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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Life of an INT/FJ - According to Pinterest

Mornin', y'all!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I know I did! :D

I'm going to jump right into today's post, one that I was hesitant to try (you might realize why as you read). But I'm going to give it a shot anyway... :)

So, after taking the MBTI personality test multiple times, I have determined that I am a...

INT/FJ

I ended up with INFJ the majority of the times I took the quiz, although after reading about that particular type, I seem to be in between the F/T portion of the personality, and I relate on a major scale to ISFJs, as well. Obviously, no type really fits anyone perfectly.

Well, as you can probably figure out from the 'I' in INFJ, I am more of an introvert... *hides*

I was always a very quiet, reserved person, especially in group conversations, and even more so if I didn't know everyone in the group well. Everyone would always make comments like, "Livi, you're so quiet!" or, "You've hardly said a word this whole time."
I like to listen, to analyze people *notastalker*. Sometimes I honestly just plain zone out.


On the other hand, once I feel comfortable, or am with a smaller group, although I still prefer to listen, I am more likely to speak up or burst out laughing. I'm not particularly afraid to give a speech (as long as I'm familiar enough with it), I always have fun doing skits and dramas, and I LOVE being on the kids' church dance team.

I used to be a teensy bit jealous of extroverts. I had a friend from church who was the biggest extrovert you could ever meet. They never seem to have trouble introducing themselves to others or jumping headlong into a spontaneous idea. They don't particularly care if they look 'stupid' in front of others; they go for it. (Whatever it may be.)

I wished I was like that. That I could walk right up and start a conversation with someone about anything in the world and not have them look at me like I just fell from the sky. Or that I wouldn't lie in bed every night reliving every single awkward conversation I'd had in my life and cringing at all of them. (Not saying extroverts don't do this, either, just my opinion.) :)

But, when it comes down to it, I think I've finally realized being and introvert is not a bad thing. Everyone is different, and everyone was created by God, who is perfect. :D Therefore, our personalities are essentially what He created them to be.

Whether you are an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert, don't be ashamed of the fact!


So, after reading about this type and scouring Pinterest, I came up with some memes and points about my personality I'd like to share. Hope you enjoy getting to know me better! (Warning: Lots of memes ahead! ;P)


 :

To start off, I'm going to list a couple of truths about INFJs:

1. INFJs can be stubborn once they believe they're in the right, especially if it has to do with their values.

Oh, yes. I always was quite the stubborn child (maybe a little too stubborn sometimes), and that stubbornness has stuck with me. I pray it will continually be used for good and to stand up for right. :)


Today is that day...you have been warned ;):
Okay, maybe not the caffeine... ;P

2. INFJs tend to keep important things to themselves and need two things to thrive: trust and safety.


 :
It does. And it's happened too many times.

 :
This is more where my ISFJ side comes into play... :P

 :
I promise I remember your name even though you have no idea who I am.
(It used to upset me when others didn't remember details about me or special things I'd shared with them. Then I realized not everyone is like this.)

 :
Come closer or go away:
lol, yes. Too much small talk. XD


Last, but certainly not least...

3. INFJs hardly ever initiate anything. They like it when the other person starts the conversation, contact, etc. (Although they will if it's important enough to them.)

I relate to this more than anything else included in this personality type. I always feel as if I'm bothering the other person, especially if they don't respond quickly (even though I know that isn't always the case). :P
In the latter half of this past year (more in the past few months), I've made a couple of new friendships in real life, for which I am so thankful; it cut back some of the hurt from being left out/excluded from some other things (which is something I've struggled with a lot).

 :
Haha, yup. Online and in real life. XD

INFJ:
 :
I've gotten to this point before, and it's hard for me to stop trying,
especially if I do want to be your friend.

 :
I'm honestly never sure XD

Congratulations if you've made it this far! ;P

And. to finish off this post, here's a quote I just discovered by Jane Austen that I absolutely love :
Love this <3


I hope you all enjoyed getting to know some things about me I wouldn't normally share for fear of being misunderstood. But everyone is different; everyone has their quirks, problems, insecurities, and little special things that make them them! Don't be afraid of who you are, or that others might judge you based on such. God made each and every one of us unique! :)

Start off the New Year bolder, stronger, and more courageous than ever before!! Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!!!!!!!!!!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." 
Psalm 139:14

Have a blessed day!

~Livi Jane 










Sunday, December 25, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!

Guys guys guys!


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





I am so excited!! I love Christmas so much! :D I pray you are all having a wonderful day so far!


I'm so happy and cheery, but at the same time, a little sad. The season always goes by way too fast! I had a wonderful time participating in this Twelve Days of Christmas linkup! A huge, well-deserved thank you goes out to Faith for arranging this! Love ya, girl! ;)


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Visit Faith’s blog for the last posts of this linkup! Hope you've all enjoyed so far!


Since it is Christmas, I won't be dragging this post out, but I wanted to add something in real quick…


Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season! As you celebrate with family and friends today, remind yourself the reason we are celebrating! Thank You Jesus for coming down to Earth to save us!


All right, today I have the conclusion to Home for Christmas. I very much hope you have all enjoyed reading it this far and enjoy the ending just as much. Thanks for all of your feedback; I appreciate it! (And I do have several more short stories I plan to post in the near-future!!)


Okay, okay, enough of my rambling. Here you are! And Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


***


I'm dreaming tonight of a place I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you…

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents by the tree

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have some snow and mistletoe
And presents by the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
If only in my dreams


***

Christmas Day dawned bright and clear, as if the heavens were declaring the celebration of Christ’s birth.
Inside the Taylor home, however, things were not quite so cheery.
Although Alycia had managed to bring herself to set the girls’ presents underneath the tree, neither of them seemed particularly interested. They had called off all plans to celebrate the day with family, insisting on the fact that they'd rather be alone on this first Christmas without Brad.
Kat and Gracelyn eventually pulled themselves from their rooms and managed to eat a little bit of the pancakes their mom had made for them. She tried to encourage them, but the two girls saw through her fake smile, and the mood stayed somber, even as the girls were convinced to open their presents.
Alycia had to fight back tears when Kat pulled from her stocking her own dog tags. And when Gracelyn reached into a snowman-covered bag and slid out the Army sweatshirt she and Brad had picked out together on his last leave, she felt a salty tear roll down her cheek. She brushed it away and tried to smile when the girls handed her the gifts they bought for her with their own money.
“These are beautiful, Kat,” she said, holding up a pair of glistening earrings. “Thank you.”
A half-smile turned up the corners of the girl’s mouth. “You're welcome,” she offered in return.
“Here, Mom, open mine,” Grace begged.
Ding-dong.
Alycia frowned. Who was it this time? On Christmas Day, no less.
She silently prayed it wasn't more bad news–although what worse news could be brought than had only days before, she didn't know.
“I'll be right back,” she informed her daughters.
Pulling her cardigan tighter around herself, Alycia unlocked the door and pulled it open. She stood, staring confusedly at the man before her.
He was young, dressed in a soldier’s uniform. Short blond hair fluttered slightly in the cold, rough wind outside. His blue eyes were bloodshot, and dark bags underneath them indicated he hadn't slept much in recent days.
“Yes?” Alycia watched him.
He cleared his throat, intertwining his fingers timidly. “Sorry to bother you on Christmas, but are you Mrs. Alycia Taylor?”
“I am.” Alycia’s eyes stopped on the right side of the young man’s chest, where his last name was printed across.
Lorance. Her mind ran wild. That was the last name of the soldier Brad had given his ticket to, wasn't it?
“My name’s James Lorance, ma’am,” he continued, rocking back and forth on his heels like a nervous schoolboy. “I–I knew your husband.”
“Yes, it seems you did.” Alycia let her voice grow cold.
“I'm so sorry.” Jim’s voice caught, and he had to pause for a moment to regain his composure.
“I don't know if you were told, but your–Brad–had his earlier plane ticket transferred to me.”
“I was informed,” Alycia responded crisply, crossing her arms.
“Ma’am, I can't tell you how much I regret letting him–” Jim’s voice broke. “I'm so sorry,” he whispered again.
“Thank you, but I see no need for your apologies. My husband is dead, and nothing can bring him back.”
Jimmy’s lip trembled. “I know, ma’am. I know I probably don't deserve to be forgiven.” He hung his head.
Alycia felt herself soften. “Forgive me, Mr. Lorance. I–I haven't been quite myself these past few days.”
He nodded.
“I do want to know something.”
Jim slowly lifted his head to look at her.
“Why?” Alycia shifted, vaguely aware of Gracelyn and Kat sidling up behind her. She considered inviting the young soldier in to get herself out of the cold, but decided against it.
Jim cleared his throat. “He heard me crying the night before his plane was supposed to leave.”
She raised an eyebrow, waiting for him to continue his story.
“He asked me what was wrong, and eventually convinced me to tell him about how my three year old daughter had cancer–” he watched as Alycia’s expression changed ever so slightly, “–and she wasn't doing well. The doctors didn't know if she would make it another day. I hadn't been able to get a sooner flight, so your husband let me have his ticket.”
Jimmy stepped forward and placed large, gentle hands on either of Alycia’s shoulders, his tear-filled eyes staring into her cold blue ones. His voice trembled as he spoke.
“Because of Brad, I was able to see my daughter just a day before she passed.”
Alycia’s stone-hard expression faded into one of surprise, and then utter sadness and sympathy. “Oh, James, I'm so sorry.”
He could only nod.
A tiny noise from behind startled Alycia, and she turned.
Grace and Kat both had tears welling up in their eyes, and they moved up closer to the door.
“I–wanted to come and say how sorry I am,” Jim managed to say. “My wife also offers her condolences.”
Alycia swallowed. “Would you like to come in?” She stepped aside.
He shrugged, but accepted the offer, as he was shivering, and his cheeks and nose had taken on a reddish color.
They moved into the family room and Gracelyn and Kat were introduced. Jim immediately offered his sympathy to the girls.
“I'm sorry about your father.”
Gracelyn shook her head. “Thank you, sir. I'm sorry about your daughter, Mr. Lorance,” she replied, head tilted, trying to sound strong.
Kat nodded alongside her sister.
“You can just call me Jimmy,” he said with a small smile.
Turning his attention to Alycia, he shifted uncomfortably, unsure of what else to say.
“I'm sorry, ma’am,” he said for what was probably the hundredth time. “I wish I hadn't agreed to take Brad’s ticket.”
Alycia pursed her lips. She still felt a tiny thread of anger at this man, but it was quickly continuing to fade. “No,” she finally said. He looked at her in surprise.
“There was a reason that Brad decided to give you his ticket,” she said. “He wouldn't have done that for just anybody. And what happened–well, I suppose it was God’s will.”
Jim gaped at her. Her husband had died on his account. How could she be so forgiving?
“I'm not saying I am completely over my anger at his death,” she continued honestly, “but I do know that it was not in any way your fault. I hope you understand that.”
When Jim didn't answer, she searched his face. “Do you?”
He shrugged.
Alycia glanced at her daughters and decided to send them upstairs with their already-opened gifts. Once she watched them climb reluctantly up the carpeted stairs, she turned back to Jim. “Do you?” she asked again.
“I don't know, ma’am,” he said. “I tried to convince myself it wasn't, but if it hadn't been for me, he wouldn't have been on that plane.”
“You didn't know what would happen,” Alycia told him.
“I know,” Jim said. “But I feel so...guilty.”
Alycia sighed and gave a tiny smile.
“James–Jimmy, I might not understand God’s reasons for this. But I'm trying to trust Him through this situation. I must admit, when I first heard why Brad ended up on the later flight, I vowed to never forgive you.” She swallowed. “But now, hearing the whole story, I’m realizing I was wrong to think that.” She looked into his eyes. “I am very sorry I blamed you for Brad’s death in the first place. Can you forgive me?”
Jim stared. “Ma’am, I forgive you...but I don't quite see why you apologized. You have every right to blame me.” He ducked his head. “And forgive me if I say I don't see how a caring God would let my daughter die of cancer and then the man who made it possible for me to see her before she passed away.” His gentle voice wavered.
Alycia felt the hardness in her heart towards this young man melting away as he spoke.
“Jimmy, I can understand how you feel. But you see, things like this happen–sickness and death–because we live in a world full of sin. Each and every one of us is a sinner, condemned to an eternal death.”
“I’ve heard the stories in Sunday school, ma’am,” Jim spoke up. “It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
He swallowed, and Alycia quickly continued, “We’re all born sinners. The bible says, ‘through one man, Adam, sin entered the world’. We don’t deserve forgiveness. But you see, God sent His only Son down to earth to die for us–to take our place. He was the only perfect man to ever walk on this earth. And that's what Christmas is all about. Celebrating the fact that He was born, and because of that, there is a way for us to have a relationship with God. Jesus.”
Jim was silent for a moment, considering.
“What are you and your wife doing for Christmas today?” Alycia spoke.
He shrugged, caught off guard by the sudden change in subject. “I don’t know. She's at home with my parents. None of us felt much like celebrating.”
“Why don’t you have her come here?” Alycia asked. “We don’t have a big Christmas dinner or anything special planned, but I’m sure we’ll figure out something.”
“I don’t want to be an inconvenience, ma’am,” Jimmy said. “I’ve caused your family enough trouble.”
“James.” Alycia stood. “Please understand that I don’t hold anything against you. I believe Brad made the right decision when he gave you his ticket.”
Jim wasn’t used to being forgiven so readily. He felt emotions swelling up inside, and he had to work to keep his tears back.
“Thank–thank you,” he managed to whisper.
She smiled softly. “And why don’t you and your family join us tonight for the Christmas service our church is holding?”
“Maybe we will.” Jim rose. “Mrs. Taylor... Thank you.”
Alycia nodded. She knew the road ahead wouldn’t be easy. They all had a long way to go. But she knew one thing. God had these sudden changes occur for a bigger reason. He would guide them, and they would trust Him.
And although Brad might not have made it to his physical home for Christmas, Alycia rested assured that he had made it to his eternal home.

***
There you have it! What did y'all think of the story overall?

I gotta scoot; I'm writing this Christmas Eve, and we're about to head out to the bonfires! I'm SO excited! Y'all have a very Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

~Livi Jane (Ollie)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

TOMORROW IS CHRISTMAS. IT’S PRACTICALLY HERE!

It's Christmas Eve, y'all! I can't believe it!
I'm hurrying to get this posted because our day is going to be absolutely nuts, but I wanted to stop and take the time to say (or rather, quote)…

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~The Grinch

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve, everybody! Join me tomorrow for the last day of our blogging linkup (hosted by the wonderful Faith P.) and the conclusion to Home for Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

~Livi Jane (Ollie)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Home for Christmas - Part Five + Cajun Night Before Christmas

Mornin', y'all! What's up?

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Visit Faith's blog for the links to the rest of the 12DoC posts for today! 

Yikes! We're already on day nine! This is getting real! :D

Okay, just one thing before I get to the second to last part of my story for the linkup...

I'm sure most (if not all) of you have heard of the classic story, "The Night Before Christmas". Well, I'm a bit more familiar with a different version of this story...


Read in a thick Cajun accent by my mom 'most every year (this is one I forgot to add to our list of traditions yesterday!), this is a fun 'retelling' of the popular "Night Before Christmas". :)

Here's the story told for you; take a listen! ;)

All right, let's get on to Home for Christmas! This part is just one short scene; I promise the final part will be longer! Hope y'all enjoy! *Warning* You might cry!

***
I'm dreaming tonight of a place I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you…

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents by the tree
***

Jimmy sat silently on the cushy sofa in the Lorance’s apartment, staring straight ahead. Barclay had her arms hooked through one of his, her head resting on his shoulder as she slept. Her cheeks were streaked with tears. Jim’s parents had finally agreed to retire to their son’s guest bedroom to get some sleep themselves, but they refused to go to their own home. They wanted to be there in case either Jim or Barclay needed them at any point.
With his young wife sleeping, Jim had plenty of time to think over the events of the morning.
He had rushed to find the nearest television as soon as he had the chance, just in case it was all a big misunderstanding. It hadn’t been.
His immediate reaction had been a tiny, selfish part of him whispering ‘thank you’ for the fact that it hadn’t been him on the flight.
As soon as the thought entered his mind, it had been pushed out by sorrow and a million questions. Why hadn’t it been him? It was supposed to be him. But all because of Brad’s kindness, his friend had been the one killed instead of Jim.
All because of Chloe’s sickness.
Chloe.
Why? Jim cried out in his mind. Out loud, he only whispered the question. It wasn’t answered.
Tears began forming in the young man’s eyes and started dripping down his cheeks. He kept them silent so as not to wake his wife.
It hadn’t been two hours later that things with his daughter went from bad to worse, and when the doctor informed them that they had better start saying their goodbyes, Barclay had burst into tears. It had taken several minutes for her to calm down enough to do as the doctor said, and within minutes, Chloe had left them.
Why? Jim wondered again. Only this time, his thoughts had turned back to the plane crash.
Brad had a family, Jim thought, remembering his fellow soldier telling him and the rest in his unit stories of his own two little girls and beautiful wife.
Because of me, their husband and daddy is dead. They were probably planning a fun Christmas, and now they’re planning a funeral. The tears grew more louder and more bitter. And so are we.
Barclay shifted. “Jim? Are you crying?”
He quickly brushed away the tears still glistening on his cheeks. “I’m fine, honey.”
“You’re not.” Barclay sat up. Her bottom lip quivered.
He sighed. “I was thinking...about Brad.”
“You didn’t know, Jim. How could you have known when you accepted his offer that the plane would crash?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “If he hadn’t heard me crying that night, the ticket transfer never would’ve happened.”
“And then you would’ve been the one on the crashed plane, and I would’ve lost both you and Chloe.” Barclay had to pause and swallow hard.
“Don’t think about that, baby,” Jim told her. “Let me worry about things.” He cleared his throat. “I’m planning to go see his wife when I can...if you don’t mind.”
She shook her head. “I can’t imagine how they must feel. At least–at least we knew it was coming when Chloe passed. They weren’t expecting this.” Her voice was growing thick.
Jim clenched his teeth to keep from crying again. Barclay noticed.
“I’m sorry, Jim. I didn’t mean to make you feel–”
“I know, baby. It’s all right.” Jim hugged her close.
Intertwined in each other’s arms, the two fell asleep, each to themselves hoping they would wake up and the events from the past day would’ve been nothing more than a terrible nightmare.

***

I don't have a post planned for tomorrow, but I will be back Christmas Eve! Have a blessed day, y'all! Get that Christmas shopping finished if you haven't! I just officially finished mine today (finally)! ;P

Looking forward to catching up on a bunch of y'all's other Christmas posts that I might've missed! See y'all later!

~Livi Jane (Ollie)

Okay, a P.S. question for y'all... I'm considering turning Ollie into my 'real life' nickname, so which spelling do you like the best? At this point, I'm leaning toward just keeping 'Ollie', :)

1. Ollie

2. Ollee

3. Olly

4. Oly








Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Traditions!

Welcome to the eighth day of our Twelve Days of Christmas linkup! It's going by way too fast!


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For links to more Christmas posts, visit Faith's blog!

Today's post is about...

Traditions!!

Traditions are fun, especially ones revolving around the holidays. It's those things that may mean little to someone else, but mean so much to you.

For intstance, a tradition my family has is that every Christmas Eve we have our own family dinner together. We have things like chips, fruits and veggies, desserts, and always a chicken nugget platter from Chick-fil-A. :) It's just something we do. Of course, it's a little different every year, with timing, foods, and all of that (including that one year someone dropped a nugget and our dog snatched it up and literally swallowed it whole so it wouldn't be taken away from her). XD

Another Christmas Eve tradition (that I'm sure is familiar to most of you) is that we go to church for a beautiful service. I'm excited that Christmas is on a Sunday this year! For some reason that just seems makes it really neat! ;P

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***

Yet another Christmas Eve tradition is the bonfires! If you've never heard of them, visit Louisiana!



There are a bunch of imaginative traditions dating back to the earliest Cajun settlers of southern Louisiana to the west and north of New Orleans. One of them is the lighting of the bonfires along the Mississippi River on Christmas Eve.

The bonfires, built on the river levees by the keepers of this old tradition, are supposedly intended to light the way for “Papa Noël,” the Cajun Santa Claus, on his airborne journey to the area. (Although our family doesn't do Santa, it is a fun legend.)

Then, at dusk (usually around 7:00 p.m.), the bonfires are doused with flammable liquids and set on fire, lighting the sky and the surrounding area with towering flames.
It's so much fun!
Many people (us included) set off fireworks and light sparklers as well.
Our cousins always build one on the levee across the street from their grandfather. Some years, before Christmas Eve, we’ll go up on the levee and have a mini bonfire and roast s’mores and have a great time hanging out.

The atmosphere on Christmas Eve is just incredible. Everyone’s having a good time, nearby houses (across the street from the levee where we go) are usually open to anyone and everyonethere's no lack of food, the little kids (okay, sometimes even us older kids) are forever rolling down the steep levee and climbing back up to do it again and again, and the crowds of family, friends, and even tourists are huge! :D

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Before the bonfires are lit...

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After they're lit! :D

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Sometimes people get super creative and make masterpieces such as this one! (It is kind of sad seeing all of that hard work being set ablaze, though! :P)

I can say pretty much beyond doubt that the bonfires are one of my favorite Louisiana traditions!

We don't particularly have any traditions for Christmas Day, other than that the presents are usually opened sometime in the morning before we head out to visit family (sometimes we stay home and sleep in). ;)

One more tradition we have is to wait and do our stockings on New Year’s Day. It kind of makes Christmas last longer!

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Oh, yes. There are so many different traditions! :D

A fun song depicting a 'Cajun Christmas'! ;)

Leave a comment and let me know some of your favorite holiday/Christmas traditions!

Thanks for joining me! Tune in tomorrow for the second to last part of Home for Christmas!

~Livi Jane