My Own Darkness and The Battle for Light

fb_img_1481639500793Yesterday I made a short little post about negativity.  It is something that stuck with me throughout yesterday into last night.  I had a word to share on Facebook about it, and it was an on time word because it blessed a few of my friends.  Today I’m going to share my status with you and the comment I made about it.

“The darkness your dealing with is for a reason.  Only light can defeat it.  Maybe that’s you or someone that’s in/entering your life.  Don’t detest the process.  Trust that everything is working for your good, to give you hope and a future. EPH 3:20, JER 29:11, JOHN 1:5.”.  In my comments after hearing a good word from Joel Osteen on TV I went on to say “Also to add to this, negativity is the cause of darkness. Life and death are in the power of our words.  If we are speaking it that’s what is gonna be the framework for our mind.  Negativity is the manifestation of anxiety and hopelessness of negative thoughts.  We all have to choose every moment of every day if we are going to be positive to one another or see the worst in each other.  At the end of the day if negativity is what’s in your head then it will become you reality.”.

Now, I’m going to share with you one of my negative and dark subjects that still has a hold on me presently.  Albeit, after last night it isn’t as strong, and God is delivering me from it, but I can still feel it’s nasty dark clutches holding on to try and regain the life it had attached to me.  That darkness has a name.  One of my many past darkness that is. This one in particular it’s name is fat.  Yes you read that right, FAT. F. A. T.  So in this particular case I suppose we shall go all the way back and then play up to current events.  I do pray that whoever reads this gains understanding or encouragement for whatever battle you are facing today.  Mwah!

Technically it started when I was in the 3rd grade. The first time someone called me fat. It was my cousin, and to be frank she was jealous I had “stolen” her boyfriend. Unbeknownst to me, the boy who wanted me to be his girlfriend was her crush. Oops. My bad cuz.  It truly didn’t have any effect on me then though, because I was no where near fat.  As a child I was always overly tall for my age and my gender.  With that, came being skinny and a bit lanky.

At the age of 10 I got my first period and along with it boobs and a backside women would kill for.  I kid you not, all of this in the span of two days.  My hormones have always been a bit cuckoo like me I suppose. Anyhoo, I have also always been solidly built, strong and sturdy thighs, with good calves for support so I weighed about 100lbs at the time. Some of you will have opinions about that being skinny or not for my age, but I really don’t care because that was the last time in my life I could truly define myself as skinny and healthy together.  As a flippin 10 year old!  Soon after I started bleeding not so regularly till it came to the point where I was bed ridden, my mother had to carry me to the restroom, and she had to bathe me because I was literally wasting away from all the blood loss, not being able to eat, etc.  When I drastically dropped to 75lbs she finally got the bright idea after so many months to take me to the Dr. who decided the best course of action would be to put me on birth control to regulate my periods; alas if my mom didn’t I would probably die from malnutrition and blood loss.  My periods have never been close to normal or regular, but that’s not why we are here is it?

Needless to say I got better because I’m still alive and I also got FAT.  Well chubby and overweight.  I went from that 75lbs of skin and bones to 160lbs in a year.  I was 11 and I came in at a whopping 160lbs and wore a junior’s size 9 at the height of about 5’3.  This is unhealthy for a child, especially when the child gained all this weight by eating two layer cakes regularly by herself every week because her parents let her do whatever she pleased like morons.  Yeah, to this day I have issues with eating cake.  So during this time of my sickness and recovery I was being homeschooled and we lived in Atlanta. Shortly after that, we moved back to my tiny, hell hole, hometown.  I was in 6th grade when the real degradation and bullying started.  The first time that it actually hurt and stuck with me when someone called me an ugly word regarding my weight and body shape.  That’s when it hit me and realization poured over me like molten gold that I was overweight and I had done to it myself.  That my parent had let me do it and I was so angry and ashamed.  That’s the day I decided to be Anorexic.

From 6th to 8th grade I was called numerous names by bullies, “friends”, my crush, and others that ranged from fat, chubby, hefty, chunky, and roily poily.  In the 8th grade my crush made it his duty and my living nightmare to always make sure he was around the popular kids and walk behind me or just loudly declare “Hey it’s chunky monkey” or something of the variety that had “chunky monkey” in it.  For these middle school years my anorexia took it’s toll on my mental stability combined with the bullying that happened at school.  My weight constantly fluctuated, up and down, up and down, and so did my desire for food. Ironically in health class during 7th grade we were introduced to eating disorders.  Of course Anorexia was in there, but so was another eating disorder I had heard of yet didn’t fully comprehend until that day.  Bulimia.  Yup, you read that right again! Health class gave me the great idea that being Bulimic on top of being Anorexic would be my “fat fix”.

So I did my research, and when I was forced to eat in front of anyone for the sake of saving face, and so no would discover my dirty little secret, I would just go throw it up in the bathroom as soon as I was done.  I could be at home, school, a friend’s house, it didn’t really matter.  When I was starving so severely that I just couldn’t take the hunger pains anymore I would binge as much food as I could mentally tolerate and then I would go shove my finger down my throat until nothing but bile came up.  This went on until I was 14.  You see though, it wasn’t just the kids at school that made fun of my physical appearance. It was also family members that poked fun and called me names. Using the excuse that they were just cutting the fool with me and didn’t mean it. Deep down I knew they did though, everyone did, no one ever made those sort of remarks to me before when I was skinny.  Remarks like my grandmother and father made “You getting a little chunky there aren’t ya?” “Hey Porky” “Your mighty thick and a little fat huh kid?”.

Yeah enough of that.  On to 9th grade and my final year with my eating disorders.  I had managed to lose 20lbs and weighed 140-145 at the height of 5″6.  I had large boobs and a big backside with thick thighs, many started to envy my body shape and became jealous that “Chunky Monkey Jordan” wasn’t so chunky anymore.  I still wasn’t satisfied though, every time I looked in the mirror I saw that fat girl, felt her shame, the weight of all the names, and the guilt of all the things she had done to even had a mildly attractive physical appearance. Because guess what everyone? Words do hurt, it’s not just sticks and stones. I would much rather be physically hurt then endure another hateful comment, especially one about my weight or figure.  In my freshman year I was introduced to cocaine.  I easily and quickly became addicted to it.  It wasn’t just about the rush or the effects of the drug itself that was so intoxicating for me.  It was the complete loss of appetite, not even wanting to smell food because it made me sick, the weight loss that came with getting high on coke.  That is truly what addicted me to it and chained me down to that vicious and ferocious drug.

Even in 9th grade before my true and final results from cocaine were in there was yet another horrible and humiliating day for me.  My best friend at the time thought it would be a fun idea to pull my down my pants during break in front of the whole school.  Out of sheer embarrassment all I could do was drop to the ground and try to cover myself before anyone else saw. Instead of ya know, pulling my pants back up. Everyone laughed, some made comments like gross, ew look at her fat thighs, I see crack, she looks fat without clothes. Not one person was kind, not one person I knew stopped to help me. Then a senior who to this day is my best friend came and covered me with his letter jacket as he helped me pull my pants back up, shooed the rest of the stragglers and yelled at them, then walked me to my locker and to the office to check out.

A year later at the age of 15 I was at my lowest weight ever and my unhealthiest.  That didn’t matter to me though, I was finally skinny. I weighed 120lbs and I could wear size 3 or 4 jeans and I was so skinny that bones protruded out of my neck, collarbone, hips, and ribs.  See I have a medium frame and it’s my now honest opinion that girls that have my frame shouldn’t weigh below a certain amount because we start to look sick, and most of us are because we don’t feel good enough for the rest of the world due to our size.

At 16 I was a high school dropout, got my GED, got into a major car wreck, and two weeks before my 17th birthday found out I was pregnant with my firstborn.  After I had her I went back up to 140lbs.  Which happens to be my lowest and healthiest weight.  I wore a size 9, but I evened out quite well.  My boobs were again huge, nice rear, thick thighs, and no sickly looking bones poking out of places that they shouldn’t be.  I was almost confident in myself. Almost.  Until my SO took the physically abuse to an emotional and mental level and started calling me fat, lazy, useless, worthless, nasty, etc.  His brother took part of this too and they talked about how unattractive I was and how I was gross behind my back, but in ear’s reach constantly.

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After I left him, needless to say I was back to being just as hard on  myself as I was when I was that 12 year old chubby kid.  Of course I had never really overcame my self image issues, nor had I conquered my shame and guilt of feeling not skinny enough.  One of my friend’s with benefits told me I was pudgy and use to make it a usual joke every time we saw each other.  Almost every guy I had a fling with told other people (that always came back and told me) that I was chubby, pudgy, or too meaty behind my back.  This gave me the mindset that it must be true.  After all, we are taught that if you have the same problem with  more than one person than that problem is usually you.  So here I was yet again, stuck with this disgusting and horrid body, no matter what I did, how hard I tried, I would never ever be skinny enough for anyone else or especially myself.

Then I met my husband. He thought I was God’s gift to earth and couldn’t have made me feel more special, pretty, sexy, and confident.  Not to mention skinny or unfat.  I got pregnant with our son though, and I gained a lot of weight. I went from 145 lbs and a size 9 to 185lbs and a size 12.  After my son was a few months old the “baby weight” fell off and I was 165lbs once more and still in a size 12.  It was the biggest I had ever been in my whole life and I was in denial for a year.  My husband never said anything, he always made me feel beautiful, then one day, reality hit.

I had two strangers, on two separate occasions, in the span of a few months, not just ask, but congratulate me on my pregnancy.  When I informed them I wasn’t pregnant, one responded with “Oh, I’m so sorry, it’s just you have such a nice, round, shapely belly.” and the other’s was horrendous laughing with “You should back off from that table muscle then and work on cutting back on that food, know what I’m saying girl?”.  Yeah, never had I been accidentally mistaken as pregnant.  I was determined to do it the right way this time for my children’s sakes.  So I started working out with my boss who happened to be a personal trainer, 5 times a week, 2 hours a day. In 6 weeks I dropped back down to 145lbs and I was in a size 8-9 depending on the brand. I had abs and I felt absolutely amazing.

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Over the next 4 years for whatever reason I continually lost weight, sometimes gained, but never went over a size 9. I plateaued at a size 6 and stayed there for over a year.  It was at this point I had finally achieved my goal and was the smallest and healthiest I had ever been, and I was happy. Okay not truly happy and confident, I honestly don’t know if that is something I will ever be able to reach here on earth with my body image.  However, it was as close as I could get.  That was until last week.

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See from July-September of this year I somehow without doing anything different, except maybe becoming more active gained 22lbs out of nowhere! LITERALLY! I know that is hard to believe but it happened.  It all went straight to my hips, booty, and thighs.  The thighs and booty part I wasn’t really upset about.  But the hips, oh I was infuriated and ashamed.  Those feelings started coming back up and rearing their ugly heads.  Anytime I put on my jeans size 6 or 8 I have a muffin top. Partially due to my increased butt size and the other 50% due to increased hip size.  My measurements for the past 4 years up until this point were a 38, 26, 36.  Then they went up to a 40, 29, 40. Not so good…. AT ALL!!!!  So I started working out, eating healthier, which is pretty hard for me because I already eat healthy as it is.  As of 5 days ago I only have 7.8lbs to lose to get down to my goal weight. My measurements are 40, 28, 39.

I’m still unhappy and seeing a big issue here because my measurements haven’t changed much, I still can’t fit in my jeans without the muffin top, yet I have lost over half of what I gained?!?!  What am I doing wrong?  I’m currently in size 7/8 jeans high waisted only, otherwise, yup you guessed it! Muffin Top, and I refuse to let that happen.  However, I figure a lot can change with another 8lbs to lose and I am seeing some progress so be grateful and positive.  Stop with all the self-hate, not feeling good enough, negativity.  Then the unthinkable happened. I’m not gonna come out and say it and put it on blast, but I’m pretty sure that you intelligent people can form and educated guess on what sent me down a long, dark, deep, downward, spiral last week that made me feel all of my hard work and progress has been for nought.

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Why did it hurt so bad? Because of the trust that was there, because of the justification for the word said, for the sheer lack of concern and acknowledgment for what it caused me.  Because my faith in God was made weak due to me letting another person control my emotions, I let my negativity and all the pain, the suffering, torment, shame, embarrassment, guilt, and truth of it all come rushing back in one quick and true strike.

I let one person dictate my feelings and how I viewed myself.  Which in turn lead to me seeing myself as that same poor, helpless, lonely, unloved, fat girl who would never physically be good enough for anyone, but especially never good enough for herself.  But see that’s a lie. It’s not true. It’s what the evil one wants me to think because that is what he does he goes and “roams around as a lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 I wasn’t alert, I was caught off guard by humiliation, and I was devoured, but only temporarily. Because everything happens for a reason and I know that I am “beautiful and I am wonderfully and fearfully made in  the image of God.”

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That “God’s grace is sufficient for me, his power is made perfect in my weakness, therefore I will glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Cor 12:9 I may not be down another 8lbs yet, but I’m on my way there and I will get there with determination and God’s help.  I may have had “sorrow, but God will see me again, and my heart shall rejoice, and my joy no one will take away from me.” John 16:22 Because I am a child of the most high God, a royal co-heir with Christ, I am beautiful and I am the light that shines in the darkness, no number on a scale will dictate that, no past hurts will make me feel that pain, it will only be a distant memory.  I have a great, big, God who is my Abba, that I can go and lean on, curl up in his lap, and talk to him about everything and he will still tell me how much he loves me, how proud he is of me, how perfect I am to him, and how wonderful I am inside and out because he created me.

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So please beautiful person out there reading this, if you are struggling remember how beautiful you are, that you may be the only light in someone’s life, that though it is hard now peace and joy come in the morning. You may not be where you want to be today, but it’s another step closer.  Don’t give up, have faith, rejoice in your pain, praise God on credit, thank him for the good and the bad.  I ask that if you don’t know him, that you at least give him a chance and try getting to know him.  I promise it will be the most rewarding thing you have ever done in this life and the next. For Jesus said “Come to me all those who are weary and heavy burdened, I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”.  Matthew 11:28-30.  As always and until next time,

Peace and Love,

J.

 

 

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World History Post 1: Ancient Near East

Many of you may not have realized this but I’m an avid history nerd. I am absolutely intrigued by world history, specifically ancient history, the medieval times, monarchies, and the past 50 years leading up to current events. I fell in love with history during grammar school when we first broached American History. As inaccurate as those textbooks may have been, it spoke to my soul. I watched all the major TV Shows and Movies, as well as most of the minor ones because I’m fascinated by the past. I’m fascinated by how History truly repeats itself and how everything that has happened has had an indirect effect on every event thereafter. I have also done my due diligence in every show and movie that I have watched for accuracy and dramatic effect. I love reading books fictional and historically accurate about Ancient people and kingdoms, European Monarchies, Greece, Rome, Vikings, Israel, and Royals. I also love Greek Mythology and Fantasy. If it has History in it, particularly World History, count me in.

Starting with the Roman Empire you can look back on it and compare it with the United States and many other countries. During these Ancient times not many kingdoms existed in the spectrum of as they do today, or were have thought to exist. There remained much undiscovered land and peoples. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here just yet. Before and during this ancient time period there was the Ancient Near East, Ancient Africa, Ancient India, Ancient China, Ancient Europe, and the Ancient Eurasian Steppe. Now I’m not going to go all the way back to Ancient Mesopotamia, at least not in this post. Nor will I broach everything that happened or was recorded we are just going to cover the general basics up until a certain Era. Disclaimer: I may skip around, leave out, or jump from era to era, period to period, dynasties, empires, etc. Feel free to jump around as you wish also.

We will start with Bronze Age, which is believed to have been around the 4th millennia BC up until the Persian Empire in 6th century BC.

Ancient Near East

The Ancient Near East of this time was compromised of the following lands: Ancient Egypt, Hittite Empire, Kassites, Assyria, Mitanni, and Achaen or Mycenaean. This is the land of ancient Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq and Syria, Persia, modern day Iran, Armenia, The Levant, commonly known as Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine, The Anatolia, modern Turkey and Ancient Egypt, which is simply now Egypt.

Sumer and the Akkadian Empire were one of the earliest recorded civilizations until the rise of Babylonia during the latter 3rd millennium BC. Sumerian applies to Sumer. Sumer, Ancient Egypt, and the Indus Valley Civilization together formed the first settled society and created all the features to qualify as civilizations They enlarged into the first empire known as the Akkadian Empire. The Hurrians were the people who inhabited northern Mesopotamia during about 2500 BC. The largest and most powerful of these peoples were known as the Kingdom of Mitanni. The Hittite Empire was located in Antaloia and mostly existed of the Hurrians. The kingdom of Mitanni and all Hurrian kingdoms had been conquered by foreign powers, mainly Assyrians by about 13th century BC. I’d like to mention a lot of this information can also be found in the Bible in the Old Testament as well as the following information that happened a bit later. Basically anything that happened in the Middle Eastern Area during ancient times can be found in the Bible.

Ancient Babylonia was the most historical period of it’s time. The Amorite, Kassite, and Chaldean made the Babylonian Dynasties. They fought a lot with Northern Mesopotamia, aka the Assyrians at this point. Babylonia was sacked several times and was basically a impasse for much of it’s time up until 6th century BC when the Assyrian Empire fell in 612 BC. Then rose the Babylonian Empire, which was the most powerful empire in the ancient world during this time. It was ruled by King Nebuchadnezzar (who you can also learn a lot about in the Old Testament of the Bible). Around 539 BC King Cyrus of Persia overthrew the Babylonian Empire and claimed it for himself. Even though the city remained a monumental cultural center the period was known as Babylon’s paramount state in almost 3 millennium. Ancient Babylon was conquered by the Achaemenid Persian Empire in the late 6th Century BC.

Assyria.

Assyria use to refer to it’s region on the upper Tigris river, the original capital was Assur. Once it became an Empire it controlled Fertile Crescent, Egypt, Anatolia, (these are generally called Assyria Proper) and the northern half of Mesopotamia. At this time of the Empire, Nineveh was it’s capital. It’s territory extended up unto Armenia aka the Mountains of Ashur. There were times known as Old, Middle, and Neo-Assyrian periods ruled by different Kings, but the greatest of these is the Neo-Assyrian period known as the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 934-609 BC. During this time period they defeated and controlled parts of Aramea, Israel, Uratu, Phoenicia, Neo-Hittite states, Nubia, Egypt, Arabia, Cyprus, Antioch, Persia, Media, and Elam. A vast amount of this information can again be found in Bible. Assyrian King Ashurbanipal waged war on his brother in Babylon for revenge. The Hittites established a kingdom in Hattusa in Anatolia from 18th century BC. In 14th century BC the Hittite Empire was most powerful controlling regions of Anatolia, Syria, and Mesopotamia. During 1180 BC it was divided into several Neo-Hittie city-states which some of would make it until late 8th century BC. The Hittites were known for building chariots, pioneers of the Iron Age, and passing knowledge from the Ancient Near East to the new Greeks in Europe.

During the Egyptian spread under the rule of Pharaoh Rameses II the Egyptians forced the Hittites to fall back to Kadesh around 1274 BC. Phoenicia was a huge power in the Mediterranean from 1200 BC to 539 BC. Situated along the Fertile Crescent and Lebanon it was a huge trading culture. They were famous in Classical Greece and Rome for the trades of purple and the spread of their alphabets (which most modern cultures alphabets are derived of). Ancient Persia consisted of Elam, The Median Empire, The Achaemenid Empire, The Parthian Empire, and The Sassanid Empire. Below is a list of each empire and their general rule over their terroritories at various given times or during their whole rule.

  • Elam-Khuzestan, Irania plaeteau, Anshan, Susa, and Chalcolithic-From 3000 BC.
  • Median Empire-First Empire of Persia-Assyria-678 BC-549 BC
  • Achaemenid Empire-Second Empire of Persia-First World Empire of Persia-Europe, Asia, and Africa-Afghanistan, Pakistan, Asia Minor (Modern Turkey), Balkans peninsula, Thrace-Macedonia, Bulgaria-Paeonia, Black Sea Regions, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, and Libya-550 BC-330 BC.
  • Parthian Empire-Third Empire-Greater Iran, Mesopotamia, and Armenia-Made up of independent kingdoms, Arsacid Culture-Arsacid power to Nisa, Turkmenistan, Ctesiphon, and several others-Arsacid Dynasty continued unto Armenia, Iberia, and Caucasian Albania-329 BC-227 BC
  • Sassanid Empire-Fourt Dynasty and Second World Empire-Armenia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Pakistan, Caucasia, Central Asia, Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Asia Minor-Arch-Rival of Roman-Byzantine Empire, involved in Roman-Persian Wars-Last Great Iranian Empire before Muslim conquest and adoption of Islam-Byzantine-Sasanian War paved the way for Muslim Conquest-Persian nobilities fled to Khorasan- 226 BC-651 AD

Ancient Africa

The kingdoms, City-States, and Empires of Ancient Africa consisted of parts of Egypt, Kush, City-states of Mossylon, Malao, Mundus, Opone, Kerma, Macrobia, Aksumite Empire, and the Carthaginian Empire. These kingdoms were prominent outside their own realms and gained reputation for wealth and military prowess through the Ancient World.

Egypt

Egypt was one of the world’s first civilization’s as many know. It began around the time of 3000 BC, had the New Kingdom period from 1570-1070 BC, and then it’s influence began to be subdued by 1000 BC when close civilization’s rose to their prime around them. Kerma and it’s peak of power was from 2500 BC to 1600 BC in Nubia, modern day Sudan. It was one of many Sudanese sates during the middle kingdom age. Around 1500 BC it became Egyptian Empire territory, although it rebelled for centuries. During 11th Century BC Kush emerged, allegedly from Kerma and heavily Egyptianized.

Kush was the first Subsaharan state in Africa to bring about iron weaponry. In 1070 BC it became independent of Egypt and at the same time Egypt’s rival. It’s Ruler gained control over parts of Egypt and in 752 BC Thebes was under Kushite control. They reigned as the 25th dynasty of Egypt stretching to Sudan and Israel up until they lost control over these areas, and were conquered by the Assyrians in 653 BC. Afterwards, it remained powerful in Egypt fought against the Roman Empire in around 27 BC-22 BC and achieved peace with Augustus Caesar, even with Kush aiding Rome in support of the conquest of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Kingdom of Kush existed until it was overthrown by the Aksumite Empire in 350 AD.

Macrobia was a kingdom in Somalia around the 1st millennia BC. They are said to have invented and practiced elaborate embalming which means they had to be a fairly advanced people. They traded with many city-states and became merchants with Phoenicia, Ptolemaic Egypt, Greece, Parthian Persia, Saba, Nabataea, and the Roman Empire. The Aksumite Empire was a influential trading empire from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Northeastern Africa from 4th Century BC to 1st Century AD. They were a huge middle man between the Roman Empire and Ancient India. They presumed politics over the Arabian peninsula kingdoms and grew to stretch unto the Himyarite Kingdom. The Carthaginian aka The Carthaginian Republic was the Phoenician City-State of Carthage and included much of North Africa’s coast, parts of Iberia, and islands of Western Mediterranean from 814 BC-146 BC.

Ancient India

Ancient India disclaimer: I’m not even going to attempt and get into Ancient India here just because it’s not really a favorite of mine, nor will it truly contribute to anything I will be further discussing in the depth of what this post consists of. With that being said, I do apologize if you were looking forward to this section, and I most likely will have a separate post on Ancient India and it’s history at a later date.

Ancient China

The history of Ancient China truly deserves it’s very own blog and in depth facts and recordings of it’s dynasties. Due to this and like Ancient India, it does not truly correlate with where I’m going with this post I’m going to be leaving out any and all information in regards to Ancient China. Again I apologize, but I do promise that I will dedicate a blog post solely to Ancient China and her rulers.

Next up we will be exploring Ancient Europe. I know the majority of this first post is mainly informational and probably a bit boring to those of you who have no interest in the historical view of Empire and Eras. To those of you I say hold tight! It’s about to get interesting with my next post on Europe. Until next time as always,

Peace and Love

J.

Sources:

Google

Wikipedia

Ancient History Sites

The Holy Bible