The Clean Spot

Recently, my daughter told me something that I could have taken the wrong way. She said something to the affect of, “I’m not sure you taught me good things growing up.” Here is her example.

While she was growing up, I didn’t want to get upset over a spill, or if she dropped something on the floor, and it made a mess. I enjoyed showing her the proper way to clean up the mess. Life can get messy, and it was my job to show her what to do if it did.

I’m her Mama, not her lifetime repair woman.

To make light of the situation, I would tell her, “After you clean up that mess, it will be the cleanest spot in the house!”, and that became our motto.

She was at a friends house helping them do laundry.

She spilled some laundry detergent on the carpet.

The detergent was blue, and the carpet was white.

She said as she was down on her hands and knees, scrubbing the carpet, she was shaking her head and laughing at my voice in her head! She said out loud, “This is going to be one heck of a clean spot!”

She had heard those words many times before.

We were newly on our own, and standing in the check out line of a grocery store. The check out line was always a stressful moment because she was hoping I had enough money to pay for the purchases. What she didn’t know was, I had already tallied them up in my head to avoid embarrassment.

She wanted to be helpful, and insisted on carrying the milk to the car. She looked so small, holding that gallon of milk. It was gathering condensation being out of the cooler, and was slippery. She was trying to hold onto it, but it didn’t take long for it to slip from her hands, and go crashing to the floor.

She was sure everyone in the store was looking.

The gallon of spilled milk looked more like a lake.

The cashier sympathized, and called for a clean up.

I placed my arm around my daughter’s shoulders and guided her mortified body to the exit saying, “That’s gonna be one heck of a clean spot.”

Puzzles and Life

Meet Andy at the Blogsite Growing Pains. He wrote a piece that reminded me of a topic I was going to write about, and forgot. The puzzles of life.

When my daughter was learning to manage depression/anxiety, I was pondering what to do to help. My Mama worked a puzzle on the kitchen table at least once a month. I don’t know her exact philosophy behind this, but it brought us together as a family. One couldn’t walk by without stopping to help, and visit with Mama.

My daughter and I have a ginormous coffee table.

I went and bought a puzzle that spoke to my heart.

One I could leave laying out for days while we worked on it. We would spend hours sitting there together with 1,000 pieces scattered across the table.We talked about anything and everything.

To make something beautiful out of the chaos. This is how life can feel at times.

We had a love/hate thing going on with the puzzle. You couldn’t sit in front of it without trying to get a piece to fit, but our favorite pieces were last few. We felt accomplished when those final pieces would snap into place!

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In the Blog I read this morning, Andy’s puzzle fell and shattered. It wasn’t his fault, and he was distraught when he walked into the room and saw it scattered across the floor. He saw it as all their hard work being lost, but when he told his wife, I love her response.

She said, “I guess we have more work to do.”

That is what I wanted to reveal to my daughter.

What she is learning to manage will take work, but with every piece the puzzle will come together, and it will be beautiful.

Much love to you. xx Barb xx

Feel the Music

“When is the last time you wrote a Feel the Music?”, she asked.

It was one year ago God put this series on my heart. He even gave me the title.

There was a time in my life I stopped feeling the music. Sure, I would listen to the lyrics, but to let the music get inside and move you. That’s what this series is about.

When this song comes on the radio, my daughter grins.

My feet start tapping as I turn up the volume, and yell, “Whip whip!” It’s impossible to sit still during this song! She knows I love it and suggested it for Feel the Music.

My daughter has watched me begin writing less. She wants me to continue writing, but there has been a shift.

Writing isn’t the forefront of my life today. I’m living life and taking time to jot it down.

There have been many changes this year and there will be more. I’m to a point where I just want to be used by God however He sees fit. He has used me a lot in life and I have done and been a lot of things, but He’s not done yet!

I don’t want to step gracefully through the pearly gates.

I want to take a running start and slide through head first.

To live each day and roll with what He lays in front of me.

To make God proud. I’m willing to do whatever it takes.

I Love Lucy

My daughter is spending time this week with one of her best friends. Her friend goes to college in Florida, so they haven’t seen one another in years. She came to Texas to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, which was Wednesday.

Yesterday, I checked the mail, and it was stuffed with all kinds of goodness. I had ordered film for my daughter’s Instamatic camera, and it came in. We weren’t sure the film was going to arrive in time for her to use it during her friend’s visit, but God took care of it. My package from the UK was there as well, and I squealed with excitement!

Lucy was here!

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Lucy from Little Fears.

Peter Edwards writes a Blog entitled, Little Fears.

He showed up on my Blog during my Cancer Journey.

Peter has always been an encouragement to me, and I admire his passion for what he does. I believe we have numerous opportunities as a community of Bloggers to encourage one another. Purchasing Lucy was my way of giving Peter a little bit of encouragement when needed.

There is something about this scary looking creature, holding a heart that makes me smile. I can’t tell if she is offering it, or taking it. Are heart matters a little fear for you?

My daughter and her friend stopped by yesterday just to give hugs. She saw Lucy displayed in the frame we had chosen for her together. I was beaming with love over Lucy, and my daughter shouted, “I love Lucy!” Me too lovely. Me too. Thank you Peter for helping us face our Little Fears.

Catching a Glimpse

Note to self: “Bake cookies the day before she gets home.”

So the house doesn’t smell like fresh baked cookies when she walks in. The smells lingers, and she’ll ask if I had cookies with my coffee. I’m prepared to be fussed at.

Stepping into the hallway this morning, it felt chilly.

At first, I thought the air was turned down too low, but the air conditioning wasn’t running. The house was quiet and the air felt cool, and crisp. It reminded me fall is coming.

August in Texas means heat, but it was sweet catching a glimpse.

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Take Every Test

My daughter is sitting in a college classroom, preparing for a test. She is young, and hasn’t been through many tests.

She has been home-schooled since 4th grade, and we have used life’s classroom. Of course, we used curriculum, but life is a fabulous teacher! Have we passed every test? Of course not, but every test failed, prepares us to succeed.

fail

My daughter had to learn to fail, and not let that stop her. When she takes a test for school, it’s okay to fail. Homeschooling allows you the freedom to retake the test. If she wasn’t happy with her grade, and knew she could do better, I would let her take the test again. Just like in life.

Learning from mistakes equals knowledge. I don’t believe ‘knowledge is power.’ The power comes from what we do with the knowledge. Anyone can sit full of knowledge.

My daughter had no pressure from me to go to college.

My philosophy is this. “Don’t waste my money, or your time on college, unless you know what you want to be.”

She is wicked smart, and her grades qualify for college, but she has seen many friends flounder in college for years, and leave with no usable degree. She is starting with community college, and I’m so happy for her! She will take some classes and discern her path, or just blaze a trail, but either way, it will be affordable, and not consume our lives.

She has learned through life, more than any curriculum. At her young age, she knows there will be many tests, and it’s okay not to pass it each time. The more tests you take, the more experience gained, and knowledge received.

Let go of the outcome, and be willing to take every test.

 

Giving It Away

My friend Liz, at My Well-being and Learning Journey, sent me a book. It’s a lovely book, with simple suggestions on ways to live well. It actually contains 101 Ways to Live Well.

I’m in give away mode. My daughter and I enjoy living in this house by the lake, but I know in my heart it’s only temporary. I want to start giving things away with intention.

When I saw this book from Liz, my heart spoke to me. It’s a sturdy little book, so why not pass it around the WordPress community? I will sign it before sending, and once you read it, do the same. Let’s see how many hands it passes through. To write our names, and web addresses on the inside covers, and watch them accumulate! I’m not sure how it will end, and with who, but it sounds pretty magical.

livewell

If you would like to receive this book, and be the next writer to sign it and pass it along, let me know in the comments below. One of the best ways to live well, is by giving it away!