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.

Follow Your Heart

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I woke up early not only to a brand new day, but a new year. Mornings are a magical moment for me. Today there is a little extra anticipation knowing this morning begins a brand new year.

I am excited about a new year! Not for any particular reason, but I have been pondering some changes. At the end of the year, I like to ask myself, “What will I bring with me?”

Just like packing, and anticipating the journey, you look at the what you are taking with you. This year I want to follow my heart more.

I am an over-thinker, and I can see today where that has not been my friend. Letting my head rule my heart has kept me from doing things that genuinely make my heart happy. The ‘what if’s’, set in and take over. So this year will be the year of listening to my heart, and moving toward that.

A year ago, I ordered a calendar from a dear, sweet, friend of mine. Her name is SC Lourie, and she pours out her heart and soul in her work. Today I share one of her heart felt writings with you.

This is her wish for your New Year.

I pasted it in a new Journal, not realizing three months later it would become my Cancer Journal. It got me through sitting and waiting.

“I hope you get all that you genuinely want this year, I really do. I hope you leave a piece of you wherever you go, and discover a piece of you wherever you find yourself. I hope you realize it’s all about love. And that you look deep into the eyes of those you adore, and not shy away from them gazing back at you. I hope you will reach out and feel your beloveds, not flinching for fear of being rejected. And I hope you speak your mind. Well, really speak your heart. Yes, I hope you honor your heart this year, all the way through.”

“I hope you don’t get so busy that you forget life is about having a good time, and I hope you choose happy again and again. I hope you realize you don’t have to follow anyone. You can do life your way, and life will honor you for it. I hope you laugh wildly with your friends, and notice some beautiful things, so beautiful you have to share them and write them down. I hope you remember your own kind of beautiful, and no longer hide in the shadows. That you’ll feel lucky enough just to be you, and feel safe in your skin, like you’ll love yourself enough.”

“I hope you are kissed on the forehead by the wind, and sprinkled with inspiration from the stars. I hope you listen to good music, and read some incredible books, and make your home around those who love you for who you are. Be brave with your cuddles. Don’t hold anything in. And make time for the people and things that make you happy. Tread lightly sweet soul. There is only magic around you, and it’s not going anywhere. You’re safe. You’re well.” by SC Lourie. Happy New Year!

Let’s Sprawl Out

I looked at my bed, after getting out of it recently. Half of it is smooth, and still made; almost untouched. I lay the covers back to get out, and you can see only one person sleeps there. It made me wonder what other areas of my life, resemble my bed.

I’m an overthinker.

It made me think back, when God opened the door for me to leave my marriage. My daughter was looking for houses available for rent. The house God led us to, on 40 acres, had one ginormous bedroom. I paused and considered if that was a good idea.

That house was 795 square feet, but was perfect for us. It was exactly what we needed at the time.

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It was close quarters, so we were always near one another. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

We took what we loved, and what was necessary, to our new home. We took her bed, and I left the other one there. We slept in the same bed, and we learned to stay on our own side. It amazes me what your mind can train your body to do. Even after I bought a new bed, over a year later, my body still chose to sleep on it’s own side, just like she was still there.

It also made me think how I had trained my body to sleep before I went to the doctor. The lump in my breast was painful, and I went from lying flat on my back, to one side, to eventually sitting up to sleep. It gradually intensified each day just to see how much pain I could take. Unfortunately for me, I can take quite a bit, but I finally surrendered.

I made a point lastnight, to lay on my stomach, with pillows propped under my head, elevating any pressure on my port. Then I sprawled out, and took up all of the bed I could.

It was a very freeing feeling, almost exhilarating actually. My body was extremely pleased with this new found freedom. It also made me think, “What other areas in my life do I need to sprawl out? What have I trained myself to live with? Where do I need to trust God more?”

The most obvious area is going through Chemo, and believing for His perfect healing in all this. I believe there are more areas though, so I get to dig deeper. Prayer and meditation, and asking God to show me where I need to sprawl out.

Are you feeling this today?

He had me write it for a reason, so maybe it spoke to you. If so, I pray for us to ‘let go’ of who we have trained ourselves to be, and open our hearts to His plan for our lives. Just like Nike says, “Just do it,” we can say, “Let’s sprawl out.”

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.