Friday, September 30, 2016

I'm offended

It's been awhile since I've written a blog post like this, and I'm probably opening myself up to some criticism but I'm feeling like I need to share my viewpoint on things. Especially in light of some opinions I've seen posted about different presidential candidates.

This is not a political post, at least not in my eyes. I'm not saying who I think you should vote for. I'm not sticking up for one candidate verses another. You might say you've figured out which way I'm leaning, but to be honest, at this point in the ball game I have no idea. I'm not thrilled with either choice. That's probably about as political as I'm going to get.

What I really want to talk about is offense. How's that for being subtle? :) There was a time in my life when I would walk on egg shells around a particular person because I was afraid of offending them. It felt like anything I said could and would be taken as me trying to offend them when in reality it was the furthest thing from my mind. It became so stifling and hard to live that I finally stopped doing it. The moment I allowed myself to not worry about whether or not something I said was offensive was very freeing. I knew in my heart that I wasn't intending to offend someone. I wasn't out to cause hurt. I wasn't purposely trying to say hurtful things. And I couldn't control how someone would react to what I would say. I began to take control of what I could control and let the rest go.

It feels like a lot of what is being said in the media about a particular someone is that they are abrasive and offensive. Here's the thing about offense, it's a choice. Even if the person meant to be hurtful, that doesn't mean I have to believe them. It doesn't mean I have to take those words to heart, internalize them, and allow them to shape and affect who I am. That's my choice. Remember the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me?" I believe that.

Now don't get me wrong, words can hurt and they do hurt. But again, do I allow them to shape who I am and what I think of myself? No. Do I think about them and sometimes cry about them? Yes, but I give myself a time limit and when that time is up, I do my best to push it aside. Those words are not who I am.

A friend recently posted that she's afraid of the influence of someone on society because of their viewpoints toward women. She's afraid for her daughters and what that influence will do toward their future husbands. Even if these viewpoints trickle down into society, which I have no doubt they may, are we going to allow them to shape who we are and who our kids think they are? This is where I firmly believe the teaching of parents comes into play. 

As a parent, I firmly believe it is my job to teach my children appropriate viewpoints toward others. In fact, in a the general women's conference this past weekend, Sister Bonnie Oscarson quoted President Russell M. Nelson saying, "...we need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation."

This tells us that it is our duty to teach our children what is right, not society. We should not depend on society to educate our children on correct principals not only religiously but socially as well. Because they will teach them incorrect ideas. So if society has a less than stellar viewpoint of women, it is our job to educate our precious little ones on what is an appropriate viewpoint of women. We need to teach them how to stand up for that and show the world how women should be treated. Teach them that it's okay to think differently. It's okay to voice our opinions. It's okay to stand up for the harder right even though friends are choosing the easier wrong. Society doesn't dictate how they should feel and what they should think.

Personally, I will not allow society to dictate that to my children. Do they still have their agency? Yes. I can teach them the best to my ability and they still may decide to go their own way, but it won't be because I didn't do my best to teach them.

Some may say that I don't have the same perspective and fear because I don't have a daughter. I may not have a daughter but I have sons who will be dating and marrying someone else's daughter and I will teach them the appropriate way to view women and the appropriate way to treat a woman.

So when someone is speaking to you and you feel those stirrings in your gutt saying you don't like what is being said, what are you going to do? If someone speaks harshly, is abrasive, is rude, says things that aren't PC, speaking offensively, how are you going to react? Are you going to allow those hurtful things to fester inside of you? Are you going to allow yourself to be offended and in turn say hurtful things toward others? How are you going to choose to react?

What's interesting is I've found that more often than not, the people that are extremely offended are those who are outside of the conversation. It's not the people who the comments were directed toward. Most of the time those individuals are forgiving, kind, gracious, and respectful to whomever said the harsh words. It's relatives, friends, co-workers, and other outside acquaintances that are the most offended. Again, this is just my opinion. Yours may differ. This is just what I've noticed in my own observations.

Please don't take this as I'm perfect in this area. Words still affect me. It's a daily battle it seems like for me not to be offended, but in the end I come to the same conclusion. I will not be acted upon, I will act. I will choose not to be offended because the other person cannot choose for me, even if their intent is to offend, I will not let them tell me how to feel. How are you going to choose to react?

Friday, September 23, 2016

INFECTED by Gregg Luke — Book Review, Giveaway

INFECTED by Gregg Luke. This was an interesting read. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to read through it. The beginning was a little more gruesome that expected, and there was a lot of background stories that I didn't feel were completely necessary, although I understood why they were included. My body definitely tightened throughout the novel. I did feel like there were almost too many different points of view, although again, I understood why it was done in the way it was. It was a gripping read that had the pages turning. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to be on the edge of their seats and doesn't mind bit of mild gruesomeness.

:) :) :) :)

Mother Nature: the world's most innovative killer.
Deep in the jungles of Venezuela, mycologist Dr. Julia Fatheringham is engrossed in her study of native fungi. But what begins as a standard research trip quickly spirals into chaos when her associate's erratic behavior results in his horrifying death. Soon, Julia makes a startling discover: her partner was contaminated by an organism found only in insects. It alters the victim's mind in alarming ways, with an invariably deadly outcome. Julia is baffled by her discovery—this organism has never appeared in humans. It shouldn't be possible. There is only one terrifying conclusion: The infection has jumped species.
Now, in this remote corner of the world, a contagion of unparalleled horror rests in Julia's hands. But even as she works to contain the organism that could spell devastation of apocalyptic proportions, there are others with a different agenda. They've learned of her discovery and will go to any lengths to acquire a sample—there is good money to be had in eco-terrorism.
Armed only with her strength of mind and what courage she can gather, Julia prepares to battle the devastating scourge—and the terrorists determined to unleash it on humanity.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

SOUTHERN CHARMED by Melanie Jacobson—book review

SOUTHERN CHARMED by Melanie Jacobson. This was a darling read. I loved being in the South and having Lila show Max how great the South really was. I loved seeing the southern culture brought to life in a different way. Max and Lila's relationship was great from beginning to end. Lila' relationship with her students was heart-warming. There were a few details that came out as the book went on that made me have to rearrange the picture in my head. So, I either missed those details or it would have been nice to have it made clearer a bit earlier in the book. This is a fantastic read that I would recommend to anyone who loves a great book with some southern charm. It's a fantastic romance that anyone would love.

:) :) :) :) :)

Lila Mae Guidry is a Southern girl through and through. As a fourth-generation Latter-day Saint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she's proud of her heritage as both a Southerner and a Saint—and she doesn't take kindly to people who disparage either. Ten years ago, Max Archer was just that kind of jerk. As the mission president's son, Max spent his entire three years mocking the South...and teenage Lila. After Max's family moved away, Lila forgot about her sworn enemy. Almost. When a new job brings a grown-up Max back to Baton Rouge, Lila is less than thrilled with his reappearance, especially since everyone seems intent on throwing her together with this old adversary. Yet fight as she may, Lila soon realizes resistance is futile—their connection is undeniable. Max embodies everything she wants in a man—except perhaps the most important thing—her life is rooted in the city she loves, but his dreams are bigger than Baton Rouge. With such mismatched visions of the future, Max and Lila are faced with a life-altering decision: jeopardize their aspirations or risk losing love.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

HER FATEFUL DEBUT by @ggvandagriff —book review

HER FATEFUL DEBUT by G. G. Vandagriff. I had a harder time with this book than I expected. At first, I didn't feel the tension that was supposed to be there. I didn't feel threatened or alarmed for Penelope. All the words indicated it but the emotion wasn't there. Then, the method the author said was used to snap someone's neck was incorrect. I happen to train in that particular discipline and we are definitely not taught how to break necks (even at the higher belts). With those two things happening fairly early in the book, I had a hard time getting through the rest of the book. The characters seemed easy enough to enjoy but it wasn't enough to for me to get over my initial reaction to the book. That being said, not every book is for everyone so someone else may absolutely love this book.

:) :) :)

Classic Regency romance with a dash of suspense . . . 
Beautiful Miss Penelope Swinton wants to live out her life as a spinster in her beloved Northamptonshire, but with an ailing father and an entailed estate, she must come to London and enter the Marriage Mart. And if she must marry, she is determined to marry for love. 
In a brief respite from the social whirl of the season, she retreats from the restrictions of the ton to sketch in the park and stumbles over a French spy. When Penelope finds her life in danger, Viscount Beau Wellingham steps up to protect her, however he has secrets of his own. Wellingham leads a clandestine life as an agent for the Foreign Office trapping spies. In defending her life, he unwittingly puts her reputation at risk. 
In order to save Penelope from society’s scorn, Beau presses for a betrothal. Though she resists, he insists. Soon Beau is unable to deny the attraction he feels towards her. Before he can act on his feelings, danger rises again. This time, his life is on the line.  
With a desperate spy closing in, Penelope must choose the safety of what she has always known or a chance for love. But will she be too late? 

*A review copy was provided in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A PLACE FOR MISS SNOW by Jennifer Moore — #bookreview #books

A PLACE FOR MISS SNOW by Jennifer Moore. I loved this sweet story. Not only was it set in a place that I haven't read a lot about (Greece), the characters were easy to love. I was sucked into the story from the first page and enjoyed it all the way till the end. In face, I didn't want it to be over. This sweet story is for anyone, especially those who love to learn about a new culture and those who love a good romance. It is a delightful read that everyone will love.

:) :) :) :) :)

Miss Diane Snow is everything a British chaperone should be—she finds satisfaction in order and depends wholly upon the rules of decorum as she negotiates the isle of Greece with her young charge. But Miss Snow's prim and proper exterior masks a disquieting past: orphaned and alone in the world, she has only her stiff upper lip to rely on. When a brief encounter with a handsome stranger challenges her rules of propriety, Diana is unwittingly drawn into an adventure that will turn her ordered world upside down.
Alexandros Metaxas is a Greek spy working to recruit individuals to the cause of revolution. His mission seems to be going perfectly until he encounters Diana Snow, a captivating—if slightly cold—beauty. When their paths cross again, the ill-fated reunion threatens all Alex has been fighting for. But more importantly, it places Diana's life in jeopardy. There is only one way to save her: they must put themselves at the mercy of the most powerful pirate family in the Mediterranean. Soon, Diana is plunged into a fantastic world of gypsy curses, blood feuds, and unexpected romance. But when a bitter vendetta places her in mortal danger, will she have the courage to fight for life and love?
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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