The Christmas Ornament

Today I went in search of a Christmas gift for my son. He just turned 27, never asks for anything and doesn’t need much to be happy. I went to my favorite downtown area and strolled through the shops. Found items that came close, but not quite right. Went into one shop that looked like a friendly, eclectic place. A glance at the price tags had me shaking my head in bewilderment. They were really proud of their stuff!

Sign For My Son
Sign For My Son

Then I stepped into my kind of shop. Everything antique, or handmade, and not overpriced. Just things that someone once loved and was ready to pass on to the next person to enjoy. I pondered if there was something I could tell him. Something he could look at and be encouraged by since I’m not there anymore.

Then, I saw this sign. It’s exactly what I would want him to know everyday as he heads out the door to work. I didn’t notice until I got home, but they even placed it in an old Randall’s grocery bag, which is where he worked for several years.

This is my second Christmas as a single Mom, and God has been so good to me. I don’t recall a whole lot about last Christmas because I was too busy trying to find myself to be present! This has been an awesome year, and I’m so excited about the next! I know who I am today, and strive to become everything God wants me to be.

As I was leaving the shop, I spotted a bowl of Christmas ornaments on a table near the door. One in particular caught my eye. If you are familiar with my post back in June, “Little Bit of Everything”, you’ll know why. Yes…it was an ornament that looked like a miniature Disco Ball!

The Ornament
The Ornament

Hanging a Disco Ball from my old oak tree was one of the most freeing things I ever did. Who actually does that? Keith Urban and me. My daughter and I were enjoying the flashes of light coming through the window from it just last week. We laughed and talked about that song, and the day we hung it in the tree. It’s been through some seasons, but it still hangs right where we put it and shines it’s glamorous light whenever the sun hits it.

That’s a lot like us. We go through seasons, and weather the storms. There was many a day I had to visualize God as my Strong Tower, giving me shelter from a storm. The storm would last a couple of hours, or a couple of days, but God is faithful. He pulled me through every one, and I was stronger and better than before. When I stepped out into the light, I was able to shine brightly just like that Disco Ball.

I picked up the ornament and walked back to the counter to pay for it. The lady knew I had completed my purchase, but found this on my way out. She said, “You can have it. I’m going to give it to you.” I was stunned, and told her, “Thank you.” I wonder if she will ever know how much that little ornament means to me. This Christmas, I have one to hang on the tree inside the house. God is good.

 

 

 

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 fav 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 and shoot Mama, or push her 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?

discoball

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.

NO

Be careful how you spend your time and who you give it to. It’s one thing we never get back. This is what The Letting Go Workshops are all about. To look at every option, choose one at a time and examine it closely. Feeling overwhelmed? Pinpoint the source and see if it’s needed. Have unhealthy relationships dragging you down? Evaluate how that serves you and decide what is best for you. These are couple of things that needed addressing immediately in my own life. I had been skirting the issues, and lived to just get through another day. I wasn’t excited about tomorrow either! That is NOT living my friend. That is called…’SURVIVING.’

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 love to go Antiquing. Traveling through charming little towns in Texas, and stopping in these lovely shops is relaxing and brings me joy. I don’t make purchases at every shop because today my focus is quality of life, not quantity. Once in a while, something will speak to my heart, and I’ll stop and ponder if I have to have it. My daughter always asks me, “Do you love it?” Some shops believe in quantity, so if I spot a set of plates I like, I keep moving if I have to purchase the entire set. My life today doesn’t require a seating for 12 people.

Recently, I came across a set of tea cups, plates and saucers that made me smile. There were four of each piece, which is perfect for my daughter and me. That gives us enough to have a guest or two, allow for breakage, and we’re not married to it because of investment. We have several sets of four plates, place mats, and cloth napkins to enjoy. This is another one of life’s simple pleasures. It’s been over a year since I’ve purchased paper napkins! Antique shops have beautiful cloth napkins, and there again, stay away from the set of twelve. Buy four or six, to change out regularly and enjoy the colors and patterns. Throw them in the wash, and they continue to bring you joy! A little bit of everything is better than too much of anything.

teacup