Life Lessons from Pantry Installation

So, I am learning a lot about life and me from this pantry installation. It was years in the planning and preparation and saving up phase. Now that it is here, I am tending to rush it. Why? My impatience, my worst flaw, is in full force. I am putting the paint on too thick, trying to get it all done in one coat and realizing now I have to do another coat anyway and now have to paint the border of the inside of the door in my sloppy drippy haste. It does not pay to rush a masterpiece. You take one step, one thin, careful coat at a time in painting and in life practice the same measures. One baby step at a time. Purposeful. Meticulous. Rushing produces more work and time and a mess really. I am getting this messon finally. I guess better late than never. Lol Now back to painting. Lol 🙂

School with Shed and Fence

As a family project, we put up a shed and a fence and started a sidewalk (still working on that one). As many of my regular readers know, we homeschool our kids. And we took off a week of “regular” schooling to do these family projects of shed and fence. And we planned and measured and mixed and leveled and built and so on all together as a team/ a family. It was an amazing experience and I thought how wonderful it was for all of us to learn together and create and build. My kids learned so much more than a book can teach and they need to feel useful and nd learn these skills. So for your next family project, even if you keep it simple like changing a light bulb or fixing a leaky sink (we also had to do), involve your kids and show them how. You want them calling you to their home in the future at 3pm to bail them out? No way, you want them to be able to plan and think and do it themselves. This is how they learn. Plus it unites the family and brings a greater value to each member and the family team as a whole. 🙂

Our Anniversary

My husband and I are seven years old today. Both of us forgot at first, because so much is going on lately and we had band practice this morning. But we were reminded by a very good friend and get to go out tonight! Woo hoo! Lol 🙂 We have a comfort level in our marriage and work very well together. Getting together is easy, dramatic for some couples (not us by choice), but lust drives most couples together and desire for family to marry. We were both remarrying after bad marriages and so both appreciate each other that much more. And seven years have flown by and we are looking forward to as many more as is possible. We have had rough points, of course, but we don’t live in those, we move forward with God together, focusing on our good points. We met through music in a band and are still doing music in two bands. We talk a lot about all kinds of things. We spend time together and plan and do house projects together. We really have a wonderful marriage and we are thankful to God for each other. God is the key to success amend doing things in common together. So there you have it. We am render going to go eat now. Yummy! 🙂

When your Heart Argues Amongst Itself

Sometimes the hardest part of life is when you feel two opposing things are right at the same time. Our heart and soul can drive us two directions and the result is a less than peaceful indecision. I used to think that the mind or logic fought the heart and soul and the main battle was between feelings and logic. If it were that clear and I was Yoda, much clearer would life be. But alas, life is not so easy after all because there is deep logic on both sides of the coin. So, when answers are not forthcoming and my heart and soul cannot agree, I must pray more and ask the great Problem Solver (God), who is qualified to ask because He knows everything and made us and puts people together on purpose for a reason. And then I must do a most uncomfortable thing. I must wait. This doesn’t mean I start at the grass until an answer comes. It means I follow what I believe to be the direction I am being led and not do anything drastic until greater clarity comes. Keep doing what I believe is right, keep moving forward, renew strength, gain vigar, do everything within my power to live fully according to the gifts God implanted within and bide time. There is hope for us all. Sometimes that hope gets us through the times of struggle and sometimes continues through it to even greater. Time and circumstances time related can be our worst enemy. Sometimes that enemy is us forcing time’s hand. Sometimes it just looks that way and God knows better the whys and reasons for it and it is for our greater good. God knows and we should follow His leading. I have lived in control of myself and I have lived following God in control and He always always leads the best way for everyone involved. He is good like that. So live as fully as possible, pray and wait. Then someday (my new favorite word) the reward for such putting of your life into God’s charge is that life is sweeter and richer and hands down more perfect than you ever thought possible.

On Running Away

When I was single and child-free, travel was my big escape. Once my cousin and I went on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Often, I went alone the all of 30 minutes to Lake Michigan’s Tower Hill beach and wandered about. Once, I moved to Glendale, California with only one friend there, what fit into 2 suitcases and 2 carry-ons and started over. Often, I found hiking paths, mostly alone but once in a while with a good friend. Always it was to run away. Life overwhelmed me, I needed to be alone in nature or with a piano. A piano in nature would be ideal. 🙂 But once children came, I had to stay. Their well being trumps my desire to run. Yes, when overwhelmed, I still want to get away and be alone or with one good friend. That remains. Yes, I still want to be alone in nature or with a piano and would love a piano in nayure to this day, but my responsibility to raise these children trumps that. I just can not run anymore. I have very little alone time. Most people think that is a good thing but for me, being alone clears my moveractive brain and forcs my focus back to God and restores my mind, body and soul, which is quite off balance of late. So, I am working now on how to restore and revitalize my balance without my trusty escape run. It is forcing me to workout new brain cells that seem sluggish right now, but I am certain I will figure it out. In the meanwhile, I stay and do my work and force little goals to focus on. And when the kids are out of the house, I may yet hit the road with a roadtrip or fly to Hawaii a bit to visit good friends there. Who knows. But perseverance pays off in the long run and God does not give you a vision of beauty without allowing you that for hope at the right time. And I know a lot of people who ran away in the midst of everything, ran into a bottle, into drugs, into porn, into a new life or state or country. Many people I know and patients have told me stories and the common theme is regret. They regret their weakness in those moments that started them down a path of daily or even hourly running from crazy or stresses. These people lived years of regret when they realized they lost their kids while running from spouses. Life is a very fragile flower. It is easily shaken apart. It is easily missed. And I would rather run sometimes but I must and will stay because my children are my responsibility and need a mother present to teach them how to be grown ups later. Good ones. So children first and run later. And those worth running with will still be worth running with if worth anything at all.

A Runaway Train

Difficult. When a mind pursues too much, charges ahead to worlds unknown, a calming force, a quiet voice, or a firm hug is needed. The stress of a father not long for this earth creates a vacuum of security as the known forges into the unknown and momentarily produces fear that a man will love and provide and be in my corner as my dad has always been. He has been that one man in life could truly count on, to love me unconditionally and I fight not in letting him go, for heaven is where he will be and deserves that happiness with Jesus. It is fear that I feel. I realized that tonight when I was mistakenly fearing something I really was not. Momentary confusion took over me and I realize I have absolutely no fear of that situation. I fear loosing my support system and that no one will be left who knows and loves me so well. I realize the ridiculousness of that but feelings often do not meet logic in the moment they fly off their perch. I am afraid that those who love me will only do so if I don’t screw up, which I am bound to do. I rather specialize at it lately. I fear there will be one less person to pray for me. I fear my standard of the perfect man will be lessoned or softened in time to lose some of the truth. I am afraid to be alone. Crazy, irrational fears like a runaway train pushing me farther down the irrational track. So stress was holding my mind hostage and fear was making feelings I don’t remember ever acknowledging to a living soul pour out of me onto this paper to try to make sense of them. Sense is an important word. Truth more so. And there is the heart of it. My wise best friend and unofficial therapist and authorized face smacker if needs be let me have my crazy in a nutshell. She spoke truth of who I am in Christ. She spoke of peace and beauty and joy and distraction and to remember who I am to combat these illogical fears. God chose wisely in my best friend. And along the way, I am sorry to have thought too hard about other things that were not the cruxt of the matter. I may have hurt or annoyed or frightened someone and for that I beg forgiveness and if not highest thanks for patience. I am figuring out all this as I go and need to rely more on my best friend to be my voice of calm and realism and truth that daddy was for me and can’t be now. “Tonny?” Was sometimes all it took and the tone of his voice calmed my spirit and stopped my runaway train thinking and all was well again and I was back, joking, helping, serving, making music, working, doing art, whatever it was, I was back on, back to normal. So, I begin again tomorrow with new reflections and truth streaming in where doubt and fear were, and should I soon need a real friend to hold me and calm me and say “Tonny?”, I trust God to provide that person who loves Him and maybe even me enough to help this little girl who can soar again with the right support and encouragement and a few hugs too. And I trust God now enough to hand down the baton from Daddy as main support person of my life to a next generation of support and love for me. Maybe He already has. Runaway train, you are confined to truth tracks.

Spaghetti When you Want Surf and Turf

I love spaghetti, don’t get me wrong, but when your mouth is watering for a beautifully cooked steak and lobster, spaghetti disappoints. You walk into a restaurant eager for that long anticipated meal, could barely concentrate at work, didn’t eat much so you’d be ready for it and BAM, the waitress says they ran out. You can’t have it. Disappointment in life is like that. We want something really badly, want it with all your heart and deep into your soul and circumstances don’t let you have it. Heart breaking. I have a tendency toward impatience. In my maturing process, I am better than I’ve ever been, but that is not saying I am patient. I get lost in my constantly moving brain mixed with impatience and tend to not understand why I can’t have something immediately. If I am going to have it someday, why not now? See the problem? It negates the reality of inevitable change and surprise. You may get to the point you have saved up for and the thing is no longer available because someone else decided to keep it after all. There are things beyond your control, there are minds involved that can change, nothing is sure in this world apart from God. And here is the rub, in following Him, sometimes there are things He does not want you to have for whatever reason. The timing is not right for some hated reason or another. It is hideous but true. But there is always a reason. And. There is hope for the future. God never leaves us without hope. There may come a time when we can finally sink our teeth into our favorite meal and it will be so much better for the anticipation of it. It will be appreciated, taken in slowly and deliberately, it will be praised and enjoyed in a way nothing else could be. That moment would be worth every awful moment of pork and beans or hot dogs or spaghetti along the way, every let down of flavor and/or texture. When it finally co es, if it finally comes, that thing your heart has held worthy will give it a new singing voice. Until then, there is life to be sustained, health to look after, things to do, growth to be had. God knows our hearts but knows what needs to happen first and foremost. He loves and satisfies along all of life’s journey. It is all His idea.