Living God’s Best

I ran into a friend yesterday, and she asked, “Are you okay?” She had a look of concern on her face, and I assured her that I was. She had read my Blog about the Cancer scare, and wanted to make sure I was all good. She is not the only friend that wasn’t sure, so let’s see if I can be more clear.

What we go through in life is a test of some sort.

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I don’t believe there is Cancer in my breast. The technician wasn’t sure what she was seeing during the sonogram, so I had the films sent to my Oncologist who knows my history. He didn’t see anything concerning, but wants to see my next film in six months. I’m not worried, so don’t you be either!

God used that situation to reach the right people, and I now have really good health insurance!

In March, or April of next year, I will have another mammogram, and have faith for God’s best. Since walking out of the imaging center a month ago, I have made life changes, and am still making them. When God shows me His best, I want to give Him my best in return. The entire incident brought this to the forefront of my mind.

“What do I want my life to look in six months? Am I living God’s best?”

It’s a Choice

Since deciding to take a Social Media fast, some friends have called me out. Facebook detects a connection, and is telling on me. To stay connected to my daughter while she is at her Father’s this weekend, we’ve used Messenger. Facebook Messenger is an app that is  made by Facebook, but is separate. So, nope. I have not posted one Meme.

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It all started with my phone. Sometimes the bill is due before the weekend, and before payday. I get paid on Monday’s, so I get to choose. Do I want an active phone, or money for the weekend? I choose having money to spend, over my phone.

I’ve used Cricket phone service for 5 years, and it works. There are no contracts, and you just pay month to month. No re-connection, or late fees, just pay when you need it.

The phone turns into a blingy paperweight, and I’m out the door. An iced latte would hit the spot, so I hop in my truck, and drive 10 minutes down the road to Chapparal Coffee.

This young couple moved from Austin, TX, to open this coffee bar, and his name is Austin! He has the best vibe, and it’s pure joy just walking in the door. Coffee and I have a serious relationship, and I have learned a lot at Chapparal. I go there several times a week for the coffee, and the people.

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Austin at Chapparal Coffee, Lockhart, TX.

His wife brings in wildflowers, so there are always flowers. Walking in today, Austin had just finished installing a couple of beer taps, but not for beer. Oh no lovely. This is magical!

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Ginger Beer!!!!

Austin handed me a glass to try, and it was a treat!

Some friends scoff at me for spending money on high quality coffee. “Being a single Mom with a part-time income, how do you do that?” I’m going to drink coffee, so it might as well be a life experience. The coffee costs a little more than the grocery store brands, but it’s well worth the extra dollars.

Experimenting in the kitchen on the weekends is a newfound love. The last time I went to the local grocery store, they had some huge basil plants on display. My daughter and I chuckled at how big they were! I’ve been wanting to try this Basil Hummus recipe, so instead of paying $3.98 per packet for a few fresh Basil leaves, I opted to buy this guy for $9.00.

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It should bring plenty of Basil Hummus and fresh Pesto!

Since trying my hand at the Boston Ferns, (which shout out to the lady who left a comment with tips), this spoke to me today. I have a planter full of dirt sitting on my porch from last years plant demise, but we’re gonna give this Basil a go.

When I went in the store to pay for the Basil, I took a walk through the flower department. Fresh flowers are a love of mine and my daughters, but not just any flower. We have a few that are special to us, and this time of year is for Peonies.

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This little bundle cost $6.00. They will be fully opened by the time my daughter gets home.

These choices bring more meaning and beauty to my life than my phone. I’m able to choose today, and the end result is showing others, “I love you more than my phone.”

To Feel Him

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, 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.

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…”

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. 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.

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.

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Feel the Music

My daughter figured out how to hook up the sub woofer to her stereo before she left to go visit her Dad. I now know how to get her out of bed without even walking into her room!

It’s amazing how it feels when something is completely connected. We enjoyed the stereo pre-subwoofer, but now it’s like, Holy Cow! I can feel the vibration of the music. The whole house can, and probably the neighbor!

It’s the same way when we are completely connected to God. I am learning to be still again, and just feel His presence. Just like in that Chemo chair. He is the vibration of life and love. This song has really good bass, so if you can, turn it up and feel it.

“I have this hope, in the depth of my soul. In the flood or the fire, you’re with me, and you won’t let go.”

A Good Morning

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.”

I was nice, and 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!!!”

It hasn’t happened yet, but that man made me ponder. Following God, and doing what He wants, is not easy. It’s much easier to ignore all signs He gives me, and just keep forging straight ahead.

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

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. 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.

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.

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.

Outside the Box

My daughter and I went shopping yesterday, and there is one shop I absolutely adore. They have the most beautiful things, and it’s pure bliss just to walk through. I bought a candle.

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Having spent years of my life smelling candles, I know the really good ones to buy. This shop just started carrying some that are new to me. Not only do they smell divine, but the jar they are in is gorgeousness.

Upon leaving the shop, we noticed a quaint little Cafe across the street, and decided to give it a try. We had not had showers, wore no makeup, and were dressed in our really comfortable clothes. As soon as we walked in, I noticed how bright it was, but entered anyway. It was like walking into a really bad tea party, with no Mad Hatter as your host.

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My daughter was immediately uncomfortable with the stringent atmosphere, as everyone looked up from their plate and stared. (Remember, I’m bald from Chemo.)

Yes, real people just walked in, but we were not welcome. I am very comfortable in my skin, and try to teach my daughter to be so in hers. I could have sat down and ate, but all they offered were salads. I can make that at home.

A lady that worked there approached us, trying her best to welcome us. I just smiled, and told her very nicely, we would come back another time. I don’t believe she was used to people walking out of her restaurant, because her face dropped, as she referred to me as a Carnivore. I rarely eat meat.

I didn’t take it personally, and gave her my warmest smile. I sincerely wished her a beautiful day, as we exited out the door.

My daughter was so relieved to be outside. As soon as we were, I gave thanks to God. I was so grateful that I didn’t feel the need to go to places like that anymore. I don’t have to fit into anyone’s box, and I am free to just be me.

Circle of Healing

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My daughter, and I went to the Fourth of July celebration lastnight, in our tiny town. It was quaint, and sweet. It was enough walking through town, and soaking up the stares from strangers. My daughter, as you know is stunning, and today, so am I. She tied a flag scarf around my bald head, so I’m sure we were a sight!

It was all good until I heard that song.

Standing in front of an old schoolhouse, in the midst of the crowd, I heard Luke Bryan singing this song from a few years ago. I used to love Luke Bryan, but he lost me after, “That’s My Kinda Night.” My daughter was standing beside me, and she immediately noticed the change in my demeanor. She said, “Remember when you used to love Luke Bryan?”

My body froze, and my head dropped when I heard that song. It brought back memories of when I left my marriage of 25 years, and moved to nothingness with my daughter in tow. I’m sure my friends thought I had lost it, leaving the security of what I had always known. That first year, on our own, was such a season of learning. Of unbecoming who I’d become.

When I started this Blog, it was to share my experience, strength, and hope with others. I would take a life lesson, and share how it impacted my life today. Staying above the water line with it, being careful not to go too deep, and reveal to much about me personally. Walking through this Breast Cancer Journey is causing me to burst out of my cocoon.

There was a man in my life that is borderline genius. We both have the gift of writing, except he was able to utilize smart people words. One of his favorite words was ‘Nuances’. I never could wrap my mind around the full meaning of that word, until today. Noticing the nuances of life. One of his favorite quotes was, “The only constant in life is change.”

That man is no longer a part of my life, so it’s ironic that I am still learning from him.

My soul has healed enough to share my personal lessons with you. I believe people come into our lives for a reason, and sometimes only a season. I am sitting in a circle of healing.

Gunpowder and Lace

There may come a time where we need to let go of our dream so someone else can have theirs. We work tirelessly at what seems to be something we want to achieve, but it’s like rolling a boulder uphill using our noses.

A friend of mine recently gave up her dream shop after struggling with it for as long as she could. Moving out of her dream shop, opened the door to somebody else’s.

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Welcome to Bastrop Texas. I love this town and the people in it. One our favorite shop’s to visit was Gunpowder and Lace. It wasn’t so much the shop, which was unique in its own way, but the woman who owned it. She had started her business on Main Street, and moved around the corner to a rustic location.

It has a massive front porch, with a wooden swing in the corner. You could sit in the swing and watch people enter Bastrop Brewhouse, now Neighbors Kitchen and Yard, and Larryland Music. My daughter and I sat there many a time, eating Gelato and enjoying the moment. The Colorado River runs behind these businesses and is tranquil just like this town.

My friend, has decided to close the doors of Gunpowder and Lace. To this location anyway. Once you have a dream in your heart, it doesn’t leave, but it will move. She was moving to the next town over and I know she is following God. She must be because she answered the prayers of one couple in particular.

This lady had been praying for 3 years for the right location for her husband and her to open their own shop. It would be eclectic, vintage and just anything and everything they loved and wanted to share. They pulled down a side street in Bastrop, TX, and she saw Robin’s shop, Gunpowder and Lace.

She looked at her husband and said, “That’s our shop! That is the shop we’ve been praying for!”

Little did they know, Robin was on her way out in another direction. Long story short, I had the pleasure of walking into this shop Friday evening and feel the warmth, love and life of this old building renewed. They are opening their doors Valentine’s Day weekend, and we are so excited for them and Robin. Where one dream moved on, another dream began.