God Uses Scraps

The saying, “Big Hot Mess”, has new meaning to me. I just watched a video by Steve Harvey, and he broke it down simply. Let’s see if I can do the same.

I like simple. There is nothing fancy about me, but I’m happy. I had fancy, but my life was not a happy life. I could walk through my home, and see pretty things, but I couldn’t look in a mirror.

You see, my then husband and I were living above our means. We were buying all these beautiful, expensive things, and putting them on credit cards. That will be in the book I’m writing, but I haven’t needed to use a credit card in 5 years. Lesson learned.

Steve Harvey used to work for Ford Motor Company. He was a foundry which builds the engine block. The block is the foundation of the engine. You have to have a solid block before adding pieces to the engine. It all begins with scraps. Twenty something years later, Steve is a spokesman for Ford.

Ford uses scrap metal to build their engine blocks. The scraps are laying in a junk yard, and look useless. Are you underneath a pile of junk? Like some of the things that are happening in your life right now feel overwhelming? You may be in the furnace being melted, so God can use you!

hotmessWhen I was willing to let all that stuff go. To walk out of the glass house I had built for myself, it was like God said, “Yay! There you are. Let’s get to work!!!”

You see, I was a mess. I felt like a car that had been wrecked. I was so tired of keeping up with the Jones’, and I didn’t even know anybody with the last name Jones!

All the pieces of my past. Everything I had been through were piling up. I was my own personal junkyard, and the pile was getting pretty intense! Then here comes God.

Steve Harvey showed a video of how an engine block is made. They would dump all that scrap metal into a fiery furnace, and it would melt down into liquid form. A machine would pour the liquid into a mold, and here comes my favorite part…A giant claw would come by and grab the mold! Have you been melted down, and then grabbed by God?

Well, hold on tight baby cuz this is where it gets good!!!

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Going through Breast Cancer last year changed me. I had been writing for three years, and felt like I was doing okay with it. Those three years were my ‘push ups’.

Can you do pushups? They start out small, but the more you do them, the better it gets. What starts out with 5 pushups, goes to 10 pretty soon, and as long as you keep doing it, (like writing, and publishing each Blog), you are at 100 before you know it.

Well, I had written over 350 posts, and found out I have Cancer. I wrote less last year, but when I could think, I wrote. God was refining me. He used what I was going through not only to encourage others, but to melt me down, and pour me into His mold for me.

When I first started writing, I was covered in junk. Writing has been a very healing process, but you see, I was choosing what to write. I was picking up a piece from the top of the pile, and writing about that. I would ask God to bless it and write it.

Then after doing so many pushups, I was getting stronger but not becoming more brave. I was not brave enough to share the really good stuff. The stuff that was painful to share. That is where Cancer came in. Through Cancer, God made me brave.

Steve mentions in the video that once the hot liquid becomes solid, his job was to hit it with a sledgehammer. Wait….I’m having a Pat Benatar moment.

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After about 3 weeks into Chemo, I would come home and pass out. It started off slow and was a gradual buildup of the toxins invading my body to kill that major toxin. Once I had more of the bad stuff in me, than good, God would hit me with his mighty hand.

Like a sledgehammer.

People would ask me what it felt like to have Chemo. I would sorta laugh and tell them, “It feels like being hit by something a lot bigger than me!” My God is big!

Steve would hit the block with a sledgehammer, to make sure it was solid. To make sure there were no air holes, or loose pieces. Then here comes the best part. If it passed the test….wait, did you get that? Let me write it in bold for ya….”If it passed the test…“, the block would continue down the conveyor belt and start receiving additional pieces.

Am I preachin good? We have to be solid before God will add anything else!!!

If you have made it this far into what I’ve been trying to share, you are a Badass! This is probably one of my longer ones, but it has been spirit led. I will not put any restraints on what God wants me to share. No more picking what to write from the top of the pile.

I know you have already spent a good chunk of your time with me, and I am grateful, but if you can spare 30 more minutes, here is the video by Steve Harvey. Be blessed.

Praise Him Anyway

I have done a lot of things that make me look like an idiot. Probably one of my all time favorites was when I would praise and worship God on a pier.

I woke up this morning, snagged a cup of Joe, and stepped outside. I love to stand on my front porch, feel the cool breeze (for now), and just soak in the moment. The sun breaks through these two ginormous oak trees right in front of me. It’s like God’s way of saying, “Good Morning.” I walked inside, flipped on the stereo, and stepped back outside.

This moment brought back memories of McDade.

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This pier is where I stood and worshiped God. This picture was taken on a crisp, and frosty morning, but that didn’t stop me from going down there. I still remember the warmth of my feet, breaking through the frost, as I jumped up and down, and danced around. That pier was completely thawed by the time I was done, and so was my heart.

The wooden spool is where I sat my coffee, and laid my phone, which was playing the music to worship Him. I miss that pier. My heart was longing for that feeling this morning, but all I have now is a front porch. Plus, there is a road in front of my house!

I still live out in the country, but since we moved to this little farmhouse in Dale, I haven’t enjoyed that outside ‘praise and worship’ moment. This morning, I could feel, and hear the music coming through the screen door, as I stood on the porch. Instinctively, my feet started bouncing to the beat because guess what song was playing?

Yep. It was the one I shared yesterday in our Feel the Music series. I sat my coffee down, and raised my arms high in the air, and sang along with Tenth Avenue North, “I have this hope…”  The feeling that came over my body, was like a drug!

My heart began to swell, and it felt like mild electrical waves flushing through my veins. I had goosebumps from head to toe, and it’s just the most exhilarating feeling ever!

I heard a car coming, so I withdrew. It was the same feeling when I would hear a car coming down the driveway in McDade. I lived on 40 acres, so the only car that drove by was my landlord. He was probably thinking, “We really need to size her up for a little white jacket that ties in the back.” What would this person coming down the road think, if they saw me dancing around my porch? In my pajamas no less!

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This is a picture of my daughter taken in McDade. She is gazing out the window, on a rainy day, looking at the pier. That is how we treat God sometimes. We can feel in our heart what He wants us to do, but let’s just stand here a minute and think about it.

The Bible is full of stories where God asked followers to do things that made them look like idiots. My favorite is Noah. I just love his heart! Let’s build an ark, and wait for the rain. The people in this town already shake their heads at me. It wouldn’t surprise them at all to see me building an Ark in my front yard. I say, “Let them think”.

They know I’m a writer that lives with my daughter. I wear pajamas way too late in the day. Sometimes the entire day. I had Breast Cancer and walked around bald-headed last year, but….”She’s always happy.” They know what they see, but you can’t see God.

You have to feel Him.

Is God prompting you to do something that will make you look like an idiot? That’s a good sign. Do it! The irony of all this is…My landlord is a custom cabinet maker. He works with wood, so all the wood suppliers know where I live. I have a large cattle gate on the side yard, so I look forward to the day the wood supplier pulls up, and I can say, “Back it in boys!”

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I’m Coming Out

I was standing at the counter of our local store, waiting to checkout. A more mature gentleman was standing behind me, and I turned around to wish him a ‘Good Morning.’ He asked, “Is it?”

I said, “Well, God woke me up to another day, so yes.” He looked at me and scoffed. Then said, “Oh, you must think you have it easy then.”

That was irritating, but I was nice. I smiled at him with my most gleaming smile and said, “No Sir. There isn’t anything easy about that.”

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When people ask me what faith, or religion I am, I just say, “I love God. We have a fascinating relationship.” Then comes the awkward moment where they don’t know how to respond. I just want one person to exclaim, “SAME!!!”, as we bump knuckles, or high five or whatever is cool nowadays.

It hasn’t happened yet, but that man made me ponder. Following God, and doing what He wants me to do, is not easy. It’s much easier to ignore all signs He gives me, and just keep forging straight ahead. Until I wake up in the dessert dying of thirst.

God saves me from myself and pulling of this world.  To follow our hearts and listen to that still small voice beckoning us to let go and let God.

Well my darlings…I’m coming out.

I’m Not Made of Butter, but Spread Away

You know those survival shows where you can only take one thing with you? Mine would be a really good candle, coffee, or butter. I know…Don’t pick me as your partner.

We talked yesterday about Satan, and how he loves to mess with us. Hey Satan! Dat You?

So, maybe this week we will whack Satan around, because I can see he has been all up in my business. Like, enjoying watching me spread myself too thin.

A week ago, I snapped. My limit had been reached of spreading myself around.

I live an extremely sweet, simple life, but what had I done? Tried to juggle 10 or so social media sites thinking more is better when trying to reach people for encouragement.

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I missed that memo! Being an Encourager, we are placed on this earth to spread love. Spreading myself too thin over too many social media sites had caused me to become weary at doing that one thing really well. To love on people.

Last month I published 26 pieces on this Blog. This month? Up until yesterday, I had published 5. Can you say tired?

Last Tuesday night, I sat down on the edge on my bed, and deleted my social media accounts from my phone. Except Instagram. It has pretty pictures. I’ve had a LinkedIn account sitting there stagnant for 10 years! Bye bye. How did I feel the next morning? Lighter, and almost giddy.

I enjoy Instagram but my gift is not photography. My daughter has shown me how to snap a pic to write about it. She is the photographer, and I’m hoping God will combine our gifts at some point. Wouldn’t that piss Satan off? To combine our gifts as an outreach of encouragement!

Look at the areas of your life that God is blessing, and focus on those. God has given each of us at least one gift. His hope is we will use it for His Glory, not ours.

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Before She Leaves

I’m trying to be more present in life. I have learned, you can live with someone, and still miss moments, if you allow the distractions of the world to suck you in.

My daughter has started to collect succulents. She has been studying about them for a while, so she knows what to do. I over water, and kills things, so I have deemed her in charge of the succulents. She purchased some a month ago, and after further reading she announced, “You are supposed to get them out of the original container as soon as possible!” She ordered potting soil from Bonsai Jack, and has been waiting all week for her dirt to arrive.

We laughed at how excited we were over a shipment of dirt. It was supposed to arrive yesterday, but it didn’t. I told her, “God is gonna come through! It will be here before you leave!”, and it was. First thing this morning she raced to the Post Office.

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Once she got back home with her shipment, she drug everything needed onto the front porch. She had already purchased the planters she wanted to plant them in. This one fell on the way to her car, right after buying it. As you can see, it is now cracked, and the corners are chipped. I told her, “Use it anyway. It has character.”

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This one grew tremendously after she bought it, and it had babies! She separated it, and placed some in this hanging planter, for her room, and then gave some to me. I didn’t have a planter, but I had just washed a container that housed a candle. After the candle was thoroughly enjoyed, I thought the container was cute, and kept it.

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I sat on the porch with her the entire time she was doing all this. She was trying to get it done, and still be on time for her Dad. We had one more that needed a pot, but it didn’t look right in the pot we had left. I told her to go get ready, and I would figure something out. Lord help me! She left me in charge of one! I think I did pretty good.

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They will need their first watering in a few days. I told her I was not touching them, so they will be thirsty when she gets home! She sees many things she wants to try, and it’s fun watching her learn. The entire process, of choosing the plants, the planters, and the dirt, brings me joy. She is choosing what brings her joy, and it overflows.

My daughter has this thing for the underdog. If you asked her to choose a puppy, or kitten out of a healthy, rambunctious litter, she will pick the shy, little runt every time.

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Succulents are no different. Meet little Kumquat, and it’s the only one, that received a lace ribbon. This is how it is before she leaves. She will come home inspired to take on something else, and I’ll be ready to assist. Every time before she really leaves.

Barbara is a Writer, a Certified Letting Go Coach, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is a beautiful example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

This One Thing

If you know anything about me, it’s that I live alone with my daughter. She will be 18 this year, but I have always treated her as an adult. I guess that was my way of preparing her for adulting. Some days she acts more like an adult than me!

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My last few posts have talked about writing, and why we write. Now it’s time to turn the page, and take my writing to a more personal level. I have shown you in this Blog, the beautiful relationship I get to have with my daughter. What I haven’t told you is, it’s not a list of things that I did. It has been all God, and this one thing I did.

I prayed specific prayers over her for years. I pray everyday, but when it comes to our children, I believe we need to be specific. This is the tool I used to do just that.

Stormie Omatian books. Yep, when she was little, I began using ‘The Power of a Praying Mom.’ There are specific prayers in this book that covers every stage of their young life. Now that she is older, I purchased a another book to use. It was on a clearance rack for 8 bucks. I brought that book out this week, and have began reading it.

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I would love for you join me on this quest! If you don’t feel a need to join, I’ll be writing about the power of prayer, and what God is doing because of this one thing.

You can click on The Power of Praying for Your Adult Childen, to see the book. There are many ordering options, especially on Amazon, so choose what’s best for you. I bought the actual book, just in case I ever need to whack her with it. Don’t worry, it’s paperback.

I created a new Facebook page where you can see inside our actual daily lives. One of our favorite sayings has always been, “Not Today Satan. Not Today.” The page began this week, but will evolve as we do. Come and be a part of our world!

Keep Planting Seeds

I have been pondering ‘discouragement’. There are a lot of people out there who are becoming discouraged in life. Mainly, I am seeing writer’s allow it to imprison their gift.

Writing is a gift. For me, it’s a way God can work through me to say something to you. I don’t spend hours developing a Blog, and I don’t do any research, unless it’s to look up a word for the correct usage. It’s just a matter of sitting down in front of this screen, and letting the words flow from my heart, through my fingers, onto this keyboard.

It’s Springtime, and this always makes me want to plant a garden. This house came with a fenced in area for that purpose. I gaze out my kitchen window, and imagine seeing raised beds full of veggies. My father was a gardener, and I’ve had gardens in the past.

Today, I have no desire to tend to it. It a lot of work, and combine that with the Texas heat, and it’s a big, ‘no thank you.’ I’d rather plant seeds of encouragement. As writer’s, we plant a seed every time we click the ‘Publish’ button. The seeds are our words.

Who will harvest our crop? That, we don’t know, but I will keep planting until God tells me different. Just by writing when we feel the urge, and casting it out on the Internet, God has the opportunity to use it. Use the gift God gave you. Keep planting seeds.

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