A Second Chance

Every moment allows space with endless possibilities. My goal is to not add so much to it that I ruin the moment.

Our cat has this new thing he’s been doing this week. I make my bed every morning, usually within 30 minutes of leaving it, but Friday I left it a mess. He casually strolls into my bedroom, hops up on the corner of the bed and curls up for a quick nap. He normally does this after I make it up, but today it’s unmade, so that doesn’t seem to matter to him. Maybe it’s the moment he’s after.

He looks guilty to me.

Now it’s 2:30 PM and the bed is still unmade.

I walked in to see what remnants were left behind from a Zoom earlier in the day, and spotted my favorite notebook, classic Kate Spade laying on the bed. I love this notebook, but earlier this week, I noticed it was almost out of pages. It was originally purchased to be used as a journal, but somehow transitioned over to notes from work. It has a hardcover, so it also doubles as a sturdy mouse pad.

They don’t make it anymore, but I asked my daughter to search and see if she can find it. She found one that is brand new, still in the package and for sale. She emailed me the link and it was purchased without hesitation.

I’m excited about getting the new one and it feels like having a second chance to use it more intentionally. Notes from work can be placed in any type notebook, as this notebook proves, not everything we love is easily replaced. Here I sit on a Friday, in a messy bed with the cat nearby, simply thrilled to have a second chance.

15 Minutes

It’s become customary around 2:00 PM to be outside watering plants. My Dad used to say, “It’s the hottest part of the day”, but I’m beginning to embrace the heat. It’s not humid at that time, but it is hot.

As I was out there today, hose in hand with the spray nozzle attached, I noticed the sky getting dark, and clouds rolling in. I had worked my way around the yard and was spraying the last flower bed when I heard the thunder. Dropping the hose, because the nozzle is stainless steel, I rallied the dogs and we went inside.

It was funny but I couldn’t help thinking, if I’d waited 15 minutes before doing the watering myself, I would’ve seen there was a better plan.

Standing at the window, watching a steady rain drench everything I had just watered, the 50 foot watering hose lying in the rain seemed small. I whispered, “I’m sorry I ran out in front of you again.” That has happened on numerous occasions, and it’s a continual education discerning the difference between God’s timing and mine.

Then I felt Him smile and say, “Hey Barb. It was only 15 minutes. You’re doing better.”

Feel the Music

Back in my Network Marketing days, it was often said, “Find somebody who has what you want, and do what they did.” It sounds simple enough, but what they don’t tell you is everything they had to go through to get there.

Walking into the house from tending the yard, I’d left the music playing and this is the song I heard. This was 2017, right as Sheeran was becoming well-known, but this duet was still a dream come true for him. I’m posting the actual video so you can see the look of awe and wonder on his face.

It’s obvious he feels honored to be there and have this opportunity to sing alongside Andrea Bocelli. I love the look on Ed’s face as he walks through the hallway lined with awards and photographs. He sees proof of what years of work and dedication will bring, and it shows as he takes it all in.

For the duet to come off without a hitch, Ed had to learn Italian and said, “If you’re going to be the best at something, let it be Italian.”

Andrea obliged doing this remake with Ed out of the love for his son, who is a huge Sheeran fan. As you’ll see in the video, they are sitting in a room full of love. When the song makes it’s final cut, Ed says, “Its exactly what I wanted.” I’m not sure if he’s referring to the song, or the feeling in the room.

Click here to watch video.

Sunday at Noon

Some days I feel like my life is one big Zoom. It started out as part of my job, but now I love it.

I purchased a monthly Zoom account and Zoom with people all over the world. The free version gives you 45 minutes, but we kept running over using a full hour. At first I saw it as an investment in my Team, but we use the time to invest in one another. I’m so pumped once the call is over my daughter steers me away from the coffee bar.

I have a call each week with some part of my Zen Habits community. It made me wonder if I could do something similar here in WordPress. This year, community has been a large part of my heart and you are my community. By reading your Blogs I’m sensing some of you are tired and becoming weary in the well doing.

Sunday at Noon has been on my mind for a while now. I knew it was a Blog title because it was three words, but didn’t know the rest. Then I was checking my bank account and saw the Zoom charge and heard, Sunday at Noon. Starting in July, I’ll hold space via Zoom for whoever needs lifting up. Come and let me see your face, Sunday at Noon.

More Like Him

Dogs are fabulous creatures, but what makes me smile more often is our cat. His name is Chomby, even though the Vet has him listed as Chungus. When using voice text on my phone, it records his name as Giambi. My daughter and I laughed and call him Giambi sometimes for the heck of it.

This week I watched him everyday just to see if he does this every morning, and he does. As soon as I let him out of his house, he goes straight to the window. This is before food, water, or even the potty box. I found his posture so intriguing and snapped this picture for you. It’s like he can’t wait to see what all is happening in the new day.

Giambi/Chomby

This week, I’ve seen myself doing something similar as Chombs. As soon as I wake up I find a window to look out of, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to be outside. Yes, it’s hot, and humid, but I’m not willing to let that stop me. The sweet spot outside is found early in the morning. The flowers I planted in March and April aren’t going to care for themselves.

This morning, I noticed the flowers planted in the Vintage Flower cart looked sad. They weren’t getting enough water, or if they were, it was draining right through. I pulled them out and planted them in the shade. The flower cart was empty again. I’ve tried placing it in various places all over the yard, but this time I stood still and waited for the answer to come.

I spotted a bare patch of ground where the birdseed is poured every morning, so I rolled the flower cart there. Immediately I knew the birds would use it as a perch while taking turns eating the seed scattered below. For now, it serves a purpose empty, but we have a purpose to fulfill and empty won’t cut it. We can tap into what we know will fill us back up.

Seeing our cat faceplanted to a window reminds me to be excited for a new day. Let’s strive to be more like him.

That’s My God

It’s the little things in life that never cease to amuse me. Standing at my kitchen window after an hour’s worth of steady rain, looking at the plants I just watered yesterday. A smile came to my lips as I chuckled at the conversation I was having with God in my heart.

The weather forecast wasn’t calling for rain, but I can’t rely on weather predictions. The best way to know the weather around here is by noticing what it’s doing. God wants to be noticed and it was like He was saying, “If you’d waited Barb, you would have seen my plan for those plants.” We have conversations like that more than we should.

I depend on God in every situation, but sometimes I run ahead. One of my most spoken prayers is, “Here’s my life. I lay it at your feet. Your will be done, not mine.” Then I go on about my day with my plans and actions, so I’m grateful when God shows up with a similar plan, only better.

Life is amusing when it comes down to my plan versus God’s plan, and it’s instances like these that continue to amuse me. That’s my God.

A Beautiful Morning

I’ve been thinking about this, and had a vision I’d like to share. It took some thought and planning ahead, but it’s well worth every effort. The first thing I saw to do was to scrub the beach rug clean.

It’s odd, but in January hundreds of birds fly overhead all day long dropping red berries. My truck looks like it lost a paintball match and everything is covered in bright, red, splatters, including my front porch. That is where the beach rug resides.

The beach rug laying on the front porch.

For me this year, outside is where I see a sacred space. To sit Yogi style on the rug at sunrise, wrapped in a warm blanket, and tap into the sights and sounds of the early morning. I imagine it being like unguided meditation at it’s best.

What is a beautiful morning?

It’s about creating some space for meditation, reflection, movement, writing, or anything else you’d like to have room for in your life. And finding some space in the mornings for that, a sacred space that takes advantage of the quiet and beautiful light of the mornings.

Leo Babauta-Zenhabits.net

After posting a good night’s sleep I learned as soon as my eyes open, to sit up in the middle of the bed immediately. To sip a glass of water and give my body a chance to catch up with my brain. Sitting in the middle of the bed meditating in that quiet, stillness of the morning is beautiful for me, but recently I find myself gazing out windows often. Like my heart is nudging me outside.

The front porch is clean and waiting.

Let’s follow the heart outside and see what we learn by being present in the early morning light. I’ll let you know where this leads, but in the meantime I wish you a beautiful morning.

A Better Listener

Last year I had a side goal of emptying my draft folder. I got it down to two drafts, but just couldn’t bring myself to publish them. The timing felt off, and now I’ve begun to add to the draft folder again. I can have a goal, but it’s important to be in God’s timing to execute.

My main goal for this year is…

To be a better listener.

My environment is quiet, so I can hear every sound. I know where our cat is laying by hearing him breathe. Progress was made last year when I could tell the water in the kettle was ready, by listening to it heat up. I’d remove it from the heat just as puffs of steam were exiting the holes in the lid. There were times I was out of sync, and my daughter would say, “Your water is spewing!”

That’s where I want to improve.

To not allow my words to get to the spewing point. I was a witness to this over the weekend, and I’m not pleased by it, but there’s a solution at hand.

There’s been a lot happening with work, and it’s moving very fast. I’ve felt out of touch with the man I work with, and let him know I’d like to talk.

We tried to pinpoint a time, but life got busy. I know we’re running an empire, but communication is key to a smooth ride. On a whim, I dialed his number with the intention of leaving a rehearsed voicemail. It was over the weekend and late afternoon, so I didn’t expect him to answer, but he did! It was shocking to hear his welcoming voice.

I wasn’t prepared for our talk, and it had been so long since we had spoken to one another, we began talking at the same time. It felt like we were talking over one another, as I tried my best to pause and listen. This went on for an hour, and we covered everything, but I felt like it was a wreck on my end, and vowed to do better. This call revealed, there is more practice needed in listening.

Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t call on a whim. Schedule a time.
  2. Keep a notepad nearby of things to discuss.
  3. Ask more questions and pause to listen. I felt like he asked the questions and I spent a lot of time explaining.
  4. He tried several times to compliment my work, and said, “Keep delivering excellence”, but I brushed that off.
  5. Accept the compliment and give one in return.

After the call was over I knew to schedule time once a month to speak with him. My eyes and ears are all over his business and there are things we need to discuss. I’ll take notes throughout the month and be prepared for the next call. God offers endless opportunity to improve, and I’m not just practicing with people. God is in there too.

Success occurs when our preparedness collides with God’s timing. This is Barb, striving to be a better listener.

The Ribbon Vase

It’s easy to lose sight of a dream, but the more it rolls around the mind, the more refined it becomes. I believe God recently revealed a larger picture of where this dream is headed. Of course, I chuckled and shook my head like, “No way!”

The big picture feels overwhelming and out of reach. That’s why He only gives a glimpse at a time, but rest assured everything in life prepares us for the next moment, and the next until you’re standing right in the middle of your purpose.

Yesterday, I was arranging a vase of mixed greenery. I knew when I bought them which vase would be used. It’s called the ribbon vase, and I’ve had it for over 20 years. As I was working the greenery into the vase, it took me back to the days when we entertained large groups of business associates in our home.

This vase would be filled with fresh flowers and put on display on a massive formal dining room table the day before the event.

I’ve always loved making arrangements, but yesterday I saw real progress. I snapped a pic to share it with my friends on FB. It was still sitting in my kitchen with an old towel underneath to soak up the water I had spilled while adding water to the vase!

The arrangement before the clean up.

It’s exhilarating to see that vase full again, but I don’t own a table today large enough to display it. I’m humbled that my life doesn’t have to be on display anymore, even though you guys see a lot the pieces that make up this beautiful life.

When in doubt, use the coffee table Barb.

This morning, my daughter and I sat down at the coffee table to chat before her classes. The arrangement was so massive, we couldn’t see each other’s faces because of it. We had to laugh, but just for a moment I thought about adding flowers to it. I stopped that thought and enjoyed the simplicity of it.

That dream inside you has taken root, now let it grow. It’s nice to know I still have it in me to think big and use the ribbon vase.

It’s nice when you walk by, but don’t sit down.