Just A Moment…

 

Have you ever had one of those moments where you think, “Life just doesn’t get better than this!”?  The kids are off to school without too many incidents, or you just have the house to yourself, the house is quiet, you have your favorite morning coffee or tea-cup in your hand, and you just sigh…life is good!  It’s about what is happening, or is not happening at the time.  How many of those kind of moments do you have?  Time has stopped long enough, and you have stopped long enough, to catch and notice that something special just happened in that moment.  You might even sink into your favorite chair and savor it, or be driving down the road with a big smile on your face!  What do those moments look like for you?  What is it that makes up your special moments; a moment that speaks to your soul?

One of my special moments is something I set up for myself in my day.  It’s part of my regime.  When I get up, I have a breakfast of some sort and then I make myself a mocha.  I come into my living room with my mocha and start the fireplace, light a candle and enjoy the quiet of the house, and read my devotions.  I look around in gratitude for what have and what I see.  I don’t speed through these moments because I want to savor them… and let them seep into the rest of my day.

I do this at my desk also.  When I am working at my desk or writing, I have a candle burning in my cabin, sometimes music playing in the background, and I enjoy looking out my windows and see nature all around me.  I notice those times as special moments that keep me grounded.  It gives me perspective, and if I allow it, it can change my perspective as well.  I can say truthfully, that this slowing down process has definitely changed my life.  I don’t just sit during those times drinking my mocha.  I look around, appreciate what I see, what I have, and say thanks for it.

So…when I got this little book with a BIG message in the mail yesterday, I sat down and read the book.  It carries such an impactful message that I believe very strongly in.  I don’t want to overlook opportunities to enjoy special moments, which may be alone with myself,  with my boys or grandson, spouse, and friends.  Do you know that these moments can be created?  It’s not just for those who have nothing else to do.  It can be for anyone.  You can create your own special moments, just by being aware they are there.  You may still miss some, but when you are intentional about creating those special moments, more of those moments will happen.  Fun, huh?  Here are a few of them that came to mind:

  • It might be the next time you are baking cookies in the kitchen with someone.
  • Catch the moment with a picture and then share it.
  • Throwing a ball with a child and see their joy.
  • Text a love text to your child/grandchild and get a sweet one back that you save.
  • Sending a new to a loved one in the mail, knowing it could encourage them in their day.
  • Adventures by the creek so you can watch them explore and see their reactions.
  • A walk in nature where you slow your pace and breathe deep, see the light shine through the trees.
  • On a walk with your special someone holding hand as you walk.
  • Sitting by the bonfire outside with family and friends enjoying their company with mugs of hot chocolate.
  • Cuddling in bed before starting your day.
  • It might be in the car when your child or grandchild says something sweet, and it just makes your moment.
  • It could be in a secret message or sign that you have that only your family knows, and you share it together.
  • Or as we did last Sunday…go for a drive and see some place you haven’t explored.

It does require us to live intentionally, as this book talks about.  You might have to ask yourself some questions about what activities can bring about that kind of atmosphere for you.  I made some of those changes as we moved to a different area.  I knew at this point in my life that I needed more quiet, and I wanted more country in my life.  I didn’t want to live on a noisy corner anymore where I would here loud talking and peeling of tires at all hours of the morning.  Where we live now has been peaceful for me.  I have trees and green all around me.  I have wild life that come to visit.  I stop what I am doing to watch and enjoy them.  I can drive about 30 minutes and be at the ocean.  But I had to be willing to make that move to have more of what I needed in my life.  It meant being further from family and friends.  I don’t like that part.  Not at all.  But I am beginning to understand that sometimes we are placed for a season, and for a reason only God knows.  I have learned to be thankful for those times.  God gave me The Captain (my Mini) so I can make trips up to see my kids and family whenever I can.  I am creating those special moments in my life because it is important to me.  I also love having them come down, as well as, making it special for them while they are in our home!

Maybe you like where you are, but you haven’t made the time to really enjoy it.  I would encourage you to take the time to look around.  Whatever makes your heart sing is what you need more of in your life!  You may be thinking, she can do that at her stage in life.  Yes I can.  But if busy people can also do this in their daily lives, and still notice and create special moments, I’m giving you a head start into contentment in your future WAY earlier than what I learned!  It has taken a lot of years to learn to live in that kind of environment, and plenty of sacrifices have been made to live a life that also feeds my heart and soul.  But I will say it is worth it!  However, I’m still learning.

God has me doing some new things this year to create more margin in my life for what is important. He will keep molding us and changing us if we allow it.  I’m always thankful to learn a new thing.  God even tells us He is doing a new thing.  I put my arm out and say, “Go ahead God.  I’m in!”

I leave you with a couple of questions:

  • What really excites you more than anything else in your life?
  • What do you enjoy being around, or what environment feeds your soul the most?

Now, think of some of those special moments you have loved in your life.  Who wouldn’t want more of that in life?  It will change your perspective and you will always feel more aligned with your life.  You won’t have to feel guilt over not doing it any more because you will begin living this way each day.  How do I know that?  Despite some very hard times and experiences in my life, I have learned the above is true.  It is what makes my heart squeeze with excitement.  It is what makes it beat a little faster.  It makes me expectant of what God will put in front of me each day.  And it certainly makes me a better person to be around. Make some “It doesn’t get better than this!” moments of your own!  We can’t stop time, but we sure can make use of it in ways that makes us happy we are alive!  I would love to hear your answers to the questions!  Share by leaving your comments below on the blog.

Just a moment…

Take a chance.  Walk through the door.  Put your arm out ahead of you and say, “I’m all in Lord!  Let’s go!”

Food for the heart and soul…

~JoAnn

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Speaking of Detours

IMG_5603Ever since this car came out, I have wanted one.  I love the look of it, it is different from other cars, and it is economical to drive, and has a touch of class!  Know what it is yet?

It’s the Mini Cooper!  That has been my dream car ever since they came to the US!  Every time I see one, I say, “There goes my Mini Cooper!”  Everyone hears me say it!  Ethan now says, “There goes your Mini Cooper, Grandma!”  I even have a small replica of a Mini Cooper that has been in my office for years just as a reminder of my goal!

So, this last month, when we decided to start looking for a car for us, I started looking for a Mini.  I checked on so many of them, and there was a lot!  However, I now had some specifics that I needed to have on this little gem.  I wanted an automatic, after having the bilateral knee replacement, because I don’t want to shift all the time.  I also wanted air conditioning since I haven’t had that in a while, and the heat gets to me rather quickly.  I also wanted cruise control because we are hoping to take some trips and that makes it so much easier.  An extra blessing, would be a sun roof.  So, those are the things I looked for, and hopefully, I would find one with lower mileage.  So in my search, I finally found one.  We worked back and forth for a couple of days because this mini was about 3.5 hours away from us.  So with the appointment set, we went down to Olympia.  We traveled down the night before so we didn’t have to be up so early to get there on time.  The plan was to meet and see the Mini, and then follow-up with the sale if we made that decision.

IMG_5842Saturday morning brings us to the parking lot meet up, and there she sits.  All blue and ready to go!  She is automatic, sun roof, air, cd player, and looks pretty great.  BUT, she doesn’t have cruise control.  Boo!  We take her out for a drive and she is pretty snappy and nice to drive.  I love how she corners, and drives and I am thinking, maybe I could do without cruise.  But as the owner talks about the car, there are items of check that shouldn’t probably be something that this new of a car should have problems with.  We get back to the parking lot and look the car over again.  We talk about it while he goes to his other car.  Terry says he thinks that the car isn’t in as good a shape as was presented originally.   I’m thinking, looks pretty good, rides wonderfully, leather interior, and its a MINI!!  Sure there a few little things, but its a used car.  I ask what his concerns are and he tells me again of some of the concerns, and that it just doesn’t feel right.  So I told him, after all the owner had done to make this possible, I just couldn’t be the one to tell him no.  So, if he felt is wasn’t right, he needed to tell him.  So, Terry gets out and gives him the news.  He gets back in the car and apologizes (bless his heart), and says he knows how much I wanted a mini.  It’s not that you may never get one, I just think it’s too much money for the car.  I’m thinking…we didn’t even negotiate.  But as I say that to myself, I hear in my spirit, “It doesn’t mean no or forever.”  So I surrendered my dream to another time.

On the way home, I couldn’t get a handle on this whole thing.  Why come down, and do all of this for nothing?  So I asked if we could stop in Tacoma to see if the Mini dealership had something more suitable.  Oh my!  Nothing older than a 2009.  Well I already know THAT’S out of the question, because that is beyond what we wanted to spend.  So…Terry starts to ask questions about the Minis, and finds out that it is best to buy them 2008 or newer because of the engine in them.  They went back to a BMW engine in 2008 and they much more reliable.  Now it’s confirmed from a Mini dealership.  No mini for me.  I will just have to continue saying, “There goes my mini!”  (Do you detect a whine here?)

One third of our way home, Terry suggests that maybe we go look at this car up in Lynden (area of Washington) that we saw there before.  He wanted to see if it was still available.  It was in great shape, lower mileage, auto, sunroof, air, cruise and it was aIMG_5783 second choice if I wasn’t able to get a mini.  I told him I would be open to that.  The price was also more along the lines of what we wanted to spend, rather than stretching ourselves with the purchase of the Mini.  Did you notice that this little car has all the things I was looking for in a Mini?  So, we went up and looked at it, took it for a ride, and he felt this was as he originally thought…a good buy.   As my Mini went out with a puff of smoke, my little Lime Squeeze came home to live with me.  She fits me well and I hope we have a long friendship together.  God still heard my prayers about what I wanted in a car.  The Lime Squeeze has all those amenities.

Why do I share this story with you?

Do you care?

I hope so, because I am sure you have had disappointments in your lives as well.  I am here to say that when we stay in authority with whom God has put over us, in my case, my husband, then He will bless us more than we can imagine.  I could choose my attitude about this whole circumstance.  Am I going to be mad about it?  I felt like it.  But, God wouldn’t leave me alone about my attitude in this.  Again I heard the echo, it doesn’t mean never, just later.  What perspective was I going to choose?   This applies to so many dreams and prayers in my life.  God isn’t saying no, He is saying later.  Or, He may be saying no for reasons we don’t know yet.  However, I know God is faithful.  I have seen His constant love in my life over and over again.  Do I trust Him in this?  Yes I do.  It certainly kept us in line with all that He is doing in our lives.

IMG_5757So my VW Beetle, I named Lime Squeeze, is now happily sitting at our house.  The fun part?  When I first went over to Idaho to meet Terry, I was driving a VW Beetle at the time.  The weather was blizzard like and frozen snow.  But, I felt I was supposed to go.  So I drove over washboard roads at 25-35 miles an hour for about 60 miles to get to the airport.  I wondered at times, if I should just turn back.  But, I didn’t.  I thought I was this far, my little car would take me the rest of the way.  It did and the rest is history.  It has some special meaning in our lives and I have decided to deck the Lime Squeeze out to the max!  Well, at least how I want her to look.  She and I will be covering lots of miles in the future together.  I want her to be comfortable.  She is my reminder that I don’t always get the things I want when I want them, but God will provide for me how He feels is best at the time.  And the color?  Yep…a reminder that I still have areas to GROW.  Lime Squeeze is lime green.  But you know what?  I always want to be where God wants me to be and listen to those He has placed in my life.  I will be thankful that I have this little gem to carry us around, make road trip memories in, but best of all, be in God’s will for our lives.  God gave Terry counsel in staying closer to our budget so we can pay it off and Terry listened to that wise counsel!  I’m thankful he did!

Don’t give up on your dream.  Remember His plans are not OUR plans, His timing is not our timing, and we can be in good attitude in the waiting!

Walking the journey with you…

~JoAnn