A Lightbulb Moment

I know you are thinking, “Barb’s going to share some profound wisdom with us here.” Unfortunately lovely, I’ve actually been wrestling with a lightbulb.

For longer than a moment. It’s been weeks.

Obviously, I don’t give up easily, but I learned something from this lightbulb. I’m really good with change, if it’s a change I decide to make. If the change is made for me, with no say so in the matter, that’s not so good.

I have lamps that use 3-way bulbs. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a lightbulb that has 3 different settings, and each setting has a level of light. I’ve loved these light bulbs all my life, but someone decided to make a change.

Photo by Federico Bottos on Unsplash

This is the LED version of the 3-way bulb.

Looks harmless enough, right? The original 3-way bulb would start out on a low setting. You turn the knob of the lamp, and it would get brighter. A third turn of the knob and it would be at it’s brightest light. It would start out low and gradually become brighter.

The LED version does the opposite. As soon as you turn on the lamp, the bulb starts out with the brightest setting.

Gives a whole new meaning to, ‘blinded by the light!’

With each click of the knob, the light grows dim.

My only consolation is at night while laying in bed reading, it’s kinda nice the light gets softer instead of brighter.

I’m proud of myself for not replacing it with a normal one, although there is one in the cabinet, just in case I snap. Enough time has passed now where it really doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve adapted to the change. Here’s to you darling, and may you have a lightbulb moment.

Keep Choosing Her

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Making a Mistake

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Photo by Saif Selim on Pexels.com

To follow my heart a little bit more.

That’s what I want to do, but that voice of reason came calling this morning and warned me of past mistakes. Was it really a mistake, or just part of the path that landed me here?

This quote was in my FaceBook memories.

I’ve learned so much from my mistakes, I’m thinking of making a few more.

My daughter and I have made so many mistakes, we have a little book entitled, ‘Never Again.’ In the book is a list of things we’ve tried, but they turned out to be mistakes. It’s quite humorous.

If you’re making mistakes, you’re a doer.

You’re consistently trying new things and that’s good. I don’t dwell on the word, ‘mistake.’ If that were the case, I’d still be in an unhappy marriage and my life would be completely different. I’m not sure I’d still be sober.

If we confide in others with our decisions, they may say, “You’re making a mistake.” If they have experience in that area, that’s wisdom. If they don’t, it’s merely their opinion sprinkled with fear.

It’s called blind faith for a reason.

As my daughter often says, “If it isn’t scary, it isn’t brave.” Don’t be afraid of making a mistake.

Surprise Yourself

It’s been a little over a week since my Blogging everyday began. The idea surfaced during Thanksgiving holiday. From there it hovered around the back of my mind until the idea became something I really wanted to do.

Listening to Lewis Capaldi inspired me.

When I found his version of It’s the Climb, that song fueled the idea. When we have an idea, or feel led toward an accomplishment, it’s not the end result for me. It’s when the idea turns into a solid decision and it moves you.

Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.

There have been surprises along the way as with any journey. It hasn’t been easy and I wanted to re-evaluate this idea after day three. I don’t wish to become a daily Blogger, so I had to kick that mindset to the curb and simply enjoy the daily activity of it.

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Live Your Life

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Follow Your Heart

My daughter left me a note of advice.

Reading this part makes me feel like I did something right. How many 19-year-old’s say this?

“Take this time while I’m gone to do things that fill you up and make your heart smile.”

This morning, I woke up feeling guilty about recent purchases. Does that ever happen to you?

I’m over it now because without even realizing it, I took her advice and acted on it.

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Photo Credit: Scott Stabile

As you see in A Doggo’s Life, our doggo’s are sharing a dog bed. I wanted our new puppo to have her own bed, so went in search of the perfect dog bed. In my mind I pictured exactly what it should look like, but 4 stores later didn’t result in that bed.

That was my mind, but what did my heart say?

Step One.

Back before Thanksgiving, my daughter and I were in a store where everything is pretty, but reasonably priced. I saw a rug that made my heart smile. My daughter saw my face light up, but she also knew we were setting aside all extra money for England.

Guess what? She’s in England and I still have money. Glory to God!

Yesterday, I went back to that store see if the rug was still there. It had been months, so what were the odds? Would it be on sale after Christmas?

It was in the rug bin along with one other rug.

It wasn’t on sale, but I had a price in mind that I was willing to pay. I found a sales lady, and inquired about the price of the rug. Full price was too much, but I’d walk out of there with it if she took $50 off.

Step Two.

The sales lady found an online coupon she could apply to meet my price! Then it became confusing.

She asked, “Is that the color you want? We have another one in the back that’s grey.”

The rug standing in the bin is a light color, which I gravitate toward, and it has pale gold shimmers running through it, but my daughter loves grey!

They grey one was equally pretty, and I knew my daughter would love it. What did I do? Like any good Mother, I loaded the grey one in my truck.

Score one for the mind.

Step Three.

I sat in front of the store staring at the rug laying across the backseat. The sales lady told me if it wasn’t right, to bring it back and get the other one, but I wanted to know in my heart what to do.

I found myself walking back into the store swapping the grey for the one I wanted. I followed my heart all the way through. My daughter will be happy.

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Looks like we found the perfect dog bed after all.

These Two Worlds

If I sit in the presence of Mr. Smith long enough, the conversation tends to grow deep. Not from me, but from him. I listen, become more quiet, until no words can form. I feel it.

This morning, we were sitting on the back porch, coffee in hand, watching Stork fly in over the lake. I feel a sense of peace when I see Stork. He has always revealed I am in a safe space. This morning, I felt my layers being peeled back one by one, and it was a gentle process. Smith was pointing out how I visit on the weekend, and then I pack up and leave.

I have two lives. The one with Smith on the weekends, and the one with my daughter during the week. My daughter visits some, but that is all it looks like is a weekend visit. My heart is torn between these two worlds.

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Smith has never loved me like I imagined I would be loved. He loves me better.

This morning was one of those times where he gently dug down to the heart of the matter. No more skimming over the surface, and the end result was a feeling of rawness. I thought I was holding it together pretty well, living this double life. But, I don’t have to ‘hold it all together’ anymore.

It’s always been my daughter, and me. Even when I was married to her father, it was really just the two of us. There comes a time where you don’t know which way is home. I have two houses, but which one is home?

Bringing three lives together, and enjoying one life. People say it’s a hard thing to do, but from where I sit, it’s harder not to.

Find Your Voice

I’m sitting here before I retire for the evening and just wanted to write. People ask me what I do and I tell them about my jobs and then add, “I’m a writer.” They find my job status interesting enough, but they always look up at me with a smile when I add the ‘writer’ part.

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I found myself coming full circle today on trusting God. There was a season in my life, not that long ago, that I trusted Him just to wake me up the next day. He always did. Not knowing what direction my new life should go, I trusted Him for every step and sometimes every breath.

Making decisions with business throughout the day, it’s easy to play decision maker in my life too frequently. I trust my choices. My life has been calm and peaceful for almost 2 years now, however, a part of my long ago past that I didn’t use my voice on is coming back to haunt me. I didn’t have a voice back then and wasn’t given many options, but today I have a voice, and my God is BIG.

When I first moved here God told me, “Just trust me.” That is all I heard and all I knew to do. He has blessed me beyond belief just for trusting Him and being the best I can be. So, with this too I will trust Him. I can trust Him with the big things when they roar up like a giant sea serpent, all the way to the things I take for granted like waking up tomorrow.

The hardest thing I had to learn was to wait, but don’t get too good at waiting because He wants quick obedience. I’m still not as good as I should be waiting on people, but I will wait on God. My morning meditation said, “I am with you and for you. You face nothing alone~nothing!” Little did I know this morning that I would need to be pouring this on me tonight. Thank you God. I’ll just trust You.

Every Little Thing

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Morning 1.11.14

In less than two weeks, I’ll be 50 years old. I don’t know what that is supposed to look like, but I don’t feel like I’ve been here for half a century! The picture you see of my pier resembles my life a year ago. Making the decision toward the very best outcome for my daughter and me, was the scariest thing I ever did. It’s been a ride, but I’m a country girl, so God knew I could handle it. Take chances.

I’ve made a lot of decisions this year, and most have taken me on a path of goodness. The wrong turns, God worked out for my good. I started this Blog back in June, and just want to encourage others and give them hope for a beautiful life. My first Blog was about a Keith Urban song entitled, “Little Bit of Everything“. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, or what my new life was going to look like, so I just thought a little bit of everything in all areas would be cool. Today, I have that and my disco ball still hangs from my ol’ oak tree. My life is more than I could ever hoped or dreamed for, and I want that for you! Make a decision.

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Morning awakens

The photo above is a morning view from my front porch.

I wake up around 5:30 am and take my coffee to the porch and wait for the day.  This is my first semi conscious moment with God, and I thank Him for waking me up! Yes, I’m just grateful to wake up, have a new day and be healthy. I took a 6 week Yoga class with my daughter, so this week, I’ve taken my Yoga moves to the porch. It’s a delightful thing to do while waiting for the sun to come up. Once the sun hits, it gets hot because this is Texas! Take care of your body. You only have one.

By starting my day like this, you may be wondering if I’m independently wealthy? The answer is NO. I have made choices to simplify my life to the point, I don’t need much. I’ve had a full life of expensive houses, the right car, clothes hanging in a closet with tags still on them, travel, and just about every material object you could want.

Today, I rent a small house, less than 1,000 square feet, on 40 acres of land. I can clean my entire house in the same amount of time it took me to sweep the pool. Freedom.

I’m a Virtual Assistant for two different companies, and get to work from home with very flexible hours. Having had my own successful businesses in the past, I chose to let go of the pressure of success and help others. That was a hard thing to let go of, but having found a blissful balance in my life, allows me to give that to others. I enjoy being behind the scenes now instead of the spotlight. Even though my daughter will tell you, I still go BOOM…into the room, and there’s nothing quiet about me.

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Bailey no braces

Oh, how I love my daughter! This selfie was taken the day she got her braces off. I think she’s breathtakingly beautiful! When I look at Bailey, I see everything good and pure that God made. She makes me laugh until I can’t breathe. We do and say the craziest things to one another, and it works. I have allowed her to be technologically savvy, which a lot of Homeschool Mom’s don’t. Google is our friend, which makes most Mom’s look at us in distaste. That’s okay because she knows a little bit about a lot, and that makes for great conversation. She probably knows more sexual innuendos than I do, but will hold fast to her virginity. Being involved with Twitter, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, to name a few, she sees and hears it all.

God has raised this girl, and I’m just the vessel that looks like Mom. She makes Godly choices and takes paths that are pleasing to Him. Because she has ‘street smarts’ she is able to guide and protect others that may be looking at a tempting path. I know she keeps me outta trouble. Not long after we moved, I saw a hot looking guy mowing his grass, and said, “He can mow my yard anytime’! She said, “NO Mom. You don’t ever want to say that to a guy”. That’s how we roll.

Walking out to get in our truck one morning, she grabbed me and yelled, “Selfie”! It was a cool morning which made our eyes water, and we were not wearing any makeup. I think that is one of my favorite pics with her because she wanted to do that. She wanted a pic with her Mom, and she does it quite often. How many teenagers include their parent in their life? Take time with your kids.

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Come along with me.

She is extremely gifted and creative, but has a sound mind. I think that’s important with creativity. One of her first Photoshop pics was this with a tiger. That is so Bailey. Nope…we’re not holding a cute little bunny, or watching an aquarium full of colorful fish. We’re strolling down the road with one of God’s fiercest creatures. She loves art, music, and photography, and God is opening doors for her that no man can close. Be willing to walk through every door God opens.

This next picture is awesome. To further her knowledge of photography, and combine her love for music, Bailey reached out to artist’s via email. She types an email to agent’s of artist’s she would love to photograph. She loves Tyler Ward. His talent and integrity as a person is who she admires. Tyler was probably the third artist she photographed, and even though none of the agents have used her photo’s, she still emails and doors open.

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Tyler

She does the next right thing every time. Taking at least 300 shots of the artist, coming home to sort them for hours and only edits a few. She emails them to the manager, and sometimes the artist, and that’s it. She doesn’t hear another word, or see them posted anywhere. By doing her part, and walking by faith, I know God is going to bless her. This is just practice for the big thing He has in store. Everyone needs practice, and this time has allowed her to learn about her camera, lighting, and how to work the crowd to get to just the right spot.

Having these opportunities at a young age is going to take her to magnificent places. There are always older, more seasoned, somewhat snobby photographers at the same concert as her. Some are paid to be there, which Bailey is not. I’m sure the agents use their photo’s, but I’m also sure, those guys wish they would have been standing there at 15 years old instead of now. She has her whole life ahead of her, and we stay grateful for every door God opens. Stay in gratitude.

It’s a little after 10:00 am, and it’s time to start cooking our brunch. This is another little thing I get to do for us. I love setting the table with colorful place mats, old china from an antique shop, and cloth napkins. Scratch that. Today we have haircuts at noon, so it will be homemade Pumpkin Bread from a local Farmer’s Market, with real butter and a pot of tea. That’s an example of how we make every little thing count. I want that for you too. If nothing else, start with cloth napkins. Today can be beautiful and it starts by waking up.

When You’re Ready

One of my Favorite Letting Go Lessons is Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships. It’s trying enough letting go of these people, but what do we do when they come back? It’s simple, but not always easy. Here are some simple steps.

1. Pick a questionable relationship in your life. One that does not align with your definition of health and well being.
2. Close your eyes, breathe and be calm.
3. Feel the presence of this person you have identified as questionable. Notice how your body responds to their presence. Take the time to get clear upon the effect they have upon you.
4. Then, answer the following questions:

a. Does this relationship make you feel balanced?
b. In what way does this relationship physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually benefit you?
c. What is the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual cost of this relationship? (I keep a journal beside me to write my answers in)

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Lastly, if there are relationships, which you know to be extremely unhealthy for you, openly listen to your Higher Power. Ask for clarity, strength and courage. If the truth is, it’s time to avoid further harm to your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well being, then rest with that feeling until you are ready to act.

I have witnessed people openly tell the person, “I’m letting you go”. and I’ve seen them detach allowing the person to disappear. You do what’s best for you and your well-being. By you becoming a stronger, more loving person, they will most likely show up again, no matter how you let go. Verbally or quietly.

Maybe by then, you both have changed enough that it can be healthy. I leave you with two of my favorite quotes by Joyce Meyer.

“Don’t be upset about losing something. It might be putting you in the place you should have been in to begin with.” and “Sometimes God will take something away to straighten you out. He’ll give it back when you’re ready”.