Good Morning. I need to write this down while it is still fresh in my mind. Last week was a hard week. Nothing awful happened, I just had some life baggage that needed to be dealt with.

A little history: I am a 56 year old woman. I was married at 20, had our first child at 22, the next just after my 25th birthday. We were married for 13 years when I was blindsided by my husband having an affair and wanting a divorce. I knew our marriage wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t know it was that bad. We didn’t talk about our relationship. God brought my current husband into my life a couple days after my ex filed for divorce. Our divorce was uncontested and a month later it was done. One miracle that happened with the divorce was that I never wanted to put my hand to it. It was his decision, not mine. In the state I resided in, if one party does not show up and contest, the judge signs it into action, without me signing it. Not that I don’t acknowledge the legal proceeding, I just didn’t want my approval of the action via signing.

Fast forward: My honey and I will be celebrating our 23rd anniversary in a few months. We recently were having a conversation about some health issues and how we were going to deal with them. My honey was talking about a gal he was seeing for a type of physical therapy, when he made some comments that triggered fears from my pst marriage. I held it together, calmly finishing the conversation. But when I headed to bed, the tears began, the fears flooded my brain, my thoughts spiraled out of control to dark places of doubt, planning for a future without him, wondering what I do to make the men in my life desperate enough to have affairs. No, my husband was not having an affair. I knew that rationally, but fear is a powerful force.

It took a few hours to finally drop off. Because of the stress, I arose super early. I really didn’t want to talk to my honey, and I knew he would want to if he saw my “puffy, I’ve been crying” face. So, I took off before he woke up to deal with myself, to pray and figure things out. I headed down to our local lake and sat in the parking lot. As it began to rain, I closed my eyes to listen to the soothing sound, only to have it disrupted by the sound of seagulls next to my car.

I opened my eyes to see what the ruckus was about. Seems that two males were arguing over a female. I began to think about something I had been reading about animals, fight or flight, and stress. And as I sat there, I feel like God’s Holy Spirit spoke to me. Here’s what I heard. Animals have to deal with frequent fight or flight in life and death situations. You are not in a life or death situation. You are in an unpleasant moment. Life is just a series of moments. Some pleasant, some not so much, some hard, some easy, some victorious mountaintop experiences, some are darkest valleys of death. But no matter, life is just a series of moments.

My tears stopped, my fears fled, and I felt peace flood my soul. I knew I would live through this. The worst that could happen is my fears are confirmed, he leaves me and I continue living. I have been through that valley before and came out stronger on the other side. I felt like I could actually talk to him rationally about our decisions, some red flags I had about one protocol, without any emotion getting in the way. And not because I had stuffed my emotions, or emotionally severed the tie with him (which is what my fears kept telling me to do). It was because if there was anything inappropriate happening with him and his therapist, that was his baggage to deal with, not mine.

I went on with my day, and was actually looking forward to watching a big basketball game with my honey that night. We had a fun night and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with him. The next morning, we talked. I shared my “triggers” with him and how I responded, and my day. I wasn’t afraid of what his response might be. I knew it would just be a moment. One of many. He began to apologize for what he’d said, and I was able to lovingly say, “You have nothing to apologize for. This was MY problem, my baggage that needed to be unpacked and put away, hopefully never to come back out again.

After our conversation, which went surprisingly well (stupid fear!) we both went about our days. I wasn’t stressed, I was at peace. Still am a week later. Although, at least to my brain, the phrase “Life is just a series of moments,” doesn’t seem very spiritual, I truly believe it came from God, the one in the Bible. His words always bring peace. Even the hard words that convict me that I am the one in the wrong. And I am a better person for listening and doing whatever he says.

That phrase brought freedom to my soul and broke the chains of fear, doubt and self condemnation. That’s what Jesus/Yeshua preached. Relationship with the creator of all things. Relationship that cuts through all the crap we accumulate in our hearts because of living our own way, and brings freedom, when we listen, hear and obey. In the Bible, there is a verse in the book of John, chapter 8, verse 36. If the son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed. I was enslaved to my fears, to my past, to my triggers, to the enemy of my soul. I am no longer a slave to them, to Satan. I have been set free by my Creator. I belong to him now. He is my Father now. I pray that if you have not experienced this type of freedom, that you will stop, and ask him to speak to you, to set you free. Then, choose to follow the one who set you free. Read his written love letter to you, the Bible. May today, have a victorious, mountaintop moment for you!


Scrabble with dad…

My eighty two year old father and I have an ongoing game of Scrabble that sits on the glass coffee table in our living room. Sometimes we sit down and finish a game in a day, sometimes we make a word and walk away. Those games can take a week or two to complete. This type of play drives my honey nuts. If he is going to play a game, it is start to finish all at the same time.

When we first began to play several years ago when he came to live with us, he beat me regularly, racking up huge scores to my puddly ones. He and my mother had always done crossword puzzles together, so his vocabulary was far superior to mine. I progressively got better over the years, and can now hold my own against him.

Our games have also progressed with the times. Our first year we purchased a paperback Scrabble dictionary to check and double check. We allow using the dictionary to find words to play. That may not be legal in the rule book, but we both agree on this house rule. I have found my vocabulary increasing since we started that. A couple years ago, we both began using word find apps on our phones for when we were stumped with our letters. In our eyes, that is the same as using a dictionary, just a little faster. However, that has also increased the competitiveness of the game, as we are now very points oriented. That means that we may spend the spare time the app saved, looking for the most points.

I will miss these games when he is gone. I will miss walking past him on my way out the door and saying “I made my word”. I will miss his laugh when he makes his second seven letter word of the game. I will miss calling him a cranky old man when he makes those seven letter words (which he just did while I was writing). I will miss the complaining competitions we get into. “It’s hard to make a word with only one consonant” “Well, at least you don’t have four “I”s in your hand”. I will miss finding the bag of letters at my place on the table after work, or hearing him say “you’re gonna hate me” when he hands the bag to me when I’m walking past him from the laundry room.

All I know, is I want to make the most of the time I have with him, and the others I love today. Because this moment, right now, is really all we can guarantee.

Make the most of this moment. Play a game with a child, pat your honey’s butt (lovingly, peoples), take a walk with a parent. Text a friend how much you appreciate them. Sit on the porch and commune with God.

That moment…

We all have them. That moment, when everything changes. Sometimes a schedule is thrown into chaos, other times it is life. In the past these moments have stressed me out, caused me to get frustrated and angry. Today, it makes me smile. The stuff I had on my schedule can wait another day, or two. I can leave the van at the shop overnight if necessary and get it in the morning. The companies I need to call will still be in business tomorrow. Sure, the weeds between the fence and the sidewalk may be a bit bigger, just makes them easier to pull.

The moment was a phone call from my honey letting me know that I needed to fit two more appointments into my day. I am happy to have the flexibility of schedule to accommodate the fluidity of life. He has been good for me, helping me to “go with the flow” instead of being so rigid with things. I am happy to share life with him.

I am happy that it didn’t stress me out and ruin my day. Hopefully that means I am adjusting and learning that not everything needs to be a stress. Besides, I may have a few minutes to lay on the floor in our rental and close my eyes while I wait for the final inspection. I want to learn to make the best of every situation, to find something good in everything.

I hope you find something to enjoy in your chaos of life.

A moment of down time…

The sun is shining and warm, there is a gentle breeze and the sound of a small airplane heading towards our local airstrip fills the air. Every now and then, a ring necked pheasant who has made himself comfy in our neighborhood calls out with their distinctive call.

I decided to make some of my house building calls from the back porch today. The calls I have been avoiding have been made (whew!) and now I need to email the shop plans to a few vendors for estimates. The porch swing in the sun beckoned, and Spanky promptly took over my cushioned chair at the table under the pergola. It’s amazing how blue the sky is today. Sometimes I forget what a beautiful place I live in.

The neighbors dog is now growl barking at me. If he is out and not barking, I will give him a couple treats, with permission from his owners of course. But, apparently they have him trained to bark until he gets a treat. Lovely. You would think he wouldn’t bark at me after four years, but he does.

A few more phone calls to get email addresses of estimators, send off plans, then I hope to have time to shower to get the dust off of me before heading to our granddaughters orchestra performance tonight. Earlier today, my father and I took two new fruit trees out to the property to plant, and had to move the two we planted last year to make space for building. I finally jotted down a preliminary landscape plan so I don’t have to keep moving things. These should be the last things planted until early fall, when we will move over the ten blueberry bushes that have graced our current yard.

I have got to ask the neighbors what I can do to keep their dog from barking the entire time I am in the yard.

May you seize the moments of your day to “stop and smell the roses”, enjoy the blue sky or listen to a buzzing bee, and may it restore your soul, even if just for the moment.