Where the Rubber Meets the Road — Co-Creating and Cowgirl Wisdom

To be a good neighbor has been on my heart this year. I’m friends with the neighbor beside and behind me, but want to befriend more.

To place more action into the ‘to be kind‘ thought. To really plug into community and show kindness and caring toward my neighbors. To be the house where people pop in for coffee and a listening ear, knowing there’s a table full of chocolate.

Patty is the kind of neighbor I’d love to have. She inspires me by showing we can send love where we’re planted. Thank you Patty for choosing not to get angry and just sending love. May it all come back to you in abundance.

I am the kind of person who loves every blade of grass. My home and yard are neat, not out of control, and the wildflowers in summer are riotous! Birds come from all over to eat at the buffet I offer them. I’m tickled they visit. Lizards, centipedes and even snakes are welcome (Snakes.usually pass […]

via Where the rubber meets the road — Co-Creating and Cowgirl Wisdom

Feel the Music

When my daughter first started driving, we lived in the country. There was no traffic unless she took a major highway to visit her Dad or friends.

She learned to take the back roads.

The advice I offered was, “Let as many people out as possible. If you see someone that needs to enter the lane in front of you, let them.” That’s good karma and it will come back to you.

Now we live where there’s lots of traffic. She was hesitant when she needed to pull out, but I told her, “Look for a truck. They will let you out.”

Especially a Chevy or Ford! 🙂

Y’all people drive pick up trucks.

My daughter shakes her head at how country I can be sometimes. She says I need to hide my crazy better, but it’s fun being a Y’all people.

Chasing the Sunset

I’ve started my morning over twice so far.

The taste of my coffee wasn’t pleasing, so I made a Chemex. I hadn’t made one in so long, it didn’t drain completely, but this is how I felt regardless.

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Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

Did it not drain, or did I not give it time?

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This morning I recalled teaching my daughter to drive. It was a scary experience. Not teaching her to drive, but that she was learning with my truck!

When it was time for her to learn, it was time for us to move. We were living in the country on 40 acres, and the road to our house was treacherous to say the least. It had sharp curves and made of dirt.

The next house we found had straight highway running to it. The first time she went 65 mph she exclaimed, “This is exhilarating!”

I sat in the passenger seat, drinking in the excitement on her face. You want that look to last, but soon after she learned to drive she began adulting. Then you hope they remember the moments which caused that look.

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One time we were driving home, and she turned off the main road. It was late in the day and the Texas sky was pink and gold. Her favorite time of day. I didn’t know where she was taking us, as she turned down one road, and then the next.

She parked the truck and stared straight ahead. She had run out of road trying to get close to the sunset.

She said, “I was chasing the sunset.”

We sat in silence watching the sun go down.

Chasing that sunset was exhilarating for her, even though it was out of reach. I was happy she tried without worrying what the end result may be.

I hope you never stop chasing the sunset.

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Photo by Sapan Patel on Unsplash

Attitude Is Everything

The first house my daughter and I lived in didn’t have a washer and dryer. That was not a deal breaker, we were just excited about our new life.

Once a week we went to the Laundromat.

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Photo by Bianca Jordan on Unsplash

I had to make a choice to see this as a positive.

We lived in the country and the nearest Laundromat was 30 minutes away, but we learned a lot!

We valued clean clothes more than before since we didn’t have a washer/dryer readily available. We learned to include other errands along with the Laundromat. She would wash her clothes while visiting her father, and bring them home clean.

Of course my plan was to buy a used washer and dryer, but the laundry room in our home was tiny! It would only accommodate a small stackable unit and I knew I would not want to use that for years to come. The great thing about the Laundromat is you can wash and dry 6 loads of laundry in record time.

My daughter began growing weary of our trips to the Laundromat, but remained grateful. We believed our next house would have a washer and dryer, but that was dependent on our attitudes in the moment.  I believe you have to be happy where you are, before you can move forward.

After a year and a half of using the Laundromat, the next house we moved into had a washer and dryer. They weren’t new, but we loved them!

When we came to look at the house we live in now, the first thing both of us noticed was…

 

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A brand new washer and dryer!

Every journey has to start somewhere, and becomes more beautiful over time if we keep the right attitude. Yes lovey. xx Attitude is Everything.

Use Your GPS

We have a fenced yard, and there has been a plastic bag blowing around it for a week. The wind blows it to a different location, and it sticks to the fence. Everytime my little dog goes outside, he sees it, and charges toward it barking his little head off. I may not know much about the direction of my life, but at least I know, that’s the same plastic bag!

I don’t have a good sense of direction. When I am planning to drive somewhere, the GPS gets plugged in. Even if I have driven there before, I will still turn it on, and click ‘recent destinations.’

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I get distracted easily while writing this Blog. They start with something I believe God wants me to share, but then I get distracted by everything going on around me, and I lose it.

When we stop writing our story, WordPress saves it as a draft, kinda like God.

It’s unfinished, and we pause to reflect on where we are. We have an internal GPS that we need to follow. I will use the Tom Tom I had plugged in yesterday as an example.

 

It was cloudy yesterday, so my GPS didn’t have a clear signal. When it announced an upcoming direction to take, it started stuttering. I laughed, but that upcoming direction makes me stutter sometimes too.

I love the ‘rerouting’ capability of the GPS. My daughter and I were driving the other day, and while I was using the GPS, it wasn’t telling me where to go. I asked, “Why is it so quiet?” My daughter said, “Because you passed your the street, so she keeps rerouting.”

How many times have I passed by somewhere God wanted me to turn?

God is our GPS. Sometimes where He wants us to go, is uncharted territory, and it makes us stutter. My Tom Tom has gotten me lost before, by giving me wrong directions, but those times landed me right where I needed to me. Feeling lost doesn’t last.

If we continue not to listen, or stay distracted too long, God is always there. He just clicks, ‘Reroute.’

May We All

Driving down the road the other day, I heard a song come on the radio. I recognized the voice, but not the song. It was that kind of song that you cannot sit still while listening to.

Florida Georgia Line, has a new song out.

I haven’t listened to these guys in a while. They are more redneck than country, and I think you either love them, or you don’t. I’m going to give them credit for hanging on to their individuality, in a world full of haters. They have stayed true to who they are, and this song was on my mind early this morning.

The voice I heard in the song as I was driving was none other than Tim McGraw. This is probably what made me listen to the lyrics more intently. If there is one thing this year has taught me, it’s to take absolutely nothing for granted. Not even breathing.

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May we all do a little bit better than the first time
Learn a little something from the worst times
Get a little stronger from the hurt times
May we all get to have a chance to ride the fast one
Walk away wiser when we crashed one
Keep hoping that the best one is the last one
Yeah you learn to fly and if you can’t then you just free-fall

May We All. (Click to watch and listen)

In the song, they talk about the little things in life.

God has definitely pulled me back to that this year. Can you see the little things, or are you looking for the big things in life? Is it your job, or climbing the cooperate ladder? Maybe it’s upcoming social engagements during the holidays? Is it the car you have sitting in the garage, or the one you’re wanting to buy?

I’ve had all of that, and I’m here to tell you it doesn’t last. Those things didn’t bring me happiness either. Happiness for me today, is calling my sister, and talking and laughing for an hour. Sitting in my porch swing, breathing in the country air, and listening to the quiet.

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I get to spend everyday with my daughter. She is growing up way too fast, and will leave the nest far too soon, but we have made more memories the past three years then ever before.

She doesn’t remember the time we rented a sailboat in the Florida Keys with a captain for the day. Nor all the fancy hotels we stayed in when she was a child. She doesn’t recall the Mercedes I drove her to private school in, but she will tell you about the time I tried to rescue her cat.

Her cat was stuck in a tree for three days. It was in the woods, across a field, when we lived on 40 acres a couple of years ago. I could hear it howling for help every time I walked outside. So, we pulled on our boots, and started praying for God’s favor and protection, as we walked across this field toward the howling cat. By the time we got there we were scared.

Not as scared as the cat though. It was way up high in the tree, and I knew there was no way to reach it. All of a sudden we felt a mist of water coming straight down on us. I thought it had started to rain until my daughter busted out laughing. The cat was so scared, it started to pee, and was peeing all over us!

That was enough for me. Kitty came down on her own.

We still laugh about that story, and we have lots of memorable times that have happened since we’ve been on our own together. She has them written down, and reads them off when we need a laugh. It’s amazing some of the things we’ve been through that have turned out to be the best moments of our lives!

These are the things she remembers, and they didn’t cost a dime. Just my time.

 

Keep It Simple

You can create space for simplicity in many areas of your life. This doesn’t mean you’re a simple person; it just means you have chosen to live simply. That could also say, “To simply live.”

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In 2014, I had a farm where I raised exotic chickens and mini pigs. This one perched on my arm was my favorite. Her name is Reese. I could spam you with pictures right now of the most beautiful chickens you’ve ever seen, but I won’t. That door of my life closed two years ago, but that didn’t stop me from trying to resurrect it.

I loved this season and raising these beautiful birds! It was a lot of work, but it brought me and others a lot of joy. When I moved out here, the house has a fenced in side yard, and the owners of the home mentioned it had been used for chickens.

Yep! I got chickens again. Did it bring me joy? For about a week. When God closes a door, lock it and throw away the key. My daughter found the chickens a good home last week.

It feels good to fall back on familiarity.

I knew what it was like to raise chickens and thought it would be fun again. There was no joy in it this time around.

Let’s just keep it simple.

Plug Into Community

Whenever I mention attending a public event to my daughter, she says, “No. I don’t like people.” We laugh after she says it, but there is a lot of truth in it. I hear other people saying it too. God wants us to love; He doesn’t mention like.

The word ‘love’ is mentioned 365 times in the Bible.

That would signify enough love for each day of the year. It depends on what version of the Bible, but I can see where that might be true. God wants us to be filled with love each day. Where we get hung up is spilling it out on others. The amount of love we give will be the amount we receive.

I went to a community event lastnight. Living in small town Texas, I have not taken time to plug into the community.

They had their annual tree lighting in the square. Not sure you can call it a square, more like the grassy area near the four-way stop. This town consists of one intersection, a Post Office, Fire Department and one gas station.

It was windy and misting rain, but I felt led to go.

There were probably 30 or 40 people there at one point, and the atmosphere drew you in. They had a bonfire blazing with colorful metal barrels placed around it for seating. An old pickup truck pulled up near the fire, opened the doors and let the stereo blare Christmas music. We learned to talk over it.

There was a table with hot chocolate and cans of whipped cream. A young lady was walking around with a container of homemade cookies, holding them under our noses. I sat on one of the barrels and talked to the people around me. It was nice to sit and listen to their stories and to laugh.  A few knew that it was God who brought them here.

It was my first time in the community, and being in a small town, everyone knew I had moved there. I had become known as the lady with the giant Rooster in her yard. When they asked where I live, and I pointed down the road, they would gasp and exclaim, “You live in Pete’s old house and have the giant Rooster!” Well, I guess I could be known for worse.

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As I said my goodbyes and turned to leave, a man yelled, “We need volunteers at The Community Center.”

I stopped walking, turned toward the man and started walking back to the group of people. I gave him my number and told him I would be happy to help. His wife was standing next to him, and she said she would call.

I asked God earlier in the day to use me to serve others. The day was almost over, but He did.

Learning To Live

We are getting much needed rain here in Texas. I have three chickens in the side yard that have not witnessed rain in a long time.

When it began pouring from the sky, they freaked out and started running around. They have a coop to provide shelter, with the door standing wide open, but are huddled up against the house instead. They are called chickens for a reason.

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Maybe we forgive, and forget how things feel.

Forgiveness has to come first, or the forgetting will not take place. It will haunt us and make us miserable until we forgive. God wants us to forgive others for wrongdoing, but we often forget to forgive ourselves.

The house my ex-husband lives in is the same house we shared. When I left, I only took a few things, so you couldn’t tell at first glance, that anything was missing. The furnishings remained the same as I left them, with a few replacement pieces. I don’t know how he has lived there. I guess he hasn’t. It has just been sheltering from the storms of life.

I saw that house as a slow brewing storm.

My ex-husband blames himself for the dissolve of our marriage. It’s not true, but that is how he sees it. Recently, I sent him an email asking him to forgive me for hurting him. I don’t know that he can because he is going to have to find forgiveness for his soul first. He needed to leave that house.

His favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” His life is not reflective of his favorite verse. When you are stuck in the past, there is no future.

I started praying for God to move and show my ex His goodness. It was passed time for him to leave that house, and all the haunting memories it stored. Last weekend, my ex took our daughter to look at a house he saw in the newspaper. She showed me pictures of it, and it’s the perfect house for him! He is moving in November!

When my ex and I first met, he lived in a condo on a lake in Virginia. This house is reminiscent of that condo, and is overlooking a lake! God is restoring the years lost, by placing him in the last place he was his happiest. Now he can have a beautiful shelter, surrounded by God’s goodness and start the forgiving process. Let the healing begin.

Better Is Coming

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Almost two years ago, I looked at my life and asked myself, “Is this God’s best?” It was pretty clear it wasn’t the best because it was a life of barely getting by. God doesn’t barely get by. He is abundant in every area of our lives.

I didn’t ask anyone’s opinion of what I should do. Praying and letting God know what steps I saw to take, was all I needed. He could have stopped me at anytime. Did my friends think I was crazy for leaving a 25 year marriage? Yes, they did. Did people think I was crazy for leaving the security of my town to move out in the middle of nowhere? Yes.

I grabbed my daughter, and left everything I knew as familiar, and stepped into the unknown. God had it all waiting for me. The house, land, pier to praise and worship on, nobody knew my name, and they still don’t. This house and the time here has been a place of healing for me. To Let Go of the past so I could enjoy the moment.

Today, God is giving me another new beginning. After going through the Letting Go process and being secure in who I am, it is time to move on. My daughter and I sat down last December and talked about our goals and dreams for 2015. We spoke about a nicer house, and named off some things that were missing with this one that we wanted. We still wanted land, but to have a laundry room with a washer and dryer would be cool.

This house didn’t have a washer/dryer. We’ve been driving into town and using a laundromat every week, while living here.

When we came across this house we are moving into, the owner took us in through the back door. We stepped into a large mudroom lined with custom cabinetry. There was an old dryer sitting there by itself, so I was a little puzzled.

After walking through the house, we were in love with all the woodwork and character it held. As we were wrapping up our tour, the owner said, “Don’t worry about that old dryer sitting there. I am having a brand new washer and dryer installed in a couple of weeks.” Welcome home.