Surviving The Storm

I have a bowl of candy corn sitting on the dining room table. When I wake up, I eventually make my way to that bowl and eat a piece. I don’t buy it year round, or stock up at the end of the season. It’s one of life’s little pleasures for me that I wait for and enjoy while it’s here.

As I’m typing this, the sky is just starting to get light. I sat outside in the porch swing this morning at 5 am. It was dark, quiet, and cold to me. That is how you know a new season is coming in Texas. You put on jeans and a flannel to sit outside, instead of shorts and a tank.

Even though it was dark, I knew it was a new day. In time, the sky would turn blue, and there would be color coming over the horizon. It won’t stay quiet because all God’s creatures will begin announcing the new day. I love sitting and listening to the quiet.

How do you know there is a new season coming over the horizon in your life?

You can feel it.

Just like the change in air temperature this morning on my skin, I can feel a new season is approaching. My last Chemo was a week ago, so thank God that is over. As I sat in the porch swing this morning, my mind was showing me snippets of myself from this year. There was a time not so long ago, the pain in my breast would wake me up and I would sit outside.

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Once I went to the doctor, and received my diagnosis of Breast Cancer, the pain subsided. There has been no more pain, but to get me to the doctor, God used pain. To get me on this path of healing, there was pain involved. Maybe you are going through something painful right now. Let me encourage you to surrender to that pain, and trust that God has a plan.

My mind showed me pictures of sitting in the Chemo chair. Sixteen times at least, and each time took three to five hours. There was one time, my body had an allergic reaction to one of the premeds. They had to unplug me from that, and give me meds for the reaction, and start all over again. That day I closed the place down, and sat in that chair for eight hours.

As you can imagine, the first lesson I learned was how to sit still. I’ve never been good at it. Oh, I could sit still if it was my choice, but to sit still with no choice was very hard for me.

After I came home full of Chemo, my body would just shut down. It would lay in bed for days, and not want to move. I had to tell it what to do. Drink water, and go pee. Sit up and eat something. Three days was as long as I could go without a shower. Just standing in the shower was a major feat. I had to teach my body every week what to do to stay on this path.

Now that the Chemo is over, my body can finish healing. It knows the drill by now, and is expecting to get hit with more Chemo after three weeks. I’m so excited to see how it feels to not get hit. To feel my body continue to heal, and start gaining the weight back that it lost. To feel strength come back into what used to be muscle. To stay out of bed more than in it.

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So, what about the heart? God showed me this week I have closed my heart off as to protect it. My body has been in survival mode for months, so it would seem, my heart followed suit.

Just like teaching my body that everything’s going to be okay, I had to tell my heart that this morning too. I could feel the hardness melt away, and it open up again. I can feel it beating.

The storm will cause us to hit the pause button on our life, and just try to survive. I am not the same person physically, mentally, or spiritually after Chemo. I believe I am better, and will continue to grow. We can either sit in the darkness, usually alone, or wait patiently for it to be light. Today I can feel the warm of the light not only on my skin, but also in my heart.

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Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, 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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

A Better Life~Day Two

Early to bed, and early to rise has been my trend recently. I’m diggin’ it. There is nothing like watching God run His paintbrush across this Texas sky first thing in the morning.

I did this series a year ago, under the category, “A Better Way To Live.” My daughter was wondering why I was doing it again. Reading the ones I wrote from a year ago, my writing has changed a good bit. Those barely skim the surface of the topic, so I see where today, my writing goes deeper, and is more heartfelt. It needs to go deeper still, but I’m getting there.

Suggestion #2.

Today, and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do. The victory of success will be half won when you learn the secret of putting out more than is expected in all that you do. Make yourself so valuable in your work that eventually you will become indispensable. Exercise your privilege to go the extra mile, and enjoy all the rewards you receive. You deserve them!

We all go through a dry season with our jobs. I have a part-time job that allows me to work from home three days a week. My boss, who is also a friend of mine for the past 15 years, is easy to work with. He knows I’m going through Chemo, and is very accommodating to the days I don’t have a brain. You have to have a brain to do this job. I’m customer service to Day Traders.

I’m very grateful for this job for many reasons. It allows me to work remotely, and I get to choose my schedule. If I want to travel, I pack up my laptop and go. The job has been kinda dry lately, and not very challenging. At first, I got frustrated with the monotony, but then God showed me the blessing in that. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to do the job well.

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I changed my attitude, and saw the blessing of the job being simpler than normal right now.

Today I can do my job with excellence, and be grateful for what it is. I believe where suggestion two fits in is more toward my writing. I write for God. Even though I don’t see a physical paycheck for writing, my rewards are worth far more than money. He rewards me everyday in the little things that make my heart soar. My every need is met and then some.

My love is writing, but my job brings reliable income. Writing occurs when my heart is so full, it has to flow onto a page. It’s not planned, or scheduled…it just happens. I have several posts sitting in a draft folder where I had to write it out, but didn’t publish. The more I pour out of my heart, the larger the space I have to be filled with more love.

God gave me this job years ago so I could stay at home, and home-school my daughter. He knew I would leave my marriage, and my daughter and I would need each other afterwards.

She has pretty much taught herself high school, and this gave me the opportunity to write. I saw a quote once that said, “Your story could be the key that unlocks someone else’s prison.”That is my hope. That you will find something here that feels like a key to your prison door. If God can work through me to do that, then that will be reward enough for me.

Barbara is a God follower, a Writer, 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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

Keep Fighting What

I backslid this morning and went down to the corner store for a cup of coffee. I’ve barely had any coffee with this round of Chemo. The trip to the store wasn’t about coffee after all.

Three days ago, I wrote a Blog and mentioned a song by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. Randy Phillips have been associated with a church in Austin, TX called Promiseland for years.  Standing at the counter of the store this morning, a lady walked up and started talking to me. I had met her before, and it was such a blessing just to take the time to catch up.

We walked outside, and she said something that quickly got my attention. She asked if I was familiar with Promisland Church Austin, and I told her yes. They are bringing a satellite church September 11th to Lockhart, TX. Literally 10 minutes from where I live. We exchanged phone numbers and made plans to go together. So glad I went for that coffee.

This is how God moves in my life.

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I saw this Meme earlier this week and saved it. Didn’t really know why at the time, but today, it makes sense. I noticed that this round of Chemo was trying to kick my butt. I’ve been on a vicious cycle of eating, and sleep the week of, and my quality of life was suffering.

My daughter was visiting a friend last weekend, and this gave me time to ponder who I wanted to be, versus who I was becoming. I was allowing my current circumstances to dictate my quality of life. This was crap. I am better than this, so Monday morning things changed. I made a list of what I wanted to accomplish and started working on the list.

I’ve acquired a new curiosity for life. The things I listed are things God has shown me, that I had put on the back burner due to lack of energy. It was time to look at what I wanted, who I wanted to be, and get to work. My body has been through hell, and I’ve been caring for the inside with good nutrition. It was time to show some care to the outer shell, so Yoga began.

I started doing Yoga 3 years ago and loved it. It makes my body happy, and I’m a firm believer in using your body to strengthen itself. This lead to reading more about it, and downloading some other books that I’ve been curious about. Strengthening the mind, and body so to speak. I got everything accomplished on my list, so today we have a new one.

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Rebuilding myself from where I am today. People have often said to me, “Keep fighting.” That sounded strange because it didn’t feel like a fight. The Chemo was fighting the Cancer, but I discovered what I was fighting for was my life. Not to get lost in the circumstances, and not to become my circumstances. I am not the same woman I was in March. I am better.

I said to someone yesterday, “This has been a remarkable journey.” He said, “I’ve never heard it described that way before.” That is probably true because it’s easy to let the Chemo become bigger than you. Get curious about life again. Muster up all the strength you have and use it to start over. This journey is coming to an end, but it took me straight to a new one.

 

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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. Part of her mission is to show people they can start over at 50. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

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.

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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

 

 

 

Them Gilmore Girls

I heard the best line ever yesterday. My daughter, and I were sitting in a restaurant, when this little old man approached our table. He nodded at my bald head and said, “Is it medical? Or do you want your head to look that way?” I busted out laughing, he smiled, and it was all good.

I thought when I lost my hair thanks to Chemo, I would learn how to tie all these beautiful scarves to cover my head. Well, that didn’t happen. I live in Texas so, scarves are hot! In the beginning stages, I thought I was covering my head to make myself less scary looking.  It turns out, I was covering it to mask what I am going through. No scarf? People approach.

This has been a week of love, and learning. My daughter turns 17 on Monday, August 8th. I took time and gave her a little something each day that reminded me of our life together, or something I wanted her to know for the future, along with a note. On Day 5, yesterday, she looked at me after reading the hand written note, and said, “It’s sounds like my Mom, and a Writer.”

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She texted me this picture last week, and it made my heart smile. I’ve been chastised for being her friend, more than a Mother. Who says I can’t be both? She is my very best friend, and these last 3 years have held the happiest moments of my life. This week, we have been Netflix binging on a show called The Gilmore Girls. This show describes our life perfectly.

We are only into the first season, so I will be upset if the Mother turns into a skank, but for now, it makes us laugh. My daughter and I drink coffee together, and yes, I am addicted. Every now and then I cut myself off, just to show it I’m boss. This week, I have barely had any coffee, so by the time Saturday morning rolled around, I was ready to lay my face in it.

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Our life was once ran by a calendar. It was one of those large ones that covers your desk. I haven’t had one of those on my desk since I left my marriage, and took my daughter with me. Living life day to day is what we do. Being grateful for waking up, and watching for what God has in store that day. Everyday is different, and it’s never boring. Living life together.

I give her some of the craziest advice coming from a Mother, but to her, it always makes sense. She would write the really good ones down, and go back and look at them later, when she needed a good laugh. I have always asked her not to call CPS on me, and she never has.

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Some of the things that come out of my mouth, amaze even me. My Mother was a good Mother, but we were not friends. I went to my friends for advice, which didn’t always pan out well, so I wanted my girl to always come to me. We talk about everything, and now with social media ablaze, there are never ending topics. Nothing is forbidden, and we learn a lot.

When I left her Father, it was right before my 50 birthday. I told my daughter, “I’m not counting anymore birthdays for me. I will buy cake, because we will always eat cake, but no counting years.” It worked too, because when people ask me my age, I have to really think before answering. With her birthday coming up, she made the same announcement to me.

Growing up is bittersweet, but growing old is optional.

My darling girl, always remember, “Where you lead, I will follow, Anywhere that you tell me to. If you need, you need me to be with you I will follow where you lead.”

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Barbara is a Writer, Certified Letting Go Coach, and Mom to her 16-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

Reasons or Excuses

I splurged yesterday. My daughter and I had pedicures. I believe if you take care of your feet, your entire body will thank you. I woke up this morning, looked at my toes, and smiled.

I am really into beauty right now. Noticing what’s around me, and enjoying it’s natural state. I spent years buying what I thought was beautiful. There are boxes somewhere full of handmade pottery from NC artists. I think my life was such a mess, I tried filling it up with beautiful things. Maybe covering it up is more accurate. All of that has been scraped away.

My marriage was so ugly, we invested in art. I recall hiring an artist from Austin TX to create two paintings for a living room we were remodeling. He spent time with us, and got a feel for the space we were creating. It’s funny, but I don’t recall telling him we liked water. When he came to us with the finished work, it was a hauntingly accurate portrayal of us.

One painting was rather dark, but had potential. It was a lake view, with foliage around it, but the sky was overcast and cloudy. That described my husband at the time. The other painting was almost an identical lake view, but the sky was noticeably different. It had light breaking through the clouds. That one was mine. The artist painted what he felt from us.

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Those were painted over 10 years ago, and I left them when I left. They are worth a small fortune today, but my happiness, and well being are worth far more than anything there.

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I found this artist this morning, and it made my heart soar. She makes art from flowers, and twigs, so I made it into a Meme. It portrays how natural, and simple, beauty is to me today.

Speaking to a lady yesterday brought back memories of when I left. How it felt, and how it happened. My marriage changed once I got sober. When you think about it, I was drinking on my wedding day, so it makes sense to see that person in a different light without the drink. The more sober I got, the less we had in common. It got to the point the only thing we had in common were our two kids. That was not a reason to stay, but it was a good excuse.

I had a lot of excuses not to leave. To me they were valid reasons, but knowing what I know today, they were only excuses. We had ruined our credit, and had a home foreclosure on record. I thought no one would rent a house to me with my bad credit. Life happens, and credit gets ruined. It doesn’t bother me. My credit score is not who I am in God’s eyes.

All I wanted was a chance to be happy. I knew God had a better plan for me, than what I had gotten myself into. I cannot recall all the feelings associated with that time in my life, because of God, and letting go. The feeling of dread was constant. I dreaded everything because there was no love. No reason for being there anymore because love was long gone.

I stopped looking for reasons, and just started moving. I knew that God would open doors, and close doors, to direct my path. It’s easy to look at what lies ahead, and let that stop you.

You need to tell all that crap how big your God is.

Have faith. When my daughter and I started looking at houses, I’m sure there were Realtors who frowned at my credit. I was going to be a single Mom, and didn’t have a lot of money anymore. When people care about you, and not your bank account, life gets real good quick.

All I had, was who I was. People I have rented from called friends of mine, and past employers to see how I had treated them. That was all they needed. I am a good person.

Do your best, and let God do the rest, has always worked for me. May it work for you too.

 

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Barbara is a Writer, Certified Letting Go Coach, and Mom to her 16-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

 

 

Not My Plan

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I have so enjoyed my three week break from Chemo. It caused me to be pensive, and think about what I want to do next. Yes, I know by now, my plans are not necessarily His plans.

Did I plan on getting a divorce 3 years ago? Better yet, did I plan on my marriage becoming unrecognizable 15 years in, and me staying an additional 10? No, that was not my plan.

Did I plan on moving to the country with my daughter when she turned 13, and raising her alone? Nope. That wasn’t my plan either.

Did I plan on being diagnosed with Breast Cancer near the beginning of 2016, and spend a year focused on that? Well, that was not my plan, but maybe my worst nightmare.

You know what? All these things, and more, have put me exactly where I need to be.

Catching glimpses of my new self during this break, I often pondered what I would be like with Chemo completely out of my system. The doctor assured me there would be no lasting effects of Chemo Brain. My mind would clear back up, once the Chemo was gone.

My daughter says, “You may not be as physically strong as you once were, but you have a new strength.” The physical strength will be simple enough to get back, once this journey is complete. I enjoy that she noticed the new inner strength.

Everything we go through in this life, takes a certain measure of strength. Where I get into trouble is depending on my own strength to get me through. That doesn’t work very well.

God wants us to depend on Him, and pull from His strength. I can feel the difference, and I would much rather trust, and rely on Him to pull me through. Just like trying to plan my life. I can look at what He has given me, writing being one, and use it to the best of my ability.

Allowing myself to be used by Him through my writing is even better. That is when my plan, coincides with His plan, and my options are endless. Let’s roll with that plan.