Tag: working from home

Feed Your Soul

It’s hard for me to disappoint people and be okay with it. I felt the need to step away from one of my jobs for the weekend, but that means the weekly newsletter won’t go out. Of course I could sit here and push through to get it composed and scheduled, but my thought all week has been, “What condition is your soul in, Barb?”

Over the years I’ve often remembered a song by TobyMac where he sings, “I don’t wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul.” I’ve always wanted to impact people’s lives in a positive way, but what they don’t tell you as you’re pouring into other people’s lives, there’s a balance. To all my world changers out there, take time to pour into your own world.

A photo shared with my daughter last night.

Reading Simple Abundance this week has fed my soul. What she’s writing about is precisely where I am. Examining every piece that makes up my world and asking it, “Are you pretty and useful, or just pretty useful?” As there’s almost another decade in the rearview, there’s still purpose burning deep inside.

I’m going through items in my home room by room with that question in mind. I moved a large piece of art I’ve had for years from my bedroom to the kitchen and it’s like it has new life. I’ve learned that plants love light, but aren’t happy sitting on the window sill in the heat, so, why do I still have one sitting by me on the sill looking miserable?

Because I like it there. The container it’s in is a gorgeous deep jade, but there’s not enough energy for it here where I sit and type, so we’ll move it to another room until we find the balance of light and energy it needs. I moved it to the kitchen near the window, but now I have an empty space beside my desk. I’m learning to be good with spaces.

I followed the words of Simple Abundance and am listening to the soundtrack of Out of Africa, and it feeds my soul. I refuse to look at any work related apps until Monday, and am pondering how I want my coffee this a.m. Will it be a pour over, or Chemex?

When my daughter asks, “What are your plans for the weekend?”, I’ll swiftly respond…”Whatever feeds my soul.”

The Warning Signs

In previous years, my path has been altered for me by an increase in rent. If I couldn’t afford the increase that was a sign, it was time to move on. God has blessed me with two jobs I’ve grown to love, so I’m grateful that’s not the case today. With new construction popping up all over our neighborhood, I came to a crossroad and it looks something like this.

Do I want to stay? If so, for how long?

You see, you have to take note of the warning signs, and there have been quite a few! I was talking with my friend on Marco Polo and she began recounting the signs we’ve seen since last year. When I told her my rent increased she said, “Just in case you need one more sign Barb, here it is!”

Last year one of my favorite neighbors moved back home to Kentucky. I’ve written about her in She’s That Neighbor, but we keep in touch and remain close to this day. Right after she moved, a builder removed the woods next to our houses, which was mentioned in A Moment’s Notice.

I paid attention, but to really drive it home, the washing machine flooded onto the floor, and right after we got that fixed, the dryer broke. (These appliances are less than 4 years old) The most recent thing that happened was a puff of smoke emitted from behind the stove while it was preheating.

I was listening in the stillness when these words rose up. “Start where you are and with what you have.” Looking at the items we’ve accumulated over the years, I began asking myself, “Do I love it and is it useful?” I can begin by blessing others, and keep my eyes open for more of the warning signs.

I Am Second

“Did you write today?”

“Yes.”

“Then you’re a writer today.” Julia Cameron ~ The Right to Write

In a recent staff meeting with the Zen Habits Team, it was suggested for each of us to go through one of Leo’s courses like a student would. I chose his ‘Beautiful Mornings’ course. I love waking up early and seeing the first light of day, but to do that and feel rested, I needed to reel in my bedtime.

In the course Leo’s asks that we implement something into our morning to make it more beautiful. There’s a book that’s been laying on my bedside table for years. You can tell by the cover it’s been well used, and the pages aren’t as bright, white as they once were, but it’s been laying there waiting to be used some more frequently. I’ve re-inserted it into my morning and praying over my adult children.

Most mornings I wake up and my mind begins rolling through the day, but last year I promised myself I’d ‘watch the day unfold‘. Being in need of more practice, I’m sticking with it this year. There’s one thing I feel the need to do before anything else, (even coffee), and that is to spend time with God.

No matter how the day unfolds, or what I see on my plate, by putting Him first I’m trusting His plan instead of mine. When it comes down to it lovely, the only reminder I need today is, I am second.


Credits:

Julia Cameron~The Right to Write

Stormie Omartian~The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children

The Right Time

I’ve not found the right time exists to do anything worthwhile. Sometimes we get caught up waiting for the right time, but that’s a long, unproductive wait. My quality of writing can reflect my mood, so I like to ensure I’m in a good headspace before clicking the publish button.

God, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality.

Julia Cameron ~ The Sound of Paper

My friend and I continue to Marco Polo every week. She’s a writer as well, but we have different styles. We share this one secret to sitting down and enjoying what we write, and I’m here to share it with you. Write before work.

It sounds easy, but I’m dedicated to my work, so it doesn’t take long for the inner critic to start in on me not to write. I’ll have nonsense thoughts similar to, “You’ve got so much work on your plate today, and need to do that first”, or “You have people looking for you that need your help.” The inner critic will make any daily activity seem more pertinent than writing.

My friend and I’ve found if we dive into our work/job before writing, we won’t write that day. I can force myself to write after work, but it’s not fun, and it usually gets trashed. Writing should be fun, so I write before work.

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

If you go to work early, try getting up a bit earlier to write. There’s no need to agree with our thoughts that we don’t have the time when we can make the time. Plan on it and create some space to write. By taking time, you’re inviting it to be the right time.


Here’s more tips from Barb on how she writes:

The Right to Write, The Blank Page, The Bottom of the Page, and Watch Your Time

Grace and Space

I was texting with a friend while she was getting ready for work, and wanted to wish her a good day. The words clicked along the tiny keyboard as, “I hope your day is filled with grace and space.” Those words reminded me of my friend Dawn, who uses them as her tagline when signing off.

Today hasn’t gone as planned. My landlord scheduled his handyman for today to make some much needed repairs. I don’t know if you remember our dog Winnie, but I’ve mentioned how people make her anxious, especially if they enter her house. I placed her on a lead, walking her with me around the house, but she knows that means someone’s coming in.

I wasn’t able to get much work done sitting at the kitchen table. The handyman was walking from room to room, in and out of the front door, and his power tools made unfamiliar noises. I decided to step into my bedroom just to have some space to breathe, with Winnie in tow. She relaxed and immediately hopped up on my bed which is a treat for her.

I grabbed my laptop and sat down with her. As I’m typing there’s a lot of loud noises coming from the other room, but from where I sit, you can hear the rain coming to a halt. There’s a Cardinal eating birdseed outside the window and heat is coming through the vent to ensure we stay warm. I’m suddenly not worried about what’s not getting done and instead realizing what this day has to offer.

It seems all we really needed was to step into some grace and space.

The In Between

Since publishing All or Nothing, I’ve been practicing holding the pose in that ‘in between’ area of life. Walking the ‘fine line’, between all or nothing.

Monday, I was driving to get a haircut and the CD player switched CD’s to a teaching I hadn’t heard in years. I didn’t remember having preacher/teacher CD’s loaded in the player, so I listened while I drove. He was talking about the ‘eventually’s’, and how the dreams in our heart come to pass eventually. It’s always God’s timing and not ours, so therein lies the in between.

I was asked to partake in a new position with one of my jobs, and went through some of the training videos to prepare for it. Then, December rolled around which is the busiest time of year for most, and the training stopped. The new position is just hanging in mid air waiting for the man I work with to pop it back into my court. If the position is meant for me, it’ll come back around, but sometimes God will test our willingness to walk in a different direction.

Show me a direction and I’ll show you a decision has been made.

It’s still warm here in Texas, but I’m keeping an eye on the Hibiscus. It’s sitting outside blooming in December, but will come indoors if the temps drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and remain there. This plant has taught me a lot this year and I want to protect it to learn more from it next year. You’d think full bloom would be my favorite part of this plant, but recently it’s been the in between. The bud begins to open then decides to enjoy the space of halfway there.

As you can see my darling, there is beauty in the in between.

The Extra Mile

Walking to a neighbors house, I saw another neighbor who asked, “Walking down to the lake?” I replied, “No sir, I’m going to get fresh eggs.” He looked rather puzzled and replied, “You need a golf cart to scoot around in. It’s easier.” I just ginned and said, “But Dan, I don’t do easy.” He chuckled.

My daughter brought home flowers and it was the most magical bouquet I’d seen in years. They were freshly cut, wrapped in brown paper and when she handed them to me I could feel the weight of them. There was a florist card laying inside I didn’t recognize, so she went on to reveal the whole story.

She had stopped at the market I frequent for flowers, but didn’t see anything that spoke to her, so on she went to a flower shop she knew I loved. The lady inside told her to walk into the cooler and pick out what she wanted. I can imagine the look on my daughters face walking into a cooler filled with flowers. I’m sure it was overwhelming in the most delightful way.

She chose a few of my utmost favorites. A couple of long-stemmed roses, daylilies, a few gladiolas, and the most ginormous hydrangea blossom known to man. She remembered I like greenery to be used as filler.

She was holding a paper bag from the market as well with chocolate cold brew and Brie en Croute. You see, she just wanted to stop time that day amidst our schedules and celebrate her sober Mom. It was my AA birthday, and I don’t very cry often, but with all of this the tears were near.

I’m sure there’s a much easier way to buy flowers, but my darling, fill it with meaning and go the extra mile.