Scoop and Skim

It took me 50 years to learn the art of napping. All I can say lovelies is, be a faster learner than me. We all have 24 hours in a day. It’s how we use them that brings quality to life.

1Holmes Backyard Photographs

This is a photo of my backyard 10 years ago. When we bought this house, the backyard resembled a football field, cradled by these Texas Live Oaks. It took me 3 years to surrender to having this pool put in. It took a certain pool company to even attempt it. Most companies wanted to bulldoze the trees down, so they would have a clean, easy slate.

My then husband was a designer, and he loved landscape design, so he had it all figured out.

That pool was my first glimpse into the present moment. I love hands on type work, where you can see the fruits of your labor. The pool company showed me how to take care of it, and give it’s weekly maintenance. This was one of the first, successful saltwater pools, so if we had a hard rain, it would beat all the salt out. Nothing like waking up to a green pool!

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Here is a bird’s eye view. This was the backyard, so you can imagine what all needed taking care of inside the house. That was my life. Taking care of man-made beauty. Did it bring me joy? One small part of it did. Turning on the waterfall, and gazing into the clear blue water.

The maintenance entailed turning all power off, and backwashing the pump. Unrolling many feet of hose, and placing the end far away from any flowers for the dirty water to have a safe place to go. Roll the hose up back up tightly with precision, and then dumping 50lb bags of salt into the pool. That was the chemical part. Now it was time to scoop and scrub.

This was my favorite part. I would take a long handled net, and walk along all the large rocks you see encompassing the pool. Scooping and skimming the surface of all the debris from those blasted trees. The trees brought some shade, but they were mainly left there for looks. If it looked good, it stayed, no matter the financial cost, or the price I paid personally.

Fast-forward 10 years, and today my life is simple. The house I live in today is about the size of the guest house sitting behind that pool. The monthly payment on that house, was more than I make in a month today. When I left that life behind, all I had was God, my daughter, and me. I can see the natural beauty of life, and have time to care for ‘who’, and not ‘what’.

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I recall moving into our first little house, almost 4 years ago, and staring at the bed. I could not remember the last time I took a nap, because I wanted to, not because I had run myself down. I announced to my daughter in the other room, “I’m taking a nap.” She didn’t question it, but surely she thought it was odd. I fell across that bed, and let myself rest.

I believe God taught me that for a reason. It was normally just a 20 to 30 minute power nap. Anything longer than 30 minutes made me feel worse. I got napping down to a science, and saw that if I took better care of me, I was able to take better care of those who needed me.

My quality of life is based on the time I give it. God, and Chemo have taught me I have very little control over the way I feel, and what I can accomplish in a day. I am just grateful to be writing this the day after Chemo! I have been strong for 30 years, so I discard that cape, and trust God in every area of my life. What do you need to scoop and skim out of your life?

 

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Barbara is a Writer, Certified Letting Go Coach, 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. She found out in March of this year that she has Breast Cancer. Going through Chemo, and believing God for a miracle is where she stands. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

Better Than Good

Kudos to my landlord, Pete, for dousing the perimeter of the outside of our home with poison. Haven’t seen a Scorpion in days. I guess they got the message, they were at the wrong house. I am grateful.

I caught Pete this morning taking the trash down to the street. Pete is happily married, and he and his wife, treat me like a daughter. It’s nice, you know? He takes care of all the manly stuff around here, and then goes home to his wife. I like it.

He asked how I was feeling, and I just beamed and told him, “Great!” He looked so perplexed, and said, “You are handling this whole thing so well.” (The Breast Cancer thingy) I just looked at him, laughed, and said, “Oh no, it’s not me. It’s all God!”

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I haven’t kept it much of a secret that I have breast cancer. It was my little secret for a while. I ignored the symptoms for months, and self diagnosed continuously. Reaching for some other conclusion besides the big “C.” How can God get the glory for the miracle in store if nobody knows? I am sharing this journey in hopes of encouraging others through.

My purpose is to show people they can have a beautiful life. An ordinary woman, walking into the second half of her life with a daughter, a few of my favorite things, and God. If I can do it, so can you. How was I going to continue this mission with Cancer? For me, it was an ugly word, so how was there going to be beauty? Because God is a master at beauty.

God knows I am stubborn. He knows it’s going to take time to get me where I need to be. The best way to get my attention is physical pain. God doesn’t cause pain, but He will use it.

I was in a lot of pain. It took time, but it got to the point where I dreaded going to bed at night. I knew it was going to hurt when I laid down. I didn’t share this with anyone. Only the few people who saw me, could tell I was in a world of pain. They watched and waited.

They knew it was going to have to be my decision to go see a doctor. Finally, I surrendered.

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Do you know, the day I left that doctor’s office, my pain subsided? That night was the first night in months, I slept all night with no pain. By surrendering, and taking that first step into the doctor, and onto this path, God was pleased. I was terrified, but God was happy.

At first, I didn’t want anyone to know, or anyone to pity me. Being an Alcoholic with 17 years sobriety, I knew a pity pot was not for me. There is a difference between pity and sympathy. When I wrote the initial Blog about it, some friends were taken aback, and not sure what to say, so I just let them be. Others embraced it, and stood up as Prayer Warriors immediately.

I continued to try and post uplifting messages on my Letitgocoach Facebook page. Knowing that God was going to do something good with this, even though I couldn’t see it right then.

Well…It’s been a little over a month since this journey began, and I have a list of His goodness through this. That will have to be another Blog, because I have learned so much!

Most of the people on my Facebook page don’t even know my name. They call me Coach.

These are the people I didn’t want to disappoint. What if I didn’t sound encouraging enough? The beautiful life was not gonna be so pretty anymore. All these fears crept in, and you should see that page today. I have paused posting so many Memes, and started sharing the beauty of my still beautiful life. It seems more beautiful recently than ever before, or maybe I am seeing it through eyes of no pain. Whatever it is, it’s so much better than good.

Barbara is a writer, Entrepreneur and Mom to her 16-year-old daughter. She loves dipping cookies in her coffee in the morning and has a pretty healthy obsession for chocolate. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was what stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life today is an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast or Slow

I used to be afraid of aging. Back then, it was for vanity reasons, but I’m not afraid anymore. I like growing up, and learning new things. Now, if I can just process it all.

I woke up at 6:00 am, grabbed my water bottle, and stepped outside to sit in the porch swing. We have a feral cat that has hung around for a while now. We feed it, but have never been able to get anywhere near it. It looks like she may be pregnant, and as she hopped up on the porch, I heard her purring. She was full of love, and wanting to share it with me.

It took a while, and much circling on her part, but eventually, she hopped up into the swing. I was amazed at being this close to her, so I reached out and lifted her into my lap. She didn’t know what to do. She started kneading my robe, and lifting her face up toward mine. It was scarey for both of us. I wanted to keep my face in tact, and she wanted to love.

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My daughter has me hooked on fresh pressed coffee. I know right? Always the Keurig, but not today! She gave me precise instructions lastnight, so I tried to recall it all this morning.

Get the kettle of water almost to a boil, then take it off to rest a minute. I measured the beans, and placed them in the grinder. Kept looking at them to make sure they didn’t turn to dust. Dumped them in the carafe, poured in the water, and the lid went on with a slight press. It didn’t look right. It wasn’t as dark as hers, but I am learning.

Once it was done, it was a robust cup of coffee. When I poured the cream in, I had to use a spoon to stir it. That was new. Normally the cream would just mix right in, but this stuff was thick! It seemed to take a long time to go through a lot of steps to enjoy this fine cup of brew. It was more than worth it. Maybe not something I do every morning, but I’m happy I did.

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I have spent many years rushing through life. Climbing the ladder of success in one venture, or another. Ignoring my life, and what was happening, woke me up to a failed marriage, and sad children. I had plenty of material objects, and money, but no love.

Today, it’s all about the love, and my cup runneth over.

 

 

What We’re Missing

Mornings are sacred to me. Being Winter in Texas means the day breaks on the front of the house. My bedroom is on the side, but I love watching it become light outside from my bed.

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This photo is of a driveway. I always feel a burst of excitement that is childlike when driving over it. The sound of the tires rolling through the overflow of water awakens my inner child.

I am sure many people drive through this each day, but I wonder what they see. Do they just see a flooded road, or do they take time to see the natural beauty of it. Do they notice?

When I moved to this little farmhouse, the first thing I noticed was traffic. I had been living on 40 acres before, so I could hear the traffic, but couldn’t see it. This house is on a main road, and a car drives by every few seconds. Will I ever get used to it?

It’s been nine months living here and I still notice the traffic. I believe God played a little game with me a few moments ago. For many minutes it was perfectly quiet. It was so quiet, I actually stepped outside just to see for myself. There were no cars riding by, and it had been that way for a while. I noticed.

Barbara is a writer, Entrepreneur and Mom to her 16-year-old daughter. She loves dipping cookies in her coffee in the morning and has a pretty healthy obsession for chocolate. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was what stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life today is an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

The Final Day of A Better Way To Live~Day 17

My hope is that you get this quicker than I did. It took me over half my life to find this truth.

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

happinessI have had a lot of levels of success, and all the material objects that brings. None of that brought me happiness. If it did it was a fleeting moment like driving the car off the showroom floor. It was temporary like the new car smell.

I finally realized if I was happy on the inside, I was successful. Success doesn’t bring happiness; happiness brings success in every area of my life.  Giving of myself to others bring even more happiness. A friend once told me, “You can’t give away what you don’t have, but you must give away what you want to keep.”

Let the goodness on the inside of you flow onto others. It will come back to you in such abundance, you’ll never be able to give it all away.

 

 

 

A Better Way To Live~Day 14

This is the time of year we reflect on our accomplishments for the year. Have you accomplished what you wanted?

You will achieve your grand dream, a day at a time, so set goals for each day-not long and difficult projects, but actions that will take you, step by step, toward your dream. Write them down, if you must, but limit your list so that you won’t have to drag today’s undone matters into tomorrow. Remember that you cannot build your dream in 24 hours. Be patient. Never allow your day to become so cluttered that you neglect your most important goal-to do the best you can, enjoy this day, and rest satisfied with what you have accomplished.

dreamsI’m sitting with my daughter, and we’re making a list of goals for 2015. This is phenomenal to me! She is at the age to take them seriously, and I’ll get to watch her take the stepping-stones God lays out toward her dreams. She’s young enough where she’s just getting started on life, and I’m mature enough where I’ve done a lot of life, including helping others achieve their goals.

I’m at the age now where I’m ready to step out and do a couple of things I’ve always wanted to do. Early in sobriety, I wanted to write a book to encourage others. Years later, I’m ready to write that book. My daughter is the artist, but I love working with my hands. Stained glass has always intrigued me because I love light and color. I’m going to try my hand at making stained glass.

Both of these have income potential, but that is not the reason I’m doing it. I’ll do it for the joy it brings and pray that they will bring peace and joy to others.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do?

dreamsLet me encourage you today to choose one and add it to your goals for 2015. In the past I have allowed so much of life to run me. No more. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and accomplish a dream. Something that you’ve always wanted to do. What does that look like to you? Please share.

A Better Way To Live~Day 13

I sure am grateful to wake up sober each morning. After 16 years, I still recall that sick, hung over feeling of my drinking days. Yes, just to wake up and be sober is a great start to my day.

Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.

giftMy morning sets the tone for the day. Thanking God for my day is how I begin. Each day we are given, is a fresh start, a new beginning. We have the opportunity to finish a project started the day before, like painting a room, but we don’t bring that day with us.

Everything that happened yesterday, is in the past. It’s gone, so let it go. Focus on today, and the ‘right now’, and allow the gift of the present to flow into your life. We cannot see what’s in front of us, if we’re looking behind us. Let it go, and make room for what God has in store for you today. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present. It’s your job to open it.