Tuesday, February 7, 2023

processing things...

Well, it appears that God decided we needed another day.  The sun came up briefly this morning, prior to the rain clouds easing in.  It's not really raining, just a light mist that keeps sneaking in. There is a pair of doves that keep returning to the backyard. The temperatures are still pretty mild, in fact it is difficult to believe that it is mid-February. Not to worry, the forecasters are already predicting snow for Friday just in case we forgot what time of the year it is. 

I'm in a slightly better space today emotionally.  I am finding myself being drawn a bit more into my own challenges and projects. Moving away from the international devastation, while praying for the people affected by the swarms of earthquakes that happened yesterday.  I am making myself step away from any form a media for the most part.  I need time to process it all. 

Yesterday, I witnessed so much vileness in regards to what happened so far away.  So much falseness, so many hurtful words flung carelessly about. That I am still stunned today.  The number of fake articles and pictures being posted to drawn in the unsuspecting.  The fear mongering was immense.  Rumors of nuclear plants exploding, or prisons being damaged to the point that the worst of the worst had been released. The swirling of pictures from other locations and times being put forward to somehow amplify an already horrific situation. 

I think the part that bothered more than any of that was the comments people were saying in regards to other people.  Saying that their religious beliefs, their politics, the status in this world somehow made them deserve the devastation and destruction.  It was unbelievable. 

I have often stated that I am not a deeply religious person.  I'm not.  For me religion feels like the very root of all evil.  More horrible things have been said and done in the name of religion than any one of us can even recount. 

I am a deeply faithful person. I've often said spiritual.  Yet too many twist that into a different meaning.  My faith is in God, my faith is in Jesus.  I have left many churches because they were not preaching the Bible, they were too focused on twisting the Bible to fit what they wanted them to fit.  They weren't standing for God and his people, they were guiding in directions that went against everything I believe in. 

Some of those comments yesterday had me feeling the same way about humanity's path as a whole.  I want to be able to do something, but who can you trust? Just watching the whole mess in Ukraine knowing that billions have flowed their direction and the people are still suffering, makes me question it even more. Where is our focus where our fellow man is concerned?  Are we trying to help and lift each other up or are we trapped in a bad story line that we are committed to believing?

All of it is heavy on my heart. I want to wrap folks in warm blankets, provide them with a nourishing meal, hold them while the grieve and pray alongside them to offer hope.  There a miracles happening every minute.  Babies being born in the rubble, children being found alive.  The miracles need to be shouted from roof tops.  There is still hope for many. The father that couldn't get to his child, standing there praying with them while waiting for the rescuers.  I read in several foreign language articles that the child was ultimately rescued. The joy that filled my heart was immeasurable.

Today, I am simply going to continue to pray.  If there is something I can do other than that, God will move me to do so.  For now, I am focusing on my immediate surroundings and things I can actually do.  

I keep asking, are we prepared.  I keep wondering if we truly can be physically prepared for things.  I know I mentioned living on the New Madrid fault line. There is always a possibility of an earthquake.  The same for my youngest, he lives on the San Andrea fault line.  Neither one is optimal. I often think moving to a different area would be safer, the truth is, every single place has its own unique challenges and terrors waiting for us.  

I think a greater question is are we prepared for the things that can happen where I am.  To a degree, I say yes.  Although I am not truly sure there is a proper way to prepare for earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami's.  I think you get the idea.  

I am fully expecting to see a lot of things suddenly become a lot more expensive as a result of the events in Turkey and Syria.  Those are the type of things we can be prepared for. I think those earthquakes are going to cause global issues, we are part of a global economy.  I need to evaluate how the events happening a half a world away will impact us here at home and then plan accordingly.

In a few moments, once I finish my very cold coffee, finish this blog post and finish reading the book of Exodus (how I came to read that has shivers still going up my spine) I will continue on with my day.  The laundry, baking bread and tidying up.  I will decide how I want to arrange my sitting room, now that the HUGE plant has a new home. 

In a new home with HIGH ceilings

I am going to take a mental break.  I might even spin some wool or do some sewing today.  I need to regroup. 

love and prayers...

Monday, February 6, 2023

reality is harsh...

I hate having a feeling of human helplessness.  That is what I am feeling today.  I'm struggling to do anything except pray and watch the news.  

Yesterday was a fabulous day, full of sunshine and family fun.  I found it strange that so many folks on so many different platforms were all saying how they had a strong sense of foreboding. It was a busy productive morning, followed by an afternoon of romping in the sunshine with our pups. The sky was a brilliant blue, the temperature was incredible and the pups had a blast, even getting in the water for a bit of a swim.  

Hubs and I basically disconnected for a few hours, we found paths we'd never taken and saw beauty in everything. Our babies were loving life and were so worn out from the day of fun that they slept soundly almost from the moment we arrived home. The moon was just rising as we cleared the last turn to our home and Hubs and I paused for a moment to consider a picture, only to realize that no camera could capture that incredible beauty.  

I was killing time waiting for the my canning to finish.  I had decided the last bit of cooking could wait until the evening.  I was just scrolling through different platforms, ignoring the fact that the Grammy's were taking place and entertaining myself to stay awake.  That fresh air was working on me too. 

A small voice reminded me to check Dutchsince's channel, I have mentioned him before.  My youngest lives in an earthquake prone area and it brings me a sense of calmness to pay attention to what is going on in the world.  There have been quite a few folks forecasting some massive earthquakes, so... ya know... it's a mom thing. 

It was close to 9 pm, I'm not sure how close, but close. I don't have family or friends in Turkey or Syria, it doesn't matter.  My heart stilled for a moment when I heard of the tragedy unfolding there.  As I listened to a livestream, detailing the chaos and destruction happening half a world away, I held my breath and prayed.  

It hasn't even been 24 hours since the earthquakes started, I've lost count of how many have happened. I don't trust the USGS, they hide the truth too often, so I am not sure how powerful either of the two major ones have been.  Somewhere between 7.8 and 8.1.  The destruction and death are surreal. 

I'm deeply saddened by the fact that our country isn't even reporting on it.  They are absolutely ignoring it.  Far more important to waste time talking about the price of eggs and the vile Grammy's. I know that I personally cannot do a thing for the people impacted so far away.  Nothing in the physical realm. 

I've been praying.  It's all there is for us. 

I've seen heartbreaking photo's of babies being rescues, children being pulled from the rubble. My heart is hurting for the number of still bodies being pulled from beneath high rises. Fires are erupting everywhere, buildings are crashing to the ground with each quake.  I watched a video of the seniors from a nursing home sitting outside, barely clothed in the snow, crying for help and comfort.  The suffering is unreal. 

My heart is hurting even more from the callous comments.  The hatefulness is unbelievable.  And yet, even people I normally respect and listen to are acting as if a massive horrible natural disaster has not taken place.  The are still talking about politics, mundane jabs at performers (honest or not...).

My pups seem to feel something isn't right in the world.  Neither of them has been more than a few feet from me since yesterday.  Beau slept with his body touching mine all night, Belle came over and touched me numerous times during the night. Today, both of them are near me.  Stopping me from everything I am trying to accomplish.  Talking.  Especially Belle, she's been "talking" at nothing all morning. 

I'm listening to my wind chimes ringing loudly. There have been several mild by comparison earthquakes here in the US today.  One in Buffalo and one in the same area of Pennsylvania/Ohio that there was a train derailment just a few short days ago. The world is in chaos on a natural level.  Even half a world away it feels ominous. 

Now it looks like the earthquakes are spreading across that region of the world.  Accurate information is not flowing out for the world, they are too busy trying to survive to be on any form of media. I don't even have the ability to imagine the fear, horror, sadness or even the elation when a loved one is located.  I can't process it.  

I had other things I wanted to talk about today, but I simply can't.  For now, I am going to pray.  I am going to pray for El Shaddai to be there for them all. Today, I can't care about the price of groceries, the quasi Satanic ritual that appears to have played out on television last night, the minor inconveniences of life oddly out of place in the face of such destruction. 

Today, I am cuddling pups, I am praying, I am reading my Bible.  Today isn't about that stuff. 

love and prayers... 

Friday, February 3, 2023

listening to my heart...

Is it really only 8:17 am?  I feel like it should be just about lunchtime. Barely had a sip of coffee when Hubs needed a hand, so pups got their first Kong of the day and I set about helping. One thing led to another, I am always that way, and before I knew what had happened I was sweeping floors and cutting soap. 

Alpine Frost

The house smells heavenly. There is Alpine Frost, Sea Salt and Lily and of course Eucalyptus and Cotton mixing in with the oranges from the day before.  No matter where you turn is a soft spring like fragrance.  I guess I was in the mood to bring springtime in a bit early. The three batches that I got finished yesterday are lye based, they won't be ready for at least six weeks. It's not like we are anywhere close to being out of soap, yet those tantalizing scents make us want to use it today.  

Eucalyptus & Cotton

We'll have to make due with the Turmeric and Orange, that was what I call a cheater soap, it's melt and pour. I guess it is not really truly a cheater soap, the quality is just as good, it's just too easy.  I feel like I am not giving it my all when I make a melt and pour soap, like I am taking short cuts and looking for the easy way out. 

Eucalyptus & Cotton

Alpine Frost

Sea Salt & Lily

It's going to be a busy day again.  I want to wrap up a few things before the weekend.  Not that we have big plans, but I guess a throw back to a normal work week.  I also want to make a nice dinner to celebrate the ending of a stressful work week. I am going to try my hand at kofta, wish me luck. Middle Eastern foods are not ones that I have dabbled in at all. We both love them, but as I have limited experience cooking them we usually go out to enjoy them. 

I don't know about you, but Hubs and I are both getting a bit weary of going out and being disappointed.  We don't eat out often, it is getting far too expensive and I am home, why not simply cook.  On the few occasions we do go out we ultimately end up sad, with few exceptions.  I mean Hola is always perfect! I've just decided it's time to up my game and learn to make a few more of our favorites at home. 

I was listening to my usual slate of pod-casts and YouTube channels yesterday while making soap and found little to truly be shocked about.  There was an ongoing theme of being prepared, learning to do more for yourselves and of course having faith in God.  While not shocking, given most of the channels are watch and listen to deal with learning new skills and faith. When the first point and the last point collided in the same one program, well that definitely gave me serious goosebumps considering the events of the day before and the fact that I had written about some of those things literally a few hours before I heard the program. 

Those moments of feeling like a pastor is speaking directly to you are a touch unnerving.  Hubs and I had a pastor that we loved listening to a long bit ago, and Hubs would always say "did you notice he was bouncing today?  The spirit grabbed hold of him for sure".  He's since passed away, but many times we both would have goosebumps and feel like we were being spoken directly to. That was my feeling yesterday. And while it made me feel a tad quivery inside, it also gave me confirmation that I was listening with my heart, as I am supposed to. 

Anyone else experienced that?  Not necessarily a pastor, but hearing something and feeling you were meant to hear it? It seems to be happening to me a lot lately.  Or things start showing up that I am pondering.  

For example, I read the packaging of a medication the vet had prescribed for the pups.  I didn't have a good feeling in my heart about it and was more distraught when I read the warning on the packaging from them saying not to give to dogs under 6 months old.  At the time they were only 4 months and had already had two doses of the medication. My heart was screaming at me to do more research to dig in and find out all that I could.  Yet before I even had a chance, so many articles kept popping up in different places of dogs dying suddenly after taking this particular medication or starting to have seizures.  

My heart told me that the medications weren't good for them, then the universe provided the information.  Oddly enough, since I refused to give them any more (yup there is $300 worth of medication sitting on a shelf high up in the pantry) I haven't seen any more articles or stories about it.  I'd read enough.  I think about that often, it was such a powerful feeling. 

Things like that seem to be occurring with startling regularity. Confirmation of feelings and faith. I do find that I live my life in that basis, feeling and faith.  And when I do that, things move smoothly, without fear, frustration or worry. When I don't... well... wheels fall off of buses so to speak. 

I will probably make a few more batches of soap today, not positive.  Hubs has a long series of tests and exams this afternoon and I am not sure if he needs a driver or not.  That will determine how the day will actually progress. I definitely want to get a few more made, I was enjoying being lost in the moment while making my soaps yesterday.  

I'm also going to make the time to prepare a large batch of homemade food for my pups. They have been really pushing back on eating the dried food, and my gut is telling me that it truly isn't the best food to feed them. As they are over a year, I feel comfortable in switching up their feed. If they enjoy it, I will make a larger batch and get it canned up.  I prefer to feed them high quality homemade meals. 

My inner doubting Thomas is feeling very leery of most things I can buy pre-made to make my life easier.  I don't know what a lot of the ingredients are, as I've never encountered them in the natural world.  And that applies to human and pet food.  

Maybe I'm not really lost in the past, maybe I am the way I am to survive this current world.  Maybe the journey is far different than we've been led to believe?

It's time to get with it... 

love and prayers... 

Thursday, February 2, 2023

that darn plan b...

When it is all of 18° it's super hard to believe the temperatures will hit almost 50° before the day ends. Watching the sunrise in the shadows on the wall, brings me hope that the day will get there. I was stuck in a world of gray yesterday, needing some sunshine.  I did get a batch of soap made, it is a bright and vibrant orange - Turmeric and Orange.  The combination of color and scent is incredibly uplifting.  

I also finally decided to dry the oranges I'd bought.  No one has been eating them and I didn't want them to go to waste.  I've never dehydrated oranges before so I have no idea how long it will take for them to dry, it's been about 20 hours so far and they aren't dry yet, although progress is happening. I am fairly sure I am in love with the scent filling my home as they dry.  Again, there is the vibrant orange color and that heavenly warm season scent that is filling the air.  

Combine all that orange with the sunshine and it definitely feels like a beautiful spring like day is getting ready to happen.  I need it. 

Things got a bit wonky yesterday and it felt like the world was going to flip in a moment. I realized that even though I am definitely the person that always had a plan b ready to go, I might have let that slip a bit in recent years.  My plan b felt super weak and not at all safe yesterday. I'm definitely going to be working on making a few adjustments to plan b. 

I also didn't feel that I handled my response in a great way.  I let my feelings show over my wisdom, so much so that I removed myself from the moment and took a hot shower and had a long chat with God.  I am a firm believer that I can do all things through him and in that moment in time, it was where I needed to lean.  

I am one of those people that will cry when I am angry.  And honestly, if pushed to that point by anyone, the odds of me ever being OK with the reason are pretty slim.  I will forgive the action, I struggle to ever forget.  Yesterday was more about my anger at someone else's self-centeredness. Is that even a word?  Or just a feeling? I was at the point of ugly crying I was so mad. 

As I stood in the shower, using every bit of hot water, I found myself releasing it all to God.  Just as I have done with many situations in my life.  I felt my anger leaving, I came to acceptance of the situation and was starting to adjust my mental state.  That will take a bit longer, like I said that plan b is currently super weak. 

I'd just gotten out of the shower, brushing my hair and calming when Hubs came upstairs with the biggest grin and showed me his phone.  Grabbing my glasses, yep can't read anything without them that isn't at about a 24pt font, I was shocked at what I read.  Unsure, disbelieving I read it several times.  During the time I had been showering and conversing with God a complete reversal of what had sent me into a tail spin in the first place happened. 

I found it ironic that my sweet Hubs was the one reminding me that I am always the one telling him that God performs miracles great and small every day. I admit, I felt a bit sheepish at my initial unwillingness to believe my eyes, my humanness was definitely in control by that point. 

Thankfully, at this moment in time, the very thing that caused the chaos appears to have shifted a different direction, but the feelings it left behind are uneasy and lingering.  The message was loud and clear, I definitely need to work on the plan b. At any moment things can shift or change and if you don't have alternate plans and ideas to navigate the uneasy spaces, then you are left adrift and lost. 

This world is really unbalanced lately.  There are things happening at a rapid and uneasy rate.  Yesterday had me to seriously questioning how ready any of us really are for sudden and unexpected changes and difficulties. In our case it wasn't anything truly earth shattering in the long term.  No one was sick or dying.  It was simply the possible shift into unknown and unexpected changes, that neither of us were prepared for.  We'd discussed the possibilities many times, but the impossibility and improbability of those events seemed so far away and so unlikely that we hadn't really planned with that in mind. 

I'm sure those situations happen to a lot of folks all the time. We could recover from it fairly rapidly, but it would have been a miserable situation. How many folks can't recover?  How many times do things creep up that aren't expected and it changes things to the point that there is no recovery?  

I wasn't as able to bounce back to a good state of mind as Hubs was.  I was still stunned and angry that anyone could be that arrogant and insensitive. I see the person responsible with very new eyes now, and I am struggling super hard with it, the complete disrespect for Hubs is hard for me. Hubs is a far kinder and accepting person, he has already moved forward.  Me? I am slowly taking cautious steps forward.  

As a result the wheels fell off my bus for a good chunk of yesterday.  I ended up just searching for soap recipes, not making any more.  I never found my way into my sewing room. For a bit, my day stopped being productive or enjoyable. 

Yet, the sun rose this morning.  Things are back in the realm of blessings and less in the realm of humanness.  I need to work on counting the blessings more and seriously working on that plan b. One of my favorite YouTube channels is Dutchsince, he forecasts earthquakes and is crazy interesting. At about the three quarters mark in his video's he always says "do you have an earthquake plan?" Oddly that line is all I can hear in my mind this morning, Do you?  Not meaning an earthquake plan, although living on the New Madrid fault line for us it isn't a bad idea, but meaning a plan b.

If that unexpected moment that shakes your plan a to the ground happens, do you have a solid plan b?  Is it one that you can step into without a moment's hesitation?  Or is it similar to mine currently... where it will happen but the bits and pieces would need time to come together.  

Things are looking brighter and the glow from the sun is warming my neck and my heart.  In all of it God is in control, we need to be sure to keep praying, and then following the words our heart hears.  My heart heard the wake up call.  I've got some serious planning and actions to get busy with...

Enjoy the day and even if you have to create artificial sunshine for your spirit (thinking oranges) don't give up.

love and prayers...

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

more coffee...

I'm trying to force myself into being awake and productive this morning.  So far, we are not off to a great start. I mean, I woke up to a 75 pound puppy standing on my hair trying to wake me up, followed by a blast of icy cold air on my bare feet as I let them out and the realization that Hubs had to leave within 30 minutes of my blurry eyed self wandering downstairs.  Ya'll, it is down right difficult to function, cook breakfast and feed pups all on a sip of coffee within the first 30 minutes of waking up.  

Beau being all handsome
But dang, that extra two hours of sleep was heavenly.  I mean, I guess I could have stayed awake at 3:30 am when I heard Hubs wake up, but frankly, I didn't feel like starting my day in the middle of the night.  So after spending about an hour reading I thankfully fell back asleep.  I mean I am an early riser by nature, but I consider 3:30 am or even 4:30 am to be right in the middle of the night. 

Now he's off to work, pups have been fed and I just poured myself my second cup of coffee (although technically the first - as this one is actually hot as I am drinking it).  They are all doing their thing now, so I can relax for a bit and wake up officially. 

I have a busy day planned, I was a good wife yesterday and completed all of my paperwork chores, heck I even finished our taxes in the month of January.  I don't believe I have ever done that in my life. I just figured it was lingering, I had everything I needed, why not. Gotta say, while I strongly oppose our tax system, I admit that it feels good to have it over and done with this early. Instead of having it linger for months on end like an evil darkness. 

someone broke the dog... he laid like this for
at least 10 minutes... goofy boy

That means today I can focus on the things that involve working with my hands.  And being more active.  I decided that I am going to get some soaps made this week, just not how many and what variety.  Pretty sure that will happen as I start digging in my supply closet, looking at which ones we favor and the ones that I don't have to order anything for.  I am so very weary of waiting for supplies to arrive.  

I live in a fairly large city, you would think I could zip down the street to a local shop for things I use. I mean my hobbies aren't unusual or rare at all.  Sadly, that isn't even possible.  In this large city we do not have a single yarn shop, fabric stores are basically limited to the "big box" stores and a few very small quilt fabric shops. 

Not every sewing project is a quilt.  I made Hubs a robe for Christmas.  He'd picked the fabric, I was concerned with the quality while sewing, but figured it would last for the year at least and then I would make him another one later in the year.  As he walked across the room the other day I noticed that the fabric had started to shred. Seriously?  

Soap making supplies are also fairly limited.  There is a small soap/candle making supply shop in the heart of downtown, but I have been there, purchased from them and used their products.  Sadly, not very good quality. 

I guess it is a fair representation of the lack of folks like me in our area. 

Belle is the queen of cushions
they are for her comfort

It's also time to clean the sewing studio.  I've been dragging my feet.  It's fairly organized still, just a bit chaotic after the Christmas rush.  But I've made the decision to part with some of my fabrics.  Not quilt making ones, but the large collection of kid based ones.  Polar fleeces, some denims, etc.  And it's time to further clean out some of the books.  The truth is I've hauled those around with me for decades, even prior to my move to the mid-west and if I haven't had time to dig into them and make something happen at this point, I will probably not be doing anything with them in the future. It's time to let them go and hopefully someone else can find uses for all of them. 

I want to do it.  I am ready to do it.  But after the basement cleansing, honestly, I am feeling a bit intimidated by the idea. I am positive that just like the basement, I will feel so refreshed and ready to utilize the space once I have cleared out the extras.  

I don't remember the exact verbiage of a quote I saw yesterday, but it addressed how healing it was to get rid of clutter.  I agree 100%, it clears the energy and space all around you.  Some of it you might mourn for a moment, feeling that you should have held on to it for sentimental reasons or... well there are hundreds of "or's".  When the reality is within a day or so, you aren't missing it, you don't even notice it isn't there. I fear that is why so many of us hold on to things when we know we are never going to use them or need them.  The what if's and the sentimentality are overwhelming for a moment. 

I'm wondering, does age make you more or less sentimental?  Personally, I am finding less and less need to hold on to things and more and more of a need to hold on to the memories associated with them. 

Well, my friends... the coffee is cooling and I am ready to tackle the day.  The normal things await and then I can move on to the extraordinary things... Remember to take a moment, send a few prayers to the heavens and have a amazing day... 

love and prayers... 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

my ordinary world...

I am definitely not complaining, because for every bitter cold day we've had this winter we've had weeks that remain in the high 40's or better.  But dang... folks it is COLD! I was stunned to see the temp read 12°, with a real feel of simply 1°.  I don't feel that I will be leaving the house today.  I would love to live further north during the summer months, but I am not sure I would love to live further north in the winter months. 

I am debating on building a fire, simply to chase off the chill.  Although, I am 99% sure I am not going to, for the simple reason that I cannot walk away from a fire.  Sweet Hubs kept it going all day yesterday.  I cannot say I accomplished much on my to do list, the warmth of the fire was too alluring for me. Pups and I spent a very relaxed day doing basically nothing, just reclining and resting in the warmth.  Was it wonderful, of course it was, why wouldn't it be?  Do I feel a tad like a lazy bug, yup. 

Definitely not a bad way to start the week, from a relaxation standpoint.  Unfortunately, I'm now behind on my self-imposed to do list. It's another day, the sun has risen and I have plenty of time to catch up, it's a fairly light list this week. 

Being without a longarm and waiting on supplies for other things, means that I can focus on household things.  Ya know paying bills, doing the taxes, planning the spring planting.  Those kind of things.  I also have a few maintenance items to take care of around the house.  Repairs caused by puppies mostly, they sure can be destructive. Unfortunately it doesn't really fill my creative soul, doing those kind of tasks. 

I know, I know... spoiled wife, first world problems.  Winter is tough on me.  I love everything about it, except the limitations.  I look out back at the yard that once held grass, and long to fix it, so that it is useful and puppy friendly.  I have projects in the garage that I would love to work on, but frostbite is not my friend, and it's just as cold out there, only without the wind. Which limits me to inside projects, and I'm running a bit low on those. 

I love being a stay at home dog mom, I adore being able to take care of our home and my "family", I just haven't mastered it yet.  Sometimes I find myself drawn into the blurriness that society has created.  I hear my neighbor questioning my early retirement, like it was a crime.  I see the puzzled looks on faces as to why I would be comfortable staying home. I see things like my niece posted about her transition to homemaker and full time mommy and the struggle it is causing.  And then I question why society has become this way?

Why is it not okay to simply be the one taking care of the home? The one that is responsible for all things based around the home. My husband loves being taken care of, he rarely does any actual chores around the house. Although he gets props for doing the dishes for a week while my wounded thumb healed. And I take pride in the fact that he doesn't have to.  In fact my only regret is that I wasn't able to do this when my children were younger. 

I feel a lot of the struggles we are currently facing in our country/world, could be resolved if we returned the task of raising and taking care of the children to at least one parent.  I am not so sure we ever needed both parents working, but we sure bought into that didn't we? I know I did.  Even though my soul longed to be at home with my babies, I was often working two or sometimes three part time jobs. I'd bought into the lie that we needed stuff and therefore we needed to constantly be in hustle mode. 

Hindsight is always 20/20 and from the lens I look through now, that time in life could have been far better spent. As it was, between part time jobs and taking care of the household, I am afraid like most kids mine got what was left of me, not the best of me. 

Since the debacle of 2020, I am so impressed to see an increasing number of people reevaluating life.  It's priorities, what is important, how to spend time and resources.  My own daughter's parenting style is very free range, although she is deeply involved and available for her kiddo's.  Well and all the ones she acquires.  As kids are drawn to her like moths to flame. 

I think we will endure some rocky times as our society continues to shift, I really think the pendulum is swinging back, there will be labor shortages continuing while things balance.  I feel that we are learning to adjust spending expectations and desires versus true needs.  The lines at the grocery seem to indicate a bit more cooking at home.  So much is changing.  

My homemaking heart is thankful for the shift I am observing.  Mom and Dad's out with their kids doing "free" things. Playing together at parks, spending time being part of the world. It feels like the shift towards family is happening again.  I can hardly wait for the shift to move back towards communities. 

my sweet handyman

I know that I am old fashioned.  The tech world hurts my very soul.  It disconnects us, it softens us. It creates a dependency that I am not comfortable with. Does it have a place?  Or course there is good, as with everything, it needs boundaries. I don't feel society, which has been in awe of it all, the ease, the "magic", etc... has been aware of what it has been replacing in our lives. 

For example, while I've been typing I've been pondering making a couple of batches of soap today, it takes 6 weeks to cure, and I definitely prefer to make it during the cooler months as opposed to the warmer ones when I have other things to do.  

There was a time that women were tired of that lifestyle, cooking, cleaning, taking care of basic needs non-stop.  It was easy to shift us away from one perceived treadmill to another.  Especially, when the original treadmill was portrayed as something bad and something that only a second class person would do. Failing to realize that joining the rat race was simply the same thing.  The difference was that you were doing things for someone else and needing to replace that in your own life by labor from another. 

I do not like to use chemical laden things on my skin or hair.  I want to know every ingredient, be able to pronounce it's name and not worry what it is a bi-product of.  I'm fussy. As a result even when I worked full time, I still found the time to take care of making my soaps and shampoos. Heck, I've even discovered non-chemical ways to launder my clothing.  Soap nuts and wool balls are amazing,  FYI!

My personal pendulum swung back suddenly, it took me a moment to thrive in it.  I don't have a time clock and there are times where it doesn't feel that I have vacations or time off.  And then there are days like yesterday.  I did the bare minimum.  I took a day of rest.  In fact Hubs and I took Sunday as a day of rest also.  I don't know when the last time we did that was.  It was refreshing and peaceful. It made sense why God commanded a day of rest. I mourn that we as humans do not honor that day, as it felt like an incredible reset. I guess it's because we've been sold on the idea that success is equal to non-stop hustle.

I hope the global pendulum continues to swing in the direction that it's been heading. I hope that we stop looking outward for solutions and continue to look inward.  And that more of us continue to remember to pray!

Well, time to refill my coffee, fold the laundry and get busy on that to do list that I create to keep my life running smoothly. 

Love and prayers...

Monday, January 30, 2023

pondering the 3 D's...

It's bitter cold outside, the slight snow/sleet has stopped falling.  The cold remains. I'm sitting here enjoying the remaining fire that my sweet Hubs built to warm my toes and fill my heart.  Listening to Pastor Bob Joyce's latest CD, he's eerily reminiscent of Elvis when he sang his beautiful gospel music.  Again, warming my heart. 

I've been spending a lot of time in prayer and learning the Bible.  It brings me so much peace.  We are in some very strange times and when you step back they echo much that is in the Bible, maybe not identical, yet the same none the less.  An example is the "food shortages", I do not believe for one moment this is any more real than any of the other shortages.  It is not natural.  It's man made, it's designed to control. 

If I spend too much time in the world, I feel anxiety and stress.  When I stop and refuse to listen to all of the external voices I can focus on those small inner voices.  The ones that have never lied to me, that have never led me in the wrong direction.  I know that is the voice I need to zero in on.  It doesn't matter if I am in prayer or meditation, what matters is that I hear the voice that is gently guiding me.  

So many are struggling in these days.  The external noise is loud.  Its confusing and unsettling.  I feel in my soul it has been designed that way.  One of the pastor's I listen to regularly always says that she was brought up to always be aware of the 3 d's - deceive, distract and destroy as those are the tools of Satan and his followers. 

That simple statement really resonates with me.  It is what I see all around me.  Everywhere you look it feels like we are being lied to, how many times does a lie have to be repeated for it to be accepted as the truth?  How much of our news, media, entertainment is strictly to distract us?  Anyone else find it odd that just as scandal regarding politicians and classified documents starts to come to light Antifa starts to raise it's head again, oh yeah and the immediately afterwards the body cams of a of former speaker of the house's husband get released? All in less than a week? Talk about distractions... 

Destroy, well that one definitely doesn't need to be highlighted at all now does it?  Given that we have been living in times of destruction for several years now.  Everywhere one turns there is an example of physical, mental, financial or emotional destruction.

Yet as I bow my head, as I listen to the word, I feel peace.  I know that I am not truly a part of that world and I am good with it. 

I've never felt I belong in this world.  I've always felt like an outsider.  As if the person I am has been inserted in the wrong time or place.  I've had moments of fear, frustration and sadness as I have tried to fit in.  The older I have grown the more comfortable I have become in not fitting in.  I don't want to.  Even more so in the last few years.  I've watch sadly on the sidelines as so much deception, distraction and destruction has happened.  I feel deeply in my heart for those that are willing to look at what they can clearly see with their own eyes and still not see it for what it is.   I can't change it.  I can only pray. 

People are changing, the anger and callousness towards one another is growing.  Just when it feels hopeless a good thing happens, anyone see the story of the beloved pet sent to a shelter because the family couldn't take care of it?  The shelter not only reunited them, but is helping them.  We all have the ability to do that.  To step into the void and provide assistance.  

Sadly, there are many that are still focusing on the division that has been created and not on the solution.  I read a tweet the other day from a prominent influencer, questioning why the unvaxed didn't share with those that got vaxed why they were not participating.  At first I was so disheartened, why blame those that stood strong in the face of too many unknowns? Upon processing a bit further, it felt more like that was part of the process of healing.  Grief, disbelief, anger... those are the first few steps... there are still three more to go.  

Our entire world is going through those five steps: grief, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance in the face of so many things.  We are all at different levels of the process. I find myself bouncing in a few areas at different times regarding much of what the past few years have presented to us. 

Today, I find myself very firmly in a state of hope, praise and celebration of the good that is to come.  I am choosing to see with my heart and not with my eyes.  This world is full of joyous news and events.  There are miracles happening every single day.  We just have to be strong enough to see with our hearts, I know I've mentioned a mustard seed in the past, and not with our eyes and ears. 

I'm trying very hard to stay clear of those three D's.  I'm trying to focus on the good that surrounds me, the good I can do in this unkind stage of our world, and lifting all of us in prayer. 

Well, my wonderful music has ended, my coffee is cold and my fire is smoldering embers... I guess it's time to get going.  I have chores that need tending to and tasks that I am setting for myself that need attention.  While I know that everything is well in hand, I also know that I am part of the solution and cannot sit on the sidelines.

love and prayers... 

ps... watch out for those 3 D's... far more dangerous than we believe... 

processing things...

Well, it appears that God decided we needed another day.  The sun came up briefly this morning, prior to the rain clouds easing in.  It'...