Free to Be

My darling. This is the day you walked through with grace.

Last December, he ripped your heart out, and threw it away. It was so unexpected. Two years of your life, gone, just like that. No warning of the words he said. You crumbled to the floor, and I held you while you screamed.

He decided to take a road trip with a buddy to California. They drove through Texas, and stopped in Austin today. You have an appointment scheduled in Austin this afternoon. Were your hands shaking on the wheel while driving?

To add to the injury, he is posting on social media from the same places you shared together. I don’t know what he is thinking by doing that, but you are under impressed.

You wonder why you can’t hate him. Like that would be easier to do. Because you are my daughter. We carry no hate in our hearts, and we don’t let that word slide from our lips. You know the power of words. They are like seeds that take root. You will just slowly unlove him with more time.

When he left, we moved, and you finished high school.

You are enjoying the summer months, and making plans for the fall. You are trying to discover who you are now, and better yet, who you want to become. I’m so pleased by who you are, and am excited to see who you become, and what you do in this world. Two companies already see the greatness within, and asked you to be their Ambassador!

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Be our Ambassador photo.

Life may not make much sense today. It may feel like a cruel joke, but I’m watching you. He can’t hurt you anymore my love, and he’s only passing through. There’s that grace.

The pain people cause, is a reflection of the pain they are in. Let him post all he wants. There has to be a part of you that is happy not to be in those pictures anymore.

You know how you have your good days, and sad days?

This morning we sat on the front porch, and you wept while sharing this news. We talked about how tall the weeds are in our yard, and embraced them as our friends. I prepared myself for a sad day, but it hasn’t been a sad day at all.

Watching you today, you look like a Queen that has been set free. Yes darling, my Queen B, and you are free to be!

Feel the Music

In the past four years, I’ve had the pleasure of loving two men. I don’t talk about it much, but love has been on my mind this weekend, as you can see from yesterday’s post.

Social media teaches us it’s all about the numbers. Once I realized that, it was a sad day seeing numbers, instead of souls. All of my accounts are now closed except for one.

When I began this Blog it was for a couple of reasons.

One-I wanted my daughter to have a place to go, and read about our life together. Two-I wanted to change somebody’s perspective on life. Not the world, just one.

There is a comment sitting in my comment folder that I will not publish, but this Blog changed her world. There is an email sitting in my Inbox from the son of a dear friend. He found this Blog, and was impacted when I wrote about her.

Hearing this song made me think of those men. It was love that changed their world, and loving them changed mine.

I love to love. That’s what I do. One Blog post at a time.

Smells Like Love

My daughter left yesterday to spend the weekend with her Dad. This morning, sitting where we usually sit together, I had an odd thought. “I’m gonna miss hearing, “I love you.”

I had an appointment to get to, but when it was over I Googled the nearest location of Bath and Body Works. When my daughter gets home Monday, I want her to know I was thinking of her. A couple of weeks ago, she walked into my bedroom and said, “Wow! It smells so good in here!” It was a new Wallflower of one of my favorite scents, but I unplugged it and put it in her room. It is now empty.

I’m really big on smell. It’s important, and it seems to be a large part of who I am. From giving people a hug, to someone walking into my home, it brings me joy to hear, “Wow! You smell good!”, or “It smells so good in here!”

It’s a combination of things. Our lotion is made by a woman locally, and smells amazing. Every now and then we wash our clothes in Tyler Wash, and that’s like washing them in perfume. It takes time for this to happen, but it’s pure magic when a room envelops a fragrance, and it fits that room. That is what happened when I gave my daughter the wallflower. It was my favorite scent, but became hers.

You want to stand in her room and inhale deeply.

Standing in front of the display of Wallflowers, it took a while to find the right one. Scanning the display for the name of the fragrance, my gaze froze when it landed on this. A candle was sitting to the left of the display, and I picked it up to purchase without even smelling it first!

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Photo cred. B&BW.

Now, I can walk by the candle, see those words, and say it to myself. Smelling the candle burn, it sure smells like love.

To Be Inspired

To get in the habit of writing again. Taking time off becomes easier, and soon, you find yourself not writing. In speaking with a friend this morning she said, “Write about coffee!”

My daughter returned from Boston with a brown bag of goodness. Out of all the things she could have brought, she knows my heart. It was a bag of Blue Bottle coffee beans.

The way I view coffee has evolved over time. What used to be my morning ‘wake me up’, is now a magical moment.

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The coffee bloom and a Chemex.

My relationship with coffee became quite serious this year.

Visit local coffee houses, (not franchises), or the coffee booth at a Farmers Market, and ask questions like…

Where do your beans come from? When were they roasted?

When you purchase whole bean, check the bottom of the bag. It should have a roasted date stamped on it. Beans stay fresh for two weeks before they start losing their freshness. Only grind the amount you are going to use.

I used to made my coffee at night, and set the machine to brew automatically for the next morning. Stumbling out of bed, after the beep was the start of my day. I didn’t realize what the machine was doing for me is actually a magical moment. Moments aren’t timed or automatic.

Moments are deliberately made in the present moment.

I placed the coffee maker on a shelf to give away, and pulled out a french press. That is how I made my coffee each morning, but eventually I knew there was more to learn. My daughter taught me the magic of a pour over. It took time to get it just right, but what a challenge to learn!

When my daughter brought home Blue Bottle, I graduated to the Chemex. This has been the most challenging, yet rewarding of all! I don’t have it mastered, but I keep trying.

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The Chemex.

My daughter has the Chemex down to a science, and an amazing cup of coffee is a science. A Burr type grinder crushes each bean, instead of emulsifying them with a blade, so they are uniform. You can weigh the grinds, (my daughter would), but I don’t go that far. Even after using a French Press, Blue Bottle taught me how to improve. To time the steep for 4 minutes, and no more. Then press the brew, and how much resistance the press should have.

In the heat of the summer, cold brew is refreshing in the afternoon, so today I ordered a bottle to make it myself.

There is always something to improve upon. I went from having ‘just coffee’, to altering my morning routine for this moment. Now when I awake, I drink a bottle of water to give my body time to wake up. The Chemex is complex, and it’s early, so I wait for my daughter to appear. She makes a Chemex, but if she’s not here, I do a pour over, or French Press, and practice with the Chemex after I’m fully awake.

My friend asked me this morning, “What inspires you?” Well my friend, you do, along with a really good cup of coffee.

 

Once is Enough

Last week, I deleted my Facebook account.

It’s been on my heart to do so all year. One of those last things to ‘let go’ of. The key to doing something like this, and be filled with peace afterwards, is to do it a non emotional state. Sitting calmly in front of my laptop, staring at the number of followers, I let go, and clicked deactivate.

Two weeks ago, I almost got myself fired from my job.

One of my virtual assistant employers asked if I would receive their incoming calls, and I agreed. They were forwarded to a cell phone, and it took a couple of weeks to discover why they wanted them forwarded. It was like politely fencing with a sales person every time the phone would ring. By week three I was done taking those calls.

My salary might decrease, but my joy will increase!

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It’s okay to let go of things that are no longer fulfilling.

What do I want to do to bring in income? I’m not sure, but I’m staying open to whatever God has in store. He’s good at signs, and sometimes he has them printed out on neon paper, and hangs it on a door. That occurred last week.

There was a ‘help wanted’ sign on the door of a local drugstore I walked into. I’ve never thought about working at a drugstore before, but it makes sense. The people coming in there want to feel better. Maybe they are going through a Cancer journey of their own, and I can relate.

I don’t know the reason, but I responded to the sign.

I filled out an application, and they called the next day for an interview. The only real experience I have is customer service, and I care about people. It’s been 30 years since I ran a cash register, and they look a tad bit different today!

I’m excited about doing a job I’ve never done, and plugging into community! The application process has been lengthy, but God keeps nudging me along. I’m encouraged that it hasn’t been easy, but it’s moving quick. I’m just waiting for the papers to go through, and they will give me a start date.

I told my daughter this morning, “Here I am again, living in the unknown.” The unknown is beginning to feel normal.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Welcome to Chillville

I’m not used to feeling this relaxed in the middle of the day!

My daughter just looked at me feeling all chill. My limbs are still feeling the stretches done on the mat this morning. My posture is on point, and I’m cradled in contentment.

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I fell in love with the practice of Yoga a few years ago.

It was not something I would have done if my daughter was little, but the first time we went to a Yoga class, she was a teenager. Being a single Mom, sometimes the only way to do something you want to do, is to take that child with you!

It’s good for them, and you. They get to see what makes your heart happy, even if it bores them to tears. They should want a Mom that takes care of herself, so she can take better care of them. At this moment, my daughter could ask for anything, and within reason, she would probably get it. (Except a puppy) I’m that freakin’ chill!

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This class is only available Sunday mornings, and the Yoga studio is right down the street. I’ve tried doing online Yoga, but I’m sorry, it doesn’t compare to an actual class. The vibe from being in the studio, with an instructor, and the other participants is rejuvenating, and healing within itself.

The class is called Chillville for a reason. It’s an hour and a half long, and you hold a pose for several minutes, sinking into the mat, watching your thoughts float by, until you’re completely present.  The first time I took this class, I was so fidgety, I was ready to leave about halfway through!

My body couldn’t be still because my mind was racing.

It was the most challenging Yoga class I’ve ever taken.

To stretch and hold the pose. Today, my mind eventually slowed down, and became in sync with my body! It took time, but I could feel myself becoming one with the mat. It was a magical moment, and I’m hooked on this class.

It’s was the best money I’ve spent in a very long time.

If you’re a single Mom, you look at every dollar before spending it. This class is the longest, and most expensive class the studio offers. It’s $13.00. The other classes during the week, are half that much. Do you invest in yourself?

My daughter was home this weekend, and not at her Dad’s. I invited her to come to the class with me, but she said, “Mom, that’s your thing, and you should go.” She chose to sleep in, and then planned to go to her fave coffee shop with her new book. We both did something good for ourselves, but the day is half over, and I’m still in Chillville.

Watch Your Step

My daughter thinks my LG Health app is hilarious.

I’m pretty sure it thinks I’m not real. This app is on my business phone, which stays on my work table, until it needs recharging. I’m encouraged by this.

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Just 8131 more to go!

This app encourages phone attachment, but it’s confused that I don’t carry it around with me. Most days I don’t even know where my personal phone is! At least now, having a business phone, I can call my personal one to find it!

I helped a friend in her house cleaning business for a month. She taught me how to make every step count. She encouraged me to put everything needed in my cleaning caddy, and carry that from room to room. The mop, and vacuum were by the front door, because they are used last.

The tool caddy, and apron are designed for efficiency.

I still use what she taught me in my own home.

Instead of running around the house grabbing what is needed at the time, I look around in the area of the house I’m standing in, and see if anything needs to be done while there. After pulling the trashcan down the driveway for trash pick up day, I walk across the street, and get the mail.

Just like running errands in our vehicle, we can focus on our steps. Instead of feeling physically worn out at the end of the day, you will feel accomplished! Make every step count, and be productive instead of busy. Watch your step.

Blog Title Prompts

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I used to struggle with a title for every Blog.

My thinking was, it had to be catchy, and grab the attention of the reader, so they were hugely long! Then God challenged me to use, “Just three words.”, so that’s what I’ve done.

I keep finding notes around the house of just three words.

They are Blog titles that I haven’t taken the time to write about, so if one resonates with you, please use it! Here are a few I came across today.

Distraction Free Living

Lead Not Follow

Lucky or Blessed

More Than Enough

Give It Away

The Right Heart

You Deserve It

I know what came to mind when these titles were revealed, but I believe they will mean something different to you. Let me know if you use one, so I can read your take on it.

Much love to you. xxx

Be the Love

My daughter left Saturday for Boston, and will not be home until Wednesday. Her father took her to see Harry Styles in concert. If you don’t know who Harry Styles is, he was the member of One Direction with the massive head of hair. If you don’t know who One D is, I don’t know what to say.

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Harry!

Here are some things I learned while she’s been gone.

*Kick up the self-care a notch. Take the Yoga class already!

*Buy the t-shirt you fell in love with the minute you saw it.

*Go to the coffee shop that re-opened, and encourage the owner.

*Start a Google search, and follow the trail. It leads to a book you wish to read during this quiet time. Call the local bookstore to see if they have it. They have ONE. Drive.

*On the way to the bookstore, stop at places you haven’t stopped in forever. Encourage the owners of the business, and the people working there. Tell them, “I appreciate you.”

*Smile at people. Be kind, and leave them with a smile.

*Hug someone when they least expect it.

*If you invite chaos into your life, take it back, and leave it.

*Use your voice if your heart is not happy. It may begin an avalanche, and your world may fall apart for a bit, but it will fall back together even better than before. Trust me.

*Clear off the giant coffee table, and use it to work a puzzle.

*Just be what you want to see. If it’s love, then be the love.

Feel the Music

Walking outside, and looking up at the sky, I said….

“I don’t know what I did to be so abundantly blessed by You, but I’m grateful. I don’t know why I get to be used by you, but I’m grateful. I don’t know God, I’m just grateful.”

Stepping back inside the house, this was playing over the radio. The volume was turned down so low, I could barely hear it, so somebody here must need to hear it too. xx