How I’m coping with the COVID-19 virus

I have seen and heard many reports about the COVID-19 virus that is spreading over the world. I feel sorry for what has been happening and I have been praying for a cure for some time.

So far things are normal for me. I am continuing to write and think of new ideas as I stay at home to help do my part in fighting the virus.

I feel that keeping busy has helped me with the anxiety I have been feeling about the pandemic. I been keeping myself occupied by reading An Irish Country Family by Patrick Taylor. In addition to that, I have been keeping up with my blog posts, edited my book, and producing my YouTube videos.

In my spare time, I have been watching a variety of shows on Netflix. I have been watching a lot of cartoons from Looney Tunes to Garfield.

I have been doing my regular chores, such as laundry, dishes, and yardwork.

Whenever I get anxious about the virus, I find that talking with friends on social media helps to alleviate it. My anxiety is more heighten at nighttime for some reason. To help with this, I play rainstorm sounds on my Alexa device, and I run my essential oil diffuser.  I love the scent of lavender; it helps me get a good night’s sleep.

If we all pull together and do our parts, hopefully we will be successful in this fight against this virus.

What have you been doing to keep yourselves busy while we are told to stay home?

 

Remembering my mom and feeling thankful for my grandpa

“I love you mom,” I said as I stood as a panicked sixteen-year-old standing in the living room. “I love you too, Amanda,” my mom said. Those were the last words that my mom said to me before she died from a sudden massive heart attack. The days and weeks to follow seemed to come in waves all in a blur. I had to work through my grief. It was a tough road, but one thing I have learned from all of it is I can enjoy and be thankful that I am able to look back at the sixteen years I had with my mother and smile. Days of fishing, dancing and cooking in the kitchen. These are the memories that I cherish the most.

It has been 15 years since my mother died, and in that time frame I have grown. My mother has missed seeing me go off to college, graduations, and many happy and sad days in-between. There are days when I wake up and I wish I could just sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk to my mom.  I hope as I write this, she is looking down on me from heaven and she is smiling at the young woman I have become.

After my mother died my grandparents took over my care. They have fed, clothed, and provided treats for me. Even though my grandmother died in 2018, I am still thankful for all the help that she provided. Now it’s just my grandpa and I. He continues to provide for me while I work on my freelancing career. He has provided food, clothing, shelter and more. I am thankful that he helped me fight for the education I received at The University of West Florida. After college, my grandpa could have sent me on my way after continuously looking for employment. He hasn’t given up on me. I can’t thank him enough for helping me grow into the young woman I am today.

On the anniversary of my mother’s death I sit with my grief and I miss my mother. I also rejoice in the fact that she is with Jesus, and one day I will meet her again in Heaven. Sometimes I look back at all the things that my grandpa has provided for me and I can not express enough gratitude. Like in years past I will treat him to lunch. I am not sure yet where we will be dining, but I am sure it will be great.

My favorite Valentine’s Day gifts I’ve received as a child

Valentine’s Day doesn’t really mean a lot for me. That’s because I have not been in a serious relationship, and my parents didn’t really make a big deal out of the day. As I think back to all of the Valentine’s Days, I had with my parents one particular comes to mind. I had come home from school, and we had this tall entertainment center. I happened to look up and saw a NSYNC board game. “What’s that?” I asked as I pointed. “I told you she would find her gift,” my step-dad said. My mother sighed. “Just give it to her early.” she said. My step-dad reached up and got the game for me. I put my backpack down and bolted for my room.

I was so obsessed with the band. I had all of their CD’s, a few posters around my room, and I finally had the board game that I had been asking for. I quickly took off the lid. I looked at the many pieces and quickly tried to read the instructions on how to play the game. Come to find out you needed three or four players to play the game. This made my heart sink as I am an only child. So, I got down on the floor and started to play the game by myself.

The next day my parents gave me some candy. Even though I had found one of my gifts early I still enjoyed the game.

I had another gift from my step-dad. He knew that I loved my Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game. So, since I was getting so good at the game he went and he made me a custom park for me. I remember enjoying the game, and playing it for hours.

What has been one of your favorite Valentine’s Day gifts or memories? Tell me in the comments below.

I hope each and every one of you have a happy Valentine’s Day!

2020: More Courage, Self-control and Joy-January Edition

What can one say about January? It seemed to slowly drag by then the days and weeks would fly by. I have to say that this month has been full of lots of disappointments and a lot of lessons. First, my friend reported back that my hard drive that I sent off could not be recovered. I lost almost all of my photos, and most of my documents. I have to say that I have found the courage to continue to write despite this drawback. I have also found joy in the fact that my editor and my email had some of the documents that I really needed. When I look back at it all I didn’t really lost everything. I just have to accept the loss and move forward. For me as a writer this takes a lot of courage.

On top of that I finally got the answer that I have been waiting to hear from Vocational Rehabilitation. Before I explain the answer, I am going to give you all the details of what has been going on behind the scenes. In October during my monthly check in I mentioned that my laptop was running Windows 7 and that it was getting slow. Since in January Windows 7 would no longer be supported I wanted to find out what kind of technology assistance I would be getting.  I scheduled a meeting in November where my caseworker and I called several different companies to find out what our options were. Most of the companies agreed that my current software, ZoomText and Kurzweil, was outdated and it needed to be updated. We found out that my current laptop was probably not going to be able to hold all the software I would need and be able to run correctly. After this meeting my caseworker told me that she would ask a technology rehabilitation engineer to look at my current software and make a recommendation. On December 19th the engineer came and looked at my software and told me that he recommended a new laptop with Windows 10 and updated versions of office, ZoomText, and Kurzweil 3000. We went over my needs. He then went and spoke with my caseworker who said he had to file a report. After the holidays and a bunch of follow up questions I got an email from my caseworker with the report. The news was not what I wanted to hear. The engineer said that my current laptop just needs new ram and new software updates. I am very disappointed in this since I have concerns about my computer continuing to crash and cause me problems. I am currently waiting to hear back about some follow up questions before my case moves forward.  I have to say that I feel that I am lagging behind on my work. I am just doing the best that I can at the moment.

 

It took a lot of self-control for me not to get angry at this. I called my two best friends and told them what is going on. They both reminded me that I should have joy that I am getting the help that I need. They are right. Technology for people with low vision can be costly. Right now I am lucky to not have to pay for anything.

This month has really been a season of waiting on answers. All I know is I have to trust God with my life and remember to have courage, have self-control and find joy in all of the things that life has to offer.

Season Of Waiting

After last week’s post about my themes for this year, I found out that I am in a season of waiting. When I look at the long list of things that I am waiting for, it feels like the list is endless. For example, I am waiting for an important delivery, waiting on my state Vocational Rehabilitation Services to get me what I need, and waiting for answers to my prayers.

Because I wasn’t sure what to do while I am in this season of waiting, I begin to get worried and anxious. As a result, God lead me to YouTube, where I found a sermon by Sadie Robertson called “Don’t waste the waiting.” I usually do not watch Robertson; but this time, however, I watching her and connecting with it. In the video, Robertson talked about praising God while waiting for God to answer prayers. I connected with her sermon because I was praising God while waiting for an outcome of a meeting that I really needed. I’m excited to say that God answered my prayer that day.

Meanwhile, as I am praying and praising God in this season of waiting, I am also listening for his voice. The Lord has continued to tell me that I need to let go of all the hurtful past that I have held onto for so long. For me letting go is one of the hardest things to do. I often find myself crying at night before bedtime because of anxiety. I know that letting go of this hurtful past can help me find more joy and peace and lessen my anxiety.

I have often felt lost with what I am supposed to do with my life. To help give myself some direction, I have created a box of goals. My goals are simple: Mail out a few things, get my passport, and continue to work on my business plan. If I continue developing my business plan, I will soon be able to graduate from my state’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program, which I have been affiliated with since 2006.

Have you ever been in a season of waiting? What did you do during this time? Tell me in the comments below.

2020: More Courage, Self-control, and Joy

In 2019, I worked on movement, patience, and positivity. While I was growing in those lessons God pointed out some other very important characteristics that I need to work on. Now in 2020 I’ve decided to bring these issues to light, examine them, and grow in them. My three pillars this year are: Courage, Self-Control, and Joy.

My first pillar is courage. For those of you who don’t know I often lack confidence which is a byproduct of being controlled by anxiety. I often worry about doing or saying the wrong thing and what other’s think of me. As a result, I have missed out on a lot of great opportunities. This year I have decided to build up my self-confidence which I believe starts with showing action by having courage to do things. For example, I have a phobia of going to the doctor because of previous bad experiences. When I was seventeen, for instance, I went to the Emergency Room with severe stomach and back pain. Initially, even thought I was a virgin, the doctor still believed that I was pregnant. After the pregnancy test came back negative, the doctor discovered the cause of my pain was from a kidney infection. Nevertheless, the doctor said, “I still think you’re a slut!” As a result, I have not trusted doctor very much since then.  Therefore, it’s time for me to muster some courage and make a doctor’s appointment.  In fact, the Bible commands us, “…Be strong and courageous!” (Joshua 1:9).

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Bring on 2020…

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My second pillar is self-control. Self-control is one of the fruit of the spirit. (Galatians 5:23). For those of you who don’t know I have quite a temper. Last year, for example, my temper got the better of me when I threw my Iphone 8 on the floor and smashed the screen. This mistake will cost me $400 plus dollars to fix. Therefore, God showed me that I need to improve my self-control.   He relived to me, in his word, “A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls” (Proverbs 25:28).  I am eager to learn to grow in this very important fruit of the spirit.

My last pillar is Joy. But my joy often gets robed because I tend to focus on my problems rather than their solutions. For example, last year I fell into a depression when my hard drive crashed, and I thought that all my work was lost. Then I found a spark of Joy! God gave me a potential solution when a friend offered to try and recover my data.  It is in the process of trying to be recovered as of this writing. God has shown me the recipe for Joyful living, in his word: “Always be Joyful. Keep on praying. No matter, what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  I feel that if I find both earthly and spiritual joy, I will feel happier and more relaxed.

I pray that you guys will see me grow in these things, and that you will be able to benefit from me sharing my journey with you. What are some of your goals this year? Tell me down in the comments below.

 

2019: More Movement, Patience and Positivity-December Edition

As I sit here reflecting on December and 2019 as a whole, I come to realize that it hasn’t been that bad of a year.

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From a Facebook post. 

 

My first pillar in my life’s theme this year was movement, and in the month of December, I learned that movement played a big part of my future. I have learned that I have a great group of friends, family and others that want to see me have success. A lot of prayers have been answered. I had two big needs on my heart and God answered them. The Bible says in Philippians 4:16, “Don’t worry about anything: Instead, pray about everything; Tell God what you need, and thank him for all that he has done.”*

Another thing that I have learned is to let go of a private matter from my hurtful past. With the help of a friend, I was able to work through one of the biggest issues that had caused me grief for many years. Now because I have been able to work through this issue, I can work on having a healthier and more positive outlook on life. The Bible also says in Philippians 3:13, “…But I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”

My second pillar in my life’s theme this year was patience. I have asked God to help me with this problem. I often want answers to my prayers quickly, and God has shown me that I must be patient and wait when it comes to getting answers to my requests.  The funny thing is God used a Facebook post to get my attention when I asked, “Why am I so inpatient?” The Facebook post said that Patience has to be learned. In the past month God has given me a crash course in patience. I am okay with the fact that I am still growing this fruit of the spirit. I am starting to see that I am getting patient.

My third pillar in my life’s theme this year was positivity. I have learned two important aspects of positivity this year. The first is enjoy your journey. My grandpa reminded me of this one day while I was impatiently waiting on outcome from a meeting. He said, “No matter what other people say, remember it’s your own unique journey and you should enjoy it.”  The second lesson is I have to do my part to help God do his part. This includes staying positive and not procrastinating. I had to learn that no matter what I am facing in life it is better to stay positive and enjoy the outcome then to be negative and enjoy nothing at all. It gives me hope knowing that God already has a plan for my future. It says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For the plans I have for you.” Says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

I hope that you all have met all of your goals in 2019. I felt like I’ve achieved a lot this year. Tell me what your best achievement was in the comments below. See you in 2020 with an exciting new life theme. 😊

 

 

 

 

*All Bible verses have been taken from the Holy Bible TruthQuest New Living Translation-Inductive Student Bible