The Ribbon Vase

It’s easy to lose sight of a dream, but the more it rolls around the mind, the more refined it becomes. I believe God recently revealed a larger picture of where this dream is headed. Of course, I chuckled and shook my head like, “No way!”

The big picture feels overwhelming and out of reach. That’s why He only gives a glimpse at a time, but rest assured everything in life prepares us for the next moment, and the next until you’re standing right in the middle of your purpose.

Yesterday, I was arranging a vase of mixed greenery. I knew when I bought them which vase would be used. It’s called the ribbon vase, and I’ve had it for over 20 years. As I was working the greenery into the vase, it took me back to the days when we entertained large groups of business associates in our home.

This vase would be filled with fresh flowers and put on display on a massive formal dining room table the day before the event.

I’ve always loved making arrangements, but yesterday I saw real progress. I snapped a pic to share it with my friends on FB. It was still sitting in my kitchen with an old towel underneath to soak up the water I had spilled while adding water to the vase!

The arrangement before the clean up.

It’s exhilarating to see that vase full again, but I don’t own a table today large enough to display it. I’m humbled that my life doesn’t have to be on display anymore, even though you guys see a lot the pieces that make up this beautiful life.

When in doubt, use the coffee table Barb.

This morning, my daughter and I sat down at the coffee table to chat before her classes. The arrangement was so massive, we couldn’t see each other’s faces because of it. We had to laugh, but just for a moment I thought about adding flowers to it. I stopped that thought and enjoyed the simplicity of it.

That dream inside you has taken root, now let it grow. It’s nice to know I still have it in me to think big and use the ribbon vase.

It’s nice when you walk by, but don’t sit down.

Stay the Path

Today is my last day on “the job.” I received a text lastnight saying they had hired someone to take my place. It’s a good thing I don’t get offended anymore.

I knew it was only temporary. Stepping in when it was needed, and helping to hold together what was in place. My life is full, so doing this alongside everything else was a challenge.

Knowing it was a temporary assignment, I was able to do the best I could, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. You may laugh at this scenario, because I did, but picture this. I had two laptops set up in the house. One was my own personal laptop, that I write on, encourage others on my Letitgocoach Facebook page, and nurture my world through.

The other was one from this job. It housed everything work related to the job, and made a lot of noise. It dinged everytime an email, or voicemail came into that office. When I first took it into my possession, the lady that had it before me had the sound muted. Now I know why. It constantly beckoned for my attention if I was sitting at my laptop across the room.

It can be noisy, and distracting, but I jumped back and forth, trying to take care of both.

Today I take the laptop back, and hand it to the new girl with glee. Even though making extra money was nice, it was not worth doing it any longer.

My personal laptop brings me so much joy! There is no price tag for that. Everything I do on it, is because I have a yearning to do so. It houses my passion.

Sometimes we veer off the path to learn new things, or to help someone out. I am grateful today that I am quicker to get back on my path, and that I still choose joy over money. Stay the path.

 

A Better Way To Live~Day 3

Sitting at my desk looking out the window at the pier, thinking…”It looks cold out there.” I remember standing on that pier over a year ago, in the cold, crying and begging God to help me. To wrap His loving arms around me and just hold me. That was last fall, and this is a new one. Thank God for new seasons.

Today’s suggestion for A Better Way to Live is a good one. It breaks my heart to see people looking behind them. Our Creator put our eyes in front for a reason!

Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit, your turn will come.

 

This is a highly motivational piece of advice. It would be easy to give you a big rah-rah speech on brushing yourself off and trying again. Life is not easy, but there is one thing I know. God has a plan for me. That is all I need to know. He has a plan, and it is for my good.

Yes, I can make wrong choices, but even then He promises to turn them around for good. Sometimes choices place me in painful situations, but that is where growth happens. When I’m in pain, worry and fear, God is there watching and waiting to see my next move. This is where I’ve learned to hit my knees, or stand before Him and seek HIS plan, not mine. You might recall, my best laid plans got me a lifetime membership to AA.

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I encourage you today to shake off what life is throwing at you and begin again! Every moment is new, and we only have the exact moment that’s in front of us. The past is gone, and the future is not here yet. The choices we make right now, are what paves the path to the life we want to achieve. Make it beautiful.

 

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino

Get Disturbed

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Do you embrace change? Do you run toward it, or away from it? Most avoid it like a plague. I know I did, until I just couldn’t stand any longer. I was in a world of pain, but was it painful enough to do something about it? We tolerate it for so long, our mind and body get used to it and adjust.

Then it happens. God sends someone right up to you, to gently point out how miserable you are. In my case, it was my daughter. She asked me if I was ever going to smile again?My parents stayed together for four of us kids, and I was doing the same thing. My child knew I was miserable, so what was my reason? I was out of excuses. It was time for a change.

It was time to get disturbed. Becoming complacent and settling was not where I wanted to be. It was time to decide, would it be more painful to stay stuck, or step out in change?

Are you disturbed? If not, maybe you should be.

I encourage you today to reflect upon your life. Is there an area that needs change? It could be something small to something big. When I made a large change, it was easier to make the small changes on a regular basis. By taking a personal inventory on a regular basis, I can keep my side of the street clean.

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Over a year ago, I ran into a wise friend of mine. She could see I was struggling with what life was throwing at me. I had a new life, and wasn’t sure of everything, or everyone I was letting into it. I told her, “My life is becoming unmanageable, and I don’t know what to do”. She said, “Look at it and tell it to….STOP IT”! How simple was that? Like you would tell a small child that was being annoying…just stop it!

So, I did. Every little annoyance I had in my life, I told it to STOP! The air cleared and I could see the beginnings of a fabulous life waiting for me. I got rid of the clutter, and could see the beauty! Is there something or someone in your life that needs to hear, “Stop”? I pray today that you will say it, and get ready for every good thing God has in store.

Stalk Your Dreams

Years ago, I had this poster hanging on my office wall in plain view.

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I had a successful business and worked it day in and day out. My office was gorgeous, as was the rest of the house. A well-known designer from Austin, TX came in and did her magic. I was probably living the majority of the populations dream, but was I living mine?

I don’t recall being happy. Here is something I learned the hard way. “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose”. C.S Lewis. That business slowly declined to the point where I had to let it go. A few months later, I had to let go of that magnificent house and a lot of its beautiful belongings. Did my dreams go too? Even though this was one of life’s hard lessons, the business was just a business and the material things were objects. No one can take away your dreams.

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No one can take them, but we can lose sight of them.

Life get’s in the way, and dreams get set aside or put up on a shelf. When life hits hard, its human nature to go into Survival’ mode. This is not a pretty place to be.

Looking back on those years, it’s obvious it was all a part of God’s plan to get me where I am today. I had to go through some pain but it was worth it. The choices I made with money and relationships were not wise, but needed. I can see everything God has given me, when I used to just take care of it. Today, I get to see, feel, and enjoy every moment! What is your dream?

Is it buried under life? I encourage you today to dig deep, uncover that dream, and then take a step toward it. Your dream is waiting on you.

That’s Even Better

I grew up watching my grandmother worry about things long before they happened, and promised myself I would not do that. Unfortunately, I did worry for many years.

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This morning I woke up feeling anxiety in my body. Grabbing a cup of coffee, I strolled out to the porch to wait for the darkness to turn to light. I’ve had some battles this week, so I marked it up to that. What I saw was, I needed to stand firm in my faith, beliefs, and what I know as right.

A couple of birds flew overhead, gracefully flying to their next destination. Were they arguing, or loosing feathers from stress? No. Matthew 6:26  (AMP) “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?”

Yes, we are! When we worry, we are thinking of the future. Our mind will think past, present, (briefly) and future. It doesn’t want to stand still in the present moment because it wants to be a problem solver, and drag us along for the ride. I use the image of cans ties to the bumper of a car after a wedding. I can either let go, or be dragged. I’m going to continue letting go.

Turning to leave the porch, and walk inside my home, I caught a glimpse of the pond. Elvis, our large grey stork was standing there looking at me as if to say, ‘Good Morning’. Every time I needed to know God was near, this stork has shown up. It’s not an everyday occurrence, only when needed, and it still surprises me.

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Sitting at my desk typing away, I gaze out the window to get a better look. Now, the large white Egret is there, on the opposite side of the pond from Elvis. After more than a year of living here, I have not seen them visit at the same time. This reminds me of God’s promise:

Zechariah 9:12 (AMP) 12 “Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], you prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you.” Have you heard the saying, ‘Double for your trouble’? Well, this is it darlin’s. God will give us double the blessing for any trouble this world throws at us.

That is what I saw this morning. How about you? Is something staring you in the face that has you filled with anxiety, or is it in the future? If it’s in the future, it has a very good chance of not happening, because time changes circumstances. All we have is this present moment we’re sitting in right now.

I encourage you to be still in this moment, and know that God is near. He has it all worked out. It may not look like what we have planned, but in my experience, that’s even better.

Little Bit of Everything

Life happens. It’s what we choose to do with it that matters. We can continually deal with what it throws at us, take a side step and live in denial, or step up and make a shift. Ask yourself, “What are three options?”, toward every situation. Then take a step toward what’s best.

I’m a country girl, and love country music. Being young at heart, my fave artists are Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Chris Young and Keith Urban. These guys sing about love, having fun, enjoying a simple life and getting through the rough spots. These are not your, “Let’s get drunk push Mama off a train,” kinda guys. Their songs will make you smile. Keith Urban actually laughs during some of his songs! One song in particular by Keith opened my eyes to endless options of what we can receive from life. A Little Bit of Everything.

The beginning of the song, Keith mentions hanging a disco ball from an old oak tree. Having an old oak tree in my backyard this worked for me! Why not?

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The song is about endless options.

Keith doesn’t focus on how to quickly fix his situation. He projects options and leaves the door wide open for ‘a little bit of everything’ to occur. It’s not about what we think we need, it’s about taking the limits off what could happen. He sings, “Well, I know that I don’t need a whole lot of anything…I just want a little bit of everything.”

Participating in a Letting Go Workshop, we learn to ‘Let Go’ of what is not serving us or anyone around us. I collected a lot of material and mental debris over the years. When it became obvious it was time to start downsizing my home, I would have never guessed it was going to take me where I am today. A lot of time, energy and money go into maintaining a large home full of stuff. What if that same time, energy and money was available again? What would that look like?

If my plate is full, or overcrowded, that doesn’t allow room for anything new! God has cleaned my plate many a time over the past 10 years, and there’s always change involved. I live in a house that is 5 times smaller than where I began.  The material items are minimal, but each one brings me joy! The same amount of time spent to clean one bathroom before, is spent cleaning my entire house today.

I have time and freedom which is precious.

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As I was going though The Letting Go process, I realized these methods would continue to serve me throughout everyday life. The downsizing of material things showed me there’s a huge difference between want and need. What brings you joy?

I hope it’s a little bit of everything.

Time For A Haircut

God has a plan. He promises it to be a good plan. If my life doesn’t reflect God’s goodness, then I’ve probably been working my plan, not His.  My reflection in the mirror revealed it was also time for a haircut.

I had the same hairstylist for years. She knew exactly how to cut my hair, how short to go, and how close to the edge she could step. Now that I’m an hour away, and enjoy my country life, I have started trying hair stylists that are local. I always say the same thing to them, “Have fun! I like short and edgy, but just make sure I can go out in public with it.” They have my permission to be creative.Change is all around us. We can embrace it, or resist it, but it’s a constant in our daily life. Sometimes a change will occur, and it will affect our circumstances. By then, we feel the need to ‘fix’ our problem instead of facing what caused it. Learning to self evaluate, and make changes prior to seeing the circumstance, is a better way to live. You get to be proactive in your life.

Pick your life…don’t let it pick you.

So…the haircut. The stylist I met with obviously knows the secret of change. She cut my hair in a specific way, the smallest sections at a time, to lay exactly as she intended. I usually leave a salon, go home to wash my hair, and get it back to my normal style. What looks normal to me anyway. No matter how hard I try to style it now, it lays in the fashion to which she cut it. Straight down and to the side, with a small spike at the crown. This frustrated me at first, but then I realized, I gave her permission to make a change.

Once you give yourself permission to change, things will fall into place. As long as I continue to style it the way she intended, it will look great! It’s when I start messing with it, and try reverting back the style I’m used to, it looks like a beaver that’s been electrocuted. Our lives have unlimited possibilities, and our God has no limits. It’s time to Let It Go to make space new. Quality of life you will enjoy the rest of your life.