Watching the Sunrise

My zen is waking up early, before the day begins.

When it’s still dark outside, but to do that, I go to sleep early. That was the scenario lastnight. By 9:00 pm, my daughter and I were getting sleepy. She chuckled and asked, “Is it too early to go to bed?” By 9:30, we were there.

My body naturally woke up at 5:50 this morning.

Waking up this early reminded me of something I miss.

Watching the sunrise.

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This little house sits completely in the woods, which is unusual being so close to the city. Maybe when it was built, the trees were small, but have grown over time. The house is surrounded by trees, and give you a feel of being in the woods.

A ginormous oak tree sits in the front yard, spreading it’s massive canopy over the roof of the house. As beautiful as they are, they keep me from seeing the sunrise.

Note to self: My next house will have a view of the sunrise.

Feel the Music

I haven’t driven my truck all week.

That is why I haven’t posted a song, because I usually hear the right song while driving. Today? I had to run away from home.

I didn’t go far, and wasn’t gone long, but that little drive refreshed me. The last time I drove my truck was four days ago, and I had a conversation with God. Ever since we had that talk, I’ve had my head down, and focused on what He has called me to do.

It has been an intense week of trying to pull all the little pieces together. Everything He has given me to work with is scattered around, so it’s one step, and then another. Each step I take, and complete, leads to more steps. It’s mesmerizing to watch it unfold.

It felt great when this song came on! I rolled my windows down, turned the volume up where the bass was thumping, and drove straight through the countryside. Enjoy!

Us and We

What happened today warmed my heart. It was the sweetest miracle to watch unfold.

My daughter had two people interested in one of her kittens she had posted for sale. She was mainly a barn kitty, but it would be no problem finding her a good home. Being a Siamese mix, she was pretty, fluffy and cross-eyed.

A man contacted my daughter and told her he was interested in the kitten. He had been looking for a Siamese for his girlfriend. Her Siamese was stolen about a year ago and he thought she was ready for another one.

A lady contacted my daughter as well. She told the lady that the man had asked first, but would let her know if he didn’t take it.

This morning my daughter awoke to text messages from both the man and the woman. They were boyfriend and girlfriend and he had been looking for a kitten to replace the one that was stolen.

She had reached out to my daughter because it was one year ago today that it happened, and she was ready for another one. The couple confessed to one another this morning, showed one another a picture of the same kitten, and met us in town to take her home.

He was going to surprise her with the kitten, and she was going to talk with him about getting it. In a healthy relationship, it’s not a mindset of you and I. It’s about us and we.

Just Be Held

Sitting at my desk early this morning, I heard the chickens by my window. That would mean they were in the front yard, instead of the side. They had jumped the fence, looking for me because they had a need. I walked them back through the gate, gave them food and made a note to replenish their water.

Isn’t that how life should be?

To be cared for. The only being I have found that consistently cares for me is God. There are no strings attached, no ultimatums, no scenarios, just seek Him and He’ll care for me. He provides my every need and loves me flaws and all.

I was driving home the other day, and Casting Crowns came on the radio. Driving down the road, I listened closely to this song entitled, Just Be Held. It made perfect sense to me. I had been where the song is describing, and I’m there again now. The song says, “Stop holding on and just be held.”

That sounds simple, but it’s not easy.

The rest of the chorus says, “Your world’s not falling apart it’s falling into place. I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held.”

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No Matter What

There is something about the weekend, that gives me a deeper sense of pleasure. It’s when I take extra time, walking through my world and noticing every little thing. What needs some extra attention and what grabs mine. Then that ADD moment when one of my fave songs comes on,  Somebody Like You, by Keith Urban.

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The first thing that needed some love was my chickens.

I raised Exotics and Layers a few years ago, but today, I only have three. Could I handle more? Why sure, but three is enough for my daughter and me to enjoy. When you start to have more, there is more money and maintenance involved. Plus, they lay eggs and for two people, you don’t need many eggs. That is when you have to start selling them and it turns into a weekend business. Uh, no.

After the chickens, I turned on the sprinkler.

The ground is dry and they enjoy scratching the earth. I caught myself standing in my kitchen, staring at the sprinkler for several minutes. There is a trumpet vine growing along the fence that I would love to see bloom one more time. The sprinkler will make the chickens, the vine and the earth happy.

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I fertilized the Bougainvillea yesterday going for one more massive bloom with it as well. There are two of these hanging from my front porch and they have been a labor of love. I have learned a lot watching these guys grow from twigs in the planters to the size they are now.

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While enjoying everything on the porch, I forgot the water I had turned on for tea. Have become quite attached to Rooibos. Once it was ready, a full cup came with me to sit and write.

My daughter is at her Dad’s this weekend, otherwise today would look somewhat different. We would be enjoying the moments together, but probably in town instead of home. After spending many years driving her to swim, dance, martial arts, various activities and those weekend birthday parties, it’s nice to enjoy my world today.

It’s never too late to stop and start over.

Our life together hasn’t always been easy, but it is still beautiful. How many 16 year olds say, “Mom? We are a great team. We have each others back no matter what.” Not many.

They Just Did

I have a job assisting a friend in California three and a half days a week. It is done virtually, which gives me the flexibility in schedule and the joy of working from home. I get to write, encourage people and work.

My first job, after I left the workforce, was to take care of my daughter during the separation between her father and me. To be perfectly honest, I think we took care of one another that year.

God promises beauty from ashes and here it was.

I was living it. Friends started referring to my life as ‘Inbarbsworld.’ I wanted people to see that life after divorce can be beautiful. It’s a balance of letting go and letting God.

Last year was the year of learning how to live. This year I’m refining it, or it’s refining me. I am grateful to follow God and be sober.

In 2014 this Blog began. It encourages me to see it has reached twice as many people already this year alone, compared to the entire first year. The job I love is paying off! Thank you for reading what I love to write.

That is what I do. I love on people until they can love themselves. Most of it is done virtually, but I do enjoy going out into the real world. The trip to Colorado was an eye opener for me with the loss of technology. If you missed it, you can read it here I got better as the week went on, but it made me ponder if I was addicted to my phone. The notifications make life easy.

My phone also makes life noisy. It’s fun to push myself and see what I can live without. Does the phone make my life that much better? When my phone bill came due, I decided not to pay it. To just skip a week and see what happens. To think of it as a phone fast is what worked for me. The weekend was a fail. It would automatically connect to WiFi if I was visiting a place I had been before and everything would start rolling in. Today, I had to turn it off completely.

My life is quieter. Through my laptop, I can still encourage people virtually, it just may not be so immediate. Without the notifications, I have to remind myself to go in and check email, banking, social media and everything that used to notify me of activity.

My time feels like mine now. The beauty that surrounds me in more noticeable because I’m not staring at a screen in my hand.

Maybe you gave up your phone a long time ago. I didn’t think I could. If this keeps going like it has today, I’ll be on a new level of simplicity. Dejan Stojanovic says it best, “They blossomed, they did not talk about blossoming.” They just did.

Look For Signs

When I first moved to this little farm house on 40 acres, I had no clue what God had in store. I was hoping this was His will, but concerned that maybe this was my move and not His. There was nothing out here but grass, trees and a pond with a pier beside the house. This is what nothingness looked like, as I slowly recalled mentioning to God, “Give me nothingness.”

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The entire story of the Blue Heron, or the Stork we named Elvis, is written in my Blog, Just Breathe. He was my sign that I was at the right house, and exactly where I needed to be. There are actually two storks. The Blue Heron was the first one to show up and then a white Egret came to visit.

The white one, named Marilyn shows up often. She is here almost everyday, stays for a bit and leaves. Elvis is very majestic and carries himself with intention. Sometimes he makes himself known, like this morning, as I was gazing out the window. He purposefully strolled right into sight as if to say, “Good Morning Barbara. I’m here.”

At other times, I have to search for him. His coloring blends in with the brush and trees around the pond, so I have to look for movement before he steps into view. Sometimes, I just know he’s there without even looking. His presence fills me with peace and promise of good things to come.

When he shows up, I can feel, a change is coming in my life.

Stork is fearless. I’m looking out the window now and it’s pouring down rain. He’s just standing there, watching for his morning catch of fish.

The rain is not going to deter him from his mission.

He is focused and is not bothered by his environment. Now, if I go outside with gusto, and the screen door slams, it will disturb his focus and he will fly away. They are instinctual animals, so a loud noise resembling a gunshot will prompt him to flee to safety.

Look for signs. They are there because God always gives a heads up before He swoops in and moves. Just like The Great Blue Heron, God moves swiftly in my life, but he shows me little things leading up to the event.

I may see nothing at first, and that within itself is a sign that something has changed. Watch for the slightest movement. It will step into view when I’m willing and God’s ready.

Meet Every Need

As I pressed down the handle of the Keurig this morning, for my sunshine in a cup, I glanced over at the K-cup supply. I have them in a red wire basket that I used to gather eggs in when I raised chickens. Raising chickens was a sweet time in my life, so I enjoy getting to reuse this basket today.

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Noticing the supply was getting low, I made a note to pick some up next time in town. Then God reminded me of a box above the microwave, nestled in the cabinet, just waiting for me.

I had purchased a couple of boxes of K-cups last week and only put half in the basket. The other half were in that box in the cabinet just waiting.

Whenever I think of a basic need, it may not be sitting out in front of me, but it’s nearby. If I have something someone else needs, I give it to them. God promises to supply all our needs and He does. In my life, He goes above and beyond just needs, because I don’t know what I need until a need arises.

I’m still just gonna trust Him to meet every need.