15 Minutes

It’s become customary around 2:00 PM to be outside watering plants. My Dad used to say, “It’s the hottest part of the day”, but I’m beginning to embrace the heat. It’s not humid at that time, but it is hot.

As I was out there today, hose in hand with the spray nozzle attached, I noticed the sky getting dark, and clouds rolling in. I had worked my way around the yard and was spraying the last flower bed when I heard the thunder. Dropping the hose, because the nozzle is stainless steel, I rallied the dogs and we went inside.

It was funny but I couldn’t help thinking, if I’d waited 15 minutes before doing the watering myself, I would’ve seen there was a better plan.

Standing at the window, watching a steady rain drench everything I had just watered, the 50 foot watering hose lying in the rain seemed small. I whispered, “I’m sorry I ran out in front of you again.” That has happened on numerous occasions, and it’s a continual education discerning the difference between God’s timing and mine.

Then I felt Him smile and say, “Hey Barb. It was only 15 minutes. You’re doing better.”

More to Say

It was March 30th when I posted The Grand Finale. Maybe you’re wondering, what happened to the grand finale, Barb? It obviously wasn’t all that grand. I returned a month later, on April 30th with the scattered words. Even though I wasn’t posting, I continued writing.

I took a 30 day break from Blogging, but then a decision had to be made. I received an email from WordPress reminding me my domain name was up for renewal. Recently, I spotted this written in a journal, “Make a decision and it’ll show you a direction.” I renewed my domain name and decided to continue Blogging for another year.

I don’t write when things go wrong, and this month there’s a list! Being a believer of ‘everything happens for a reason’, I wait and share the good that came from it.

Taking a break was good for the soul, and God showed me other ways to use my writing to encourage others. It’s alright to step away from doing what we love, and doing so gave me a renewed appreciation of being here. Guess what my darlings? I have more to say.

If you have anything nice to say, say it all.

Live a Life of Band-Aids

My new thing is wearing nice clothes when leaving the house, but let’s set the bar. I live in faded, blue jeans and t-shirts, so dressing up means nice jeans, a silk shirt and smart looking shoes. 😉

As mentioned in Feel the Music, my friend and I met for our monthly coffee/tea. I wanted to wear something nice and took time to choose my outfit the evening before. Some of my prettier shirts call for ironing and my people are important enough to use an iron if needed.

When we met, she appreciated my choice in clothing, but there was one small problem. I was wearing the wrong shoes. These shoes were one of my favorite ‘slip on and go’ pair of shoes. I remembered them being comfortable enough to walk in all day long, but it’d been a while since I’d worn them and they were crucifying my feet!

It was all I could do to get back home in them. It was odd how they were once so comfortable, but turned into shoes from the devil himself. Entering the house, I kicked them off with a sigh of relief. This made me wonder what else in my life looked comfortable, but capable of pain.

I sat on the edge of my bed to inspect my foot and a blister had formed above the instep. My daughter stood in the doorway inquiring what happened and I told her about the devilish shoes. She said, “You slap three band-aids on it and keep moving.” It didn’t call for three, but I did slap a band-aid on it to continue stepping through life.

Keep living life my darlin’. Stock up on band aides.

“God will take care of what you go through. You take care of how you go through it.”

Zig Ziglar

More Like Him

Dogs are fabulous creatures, but what makes me smile more often is our cat. His name is Chomby, even though the Vet has him listed as Chungus. When using voice text on my phone, it records his name as Giambi. My daughter and I laughed and call him Giambi sometimes for the heck of it.

This week I watched him everyday just to see if he does this every morning, and he does. As soon as I let him out of his house, he goes straight to the window. This is before food, water, or even the potty box. I found his posture so intriguing and snapped this picture for you. It’s like he can’t wait to see what all is happening in the new day.

Giambi/Chomby

This week, I’ve seen myself doing something similar as Chombs. As soon as I wake up I find a window to look out of, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to be outside. Yes, it’s hot, and humid, but I’m not willing to let that stop me. The sweet spot outside is found early in the morning. The flowers I planted in March and April aren’t going to care for themselves.

This morning, I noticed the flowers planted in the Vintage Flower cart looked sad. They weren’t getting enough water, or if they were, it was draining right through. I pulled them out and planted them in the shade. The flower cart was empty again. I’ve tried placing it in various places all over the yard, but this time I stood still and waited for the answer to come.

I spotted a bare patch of ground where the birdseed is poured every morning, so I rolled the flower cart there. Immediately I knew the birds would use it as a perch while taking turns eating the seed scattered below. For now, it serves a purpose empty, but we have a purpose to fulfill and empty won’t cut it. We can tap into what we know will fill us back up.

Seeing our cat faceplanted to a window reminds me to be excited for a new day. Let’s strive to be more like him.

That’s My God

It’s the little things in life that never cease to amuse me. Standing at my kitchen window after an hour’s worth of steady rain, looking at the plants I just watered yesterday. A smile came to my lips as I chuckled at the conversation I was having with God in my heart.

The weather forecast wasn’t calling for rain, but I can’t rely on weather predictions. The best way to know the weather around here is by noticing what it’s doing. God wants to be noticed and it was like He was saying, “If you’d waited Barb, you would have seen my plan for those plants.” We have conversations like that more than we should.

I depend on God in every situation, but sometimes I run ahead. One of my most spoken prayers is, “Here’s my life. I lay it at your feet. Your will be done, not mine.” Then I go on about my day with my plans and actions, so I’m grateful when God shows up with a similar plan, only better.

Life is amusing when it comes down to my plan versus God’s plan, and it’s instances like these that continue to amuse me. That’s my God.

Embrace the Unexpected

I cannot remember the last time I went Black Friday shopping, but I went this year. There was one store having a sale, and I wondered what it would be like to go shopping on Black Friday during a pandemic. It was nothing like I thought it would be.

I made a deal with God Thursday night before bed. I told Him, “If going to this store Friday morning would be a beautiful experience, then wake me up early.” I woke up at 3:00 am, smiled and said, “Not this early. Let’s shoot for 6.” The next time I woke up it was precisely 6:00 a.m.

By 7:00 a.m., I was out the door.

It was foggy, and there was no traffic. When I arrived at the store, there were hardly any cars in the parking lot. Slipping on my mask, I saw a huge sign sitting at the storefront that said, “No more than 35 people allowed inside.” So far, it was nothing like I expected.

I went to the sale for their candles being buy 3, get 3 free. At first I thought, what a deal, but not really. They used to have a sale every month where their candles were half price. I would normally just buy a couple, but the black Friday sale insured me walking out of the store with six!

When the sales clerk handed me the bag full of candles, I was a little bit embarrassed by it size. It was enormous!

What we expect and what God has in store are different sizes. I catch myself not thinking big enough because it’s comfortable walking through the store with a small bag. We need to get good at carrying the enormous bag.

That’s the size of His plans for us if we embrace the unexpected. Hope my neighbors like candles.

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.

red

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.

chances