you waiting for?

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For all you mask wearers (especially those of you who think wearing it outside is NOT stupid 🤦🏼‍♀️). I know I’m about to burst your “google doctor degree” bubble, but here goes nothing.

So Masks?
I am OSHA 10&30 certified. I know some of you are too. I don’t really know WHY OSHA hasn’t come forward and stopped the nonsense BUT I want to cover 3 things
• N95 masks and masks with exhale ports
• surgical masks
• filter or cloth masks
Okay, so upon further inspection, OSHA says some masks are okay and not okay in certain situations.
If you’re working with fumes and aerosol chemicals and you give your employees the wrong masks and they get sick, you can be sued.

• N95 masks: are designed for CONTAMINATED environments. That means when you exhale through N95 the design is that you are exhaling into contamination. The exhale from N95 masks are vented to breath straight out without filtration. They don’t filter the air on the way out. They don’t need to.
Conclusion: if you’re in Target and the guy with Covid has a N95 mask, his covid breath is unfiltered being exhaled into Target (because it was designed for already contaminated environments, it’s not filtering your air on the way out).

• Surgical Mask: these masks were designed and approved for STERILE environments. The amount of particles and contaminants in the outside and indoor environments where people are CLOGGING these masks very, VERY quickly. The moisture from your breath combined with the clogged mask will render it “useless” IF you come in contact with Covid and your mask traps it, YOU become a walking virus dispenser. Everytime you put your mask on you are breathing the germs from EVERYWHERE you went. They should be changed or thrown out every “20-30 minutes in a non sterile environment.”

• Cloth masks: I can’t even believe I’m having to explain this, but here it goes. Today, three people pointed to their masks as they walked by me entering Lowe’s. They said “ya gotta wear your mask BRO” I said very clearly “those masks don’t work bro, in fact they MAKE you sicker” they “pshh’d” me. By now hopefully you all know CLOTH masks do not filter anything. You mean the American flag one my aunt made? Yes. The one with sunflowers that looks so cute? Yes. The bandanna, the cut up t-shirt, the scarf ALL of them offer NO FILTERING whatsoever. As you exhale, you are ridding your lungs of contaminants and carbon dioxide. Cloth masks trap this carbon dioxide the best. It actually risks your health, rather than protect it. The moisture caught in these masks can become mildew ridden over night. Dry coughing, enhanced allergies, sore throat are all symptoms of a micro-mold in your mask.

-Ultimate Answer:
*N95 blows the virus into the air from a contaminated person.
*The surgical mask is not designed for the outside world and will not filter the virus upon inhaling through it. It’s filtration works on the exhale, (Like a vacuum bag, it only works one way) but likely stops after 20 minutes, rendering it useless outside of a STERILE ENVIRONMENT (correct Becky, they don’t work in a bar, not even a little bit).
*Cloth masks are WORSE than none. It’s equivalent to using a chain link fence to stop mosquitos.

The CDC wants us to keep wearing masks. The masks don’t work. They’re being used to provide false comfort and push forward a specific agenda. For the love of God, research each mask’s designed use and purpose, I bet you will find NONE are used in the way of “viral defense.”

Just like EVERY Flu season kids, wash your hands. Sanitize your hands. Don’t touch stuff. Sanitize your phone. Don’t touch people. And keep your distance. Why? Because your breath stinks, your deodorant is failing, your shoes are old and stink, that shirts not clean, & I like my space. Trust me I can hear you from here. Lots of reasons to keep your distance and work on body hygiene. But trust me, the masks do not work.

*Occupational Safety & Hazard Association sited.
The top American organization for safety.
They regulate and educate asbestos workers, surgical rooms, you name it.
I know, facts suck. They throw a wrench into the perfectly (seeming) packaged pill you are willingly swallowing. Facts make you have to form your OWN OPINION, instead of regurgitating someone else’s, and I know how uncomfortable that makes a lot of you. If your mask gives you security, by all means wear it. Just know it is a false sense of security and you shouldn’t shame anyone into partaking in such “conspiracies.”

July 3, 2020 Devotional

Free Looks Good On You by Christy Johnson

Did your parents ever tell you to watch your mouth? As a young girl, whenever I complained my mother’s voice rose a few octaves as she warned, “Christine, don’t give me any lip! You’d better watch your mouth!”

I knew it was time to shape up when she used my full name.

My mom wasn’t a Bible student, but if she had been, she’d have realized she was teaching me a spiritual principle. 

Before a word is formed on our tongue, it’s first a thought in our mind. Believe it or not, we get to choose what thoughts we allow ourselves to think about. You’ve no doubt heard the saying, you are what you eat. The same is true with your thoughts: you are what you think.

Remember the castle illustration I used in the fifth devotional when I asked you to think of your soul as a castle? Your mind is like the door to your palace. Only you can decide what thoughts or meditations you allow inside. You also decide what meditations are not allowed to come in. 

When negative thoughts try to invade your castle and influence your emotions, you have the responsibility to kick them out. If a robber rang your doorbell and asked if he could come in and steal all of your valuables, you’d slam the door in his face, bolt it shut, and call 911. And yet when harmful thoughts try to rob our valuable peace, we often open the door and welcome them in. We may even offer them coffee and say, “Sit down for a while, and let’s talk.”

I have a speakeasy on the front door of my house—a small-latched opening that allows me to talk to a person ringing the bell without opening the door. It’s very useful because I can keep the door shut and locked while I decide if I want to allow the person to come in. Just because someone rings the doorbell doesn’t obligate me to welcome them inside. That’s the way we should deal with our thoughts. 

Satan’s battleground is your mind. His brand of deception combines a lethal lie with a dash of truth. That way, a lie doesn’t really sound like a lie. A lure of self-pity seems reasonable. The bait of bitterness seems justified. He makes pride seem like confidence and insecurity seem like humility. The list goes on. He twists and tweaks the truth, but if he can penetrate your brain, he can pollute your thought life. 

Make a choice daily to free your mind of toxic thinking. Refuse to entertain thoughts that contradict what God’s word says about you!

July 1, 2020 Devotional

Free Looks Good On You by Christy Johnson


Can you imagine a house without windows? Sunshine would never have a chance to dance through your curtains in the morning and kiss you hello. Gentle breezes would never be able to deliver fresh air. And without a way to look outside, how would you ever know if someone was trying to get in? Every house needs a way to look outside. Windows give us access to what is going on around us. Windows allow us to see beyond the perimeter of our property. But we also have to know when to keep them locked to protect ourselves against unwelcome intruders. Since you are the dwelling place of God, I’d like you to think of your soul as a castle. You’re the princess, but you have an enemy—the devil, and he’s out to kill. From the day you were born he studies you. He wants to find out where you’re weak and vulnerable in order to destroy your future. He’s afraid that you might find out how powerful you are. Satan attacks in infancy what he fears in maturity.The plan he creates to crush you is tailor-made for you. He knows what makes you mad and he knows the best way to accomplish his goal. Bank robbers study blueprints to plan their robbery. Military strategists create detailed plans to infiltrate their enemy’s property. Football coaches study their opponents. They watch videos and frame-by-frame in slow motion, they develop a game plan to overpower their rival. And guess what? You’re no different. The enemy hates you. If you don’t know where you’re vulnerable, how will you be able to protect yourself? How will you guard the castle of your soul from offenses created to consume you? The transgressions Satan crafts for your friend may not anger you. The way he invades her fortress may be different than the scheme he’s created to assault you. That’s because we all have unique vulnerabilities based on our personalities, callings, maturity, and life experiences. The enemy loves it when we have no clue how he keeps getting inside. He likes naïve princesses with unguarded castles. If you can’t see where the enemy slitters in, he’ll keep coming back in the same way. He won’t stop until his plot no longer works. You’ve got to be smarter than he is. We all have weaknesses, but it’s foolish to leave them unguarded. The enemy loves it when we’re blind to the ways he tries to keep us bound in bitterness. It’s time to put an end to his plan!Take a moment to reflect on what most triggers your anger. Then ask the Lord how you can protect yourself against the enemy’s plot to destroy your soul and steal your joy.

Ugh!

Emotions suck sometimes! Being the type of person I am, I can’t stop tears when I’m angry, hurt, sad, overjoyed, etc… I also can’t seem to stop the emotional eating crevice I fall into when my soul aches. I’ve been working so hard to be better, do better, and live healthier and yet I continue to let one person ruin things for me.

I absolutely despise who I am right now. I feel the depression and anxiety, the self-doubt and the self-loathing coming through again. I worked to learn to start loving myself and I worked hard at it, so why do I allow the digs and the meanness chip that away so the darkness seeps in again?

Hate is a very strong word, but I’m beyond that even – I loathe this situation, every single part of it. And with this stupid, hyped up pandemic crap, I can’t even get out of it!

So I do what I swore I’d never do again and I put on a mask and go about my day, only allowing those masks to crumble around a few or in the dark solitude of my room. I’m tired of crying. I wish my mom and Jackie were here so I had their wisdom- it was always the best!

JOURNAL PROMPT #9

Journal Prompt #9

What do you feel is your mission for your life?

This is a tough one. I think it actually changes with experience and wisdom. For example, when I was younger, I thought the purpose for my life was to just be everyone’s friend. I now realize that has transcended into empathy.

Then I believed that my mission in life was taking care of everyone and everything. I now realize this has transcended into compassion.

At one point, I thought my mission was going to be seeking justice for others and teaching them how to change. Now I realize that has transcended into just doing my best to be God’s hands and feet and making myself available to others.

So I guess what I’ve come to learn over the last year is that my mission in life is to just listen to what God wants of me and to do my best, through Him, to be empathetic, compassionate, loving, friendly, fair, caring, and a steward of His grace.