Writing Prompt #1: The Napkin Pt. 2

This is a continuation of a writing prompt I found I found on Pinterest a few posts back. If you would like to catch up on Part 1, feel free to read it here. Please note that I do not own the rights to the prompt; I am simply responding to the prompt in a series of chapters. Also note that this chapter contains an amount of violence and gore, there solely for the purpose of setting the scene. If this sort of content does not attend to your interest, you are more than welcome to scroll past. 

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“State your business,” the officer exclaimed. Her gun, pointed right at my heart, loomed in front of me as I struggled to maintain my breathing.

“I…I—” I couldn’t manage to get a decent sentence out, despite being interrogated on the spot. John, however, had managed to escape from beneath my umbrella, and began to form a lie faster than a bird could spot a worm from a tree branch.

“I came to this restaurant to order for my family, and this psychotic woman started attacking me with her…umbrella.” I gave him a look, and scowled as he glared at me sideways, continuing his story with a sense of calm that sent chills down my spine. Somehow, someway, he managed to make himself appear meek, and that frightened me in a way I couldn’t express. It made me wonder how much lying he had to do to be that good of an actor.

“I had done nothing to harm her, but she still found the need to attack.” John crossed his arms in triumph.

“Is this true, ma’am?” The police woman gestured to me with narrowed eyes, and I knew whatever I chose to say next could possibly be held against me. I sighed, shaking from the chill in the air.

“Well–uh, it’s sort of true, but I only hit him because he scared the heck out of me as I was leaving!” I bit my lip, wrapping my sweater around me as I wished I was curled up in bed, dreaming, instead of living this reality.

“I see…” Her voice trailed off as she slowly drew back her gun, keeping a steady eye on us while pulling a small, black notebook from her pocket. It was small, with a tiny, golden emblem on the cover.

“We received a call ten minutes ago from a civilian stating shots were fired. Did either of you make that call?”

“No,” John and I said at the same time.

“I’m afraid we need you both to come down to the station with us for further questioning, regardless, at least until we receive more information about the attack.” She put away the notebook, and gestured for John and me to follow her to the back of the squad car.

The police woman, no older than twenty-six, opened the trunk, and pulled out two pairs of handcuffs.

“Just so we don’t have any problems,” she stated. John glared at me out of the corner of his eye with a look that clearly meant, once we were done here, he’d kill me.

***

Two hours later, I was seated in the interrogation room at the police station, while a couple of officers talked outside the iron door, stealing glances at me every few seconds. Like they didn’t know I could hear them talking about me.

 I sighed, fidgeting with the hair tie I never took off my wrist. I honestly swear that thing will still be on for my wedding day.

I looked up as the female officer John and I met earlier entered the room with a file in her right hand.

“So, Cambria Baker…that’s your name, correct?”

“That’s right.” I looked down, attempting, quite horribly, to hide my red face as I prepared for questioning.

“Well, Ms. Baker,” she began, sitting across from me, flipping through my file. “It looks like you’ve got a clear record on your hands, but I still need to ask you a few questions about the attack—if that is alright with you.” She glanced up at me as though expecting me to say otherwise.

“No, no. That’s fine. I understand.” I sighed once more, reading her nametag as she continued flipping through my file, leaving me to sit uncomfortably in my cold chair. Joy Parker. I know you. I’ve seen you on the news a couple of times.

“Okay, Cambria. For starters, can you tell me what you were doing at the restaurant?” Joy glanced up from my file with an inquisitive look.

“I-I came down to eat dinner, and when I was about to leave, someone stared firing shots.”

“Can you remember how many shots were fired?” I paused, struggling to think back to earlier that night.

“Two…I think?” I looked down at my hands, clearly failing to look innocent.

Joy took out the small notebook she used at the parking lot, and jotted some notes down.

“These shots that were fired…could you see who shot them, or what the person might have looked like?”

“No, I didn’t. I was too busy looking for the man who handed me that napkin.”

“Napkin? What napkin?” She glanced up from her notebook as I fumbled with my answer.

“This man—the man you brought in along with me—handed me a napkin before the shots fired. It had writing on it. All it said was Run.”

“Mhm..” The officer continued her notes, apparently unaware of the amount of fidgeting going on under the table.

“I know I asked you this earlier, but did you or did you not attack this man with your…” she glanced down at my file, “umbrella?”

“Yes, I did, but only because he startled me. I accidentally hit him with my car as I was pulling out of the parking lot.” Joy nodded once more, scribbling my statement down.

“Okay, thank you.” The officer closed my file, placing it into her bag for further review.

“Alright, Ms. Cambria. We’re going to ask your friend in there a couple of questions, and then we’ll be right back with you.” The officer smiled, got up, and walked out of the room.

I’ll be here.

***

As it turns out, I didn’t remain in the interrogation room long after my chat with the officer.

I was slowly beginning to drift off in the cold, metal chair, a slight amount of drool exiting my mouth, when I heard shuffling from outside the interrogation room door. When I glanced up, I could no longer see, or hear, the two guards positioned outside the room.

I glanced at the two-way mirror, wondering if there was anybody back there watching me, but I had the feeling there wasn’t. How I knew, I had no idea. But I couldn’t feel eyes on me like I could earlier, when I was answering Joy’s questions.

In fact, I could barely feel anything. I couldn’t feel the buzz of the security cameras positioned in the corners of the walls, nor could I feel the cool rush of air that nipped my feet from the vent, as I could earlier.

To any other person, it would have seemed as though the electricity were malfunctioning, or that the vents weren’t working. But I could feel a shift in the atmosphere, and I didn’t like it.

I stood from my chair, grimacing from the sound of the metal’s movement against the floor. There was a chill in the air, one I knew wasn’t a result of the vents. It felt unnatural on my skin, sending a rush of blood that produced goosebumps on my arms.

The lights began flickering, ever so slowly, then all at once. Something wasn’t right. I could feel it.

I slowly made my way to the interrogation room door, hoping to find the two guards re-positioned as they were before. I found them there, alright, but not in the way I was hoping.

There, lying helplessly on the ground, sopped in what looked like a puddle of blood, were the two guards, stab wounds dotting their chests. Their eyes, opened slightly with a close resemblance to mine at that moment, were frozen with the shock of their predicament.

I forced my hand in my mouth to keep from screaming, tasting the tears streaming down my cheeks as I watched the puddle grow larger with blood by the second. The tears mixed with blood on my tongue as I bit down on my gums to keep any noise from escaping my mouth. I watched too many crime shows to know that a scream would be one heck of a stupid idea in that moment.

Obviously, whoever had stabbed those poor guards was unaware of my presence inside the room. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be breathing to tell you this story.

I wanted to run, to get the farthest away from the place as I could, but I knew the murderer could still be out there, waiting for any sign of life. I moved away from the window to the corner of the room farthest away from an outside view, and hugged my legs to my chest as I sank down to the floor, bursting out crying.

I could just tell you that I wasn’t scared, or that I had faith, but in that moment, I was worried that I might just lose my life. There are those moments in the movies, or in the TV shows, when the protagonist gets herself in a sticky situation with a killer, and you think that it’s just play, or that it’s all pretend. But when you suddenly find yourself nearly face-to-face with reality, the idea that the movies don’t know what they’re talking about almost hits you like a train.

I don’t know how long I remained in that position, silently choking on sobs, but I remember watching the door jam open, revealing John in a blood-soaked tee, eyes frantically searching the room. I didn’t know what to think in that moment. All I could see was a bloody man, with bloody hands, reaching for me. But as I was slowly embracing the same fate that came for the guards, I could feel hands on my shoulders, lifting me off the ground.

John’s eyes were suddenly in front of mine as he helped me and my wobbling knees up.

“Cam, we need to get out–now.” I didn’t know how he knew my name, unless the officer had told him during his interrogation. If she even got to it. 

Everything was moving too fast at once, leaving me with a burning headache, and trembling hands that couldn’t stop fumbling.

The last thing I remember before blacking out was bursting through a set of double doors to the main lobby of the police station, and seeing a figure leaning over a couple of dead officers sprawled out on the floor. I couldn’t make out their face, but the vibrant green eyes would haunt me in my nightmares for days to come.

Everything went dark as I felt the cool, night air hit my face.

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Self-Love vs. Self-Worship: Is There a Difference?

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Hello dears! It’s been a hot minute since I actually sat down at my desk to write something, so I’m going to try my best to put this post up soon. Yes, I may be putting off loads of homework and stuff, but I call myself a professional procrastinator for a reason…Anyways, I hope you all are doing well, so let’s get into the post, shall we? 😉

So, today I wanted to talk about a topic that’s tossed back and forth in conversations a lot, and yet, very little (does that make sense? probably not, but you know what I mean): self-love, versus self-worship. In these conversations, the main questions that comes up are these:

Is there a difference between the two?

Is loving myself selfish?

I could just as easily say no, or yes, to this, but I think the cause of us asking these questions is that they’re not that simple to answer. On one hand, you have self-love. By definition, it is “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness,”  usually viewed from a non-narcissistic viewpoint. But on the other hand, you have self-worship. This is the kind of self-love that results in the “I am better than you” or “I am entitled” way of thinking.

In better definition: Self-love is taking care of yourself, and your well-being. Some people find that self-love is better-known as self-care, mainly because that’s what this term means. You may find that self-love is taking a relaxing bath to ease stress, or pampering yourself with a massage on a free weekend off from work.

In better definition: Self-worship is the kind of love that goes towards yourself, and only yourself. This way of thinking manipulates you into thinking you’re entitled to something everyone else isn’t, and that you’re better-looking, smarter, or overall higher than another person.

So, yes, there is a difference between self-love and self-worship. HOWEVER, self-love can, and will, turn into self-worship when you start to develop the mindset that your needs come before the needs of others. That is what determines if these questions can be answered simply.

When you begin to place your personal needs above others’, even if it’s just to take a relaxing bath when you are supposed to be helping your mom move furniture, that toxic mindset will begin to change your idea of self-love into self-worship that doesn’t need to be there.

There is a strong line between having patience, kindness, and forgiveness upon yourself and placing superiority on your head to wear around as a crown.

In conclusion, the difference between self-love and self-worship is how you view it. If you choose to place yourself on an altar before others, that’s self-worship. But simply caring for your body, and not being too hard on yourself, is what self-love should look like.

The idea is to not let yourself get swept into the mindset that you are better than others around you.

Have a blessed week, dears, and remember to take care of yourself today. Keep loving, and keep being kind.

I love you dearly,

Sarah Beth

10 Positive Things To Do Today

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Hello dears, and happy Thursday. 🙂

Today I wanted to share a few ways in which you can make some positive changes in your lifestyle, to perhaps boost mental health and productivity at the same time. If you struggle with finding motivation, energy, or if you struggle with anxiety and stress, making a few positive changes here and there can actually help more than you may realize.

I don’t want to keep this intro too lengthy, so let’s get into this *long* post, shall we?

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1. Unfriend, unfollow, or block the people that have a negative influence on your life.

{Okay, maybe this doesn’t look too positive at first, but hear me out.}

For me, it’s always hard unfriending people. I worry about their feelings, and how they will react when I do this. But I also know that it’s hard seeing people post about their “perfect” lives, and their accomplishments that seem to override your social media feed with so much jealousy and comparison. It gets overbearing at some point, and the only way to really keep that comparison from rising is to unfollow that person. It’s okay to cut out the negative influences in your life—if it’s damaging to both your mental health, or even your faith. The same goes for friendships and relationships in real life. If you have friends and acquaintances who constantly tear you down, instead of building you up, it’s okay to stop hanging out, or being close.* I know it might sound rude. I know it might sound mean. But this is your health, and your well-being. If something has that negative of an influence on you, it’s honestly for the best.

*Although it’s wise to keep the negative influences out of your life, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be the positive influence in theirs, either. You can still be kind, and loving, to someone who isn’t to you. When and if it’s necessary to talk to them, always be the gracious one, even if the other isn’t.

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2. Disconnect for a while. 

Social media is a big part of our lives. We get to communicate with our friends in an instant, and share important moments of our lives with others. But sometimes social media has a negative impact on us. We get so caught up in wasting our time seeing other people live “perfect” lives, that, in reality, we forget to live our own. That’s why it’s important to disconnect for a while, or for as long as you need to gather your thoughts, and to organize your life. Your friends, family, and followers don’t need to know right away–or even at all– what you had for lunch every day this week, or what awesome event you went to last weekend.

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3. Schedule some alone time to replenish.

The world keeps us going, and going, and going, until we no longer feel capable of taking a break. So schedule that “me time” you’ve been craving. Take a long, hot bath with a bath bomb, or bath salts. Spend some alone time with pets. Curl up with a good book. Take a nap (my personal favorite). It’s important to take breaks from time to time, even if you feel like your life is far too overloaded with tasks to accomplish, and people to impress. Never forget that rest is important, too.

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4. Stop saying “yes” to anything and everything.

I know it’s hard to say “no” when the time comes. I get that you feel like you’re letting someone down if you decline that party invitation, when you really don’t feel like socializing. Trust me–I’ve been there. But pretty soon you’re going to find yourself saying “yes” to things that have no positive influence on your life, like that new relationship you know deep down isn’t going to end well, or that friendship with someone you know is a bad influence. Take the time to learn how to say “no” to something you know is a bad idea. You’re not being rude. You’re being honest.

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5. Toss out the processed junk food, and start putting better food into your body.

I’m not going to lie: junk food, sugar, candy—they’re all weaknesses of mine. I will gladly eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting, but I realized a while back that putting all that junk into my body isn’t going to make me feel better about myself, or my problems. Our bodies—they all react differently to different foods. But if we don’t make that choice to start fueling ourselves with good, healthy meals instead, we’re only destroying our health to the point of sickness, or disease. Food will not make us feel satisfied, or happier, if we keep letting ourselves go to it for comfort. So start drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and limit yourself to one junk food per day. You deserve more than that garbage companies make us believe is healthy for us.

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6. Get a planner, write down everything that needs to be done, and get productive.

What is your dream, or goal in life? Is it to become a teacher? A writer? A lawyer? I don’t know what that may be, but there is a saying I like to quote whenever I feel myself getting unmotivated–

“Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

If you have a dream, and if you want that dream to come true, it’s not just going to walk up to your door and present itself for you to take. If you want it, you need to go get it. You need to pick yourself up off the floor of your bedroom, stressing over everything that needs to be done, and you need to tell yourself that you can do anything if you want it that badly. Only you have the ability to reach that goal; others can’t and won’t do it for you.

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7. Work on your attitude. Yes, I sound like a grandma. But do it.

I’m not trying to tell you that you should be happier, because we all know that takes time. What I’m trying to tell you is that you should take a step back, and analyze how your attitude has been these last few months. Have you been kind to others, or have you been quick to become angry at the smallest of things? Have you been giving, loving, and reaching out to those who are struggling, or do you remain in your comfort zone? Have you been handling situations with a positive outlook, or have you been stressing about everything? Whatever it may be, it’s always important to detox your attitude towards the situations life hands us. So be kind. Be loving. Step outside of your comfort zone once in a while. There is a whole world out there that needs every ounce of you that you’ve got.

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8. Work on building your faith.

Maybe you’re reading this in the middle of a rut. Maybe you’re stuck in a crossroads wondering which direction to turn. Or maybe you’ve fallen into something that seems impossible to escape. I don’t even know what your faith is. How could I? I’m just a girl behind a computer screen, trying to write a motivational blog post. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from going through these ruts, it’s that God’s going to help you get back up from that hole—if you let Him. But you also need to work towards it, too. You need to say to yourself “I can do this because God did this.” He took on the cross, the pain, and the brokenness. He took on everything that we’re going through—that we’re feeling. I don’t think we have the nerve to say to ourselves “I can’t do this” if He got through death. So work on building that faith. Work on building that relationship with Him. He’s got this, and so do you.

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9. Take a moment to appreciate all the blessings you’ve been given.

You may be thinking “I don’t have the newest phone, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a—” STOP. Stop thinking about what you don’t have, and start being grateful for the things you do have. You have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food to keep you healthy. You have blessings that some people would trade the newest iPhone, or a Gucci bag, for in a heartbeat. Don’t start taking that for granted.

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10. Be the reason someone wakes up tomorrow.

Everyone is fighting their own battles. That girl at school who has the nicest smile? She could be secretly fighting depression, or anxiety. That guy on the math team who’s bullied? He could be secretly planning to take his own life, and no one would know it. It’s horrible to think about—I know. But y’all, it’s reality. Our world is messed up, and unless we make a change, people are going to continue feeling like this–living like this until the point of no return. So be the reason someone wakes up tomorrow. Be the reason someone decides to keep living, to keep breathing. You have the opportunity to change someone’s life just by the way you treat them.

***

This is your life. This is your health. This is your lifestyle. You have the chance to make a difference, whether it be made in your own life, or someone else’s. Please don’t pass up that opportunity to make a change.

You are loved, you are seen. Have a blessed week.

 

Let's Chat (1)

School Dress Codes and The Modesty Debate

Ice Cream Party (2).pngEarlier today I found a news article on the topic of school dress codes, and the idea of “how far is too far” when determining an outfit appropriate for class. The subject of the article, a teen girl, got in trouble for wearing ripped jeans to class. The school argued against the jeans by saying that rips above the knee were not allowed, and that, if the teen were to cut the rest of the jeans off, the remaining “shorts” would be fine.

Because of the article’s gaining popularity, I thought it would be appropriate to address the controversy surrounding school dress codes, and how they apply to women and young girls in schools.

For starters, I think it’s important to address that school dress codes do have reason, and meaning, behind them. The origin behind the dress code is solely for the purpose of keeping students from becoming distracted from learning, and, in often cases, it is beneficial for both students and education.

However, I think that, in today’s times, there is a fine line between eliminating distraction among students, and shaming females for wearing an item of clothing the males are allowed to wear.

For example, a clothing item commonly discouraged by the dress code is the tank top. Young women in schools are prohibited from wearing any article of clothing that shows a certain amount of shoulder, as it can be a cause of lust for the boys in classes.

However, the problem with this is not that the women are prohibited from wearing such things. The true problem is that the boys are able to wear an item of clothing prohibited for the girls, and they are able to get away with it. 

It is often seen that boys are allowed to wear tank tops, and in return, the girls are shamed for wearing that item of clothing.

Do you see the problem?

In our education system, the focus is directed more towards the females, and their “responsibility” to keep the boys pure in thought. However, if we took a closer look, we would see the school system doing absolutely nothing about teaching boys about their responsibility to not let a clothing item on a girl’s back distract him from his schoolwork. 

These are teens we are addressing here. Being a teenager ensures raging hormones, but the problem is that we are blaming such ideas on the young girls, rather than offering education on how to respect women and their bodies.

Am I saying that modesty is a bad concept? Not at all. In fact, I think it is respectful, and I believe it shows that your heart, and your personality, should be what others see when they look at you.

But what I am saying is that there is a difference between placing a dress code in schools to encourage modesty, and allowing the shaming of young girls while boys are excused.

I would also like to mention that allowing young men to wear tight shirts and shorts in class can also become a source of lust for girls, too. But are schools teaching men that? Is society teaching that modesty is not only for females, but for males, as well?

As an education system, our job should be to teach young girls and boys the importance of respect, and value, of the opposite gender. Shaming girls for wearing articles of clothing that supposedly “makes them objects” for the boys to view is not right, and I don’t believe it should be condoned in our schools.

As for the young teen’s ripped jeans, it is also important to consider that there is such a thing as taking judgement of an article of clothing “too far.” If the student had been wearing a top that, say, revealed a female’s entire chest, the faculty’s motive for suggesting a clothing change would be understandable. However, ripped jeans that show the knee are likely not going to cause a young boy to “lust” after her. If anything, shorts would be more of a “lust-attracting” article of clothing, and yet, schools allow girls to wear them.

Modesty is such a debatable topic in society, so it is difficult to come to terms with what is the right option, and what isn’t. But there is a problem in our schools, and our communities, with the treatment of the dress code. And until the terms change, our students are nowhere close to learning the importance of respect for the other gender.

Let's Chat

What is your opinion of this subject? Do you believe that dress codes are placed for our protection, or do you believe that they are unjust? Feel free to share your thoughts! *Keep in mind that any disrespectful or harassing comments will be ignored.*

Have a blessed week!

-Sarah Beth

Writing Prompt #1: The Napkin

Hello dears, and happy Tuesday!

I thought I’d pop on and share a response to a writing prompt I found today on Pinterest. I’ve never done one of these before, so I thought it would be nice to finally write a short story based on that prompt! But before I do, I wanted to make it clear that all credit goes to the author of the prompt (not sure who). I’m in no way trying to pass it as my own, and I just wrote the story to go along with it. 🙂

That said, I hope you enjoy! *Note: I tried to make this as least violent as possible. I love thrilling stories, so I still kept some of it in. Just wanted to make that known. ;)*

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“Sir, you dropped your napkin!” I called after the man as he hurriedly dashed to the front door of the restaurant. I sighed, already standing up to throw the cloth away, if he wasn’t going to come after it. However, as I glanced down, I noticed a single word, written in ink pen, that at once made my spine curl.

Run.

I panicked, thoughts running wild in my mind. What in the world? Is this some sort of joke? I hurried to gather my purse and phone from my booth, eager to retreat from the restaurant before something did happen. Watching the news daily told me this was probably not a joke.

I left a few dollars at the table, and headed towards the front door, where I watched the strange man leave. As I placed my hand on the glass frame, I heard a single gunshot fired from the back of the restaurant, followed by the screaming of families and friends gathered for a nightly meal.

I froze, either out of pure fear, or stupidity, and struggled to get out the door as waves of customers frantically began to evacuate the perimeter. I was squished, squashed, and pulled before I could manage to step outside into the cold air.

As I began to run to my car, however, I spotted the man who dropped the napkin in my lap leaning against a pole in the parking lot. Our eyes met, and something in my gut told me that the shot fired was most likely tied to that napkin.

Fear bubbling somewhere in my stomach, I bolted towards my car, eager to leave and notify the police. I fumbled for my keys, wishing I had bothered to clean out my bag before I left, and settled myself inside my sedan as I began having a panic attack.

I watched customers get into their cars, and leave in a hurry. I held my keys. The steering wheel was right in front of me. So why wasn’t I leaving? In a state of panic, I couldn’t move, let alone breathe normally. I needed to get out—to go home, where I would no longer be in danger. But I couldn’t. And I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

I glanced around me, attempting to find Napkin Man. Why, I have no idea, considering he was probably a mob boss looking to rob the place. Or me. Or worse. But he was no longer standing against the pole, and that worried me. Did he leave? Or is he inside the restaurant?

Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed the slightest of movements. Two men, dressed in all black, were exiting the restaurant, followed by another figure (Napkin Man, possibly) carrying a body over his shoulder. Panicking, I hunched down in my seat, attempting to make it look like this was just an abandoned car. I held my hand over my mouth, trying desperately not to scream, and waited my fate. I heard voices—muffled, but strangely loud. These people must not be trained in robbery, if they’re talking like that.

I could faintly make out what the men were saying, but it took me almost straining my neck, shoulders, and legs before I could hear clearly.

“Put ‘em in the car, Frank. The police are prob’ly on their way by now.”

“What do I look like, a dummy? Eh?”

“Why you—”

“Hey, hey, settle down you big goons. We need to leave, so hurry it up!” While the first two voices were scratchy and masculine, the last speaker had a melodic tone to his voice that sounded a bit familiar. Tell me I don’t know a crime lord.

After the last voice spoke, the conversation appeared to be over, much to my relief. I heard several car doors slam, and the engine of a vehicle (a van, perhaps) roar to life. Headlights shone in my rearview mirror, slowly disappearing as whoever came out the restaurant exited the scene, leaving me shivering in a quite uncomfortable position in the floorboard of my car.

I released the breath I didn’t realize I was holding in, struggling to get back into a normal position. I didn’t bother to think about what I just witnessed; I needed to get home, to lock myself in my bedroom, and never come out.

I glanced around me once more, making sure the coast was clear, and finally started the engine. I kept my headlights off, out of fear of someone catching me. But as I began to pull out of the parking lot, I felt my old sedan hit something, causing the seats to rattle, and I screamed. Oh no. No, no, no, no. This cannot be happening. I turned the car off, and sat for a moment before regaining consciousness. The little color left drained from my face, and I at once began worrying if I had hit a pole, or even a person.

I reached for my umbrella, hoping to use it as a weapon if needed, and began moving slowly to the trunk of my car. I couldn’t hear anything except the buzz of the parking lot lights. Maybe I just hit a pole or something. Or maybe it’s a shopping cart! Yeah, there’s a store in this plaza.

But I yelped when I reached the back of the car. There, lying face-down on the pavement, was Napkin Man. I was sure of it. My first instinct was to feel proud of myself. I mean, I just ran over a possible crime lord with my car. But I also felt guilty. Even if he was a crime lord, he still dropped that napkin. Or was it even meant for me in the first place?

Suddenly, Napkin Man rolled over onto his back, attempting to regain consciousness. I startled, whacking the man in the chest with the umbrella out of fear. He writhed in pain, attempting to rise, but fell back down again. When he saw me standing next to him with my polka-dot umbrella, he tried to move once more, but I blocked him.

“You. What do you want?.” I pointed the tip of the contraption at his chest, poking him so he wouldn’t think of trying anything. He studied me, and I could have sworn I saw guilt in his eyes. But it only lasted for a second.

“And why would I tell you that? You’d just report it to the police.” The man grimaced, wincing in pain as he struggled with the umbrella. I know your voice. I know you. But I can’t remember where from.

“Well, because—because I just want to know what you want. With me, and with this place.” I scanned his figure for a gun, but he appeared weapon-free. Still, I kept my position, beginning to feel as though I was a detective in a mystery movie.

Napkin Man sighed heavily. “Listen, I know what this looks like, but I was the one who gave you that napkin. I warned you, so shouldn’t that make me the good guy?” I scowled, fired up from the stress this man had caused me.

“But if you’re the good guy, Mr. Napkin Man, why are you here in the first place? And why were you talking with those goons?” Napkin man narrowed his eyes at me.

Mr. Napkin Man? Oh please, that’s ridiculous. Just call me John, if you must.” He attempted to get up once more, but I held him down with the umbrella.

“Okay, John. I asked you a question, and I’m not letting you go until you answer it.” I glared at him, eager to know more about the scene I just witnessed. But before I could get an answer out of him, I heard police sirens approaching the restaurant. Napkin Man—John—sighed, closing his eyes in defeat as three squad cars and an ambulance pulled into the parking lot.

Flashing lights blinded the both of us as we watched several policemen get out of the squad cars, guns aimed at us.

“Put your hands up. NOW.” I screeched, dropping the umbrella to the pavement as I raised my arms in the air. Napkin Man tried, but getting hit by a car kind of kept him from moving all that much.

Though help may have come, something told me that this was not over yet.

 

Live Fearless (Sadie Robertson) Book Review

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Hello dears! Happy Sunday!

Today I thought it would be interesting to share a little book review I updated yesterday on Goodreads. To be quite honest, reviewing does not come natural to me, considering I only have five on GR…hehe, yeah, I just haven’t had the time, okay? Okay. 😉

Today’s book I’m reviewing is Live Fearless by Sadie Robertson. I’m 99% sure you’ve heard of her from either her family’s show, Duck Dynasty, or her brand, Live Original, but even if you haven’t, reading her book should be all the more interesting!

So, let’s get going, shall we?

**Original review here.**


To start off, let me share the little synopsis from Goodreads:

“Sadie Robertson, bestselling author and star of Dancing with the Stars, has an important message for her generation: you don’t have to be held back by fear, anxiety, or loneliness anymore. In Live Fearless, Sadie takes you on a thrilling personal journey toward power, passion, and purpose as you live at the center of who God created you to be!


Personal Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰

Average Rating: ✰✰✰✰

If you are new to this little blog, you might not have had the chance to learn that I have struggled with anxiety for the past three years—and I’m not talking about the little worry spells everyone gets from time to time. This is the gut-wrenching fear that pops out of nowhere—for hardly any reason at all—that I’m addressing.

So when I heard about Sadie’s new book, it intrigued me. Part of me didn’t want to read it, considering anxiety is challenged by a lot of authors who attempt to convince those who struggle with it to just “let it go”—from a viewpoint that has no history of anxiety whatsoever. I didn’t want to pick it up because I thought Sadie would be one of those people.

But I was actually pretty surprised when I did choose to read it.

You see, Sadie is the rare author who actually knows what having anxiety is like. She’s personally been convicted through her situation, unlike those authors I mentioned. She knows what it’s like to experience that fear that can keep you from doing so much—from following your dreams.

Most importantly, she knows what it’s like to OVERCOME that anxiety. She didn’t just wake up one day without any fear. She didn’t just give up on life because of that fear. It took time, and effort, to overcome. It took the power of God. It took guts, y’all—and that is the reason why I am reviewing this book of hers.

This book is raw, real, and full of truth that will leave you in tears because it relates so much to what you’ve personally been going through. It’s like having a conversation with a close friend, talking over the hard stuff, and working out the problems through prayer and community.

It tackles what needs to be said, and what needs to be done, rather than just giving a few tips on how to “treat” anxiety.

So if you personally have struggled with anxiety in the past, or even if you’re struggling with it now, the most important advice I can give you is to read this book. Not because it’s entertaining, or popular, or comedic (all of which it is, but that is not the point).

I want you to read it because it’s TRUTH. It’s REAL. And most importantly, it’s LIFECHANGING.

So go find it if it’s possible for you. Visit a bookstore, Amazon, or ask a friend who has it if you could borrow it. You’ll not just love it—you’ll grow through reading it.

I hope you found this review somewhat helpful! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who struggles with managing fear, anxiety, and even insecurity and comparison. I hope y’all have a blessed week! ❤

Love, Sarah Beth

How to Overcome a Spiritual Funk

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I think we all know what it feels like to be in a funk. You know, the ones where it just seems like you don’t know how to get motivated, energized, or moving? To tell you the truth, I catch these so-called “funks” often, when I have a lot of work to accomplish, or even when I feel like I have nothing to do. It’s not uncommon, but did you know there’s such thing as a spiritual funk, too?

These are quite similar to normal “funks,” but instead of lacking the motivation to be productive, it’s being unmotivated in your faith. If you ask any Christian, chances are they’ll tell you about several of the spiritual funks they’ve been through, merely because we face them every day, even if we don’t realize it.

Before we come to terms with these spiritual dry seasons (another term I like to use to describe these types of funks), I think it’s important (like, vitally important) to realize that getting out of one doesn’t mean you’ll never fall back in. It’s like setting a mouse trap. If a mouse manages to avoid a trap the first time, that doesn’t mean he won’t run into another, or even that same one! It’s sort of like a test, if you think about it. (No, not the school tests, because those don’t teach us valuable life lessons that actually need to be learned..) I’m talking about the tests of true faith, when the outcome of a situation you’re in is determined by the sturdiness of your faith in God.

I don’t know if you’re currently in a dry season, or if you just got out of one and want to know how to avoid them in the future, but I figured sharing a few tips on how to beat those funky ruts out of your life could come in handy some time or another! So yeah, LET’S GO.

1. Pray.

Some people often feel that prayer doesn’t work as well as others say, but does anyone ever come out of prayer regretful? I don’t think so! Prayer is one of the most powerful parts of worship, and talking to God can help you get through this dry season. Keep on praying, even when the situation gets tough, and I promise you He’ll get you through it!

2. Know you’re not alone.

Trust me, you are not the only one going through this dry season, even when it feels like you are! It’s normal to be unsure of what to do in your faith from time-to-time, but you have to remember that going through this season alone will only make things worse. Find a person (a parent, preacher, whomever you choose) you can go to when things get tough, and just spend a couple of minutes, maybe even an hour or so, talking about any questions or concerns you have about your faith. Just knowing you’re not alone can make all the difference!

3. Journal about it.

I’ve found that journaling whenever you’re in a dry season can be super duper helpful. In the evening, or whenever you have the time, set aside a few minutes to jot your feelings down. Not only is this a great way to get your emotions out, but it can also be helpful for future references. Who knows–maybe you can look back on your journal entries and be reminded of how you got through the tough times. (Which you so can do because you’re strong, amazing, and important!)

4. Remember God’s promises.

God didn’t say that life was going to be easy, or that we wouldn’t experience tough times and seasons, but He also didn’t say that we had to endure them all by ourselves! One of His promises was that He would be with us wherever we went, even if we didn’t feel like He was there. Some of my favorite verses that remind us of this are Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10, and Romans 8:38.

5. Take care of yourself– emotionally and physically.

Sometimes being in a rut is physically and mentally exhausting, so it’s important to remember to take care of yourself when you experience one. Fill your heart with God’s truth, and remember to be kind to yourself and your body. These funks do not need to define you, and you don’t have to let them!

6. Go to Christ daily.

Most spiritual funks cause us to lack the motivation or want to spend time with Jesus, but you can fight that by choosing to go to Him daily. Fill your days and nights with God’s Word, making sure to keep His promises with you despite the dry seasons you’re experiencing.

7. Consider the problem behind the funk.

What exactly is causing you to experience this dry season? Could it be too much time spent on stress, work, school, or friends? Whatever it may be, it’s necessary to analyze the motives behind being stuck in this dry spell, so you can get out of it quicker! If you’re unsure of what this “funk creator” is, take a moment to make a list of everything that has been taking up your time in recent days, and examine it once you’ve finished. If you find that something has been causing you to give less effort into spending time with Jesus, try to limit or cut back time spent on it. Jesus matters most, y’all, so you gotta make Him a priority!

Let's Chat

Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual funk? What are some ways in which you overcame it? Feel free to share! ❤

Love, Sarah Beth

Note: Photo credit to Unsplash.com