Make It Pretty

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Each day looks different.

I woke up this morning and walked through the den to see a ginormous Christmas tree sitting there. My daughter has been in charge of our tree for the past three Christmases.

That is something I had to let go of. She doesn’t remember my past life of the perfect tree. It was artificial, and pre-lit with hundreds of white lights. There was usually a theme for the tree and the house. I had a florist that would arrive shortly after Thanksgiving to decorate.

It had to look good. That was my motto in life. There is a difference between ‘looking good’, and being pretty. We can cause almost anything to look good with enough help, even ourselves, but to be pretty. That is when I just stroll by and something catches my eye for it’s actual being. It’s just there being pretty. That is the life I have today, and I love my life.

A simple life.

When my daughter and I moved out on our own, we knew holidays, and special occasions were going to look different. I left a lot of things we were used to seeing, especially this time of year. The giant Santa that sat by the front door, elegantly robed in red velvet with precise attention to detail. He was the perfect vision of a Santa, and he cost a small fortune.

I recall walking up to the barn, which housed our Christmas paraphernalia, before we left. I can still feel the sense of overwhelm when thinking about it. Just seeing all this Christmas stuff we had collected for 25 years, laying everywhere. The ginormous tree was laying in three pieces, and looked sad and broken. I drug that tree out to the street for the trash man.

My life at that point and time felt totally trashed. We could make it look pretty with all these things, like we had for years, or I could walk away and begin again. It was time to get real.

My daughter and I started a new tradition by going to a Christmas tree farm for our tree. The house and life we had was all new, so choosing the right tree was a challenge. I still recall the look on her face when she found our tree. After walking the field for what seemed like forever, she came upon what she thought was a big, fluffy tree. It was actually two of them.

Two trees had clung to each other while growing, and they had grown together. The guy at the tree farm thought we were crazy for sure when we asked him to cut them both down.

They gave us a really good deal on the trees because it was obvious they weren’t completely whole by themselves, but together they were pretty amazing. That is how I saw our new life.

Last Christmas is a blur to me. I’m sure we had a tree because we looked for a very long time to find one. My daughter didn’t find one she liked at the farm last year. We were walking into the grocery store, and one was standing out front sorta alone. She looked at it again on the way out, but kept walking to the truck. Needless to say, we went back to get it.

My mother passed away last December, so we drove to North Carolina to be with family.

That within itself was an enormous adventure, and with it being Christmastime, it felt completely out of the norm. I don’t remember much about last Christmas because we were not home, but this one will be different. We are home, and she found her perfect tree at the farm. Again, walking the field, but this time in the rain, and wind, she eventually found it.

Let’s just say, “Thank God I drive a truck.” This tree takes up half our den in width. I had to let go of my ideas, to embrace my daughter’s creativity. The size and shape didn’t matter as long as I could get to the front door. This only happens once a year, so I let her run with it. I’ve never had a tree like this before, and she chose a theme that I was unsure of at first.

Cool white LED lights is what she chose. I was used to soft white, but let it go. She chose this garland that is way too much fun. It looks like strips of iridescence, glitter and taffeta.

Then she saw the icicles. I had rather dark memories of icicles, so I steered clear of them until now. They are messy, and yes, I see some this morning on the hardwood floor. I’ve been picking them up and throwing them on the tree like, “Here, these belong to you.”

As I saw how this tree was unfolding, and the theme she was trying to achieve, I went crazy with the tree topper. Not your traditional topper anymore. No, we now have a giant, frosted, glittery cupcake atop the tree. Because our mantra is, “Cake and icing will fix anything. ”

Walking into the den this morning, I could feel the presence of the tree before I even saw it.

It’s so different than what I have been used to, but it’s the most beautiful tree I’ve ever had.

It looks like a winter wonderland standing in the den. She wrapped the base in artificial snow, and has a pouch of glitter and more iridescence ready to be opened and added today.

I spent years with no glitter in my house because of the mess it made. The same with the icicles. My daughter was gazing at the tree lastnight, admiring her handiwork, as the heat started blowing through the vent above. She said, “I love the way the icicles sparkle when the air hits them.” This year is different, but it sure is pretty. I hope you have lots of glitter.

 

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Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, and Mom to her 17-year-old daughter. 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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

Different Is Good

When I’m at the lake, the coffee maker usually wakes me up. It’s set on a timer to start brewing, but this morning that didn’t happen. I slept in because I forgot to add the water.

Chef saved the coffee by adding water. He had to go to work, so I put on my favorite CD at the moment, Jennifer Nettles, “Playing With Fire,” and enjoyed my coffee listening to her.

This year has been so different. Not only walking through Breast Cancer, but my daughter and I were apart for Thanksgiving. This was when having two separate lives showed up. She felt led to be with her father, and I wanted to be with Chef and his family. I missed her terribly, but it was nice cooking with Chef, and having Thanksgiving with my new family.

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I have spent twenty something years cooking the entire Thanksgiving dinner myself. This year I was only responsible for two dishes. The dressing, and some sweet potatoes. Mr. Smith, (Chef) had everything else under control. We were going to cook the entire dinner for his family. It’s funny looking at it now, but I was so nervous about cooking the dressing!

His Mother has always made the dressing, and I was in charge of making something they had certain memories of. Keeping it Grandma’s Dressing recipe, all I could do was my very best. Thanksgiving morning, Mr. Smith went to his families home to put the turkey in the oven, and I started making my dressing. Why was I so nervous about making this one dish?

Meanwhile, my daughter had volunteered to cook Thanksgiving dinner for her Dad, and brother. She called me stressed out about cooking the ham. Being a mother, I just wanted to step in and help her, but I couldn’t. This was something she chose to do, and at 17 years old, I had faith that she could. After the call, I had a good cry, and let it go. Later on she sent this.

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She did all of this. I love the way she put the pottery I left behind to good use. This picture reflects what she saw over the years, and she duplicated it amazingly well at her young age. She make it look like Thanksgiving, even though we were apart. I was filled with joy for her.

The expectations we place on ourselves can be brutal. My daughter and I both have a bit of perfectionism we struggle to let go of. The dressing turned out well, and we had a beautiful Thanksgiving. Chef did an amazing job in his Mother’s kitchen, pulling the entire meal together in record time. It’s incredible to watch him, and he only burned his fingers twice.

Maybe your holiday’s look different this year, but I am finding that different is good.

Letting go of expectations of myself, allows me to enjoy what’s in front of me instead.

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Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, and Mom to her 17-year-old daughter. 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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Dear Sober Me

It’s been raining this week in Texas. The sun broke through the clouds this morning, beamed through the front windows, and filled my home with light. The air outside was cool, but the warmth of the sun felt fabulous. Now it’s cloudy again, but that is only the weather.

I am grateful every morning I wake up, but even more grateful to wake up sober. Today marks 18 years of sobriety for this chick. So, even though the weather is cloudy, my mind is not, and neither are my eyes. There is a lot on my mind at the moment, but my eyes are shining bright! Asking God for His help 18 years ago, was the best decision I ever made.

I just returned form a very long appointment with a Radiologist. Just to check my level of patience, they had me waiting from the very beginning. I went yesterday, which living in the woods, is a 45 minute drive to see them, one way. They had me scheduled with the wrong doctor, and asked me to come back today. So I did, and there was more waiting.

A nurse came in and asked me lots of questions. Once they were answered, another lady came in that is the doctor’s assistant. She liked to talk, and I sat there listening to her describe every aspect of radiation. By the third time I looked down at my lap and zoned out, she got the message and stopped talking. I just wanted to see the doctor and leave.

The doctor eventually came in and went over the same information as she. It was like they were trying to talk me into it or something, so I said, “What are my next steps, and when do we start?” They said their goodbye’s, and told me to expect a phone call this week, or next, about scheduling a scan of my breast. Two weeks after the scan, they will start treatment.

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It’s a good day to be sober. I cannot imagine following this Breast Cancer Journey hungover.

God took my desire to drink completely away when I asked. I can’t recall a craving in all these years, but the thought of a drink has crossed my mind. Fortunately, I learned very well that a glass of wine, or ten, does not fix anything. The circumstance I was drinking over was waiting on me the next day, along with whatever chaos I caused while drinking.

I was hoping my Breast Cancer Journey would be over by the end of the year. Radiation will begin sometime in December, and be 5 days a week, for six weeks. The journey will fall into the new year. My sponsor would ask me, “Would you like some cheese with that whine?” I have nothing to whine about. We will continue the journey as planned, and stay sober me.

 

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Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, and Mom to her 17-year-old daughter. 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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

When Worry Assails

Many of my daily devotionals recently have been about trusting God. It’s not so hard to trust Him, but to lay your life at His feet, and to trust Him completely with the outcome.

I’m still working on that.

Looking back over my life some rather large mountains have been removed. Things happened that I had no control over, and I worried how to get through. Worrying about the future. It’s human nature to visualize ourselves coping badly in those situations. It’s my nature to devise a plan, and fix it, but that is not including God. I’d rather have God lead.

He is the master fixer of my life. My life is very simple today, and I don’t stir things up like I used to. When a situation presents itself, I know it’s going to be an opportunity for God to show up, and show off. I will need to stay out of it, and respond as little as possible. The most recent being my Breast Cancer Journey. Oh, I had plenty of ideas how to handle that.

Sitting here this morning, pondering my appointment with the Radiologist this afternoon, thinking my journey would be over by now. Having the lumpectomy a few weeks ago, and the Cancer being removed, we should be done. Obviously not, or I wouldn’t be sitting here dreading my appointment! This is me worrying about the path ahead, and not including God.

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A dear friend sent me this earlier this week. She knew nothing of my upcoming appointment, so I’m sure it was God prompting her to send it. It brought the whole Breast Cancer Journey back into view. ‘You are living through a major expansion of your faith’, describes this journey perfectly. Yes, I am uncomfortable, but I believe that is okay today.

Isn’t that why we shrink to begin with? The discomfort.

I told everyone that would listen that I didn’t want radiation. In my mind, after the surgery, I was done. It sounded good, but I must keep walking through open doors. When I told my surgeon I didn’t want it, she gasped! In amazement she looked at me and said, “Barbara. How can you come this far, and not finish the journey? This is the last leg of the path!”

Thanks to Chemo, I am not afraid of this path. Chemo could have easily been the worst thing I’ve ever been through, but God was there. Chemo was a dark, and lonely path, but it could have been so much worse than it was. I wasn’t sick during it, and the only side effect I really had was the extreme fatigue. It knocked the wind out of me for at least three days.

I didn’t write much during those dark days, as friends tried their best to encourage me.

They would say, “You’re so brave”, and “You kicked Cancer’s butt”. Oh no darlings. My body was curled up in a fetal position in the middle of my bed, and I was gazing out the bedroom window depending on God to get me through it. He did, and He will continue to do so. Radiation may look like an inconvenience to me, but it’s really an opportunity to be used by God. What I wanted to be complete, is obvious today, that’s it’s only a curve in the path.

 

mescarf (135x240)

Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, and Mom to her 17-year-old daughter. 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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

It’s So Quiet

God found a home for our Blue Heeler on Saturday. I have been wrestling with finding him a new home for months. We knew he deserved more than we could give him, but to let him go? After years of practice, it still gets to me. The actual physical and emotional part of it. I could see God’s hand all over the situation, so that helped. It’s been a very quiet morning.

By now Gus, the Blue Heeler, would be making a squeaking noise to get out of his kennel. It has surprised me how much I accommodated this dog. I was loading the Keurig lastnight before bed, until I realized I didn’t need to do that anymore. I used to get it ready, so the next morning all I had to do was push the button. Not making noise means not waking Gus.

He was actually my daughters dog, but both of us cared for him. It was going have to be her decision to let him go. All I could do was point out what I saw, and plant seeds.

Accepting Gus for his true self, and seeing he deserved more than we could give. He’s a working dog, and needed a job. Someone rents the acreage behind us to use for cattle. The cows would come up to our fence and Gus would start barking, and running the fence line trying to herd them. He knew what he was, and the day I saw that, it truly broke my heart.

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I envisioned Gus with a man that drove a truck. He would be a good truck dog. Someone with a ranch, so he would have plenty to do. Gus knows his purpose, and should fulfill it just like we should. Praying for our hearts desire for Gus, my daughter placed an ad for him. We knew if it was meant to be, God would send the right person, and God being God, He did.

The day the ad was placed, a man responded. He had been looking for a Heeler for a while, and wanted one that was instinctual. He lived an hour away, but was happy to drive and meet Gus the next morning, and bring his wife. He asked, “How early is too early for you?”

They came early Saturday morning, and not surprisingly, he was driving a big truck. It was love at first sight for Gus, and them. He started throwing the ball for Gus, and I mentioned how I thought he would be good with a Frisbee. He runs after the ball, and then jumps high in the air to catch it. The man walked over to his truck, and pulled out a brand new Frisbee.

God showed us things that morning assuring us that this was his new family. I texted them over the weekend, and Gus had already been to a park, and walked around the neighborhood twice. They also have a weekend ranch with lots of livestock. They sent me a picture of him laying on a pretty rug surrounded by new chew toys. I had already warned her ahead of time about the dog hair. He found happiness.

What are you holding onto today, that both of you would be happier by letting go?

 

mescarf (135x240)

Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, and Mom to her 17-year-old daughter. 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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

To Embrace Change

When I was a child, I would watch my Mother dust the bottom of our furniture. The legs of every chair, and up underneath the piece. It was very odd, and I swore I would never do that!

My daughter saved a baby lizard the other night from his doom. It was stuck up under a chair, so she released him, and took him outside. It was a mystery to me how he was stuck, and then she told me he was in a cobweb. That is when I remembered what Mother was doing. Dusting the cobwebs. Have you noticed they come around right before Halloween?

Just like the cobwebs are a sign of the changing season, I made a lot of changes to my environment over the past few days. My little dog wasn’t sure about them though. The first thing I noticed was his behavior around the furniture being moved in the den. His main concern was his rug was now moved. What’s funny is, I moved the rug with him in mind.

We have hard wood floors, which is another reason for the cobwebs. No carpet to hide in. My little dog Mochee doesn’t like laying on the hard wood, so he has always laid on the rug in front of the front door. This puts him far away from where my daughter and I usually are.

In our favorite chairs! When I rearranged the furniture, I put that rug in front of our chairs. Now, when we are in our chairs, he can lay in front of us. He was distraught when he saw that the rug was moved. He paced back and forth looking at the new design, but he just wasn’t sure. I watched him do this for quite a while. It doesn’t take much to entertain me.

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Then he got it. The room had changed, but the change had his best interests at heart. When we make a change, it will most likely effect someone else in our life. I enjoy change, and my daughter has grown to enjoy it too. They can see it makes life better, but it’s up to them to embrace it or not. Mochee laid down on the rug, but watched the front door from afar.

Once I rearranged the living area, I kept on moving stuff. I rearranged artwork, moved accessories to a new spot, and found better uses for things I had that were not being used well.  I was sorta concerned about my daughter getting home while I was out running errands. She might have walked in and thought she was at the wrong house. That’s change.

Embrace it. Don’t let your life get stale. Keep things moving, and in good working order. Use everything God has given you to the best of your ability, and above all, enjoy the beauty.

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This One Life

We are only given one life. God gave me this Blog title before I fell asleep lastnight. Facebook revealed to me this morning, it was 3 years ago today that I wrote my first Blog.

It doesn’t feel like 3 years ago, but looking at my life today it makes sense. I have simplified my life so much, and I’m still doing it today. My daughter and I have this joke about driving, and getting distracted by the sunset. She would be the one arriving home late because she was taking pictures of the sky. This morning sky is distracting me in much of the same way.

It takes time to unlearn what we’ve learned. To deprogram ourselves so to speak. When my daughter and I starting living together on our own, I recall a moment of us getting dressed and ready for the day. She was frantically trying to get ready, and out the door, as I stood there feeling a building pressure of being late again. Then I had a life changing revelation.

I looked her way and said, “We’re not in a hurry.” After spending most of my life rushing, this was huge for me. We were not on anyone else’s timetable anymore, so we got to choose how to live our lives. Our lives were pretty much a blank canvas at that point, so we had the opportunity to fill it in as we pleased. We stopped rushing, and started enjoying our life.

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When I see my daughter rushing today, I still tell her, “We’re not in a hurry.” I think I say it outloud for my own sake as well. It’s like a reminder for both of us. Do you notice your life?

This took years of downsizing, and my flesh having fits because I thought I needed that ginormous house. God gently moved us from one house to the next, each time they got smaller, and we were forced to let go of more things. When my daughter and I moved for the first time into our own little house, that was a defining moment for me. What to take?

I’ve written about it before, but we only took the things we loved. There was so much stuff in that house, you couldn’t tell anything was missing when we left. We have moved twice, so we have given away a lot of what we thought we loved. We continue to simplify our lives.

That is where I am. Yesterday, I rearranged the furniture in our den. I woke up this morning excited about walking into a newly designed room. It caused me to take notice of something that has not been used in a while. My daughter’s desk. She has been doing her schoolwork at the dining room table this year, when she has a perfectly good desk. It’s just cluttered up.

To see our lives, and all the opportunity it holds, will take some uncluttering. She has a bookshelf behind her desk that can be made more useful. When she returns home tomorrow, she will have a clean, inviting desk, and a bookshelf housing what she needs.

It’s all right there Beautiful Souls. Enjoy your life. It’s waiting to be seen.

 

mescarf (135x240)

Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, and Mom to her 17-year-old daughter. 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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com