A Faithful Following

I read a post in my Reader this morning by Mama’s Empty Nest. She doesn’t know this, but she inspires me. She’s been Blogging for 10 years, but doesn’t have a huge amount of followers. (2,000ish) To me, that’s inspiring.

I’ve been Blogging for 6 years, but didn’t get serious about it until 2019. That was the year my views doubled. Today, it’s not about the likes, even though they are nice to see, it’s about the reader. It took years to come to that realization and some days I still struggle with it.

I was thinking of the Fearless Warrior program I joined in July. I’m already fearless because of my trust in God. I trust Him with my life, and He instilled a warrior in me, but there’s one thing in this life I won’t fight. Algorithms.

If you love your Blog, the best thing to do is suit up and show up and give God something to use. Mama’s Empty Nest inspires me by just showing up. She enjoys the simplicity in life and we share the same big God.

Think of your Blog as your own corner of the world.

Once you publish a post, you may see the same readers give you likes and the same writers make comments, but my darling…that is called a faithful following.

Thank you for suiting up and showing up. ~ Barb

Now and Next

I’m taking steps this year, toward where I want to be this time next year. It takes some planning, but I keep an open mind. One of my most used prayers is, “God, if this is not your will, stop me now!”

I jotted down this note from 7/26 in the Jesus Calling book. “RELAX AND LET ME LEAD YOU through this day. I have everything under control.” The first sentence wasn’t capitalized by me, it’s in the book like that. They say using all caps is like yelling, so I can see the irony in this. Then there’s the whole giving up control thing and being willing to be lead.

If you haven’t read Stephen King’s, “On Writing”, it’s an inspiring read and one of the best books I’ve read this year. If you want to be inspired, read something inspiring. It’s that simple.

What you do now plays an integral part in what will happen next, but the most important part is to start. If there’s something you’ve been putting off starting, look at where you are now, start and watch for what’s next. That’s the funny thing about purpose. We were designed to be so much more than we currently are, if only we’d let go of our preconceived outcome and start.

I believe each and every one of us has a calling on our life, but we get scared. Then we start running our ideas by others and it’s hard for them to be supportive because they have a dream in their heart that scares them too. You can be scared together and encourage one another through the scary start. You will know if it feeds your heart, but you will never know until you start.

It’s okay to be scared, but I always tell my daughter, “What do you have to lose?” There’s usually nothing to lose, but oh so much to gain. Another line in the devotional says, “As you look to me, I show you what do do now and next.” Our roadmap for where this life will lead, if we’re willing, is in the now and next.

Leaving the Throne

It was one year ago I saw her post with a picture of the ragged bible and went looking for my Bible. It was sitting on a shelf of books collecting dust, but it had a cover on it which I wrote about here. This year, I took the protective cover off in hopes that it would begin to look used. Let’s just say it’s been a process.

When I brought it down from the shelf, I laid it on the windowsill and I picked it up every now and then to read. It got moved from the windowsill to the bedside table. This table is on the far side of the bed, so basically it laid in a corner. I’d wake up and gaze at that Bible seeming so far away, but not completely out of reach.

I’d grab my phone and do a meditation instead.

A while ago, the Bible made it to the table on my side of the bed. When I sit up in the morning, I still grab my phone, but I grab the Bible along with it. I look at Instagram to see if this same woman with the ragged Bible from a year ago has posted a verse to read. She calls it a ‘Faith Read’ and posts the chapter and verse.

In my previous post, my daughter loved the picture of the woman sitting on the pier. It is a beautiful photo, but I found it on Google. I dug up the photo below and this was my pier. I stood there almost every morning, waiting to see the sunrise and to praise and worship God. This pier got me through everything life threw.

This pier is where God showed up every time I did.

Not quite as blissful looking as Google’s.

While driving into town, I heard a song on the radio. It was an old Philips, Craig and Dean song and it took me back to this pier. It was the song I sang when I wasn’t feeling the whole ‘just show up’ thing. You are God alone, gives me peace and comfort in knowing no matter what we see today, He is still on the throne, and He’s not leaving the throne.

Sharing is Caring

My daughter and I love receiving packages.

We’re slowly getting our life delivered to us, instead of going to public places. Bath and Body Works came in the mail, and my mail lady walked it up to my front door. (It wouldn’t fit in the mailbox) She does that with a lot of our packages, no matter the size.

She laughs when I squeal over the package.

Opening the box, I felt God nudging me to give some away. It was just lotion, but it was my favorite lotion, and this scent has been retired. I’ve worn it for years, and it’s become my smell, but why would God be prompting me to give a bottle to my mail lady?

We don’t know each other very well, and I didn’t know if she would like something so girlie. This is me looking for a reason.

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I wrapped a bottle of the lotion in a note and placed it in mailbox. Then went for a walk.

About halfway through my walk, I looked up to see the mail lady’s car coming down the road. She was beeping the horn to get my attention, and I walked over to her car. Her window was rolled down a bit, and looking inside, I could see she was rubbing her hands together.

The smell of the lotion, tickled my nose through the open window.

She was so excited! She thanked me and said, “I never buy myself girlie stuff like this!”

When God gives us more than we need, give it away. This has a different feel than giving something I don’t use anymore. With it being out of the box new, it’s more like sharing.

As I finished my walk home God reminded me, sharing is caring.

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Live Like That

I’m going through my Blog posts one by one.

I’ve been wanting to take time to do this for a while, and then I read a post over at Renards World, and he recommended it. His post entitled, 5 Reasons to Explore Your Archives is excellent. He suggested an app to assist, but I prefer to do it by hand.

The main reason I wanted to do this is because I knew there were a lot of missing photos. It’s not pretty to look at a post with a photo missing. It leaves a big gap in the post, and an ‘X’, similar to a broken link. The irony is, I did this to the posts myself without realizing it.

When you decide to clean up your media, every photo deleted is also removed from the post, but it leaves it’s mark.

This morning, I came across this post from January 2016. The title of the post reminded me of a song entitled, Live Like That. I’ve noticed some interesting things reading each post, and haven’t deleted as many as I thought I would.

I’m not rewriting them either.

Those early posts from 2014 through 2016, are a part of who I am today. There is one common theme in every post I’ve read, and it’s God. Re-reading them confirmed how I choose to live this life.

I want to continue to live like that.

 

 

He’s Always Watching

It’s the weekend, but I’m in full work mode.

I used to think waking up at the crack of dawn on a weekend was horrid, but by 9:30 am, I had showered, dressed, and completed most of my work. For a little while anyways. I decided to go to the hardware store for a change of scenery, and some air.

I grabbed a blouse to throw on over my tank top, and hopped in my truck. I hadn’t worn this blouse in a very long time. It’s the most delightful fabric, like gauze really. I love the way it feels, and the rhinestones complimenting the embroidery.

blouse

It’s very delicate, so I made a mental note…Don’t get it dirty!

It’s a little fancy for the hardware store, because I always browse through the plant area, and of course I found a plant to bring home. Someone struck up a conversation, so I hoisted the plant onto my side, and enjoyed the social interaction.

All of a sudden, I felt dampness seeping through my tank top, and realized the potted plant was leaking water. The bottom of the container was dirty, so I had a nice muddy, wet spot on my tank. I panicked and looked at my blouse.

The blouse had safely moved out of the way before the container landed on my side. I paused a moment and thanked God for protecting my blouse.

He knows when I’m focused on work, and not mindful of my surroundings. I think a lot of times we look for God to move in a big way, or reveal an earth shattering revelation, which He will, but we’re tested in the small things first.

He protected my blouse from a stain that probably wouldn’t come out. That’s my kind of God. He’s always watching.

A Thrilling Place To Be

A friend found out today that he didn’t get the house he had placed an offer on. He found this house last year, and fell in love with the property. It would be a perfect place to live, and house his business, but God has other plans.

A lot of us prayed fervently about this house.

But, we all prayed in accordance to God’s will.

Sometimes God’s ‘no’, should be our ‘thank you.’

thankyou

I told my friend, ‘Answered prayer.’ It may not seem like an answered prayer, but it is. The house was perfect, and maybe it all looked that way to us, but something wasn’t right.

We couldn’t see it, but God could.

What my friend did right was clinging to his faith. He was patient with the back and forth about the house, for months. I’m sure he became frustrated with waiting, but God was watching, and I believe my friend won today.

He didn’t get this house, but he’s better equipped for the next one that comes along. I encouraged him to keep looking, and to follow his heart to what he really wants.

I think that seems too big to us.

But, it’s not too big for God. What He has planned for us is more than we can ever imagine, and that’s a thrilling place to be.

The Dentist’s Chair

After I stood up from the Dentist’s chair, his hygienist went over a list of horrific things that could occur. I listened, but didn’t accept what she was saying personally.

The same thing happened during Breast Cancer treatment. The doctor’s went over a list of side effects that could happen. I tentatively listened, but didn’t receive any of it.

A friend had surgery and the doctor told him depression could set in afterwards. If he received those words, he might feel depressed.

plan

Words are like seeds that take root.

Don’t be fertile ground for negativity.

Even in the Dentist’s chair.

It’s the Climb

Yesterday, while writing  Feel the Music, Lewis Capaldi began singing a cover of the Miley Cyrus song, The Climb. It’s one of my favorite songs and yes, I love Miley. She went through a major growth phase and being a celebrity, we got to watch.

To find our true selves, we need to peel back the layers of life we’ve accumulated. It’s a messy process, but I want to find that woman God wants me to be. She’s in there, on this journey with me.

joelnobis1

This journey is worth it to me.

Enjoy Lewis Capaldi’s version of The Climb.

 

Redefining Self Care

Self-care began as a weekend treat, but now it’s a part of my everyday life. My neighbor saw me sitting outside and asked, “What are you doing Barbara?”

Me: “Staring at a page with a question in the middle of it! It says, ‘I want to say thank you to myself because…'” He just nodded his head and said, “Okay Barbara!” 🙂

It didn’t phase him one bit. He thought it was normal for me to be doing that. I still haven’t filled in the page. How often have I said, ‘thank you’ to me?

thankyou

I can recall a handful of times.

This month I can feel a shift.

I show up for myself everyday, no matter what happened the previous day. To just continually show up and remain present. “Be still and know that I am God”, is one of my favorite verses. A season of stillness is where I am and so thankful to be aware and acknowledge it.

And be good with it.

I can begin filling in the page with, “Thank you Barbara for being still and standing calmly in place.” Just by showing up every day, no matter the circumstances, is a redefinition of self care.