Gone with the wind

The strain on the Jeep ‘s air conditioner was a fully loaded locomotive traveling uphill. 98 degrees but with the humidity, it was feeling 108. The Florida sun blistered the asphalt without a cloud in the sky.

The traffic was alive with vehicles of every description moving at an urgent pace. My daughter and I were among the herd, trying desperately to get to our destination.

It is a rare event that the two of us get away alone. We do not have a lot of time, but we are taking what we can grab. My relationship with each of my children is important to me, but with the nest so full it becomes a strain to get one on one time. Just ask my hubby about that.

My daughter, Elyssa and I share our thoughts and our concerns and sip our ice cold drinks as we buzz along the highway. The traffic was our only care in the world at that moment. Once she emptied her bottle she reached to the spot where I keep a plastic bag for trash. Her hand found nothing. “O, there is no bag?” she questioned.
“Whoever cleared out the old one, did not put in a fresh one I see,” I replied with a scrunched up face. “Nothing new under the sun.” I shrugged.
“Oh Lord, we sure do need a bag,” Elyssa said. We chuckled together about needing divine intervention to solve this as we were moving at 70 mph and had no other source.

Once we arrived in the beautiful, designated spot here on the Emerald Coast, I had my meeting. Then we had lunch and headed to the beach for a few fun pictures and selfies. On the way back home, the traffic was worse than before. It moved like a caterpillar climbing a tree. This did wonder for my anxiety, and not in a positive way. After a u-turn and some backtracking, we decided to kill a bit of time in a store and wait out the traffic beast.

Once we had tired from our meanderings, we headed back to our vehicle and proceeded on our way. Suddenly in front of our jeep in mid-air was a plastic grocery bag taking flight across the parking lot. “The answer to your prayer from this morning, Lyss, grab it!” I taunted her.

A crosswind lifted the bag away and we both responded, “Ahhh.”

“See,” I touched her arm jokingly, “God answered your prayer, and you didn’t reach out and take it.”

She smiled and replied, “That’ll preach!” We both laughed together.

I knew that moment would become a blog post because it made me really start to think. How many times have I prayed for something and missed it when the answer came.
I missed it because I was too busy, or too sick, or too hard headed. Maybe my eyes were closed when I should have been looking. Maybe it came in a way that I did not expect.  Maybe, just maybe, it flew by me because it was what I asked for, but not what I needed.

It makes me ponder. God is all knowing(Omniscient), He is all-powerful (Omnipotent), and is everywhere at all times(Omnipresent). I, however, know very little, even with an education, and am constantly reminded that I have very little power, and can only be present in one place at a time, despite what the scale tries to imply. So why do I prefer to handle my issues myself? What stinking abilities do I have? Why would a person be so impressed with themselves that they do not need God?

In Psalms 8:4 the Holy Scriptures ask the question what is man, that thou art mindful of Him? And the son of man, that Thou dost visit him? Isaiah chapter 40:29 says, He gives power to the faint; to them that have no might he increases strength.

When times are hard and when they are better, I like the idea of being under the care of a loving, powerful God. You may or may not agree with me and that is your choice. I just believe if a God who will send an empty grocery bag flying through the air simply because His child said that they needed one, he is a loving, understanding God who has a sense of humor. He must have, He puts up with me and mine on a regular basis.

 

More family funnies here: Nature pants

Walking the Bird

When life gives you lemons make lemonade. I have heard that all my life. However, I believe, when you feel loaded down and stressed head to your local thrift store. I can not explain what finding a pearl among the oysters does for my moral.  I look for all types of items and for craft ideas it helps to think out of the box.  Or even what can you do with this box.

Well, today was a thrift stop day and my oldest daughter  I made it in just before a heavy downpour. It lasted quite a while which gave us plenty of reason not to rush through. I can guarantee you if you hurry you will overlook something.

My hubby always asks me why I buy things to donate them again later.  I told him I was just doing my part to stimulate the economy. Of course, he really doesn’t understand it but allows me to go on with my thrifty therapy.

So we ladies are shopping and find ourselves near the bins of stuffed animals. They were so full! Digging and digging to see who must go home with us, we finally picked up 4 mini animals. Each of them was chosen specifically.

We begin to push our cart away from the toy area when my daughter says, “What’s that?” She walked over to a shelf against the wall. Once she retrieved it, I could see fishing line connected to this fuzzy thing. Then I realized it was a marionette of sorts. It was this flamingo looking multi-colored bird.  He had seen better days and looked a bit haggard. Yet once my daughter got the idea of how to maneuver it, this guy came to life! His long fuzzy legs and feet stepped along as she walked. He would turn and look at people, and shake his head yes or no.  We were so busy having fun with it that we barely noticed people starting to stare.  She walked him to the front of the store getting looks and letting him strut.

“Oh my God!” One woman yelled, “I thought it was a real bird!” Then she proceeded to call over the rest of her family to see it.

That said discarded bird. No longer loved.  It became a tool to bring joy and laughter to others.  He is our bird now. And we will give him some much-needed love and pray we can bring joy to someone again.

Doing for others is a great way to help yourself too. Stop and look around you at the cranky, aggravated, mad, and just plain sour people that you will see.  So go ahead,  do something nice for someone else, and see how good it makes you feel!

 

We have more fun stories.  You can begin by clicking here: Marco Polo

STOP

You have seen them.  They are everywhere. Those 8 sided soldiers standing with their cardinal red glow.  The white letters attempting to jump in your face: S-T-O-P.  Yes, stop signs are everywhere.  Yet they seem to have become, at least here in our fair city, something different than stop.  Webster’s defines one as a sign telling drivers to stop and wait until they can continue safely.  Hmm? Really?  I was beginning to think it was an acronym for Slow To Own Preference.

My point was made the other afternoon as we were sitting outside a restaurant at lunchtime in plain view of a stop sign. Traffic is routed here in a pretty smart fashion. Drive through customers to the right side of the building and people going inside exit the parking lot on the left side.  Both sides joined at the point of entry with a stop sign coming from the drive-through and nothing on the parking lot side. The idea is simple.  Leave the drive-through and stop at the sign, so cars from the parking area can move first.

I stopped counting after about the fifth car just blew the stop sign.  Like it was not even there. Completely oblivious.  Several near mishaps were spotted that they.  Well, I personally think they need to tie a bunch of balloons to it or put a guy in a character suit there to wave.  Of course, they would probably wave back at the person sweating in this suit for their own safety and keep on driving.  An “on purpose” accident will happen and then people will become astonished that there was even a sign there at all.

Stop signs appear on the road to help things move along in a smooth and orderly fashion.  Stop signs also appear in our lives in the same way.  And exactly like the drivers at the restaurant we just keep on cruising.

Why would the creator of the universe in all His wisdom place a stop sign in His child’s situation?  Maybe it is because I need to stop. Sometimes waiting for an answer is really hard to do.  Stopping is a great deal tougher to do than just pushing forward.  There are times when plowing on through life’s hardships are exactly what we should do.  Perseverance is important, but a ceasing can be a key.  Stop talking. Stop meddling. Stop worrying. Stop complaining. Stop trying to do it all on our own.

Psalms 121:7 tells me, The Lord will protect you from every danger.  He will protect your soul. So He is protecting me.  His stop sign is necessary.  Misfortune might happen if I do not follow the signs.  He will give me the green once it is safe to move forward.  He knows the way better than you or I.  We should “go” when we can but, be contentious to stop.

 

Hope you enjoyed that article.  If so click the link to try another: Walking the bird

The Closet

In our home, we have a master bedroom in the opposite end of the house from everyone else. It is quite a nice room with its own bathroom and a huge walk-in closet.  Somehow though my beautiful closet on a regular basis becomes over full and regurgitates into our room. Now let me be the first to make it clear, I know that this situation is brought on by me and my lack of ability to throw out.  All of my beautiful organization gets overwhelmed and I become in need of new cleaning and organization tips!

Oddly enough, I discovered when my kids were younger and in school that keeping things on hand was a pretty smart thing to do. I cannot remember how many times someone announced they had a project due tomorrow, and it was not even started, and mom saved the day with craft items on hand.  But now the kids are older and I still have the tendency to keep things just in case. (My patient loving husband gets about ¼ of the closet if that.)

You can only organize so far. Remember you only have a certain amount of space and the organized items must fit within that space. Neatly and easily to find.

So ever so often I get in a mood to purge. It is when this happens the family all get a little nervous. “If it doesn’t serve a purpose, It’s leaving!”I announced a few weeks ago.

“O my word, I better hide!” my dad chided.

Now when I clean this way it requires that I have assistance. I have several issues in my body and lifting and bending are quite painful. So when I make these announcements I usually am met with the moans and groans and, and a few, ” Oh moms.”

When we begin, a donation box and a garbage bag join us every step of the way. We will be really making progress.  The shelves will start to clear out and you discover there was a floor in there! It takes time, it takes work. It takes being able to let it go.

How many of you are singing that song right now? If you have no idea what I  mean, just ignore that question, and read on. If you do, we will wait for you to finish.

 

The closet needs to be purged for more reasons than it is over full. 1)There is no way of finding things in that confusion. 2) That one item that you knew you had is waiting for you. 3) I love the feeling of a clean, organized space.  All good reasons to get busy.

 

I need to clean up the closet of my life sometimes too. To purge things that are just taking up the room. To get rid of things that are old, worn out and just plain dragging me down.  The book of Hebrews chapter 2 speaks of laying aside every weight. Not just laying down my sin, but also things that are like concrete around my neck. I must make space for the new things that God wants to put in my heart. To be ready to change for the better.  No matter how old I get, there is always a change that is needed. Look out everybody, it is time to purge!

 

 

Missing Chicken

My two daughters and son-in-law spent the late morning and early afternoon it town running errands.  We even stopped at the local thrift store to have a bit of fun.  (Oops, now my secret is out.  I just adore thrift stores and yard sales.)

Our restaurant of choice for lunch was our local and brand spanking new Chick-fil-a.  It has only been open for about a week and I have been salivating for some Godly chicken, so off we went.  The place was alive with business.  Hustle and bustle behind the counter, orders being taken, money being exchanged.  You get the picture.  Thankfully the humidity in our little Florida town was low and it was somewhat overcast because sitting inside the building was practically out of the question, so after placing our order, and exchanging that hard to come by currency, we took our food and headed to the outside tables.  Finally, my little box of chicken tenders sat before me.  I munched down on one of the holy grail of fries and then proceeded to open that tiny paper box of chicken heaven. Gazing down inside I could not help but smile. The browned, yet never hard coating enticed me that the succulent all white meat would cure my tummy of its rum-belies in the near future.   We offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to the Heavenly Father for blessing us with this bounty.  I had to pray aloud because I consumed a waffle fry before Grace was said.  (Family rule)

Once the Amen was said, I dove right in.  Hey, wait for a second!  I am supposed to have three tenders here!  I had two and a fourth.  I was sad.  My perfect lunch hopes were doused in that millisecond. I was shortchanged.  I had missing chicken.

Now there were three ways to handle this: 1) Do nothing and eat what I had. (This was not my choice.) 2) Take that little box up there and sternly ask them what their deal was and why they could not do their job right. (A choice that I considered momentarily.) 3)  Take the chicken back and explain my weird, yet slightly frustrating, issue and ask for a correction.  So, I opted for the last while both my daughters yelled something to the effect, “Please be nice.”

I arrived at the counter and was greeted with a smile. Quick as a whistle, I had two new freshly cooked strips given to me for my trouble. When I said then you, the response was a genuine, “My pleasure.”   (I know they are supposed to say that but it is awesome when it is sincere.)  Chicken fiasco adverted.

Tenders

So, I was thinking about my missing chicken and my choices of ways to solve my issue. Mind you with severe anxiety as I have it becomes really easy to give in to my emotions and just lose it, never the less, I work really hard on thinking before acting.  I wonder sometimes if God just shakes His head at our choices of action.  We complain, we yell at Him, we sometimes try and tell Him how he is doing His job all wrong.  My granny used to say “Spittin, sputtering and complaining won’t get you very far with God.”  Truth!   We should bring to God our cares and our worries and just show Him our issue. He will then answer, “My pleasure,” and give you exactly what you need.

You should be sure to read Chick-fil-A Sauce.    You will be glad you did!

The Photo above does not belong to me and is only being used for the purpose of illustration.  No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

GPS

 

A few years ago my husband and I were blessed with our first official smartphones.  Each was loaded with all the things that you could need and access to the things you wanted.  I was so thrilled to have maps that could help me find my way! What a great invention! No more hunting and highlighting on an atlas, I’d hit the big time baby!  Now the family planned a vacation to Orlando, FL  and my husband and I agreed that our new GPS would come in handy on our trip.

All went well and everyone was having a tremendous time. The group of people that we were with had created a convoy to our destination, so all was well. Our family decided to leave the park early and return to the house where we were staying.  I typed in the address and hit start route. Now, mind you these phones were so new to us that we did not even know about the verbal navigation, so it is my job to navigate Captain Hubby.

We drive. Then we drive some more. Then we drive some more.  Hubby says,”We must have gone  too far.”  My teenager chimes in, ” Mom let me see the phone.”

“I think I know how to read a map thank you.” I sternly retort to them both.  Only maybe I don’t cause something is definitely wrong here. We go a few miles more.  Finally, I relent and my teen announces that we are traveling in the opposite direction than the GPS is telling us. “We can’t be,” I defended my actions, I’ve been following the little thingy on the screen entire time.”  ( Note to self: have eyes checked.)

Needless to say, I was not allowed to navigate anymore,  but they had to admit they saw plenty they had never seen before.

It is a lot easier to get someplace when you know where your going or at least how the guidance system works.  Well, I believe that because people don’t have a built-in map, God put in place a system for us to follow.  First, His Word is our roadmap showing us the right and wrong ways. Next, God sent His Holy Spirit to be our guide and lastly the body of believers who encourage one another in the faith.

Course, just like we were with the phones, if you are not familiar with it, you will miss something. So, get out your map (Bible) and prepare for your new journey with God. The best is yet to come.

 

We hope you enjoyed that quick story.  For another one, click the link: The Bully

Have a beautiful Day!

My Triggers: NOW

Just like anyone who lives with chronic issues, I am aware of my symptoms.  I have depression/anxiety with panic attacks.  The triggers or things that cause symptoms to worsen can usually be easy to identify, and then easy to avoid. Sounds simple enough. If a particular person or a particular action creates more anxiety for me then I will just avoid them, right? Yeah, not so much. Besides overtime triggers can seem to change, reactions, as well as the response, can also begin to vary.

My symptoms began to terrify me in new and different ways this past weekend. I have suffered from anxiety with panic attacks for many years and I may not stop them but I have learned to slow them down. Well at least until my symptoms presented themselves uncommonly. Instead of heart palpitations, there was a weakness. Instead of hyperventilating, I simply had to force my air back and forth. Nevertheless, I was caught off guard by these new time thieves. Several hours later I still do not know what triggered that debilitating episode.  For more stories on symptoms and day to day life: Tidal Wave

So I make an appointment with my psychiatrist who after a lengthy discussion feels the medical Dr needs to evaluate me. Once I see the regular physician, she wants me to see a specialist. Now, while I am being passed from doctor to doctor I am receiving some treatment.  However, since I am being sent on is it the right treatment?  Or is this some sort of medical sport they play with us?  All I truly understand is that when you need help you generally do not want that to wait. Period.  Yes, I know I am not the only ill person in the world and that the doctor has other patients to see, but my symptoms are screaming at me which in turn make me want to scream at them.

 

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Medication

 

     So I will take my medication like a good girl and I will wait for my referral. And I will pray a prayer of thanks that God doesn’t require a referral.  He will see me now.  He will listen now. He understands now and is working on my behalf now.

Continue reading “My Triggers: NOW”

I will not turn 50, I will stay 49 Forever

I have decided to be 49 forever. I have a birthday this winter but have resigned to not move forward. Sure all my friends and family expect the big 5-0, but that is just too bad. It is not happening.  I’m too young to be 50, and not old enough to get the perks of a senior citizen.  Too old for the younger crowd and too young for the older group. A space of time in the universe when you just don’t fit.

My son tells me I am old, but he is a teenager and that is an expected position. Both of my grown daughters tell me that I am beautiful and do not look my age. Really? They can’t seem where time has marched across my face leaving crows feet and lines in their wake. I see them. The roadmap that shows that I have devoted many hours being mother, wife, caretaker, chief cook, and bottle washer.

O, I am not complaining.  I have had a blessed life.  Yet, here I stand on the cusp of “middle age” and I wonder if I have just been a passenger in the vehicle of life or if I have truly lived to the fullest?

My house is full of family members for one reason or the other. I seldom have a moment to myself, let alone a moment with my husband. I feel stress and worry that drag me down.  I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety with panic attacks many years ago. They do not necessarily do they come or stay in this order. If you have been there, you will understand. If not, you do not yet. My goal is to show what this regularly all consuming diagnosis feels like and how best I cope day to day.  Hobbies/crafts help with my diagnosis and I will share mine and ideas you might want to try. There is a biblical reference to each story I share. That will hopefully encourage you in your own walk. Laughter relieves stress so there will be a bit of that too. I am of the opinion, you can not survive without that!

So, while I  empty the nest, there is much to occupy my time. Join me on my journey and maybe together we can make a better world for those who fight every day.  Let us begin the journey here: Caught in the Rain