The Scattered Words

My Fearless community adds value to my life. On our Team call, I recommended the Morning Pages to a Team member, because I used to do them and saw value in them. Then I asked myself, “Why did you stop writing them Barb?”

My Fearless Team member ran with the idea, and has 3 weeks under his belt. He’s doing so well with it, he inspired me to start writing them again. The main reason I stopped was out of frustration. I couldn’t complete the 3 pages of longhand Julia recommends, but then I heard her voice say, ‘Grab three pieces of paper.’

I’d been using a notebook to write the morning pages, and it was uncomfortable to write in. It was bulky and larger than a regular piece of notebook paper. Eyeing the stack of notebook paper from my daughter’s school stash, I grabbed three pieces of paper and laid them on the table. As I began to write I felt my hand glide across the page and noticed it was resting flat on the table, not elevated by the thickness of the notebook. After completing page one, I went on to page two and then three!

Morning pages are to be written first thing in the morning, and it’s different than Blogging. These are thoughts not fully formed in the mind and feel scattered. Pen to paper helps pull them together and smooth them out. They are not to be shared with anyone, so you can say whatever you darn well please. I do this before anything else, even coffee, so there’s a commitment.

As soon as your eyes open you’ll need:

Three pieces of paper.

Your favorite writing utensil.

Staring out a window helps gather thoughts.

What better place to scatter words than onto an empty page? Be happy and well loved. ~Barb

Feel the Music

It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted a Feel the Music. That surprised me, but even more so was looking through and realizing the first one was posted almost 4 years ago! I can barely remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I remember the day Feel the Music was born.

I was driving my truck down a back road, listening to the radio, and pondering my Blog. A song began to play, and it was Big Daddy Weave singing, ‘My Story’. Right then, I knew Feel the Music was supposed to become a series in my Blog. It contained those three words, like all my Blog titles did, but this was more than one post. It was going to be a regular thing.

I didn’t drive my truck very much last year, so some time has passed since posting one, but I still have a heart for music. It has helped pull me through some tough spots in my life. I’ve used it as an escape, and I’ve played it to chase after God. From cleaning a chicken coop knowing my marriage was at it’s end, to standing on a pier on 40 acres of land, surrounds by nothingness.

Music healed my heart many times.

Yesterday, I told my daughter something I needed to hear too. I said, “You didn’t come this far, to only come this far.” The inspiration for this song didn’t come while driving my truck, so I need to make myself available to inspiration other than my truck.

Someone in my Fearless community posted a meme of this song because he is halfway to his monthly goal. Maybe we are all halfway there and don’t even realize it. The one thing I do know is, life wouldn’t be worth living without a prayer. Enjoy!

From Good to Great

My daughter’s mini lecture before leaving the house for the day. “I want you to eat something of sustenance, and that doesn’t mean chocolate and gummi vitamins.” All those years of mothering are paying off where she is now mothering me! I’m diggin’ it.

I did pretty well with scrambled farm fresh eggs, by adding some shredded gouda and thyme. Along with slices of everything bread toasted and cut into toast points to hold some fig jam. It was delicious and I took this photo as proof that I ate something good.

I like a little bit of egg with my thyme.

This only added to an already great day.

Because everyday we wake up to a new day is pretty great, right? I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s drives my friends crazy how happy I am. When they ask, “How are you?”, the answer is always, “I’m doing great!” Even if I’m not feeling especially perky, or there’s trouble brewing ahead, it’s always the same response…”Great!” My daughter knows I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulder’s when she asks, “How are you?”, and I say. “Okay…”

I don’t know about you but ‘okay’ is unacceptable in my mind, and I’ve been blessed with a very good life, but what about better than good? I’ve been saying ‘great’ for so long now, and to a lot of people the life I live is great, but what does great really look like? This year I want to step outside the knowing of what’s ‘good’, and go for the ‘great.’

We can be mindful of our day, and take note of how to make adjustments for a better tomorrow. Each day a little bit better than the last sounds like a solid path for this life to emerge over time from good to great.

Let Love Be Loud

I’ve been reading my morning devotional, and jotting down whatever jumps out, or resonates. Here’s this week’s favorite.

When things seem all wrong, trust me anyway. I am much less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way.

Jesus Calling-1/26/2021

I’ve had 5 days that feel like Monday with a client at work. I really want it to feel like midweek, so I’m just gonna settle in here with you for a moment. You know, I can take happy clients all day long, and that’s the fun part of the job, but the ones who are high strung and relentless are the ones who make me better.

The circumstances were all wrong, but I believe God handed me the right responses every time.

I was able to practice listening and could hear what was really fueling his anger. It wasn’t this situation at all.

This job has taught me I cannot make people happy. They need to be happy in their own skin first, and there’s a lot of people who are not happy. I like to call this the ‘rewarding challenge’ of the job. Without any challenging circumstance there is little reward.

Whatever comes your way today, I encourage you take a pause to see what is the right response. It helps to not take the situation personally, but rather to give the kind of response to make the situation better. We have the power to make someone’s day a light-hearted and memorable experience, and people need that now more than ever. Let love be the loudest thing about you.

A Curated Life

Most people have made, or at least entertained the idea of making some sort of resolution or intention during this end and beginning of years. Even vowing not to make resolutions is in itself a resolution. We like the idea of grand gestures, big promises and dramatic results.

However, any lasting and significant change in our lives is not some instantaneous transformation. The big events we go through that we call major life changes are more of a wading into difference. A marriage, a move, a divorce, a birth or a death…they happen in moments, over days and seasons of time. Joining your life with someone isn’t just the big day when you say “I Do”. It’s the weeks and years where you live out the highs and lows of life together. Losing someone isn’t just the moment of loss. It is the hours and days that follow where you have to navigate a life without them.

That’s why, if you feel stuck and are wanting to embark on a journey of transformation, you have to learn to start with today, and each moment contained within this little block of time. It takes an appreciation of moments in time, to settle into lasting change.

Twenty-one months ago, I made a big promise to myself in a small moment of darkness. I promised to no longer be carried by the current of addiction, but to find my footing, and start to walk. My drinking habit, the behavior that had been with me for the majority of my life, had completely overtaken my sense of self, any ambitions I may have harbored, and all of the authentic relationships within reach. In the small hours of that long night, I’d finally had enough.

But hitting a wall isn’t the change. The promise isn’t the change. The resolution isn’t the result, it’s a starting point. Any meaningful change that you want to see in yourself happens in the moments, days, weeks and years that follow. Whether or not you are successful in making the change depends on what makes up the living you do in the moments.

It is in showing up and doing the work each day that we keep our promises to ourselves. However, merely showing up and going through the motions isn’t enough. Life needs our participation. Moments don’t simply arrive to pass us by; they are meant to be lived. And it is by living in the small moments, the often mundane and repeated moments, that we create a life. A life of our choosing, orchestrated by our engagement in the process.

It is not until we learn to appreciate and be taken up in and by the moments of our day that we actually learn to live. The wonderful part is that we do have some say in what those moments will be. Tasks and obligations are inevitable, but we can choose our attitude while performing them. We also get to choose the way we set up our daily routine, whether it’s taking in the sunrise with God each morning, or taking a meditative walk with the dog each evening.

If it is truly important to the journey, we will commit to living these moments with consistency and authenticity. So, don’t be taken in by the idea of overnight change, or dramatic “before and after’s.” Instead, be taken in by the moments you live each day.

Because that is how you curate a life.

This is a guest post written by my friend Collette, who I met on WordPress. You can visit her Blog, Wine to Water here. Thank you Collette.

To Stay Planted

My friend who I meet for coffee once a month gave me a beautiful mug. It’s a travel mug, which I didn’t have. I usually drink my coffee before leaving the house, so it’s rather liberating knowing my coffee can now travel.

The box has been sitting on the coffee bar, and it’s just as pretty as the mug. Every time I pass by and read the words on the box, the phrase sticks with me for a minute while walking through the house. It’s one of my favorite sayings, “Bloom where you are planted.”

I’ve written about ‘bloom‘ because it fascinates me. What does it take for something to bloom, and waiting to see when it will bloom. Nothing blooms all the time, but just like an actual flower, we have days where blooming comes naturally. It’s no secret 2020 has been a year, and everyone is anxiously awaiting a new year, but we can decide to bloom where we’re planted. To find contentment where we are, and to shower kindness on ourselves and others.

Do what you can, where you are, and with what you have. To bloom where you’re planted works best when you’re willing to stay planted.

In Real Time

All this talk about the draft folder is really just the tip of the iceberg. I left out the part about all the emails I’ve sent to myself with pictures attached. Looking through some of them lastnight I noticed there’s an additional folder entitled ‘Blog Ideas’, chocked full from 2019. Let’s not forget the journals and slips of paper I come across every now and then. I even text myself ideas when the inspiration hits. So really, the draft folder is the least of it.

There’s no lack for inspiration here.

This laptop has memes sitting on the desktop, just waiting for a story. Every so often, it begins to look cluttered, so I file them into a folder. My first Zoom conference this year with the man I work with was truly embarrassing. We were sharing our screens, going over email platforms, and our screens were extreme opposites. His was full of Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and word documents, but you know what he saw on Barb’s?

Pretty pictures and memes.

There was a long pause as he viewed my desktop, and I couldn’t leave the meeting fast enough. The meme I used as the featured photo in this post is one I ‘borrowed’ from Cristian Mahai, but here it is again.

Sitting at the kitchen table this morning, it doesn’t surprise me to see a container of glitter sitting here with me. I purchased the glitter for a small project, but you know I love glitter, and have been known to sprinkle it anywhere I darn well please. Now, I’m not going to throw it at my computer screen, but it’s safe to say, I have a glittery life. No longer embarrassed over my desktop either, because if I had to choose between mine, and the man I work with, it would easily be this one.

I’m starting to believe, instead of continuing to file away inspiration, it’s to be shared in real time.

Try We Must

It’s no secret this year is different.

We are in December, and there’s still no full size Christmas tree in our home. I bought a small one and it’s perched on the built-in cabinet in the back of the house. The dogs enjoy the soft glow of the lights at night.

This is our third year in this little lake house, and the last couple of years I’ve thought about hanging Christmas lights across the front of the house. I’d always talk myself out of it with a mountain of excuses, but this year there were no more excuses.

I had a tangled up mass of multi-colored icicle lights that have moved with me over the years. I began the task of gently untangling them, plugged them in, and to my surprise they still worked.

I began tacking them along the roofline, and don’t know why I saw it as such a daunting task. My mind told me it would take al lot of time, when in reality it took very little time and went along seamlessly. The task looked more difficult in my mind than it actually was.

I think a lot of things in life are like that. We tend to overthink our ideas, which prevents us from doing what the heart wants, and simply walking through. We are vehicles of the heart, and my hope is that you’ll follow yours. It may look daunting at first, but you’ll never know unless you try, and try we must.

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.

Bowl of Scraps

There’s a lady who sells these handmade bowls at a farmer’s market I attend on the weekends. They are made from strips of fabric she refers to as scraps. Her display has so many colors and designs it’s difficult to choose, but if that’s my toughest decision of the day, life is good.

She wraps clothes line wiring with strips of fabric and sews them together to make the bowl. Allow me show you how simply beautiful scraps woven together can be.

Yesterday, I was on my Team Call through Fearless Warrior and told them I’ve decided to leave the Fearless Warrior Community. It was a solid investment of money and time well spent, but the heart knows when it’s time to move on. We’ve been meeting every week for several months and feel woven together, similar to this bowl.

We are all different ages with different ideas and beliefs and we live in various parts of the world, but we have a common bond. A mutual love and respect for one another. I have found similar souls here in WordPress. My Fearless Team has decided to continue meeting at least once a month outside the community to continue encouraging one another down life’s path.

When we stand alone we might feel like one strip of fabric, but together we can be woven with love into something meaningful and purposeful. Just like this bowl of scraps.