Saturday, September 16, 2017

Winners!

Hello Blogging World!

I am so sorry I didn't post on the 13th!
Life was completely crazy the last three days...talking leaving the house at 8 a.m. and not seeing anything on my computer until 11p.m. however, I have notified the winners, and I have heard back from all of them!

If you didn't get an email from me, I hope you'll stay tuned for future giveaways! Working on planning some fun things for the upcoming months!

Thanks you for your participation!

Blessings!
Jessica

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

GIVEAWAY!!!!

One of my favorite things about birthdays is gifts! I love giving and I'll be honest getting gifts, sooooooo here is a gift for you!



I am super excited about this giveaway! There will be three winners, each winning one signed copy, so enter down below to get your hands on one!
Also, some of my ebooks are free on amazon! So head on over and check them out!


Sorry this is only available to entrants in the USA
Start entering and have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 18, 2017

Free Book by Sarah Holman!!!!

My lovely author friend Sarah Holman is having a wonderful series of summer giveaways and more!

Check out her book Courage and Corruption! It's free on Kindle today!!!!! I had a blast designing this cover and I can't wait to read it!



Monday, July 10, 2017

Dreams and Devotion by Sarah Holman




Some dreams will be dashed, and their devotion will be tested. Dara's life is full of farm work and worries, especially now that her older brother is a priest in a far off city. Yet she still has time to dream of the life she hopes will someday be. She dreams of marrying her dear friend and the worries of her family ending. Now, the selfishness of one person threatens her very way of life. Dresden's initial excitement about living a life devoted to the service of God quickly is dashed on the rocks of reality. The life of a priest is nothing like what he imagined. To make matters worse, he finds out his family back in his home village is on the brink of disaster. Torn between his vows and his love for his family, what will he choose?


Buy the book for the special preorder price, here.



Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of many published books and short stories. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

Find her at www.thedestinyofone.com Stops on the blog tour:
July 8 Bookish Orchestrations ~ Faith Blum
July 9 His Princess Warrior ~ Katie Hamilton July 10 In the Book Case ~ Tarissa Graves Jessica Greyson ~ Jessica Greyson
July 11 Gods Peculiar Treasure Rae ~ Raechel Read Another Page ~Rebekah Morris
July 12 Whimsical Writings For His Glory ~ Jesseca Dawn Shannon McDermott ~ Shannon McDermott
July 13 The Page Dreamer ~ Deborah O'Carroll
July 14 Knitted by God’s Plans ~ Kendra E. Ardnek With a Joyful Noise ~ Amanda Tero Once Upon an Ordinary ~ Kate Willis
July 15 Jaye L. Knight ~ Jaye L. Knight

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Three Sleeping Beauties and their stories


All three books release on August 7th
Stay tuned on Kendra’s Blog, knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com, for details.


Poison Kiss




About the Book
Everyone knows that Sleeping Beauty's curse is triggered when she pricks her finger on a spindle and that she is awakened by true love's kiss ... but what happens when the wicked fairy decides to switch things up?

Edmund didn't mean to put Auralea to sleep, but now it's up to him and the famous Puss in Boots to figure out how, exactly, a spinning wheel is supposed to awaken her.

About the Author
Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers. 

You can connect with Kendra on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 Twisted Dreams



About the Book
“I, Calandra, of the Wingans, do bestow upon you, the Princess of Hanover, a gift. You have been given long life. I cannot interfere with that, but when you are sixteen years of age, you will prick your finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an everlasting sleep.” She stepped closer so that she could be heard only by Liesel and her parents. “Then you will at last see the truth. Be wary. Be wise. Your fate rests upon yourself.”

On her sixteenth birthday, Princess Liesel Rosanna falls victim to a sleeping curse—but wakens in another world, a prisoner of war. As the bait in a trap for her fiancé, the crown prince of Hanover, Liesel longs to escape back to the fairy tale world. The world where she is only wanting a true love’s kiss to set everything to rights.

As situations quickly grow dire, Liesel must choose which story to live, which life is real. The fate of her country rests on her decision.


About the Author
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. Her other interests include reading, playing and teaching piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment as well as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 Rosetta Thornbriar


About the Book
Once upon a time, way out west...
Back when they were young'uns, Fleur Guardstone proposed to Rosette Thornbriar with a cigar band ring. However, not long after, she disappeared back into the forest and hadn't been heard from since. However, when Fleur hears reports of smoke coming from that woods, he's determined to find out if it is, indeed, his dear Rosette. If he can get past all of the briars.

About the Author
Rachel Roden is a natural story teller, capable of weaving the most hilarious of fairy tales. She fell in love with the Lone Ranger in her teens, but ended up with a basketball referee instead. Together, she and the Ref homeschool their four children in the Piney Woods of East Texas, as well as any other odd kid who ends up in their house. She might also be the sole human who still uses math after college.

You can connect with Rachel on her blog, twitter, and Pinterest.




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

我看見你 I see you

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go;
 I will guide thee with mine eye.

I'll be honest this verse has always puzzled me a little. 
And the other day I was reading again and I was like. "God, what does this even mean? How can you guide me with Your eyes? Because, God, I can't see where you are looking."

And then it struck me.

I do this all the time with my students.

I guide them with my eyes.

If they are misbehaving, I don't yell at them, I get really quiet and just look at them gently until I know I have their attention and then shake my head, if needed I will say something but often this communication is completely silent.

My students also communicate this way, a questioning look, and I answer with a nod...but they know the answer because they are looking at me.

So it's the same with God. If my focus on him, I'll have the answers I am searching for, I don't need to be looking towards the future and trying to figure out, I don't have to figure out what God is doing I just have to move forward keeping my eyes on Christ. No looking around, no turning this way and that trying to figure out what everyone else is doing. Just focusing on Christ and following his lead...and life will be siimpler...maybe, not easier but simpler because all I need to worry about is focusing on Christ and what He sees for my future.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE!!!!

Get your cover here! 
I am running a sale on all of my ready to go covers!
Want an ebook cover for 35$ see if there is something that catches your eye here!










Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Being A Strong Woman In A Feminist World

Being a strong woman is hard.
Being a strong woman in a feminist world is even more challenging.

So how do we become strong, dependable, even independent without becoming.....a feminist?

In the words of Matthew Hussey:
Having to do everything yourself is a form of weakness. Because all it is is trying to validating yourself by showing how strong you are....
(and then I am paraphrasing this a little to put it in my own words)
The weakest woman can't do anything for herself,
A weak woman will do everything for herself,
And the strongest woman says, I know I can do it myself, but it's a lot more fun if someone else does it. (and I am not talking about the princess type or girls that blackmail, or bribe people into doing things for them.)

You see we've grown up in a society and culture that doesn't just cheat men of their manhood, it is also cheating us out of our femininity.

A few weeks ago a friend asked me..."How are you a strong woman...but not a feminist."
And this question took me back...because for years I've been a very strong woman, and I've struggled with finding a balance between my strength and being feminine.

No,  I wasn't fast, no I didn't beat up all of the boys....or anything like that. But...I'll be honest, I am as strong as a lot of boys, moving things, picking up heavy lifting, (my brother stopped picking on me when it became a fair draw...it's no fun to pick on someone when they can equal you,) people call on me. I've grown into the role of looking after people, making sure people are protected, opening doors for people...etc...but has that robbed me of my feminism? For a long time, I didn't care if I put boys off...you think you can do it? Well, I can do it too! Just watch me! One of my goals in life was to prove that you can do anything and everything in a skirt... Hike up waterfalls? Yes, Ride a horse? Yes, Climb a fence? Yes...all in a dress or a skirt and being modest about it. You bet I can.

But as I grew up, I realized...that just because you can, doesn't mean you want to...
That being strong, can also mean lonely, or eventually, make you feel taken advantage of it...that people don't expect you to be weak, and that you can just take things...over and over and over again and take it because you are strong.

So a new journey almost unconsciously began, and now...it has become more purposeful. Life is a form of art...and I am learning the art of feminism.

Now I am not talking about damsel in distress syndrome, but the simple art of living as a woman.


Don't be afraid of weakness.
Asking for help doesn't make you weak.
We aren't perfect and asking for help isn't a crime.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a good thing, and makes for a stronger and wiser person.
(After all you have nothing to fear, but fear itself...)

Just because YOU can do it yourself....doesn't mean you have to.
This is something that can be really hard. Just because I can open a door for myself doesn't mean I can't let/get a guy to do it for me...and appreciate it. (That goes a long way to keeping chivalry alive. Maybe you're saying, "Ugh! If a guy's ego can't take me opening my own door then he should get a life." Maybe, but then again he took the time and effort to get the door for you, take the time and effort to appreciate it...even if you didn't need it.)




Be a peacemaker
It's easy to pick fights, tease, and be argumentative over things...and it can be fun. However, if it is a constant lifestyle, it can maybe be too much and cause discord. Look for chances to bring peace and make win-win situations.

I don't own anything, not my pic!
Thanks, Disney! <3
I had a fun one a few weeks ago. People were arguing over if an actress was beautiful or not, and of course, there were fans and well anti-fans. When I was asked for my opinion, I gave in a few seconds to muse and answered.
"We are all made in the image of God, I think she is perfect." This...though perhaps not the answer they were looking for or technically even an opinion brought the argument to a close and peace.

Sometimes there are two parties having an argument, and you can see both sides, use this as an opportunity to help them come to a conclusion that is peaceful and practical for both.
It can be really hard if you are in situation where you can see the other person's point of view, but they can't see yours, and I am still working on making myself be understood well....it can be really hard to make people understand, but I am also learning when to "retreat", if they simply choose to not understand, sometimes you must just let them have their way, or find a delicate way to remove yourself from the situation.

And while the battle of the sexes can be funny and entertaining...realize that it can also cause harm. So if you're having banter and exchanges of sharp wit enjoy it! Also be aware of the damage it can cause. Just because men are strong it doesn't mean they are Superman, they have their own kryptonite to deal with.

Once again in the words of Matthew Hussey:
Men need women,
Women need men
Life just isn't as fun without them. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

#thewriterstag

I decided to snatch up this tag from Melody's blog The Splendor Falls! Don't forget to check out her awesome blog!

1. What Genres, Styles, and Topics Do You Write About?

Genres:
Well for starters, it's hard to sort of peg down. I write what you might call fantasy, in other words, I make up my own worlds, etc.break rules, but it read more like history...and not the least bit like fantasy but it's not based on any actual facts, so...Historical fantasy? Is that even a legal genre?
With Sufficient Grace I dabbled slightly in Western, but it doesn't really FEEL like a western. I don't have any of the traditional lingo you'd expect when you pick it up like
Hitch the wagon,
Going out yonder.
Ruslin' cattle.
And all kinds of others of beloved American old west lingo that is the signature of that genre. I think I just like to break the rules.
I've toyed a little with fantasy, and am working on a possible trilogy...but we will see what comes of that.

Style:
Third person most certainly.
First person is my death SENTENCE unless it's a short story.

Topics:
Coming of age.
Finding truth
Strong but feminine
WEAPONS (pretty, pretty swords!)


How long have you been writing?
On and off starting around age 12, more serious around age 18.
So about 16 years I guess? Wow...that makes me sound...old...experienced.

Why do you write?
For a lot of reasons.
Ultimately because I love it, and because I feel that is what God called me to be. His Ready Writer.

When is the best time to write?
Well.....my favorite time to write is when inspiration is thick and sweet running like crazy but I don't always get to spend time when it is.
I also love super late nights writing (I have been guilty of writing until 5 am if the words are right.)
But really, any time of the day will do.

Parts of writing you love vs. parts you hate.
Love:
The first draft.
Getting inspiration.
Fangirling over characters
Plot twists
Character driven plots.

Hate:
Editing.
Writer's block.
Stupid characters that insist on being there.
Not enough time.

How do you overcome writer's block?
Talk to a friend.
Try a new angle.
Look at it from a new POV
Watch movies.
Read.
Shove it in a drawer.
Sulk.
Move.
Make a cup of tea.
Pinterest
Music.

Are you working on something at the moment?
YOU BET I AM!
I am working on connecting two stories together. When those are done they will finish my very very very unofficial extremely loosely linked stories. (So much so it's not even a series) but all of my countries shall soon have books, and I am not sure if there will be more to add to them later...but the basics will be out.

Tying up the loose ends of my plots for book 2&3 of the Grace trilogy. Book two I think FINALLY came together, so I'll be working on writing that, and I'll finish sketching and fleshing out characters for book 3 (and maybe a short story because you know characters are just like that.)

There is an Asian story I am working on, though how I'll publish it. I am not sure.

Writing goals this year?
Build up my platform
Finish a book up and move towards publishing another book.

WHEW! That was fun! Feeling like doing the tag? You're it! Take it on over to your blog and comment below with the link so I can check it out!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Villains Know Best...sort of...

So, you may...or may not know that I've been struggling with a novel idea for, well, years now. It has been haunting me, refusing to let me go...yet I've run into so many plot ruts and holes and twists and turns that I've found myself throwing my hands in the air going...

and a half a draft later going....


Watching another attempt just shut down the story


The other day I dragged it out again after another hatchling of inspiration peeped out.


I decided to give it another chance and looked at the cast of characters. Different characters have popped up and made parts of the story easier and took it places that I wanted it to...however it was the villain that was still giving me problems.

He's not a "terrible" villain, he's more of a Jane Austen breed of bad boy I am sure he'd love to hang out with Willoughby and Wickham...I am sure they'd gamble away a few fortunes and break a few hearts together. However, his various interests and how he originally played into the story was giving me a hard time...

So I decided to go back to the drawing board with my villain and see how he came out....
You see, he began as a medical student....and then a book later was like...what is medicine? Look MONEY!!! I WANNA RUN A BANK!!!!!


and I am going...that's not what you went to school for...
what a waste of money....


So I threw out medical school, and the schoolmate scenario and made him a family friend...
And everything fell together.
Plot holes filled.
Loops closed.
And BAM!
The story feels like it's pulled itself together.
and he's over there going....
Skip the drama...listen to me... I know best.




Just wait...next he'll want to be a hero...







Monday, March 27, 2017

The Author's Alphabet

 A


Author
You are an author. Whether it is just a short story, a book report, a research paper, the first draft of your first novel, or if you are a published author making15.00 or 15,000 a month. You are an author. That title is yours! Don't be afraid to own it and wear it proudly.

Like hundreds of other authors, you aren't on amazon's or the New York Best Sellers list, but you are making a difference, and no one else can tell your stories the way you tell them. So go write! Share your stories with the world. Be the Author you were born to be!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Working Out

I have hated working out...since....my first workout. The peppy perfect workout girls who never got tired and said annoying things made me never want to work out. Also, I never felt very different after workouts, just tired...so I gave up.

I decided to live my life the way I wanted...which resulted in a "happy" me. I had never been comfortable with my image, and I became even more so, but I didn't know how to stop it, the things I had tried before still didn't appeal to me, and it seemed like I was lost in a vicious cycle that was rapidly getting out of control.

Hitting a breaking point, I realized that things needed to stop. I didn't want jiggling hips, fat legs, sausage fingers with pattie hands, a jelly bean shaped belly that jiggled like jello, and I wanted to stop wearing the size 3x's and hiding in hoodies just to feel comfortable with who I was.

I hadn't seen myself in a full-length mirror except in stores that were just something I tried to ignore, however moving into my room in Hualien I was happy to see a full-length mirror in my room...until I saw myself in it...this wasn't a store mirror that I could walk away from this was one that I saw every day and I realized I didn't want to remain the woman I was...so how to change?

I puzzled over it, I knew working out would be an essential change, but how much and what workouts should I do?

Browsing the internet, watched youtube videos, chatted with friends and formulated a plan.
Starting out with a simple workout on a sheet of paper that my friend sent me. 15 moves for 1 minute each. A 15-minute workout sounded perfect...and then I found it was grueling, but worth it, I struggled to complete it, and yet every day I noticed that I improved a little bit, I could hold it a bit longer, I could fit more into that tiny little minute. Things felt positive, and I saw my body making little changes.

From there I realized I needed even more of a challenge....so I started doing youtube workouts...I tried several different ones until I found an instructor that I love and adore and I feel is giving me the results I want without being an unrealistic Barbie doll.


I am still far from what I could be, but for the first time in my life I am seeing results and keeping them. I am still allowing myself junk food, chocolate binges, and chips....but I also realize at what cost and am willing to work them off. It has taken a while to learn what losing weight and being happy means to me....

I haven't stepped on a scale in a long time, I know it would be good, however, it's a number I am still not ready to face and I've gotten so discouraged from it before, steering completely clear of the three little numbers on a digital screen that I have allowed to define and label me. But I am keeping myself accountable with my mirror and friends who are encouraging even on the days I want to give up or not workout. They push me, and I am learning to push myself, now some days don't feel complete unless I work out...and I am working out more than I ever have before. It's not a chore, but I do it on my own terms and have my own reward system that pushes me forward.
If I want to watch a movie or drama I have to work out first....it's pretty compelling.

The rewards of being able to go shopping in Taiwanese stores and pull items off the shelf....of course, they are all large and oversized, etc. because an L here is like an M in the states...but I am doing stuff that I wasn't able to do a few months ago, people treat me differently, I knew being fat was hard...but I didn't know how hard it was until I started to lose the weight and the world really does treat you differently.




Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Did you know?

A few months ago I published a set of short stories.

These are older works of mine, so they aren't the best, but I certainly enjoyed writing them, and I hope you'll enjoy reading them! You can buy the ebook here! I am hoping to have the paperback published in the next week or so at a very reasonable rate.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Dear Walls,


Rough, not smooth, not even the ages have worn you down.
I walk passed you.
I wonder about your stories.
I wonder what you have seen, heard.
The ravages of war.
The secrets of soldiers.
Fears?
Hopes?
Dreams?
Plans?
Betrayal?
Love?
Secrets?
I can feel the history etched into your depths.
I wish I could speak to you.
I wish I knew the language of stone.
So you could tell me what you have seen and heard
The guardian wall that has stood around this city.
You have harbored kings and queens, soldiers and scholars, people...friends and foes.
You stood when so many other buildings fell beneath the enemies cruel hands.
History is your walls, it is in the core of your stone.
I walk by...
My fingers linger on the feeling of the wall,
The precise squares, the grout, the past.
I feel ignorant and small, like a colorful butterfly pausing on a flower in a spring breeze...
Passing, passing...only lingering for this moment.
Only touching a tiny part of something so much larger...only tasting a drop of what you have to offer.
History, beauty, riches, locked away in stony silence.
I see the brilliance of your designer.
I feel the safety he created within your walls.
You are making me hungry, hungry for knowledge for words I do not know...for the stories you will not tell.
Oh, if I could only speak to stone.
If walls could talk...
I lean against you, wishing I could hear your stony core beat with life.
You are silent.
Silent.
Holding all the secrets of the past.
Holding tightly what it has left you.
History and stories, and people long gone.
You are the keeper of secrets.
You are silent stone.

Hwaseong Fortress Korea
(found on google, not my image, I own nothing)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sweetly Single?

Single.
One.
Only.
Alone...
Lonely?
Lucky?

found on google not my  image I own nothing

There are many ways to view being single.
For years I'll admit I've been blissfully happy.
I've smile and accepted the words.
"You are so lucky!"
"Oh! What I wouldn't be to be in your shoes."
"I had it so easy when I was single."
"Man, what I wouldn't give to be sinlge again."
"You've never been in a relationship, oh you are so lucky!"
found on google, not my image, I own nothing


However...as the years have progressed and romance has eluded my life...
I find it...
Life is still satisfying, life is still good. I am still grateful to be single...but there are days where there is a gap, a hole, it feels as if part of my life is missing something...or rather someone.

The words: "You are so lucky to be single!" etc. Seem to have a bit of a bite to them.
found on google, not my image, I own nothing
I still smile, and I look into the eyes of sleepless mothers with bags under their eyes, worried and wondering how they are doing as a mother...and I realize this is a gift that I have been given and I need to be grateful, even as I am slightly jealous of their little ones calling them "Mama," knowing that the demands of being a mother is a never ending job...but still my heart aches just a little.

They say, "Being a teacher, it must make you not want kids..."
And the truth is it only makes me want them more.
I get only a breif moment with these children, to love, to cherish...to impact...to smile, to laugh, to care, to cry...and then it's goodbye.
It makes me realize no matter how exaused and how little sleep I get I still want the oppertunity to put food on the table, to tousle little heads, to sing to sleep children of every age and size, to talk with them...even if it is the never ending chatter....it is a privledge that I have not been granted.

There are days when I wake up, and I realize that I am painfully single...singleness that I am not sure if it will ever end,...or how many more days I must learn to cherish this gift and the oppertunities that it gives me.

Thank you Singleness.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Under the Black Umbrella

I am rather fond of umbrellas.

Especially yellow umbrellas, for they make me smile.

They are a spot of sunshine in a world of grey.

I own a smallish soft yellow umbrella, I chose it for that EXACT reason.

To remind me when it is grey...there will always be sunshine again.

However, today...walking home from the city.

It started to rain.

I thought if I hurried a bit more.

I could make it home...before the downpour began.

I passed two convenience stores, I paused wondering if I should stop and purchase an umbrella...but I've already purchased two...I really didn't need to buy another, and stupidly I hadn't brought either of them.

I sped homeward, I zipped up my navy blue fleece coat.

I nodded at the guard standing at the military gate.

Taxis were nearby...

For a mere 100 NT. I could be home in four minutes or less.

I waved, they passed.

I sped on...

And then it happened.

The deluge.

Slipping under the shelter of the tree by the road, I watched as the road turned into a shallow river.

Cars passed, thankfully slowing down so they didn't drench me in wave car thrown rain.

Another taxi was coming towards me. Waving vigorously for it to stop....it passed by speeding up the road.

No one, wanted to pick up a damp foreigner...

I waited, not wanting to get drenched, but also not wanting to spend the rest of my day under a star-fruit tree waiting for the rain to stop.

Weighing my options I couldn't decide if I should go forward or backwards...

Another taxi passed, ignoring my waving arms.

I stood there watching the rain fall, sipping my coffee, trying to decide, and praying for wisdom on what to do next.

Then it happened.

A white car stopped on the other side of the road, flashers blinking, they parked next to the house practically on top of the road. I couldn't see inside the dark windows.

I wondered three things, "Do they live there? Are they going to offer me a ride? Are they lost?"

Trying not to get my hopes up, I looked away, listening for the possibility of a car window rolling down. Of words in Chinese or English being spoken... "Need a ride?" or "Xiao Jei li, li, li!"

Seconds passed into a minute...

Glancing up the hill I watched for another taxi, wondering if the next one would be in just a big a hurry as the last few.

A car door opened.

A petite woman tiptoed quickly across the road, a black, closed umbrella in her hand.

"For you," she said putting it into my hand, and then tip-toed quickly back across the road before I barely had a moment to say thank you. The car door closed, I opened up the umbrella, bowing my gratefulness.

The car pulled away and disappeared up the hill.

I watched it go, glancing up at my new big black umbrella, and felt strangely like Jo March...under The Professor's big black worn umbrella. The warmth, the kindness, the thoughtfulness, the worn and used pattern on the umbrella told of it's use in rain and sunshine, of years of care...given to a complete stranger standing under a star-fruit tree in the middle of a deluge.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Always A Silver Lining

There will always be cruelty in the world.

It will sometimes strike by hands, and in places we least expect it.

Yesterday, I found it on a Facebook post written in Chinese by a coworker.
She had written something nasty about me.
Thinking I'd never see it.
Why?
I hadn't felt up to saying yes to an invitation to eat out.
I hadn't promised that I would come, I had asked for information, so I could make the best choice and said thank you, and mentioned that I was grateful for her reaching out to me, but I wasn't feeling up to it.

I had a list of reasons that could have filled up a page, but since they were mostly personal and I didn't want to worry or bother her, I simply said I was busy.

My attempt to not offend her offended her.

As I read what she said about me...

I found myself shaking.

I felt stabbed.

Gutted.

I had been trying to win her sharp personality into friendliness...but the words shattered me.

I left the office, trying to hold back the tears, shaking.

The weeks leading up to this I've been balancing on a cultural tightrope as I prepare for my family to visit me, and the group that I am working for has very strict rules about things. So trying to please every group and focus on work and doing what I came here to do has been difficult. I've been on the edge of shattering several times as I play ambassador, advocate, and try to understand and communicate with both cultures, family, and a growing ladder of bosses to make sure things sail smoothly.

As I was trying to compose myself outside, I noticed the wife of a coworker at the gate and went to let her in.
She smiled and offered me the protection of her umbrella in the light sprinkle of rain.
I was like "I am okay...."
But she insisted so kindly, pulling me under the umbrella.
I was moved by her sweetness and kindness, in a moment of bleeding vulnerability, someone made sure they were kind, even though I would have been perfectly fine in the sprinkle.

As much as I didn't want to cry, I ended up crying in my room, and my dorm mate who I've been having on and off relationships with, came and checked on me. She offered me comfort, and the next morning bought me breakfast, knowing that I hadn't gotten out of bed until the last moment.

It is the kidness of others in a cruel world that sometimes make it change for the better and help you find the goodness in the world even when it's the bleakest.




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