Thursday, May 5, 2016

FiveJoys

As I explore this vast arena of writing, I find that writing about my relationship with Jesus Christ, cycling and my five children (who are now young adults living on their own) brings me the greatest of joy.

While you are browsing through my main blog, feel free to glance at another blog specifically dedicated to mothers of five. Fivejoys.


There you will find my joyful expressions about my children.  My first blog 'Five, Five! How many is Five?' was delivered as a speech for Toastmasters. My most recent post, 'Paradoxically So' is my attempt to reignite my passion for writing. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cycling: Preparation

Day 22 #My500words written  in 2015, posted in 2016

I find that writing in the morning has the best essence for inspiration. My thoughts are fresher with ideas of things to come. Whereas, if I wait and write later in the day, so many other distractions flood the day and the inspiration is lost. I do feel a sense of lost of incompleteness when I don’t write at all. So although, I am writing my daily words of 500 at 10:12 pm and the inspiration seems faint. I still have  a desire to write.

So write I shall! Today, I woke up very tired from the night before because I was awaken continuously throughout the night for bathroom breaks, too hot, too cold and of course from constant banging from the upstairs neighbors. When 5:00 am rolled around I couldn’t sleep any longer. So I prepared myself to go on a twenty mile ride. Realizing that I didn’t have the proper nutrition to ride for that length of time. Instead of waiting for my regular store that I purchased my GU and protein bars from to open up, I stopped by the local fitness gym. They only carried some with energy bars that I was not familiar, leaving me to speculate on how my body would respond while exerting energy. 

I started my 20 mile trip north on A1A at one of my favorite places, The Cove in Deerfield Beach. It had been such a long time since I had ridden that route, some places didn’t look familiar. I love cycling by the vast ocean  and watching the waves come crashing onto the beach as I cycled by. I was pedaling about 14 to 15 mph, conscious of the lessons that Rick my trainer had taught me the day before. Pulling up my clips with the pedal, pushing back with my heel to develop an even cadence.  As I focused on what he taught me, my pedaling began to flow effortlessly and my the speed increased. I soon found myself in excess of 17-18 mph.  After a while I became hungry and I nibbled on the energy bars that I had purchased, trying to ensure I didn't eat it all up before the ride was over. I only had one water bottle and I discovered that one is not really enough for a twenty mile trip. In the future,many I decided to prepare to   two water bottles. 

I came through a patch of wet ground, and remembering Rick’s words of caution, do not ride on the white line when it’s wet and never ride your bike across the bridge when it’s wet. I really appreciated his guidance and even though I was a hired trainer, his passion for caring and being concerned were genuine, which I really appreciated.


Soon after passing Linton Boulevard, I reached my goal of 10 miles, I took a short break to adjust my saddle bag over the handle bars, drank some water, being extra careful to ration out the amount I needed for the moment and to hydrate myself back to the Cove. I still “bonked” out on the way back. Either getting in too many carbohydrates or not enough to sustain myself.  I still have not learned how to balance my riding out so that I’m not tuckered out on the way back. Then I remembered, I was tired because I didn’t get the proper amount of rest needed for a twenty mile ride. So these are some things that I must work on, plenty of rest, water, and nutrition for a long ride.  I did discover one more thing and that I need to have some better or newer riding shorts to help protect my bottom on longer rides. Whether writing or cycling, getting the proper rest before hand certainly fuels the mind and body to be prepared to function at it's best.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Inspirational: God and The Chinese Take Out Menu

Just as if Matthew Henson was starting out on his first expedition to the North Pole,
My eyes slowly yet intently scanned over a Chinese Food take out menu. Starting at the top left from appetizers to combination plates, carefully musing over each item as if I was studying for a college final exam. I gently turned to the back page where the Luncheon Specials were listed. I knew I needed to make a decision some time within this year, but what? What would I choose? Okay, okay…ummm. Oh, I will have….ummm. Oh, I know! I’ll take the Sweet and Sour Chicken with fried rice and an egg roll!

If it were possible for scientist to track the DNA of the food I have consumed over the course of thirty years, they would discover my chromosomes are actually made up of Sweet and Sour Chicken with fried rice and an egg roll.  So why do I have a hard time of deciding which item will I select on a menu that has over 8 choices of appetizers, 6 choices of soup, 30 combination plates, 42 luncheon specials and I won’t tell you how many Chef’s Specialties are listed. In fact, why is my choice always the same?

There are a host of exotic dishes which I have not experienced as of yet, for instance; “Dragon meets Phoenix, Bean Sprout Egg Foo Young, Beef with Szechuan Style or Roast Pork with Oyster Sauce.”  As is my relationship with God lately, I have come to a place where I only request of him the basic ‘keep my family and myself healthy, safe and help us pay our bills blessings’. It working, we are happy and God is happy so why rock the boat?

Although our God is the same God that we can in trust in daily, His mercy is new every morning! Our struggles and challenges may be the same, yet he wants to make new ways out of no way and rivers in a dry land.  Reluctantly, I recently visited the predominantly black Baptist church I grew up in over 20 years ago. I remember each Sunday service you could expect the same course of events. Two or three hymnals, women loosing their wig piece during a Holy Ghost shout, a scripture reading, offering plate and the hooping and groaning of the preacher’s sermon, that a you could set a clock by indicating the end of the service. The outer core of the building was the same, yet the inside had expanded with the extension of an east and west wing, a basketball court with an additional kitchen. However, it was just not the inner physical appearance that had been updated. The landscape of people had changed. No longer was the totality of leadership, held by white haired black men, growing slowly out of touch with how to apply scripture to the present day realities. There were young black and white men leading the services, on the deacon board, on the usher board and in the choir! As I glanced through the congregation I saw white and black couples, Asians, young, old intertwined with black people, all worshiping the same God, within the same walls. The biblical messages were taught with inspiration of the Holy Spirit and with love as the speakers applied the scriptures to our present situations.

I have been challenged to continue revisiting situations and places of my past with an open mind to discover things I have missed initially. Our God is doing a new thing, he wants us to pray with a refreshed mind and attitude, because eyes have not seen, ears have not heard all the things God has in store for us.  I have even decided to try a different entrée at the Chinese restaurant, to discover what else I have been missing.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Writing: The Silliest Writer Ever!

I have taken on the dutiful honor of crowning myself as ‘The Silliest Writer Ever!’ Thankfully, this official position of silliness, is only a momentary one and the crown shall pass on to the next silly writer, within moments of the writer realizing what everyone else has recognized for quite a while, as obliviously silly and the writer admitting under their breath slowly, “Oh, I get it now”.

Even now, as I contemplate my reign over the ‘Kingdom of Silliness’ and the all the silly things ever concocted by a writer, I have two people in mind I have yet to intrigue with my silly antidotes. The irony is that, as I sit here with my millennium list of things yet not accomplished, I am actually excited about the newly found wealth of information that I want to share with them. Yes, these two who have served more than 20 unforgiving years honing their specialty to become moguls of their craft. Their blood has laced timelines and their tear-soaked, cheeks has kept, the struggles and the disappointments of life from drying out their dreams and hopes of fulfilling their passion. Their passions have turned into a career that family, friends and yes-jealous enemies seek out their wisdom and guidance for. Why? Well, because unlike myself, they don’t start their dreams in January, whine that it’s too hard in February and quit by March. Only to start yet, another diversional grand scheme towards riches for the next three months and continue a madly insane cycle of starting and stopping to nothingness, year after year.

I find myself regularly encouraging everybody else, to write their life story. I always think that what they have to share is so intriguing and certainly the world can’t live another day without their carbon fingerprint carved eternally in the edges of the horizon. My journalistic brain starts envisioning inscribed pages, pages, which turn into articles, articles which turn into best selling books! I yell out to them “You should write! This is a fabulous story! It will be amazing!” They turn inelegantly towards me with utter bedazzlement, all the while  looking quizzically into my eyes searching for any type of life form.

As I reflect upon this newly found silly revelation, it has taken me too long to realize that I have been trying to encourage the wrong people to write. In fact, they despise even the thought of writing, it’s as if I had handed them a red velvet cupcake, with cream cheese frosting, with a live medallion cockroach anchored on it, singing the “Star Spangled Banner”, while I’m eagerly awaiting their approval of this fine delicacy of a thought.

I have come to the obvious conclusion that while am I encouraging everybody else to write a book or a blog about their passion, it is I. Yes, none other than ‘Your Highness of Silliness’ that should be writing. Not just in January or February and stop for several months, but I should be writing daily, weekly consistently.

Yes, I, Janice the writer, the motivational speaker, the artist, mom of five, lover of Jesus, beaches, jazz and cycling. I take a humble bow before my court as I exit stage left to woo my beloved Mr. Disciplined Consistency. For I have allowed him to allude me for far too long. It’s time I demanded my engagement ring and confirm our wedding date.

Thankfully, the season has come for me to embrace the realization of what has been an insurmountable task. To develop a consistent lifestyle of writing I must rely on someone much greater than myself as I humbly admit that the inconsistency of my dreams has been my weakness. Therein through my weakness God shall be my strength.  I have before me a moment-by-moment challenge to remind myself that I can do all things through Christ as Jon Bloom shares in his ‘The Insanity of Leaning on Our Own Understanding’, I shall not lean upon my own understanding as I continue writing.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Writing: My 500 Words Challenge

It is with much delight and passion that I look forward to writing early in the morning. I have decided that I wanted to develop my writing skills and abilities and to do that I need to set aside a specific time to write consistently each morning. I entered the ‘My 500 Words' in 31 Days challenge by Jeff Goins. I look forward to this time like many people look forward to a night of rest. God forgive me for taking so long, for leaning upon my own understanding. For years I have struggled with staying focused to write consistently. I would allow all types of seeming reasonable excuses to distract me from staying on track throughout the days, which turned into months and those months, eventually turned into years. Years of regret, years of wishing I had stayed focus on my writing career. I would always start, oh yes I could get started in a heart beat, although to finish on my own, well that’s the reason I have struggled all these years on my own.
I began writing in diaries that my mother gave me as a child. I don’t know if it was more of the “ right thing to do” or if she recognized something in me, because she continued to give me diaries and ensured that books were always readily available. As a child I used to find each of the fairy tales and other stories, which were embedded deep in “The Book of Knowledge” encyclopedia twenty-piece set we had at home. I can remember the day that the "Grolier Dandelion Library Book Set" was delivered to our home. 
” series were delivered to our home. A Raggedy Ann doll was included and she had a zipper located on her back, allowing for the storage of books, pajamas or what item may have intrigued a little girl at that age. My love for writing was further fueled when I begged my parents for a typewriter for Christmas and they told me that they couldn’t afford it and to my dismay on Christmas morning, there was no typewriter under the tree. My parents guided me to the dining room table where sat my first blue IBM typewriter! I screamed for joy as I ran over to the typewriter reassuring myself that it was really real as I press the buttons and turned the knobs, surely I was the happiest person in the world that day.

 As a freshmen, in high school, I remembered entering a writing contest. I was proud of my first story called ‘The Bus‘ it was like a ‘Twilight Zone’ story, I knew that they would select my story as a winner. I don’t know what became of it, since I didn’t win. I allowed that to discourage me from continuing to write publicly. My English teachers would allow the classmates to correct each other’s homework. Many times the comments on my paper were that I didn’t follow directions. I never understood how I didn’t follow the teachers instructions which only further added to my confusion and lack of confidence in my writing. When I attended my first college English class, I asked the instructor a question, his respond was “You should have learned that in High School!” I was too embarrassed to ask any more questions. Again, I allowed all of these negative events to continue fuel my lack of confidence in my writing ability. I hid my desire for writing instead of using the passion and fire inside of me to guide me to more appealing circumstances and people. As the years past and I started a family, the computer replaced my typewriter and I was able to write my thoughts down quicker and with less stress on my hand. I would find myself writing short stories here and there. I would take all of the creative writing classes available while attending in college.
A few years ago I started blogging. “Communicating Joy” is my main blog about the relationships between God and people. I have one called the “Five Joys, which I wanted to be about my life with raising my five children. I did do another blog, which I deleted because the information was too controversial. I have also started blogging about my cycling, although I think I need to create a separate blog for cycling, because my adventures in cycling are not the same as the relationships with God and raising my children is a completely different theme than the other two. So, I do have something to write about, my goal is to remain consistent, to become well known and sought after as a writer or even and editor. I want to live the life of a writer, to be free to write after a nice morning ride. To be mentally invigorated with the challenge to complete writing assignments with themes, research and deadlines. That is the life that I truly want to live. And it’s up to me to create it. Although, one thing I have not incorporated in my writing passion, is consistent prayer. I’ve tried to do this on my own. The difference is now I’m praying and asking God to help me to complete these goals, which are burning in my heart to come out. No more will I attempt to do this on my own. Constantly relying one of my favorite scriptures “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 KJV (Paraphrased) Prayer, prayer, prayer, and more prayer makes the difference.
So today, I am here, today I have written more than any other day.

Today I am truly enjoying my writing. At the end of the 31 days, I must find another project to challenge me to continue writing, for it is truly one of my heartfelt passions that had never died.

Writing: Access Granted!

Finally, after two laborious weeks of tedious reentering of passwords, codes and trying to reset my password for this blog spot, access was granted today!

I'm so excited to be able to start posting again on this blog which is my hearts desire.
Many exhilarating events have unfolded this week and I can not wait to start updating and posting all that has transpired since I last posted on this blog!

Happy writing ahead!
Janice

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cycling: Post Honeymoon Cycling

The Honeymoon is over, the pain has begun. My hips, my side and why are my arms hurting? Yesterday, I pushed myself out of the bed early to eat something before my ride and a hour later it began to rain, and rain hard. I felt that was a legitimate excuse for not riding my bike today, after all I was sore. As the sun came out and dried away the roads and excuses, I refused to listen to the aches and pains while preparing for my morning ride.
It's funny I wanted to ride to be alone with my thoughts, yet each time I pull up into the parking lot outside of the track, my heart sinks just a little when I realize I'm the only person riding today. There are other miscellaneous riders, but we just nod in acknowledgement as we ride past each other. It's not the same as riding with David's group at night.
As, I began my morning ride, quite prepared with my music, headphones, cotton balls for nose bleeds, water bottle, and helmet. I was quite proud of myself, until I saw another cyclist in matching riding gear.
You know, the multi-colored shirt and shorts with letters and numbers all over, mental note made to make that a goal before my first competition. Content for the moment I started riding on the 5 mile track around the Pompano Airport and then the music started jumping around. Ugh, I must get that fixed how can I ride to music that's jumping around?  The wind was no less relentless this morning as it put me through the test, the more I peddled the more it blew against me. I had originally planned to ride around the park twice. However, with all the challenges that morning, by the time I had completed a full circle, I was feeling weasey, a little light headed and just not in the mood. I packed up my bike. Gave myself a pat on the back for making it through the first day of wind and pain. Reality is starting to set in, do I really want to do this? That's what my body is saying, my brain was already trying to coordinate the next days ride.