When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned

IMG_5290Here I am finally back at my computer!  I have missed you all and my writing.  But my house has been in a constant state of change now for almost ten months and I am certainly ready for it to settle down.  But that isn’t going to happen for a while.  So… what do you do when life doesn’t go as you planned?  Let’s chat about that for a few minutes.

  • I have lost some great people in my life this last year and many of them unexpected.
  • I have had a move, and that wasn’t something we had been planning either.
  • Circumstances changed and here I am.
  • I have packed a house and unloaded into the new house and found many “oops” that weren’t planned and had to be fixed.
  • I have bought a vehicle, that soon after, required work.
  • I have unexpected expenses again and again in our selling and purchasing of homes.
  • I have just completed putting most of our possessions away, and now I have to “undo” a lot of it to ready the house for window installations at the end of the month.

It never seems to go as we think it will go, even with all the planning in the world.  But I am getting a chance to practice how I deal with it.  Here is a most recent example.  We are making changes in our home and some have been completed.  But as we plan, we find that one area leads to another, that leads to another.  We have our son here doing the work, and so we have to work around when he can be here.

IMG_5295So enter stage left…flooring.  What we wanted will take at least two weeks to get in, and he can’t come back for that, so we have to change our thinking.  We found some flooring at a great price, less than $1.00 a sq ft!  So that was a big savings!  Not the flooring I really wanted, but it was WAY less and it was available for purchase.  Also, my son can install it while he is here.  Next, we look for flooring in our kitchen and dining room.  I wanted wood floors but wasn’t sure how practical it would be for us.  With that in mind, I was going to get vinyl that looked like wood plank.  Well, that can’t happen either because of the special order details. *Sigh*It takes at least two weeks to get it.  So…I have to change to something that I didn’t plan on getting.  However, they have the amount we need, so we changed mid-stream, and are getting what is available and will match the flooring we got on sale pretty close.  Are you getting the picture?  We can plan for what we want, but it doesn’t always work out that way.  For us, money is a factor, and having someone who can do the work is another BIG factor.  We have decided we have to be flexible and change mid-stream if we want to accomplish our home renovations, and have someone to do the installation.  As it turns out, this is a nice alternative that is a wood product.

I can’t always have what I want, no matter how much I would want it.  In this case, I choose to look at it as an opportunity to change it up, and make it look nicer than it was, and have most of the look I want.  I could be picky and say I’m not doing that.  I could spend more money than what is wise just to get my way.  But, then other areas would not get completed.

I think this is a perfect example of life.  We expect our lives to go a certain way. IMG_5283

  • Have this kind of house.
  • Have this kind of furniture.
  • Have this type of job.
  • Drive this kind of car.
  • Always have our family and friends around us.
  • Our kids will follow the Lord.
  • We will never say some of the things that our parents said.
  • Travel to many places.
  • Have lots of fun.
  • Expect that we will get up tomorrow and our friends and family will be there.
  • Expect that if we work, we should be able to have what we want, in most cases.

However, that is not always the case.  So when I feel like I am compromising once again, I realize I am acting out of selfishness.  God has been gracious to me and provided so many blessings!   So, I give myself a spiritual spanking and I decide once again to change how I look at it.  I decide to take the changes willingly.  God knows the future and He knows what is best.  I will choose to trust Him in ALL things.  If I do, I believe God will put His stamp of approval on my efforts to spread our finances around to get the most done.  I want it to be comfortable and cozy.  After all, my home is His home.  He knows how it should look.🙂

IMG_2233It is the really same in other areas of my life too.  I don’t wait to tell people what they mean to me.  There may be changes in my tomorrow which make that impossible.  Do you have situations in your life where it hasn’t gone as planned and you have to adjust your approach and come back in for a better landing?  Practice makes perfect is a saying we are all familiar with.  I don’t agree.  There isn’t a “perfect”.  But, the willingness to keep practicing makes something closer to it, a lot easier to achieve.  I know it isn’t easy, believe me.  Everyday brings another opportunity for me to practice it.  But overall, I am willing to pull up my landing gear and go for another approach.  He allows U-Turns.  He does.  I love that about Him!  He knows the end from the beginning.  Phew!!!  Aren’t you glad?

Walking the journey with you…

 

Update:  Yep!  That great flooring for only $.90 a sq ft just became $2.00.  What we were told when we bought it, turns out not to be true.  It would be nice if the people working with the product, KNEW their product.  So up came the vapor barrier, and down with the glue.  Hence, in increase in price per sq ft.  Advice:  Good deals aren’t always good deals, and our plans don’t usually go like we think they should.  Breathe…

Speaking By Heart

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My friend Shizu is on the far left, and next to her is two granddaughters, and then her daughter-in-law, and then her other granddaughter. The two granddaughters on either side of the daughter-in-law are twins. The granddaughter standing next to Shizu, is the youngest.

It has been a couple of days since I received the message via MeWe, that my very sweet friend passed away.  It was a big blow to my heart.  She had been fighting something like leukemia in months passed, and I had put out a prayer request for her.  She improved, went to rehab to gain strength, and then home.  That was the last communication I had IMG_4936for a while.  I moved and schedules were crazy for us.  But, I hadn’t heard anything negative about her health and so I just kept praying for her healing.  So when I received this message from her son, I was shocked to get this news.  It once again reminds me that I should never put off those “feelings” like I should make a phone call, send a message more often, or write an email.  I had sent messages, but they didn’t receive them because with everything going on, they weren’t staying in touch.  She passed away May 31st, and her son just sent me the message last week.

So, I know for me the process of healing begins with putting my thoughts on paper, so to speak.  I am in hopes that some of what I share will touch your hearts as well, and encourage you in friendship and act of staying connected.

Our relationship started with a sister school program that her home town high school started with the high school I was working at during this time.  I was coordinating home stays for a local program, and I was very excited about students having an opportunity to learn directly by interaction with Japanese students, and also by visiting Japan and learning about the culture for themselves.  So when the school was looking for a sister school, I approached our principal about getting involved.  He was in agreement of the idea and a relationship began.  When we took our first group of student to their school, I was the coordinator for the program and led the home stay in Japan.  My friend Shizu, was my host family. And so…begins a deep abiding relationship between Shizu and I.  I believe the first year we took students to Japan was in 1993.  We had accepted their students a few times prior to this trip.

However, Shizu spoke no English.  Although as is common, they can usually make themselves understood, but they don’t like using the English because they might say it wrong.  I relate.  I didn’t speak much Japanese, although, I had been studying on my own for about a year.  I spent many special meetings teaching the students basic Japanese language and culture.   I could speak basic polite statements and daily living conversation.  But to have a conversation, talk with our hearts, I was concerned and wished so much I knew more of the language.  But this taught me the most valuable experience of my life…we can communicate with our hearts whether we know the language or not.  Shizu and I communicated late into the night each night.  Do you know how we did it?  A dictionary!  She had hers, I had mine.  I about wore one brand new dictionary out the first time I was there, and later, while I stayed at her house various times, it got more of a workout.  We laughed, told jokes, learned about each others’ lives.  We became best friends.

The first stay was so awesome!  I cried all the way to America I think when we left.  I was asked at that time, to stay and teach English.  I would have loved to have done that, but this was not the time to do that with small children.  One of the students who went on the homestay felt the same about her experience on the trip.  I was to be the adult and comfort her.  We comforted each other through our tears of sadness that day on the plane as we left our friends behind.  We didn’t know if we would see each other again.

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Saw this lily and it made me think of her.

I was a part of her family.  I spent a lot of fun times with her son.  He actually came to the states and I arranged for a great time for him while he was here.  I got to meet her mother, her brother and son, and they had as many questions as she did.  I met her best friends.  But there again, the dictionary could speak what I was unable to speak.  We understood each other.  I stayed at her home several times.  My middle son came with me one year, and my youngest a few years later.  I took my brother one year also and he stayed with one of my exchange students during the homestay time.

Here are some special memories I have with Shizu.

  • I loved a chocolate bread that her bakery in her town made.  Each time I came, she had already made the purchase so I could have it for breakfast.
  • l loved Japanese watermelon so it was always in the fridge when I came.
  • I love Okonomiyaki, which is like a pancake batter that you add cabbage, sometimes egg, and then shrimp was what we used, and a fish base to the batter, mixed and then put it on a griddle like you would a pancake.  In Japan, there are many different shops and they make them in various ways.  There was one particular shop that she liked and took me there, and it quickly became my favorite.  Every time I visited, we managed to get into that shop to eat.
  • She included us when we came at Christmas in the giving of money, which is a tradition for kids to receive at Christmas.
  • She knew things I liked, and we shopped for those things.  I had some clothes she purchased for me and I wore them all out, except one blouse.  I love their clothes because they are very feminine and styles we don’t see here in the U.S.
  • She was concerned for me, when a student was short on money while in Japan, and I helped the student, so she gave me a gift of money so I wouldn’t be short for the trip.  She wouldn’t have known except she was involved closely in the program and found it out.
  • She had a great voice and I loved listening to her sing at karaoke.  I loved going when I was there.
  • We would talk on the phone and be patient with me as we figured out what she was saying.
  • She wrote me letters in Japanese so I could practice my Japanese.
  • She shared her struggles in life with me.  I loved that since that isn’t really their culture to do that.
  • She would teach me to cook,  Didn’t even get upset with me, when for a dinner that included tempura shrimp, I thought she said don’t leave the tails on, and she really meant leave them on.  She did laugh that time as she put them on the plate for guests who were coming for dinner.  It was a great story over dinner that night for her too.
  • I brought her some Caffe DeVita the first year and we had a mocha together.  She asked for it each DSC_0259-1
    time I came.
  • She was such a lady, and very gracious.  Her hospitality was above and beyond.

She wanted to come to America, but was afraid.  At my suggestion,  she invited two other ladies to come with her.  I picked these excited ladies up from the airport.  I had the joy of my life sharing American life with her.  Taking them around see so many things they had only seen in pictures.  Trying different food.  Shopping and more shopping.  My dad was even the van driver for some of the excursions!  He had a good time and they certainly enjoyed him!  I loved paying back with the love and experiences now that it was I who had the ability to share with them.

One night, when I was in Japan on the first stay, she asked me what I felt to be a very deep question and she was nervous to ask.  Her question?  “If something happened in the world and there was another war, and they told us we couldn’t be in touch with each other, would you try to reach me anyway, or would you not have any contact?”  Wow!!!  There was so much behind that question.  There were two other ladies visiting that night, and they eagerly waited for my answer.  I think you know my answer.  I told her, “That I would do whatever I could to find her and continue to be in touch with her.  Her friendship meant that much to me.”

IMG_4953We made a new history during the time I was there.  We loved deeply, took risks, and our lives were better for it.  We both found that we could communicate with our hearts and understand each other.  We were so much the same.  A good lesson to learn and remember.

I know many of you have had the experience of loss in your life.  What did or do you do to work through the process of grief?  I find honoring them to be the best way for me to continue going through.  What is your experience?

There were tears in the shower that morning I got the news, and there have been tears since.  I believe there will be more tears as I work through this time.  I will keep that little light burning for now.  But one thing I know.  I will never forget, my kids will never forget, and she will be forever…my best friend.

Walking the journey with you…

Let’s Be Change Agents!

IMG_1571Have you ever had a lot to say about something, and yet you feel you don’t want to express it because you don’t want to deal with the fall out of what reactions you will get from sharing your thoughts?  Nope.  Me either.  Hahaha!!!  Yah, right!

So…here it goes!

I believe more and more that we will have times of being totally out of our element in the world today, and yet we will be called on to stand up for what is right.  It will most likely not be what the majority may think or believe is right or ok.  Will we be ready to make that stand?  Will we speak up or stand down?  Personally, I don’t usually get into debates.  In fact, I don’t like them.  You can argue that you can learn from everything.  But the bottom line is, you won’t change my mind, and I probably won’t change yours in the heat of the moment.  I’m not sure there is any benefit in letting it all hang out about what we think.  In fact, they will scroll past the post or unfriend.  But it would be better to live out our lives in ways others can see your life and beliefs, and then, want that for themselves in their lives.

IMG_5456We have gotten to the point where having social media gives us the RIGHT to express ourselves.  Freedom of speech and all that.  But sometimes, I am not sure if we are trying to impress someone, or if our motives for sharing are in line with how God would want us to respond.  For example, you accept a position that may be in the public eye, but then what you might post on social media doesn’t really line up.  That hurts the kingdom of God, as well as reaching people, more than it helps.

I find myself wishing that social media would take a more positive approach to their postings.  Let’s encourage each other instead.  There is enough going on in our world to cause concern.  We certainly don’t need to accentuate it!  There is one more area that has come to light more and more over the last couple years…God is not some genie in a bottle that we rub, and puff… we get what we want.  I am so disturbed by the things going around that say, “If you believe in prayer, then send this in two seconds to 10 people and see what God will do.”  Or, “If you believe God wants you to have more money, than don’t miss out!  Send this to any one that you know who needs better finances in their life, and see God bless you financially in the next 36 hours.”  How about we stop those in their tracks right now.  Just don’t share them.

This is very disturbing to me.  Yes, God wants to  bless us.  Yes, He answers prayers.  But those are facts.  We shouldn’t have to manipulate people to show that facet of God.  We need to stop putting it out there in ways that make us act like we just went to the beach and found God in a bottle.  He is the Almighty.  He can do anything.  He justThe Locked Door asks you believe it!  I’m very surprised to see how much of this goes on.  I think God would rather you just prayed about the situation.  You want more money?  Ask Him to show you how you can save more, or tighten the budget belt.  You want answered prayers?  Spend time talking with Him about your needs, and thanking Him for what He has done in your life.  He loves to see you acting in faith, not manipulating His character.  And by the way, whether you know it or not, those very types of posts ARE in fact profiling you.  That is what they are designed for.  Same with your quizzes you take.  Not only that, they are the prime reasons you get hacked online.  Be wise and discerning.

The same applies to christians and the way they act online about things they like and don’t like.  Wow!  It’s scary to see so many acting in such a way that it’s hard to tell a believer from a non-believer.  We talk about christian values, all the while taking swipes in a public forum about others.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have just as many opinions as anyone else may have, but I try to be careful what I say so that I don’t cause someone else to wonder what I believe.  But I don’t get involved in the drama and get those around me stirred up, except I hope, to live their personal life for Jesus.  I believe there is a difference between standing our ground, and flinging dirt toward another person’s ground.  So many use the social media aspects as a platform for their beliefs.  It is kind of like the saying we all probably remember hearing, “Don’t do what I do, do what I say.”  I don’t think I will be changed by negative circumstances and  negative statements.  But I might be changed by loving encouragements, actions, comments and pictures.

DSC_0259-1Let us not make the mistake of putting ourselves in a position where we so judge another that we miss the difference between standing strong, and voicing anything that comes in to our heads just because we can.  Do you want to stand strong?  Get in your prayer closets and start praying for what you don’t like, or want to see changed.  THAT is where the change can happen.  THAT is where you will shine for God, more than any other action.  HE will make the changes that need to happen.  I once worked in place that I loved, but there were many things that I wished were different.  I started praying about those areas everyday for the almost two years I worked there and asking Him to change what He felt needed to be changed.  I didn’t see any of the changes while I was there.  But you know what?  After I left, almost all of the areas I had prayed about, slowly began to happen.  Later on after moving, I checked my prayer list and ALL of them came to pass.  It wasn’t for me I prayed.  I prayed for future employees.  As it turned out, it was in His timing.  Don’t give up the prayer closet!  Get in there and let your requests be known to God.  Plaster the walls with your requests!!  THAT my friend, is just what God loves to see!  Let’s humble ourselves before Him in prayer.

IMG_3726Today, it is my hope that this post may cause you to re-evaluate what you put out there.  I also hope you will share the post with your friends.  I know this is a bit strong.  However, maybe we can be the change agents for God to begin to turn this around.  Would you join me?  Put some great things out there!  Encourage and lift each other up!  In place of who is bashing who, put who is doing something great for someone.  Look for where good changes are happening.  Do you know that your words are powerful???  If you are always putting things into words that are negative, you are sewing a breeding ground for negativity in your life.  Stop it.  You are sewing the wrong seeds!  So…challenge on!  Let’s flood our social media pages with something that will warm our hearts… and… remember to lift our eyes heaven ward.  THERE, is our hope!

Walking the journey with you…

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Soul Happy

IMG_4046Welcome!  Here I am today sitting at my new desk, in my new office, in our new house.  I now have internet service finally, and I have been thinking about you.  It has been a while since I have shared with you, and it is a joy to have a place to settle into.  A place to be.

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Original heart message from my parents home.

There are many things we take for granted every day and when we don’t have them, something gets a bit lost in that process.  I am happy to say, I have found my “place” again.  As I sit here with a few things around me on my desk that have been waiting for months to appear there, I am very thankful for each item.  It fills my heart with joy to see them.  Is everything in its place?  Absolutely not!  In fact, it is just an ongoing joke.  I get a place all cleaned up, and a few minutes later, it is filled again, as a another box comes in and I have to put that away.  But I’m very happy to do that.  Each item that I unwrap has a memory.  I think of the person when I unwrap them, what they have meant in my life, what the item was used for, and I find joy in bringing them out once again to their rightful place; to tell their story.

As a few friends know, my office this time is to become a creation that looks like a norwegian cabin that you might be found in the
mountains.  I, of course, have to work within my means to do that, but I’m very excited for how it is coming along.  It represents my heritage, as well as, a life in simpler times.  I love that.  I have been collecting a few things here and there for the “cabin”, or in Norwegian, it is called Norges Hytta (nor-gay seat-ta). That is what I will be calling the cabin.  I will relax in that space, write in that space, create in that space, and enjoy surrounding myself with my love for everything that has to do with my heritage and family.  I will reveal it in the weeks to come!  I don’t have the mountains to look at through my window, but I sure have a beautiful green wooded area to enjoy!

Why is having an inviting atmosphere important to us?  Because we need that soft place to fall.  We need the quiet and serene around us.  It helps us to keep our lives in balance.  The other day on Patsy Clairmont’s page, she asked this question, “Why do you think God has to lead us to still waters?”  That made me think…it’s so true.  We don’t always seem to go there on our own.  Here is my comment:

IMG_4303“Our tendency is to allow ourselves to be kept busy by the evil one who doesn’t want us by the still waters so that we can hear the voice of God.  We don’t willingly go there in our own power; we allow other things to take over.  So God has to allow purposeful circumstances in our lives to get us there.  We have to allow the leading of the Holy Spirit to be led.”

So there you have it.  I am giving myself and my hubby the environment by which we can enjoy our surroundings, relax, and be drawn to the still waters of peace.  It is rather like when you go to the beach or a lake, and you can feel yourself relax when you see it in sight.  You breathe deep of the serenity of that scene.  You probably have a hard time leaving it.  I desire that feeling in my life, and my home is a reflection of that kind of soul happiness.

I hope you find that for your life, home and surroundings.  If not, I would encourage you to make some changes that allow you to be drawn to those “still waters of peace”.  That’s a song, you know.  Can’t you sing it?

Walking the journey with you…

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Running the Race

ec03-2d33-6dd1-b282Do you remember reading in scripture about running the race?  Here it is:

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Our life can feel like a race sometimes!  We are running here, running there, taking kids here and there, maybe caring for aging grandparents or parents.  It could be our schedules and what we have chosen to get involved in.  We might find ourselves over extended.  It may be like my case, where there is a move involved in your life.  Whatever it is, I find great comfort in this verse!  Let me share some thoughts:

  1. We are surrounded by fellow believersIMG_4120
  2. We need to throw off anything that entangles us
  3. We need to persevere
  4. God has marked our race or our life
  5. Fix our eyes on Jesus because there is power there and our faith will be increased
  6. There is joy amongst the hardships
  7. He sits at the right hand of God
  8. He endured and took our sin
  9. He did it all so we would not get tired, weary, and lost heart

IMG_4151That can preach!!!  I feel the weariness in life at times.  Maybe you feel a bit of fear at the things going down in the world today.  It is very unnerving.  But, we know the end of the book!  Just as in this verse, we have to keep our eyes on the end game…we win!  We are given eternal life.  We will see our loved ones one day!

So this is a reminder to you and I on this day.  Our time is not God’s time.  Make your time count!  Stay strong.  Stand strong.  Press in and press on!  Who is cheering you on in your race?  Today is a good day to let them know how much they mean to you.  Our “witnesses” surround us!  What a comfort!

Walking the journey with you…

Transitions and Transformations

IMG_4075Is there a difference between these two words?  Can we have one without the other?  Transitions require some type of transformation, I think.  I have found that to be true over the last several months.  I have been sharing the journey of a particular storm in my life; selling our home, buying another home, and moving.  One decision has led to many more decisions to be made, and it has not been a very smooth transition.  I have had to ask God many times to transform my attitude to match the opportunities.  But, I am inclined to think that these words kind of equal each other; Transition = Transformation.  (By the way, SO glad to be back where I have internet service so I can post!!)

IMG_4082Last Friday, we signed papers and moved into our new house on Bel Aire.  That big 18 wheeler pulled up to our new house and the three of them went to work preparing to off load our belongings.  Terry unlocked the door and we walked through the door into our new house.  I found myself walking through once again, envisioning how I can make it our own.  As I look around, I see all the little worts that come with a home that has a history.  Some of our fun discoveries were:

  1. We decide to hook up our washer and dryer to wash some clothes only to find that it has the old type of plug receiver.  No clothes washing today.
  2. We found hot water on the cold water side in the bathroom sink.
  3. The door to the bathroom is kind of in the way of things and a pocket door would have been better.
  4. And plugs ins????  Where in the world are they?
  5. Oh yah…lighting in the living room?  Maybe we can use floor lamps for lighting IF we could find a place close enough to plug them in.
  6. How about the front door handle breaks when you go to open the door?

Hahaha!!!  Yep transitions can be discouraging.  But, as you change the things you can change, then the transformation of the house makes its appearance into the home you love being in.  And…did you see it?  Get a load of that key, will you?  I was quite excited to find that gem to make my house key.  Even has the red front door that I want to eventually have for our new home.  Always wanted a red front door.

We had a neighbor couple come over and introduce themselves while we were unloading the truck.  In fact, they invited us to a BBQ lunch!  So cool!!  What a wonderful surprise!  They live right next door, and I think I will really enjoy our new neighbors!  Other items on our list began with learning our new neighborhood, and how to get back and forth to our home. The Lime Squeeze was more than happy to take us around and introduce us to where things are in the city of Aberdeen.  A lot has changed in the area and it was fun to catch up.  So yes, we had and will have, a big transition as we settle into a different area.  We also welcomed our very first guest to our home.  That was fun to reconnect with her!  Along with the fun stuff comes the hard stuff.  However, it will transform me as an individual, and us as a couple, if we are willing to allow it in our lives. It may mean biting our tongue regarding what we think it has to be, to instead think about a new way that might be better.  If we are willing to walk through the transition with grace,  we can actually begin to see the transition transforming us!

IMG_4097That is my goal in our new home.  I want to welcome transition.  I want to welcome the transformation that God will make in my life if I’m willing to cooperate with His plan.  I want to be flexible to move in such a way that I will always be positioned to be used of God.  I also want to align myself in such a way that I am a light to those around me.  God has certainly given me many gifts with this house, not only to give me enjoyment, but to be a blessing to others.  Some of those gifts are:

  • Quiet
  • A deck to enjoy it all
  • Peaceful atmosphere
  • A cabin/farm/retro house on the hill
  • Close to the ocean
  • Close to the water and harbor in town
  • Dedicated office room for me
  • Space enough for books for hubby
  • Office space for hubby to study and for audio listening
  • More square footage
  • Very nice yard

I believe when we have the privilege of owning a home, we should make it something that reflects our thankfulness and our love of life.  I love having things in my home that remind me of my history, my family, my photography, and my friends.  Great way to pray too.  You see the item, you pray for the people, or their family.  I have a walking prayer journal in my house!  Enjoy some of the pictures I included!  I have Norwegian touches throughout my home.  That is my heritage.  It speaks to me.  I have red wood apple sitting on the shelf that was made in Honduras on my mission trip there.  There is a wooden shoe with the Norwegian flag on it.  A wooden spoon from Norway.  One of my favorite pictures that I took at a produce stand.  My son made the small table out of an old bench we had, the red and white stool reminds me of my grandma.  The toalett sign was a gift from my cousin in Norway.  I love the ocean so I have a few things around the house that remind me of my love for the water.  The retro clock is my love of old treasure, and the phone was a find on a trip my hubby and I made together.  I remember those experiences, and I experience the love every time I look at them.  That my friend, is legacy.

Started with a little decorating in the kitchen.  That wall just called for something cozy.  I have a way to go yet, but it will come together!

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Yes…wallpaper!  That will change-up  soon, but in the mean time, I will make it work with the colors that are there!

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Color is off just a bit but this retro wall clock looks perfect in this kitchen!

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Our beautiful back yard that we can’t wait to clear out and have some fun with…what about a hot tub???  Oh yah!

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My wonderful find on one of our trips.  It just feels right in this 1951 home on Bel Aire!

So you can see why we are very excited about the ideas that we have to make this house our home, and hope to start them all soon!  We are currently hovering in the Mount Vernon house, clearing last few things out that we have used here, and then we will clean our way out, and sign final papers next week by Wednesday or possibly earlier.  Not sure.  We have had so many “not sure” moments in this transition, that we can’t count on anything.  Transition requires trust.  No doubt about that.  I should clarify that it is our goal to be a one home owner only by Wednesday.  Our next step is to head down I-5, loaded with the rest of our belongings, to transform the house on Bel Aire into our home.  That brings joy to my heart!   Stay with me and come back and visit again to see the house God gave us, transform into the home where He is guest of honor.  The idea that I can see a light at the end of this VERY long tunnel is something I am going to celebrate… in the BIGGEST way you can imagine!

However, before I leave this post, I want share something I have been wrestling with in hopes it will help you.  It deals with the idea of transition and transformation.  There is a struggle that has come to light in me through this transition to transformation, and that is a critical spirit rising up in me.  The Holy Spirit has really been addressing this in my life during this time of trial.  I know I can get testy when I am tired, I know that I have a few tendencies towards OCD on somethings and I can’t stand it until it is fixed.  (NO!  Not me, right?)  For example, a picture that is a little off on the wall can not stand.  I have to move it.  But back to the critical spirit.  I can even find myself thinking, “If that person wasn’t critical of me, or do things that aren’t right, then I wouldn’t have a tendency to be critical of them.”  Ok.  Maybe that is true, but it doesn’t make it right.  It doesn’t give me the right to respond in that way.  It doesn’t matter what the situation is, I am responsible for my own behavior and thoughts.  When I am being critical, I find that it really isn’t going to help the situation, or even change it.  It only brings hurt and offense.  My harsh words or attitude, or even talking about it to myself or someone around me, isn’t changing it.  And…I know only God can change that in the other person(s), and they have to be willing to cooperate.  So the same applies to me.  If I don’t want to lean toward a critical spirit, then I need to acknowledge that I have it, and cooperate with the Holy Spirit to change that in me.  I believe He has been tapping my shoulder a lot lately about this.  But sometimes, the way I FEEL, takes over what I know to be right.  I may have to close my mouth when I want so bad to say something.  I have to replace my critical words that so easily can come out of my mouth.  So… through this transition, where I have had so many trials to deal with, I believe God wants me to change, turn around, or start again, and then, allow Him to transform my mind and thinking in this area.  If I am willing to repent of a critical spirit, willing to start over, then I will see the transition change me.  God will enable me to live this out more and more in my daily life.  This is how I see transition and transformation working together.

Do you want to know why I think I needed to share this?  Because this was one of the harder posts for me to write.  It’s fun to talk about the house.  But when God uses something you look forward to, and leads you into an area that is hard to face, then you know He has something for you to say no matter how hard it is to say it.  So I hope that your life is touched and changed by my being transparent about my struggle in this area.

What transition are you going through?  Is it making you angry, or are you letting it transform you to make you, a better you?  I am stepping into a new house, a new community, new friends, and new opportunities to change my environment.  I already feel it in that house.  I want to allow this transition to totally transform me, my home, my walk with God, and the legacy I leave behind.  How do you see transition and transformation in your life?  How do you deal with it?  What are you willing to be transparent about so that you can live a transformed life today?  It’s not easy.  I know that.  It isn’t easy for me to share that about myself.  I don’t want to think I may have a critical spirit either.  But, apparently I have some work to do.  We all do.  May God help you to that end.

Walking the journey with you…

 

 

Home Sweet House

_DSF5504Tonight brings us to a local Hotel in the town we are moving to.  We are in the Hotel because first thing in the morning, we go into the Title Company and sign papers on our new house.  Yes.  House.  It won’t become a home until we are in it, making our house reflect what makes our house a home.

But let me back up a moment.  As I traveled down I-5 today, I enjoyed the view, taking a few pictures, and reading friends messages on Facebook.  In doing so, friends expressed sadness at my leaving the area and their feelings that it is too far away.  I understand that.  My thoughts go into a review my life in my previous home like a movie.  I saw the fun with family, friends stopping by, calls to take a ride together or have coffee together.  I too, will seriously miss that.  Change is always hard.  I am leaving what I know, and who I know.  I am leaving people who know me.  I am leaving some miles behind the most precious people …my family.  It is my hope that they will enjoy coming to the coast to see us, and enjoy some down time at the same time.  That is my momma’s hope.

IMG_3626As we drove into a city tonight, I’m thinking of our time living here from 2004-2008.  I’m not the same person that I was then.  God has changed me.  So as we check out what we remember, I am reminded of a new beginning with who I am now.  New perspective.  We look around and find the place we need to go to in the morning.  We get something to eat at one of our favorite pizza places. As the waitress brings me my Pepsi, it is a bit of comfort to enjoy not just a glass, but a beverage kraft filled with Pepsi along with my glass, so I don’t have to wait for a refill.  We take a bite of pizza and look at each other and say, “Yep, this pizza is still really good!”  So while I have left so much, there are small comforts that welcomed us to back to the area.  Oh yes!  And…Starbucks!!!

On the other hand, it is rather like when you go to a party and you don’t know anyone.  Maybe you walk in the room and go to a spot where you can observe for a while and ease into meeting someone.  I feel this way about our move.  I am in the spot where I am observing what’s around me now, and where I will fit in. I am telling myself to look with new eyes.

I think about our home, and realize I want to decorate our home in the same way.  Observe the life of myIMG_8252 house, the feeling of the house, and what is comfortable where.  Then, it will become our home.  So tomorrow brings the final step to owning our new house.  We will leave the signing office, after leaving part of our life savings on the table, and go set up our utilities.  Then, we will drive up to that house on Bel Aire and begin the wonderful journey of making it ours…a place where memories can be made.  God reminds me that conversations over coffee can still happen, and even though miles separate us, there are ways to stay in touch.  There are new friends to meet.  God has in His plans for me.

So…as the truck pulls up to our house on Saturday with our belongs, I am so thankful to have their help to take care of it all.  They will set it in place and put some of the things together for us.  What a blessing after all that we have been doing.  We will have already introduced ourselves to 522 Bel Aire Ave and I will pray and praise my way through the house, asking God to bless it, to give us a clean slate to start with, and ask for His guidance in making it a home where those who enter are happy they did!

Above all, we are thankful for all He has done, and all your prayers on our behalf.  Blessings!

Walking the journey with you…

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