Lolo’s Cafe

“In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.”–Curnonsky
I’ve never considered myself to be a hospitable person. Don’t get me wrong, I love people! But the thought of having people in my home and feeding them always caused me extreme anxiety. I’ve recently noticed how God has been moving me out of that anxiousness and fear and into a loving tribe! I’ve longed for a personal tribe for a long time. That small circle. You know we all just want to feel like we belong to something. But what I didn’t realize, was that I was already apart of one. His tribe. My tribe is His tribe. Whoever He loves I love. Whoever He sends into my life, they will be my tribe! I will treat and love them like He loves them and I will love them as family!
He has moved in my heart so much over the past several years and keeps pouring the gift of hospitality in me and instructing me to just feed His tribe. “Welcome them into your heart, your home, and around your table. Tell them how much I love them and eat with them and share the Eucharist with them. Be my disciple from your kitchen.”
Isn’t it funny, how we Christians struggle with wanting to know our “purpose” and often to the point we are missing out on it most of our lives? I do believe we go through different seasons and in those seasons we have smaller purposes to fulfill but our ultimate purpose, our mission, our ministry can be summed up in these six words, “Love Like Jesus Live Like Family.” That’s the heart of it all!
I’ve always said I can’t do much but what I can do, I will do with big love!! I am stepping out of my comfort zone in a big way!! I get a little anxious just thinking about it. But I’ve always dreamed of having a little cafe, where I serve soups, salads and sandwiches, along with all the sweet desserts that I can make. I’ve always dreamed of it being small and simple but wrapped in BIG love! I’m not dreaming of being a big business tycoon. Just a simple little country gal serving up love right out of my home. I have no idea where this little adventure will take me. I just pray that God will give me all that I need to pursue it and bring it into reality for His glory.
So this is where the history begins. This last week of June 2018. I’m slowly moving into it and asking Him to lead every step of the way.
Lolo’s Cafe will be operated out of my simple little kitchen. I will make soups, salads, sandwiches and sweet desserts upon request for your special day or events. I have a lot of ideas but I don’t want to get to carried away just yet! But I do hope that you will come along on this journey with me!! Let’s just take it moment by moment and enjoy the journey!
Note to self: “Above all else, Just Keep It Simple”. –Curnonsky
What dreams are you chasing?

Feelings of Brokenness

Do you ever just feel broken?

I often let my mind, heart and soul get so tangled up in so many thoughts and feelings that I become so overwhelmed and stressed, that I start feeling the worst about life. Feeling loneliness, rejection and so much doubt.

And more times than not, I dive into some sort of pity party for one. Because who else wants to go to a party that is dry and lifeless?

I get so angry with myself when I feel like this because I love life and I love people! I want to express joy and the goodness of Jesus!!

But some days, this despair that I’m feeling, this exhaustion, this loneliness, is as real as the skin on my body.

I can’t seem to fight it and I feel I just want to lay down and wallow in it because it feels as if that’s all I can do.

I just keep screaming at myself, “Alright, enough already! Get up! Clean this mess up! Get rid of all these crap lies you keep telling yourself and believing! Quit being petty, shallow and childlike! You are better than this! You were meant for more than this!” Which all of that is true. However, some days these broken feelings, thoughts, emotions, they still come. And it’s not that I’m faithless. It’s not that I’m weak in my faith. It’s not that I don’t believe in better things. It’s just some days, this is just how I feel.

Ultimately, I know, that I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one that ever feels this way. Some people feel worse than this. Heck, I’ve had worse days than today.

I think to myself, “This is not the kind of attitude I want to project to the world.” But here’s the truth. If you ever want to reach the broken, they have to see that you are not perfect. That just because you are a follower of Jesus that you can be a person that doesn’t have it all together. That some days you may just have feelings such as these. Some days you may just feel broken!

Ann Voskamp says, “Maybe wholeness is embracing brokenness as part of your life.” Or, “So the power of God can happen in the soul.”

So maybe when we embrace those little broken places and don’t try to sprinkle some kind of sweet stuff over them to make them seem less real, then maybe we can actually help someone else. Just because we are being honest and real.

It’s definitely not a place I want to be or stay forever but for this moment, I’m just being vulnerable and saying, some days, I feel broken.

Any maybe it’s a possibility that we can be broken but be whole at the same time.

Pondering, Praying, Pursuing

“The comeback is always stronger than the setback.”

So listen. This is how I’m closing out November 2017……last month after my birthday, I made myself a promise to learn to love myself more and to take better care of myself in 2018. But I’ve not waited for 2018 to get here to start. I started October 13th. I’ve slowly been making little changes since then. November has been a month of pondering and praying and pursuing the things I feel God telling me about myself. Ways to better care for myself. Ways to listen to my body and to react to it with love, the same as I would if someone else asked for my help. Ways to retreat, rest, and restore.

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He says there are things within me that don’t need to be there that I’ve hung onto for far to long. And this has got to be the year I let them go. He says that I am beautiful and that what He created isn’t to be wasted and destroyed by my disbelief. I need to start believing that I am loved and that it’s okay to love myself. He says that my skills, my gift and talents are unique and they are special and that only I can use them. He says that I need to stop comparing myself to others, especially my body. He says that I am more than a conqueror and that He is pleased with me, so I need to be pleased with myself. Imperfections and all!!

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He says he knows that I will still have bad days but He wants me to put on an attitude of gratitude every morning and wear it and feel it like it’s the finest linen against my skin….wear it as though it were a super power. He says to not believe for one second that I cannot accomplish all my hopes and dreams, though they seem small to me. Small things can create big love.

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Through my pondering and praying and pursuing this month, I’ve started a list of things to STOP doing rather than a list to start doing. (I’ll be sharing some of that list with you as time passes.) Because I feel it’s the things that I’m already doing that are keeping me from loving myself. So here’s to a new year and a “NOT TO DO/STOP DOING LIST”. Here’s to becoming healthier mind, body and soul.

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“The comeback is always stronger than the setback.”

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(No matter how many times you have to start over!!!)

Live Simply & Simply Live

TAKING TIME TO LISTEN

“There was a unsettledness in me – a feeling that I was trying to walk in someone else’s path and it was ill-fitting and chafing. Like I couldn’t breathe well and knew I needed to alter course. Again. But this required shutting out some noise, opening up my heart and quieting my mind so that I could hear.”– Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui




October is my celebration month. It is the month of my birthday and I celebrate all month long but I have several other days that I celebrate in it as well. A day that I like to call Atonement Day. A day that I call Redemption Day. A day I call Restoration Day. Another day I call Grace Day. None of those being on the calendar as Holy days. But they are definitely holy and sacred.

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And then there’s my daughter and son in law’s anniversary. My grandson’s birthday. My grandparent’s anniversary. Several friends and family’s birthdays.

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These are very sacred days that I celebrate. Not always in elaborate ways but sometimes just quietly. Especially those personal days I mentioned.

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Those are the days that I find a quiet place and I sit down, pray a simple prayer and then I listen. I listen to God. I listen to my spirit.

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Like the author in the quote above I often feel I get off course of my journey and feel I need redirected. I often feel unsettled, like I’m walking in someone else’s shoes and I feel the irritation caused by some sort of friction and it makes my soul ill. I too, feel like I can’t breathe and like my brain may burst from all the thoughts and information that it’s trying to process.

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So what is that friction that I’m feeling? Why do I feel it so often? Why can’t I be rid of it once and for all?

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I think because I don’t take the appropriate time to stop and listen and allow my heart, mind and soul to align with my Creator’s. I’m always racing along in some kind of big hurry through life thinking I have somewhere to arrive. When in actuality I don’t. I really don’t.

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All the striving to be somewhere…….it’s honestly exhausting. And I just want slow down and be more in the here and now. Because that’s where I feel most like myself.

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I’m not trying to fit a mold, a trend or anyone else’s expectations of me. I just want to be free, here in this moment loving hard. That’s the one thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m supposed to be doing.

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However, as I listened and allowed my spirit to be calm, I realized something that I’ve actually known for a very long time, my whole life in fact. I am very good at loving others hard but absolutely stink at loving myself.

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Oh yeah, I’ve tried and thought I was making huge strides but it’s been mostly futile. I just feel like I fake it most of the time to make myself believe it or to please others. But it’s become clear, that I do not love myself like I know my Creator wants me to. He wants me to love myself and see myself as He does. And while I want that so badly, I still force feed myself lies that weigh heavy in my heart and they weaken my soul. They make me feel like crap and like I don’t matter. I am my worst enemy.

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I made a list of several areas I feel God wants me to focus on this next year of my life and folks it may sound like I’m becoming a narcissist or a selfish person but I promise you I’m not! It’s just time I pour into myself for a change and truly mean it for healing and for growth.

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With every new year I pick a word to focus on, for example; love, joy, peace, patience, grace, brave. I’ve learned a lot from this practice. I’ve grown in these areas. And I pray as I continue this practice that I grow even more this next year because, I strongly feel the words I’m to focus on for my 46th year are “Listen” and “ME”.

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That’s right. I feel I’m being instructed to focus on myself!! To listen and be attentive to myself for a change!!

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Does that mean I’m going to not put as much focus on my other responsibilities or be attentive to them? It means nothing of the sort. What it does mean, is that I’m going to choose to make myself a priority! Something I’ve never done!

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I’m going to stop and listen to my spirit and my body everyday. I’m going to make note of how I feel and be serious about my health. No more covering up pain because I feel I’m getting on others nerves. No more faking that I’m ok because I don’t want to be a burden on anyone. I still don’t want to be a burden or get on people’s nerves but I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not just so that I’m not disrupting other’s lives. My life is being disrupted and I need to find ways to cope and heal and be joyful through it all!!

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This is not a “reinvention” of me or about me “finding myself”, it’s about,  finally just paying attention and loving myself just as hard as I love others.

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So without further a’ deux…….here’s to taking a year to listen! A year to ME!!

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Stay tuned for more topics that I tapped into in October during my self evaluation! I practically filled up a whole journal and I’m excited to share with you!!

How Do You Do Dishes?

“Let’s not forget how beautiful simply washing dishes can be.”–Noah Hawley

Good afternoon sweet friends!
How’s everyone doing on this rainy Monday?

I’ve been to the doctor, gave up 8 huge vials of blood, went on to the hospital for several X-rays of my neck, shoulders and arms, paid some bills, got some groceries and back home to rest for the rest of the day.

As I sit here resting and scrolling through my social media feeds, I ran across an essay that Joshua Becker wrote about why he quit using the dishwasher.

Joshua Becker is the founder and editor of Becoming Minimalist, a website that inspires millions around the world to own fewer possessions and find greater fulfillment in life. He is one of the leading voices in the modern simplicity movement.

He has written some really great books to inspire anyone’s simplicity journey. A few of those being:

  • “The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own”
  • “Clutterfree with Kids: Change Your Thinking. Discover New Habits. Free Your Home”
  • Living with Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness

As I read about why Joshua quit using the dishwasher, I am reminded why I chose to quit using the dishwasher as well. I have similar reasons. My main reason was when our girls moved out and it was just me and my husband, we didn’t have as many dishes, so there was no need to run a dishwasher for just a few dishes.

Another reason that I decided to quit using the dishwasher is because our water stinks!!! And when we would wash dishes in the dishwasher, 9 times out 10 they wouldn’t get clean and they would stink when they were done.  Another reason, the dishwasher leaked and that was frustrating.

So as the cons piled up for me, I decided to stop using the dishwasher and to start washing the dishes by hand.  It is somewhat therapeutic, especially if my hands and arms are in a lot of pain. Just having them in the hot soapy water seems to ease the pain. However, I don’t always get the dishes washed directly after the meal as Joshua does, but I do try very hard to do so, especially after dinner. Because there’s just something about waking up to a clean kitchen.

But this quote from Joshua in his essay probably explains my reason for washing my dishes by hand, the most.

“It’s been a practical step of living intentionally. It’s been a process of choosing to question my life assumptions and live mindfully in all facets. And in that way, maybe it’s more than I just never gave it an opportunity… maybe it’s more honest to say that I never chose to live this intentionally ever before.”

Part of my simplicity journey is to live intentionally. To slow down and to enjoy those little sacred moments. Washing dishes by hand has become one of those most sacred moments. Above my kitchen sink is a window, and though I’m just a few inches short to appreciate the complete view of my backyard, I can see the trees and as I wash dishes I listen to the birds sing and the wind blow through the trees and it’s a very relaxing time.

If you’ve never washed dishes by hand, I want to encourage you to give it a shot just one time and don’t think of it as a chore but more as a luxury. A sacred moment in time.
We recently removed our dishwasher all together. To which several friends and family thought we were insane! To live without a dishwasher! What on Earth was wrong with us?

But I saw no purpose for an old dishwasher not being used, to just sit in our kitchen. So we took it out. And now there’s a big empty space. However, it looks clean and I can eventually use that space for more lower shelving. I’m still working on ideas! Meanwhile, I’m just working on living intentional and seeking those sacred moments one dish at a time! 🙂

If you’d like to read the essay that Joshua wrote, you can find it on Becoming Minimalist………just follow this link:

https://www.becomingminimalist.com/becoming-minimalist-start-here/

 

Tell me, how do you do dishes?

Dance It Out

“You can dance in the storm. Don’t wait for the rain to be over before because it might take too long. You can can do it now. Wherever you are, right now, you can start, right now; this very moment.”—Israelmore Ayivor

For today’s message, I just have to quote a couple of paragraphs from Shauna Niequist’s book, Savor.

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Shauna says, “ The discipline of celebration is changing my life, and I invite you into the same practice. Come tap dance with me on the fresh graves of apathy and cynicism, the creeping belief that this is all there is, and that God is no match for the wreckage of the world we live in. What God does in the tiny corners of our day-to-day lives is stunning and gorgeous and headline-making, but we have a bad habit of saving the headlines for the grotesque and scary. 

To choose to celebrate right here and right now might seem irresponsible. It might seem frivolous, like cotton candy and charm bracelets. But I believe it is a serious undertaking, one that has the potential to return us to our best selves, to deliver us back to the men and women God created us to be, people who choose to see the best, believe the best, yearn for the best. Through that longing to be our best selves, we are changed and inspired and ennobled, able to see the handwriting of a holy God where another person just sees the same old tired streets and sidewalks.”

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When we choose to celebrate and live life with gratitude I believe it becomes a better place. No, doesn’t take away all the bad things happening around us but I believe it allows us to look at those things with a different perspective and we are able to deal/handle them better.••

If I am going to learn to like/love myself, I believe first I really need to put gratitude into practice. Making it a daily discipline. 

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Then I need to learn to laugh and dance in the midst of pain and remember God is doing something amazing right here and now, in this moment and it’s just as important as anything else going on in the world! And that IT IS headline-making because He is changing me into the woman He created to be.

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Shauna Niequist reminds us that God is transforming and redeeming His world, even when we can’t see it.

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And so it is the same in our lives. Even though we may not be able to see it, feel it or know it just yet……He is redeeming and transforming!! And I don’t know about you but that alone makes me want to celebrate and dance!!

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I’ve always loved to dance so as I learn to like/love myself more I hope to smile more and dance more and just celebrate all those little sacred moments because they make up the majority of my life and they make me who I am!!

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Dancing in the face of our problems and pain reminds me of the show Grey’s Anatomy, when Meredith and Cristina were in stressful situations or just have emotional days they’d “dance it out.” 

They’d just put on some music and dance out their problems and they may not have actually been ‘celebrating’ but it changed their perspective for a little bit and usually put them in a better mood! It’s amazing what a little dancing will do for a soul!

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I believe is a good practice and discipline to live by!

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So, what do ya say? Shall we dance it out? 

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Love Yourself

“Life sneaks up on us every once in a while and gives us something we didn’t ever know we wanted, and lights within us a love we didn’t even know existed.” — Shauna Niequist

 

Perhaps this love that Shauna speaks of is the love that we need to love ourselves with. What do you think?

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I wasn’t going to post this picture that my daughter took of me yesterday, because I don’t like it, but of one of my goals for this new year of mine is to try to love myself a little more. But before I can love myself I need to at least like myself and that is going to take some time and some work.

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There are qualities about myself I like. There are gifts and talents that I have that I like. There are even physical things about myself that I like but mostly I cringe at myself.

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I have big love for other people, but I can’t seem to find it within myself to love me. So how can encourage others to love themselves and yet not love myself? Good question.

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And to find the answer, my goal for this 46th year of my life, is to find ways to love me more. Those pesky parts of me that I don’t like, the physical aspects that I don’t like and becoming braver at showing me the real me.

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It begins here. I’m 46. I am 4’10” and I weighed in at 132 this morning.


(Though this dress may make me look bigger than what I am,  I still felt somewhat cute. That’s a start right?)

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My weight is a huge issue for me and I know it shouldn’t be, because I know I have all these health conditions that makes me gain weight and trying to exercise to keep the weight off…….well it just doesn’t happen, because I have no energy. I fight for my health daily. And I’ve tried All.The.Things. So it’s not a quick fix and there’s nothing out there that I can buy that will make me magically lose the weight. It’s just a daily fight against all these things I deal with and finding what my body will respond to. One would think losing 10 pounds would be an easy task but it’s honestly just not that simple. So I would like to just like myself as I am, no matter the weight and just be happy with me, because my weight doesn’t define me, even though that is easier said than to believe. But that’s my goal.

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Also, I struggle with anxiety which I also know is due to the crazy things going on inside my body. So I would like to work harder on trying to find ways to fight that and just try to remember this too shall pass!

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I want to be brave and let people in to see the real me. But the fear of rejection and losing people keep me from sharing to many personal details, however, I believe this year holds more bravery and I’m determined to let Lolo be free!!

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So here’s to freeing Lolo!!

Celebrate Life!

“You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given today.”– Shauna Niequist

I shared a small part of my story yesterday on social media. I was terrified to do so even though I’ve shared the story before and with several people. It just doesn’t get any easier and in fact gets scarier each time I tell it.  For several different reasons.  But for one; because I’m uneasy about being vulnerable and sharing my vulnerability with people who might not understand and have mean things to say to me. But at this point in my life, I will accept the mean things if it means someone else might actually find some hope and encouragement because I was able to share briefly about this scary time of my life. So with that being said, here’s the glimpse into the night I talked about.

I wrote this yesterday, on my 46th birthday.

This very foggy morning reminds me of a very foggy night 19 years ago. It was the night I had chosen to end my life. The two years prior had been very dark and very scary. I had become very, very depressed and sick; physically, mentally, and spiritually. And I had decided I couldn’t live like “this” anymore. I couldn’t hurt anymore people. Because I had hurt and disappointed a lot of people. I had made some very bad decisions and gotten involved in some very bad things. And I just wanted to end all the pain I was feeling and so I couldn’t cause anyone else any more pain.

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I had chosen to jump from a ledge above the Wolf Creek Dam. This ledge was slippery and I could feel the loose gravel beneath my feet. I was on the very edge of that rock!! My heels barely touching!! I should have fallen without any attempt of my own to jump. But I felt this tug on me. Something was holding on to me. And I could sense this feeling like there was a battle being waged around me. I was crying. I just wanted to jump. Fall. Something. I just wanted to die. I couldn’t stand the thought of any more of this nightmare. I knew the evil one was present because he had been for the past two years!! Slowly killing me! I just wanted him to finish me!! …….But God.

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That’s right! But God, He had a hold of me and He wouldn’t let go!! It was like I wasn’t even in this world anymore. It all felt like a dream or scene from a sci-fi movie. I just screamed, “Please, God. Just let me go!! I don’t deserve to live!” And like I said, just like a scene from a movie, a perfect circle cleared in the foggy sky. And within that circle was my two daughter’s faces, pleading, “Mommy, we love you. Please come home.” And at that moment, I shook like I was having a seizure and I just knew this was the end, but another plea came from my soul, and I screamed, “Please, God, save me from myself. From this evil. From this pain. I want to go home to my babies.” And I don’t know how to tell you exactly how it happened but I slid down off that rock and stood on solid ground and made it back to my grandmother’s, where I laid down in my old bed, in my old room and I slept for three days. I had not slept in weeks prior to this night.

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I believe there was a battle being waged for me that night. And God won. He fought for me because I couldn’t fight for myself. I didn’t make any deals with Him. (Because remember I fought hard to just die.) But He still chose to save me. He had other plans for me. He created me for a purpose and I was to live that purpose out. Live.

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So on this particular day I celebrate life. I celebrate living. Because I should have fell that night. I didn’t. And though I’m still far from perfect and still make mistakes every day, He is still hanging onto me!! And that’s why I celebrate life today! Since then I’ve always wanted to spend this day with family and friends because they are a precious gift that I didn’t deserve to return to yet He gave me the opportunity to.

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I make a big deal out of this day and want to celebrate it because I should not be here. But I am!!!

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This wasn’t the only time my life has been on the line. This wasn’t the only time He saved me from the depths of hell. He has seen me through some pretty ugly stuff and He has given me life time and time again!! To live and to celebrate!!

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Today I celebrate!!!

Simplify, Simplify

Clutter smothers. Simplicity breathe. –Terry Guillemets

 

Our simplicity story began about 4 years ago but let me give you some history leading up to my decision to simplify life.

My mom was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s in 2009 at the young age of 52.  She progressed quite rapidly. The Neurologist and Alzheimer’s Specialist that diagnosed her was astonished.

Mom lived with my grandparents and was a working woman. Her coworkers were the ones that first noticed her changes in behavior.   December 2008, her boss called me and said that he was going to have to let her go, that she had made a huge financial error and that her mannerisms with the public had become very radical.  It was then that they explained the way they had seen her change over just a short period of time, this really got my brother, sister and I thinking about the previous months and how we had all noticed some significant changes as well but we just thought it was stress related.

In January 2013, I had to make a difficult decision and had to admit my mom to a nursing care facility.  It was on her birthday of all days.  My brother, his wife, my sister and I had all taken turns trying to care for our mom up to this point.  We all live anywhere from 2 to 3 hours apart.  And this made it even harder. My grandmother, had always battled health issues.  And her health had started to decline and wasn’t able to take care of mom most days.  Even with a nurse coming in 2 to 3 days a week, there was an emotional and mental toll on my grandmother to care for my mom.  So in order to help care for my grandmother and to not make myself any sicker,  I admitted mom to the nursing facility.

I then switched most of my attention to the care of my grandmother who was rapidly declining in health.  She had Congestive Heart Failure.  She had battled heart disease for several years and her doctors had warned her of this possibly happening.  In the summer of 2012 she started going downhill.  In and out of the hospital.   Shortly after I admitted my mom into the nursing facility my grandmother was hospitalized for almost a month before she was released.  When she came home, I knew something was wrong. Something was different.  She and pappa were different.  They knew something they weren’t telling the rest of us.  He never left her side.

A few weeks went by and then she called me to come visit.  I sat by her bedside and she began to talk.  She told me that I needed to start taking better care of myself because not only did I need to take care of my family (Don and the girls), I needed to take care of pappa.  That he would need me and that I would need to do the things for him that she had done.  She told me to continue to take care of mom, even though she was in the nursing facility.  She instructed me to visit her often and not to forget about her there. She told me to look after my uncle and to make sure that he was keeping his diabetes in check. She told me to check on my aunt from time to time and to make sure she knew she was loved and that she would never be alone.    All the things she did, she wanted me to continue doing on her behalf.  My grandmother was never much of a worrier until it came to her kids or grandkids or great grandkids, so she just needed confirmation that they would all be looked after.  She was never afraid of anything that I knew of especially dying. She and my grandfather had had several private discussions those last few weeks.  She helped prepare him for when she would be gone.

It’s only been four years.  ONLY. What a small word with such emptiness at times.  Four years seems forever ago but at the same time seems like yesterday.  Since her passing, it seems like death has come in waves and grief has hovered over our family.  We lost her sister last May, my uncle last July, my aunt’s husband last September. Which added to multiple deaths for her husband’s family and not to mention that she had been the care giver of many of these family members of his.

Two years ago, my grandfather was visiting my brother when he became very ill and was hospitalized for almost 4 weeks.  He had to have a pretty intense surgery and he had a really hard time recovering from it.  We really thought for a brief period of time that we were losing him.  But with much prayer and persistence, he got better.

It seems like it has been one thing after another.

So that brings me back to why I chose to seek simplicity in 2013.  I knew that I needed to relieve as much stress as possible in my life and I truly felt that it needed to start in my home.  I felt smothered by clutter.  Stuff that we didn’t need. Stuff that didn’t serve a purpose and stuff that just truly didn’t add value to our lives.  I say, our, because I sat down with Don and explained to him the reason I wanted to take this journey of seeking simplicity.  It was mostly for physical health reasons, but soon became about mental, emotional, and spiritual health reasons.   See, I had become a very bitter person.  I had allowed grief to reside deep down and all I felt was gloom and heaviness.  I wanted to be happy again.  I wanted to know and live joy-full.  I just wanted to feel better in every aspect of life.  Plus, knowing that I had all these people to look after and care for I knew I wouldn’t have time to keep a cluttered house clean.  At first I think Don was hesitant and thought I was crazy for getting rid of so much stuff but he adapted quicker than I expected him too and now loves the simplicity of our home.

Decluttering may have become a coping mechanism but our home has never felt more open and free!!  I have continued this practice of decluttering/simplifying for the past four years and not just in our home but in all aspects of our lives.

I have spent the better part of the past year trying to help my grandfather declutter his home, that not only inhabits his belongings but my grandmother’s, my mother’s and my uncle’s.  That’s a lot of stuff!!! It’s been daunting and very overwhelming on several levels. But this summer we’ve made some major progress in the process.  And I think I have my grandfather on my “Simplified Team”!!  Because yesterday, he allowed me to help him declutter his bedroom, where it looked as if he was becoming a hoarder.  Keeping and stashing things and he had no idea why. So after some questions and just getting down to the bones of it all, we filled two 30 gallon size garbage bags for trash and filled two big boxes for his yard sale or donation if the yard sale doesn’t work out.  For me it’s a relief.  He may feel the same eventually.  He did say that it looked much better.

So I’ve shared all of that history to say this:  I started this simplicity journey for mostly health reasons but it has become about so much more.  And I strongly believe that stuff/clutter smothers and simplicity breathes!!!

So, if you’ve ever just wanted to breathe a little easier…..Simplify, Simplify!!!

Maybe just start with a drawer, a closet, a cabinet. One thing at a time. One day at a time. You will be amazed of how letting go will free your soul to breathe like you’ve never breathed before!! Live practical. Live simply. Live with purpose. Live the good life. Live free!!

Live simply and simply live.

 

 

Write. Just Write.

“You’re going to feel like hell if you wake up someday and you never wrote the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart: your stories, memories, visions and songs–your truth, your version of things–in your own voice. That’s really all you have to offer us, and that’s also why you were born.” –Anne Lamott

 

Well if that’s not the most timely message I’ve received in a while, I don’t know what would be.  Just last night, I sat down at my desk, opened my laptop, that’s just been collecting dust and I just stared at it.  Mostly with sadness, that my husband bought it for me to write with on my last birthday and I’ve barely used it.  He listened to me whine and cry about wanting to write and that if I just had a laptop, it would make writing easier. So he purchased the one I asked for, just a simple laptop, that I could use WordPress with and that I didn’t have to have some kind of degree to navigate.  He’s always encouraging me and telling me that I’m a good writer but for some reason, I just can’t seem to believe that in my soul because I just can’t seem to find my confidence in my own writing.  And I know that he wouldn’t just be telling me that I’m good if I really wasn’t because he knows that I want to make my writing public in hopes to encourage others along life’s journey and he wouldn’t let me put something out there that sounded just ridiculous.   After all he majored in English and he’s an avid reader of all literature.  So I know he shares my love of the written word in any shape, form or fashion.

So here I am back again, ready to give it another try.  If you’ve read any of my other writings you will remember that even when I’m not publishing it for the public eye, I’m still writing.  I have so many journals that I write in, putting down my thoughts and ramblings.  Maybe it’s time to share some of those again.  It helps to read those direct words from other distinguished writers such Anne Lamott, about writing.  This quote has spoken such truth to my heart.  I do wake up everyday and think, “Why aren’t you writing? It’s what your heart wants to do.  Your soul needs it.  Just write, already.”  And it does make me feel like hell, when I realize the time that I’ve let pass by that I haven’t written a single word.

This is supposed to be called a blog.  According to Webster, a blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.   Ummm…..I fail at that regularity thing.  I suck at consistency!!  So maybe, I’ll just say, I’m going to write whenever I feel like it and stop putting so much pressure on myself.  After all, who am I trying to impress anyway.  I don’t even want to call this a “blog” anymore.  It’s just simply my writing space.  Maybe some will read it, maybe they won’t but I’m simply just going to write.  But I do welcome any and all readers (typed that with some fear).  Come sit with me, grab a cup of coffee, tea, wine or kombucha (my new fave thing) and let’s just ponder on some things in life shall we?

Again, if you’ve read any of my other writings, you will remember, that I love writing. It’s been with me at my core since a very young age.  It’s something I crave deep down in my soul.  It’s really good therapy.  It’s my heart’s desire to write about life stuff.  I’m not an eloquent writer, I basically write like I think or as I would if I were sitting across a table talking to you.  Sometimes I use proper grammar, sometimes I don’t.   And I might not make any sense the majority of the time but in this space I’m free to be me.  And this is me being brave and free!!!   Starting over.  AGAIN!!!

(How many do overs does one get anyway??)

If you are still with me, thank you!!!  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for your encouragement.  Thank you for just letting me be me in the most simplest form.

Come back soon, I’ve got tons of notes saved ready to be typed out here!!

Much love to you all from the bottom of my simple heart! 🙂

Live Simply and Simply Live!!