My ink pen has A-D-D . . . random thoughts from Carrie’s brain.

Sometimes the mind just wonders and the ink pen can merely tag along for the ride.  Throw your hands up, scream and enjoy the ride!

RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM CARRIE’S BRAIN . . .

“I don’t boil my relatives.”  I said that to a co-worker today as we were discussing our station Jet Ski giveaway.

Nikola Tesla was the inventor of radio, not Guglielmo Marconi.  There, the air has finally been cleared.  Get over it, Marconi fans!

N.Tesla

Mental Floss is my absolute favorite website!

I celebrate Pi Day, and buy a new Pi t-shirt every year just for the occasion.  This year’s Pi shirt was awesome, but next year’s shirt is even better!

I think we should answer the phone, “Ahoy!”  That is how Alexander Graham Bell wanted phones to be answered.  He invented the telephone.  Shouldn’t he have gotten a say in how they were answered.  From now on if you call me I shall answer with a bright and cheery, “Ahoy!”

The number of requests that I get during my daily request show is completely dependent on the weather.  Cold or rainy days = no ringing phone.

Lloyd Dobler is, quite possibly, the greatest movie character ever written.

lloyd-dobler

I don’t care how old you are.  Talking about poop will never cease to be funny.

If  d.j. on your favorite radio station says,  “Be caller number 10 (or 7 or 5 or 496 or whatever) right now to win this AWESOME prize,” chances are that the actual winner was caller number 3.  D.j.’s are lazy, sometimes the phones are slow and the song is short, and we have to get the winner call on the air by the end of that song.  If it’s a really really short song . . . suddenly caller number 1 is lucky caller number 10.  sorry.

Most d.j.’s have people skills that suck!  We are nerds that sit in a small studio listening to music and talking to a microphone everyday.  We are like that weird cousin that you smile at but wonder if they were dropped on their head at birth.

Junior Mints are the greatest candy EVER!

junior_mints

At 4’10” I beat being a “little person” by a mere 2 inches . . . 4’8″ for females and 4’10” for males.

Mean people suck!

KSHE 95 in St. Louis, MO is the oldest FM rock station west of the Mississippi River . . . and the greatest rock station in the whole world!

The St. Louis Arch is 630 feet tall and 630 feet wide.

Does anyone ever actually check their voicemail?

The word “moist” is a horrible word.  And the word “crotch” sounds like a cat hacking a hairball.

I dance in my studio when I am on air.  Than goodness there is no webcam in the studio.

I adore the smell of freshly cut grass, especially if the mower went over a patch of wild onions.

Everything in the world needs to be colorful and sparkly!

I still haven’t forgiven William Petersen for leaving C.S.I and killing the show.

My current work-related goal is to make the afternoon guy laugh on air.  He is completely undistractable.  We’ve all tried to kill his concentration but he is a rock.  There is no breaking him when he is on air, but I shall continue trying anyway.

Get ready to go into shock and call me a bad mother . . . I let my 8-year-old son use curse words.  So what.

My feet are so small that I can buy my shoes from the kids section.  Kids shoes are far cuter than adult shoes . . . and cheaper, too.

Combo words such as “staycation” need to just go away, like, now.

Just because a d.j. is in the studio and live on the air does not mean that we have any clue what is playing on the air.

Why is Kryptonite neon green?

Superman Christopher Reeve holds a piece of Kryptonite in the Movie Superman.

The St. Louis Cardinals . . . the greatest baseball team EVER!

Two of the funniest things people will ever do . . . Try to imitate a weird sound that their car is making, and try to lick their own elbow.  And GO!

When Noah build the Ark why did he have to invite spiders along for the ride?  Couldn’t he have accidentally forgotten then from the passenger list?  Spiders are horrible little creatures.  Anything that small with that many legs is obviously evil.  Look at how big elephants are and they only have 4 legs.  What the hell?!?

Who was the first person to look at an artichoke and say, “There’s something worth fighting for and eating in there.”  The same question goes for the first person to look at an alligator and think “Lunch!”

Cupcakes . . . AWESOME!

cupcakes

Is it possible for a person to suck their own spit?

This may be the absolute cutest video on youtube.

Office chairs that spin and have wheels are the perfect chair.

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

Until next time . . .

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Unequipped armor

If you have been a follower of mine for at least the past few months then you know that I recently experienced a life-changing event.  I opened my heart and made my fresh start with God.  A mirror was held up in front of my face and the person that I saw looking back at me was unhappy, prideful, arrogant, deceptive, and adulterous just to name a few of my uglier downfalls.  Up until that moment I thought my life was alright.  I thought I was doing just fine.  But the only person I was fooling was myself.

2 months ago, for the first time in 10 years, I went to church with a friend.  I promised her that I was show up and I was scared to death.  I was positive that everyone there that morning would see straight into my heart and see me for what I really was and make me leave.  After all I was a sinner so caught up in my selfish desires that I didn’t deserve to walk into a church, much less worship God who knew EVERYTHING that I had done.  I was absolutely positive that I would be struck down by lighting the moment that I walked into the house of the Lord.

I was greeted that morning by perfect strangers with warm smiles and handshakes and even warmer hugs.  I was welcomed and immediately felt at home.  The church put on no airs.  Nobody was dressed in their “Sunday best.”  People were not there to see and be seen.  They were there to join together in their worshipful praise.  From the moment that the congregation joined together in the first song of the morning I could feel God pulling at my heart.  By the second song I was singing along and fighting back tears.  I don’t remember what songs we sang that morning, but I do remember that I felt like the words were speaking straight to me.

Then our pastor got up in front of everyone and delivered his message for that Sunday.  It was the first in a series, and that week’s teaching was about the foundation of worship.  It was the first time I had ever found myself taking notes during a church service.  The basis of that service was Revelation 22:8-9 . . . “I, John, am the one who heart and saw all these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me.  But he said, “No, don’t worship me.  I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!”

The verse on the outline that morning that really struck a chord with me was John 4:23 . . . “But the time is coming-indeed it’s here now-when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.”

I had been lying to myself, fooling myself for so long, and suddenly God was speaking straight to my through the mouth of our pastor that morning.  “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (Mark 12:30).  I had been doing none of that.  I had been loving myself, seeking my own desires, hiding the truth from everyone around me.  I was a fake.  I claimed to have a belief of and love for God, but I was putting myself first.  Again that mirror was in front of my face.  God had a string on my heart and I could feel him pulling me toward him.

Toward the end of the service our pastor led everyone in the prayer of salvation.  My heart was racing.  Tears were pouring from my eyes.  My body was trembling.  Every single moment, every single thing that I had done in my life, had come down to that one moment on that Sunday when I repeated those words that would leave behind my old life and lead me into eternal life with God.  We stood up to sing and my friend looked at me.  She asked me if I needed to go to the front to pray.  I had no voice, all I could do was nod my head and the tears continued to pour from my eyes.  She took my hand and led me to her favorite prayer spot.  We knelt down and she prayed over me.  I felt a hand on my back as another person knelt down with us.  I was literally brought to my knees with the realization that I needed and wanted God in my life, that with me in control I was throwing away the blessings that he had given me, that I couldn’t do it without him, that God and only God is in control of my life.

There was no denying that God was not just making his presence known in my life.  He was standing in front of me with a flashing neon sign.  He had set up runway lights and detour signs directing me from the path I was on to the path straight to him.  I prayed with all my heart, left the road that I was on without him and turned to face him.  I opened my heart to his love that I had been turning away from for so long.  I opened my eyes to see his truth.  I opened my ears to hear his truth.  I opened my arms and eagerly fell into his warm and welcoming embrace.  I became a child of God that morning.

I walked into church that Sunday morning terrified that God would see right though me and find a way to drive me back out.  Instead he did see through me and he still welcomed me into his family.  “And they were shouting with a great roar, ‘Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:10)

I tell you all of that to tell you this . . . Monday evening I was talking to a friend.  He is not unchurched. As a matter of fact he was raised in the church, was baptized as a child, can quote the Bible front and back, and yet refuses to have faith.  He acknowledges that there is “a higher power” but says he can’t follow a religion that can’t admit that they “don’t know.”  He refuted the teachings of the Bible with an analytical frame of mind.  He said that the timeline of the Bible and the scientific history of the Earth did not match.  He told me that since none of us where actually there to see events of the Bible as they unfolded then how can we know that they happened as the Bible says they did.  He pushed on saying that we can’t know, and yet Christians are incapable of admitting that they don’t know.  He said that if Christians would just admit that they don’t know what and how it all happened then he would believe.

The resulting discussion was one that my spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:11) did not fail to withstand, but was not strong enough yet to fight back.  He argued his opinion and I found that my study thus far had not been enough to equip me with the tools I needed to fight back.  My faith never wavered but I fear I lost an opportunity to open his eyes to God’s truth.  I was given the opportunity to lead someone to the water, but instead couldn’t even get him to take the first step.

In all honesty I felt like a failure.  God put me in a position to share his Good News with someone who had closed their eyes and heart to it, and I went in completely ill-equipped.  That realization made me so angry with myself.  I couldn’t fight back my tears of disappointment with myself.  My friend thought he had upset me, said something to make me angry with him, but honestly I felt like I had let down God himself.  I failed in the biggest job that God would give me and all believers, leading people to him.  The fleeting thought crossed my mind of, “how can I call myself a believer when I can’t even refute my friend’s arguments, and then share with him the words that may lead him to the water and get him to drink?”  I couldn’t even plant the seed.  The writer had lost her words.  The believer lost her voice.

I’ve been thinking about this and praying over it since I left my friend on Monday night.  I know I lost an opportunity with him that night, but I have been shown that my study of God’s word has been found lacking thus far.  God gave me a pop quiz, like your history teacher in high school, and I was dreadfully under prepared.  I know that I will be put in that situation again, maybe not with the same person, and maybe not against the same arguments, but God will put me in front of someone again someday and give me the opportunity to share his word.  I can’t share it if I don’t know it myself.  Time to hit The Book.

Until next time . . .

Love

This morning I woke up with a heart that felt so full of love.  I’ve had a rough several days but today I finally feel at peace with everyone and everything around me.  Now given a certain person in my life I know that this feeling is merely temporary, but with the love and support of my friends and prayer to God to guide my way I know I can make it through the rough patches in my life.

It is unfortunately very easy for me to lost sight of that sometimes.  Over the last several days I have had to remind myself that God is in control of my life, not me or anyone else.  God alone knows how everything will turn out and he will always lead me in the direction I need to go, he will always lead me through my problems.  In those moments when all I want to do is throw up my hands in frustration, scream and cry, and angrily lose myself in the complete lack of control over my own life, that is when I most need God.  Instead of succumbing to frustration I need to pray for strength.  Instead of screaming and crying I need to pray for patience and grace.  Instead of feeling out of control I need to remember that God is in control today, tomorrow and everyday.

There are times when I question why a certain person has been brought into (and kept) in my life.  She is hateful, angry, and mean.  She is toxic to herself and to everyone around her.  She is miserable with her life and rather than try to improve her life she chooses to try to drag everyone down with her.  She is a sinking ship.  She’s drowning in her own self-loathing.  The past several days she has been coming after me.  Her hateful words and anger have been directed at me like a volcano.  I am not the cause of her anger or frustration, but I am the only person left in her life that she has not completely driven off.  Everybody else has turned their backs on her.  Can you really blame them?

Yes, she upset me.  Yes, I bit my tongue when I wanted to lash out at her just as she was doing to me.  Yes, I have been praying for her.  Not matter how hard she tries to pull me down with her I have someone in my life that is stronger than the negativity that is festering inside her like a boil.  He is my life raft on her sinking ship.  He pulls me back up when she tries to pull me down.  God is stronger than anything she can say or do to me.

When I wonder why she is being allowed to fill my life with so much hate and anger I think about the hate, anger and suffering that Jesus endured on the cross for you and I.  What she puts me through is nothing compared to what Jesus endured for us.

This morning I woke up to another day of life.  I woke up with a job to go to, a little money in my pocket, food on my table, the love of my friends and family.  My life is full of blessings.  Today I am thankful for the people in my life that love and support me, and for those that inspire my love for them.  Today and everyday I am thankful for God’s never-ending, never-changing love for me.  Even when I turned my back on him he still loved me.  Love doesn’t get much better than that.

Until next time . . .

Death Shroud (poem)

A black hole of hate
A tornado or misery
Swallowing, destroying
Killing everything you see
Eyes closed to all you do
As your life is laid to waste
Pulling everyone down around you
So you won’t be alone in your fate
You’re drowning in your self-loathing
Suffocating as you push everyone away
You complain about how alone you are
While dooming yourself to forever alone remain
You scream and you yell
You curse and you cry
Everyone has turned their back on you
And yet you selfishly wonder why
You are toxic and deadly
You are quicksand filled with rage
You are dead in all you are
Covered in the death shroud of your hate
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
04.21.14

A bad review

I know I am not the world’s most amazing writer.  I have no delusions of taking the best-seller lists by storm or putting Stephen King out of a job.  I do take pride in my writing though.  Writing is my way to purge myself of pain and heartbreak.  It is my way to praise and celebrate.  My poems and short stories are pieces of me.  They are my heart and soul bared under a microscope for all the world to see.  If you read any of my writings I may as well be standing naked in front of you.  Some of my writing is deeply personal and very difficult to share, whereas other pieces I can not share fast enough.

Then there was the piece that was a challenge to myself, a dare if you will.  It was an adventure with no road map.  It was conception, pregnancy and labor and all the fears that go along with it.

Last summer I set a goal for myself to write a whole book . . . chapters, plot twists, character development, the whole bit.  I did it to see if I could undertake a project of that size and then follow through with it.  I wanted to find out if I had the courage to put such a huge part of my myself out into the world.  I wanted to find out how far out of my comfort zone I could step.  I wanted to know if my imagination, which generally produces emotion-filled poetry, could write a book . . . a whole BOOK!  EEK!!!!

I wrote the entire book by hand.  It took two purple 3-subject spiral notebooks.  I bought a cheap laptop off of Craigslist.  When my creative juices would run low I would type the handwritten portions and work on editing.  I discovered that I love revising, but I absolutely loath editing.  I spent a lot of time in front of my laptop with my headphones on, listening to Kenny Wayne Shepherd while checking for misspellings and errant commas.  Bluesy guitar riffs are very calming when a self-imposed publishing deadline is looming ever closer.

I wrote the first words of my book while sitting in my studio at work on June 10, 2013.  I published it on Amazon on January 2, 2014.

Is my book literary greatness?  Not at all.  It is still riddled with mistakes that could have been alleviated by another run through of the fine-toothed editing comb.  My book is filled with imperfections, but it is my book.  I set a goal for myself and saw it through to the end.  It was an amazing learning experience for me.  It was such a roller coaster adventure.  All of the up’s of “I can do this!  I will write a book.  The words are coming faster than I can get them down on paper.”  And then the other side of the coin . . . the down’s.  “I can’t finish this book.  This was a stupid idea.  Nobody will want to read this giant turd.  Everyone will hate it!”  It was the greatest roller coaster I have ever ridden and I can’t wait to take that ride again.

I cried when it went live on Amazon.  I was official!  I was a published author.  I had accomplished my goal.  That was what the entire adventure had been about.  Writing that book had been my Mt. Everest climb.  It was crossing the finish line at the end of a marathon.  It was my Olympics.  It was proof to myself that I had the courage and faith to get past my insecurity and fear and open myself up to the whole entire world.  It was empowering.  It was liberating.  The only moment that was better was the day I gave birth to my son.

So when I read my first bad review today my initial reaction was to get angry and offended.  After all, the reviewer admitted to basing their opinion of my book strictly on the fact that they had only read the first couple of pages.  I am sure though that when Da Vinci debuted the Mona Lisa not everyone liked it.  When the Taj Mahal was unveiled there were probably people who thought it was hideous.

An artist can not please everyone.  Sometimes that can’t even please anyone.  Art and imagination are subjective.  You see what you want to see in any given piece of art, including written pieces . . . even this blog post.  I see what I want to see, even if I am looking (or reading) at the exact same thing as you.

In the cast of my book . . . it is my baby.  I love it and all of its imperfections.  I dreamed it up.  I grew it.  I nurtured it.  I stressed over it, laughed with it, cried over it.  I raised it from the first idea of, “I should write a book,” to the day I clicked “publish” on Amazon and sent it out into the world.  I am proud of what I accomplished.  I created a book where once there had been none.  I made my mark, no matter how small, on the literary world.  Nobody can ever take that from me, not even all the bad reviews in the world.

That reviewer may have thought my book sucked, but as least I took the risk.  I set a goal and followed through with it even when the road was scary and it would have been easy to quit.

My writing is not the best in the world, but I write for me.  I write to purge myself of all the things inside of me.  If you happen to enjoy my writings then that is fantastic and I thank you.  I don’t write for reviews or to be the next world-renowned author.  I write because I can.  I publish because I can.  God gave me a gift to tell a story and took away my fear of sharing those stories with you.  So if I could tell that reviewer that didn’t like my book one thing I would say . . . I am working on book number 2 right now.

Until next time . . .

A New Page (poem)

You were an addiction
You were a phase
You were a detour
In my life’s race
We shared a laugh
And a common interest in you
But when I needed you to step up
You were too afraid to move
I gave you almost all of me
To you I was an open book
But your selfishness kept you blinded
Beyond your world you couldn’t look
You used me to build you up
On my foundation of sand
But when my foundation washed away
You never offered a helping hand
You turned your back and walked away
I was no longer of any use
Our one-sided friendship thrown back in my face
As I was cast away from you
I tried to open your door
That you keep shut so tight
But your selfish anger keeps it locked
As you hide behind your fright
You were an addiction
A weakness, a phase
You were a chapter
But I’ve turned a new page
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
04.09.14

The Last Next (poem)

Until you look for the next
You’ll never realize last was last
Moments are fleeting
Time flies by too fast
What we hold onto so hard
What we give our all
Can disappear so quickly
Like summer flowers in the fall
What we think we can’t live without
Means nothing when it’s gone
Our heart keeps beating, we wake, we sleep
Life continues on
Assuming tomorrow will be a next
Only to discover yesterday was last
Burn bright, fade from life
Hold tight, let go fast
Look back tomorrow
See what has gone
Know sometimes there is no next
And the last will stand alone
The last will hold the memory
The unspoken, unknown goodbye
The last will keep its secret quiet
Of a next it forever denies
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
04.09.14

5 things the Bible teaches us about loving our kids

We’ve all been there with our children.  They are screaming, yelling, throwing a temper tantrum, making a mess, just being a kid.  We, as their parent, are ready to pull our hair out and sell them to the closest circus.
I am mother to an 8-year-old boy, and stepmother to a 14-year-old girl.  I Google traveling circuses and mommy weekend retreats on a weekly basis.
But at the end of the day our children are one of God’s greatest gifts to us.  Giggles, fights, hugs, messy rooms, bedtime stories, not eating their vegetables . . . I dare you to think of your kids right now and not smile.  Can’t do it can you?
I found this article on Facebook this evening and it is just too good to not share:  5 things the Bible teaches us about loving our kids.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  And remember the next time you are ready to call Ringling Brothers and have them come pick up your children, you were once a kid, too, and your mom and dad didn’t sell you.
Until next time . . .

Love (Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty)

She spotted him from across the room.  Her heart raced.  Her mind emptied of every thought.  She was captivated.

Dare she speak to him?

He saw her across the room.  His heart stopped.  His mind raced with nervousness and excitement.

Dare he speak to her?

Drawn to each other.

Love.

Finding your passion in life

What are you passionate about? Have you ever really given it any thought? What is the one think in this great big world that makes your heart race, that gives you peace and happiness, that makes you tick, that completes you, that makes you who you are? What is the one thing in the world that if you were to lose it would be like a part of you died?

Now don’t say that you are passionate about your friends and family. Those are things that we are all passionate about. But everyone has at least one thing that really defines who we are . . . that one thing that we are ceaselessly passionate about. I will use a few of my friends as examples . . .

My male best friend . . . radio d.j. . . . comics and superheroes
My female best friend . . . business manager . . . law enforcement and helping church
Former co-worker . . . radio station engineer . . . making music
Former co-worker . . . organizer of beauty supply shows . . . animal rescue

What we do for our career does not define who we are. Our career is merely what we do to pay the bills. What defines who we really are is what we are passionate about.

Me . . . radio d.j. . . . writing

I saw a post on Facebook recently that said “find your passion and let it consume you.” Take a moment to think about that. When was the last time you fell in love with something so much that you let it consume you?

There are unfortunately too many people walking around the world right now that have no idea what they are passionate about. They are so worried about having the right job, fitting into the right social circles, and always being perfect that they never take a chance at finding what really makes them happy. To find your passion is to find what makes your heart happy.

Rescuing abused and neglected animals and finding them furr-ever homes makes my beauty show organizer friend happy. That is what fulfills her heart. Overcoming the demons of his very ugly childhood via the comic superheroes he loves is what makes my best friend happy. Writing poetry, short stories, even the posts on this blog are what makes me happy.

Many people are lucky enough to discover what they are passionate about. For those people it could even become their purpose in life. My beauty show friend would love to be able to give up her job and devote herself day and night to rescuing animals. But with the free time that she gets from work she has done amazing, life changing things for so many animals. She has found her passion and she has let it consume her.

What are you passionate about? Do you even know? If you could drop everything right now to do the one thing that makes you happy what would it be?

So, what are you waiting for?  Find your passion and let it consume you.

Until next time . . .