Thursday, November 13, 2014

Forgive Mommy for Having a Very Bad Day

For some reason gliding my fingers across a keyboard releases some peace about me.
I found myself sitting at another "rock bottom" moment in my life, feeling like a failure at everything, and, like most women, comparing myself to the ideals of "nothing."

Then the next thing you know I am reading that article about 'How to be a better mom'... 'Don't give yourself such a hard time'... 'Mommy they need you right now'.. and blah blah blah; adding to my already "no good, feeling sorry for myself, bad mom, day." Leave me alone.
Somewhere along the line I started letting what other people had to say have an effect on me and where I was in my season of life; whether with my husband, my children, or myself. I learned how to take what they say with a grain of salt and keep pushing.
I won't lie, it has been an up and down struggle for me for four years to try to be a good woman, a good mother, a serving wife, a provider, and steadfast homemaker. And all while having two toddlers 14 months apart doesn't make my "tasks" any easier or my effort any less deserving. Everyone needs a piece of me; for something, so it feels.

I am pretty sure I almost had divorce papers pulled up on my iPhone last night when my husband walked in. He had already worked a long hard day and evening so of course that is exactly what he wanted to come home to. And I can honestly say what put me over the edge was somewhere between our son deciding it was better to relieve himself on the couch cushion, our son and daughter smashing goldfish in to the carpet, and then they both thought it would be comical to spit on to our pillows. I mean really? I'm over here just trying to cook some bacon and French toast, COME ON!! Don't even go there... Yes, I did get the spoon, and yes, we discipline our children and no they don't act like that all the time. But, this was the wrong evening. I was not the one and this was not the day.
After reality and God's grace sunk in; 12 hours later, I couldn't believe I wanted to leave over a pee stained cushion, goldfish, and spit. Don't get me wrong, at that moment of frustration those were some very good reasons to haul tail out of there, but there's a whole lot of bad that could go on if Paul and I were separated that would be worse than a pee stained cushion.

I was having a very bad day.

So, you'll have to excuse me if I stare at you with a dumbfounded I'd rather slit my wrists look while you tell me and/or comment with "you will miss these years and them wanting you".... Ummmmm, I'm pretty sure someone once told me that about my four years in college, and, well, 10 years later, nope. Not missing college. Excuse me if I flipping lose it, I mean LOSE IT, probably look like I'm going a little postal, but my daughter is acting like a drama queen, my son is throwing matchbox cars within inches of my forehead, my husband is picking up sweet tea instead of unsweet tea, washing clothes, making beds, wiping boogers off of everything, cleaning up spills, emptying a dishwasher, removing child from said dishwasher, repeating myself 2, 349 times about everything, can I take a poop and not have my son ask to see it? Forgive me if my jaw drops, I may even start to drool a little, because you are complaining that you are so tired and you have one child who can practically dress and feed him or herself. Forgive me if I can't get on my knees and pray at 9:30 in the morning while practicing an oomblamgata Yoga pose because I am praying while stuffing my face with old crackers from my desk making sure some old man who forgot his badge isn't walking around somewhere he isn't supposed to be.
You see, I yearn for certain things too, and prayerfully, in time, they will come. Of course God wants us to draw near to Him all the time. He even tells us in His word that it is better for a man to remain single because then we can give our ALL to God; our everything, our every thought.

So, here I am, in all of my glorious and raw, horrible imperfections and mishaps of a mother, still clinging to Jesus' cloak and asking Him to guide me through this season of my life because I cannot do this alone.
Will I miss our children being little, playing, their innocence and unconditional, forgiving love for me always? Yes, quite more than yes. But I am prayerfully looking forward to the years where I can have a meaningful conversation with Meadow, where we can all play and discover life as a family, and I can carry on a 10 minute conversation with my husband and get to know him, truly continuing to get to know him.

And with this I ask forgiveness of my husband and my children; forgive mommy for having a very bad day <3

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Joy, Responsibility, and the Bait of Satan

Now, before I get in to this long post, I must for warn you, it's going to be a doozy, because I have three points I want to make in this post about finding your Joy... So, grab your coffee, or whatever it is that keeps your eyeballs open in the morning.

It's been about six months of estranged, disappointing, disheartening, and not enough contentment in my life. Things that I was and still am praying for are just not coming to fruition and now I am in a state of frustration with myself and God; a spiritual dry spell and a blue mood.

Welcome to the devil's playground; the bait of Satan.

Satan hooked me on these three things:

A workplace
A non-existent relationship between a father and a daughter
A desire to change my husband to "catch up" to where I am in my own walk with God.
{just typing those three things, I just gave myself a headache-- that is an emotional/spiritual mess!}

All three of those leading me to the disaster area that is caving around me and causing me unrest and unruly behavior.

I remembered a saying that a dear friend of mine shared with me about finding Joy and learning to have a content heart with Jesus, before Jesus will give me anything else; knowing that He is the giver, supplier, filler, lover of everything good in my life. How could I forget this? I knew all this, but many good things said are easily forgotten when our hearts are drowning in sea of discontent.

Let me elaborate on my three topics from above and where the devil has almost won in taking me out on these three things.

A workplace-- Not every workplace is great and there are days where I would like to pack my office, flip everyone the bird, and take my family to Africa and run wild with the zebras... Reality check. Work is work, it will be here long after I have left this world, and it is a part of supporting my family, it is what I do and I like what I do. But, it can also be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually draining. Even the relationships you develop at work. I have since had to space myself from certain relationships that are not pushing me toward Christ, but pulling me toward hell. Turmoil, grief, and chaos in the workplace was slowly starting to steal my Joy, not only from myself, but from my husband and my children. Bait of Satan #1

A non-existent relationship between a father and a daughter. Wow! This one is a little much; but I need to be brutally honest and raw. I was and still am trying to force a relationship, a love that every little girl desires from a man who didn't make much of an effort to reciprocate for the past 31 years of my life. Why should I be surprised that I am not getting the response and love that I feel like I deserve? Well, because that is just how a little girl feels, and while it is okay to have that feeling, the devil is using it to his benefit.
I have a father who has just not made much of an effort to get to know me for the past 31 years of my life: this is truth. I love my dad very much and I will honor him as God has asked me to do and I thank God that I came in to this life of mine. I also have a stepdad who didn't hug and show much physical affection or verbal affection while I was growing up, but he did the best that he could and he is a great dad and provider for our family and to my mom. I honor and love him very much as well.
BUT Satan knows that is a part of my weak flesh, he knows how to push the "daddy doesn't love you" button and throw me off focus- to get focused on that hurt and let my own loving husband and children fall through the cracks of my misery. Bait of Satan #2

A desire to change my husband to "catch up" to where I am in my own walk with God. Well, ladies just stop it. Not gonna happen and you need to just let this go. {Excuse me while I burst in to song from Frozen...} My husband is supposed to be my JOY, not my responsibility. His walk with God will come in time through MY PRAYER for my husband. Wait.. What was that? Yep, there ya go... It might help if us ladies prayed more for our husbands so that they will grow in their own walk with God. Prayer is a powerful thing you know ;O)
It's okay that I may be spiritually stronger, in a different place in my walk with God. That's okay. And it's okay that my husband is three steps behind or three steps ahead of me. Release the urge to change him and let go of the responsibility to be the "leader" and just learn to ENJOY him and PRAY for him. The devil will surely try to win you over on this one; I mean you're getting pissed off at your husband while trying to talk about scripture, right? LOL!! Bait of Satan #3

Do what you can; all things in time.

Now, find the Joy: while the next couple of weeks are going to be challenging for me because the devil tells me every day that it's easier to quit and not to pray about anything, God's word says different, always:

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  " Philippians 4:6 

"Pray continually" 1 Thessalonians 5:17
"    Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts. " 1 John 5

I challenge you, for the next three weeks, to stay away from anything that might take the place of God in your hearts, to find your true Joy in the things and people that are right in front of you, and to relish in the light of the Mighty King- you belong to Him <3

But Jesus told him, "Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God." Luke 9:62

All my love,

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Learning to Submit

I don't really have a long and exacerbated post for this time, but a thought that has been on my mind for a while; a word -- submission.

I am trying to figure out this thing called submission, especially to God's will and plan for my life and, of course, to my husband. I am a strong willed, independent, stubborn bia at times; okay I take that back; at all times and I struggle daily with this.

God really has my heart strings pulling at some areas in my life that I need to get together. I mean seriously; almost to the point that I want to punch my own self in the face sometimes.

God tells me to wait and be still; to wait on Him; my season is coming --

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

A Time for Everything
 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

So I wait; I am still. I continue to pray and ask God to show me how to do all this- I know He wants to use my strengths, but I dwell too much on my weaknesses. I know that all He needs is a willing heart. I am willing Lord; I am willing.


Friday, October 18, 2013

A Government Shutdown and a Jesus Opportunity

I don't know what all has taken place during this government shutdown, but I do know that there has been some SERIOUS women shut down and some serious Jesus movement going on in my workplace.

It feels good to talk about Him, to just be with those who are missing Him; who know Him, but who are missing that feeling of His arms around them.

I had the opportunity to sit down with a co-worker of mine a couple months ago and share my love, my struggle, my undeserving need for Jesus and my every day stumbling walk to get closer to Him. She has come from a place, a past hurt, that, to this day, has her chained to the very place she would like to escape; her past. She has placed a lot of blame on God and how things have worked out in her life thus far. I've become a good friend to her, but I know that she is not ready to let go, she is not in a place where she wants to give up control and allow God to move in her life in His most omniescent way.

Wednesday, I witnessed another co-worker of mine just break down in her office, crying, sobbing, putting herself down. I came to her as a listening ear, as a sounding board, a comfort place for a good laugh. Lord knows I don't have it all together and I can usually always make her laugh with a funny "at home" story about the kids or my inability to look like I'm 21 anymore and how I barely have time to brush my teeth.
She just broke down saying "I'm horrible, I'm a terrible person, no matter what I do I can't ever seem to get anything right, I'm just awful and have always thought that way about myself."
Immediately my heart broke for her; I didn't know what to say, what to do, Lord give me the words, I'm like a deer in headlights. All I could do was throw myself on my knees at her chair, put  my hand on her arm and tell her that that is NOT true. Those thoughts are from hell and the devil himself, she is deeply LOVED, cherrished, glorified by the most high King; the ultimate healer and redeemer, the One who has made her in His image, for His purpose, for His time.
This wasn't the first time I have seen her put herself down, and for a moment, I felt as if I had ten plus years of spiritual knowledge on a woman who is old enought to be my mother.

Today I had the opportunity to share my love, my struggle, and my stumbling walk again. I didn't offer, but the opportunity presented itself; because I am lowly, I am no better than the woman sitting next to me, I am no less important than the woman down the hall who beats herself up everyday. I am just real, raw, and okay with that. She opened herself up to me and where her past has been with her walk with God, her frustration with Him, her "fed-up" moments with Him. We shared similar stories from our past of hurt, disappointment, longing, helplessness, the constant questioning of why do I have to endure this and go through this? Why didn't this relationship work out this way, why did he do that to me, and why did I have to lose everything for that person?
She told me the one thing she admired about me, I thought for a second I was going to cry, was that I always made her feel accepted, I always made her feel good, welcome, like she wasn't any different or any less deserving than anyone else. That made my heart sing!!
If that could be the one thing I left this earth with tomorrow, would be that I could just "keep it real" with people, anyone. That they truly know the love of Jesus is not about worldly status or the "norm."

Women today have just beat themselves to death over their pasts, over their mistakes, over why they aren't like the woman next door or the woman down the hall. It makes me want to punch out a wall!! It makes me want to punch my own self because I am guilty of it too.
Ladies you are BEAUTIFUL, IN ALL WAYS, and created only by GOD in His image after His heart and loving will. STOP. I MEAN STOP. RIGHT NOW. Apologizing for every little thing, suffocating yourselves under a blanket of guilt and a past where YOU DO NOT LIVE ANYMORE. The past is dead. Do you hear me? It is dead. Lord knows I have to constantly punch the devil in the face because something that I just got done burrying, he is no more than five seconds later trying to resurrect that mess from the dead just to make me feel bad about myself.
Lose yourself in Jesus. Your self worth, self-acceptance IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN defined and named by HIM. You have nothing to prove to anyone. He has declared your name and your value far precious than anything this world has to offer.
Name it. Claim it. Know that every day might still be a struggle, but stumble on to Him, fall, and let Him show you how to get up and fight.

All my love in Him,

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Political Christian Rat Race

I woke up this morning thinking about my new facebook page I want to start, or should I say praying about?
I see a lot of encouragement everyday about marriage and relationships but little encouragement for the working woman?
Don't get me wrong, I love that encouragement for my marriage, they are all awesome tools, but I want more too.

As a working mom who loves Jesus, there are daily obstacles I face and sometimes struggle with.
I was knee deep in this struggle a couple months ago praying whether or not working or staying at home with my children was doable?
Serious kudos to the stay at home moms, that is some hard work! Just being honest, but there are times when I'm about ready to pull my hair out just after a weekend. And for my working mommies, we have a tough job as well!
I talked with my pastor about my struggle and some other things I was facing. He re-assured me that if working was my way of helping my family then that's what I've got to do. You do what you've got to do right? And i love my job, I love what I do, but I'm still searching for that reward? Then Pastor told me, he reminded me that going to work everyday isn't just something I "do." I go to work to share Jesus, to be a light in a dark place. Do what? Come again? Are you sure? Not something I wanted to hear because that would mean that I would actually have to do some of Gods work at work, not me Lord!
Its hard being a light in a dark place, I can barely be a light in my own home some days, but hey, someones got to do it, and Lord you owe me about 4,653 little debbies when I get to Heaven.

So with all this said it made me think about our government, ugh, that just gave me a headache. You have people, who may or may not be christians, sitting in an executive chair. They have pressures coming down on them from left and right, trying to figure out ways to make an extra dollar, and the constant griping about another employee in their ear. Oh no, I'm not talking about my office, I'm talking about Congress. Ok maybe both.
The only action that sentence makes me want to take is to run in the complete opposite direction. I mean who wants to reason with that?
Most people are who they are and they're not going to change unless God comes down here and smacks them up side the head. It is hard to reason with selfish, unruly desires of the flesh. It is hard to be the example because then you're the outcast trying to stir up trouble, trying to make change where stiff shells don't want it.
So it starts with us, and we need to step it up, we need to step up as a people and prayerfully not let our country be handed over to the devil's hands.

We need to step it up and quickly help the woman next to us at work that is quickly spiraling down a tunnel she shouldn't be going down.

I had forgotten that the reward is there, I just didn't realize that I need to be using ALL my tools God has given me!

Happy football Saturday friends!

And remember "God IS with you WHEREVER you go"


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Knicks of Labor = )

Here is a picture of my wedding band.... the back of it actually. I found myself staring at it Tuesday morning while sitting in the dentist chair.

It is quite fascinating how much we are like our wedding bands; strong, solid, beautiful to look at. When we turn it over we see the knicks, dings, smudges of our labor; labor in marriage, labor with children, labor as a wife and a mother. Happy labor, sad labor, sufferring labor- all work done through our physical hands, through our hands of faith. All of the things that go around and around and around.
We forget what is beautiful, what is pure; the diamond in our heart's rough: Jesus.

I have been going to my same dentist for 15 years now, love her! We always talk about God and our families and your normal day conversation of how things are going.
In the fifteen years I have known this person, I never knew that she was facing her own battle. Many many years of knicks and smudges encompass her wedding band- the journey with a husband who was diagnosed with MS who's health is steadily declining. I listened to her story, her journey, her transformation, her fears, her praises, their beautiful children. A journey I could not quite come to grips with.

Right then I realized how selfish I could be sometimes and how powerful God is ALL the time. What usually took 30 minutes to clean my teeth; now took an hour because I was totally in love with God working on my character through my relationship with this wonderful person.
I knew right then that I didn't do my due diligence to my husband or my God by really praying for my husband; I mean praying for him thoroughly, from his head to his feet.
I had to immediately look for something, find something, a tool, an outline-- I needed some serious "how to pray for your husband" help :)

I remembered this book a friend of mine shared with me; been lazily telling myself that I would read it soon. The book is called "Becoming the Woman of His Dreams" by Sharon Jaynes. I have a couple of her other books and they are very good reads as well.

Before ordering the book, I did read the first chapter and wanted to print it off as a "go to" every day. If you are struggling with what to pray for or what to say, read the first chapter of this book on how to pray for your husband from his head to his feet. I pray for a lot of these things, but some things were new and very good. You can get to the portion of the book through this link on Amazon:

Just a little tid bit for you today :) Happy praying ladies!

Lisa Schipansky

Friday, February 10, 2012

What may be a New Year for you, is a New Day for God

I started writing this blog about three weeks ago... and so, it only seem fair that I should finish it -

So it seems as though God's greatest works are just not done overnight; apparently, they take a lot of time, days, weeks, months even. I am starting to like that more about Him. Before, I would want an answer now, okay, maybe within the hour, but I slowly discovered that God doesn't quite work that way, and His time could even be YEARS of waiting, of listening, of small suffering {while I just throw myself in to the floor and have a fit about it} =)

I have been in a quiet place with God since before Thanksgiving. I had a little bit of falling out with my family and the more I think about it and reflect on it, it was all over nothing?! Basically, it boiled down to selfishness and pride, on all parts. My heart and mind were a whirlwind for a while and I just chose to not really think about it, that God would give me an answer about what I need to do when He felt I was ready and could act according to His will and plan, not mine. In that time, my emotions moved toward the Holidays with crazy family {I use the word crazy lightly- you know how it is with in-laws/extended family, etc.. so don't get too upset} My baby girl finally turning one was having a huge pull on my heart strings and just reflecting on the past year with her and my husband.

I must say, I had a few run-ins with frustrations over the Holidays, but who doesn't? You know, someone would say or do something that you just have to do a double take and then make your way to the non-alcoholic egg nog {for me anyway, since being pregnant I can't necessarily "booze it up"?} We had all the grandparents in town for Meadow's first birthday and it actually turned out exactly the way I wanted it to. We have some in Orlando, FL and then over in Augusta, GA, and then two here in Huntsville. Hello grandparent madness!! I did everything that I wanted to do and I did it my way. That was the only time, EVER, that my baby girl would be turning one and I am glad that I didn't do anything different. I still would not have done anything different.
I got to take a good hard look at my surroundings while having family in town. I got to see what, we often, overlook- our place in other people's lives. I am sure that God had a sense of humor when He asked me, a woman who comes from divorced parents, to marry a man who also comes from divorced parents, so that we could love each other up right on in to grandparent land. Probably more so why my husband and I value our relationship, commitment to marriage, and each other more than anything.

I think what frustrated me most was that people in our lives spend way too much time just "thinking".. I mean we are constantly thinking, and especially us women, so I had about six women, their emotions, feelings, and thoughts all channeling in and from different directions. And when it comes to the grandbabies, what woman isn't excited and just all over the place? But sometimes we channel a lot of what we feel and think in to unnecessary territory because it was a part of our past, someone didn't love us enough from our past, we had a bad relationship in our past, and so we think that we need to fix that now, with the people around us, even in the grandchildren. Sometimes I really think we just need to stop, step back, and just listen and enjoy who God has made in the people around us. And, there are times when family can be frustrating, tempting, and just wear you out. Maybe God has placed such a big family in my life because He wants me to share or teach them something; that is, if they are willing to learn and listen. You can learn so much from your children, even your grandchildren; I think a lot of parents take that for granted. I think a lot of parents are still looking for what they are "entitled" to for years of upbringing and hard work. I do not doubt years of upbringing, hard work, and sacrifice are not valid reasons for some praise for all they have made us to be. That is a true testimony to be celebrated!
But, Joyce Meyer could not have said it better, "It was God's place in the parent's life to make sure they bring up their children and raise them according to His will, once that is done, the parents job is done, it is God's turn now to continue to make in them the young women and men He has called them to be; it is now the parents role to ENJOY their children and who they are." Joyce Meyer, "Eat the Cookie, Buy the Shoes"
I could not have seen this in a more clear representation in my own life, than a message my dad left in my baby girl's first birthday card. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. He wrote that Meadow could not have come at a more perfect time in his life, as it was a time when God was changing his. Meadow Grace was my dad's "saving grace". I do not know how much or what exactly God is doing in my dad's life, but I do know that He was up to something, that he was changing my dad, and my own child brought about a peace of a miracle. My dad has always known who God is, but I think it took him a while to finally have a real meaningful relationship and walk with God. And maybe I was never the "push" for that relationship, but it was my baby girl, it was his grandbaby that changed something in him, that assisted in changing something in him. I can say we've talked about God and I am so happy that my dad is growing a strong relationship with God and that is a special part of his life. And I must say I have never seen him smile and laugh more when we are all together and I love that.

This leads in to another incident that changed my look on things. A sweet friend of mine passed away. I could probably say that she was like a second mother to me, especially in high school when I felt like no one understood where I was coming from, she did. I didn't get to tell her a lot of things that I wished I had or get together again with her and tell her about the type of mother I had become before she passed away. I am ashamed for that; but I do remember her telling me {in one of our many talks on her balcony} she said that "being a mother changes everything, the kind of love you have for your babies is not like anything else, you will fight, suffer, and do and say things you never thought you would.." and she was right and I wish that I could share everything with her now because I know exactly what she would tell me. She would say "Lisa, you keep fighting, you keep doing what you know is right as a mother.."

Life is short, there is no question there, but it is not that short that God wants you to use that as an excuse not to do and not to be the woman of God, or man of God, that He has called you to be. It is not an excuse for us to walk in our own selfish pride because "we may not be here tomorrow": you are right, we may not be here tomorrow, but did you live your last day for God or did you live your last day for yourself? I say this because even in my own huge family, a lot of times we are thrown in about twenty different directions, trying some way to muster up the strength to please everyone. But a lot of times, people don't change, and their outlook, attitude, and response cause us to distance ourselves at times only because that behavior is hurtful to a family member. And then we are given the "life is too short to worry about the silly small stuff.." phrase that has been used year after year after year. And so it is definitely true: to a certain extent. The world is full of "silly small stuff" that I think more people get worked up over and think way too much about: you're running a few minutes late for work, you spill coffee on your shirt, your child pulls out 50 pieces of tupperware all over the kitchen floor, so what?? That phrase is not acceptable when important decisions, love, support and encouragement are asked of you from God and you are just not wanting to "give in" to what He is requiring of you.
If there is one thing that my own little family has taught me, that is to be flexible. We are constantly in a state of change, and we very well should be, if we are walking under an umbrella of God. We should never want to stand still for too long, that is the best opportune time for the devil to let us know what we are doing wrong.

Wow! I say all this now; as I am gearing up for another whirlwind, wild and crazy, love filled roller coaster ride with a newborn in the next week, because I know that another new year brings another new book of challenges. I like to think of my life as never having to "start over at the beginning of each new year" but that I start over at the beginning of each new day and I am thankful for a God who never holds me captive past the second I ask Him for forgiveness.

So-- I leave you with this verse, as it has been my favorite bible verse since I can remember: "When trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for great joy; for when your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow; so let it grow, when your endurance is fully developed, you will be STRONG in character; ready for ANYTHING" - James 1 <3