Is it just me or has the word “literally” become the new replacement for “like”? I’ve been hearing this word repeatedly misused (yes literally) not just by gossiping teenage girls on the bus, but by full grown adults at cafes, businessmen and women in suits in the city, celebrities and politicians on television and in the media. Each time I hear it misused, I have to refrain myself from walking straight up to that person and slapping them across the face. And no, not in an exaggerated sense. I mean the opposite of that–literally.
What is causing this outbreak on the English language? Is it because we now live in an age where the vernacular of the general population has been reduced to internet lingo and hashtags? Have we truly lost all sense of form and structure in our way of speaking? Do we not have hundreds of more meaningful, accurately descriptive words in our vocabulary to utilize? Or are we so starved of intellect that we can no longer distinguish the difference between that which is literal and that which is simply an exaggerated expression? Yes, I’m sure you may have felt like a diva when you put on those high heels but no, you did not “literally” look like Beyonce. Yes, I believe that comedian made you laugh really hard but no, I’m sure you did not “literally” pee in your pants.
Stop the abuse, buy yourself a thesaurus, and get a better vocabulary. Literally.
My mother was born with a congenital heart defect. It caused her a lot of pain for most of her life, and it wasn’t discovered until a few years ago, when it was finally treated with a special type of heart surgery.
Ever since then, I’ve wanted to paint this for her. Like most mothers, mine has a big heart full of love and patience. I grew up listening to her singing hymns, oftentimes while she watered the roses in our front yard. The title of this painting comes from the first line of one of the songs she would sing called “In the Garden.“
Some people feel closest to God when they’re in church or at Bible study; or they feel close to Him when surrounded by other believers or when singing or listening to worship music; or they feel close to Him when they’re alone in a room, in prayer and meditating on the Word.
Yesterday at breakfast, my husband told me he feels closest to God when he’s creating art. And it’s his favourite thing to do: to create. He creates every day. He does it for a living and he does it for a hobby. So the only conclusion one can arrive at is that my husband must feel close to God all the time. And that’s the truth.
This caught me off guard because for most of my life, I’ve been told that in order to be a good Christian, I need to do everything in that first list–the Christian activities list. Of course, no one in the church actually calls it that, but we all have a general idea of what it entails. I’ve always felt pressured to have to meet these prerequisites. It’s what gets you approval. But from whom? God? Or other Christians?
When I stopped to think about it, I realized my relationship with my Saviour has nothing to do with going to church or not going to church; going to Bible study or not going to Bible study; singing worship songs or not singing; praying or not praying. I feel closest to Him when I write.
Each time I sit down to put words together to express what’s on my heart, I feel incredibly connected to the One who created me. I have something in common with Him. Shouldn’t I? Shouldn’t we all? Didn’t He tell us He made us in His image? Am I not supposed to be able to relate to Him on other levels? Didn’t He create us so that we could have a relationship with Him? A friendship with Him? Know our purpose in life and find meaning in Him?
My God is an Author, and to me, He’s the best writer the world has and will ever know. I’m only a small part of His plan. I’m here because He wants me to be here. I have life because He gave me life. I know who I am because I know Whose I am. And I love to write because my heart is full of things I long to say and share.
Many years ago, my Creator couldn’t help but pour out His heart into a book. He wrote. And His message is eternal and relevant to this day.
When do I feel closest to God? When I read His book and when I write.
I used to get in trouble for thinking too deep and too far and too much. I suppose those are things my mother doesn’t like because every time she’d bring it up, there’d be a negative tone in her voice. ”Why do you even think that far?” she’d say, almost disgusted. Then she’d follow it up with a Bible verse that said something about, “Whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and worthy of praise, let your mind on these things.”
Perhaps any normal child would take this as a sign to stop, to quit, and to avoid asking questions. But I wasn’t your normal child, and I never really quit the habit.
Now that I’ve grown up, I’m starting to realize what my mother actually meant. Maybe even why she didn’t like or appreciate my questions. It’s because people her age didn’t ask questions; but now, those people? They are my people, my peers. At some point, I somehow entered arrogant, monotonous adult land where everyone’s an expert on everything and nobody asks questions anymore. They just tell you stuff. Even stuff you could give a crap about.
This scares me. Grown ups, adults, whatever you want to call them–they seem to have lost all curiosity. Somewhere along the line, these kind of people stopped being fascinated with life. They’ve grown dull and boring because they know too much, have seen too much, experienced too much. They walk around confidently as if they have all the answers to anything you’ve ever wanted to know.
But ask these same people to define the word “truth” and ask them what they believe about death and all of a sudden, they’re silent.
Note to self: don’t stop asking questions.
I guess some girls collect shoes;
ones who consider themselves modern
and photographs of themselves,
while old women hoard
upon dusty, clear glass shelves
and the rich ones keep an eye out
for Fabergé eggs
and keepsake couture;
but give me a room with ceilings so high,
where books can be stacked upon stack to the sky
and I’ll be a happy, insignificant girl.
I was rejected by Hillsong.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell the difference between the world and the church. And by church I don’t mean a building or a non-profit religious organization. I’m talking about the people inside it. The ones who attend every Sunday, midweek, and all major holidays. Those people. The ones who call themselves Christians. They’re people too, and that’s the truth.
Did I expect my book to be rejected? Yes. Of course. What’s to like about it? It’s a bunch of stories about deaths rewritten in cheeky poetry with creepy hand-drawn illustrations. Frankly, I’m surprised people have shown any interest in it.
But those were my expectations of the world. The world who seems to forget about the God who spoke everything into existence in the first place. That’s who I expected to reject me. Not Christians. Not my own.
And yet the Bible tells me that Jesus came unto his own, and his own received him not. Why then should I have expected anything different?
I have no more thoughts on this matter. I can only close by quoting from Ecclesiastes 1:9 which says:
“What has been, will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
People love to separate God into things He is not. A dear friend of mine recently shared with me how friends of hers view the God of the Old Testament as the God of “wrath” and the God of the New Testament as the “nice” God. But to me, they’re one in the same. Three persons in one dude, so one God. At least, that’s what the Bible says right?
I love God the Father. Sadly, He’s always getting a bad rap. But that’s the whole reason I wrote The Old Testament Obituaries. Not to show that He’s mean, but that He is just and He is gracious. Remember, He’s the same God who sent His only Son Jesus to die a brutal death for us and pay for our sins. Yup. SAME GOD. The Father. The One who’s getting accused of being wrathful.
People forget that it’s always mankind who is screwing things up, not Him. There is no evil in God. The evil is rooted in us and our nature. But He knows our shortcomings. God is always looking into people’s hearts. He warns us and gives us chances, but in the end, it’s still up to us to decide whether to obey or rebel.
That’s why I picked these particular stories. Sure they’re disturbing, but they reveal a side of God that I really like and have always loved. His justice. Because in this world where right and wrong is constantly debated and the line between them is always blurred by society, it’s His final say in the end. When we put God’s justice into the mix of things, there’s nothing more to argue.
And there’s a healthy level of fear that comes with it. Maybe I’m just a total weirdo, but I’ve always liked that part of it too. The fear. The mystery. The not knowing why or how He does certain things or chooses to make certain decisions. I reckon I’ll have about a thousand questions to ask Him when I get to heaven. Mostly questions about deep stuff but I also have a list of really stupid questions to ask like, “Why does cussing sound cool when it’s said in an Irish accent?”
Maybe I’m just a freak, but those are my honest thoughts. I just wish people would stop allowing themselves to get all caught up and offended by certain stories in the Bible to the point where they start dividing up the Trinity into categories like “nice” and “not nice.” Seriously, we need to take a long look at ourselves first before we all start judging the dude who He created us.
I love October! Not only do I get to celebrate Halloween but I also get to celebrate my wedding anniversary. October holds a special place in my heart for everything that has to do with pumpkins and love.
To celebrate this special month, I’ve just released a series of greeting cards, postcards, and mini posters featuring all ten of my illustrations from The Old Testament Obituaries! Click on the new “MERCH” tab above to check out my online shop and peruse the selection. Order a few posters to decorate your home and help set the mood for Halloween. Or simply start a new tradition by sending a loved one a creepy greeting card this season!
Hey guys! Good news for all you techie heads out there. I’m currently working on the ebook version of The Old Testament Obituaries so watch this space for updates on the release date.
My book now has a Facebook page! Come on over and check it out by clicking here!
I’m happy to announce that my book is hot off the presses and out now! Can’t believe this day is finally here. I’m sooooo super excited!!! Check out my book by clicking on the “Works” links above.
Thank you all for your much needed love, support, prayers, encouragement, and laughter over the years. I feel so incredibly blessed to have you in my life.
Here’s a quick, backstage preview of the illustrations I created for my upcoming book The Old Testament Obituaries.
Frankly, I’m fascinated by the God of the Old Testament. He’s a creative genius with high morals, tough laws, and loads of justice. He’s so old school. He’s the OG of the Trinity. But people rarely talk about Him and when they do, they’re frightened or turned off. Except me. I like this God.
It was during my years at college that my admiration for Him grew. One semester, I was required to take a course on the Old Testament. That’s when a new fascination began–my obsession with all the tragic, unconventional deaths in the Bible. Before this, I had never heard of such stories. I didn’t even know they existed. Were these for real? I couldn’t stop reading. I was on a mission to find more.
They captivated and haunted me. The more I read, the more I wondered about the God of the Old Testament and the ways of human nature. But it was hard to find people willing to talk about this subject with me. It was as if death was too dark a subject for them. Or maybe they just didn’t like to think that God allowed such things to happen. But isn’t death real and aren’t these stories already written? What’s the big deal?
Maybe it’s easier to forget. To ignore it. To keep silent. But that’s not me. That’s why I’m so looking forward to sharing this book with you. I hope that when you read it, you’ll gain a new fascination and appreciation for the God of the Old Testament like I have. Then we can talk!
Revamp the front cover. Write copy for the back cover. Create new illustrations for title pages. Maybe one for the front cover too. Add the new data for the Cataloguing-in-Publication page. Change the fonts. On everything. Format the text. Remove full-page bleed for illustrations. Hand draw frames instead. Draft a new layout. Add page numbers. Set up table of contents. Add a brief author bio. Double check spelling. Triple check spelling. Done.
This was the stuff. It’s everything that was missing from my first review copy. I can’t believe I’d left so much out. I thought I could get away with just having it read and look the way it did. Maybe it would’ve worked fine as an eBook, but in print? It lacked substance.
I feel like I’m having to start over again. I guess I could be really frustrated but there’s so many lessons to be learned from this. I’m not in a big hurry anymore. I’m eager to finish it, but this time my focus is to get it done right. No more time for disappointment.
It’s been a while since I’ve announced I was in the “final stages.” Well, that was me speaking out of ignorance. In my mind I was 99% done with the book. I had finished wrapping up the copy and illustrations. The entire layout was complete so I uploaded the files to the publisher’s server and ordered my first review copy.
I received an email with one of those links from FedEx that allows you to track your package. The moment I got it, I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve, excitedly bursting with anticipation for that precious box to arrive. I became obsessed with checking the status every day and every hour. I’d scream out to my husband every time they updated its location. It’s leaving Connecticut! It’s in Memphis! It’s flying to Honolulu! It’s in Alexandria stuck in customs! Hey it’s on the truck!
I was supposed to do my grocery shopping that morning but who could be bothered? My book was coming! The front door buzzer rang. I ran to collect my book. This was it. The moment I’d been waiting for. I tore it open and well…there it was. It was my book in hard copy form; but it was also not.
Sometimes it’s hard to face reality. You picture something in your head; you build it up to be something, and then when you get it first hand, it’s so far from what you imagined. That’s what happened. I was happy but I felt a bit annoyed. Something wasn’t right. It was missing stuff. A lot of stuff. And I needed to figure out what that stuff was.
Hi there! Thanks for stumbling across my page. I’ve just decided to post some personal notes on here. So feel free to come along on this bookmaking journey with me. See you soon…
Copyright © 2013 Josephine Dayco