A classroom full of words

“Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything.”- Proverbs 13:3

God has once again put me in a classroom. The lesson is about words, forgiveness and setting boundaries. Let me set the scene. Late Saturday night I posted a post about people fighting cancer. I went to bed not thinking anything of it; the next day I woke up to this comment: “They’ve usually had enough misery in their lives. Never judge until you know the whole story, freedom of choice is for many reasons. Everyone has known/knows someone with cancer. You are making this about YOU.” I explained to this person that I knew people with cancer and that I posted this for people fighting cancer. It was a chain post.

Says: careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything. -Proverbs 13:3

She then private messaged me sending me a verse from Tiny Buddha. I explained that I could not see what she sent-only that it was from Tiny Buddha, and I did not believe in Buddha but Jesus.

“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”- John 6:35

That made her angry. She started calling me a liar because I could see the title of Tiny Buddha, but not the main text which was blue on white. This text I could not see due to poor contrast.

She then proceeded to tell me that I was an idiot for posting the post- and that at least she could READ. I may have read the post one way and she may have not read the post in full. At the bottom of it said repost in honor of those fighting and who died fighting cancer. I told her she did not have to like anything I shared and that she could have just scrolled by it.

She then said I was not a good writer because I could not spell. I did make a spelling error in a previous message but that was because I was angry and because of my Dyslexia. Yes, as a Dyslexic writer I can and will make mistakes, but that does not mean I am a poor writer or an idiot. I can learn from those spelling errors. Correct them and move on.

She then called me a fool for being a writer. I love my career and I am thankful for the talent that God has given me. I know that not everyone is going to care for what I write, and I may get some criticism for my writing. But no one should be called a fool.

She then told me that I never take responsibility for my actions and that she was going to block me. At this point, I was hurt. I do take responsibilities for my actions. I do the best that I can do every day. When I explained this, she blocked me.

I was angry and hurt that she was upset at me for something she could have decided to ignore. I went to a couple of friends who told me to forgive her and move on without continuing to be her friend. A few minutes after this she unblocked me and apologized. Saying she was being childish.

Even though I have accepted her apology I went ahead and blocked her from being my friend and messaging me.

“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”- Matthew 6:15

You see the reason I did this was because she has cussed me out and has spoken harshly to me several times before. Ironically, I had just written a blog post on hurtful words inspired by this very person. I do not want to have negative people in my life. I have found that the more positive people  that I associate with the more positive thinking I have: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”- Philippians 4:8

2021: More Life, Peace and Goodness-May Edition

Another month is in the books and another chapter is written.

Life has certainly had its good points this month. This month we went to cracker barrel for breakfast. I had pancakes, eggs, sausage, and coffee. It was good to enjoy the company of our neighbors. My Grandpa celebrated his 85th birthday this month. It was nice to celebrate at a restaurant that I never been too and enjoy seeing my grandpa happy.

Peace was present this month. In the past Duke has had a bad reaction to one of his shots; he got a lump on his shoulder. Because of this my grandpa had to take him back to another vet for further treatment. Duke’s vet knew about the reaction and told us that he was going to give each shot separately, and he told us to bring him back if he had any problems. Luckily, Duke did fine.

If I stop and look at my life, I can see the goodness all around me. It has been sunny here in Florida, so I am writing this outside. While I was sitting outside my friend called me on FaceTime and we both enjoyed listening to the birds.

I have friends that care for me. For instance, I was feeling low and asked my best friend to call me. She listened patiently to my problems. I feel that today was a day that I struggled with my anxiety and depression, however sometimes a listening ear is all you need to make the difference.

Lastly, I hope you have been watching my YouTube channel lately! My grandpa and I got a technology upgrade. I am happy to say I am now the owner of an Iphone 12. 😊

Let me know how your month was down in the comments below.

Celebrating my Grandpa’s Birthday!

This past Tuesday my grandpa turned 85 years young. To help celebrate his birthday a group of his friends, including me, took him out to lunch on Saturday, to a restaurant called Jesse’s. We all had a great time. The food was amazing. I had a hamburger and fries. The hamburger was tasty, and the fries just melted in your mouth; they were so tender. The restaurant also offers salmon, stake, and many other amazing dishes. Everyone had a great time. The restaurant even gave my grandpa a free slice of bread pudding which is one of his favorites. When we were paying our bills one man from Australia walked over and paid for one of my friend’s bills. He was so sweet. He also offered to pay for my grandpa’s, but that was already taken care of. This small act of kindness shows me once again that there are kind people in this world.

Speaking of kind people my grandpa is one amazing man. For those of you who do not know my story, I have been living with my grandpa for over half of my life. My mother died of a heart attack unexpectedly. After that, my father abandoned me, by leaving me on their doorstep, after a short weekend stay. My grandpa stepped up and started caring for me. He has provided me with food, shelter, clothing, and more. He helped me complete my high school diploma which my mother and I fought so hard for. After that he could have kicked me out. Instead, he allowed me to stay and go on to earn my bachelor’s degree.

He continues to support me while I work on starting my own business. It is a tough job, but without my grandpa’s support I would not be where I am today. I love you grandpa and thank you so much for the love and care you have and continue to provide for me.

On his actual birthday I surprised him with a card and some spending money and a cake. He was really surprised since he did not know that I bought it for him the night before when we did a quick grocery run to Walmart.  To continue his celebration Grandpa and I went to Crazy Horse Café and we had fried chicken. Then we went home to have his favorite Coconut cake. It was delicious!

@amandagenen

Today is my grandpa’s 85th birthday! Help me celebrate by wishing him a happy birthday down in the comments! #birthday #85birthday #happybirthday

♬ Happy Birthday – Jovanie

Long Lost Friends Connected Through Technology

“I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19)

If you watched my baptism video, you know my seeds of faith started when my middle school friend Kayleigh started sharing the gospel and about God’s grace. 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

After I moved to Florida, I spoke to Kayleigh for the last time, because we lost contact.

In 2003 during a father-daughter date I gave my life over to Christ. For years after this I would often think about Kayleigh and the lessons she taught me.

My heart burned to tell her it was because of her courage that she shared her faith with me that I accepted Christ.

Before and after my baptism I asked God for Kayleigh and me to reconnect. After my baptism, a friend of mine reached out asking if I was still connected.  I told her no. She told me that she was praying.

Says: God answered my prayers. I found the young woman who had the courage to share her faith with me back in middle school. Because of her courage I accepted Jesus as a young teenager.
“Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24)

On April 20, I started to look for Kayleigh. I started by looking for her in the last town we were together. I found four Kaylee’s. Only one reminded me of her. I left her a message asking if she was my friend from years ago.  I sat on my bed and thought. Another name came to mind! Meagan! I found her name on Facebook and I wrote her a brief message and waited. She responded. Meagan thought about it for a moment and come to find out I had Kayleigh’s name spelled wrong and she was married which meant she had a different last name. Luckily, she and Meagan were still friends on Facebook. 
I sat at my desk and cried while I gave thanks to God. 


I quickly reached out to Kayleigh and within minutes she responded. I cried again praising God for this answered prayer. I told her thank you for sharing her faith with me and because of her courage I accepted Jesus as a young teenager. 




A message from Kayleigh: Hearing that has completely made my day Amanda. I am SO happy you came to know Jesus.
Kayleigh and I talked the following Friday, and it was a great chat.

Thank you, Jesus for her words that lead me to you. Thank you for connecting me to my friend, Amen.

Mother’s Day Reflection

“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”- Exodus 20:12

God commands children to honor their father and mother- for me that also means honoring those who have stepped in to take her place. My mother died, from a heart attack, when I was just sixteen. Mother’s Day is a day to sit back and reflect on the memories that I had with my mother. My mother and I enjoyed fishing, cooking together, playing video games, and just spending time together. She taught me many lessons like being thankful for what we had, to work hard when I was attending school, and that God would take care of me.

One of the last lessons she taught me was that she made a mistake raising me to be fearful. We were at Fort Pickens and we were going down some stone steps that did not have any handrails. I was worried about falling and I did not want to go down. My grandma was also worried about me falling. My mother wanted me to focus on looking out while stepping down instead of watching my feet. She knew that I needed experience with different textures due to my visual impairment. I made it down the stairs. That night my mother and I talked about the day. She told me something along the lines of, “Amanda, I am sorry that I raised you to be fearful. I shouldn’t have done that. I want to help you to be more confident.” After this conversation she started to work on that, however in February she died.

One of the last things I said to my mother before she died was “I love you.” Those words are words I cherish in my heart.

After she died my grandparents took over my care. My grandparents said they would provide everything they could for me as long as they are able. Both my grandparents have kept their promise.

Even though my grandma is no longer here she taught me many lessons. One of those lessons is not to let fear and worry consume me. My grandma worried about everything. Her health, the dog, etc. Now I am trying to live worry free.

So this mother’s day I will be thinking about the women who have helped me become the woman I am today.

2021:More Life, Peace and Goodness-April Edition

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

This month was a rocky one. I am glad that May starts a fresh Chapter.

Life has been up and down just like a roller coaster. I am excited for October because I have a big trip planned. Sometimes I wish it were already here, however I know I must be patient. My editor and I have been working hard on my Nystagmus book. I have a few more things to add to my book then my editor and I will review it one more time before it is published. I had a meeting with my graphics designer, and we have a potential book cover. I cannot wait for my book to be in my hands. 

I have been working on training my dog Duke. We have been working on come and on how to heel nicely and ignoring other dogs while he is walking. He is improving. Last year, Duke got into two fights with two other dogs. It really scared me because I did not know what to do. Luckily, the owners of these two dogs were able to brake up the fights and no one was hurt. Since then, I have been scared to take Duke on a walk because I do not know if a loose dog will run up on us or not. This caused me to be afraid and because of this I have not been walking Duke. My friends and family have been supportive of me taking Duke on short walks. I have my treat bag. When he heels next to me and focuses on me rather than distractions, he gets a treat. Because of our hard work both of us have been losing the weight that we have gained during lockdown. I feel happier and healthier.

Life comes with excitement and disappointment. Two weeks ago, I had a frustrating day. Finding out that my state Identification card may or may not be accepted in certain places-depending on the company’s policy is really irritating. Not finding a replacement shirt made me sad. However, I am thankful that God did show me to be thankful in all situations.

I had some peace during this month. God showed me how to have peace in my heart with words. My grandpa and I were working out in the yard, and a young man yelled out the window for him to “Move it ***.” My grandpa just kept walking. I asked him if he had heard what the young man had said. He said no. I told him. He told me that it is better to keep walking than get angry.

God showed me his goodness by connecting me with other Christians. My friend, Andrea told me to keep writing for the Lord no matter what my numbers on my blog may be. I also met another Christian, who is a financial advisor who reminded me to keep running the race for Christ and to give when I can, no matter if it is with time or money, God can use it for his glory.

This Friday, I went to the local mall for a few hours. I enjoyed my time there. I got a birthday card for my grandpa, and a worry stone and some candy for myself. My grandpa and I had lunch together at Red Robin. We both had fish for our main course. We had fried pickles for an appetizer. I treated myself to a chocolate milkshake. It really hit the spot.

God reconnected me with Kayleigh. Years ago, she sowed the seed that led me to Jesus. Praise God!

How was April for you? Tell me in the comments below.  

Letting the words of others hurt your heart

“They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows.”- Psalm 64:3

Have you ever had someone say something mean to you and it made you cry? I sure have. The past few days I have had trouble in my heart because my heart is filled with pain from hurtful things people have said to me in the past. I just cannot seem to get rid of the pain. Let me give you an example.

Last October, I texted a friend of mine to let her know about my tooth ache and the fact that I might have needed surgery to fix my jaw. I do not know what was wrong with her that day, but during my appointment she started to speak cruelly to me by saying things like, “Who is going to pay for it? Your grandfather is not going to live long and once he dies you will be homeless. You only get twenty dollars a week. You do not know how much it costs to live independently. Your writing is not that good, and you’ll never make it to England. Furthermore, you have bad hygiene because you do not shave.”

Text after text I tried to explain that I walk in God’s grace every day, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) I also explained that if God wants me to go to England, then he would provide a way. “For I know 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.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

As far as the bad hygiene, I was having an allergic reaction to my razor. My nurse advised me to take a week off in between to let my legs heal from the swollen welts that would form on my legs.

 Even though she came back to me the next day and apologized to me, I still carry the hurtful words in my heart.

When I share my story about living with my grandpa, many people either imply or outwardly call me stupid or poor. I have a college degree that I am learning to be thankful for, and I am not poor by choice. I believe that God is using the loss of my mother and living with my grandpa for a reason. I may not know what the reason is, but it is to teach me something for sure. Perhaps, I can learn something from the Apostle Paul when he said, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

Here is another example of hurtful words. I recently bought an Amazon Echo. I needed to upgrade from the one I currently have because my 2nd generation Echo was going bad. The device was not responding to me, and the sound quality was getting worse. A friend blessed me with a gift card from Amazon, and because I had some money left on it, I found that there was a sale on the Echo devices. I was happy to get this upgrade because I use it for work. My aunt’s response was why did I need to update it, and she was shocked that my device was only two or three years old.  When my aunt asked why I needed to update my Amazon Echo, I felt as though she was criticizing my purchasing decisions. I think carefully before purchasing items to determine if it is the best choice.

As you can see many words have entered my heart and have hurt my heart and I think about them often.

Words can also hurt others. Yesterday, as my grandpa and I were cleaning the yard, a young man yelled at my grandpa, “Move you ****” I walked up to my grandpa after this offense and asked if he was okay. He told me that he did not hear what the young man said, I told him. My grandpa just continued to work. While I was working, I felt anger. I felt it and then let it go. After we finished working, I asked grandpa about the incident, He told me that the young man was probably trying to show off to his friends and it is better to let it go and continue to work. He was right. Later, I told my best friend about it and she agreed. God is showing me through my Grandpa’s response, that words do not have to hurt.

Instead of hurtful words, I wish more people would take the bible’s advice when it comes to speaking, “Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)

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