Don’t Rush the Seasons

I did something completely out of character. I made a purchase even though it’s not quite time to use it. Of course, I could go ahead and use it, but there’s a peculiar sweetness in the anticipation of holding off until the right time.

Twice a year I go in search of a wreath for the front door. Spring/summer and Christmas. Sometimes I use the same wreath the following year, but most times I’ll give it away once the season ends. It’s still Winter here in Texas, and it’s been relatively mild as I see fellow Texans itching for Spring, but I really want to wait for it to arrive instead of rushing toward it. A friend of mine has already hung a Springtime wreath on her front door and she’s been working in her yard.

From previous experience, I don’t trust buying wreaths online. The photos look amazing, but once the wreath arrives I’m disappointed in the lack of quality. The other day I was at Target, strolling through the Magnolia section of the store and didn’t really have a wreath on my mind, but there it was sitting on the bottom shelf as if it were waiting to be noticed. There was no hesitation in stepping over to take a closer look and knowing instantly that was the wreath for this year.

I’m excited! Once home I thought about going ahead and hanging it on the front door, like my friend, but my heart pressed the pause button. It’s only January, and February can be an unpredictable month for weather, so I vowed to wait to enjoy it Spring through Summer. It came in a sturdy box with a lid, so I closed it up to wait. Every time I see that box, it brings a smile to my face like I’m ready for the next season, but for now will slow the pace to embrace this season we’re in.

Take a break from reading and let me read this to you:

You Do You Boo

It’s Friday morning around 10:00 am, and I’m sitting at the massive wood kitchen table that has evolved into a giant desk. Looking away from the laptop screen onto the window I spot the mail carrier’s van sitting in front of my mailbox. Laying my glasses aside I head for the door, step outside and stroll through the front yard, across the street to the mailbox. That’s when I spotted it…

My neighbors had company and they were still seated in their vehicle with a clear view of yours truly. It bothered me for half a second, but then I felt my back straighten to stand at full height and lifted my chin as if I belonged there.

Here’s a detail about my walk to the mailbox. I was still wearing my pajamas, robe and pink suede house boots. This is not unusual and sometimes you’ll catch me still wearing that at noon if it’s a Friday, or weekend. (The joys of being single and working from home.) None of my outfit matches, so I’m sure it’s a sight to behold for a stranger, but my actual neighbors seem to think it’s part of Barb’s charm. Hercules commented recently, “That’s a nice robe you have there Barbara.”

When people ask, “What do you do for fun?”, I exclaim…”I write letters to people all over the world!” Silence. I wrote about letter writing last year that you can read here, so seeing the mail arrive is happiness for me. I don’t expect a letter in return, but opening the mailbox and seeing a small stack of them is sweet!

Don’t give a single thought what other people think.

You do you boo.

PS. If you’d like to receive a hand-written letter, email your details to Inbarbsworld@gmail.com

In Awe of the Moment

You know I’m feeling better when I slip on a sarcastic saying t-shirt and go for a walk. That will be the one time you bump into a neighbor you’ve never met before and they’ll want to stop and chat, but you hold firm to no apologies for the shirt.

Afterwards, I really wanted a cup of coffee, but not just any coffee…I wanted a magical cup of brew, so that idea took me to the coffee shop where I first purchased the shirt. When I stepped into the shop, the girl behind the counter busted out laughing and commented on the shirt. I ordered my favorite drink, picked up a couple of funny cards to send to friends and came home.

The coffee tasted like magic.

During my walk, I couldn’t get over how perfect the outdoor temperature was. I stopped at one point in the middle of the street and looked up at the sky to marvel at the shade of clear blue. I could have stood suspended in that moment for an hour, but heard a truck coming up behind me and moved out of the way. If someone would have looked out their window and saw me wearing this t-shirt with my face tilted toward the sky they probably would have wondered what the heck I was doing, but that didn’t bother me.

If they asked I would have told them….

I’m standing in awe of the moment.

You can listen to me read this post here:

Butting Heads With God

I wasn’t sure when I’d show back up here, but today seems like a good day to return. Since the first day of the new year I’ve been sick, but two weeks later, I can actually form a coherent thought! I’m never sick, so having this lingering illness that refuses to leave is foreign for me. I’ll never take being healthy for granted again.

By day 12, I was pretty upset with God. Every morning I’d wake up with a speck of improvement, but didn’t feel like myself. I haven’t been able to drink any coffee which is scary enough within itself, but the terrifying part is I don’t even miss it. I discovered the pure joy in having groceries delivered to my front door, but fear I won’t leave my house as often anymore. I’ve become highly disciplined at meditation just to hear myself breathe and my daughter’s dog, Winnie usually joins me.

Yesterday was day 12 and I went for a drive just to make sure I still knew how to drive. I told God the most frustrating part of this illness for me was not feeling like myself and I miss her, so I pretty much begged God to bring her back!

I wasn’t willing to give her up.

And on this faithful morning, of Day 13….my favorite parts of her returned. Thank you, God.

Share What You Know

It was this time last year that I was walking though Wal-Mart when I cut through the grocery department and noticed two young girls, no more than 20 years old, walking toward me. They were squinting at a list that had been torn from a small notepad. No doubt handwritten and most likely in cursive. The vibe was they were exasperated trying to locate what was on the list. As our paths crossed, I heard one of the girls say through gritted teeth…

“Why do we need half and half? It’s just watered down milk!”

This was one year ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I didn’t say anything at the time, but wish I had. You see my lovely reader’s…there are younger generations who need what we know.

My new neighbors still have their water hose connected to their outside spigot. The weather forecast is predicting below freezing temperatures later in the week. I’m not going to wait much longer before asking my neighbor if he knows what to do to winterize that outdoor pipe. They are young, so they may not know, but I don’t want to see water gushing out of that pipe and flooding his garage when I could have said something to prevent it from happening.

Share what you know.

And for the record….half and half is a combination of milk and cream.

These Three Words

The first time she left me a note, it was scribbled on a shipping label with black sharpie. This was the norm for a while, but as the months rolled by I went to retrieve the mail, and spotted a small, white envelope laying atop the mail. Nestled inside was an actual thank you note written in ink, but then today inside my mailbox there laid a postcard and her words filled me with a sense of ‘mission accomplished.’ I believe there’s three words which are more meaningful than the three we give away daily and they are…

I appreciate you.

Who is ‘she’?

My mail carrier.

Being a mail carrier is not for sissies, especially in the Texas heat, so all year long I’ve let my mail carrier know…I appreciate you. Sometimes I’d leave her a Starbucks card because it seems to me you’d need a torrent of coffee to deliver mail! If I had two of something, one was left in the mailbox for her along with these three words. If you hear the same words long enough they become believable, but it’s imperative the words you hear refresh your soul and help you grow. My mission was to put these three words in front of my mail carrier until she felt them and by the note she left today it’s confirmed.

Who is in your daily life that longs to hear these three words?

Feature Photo by Stéphan Valentin on Unsplash

The Christmas Tree

My neighbor whom I refer to as Hercules didn’t put his Christmas tree up this year. He shared he only did it for his granddaughter and since she moved away there’s no need. My daughter moved out this year, but the tinsel tree made it’s appearance before Thanksgiving.

I bought this tree the year my daughter went to England for Christmas and it’s absolutely obnoxious, but it brings a smile to my face every time I look at it. This morning I was sitting near the tree reading my devotional and gazing at the ornaments within view. The tree tells a story of a single Mom and her daughter and their love for pretty. There are still a few ornaments hanging on from years ago when we decorated our first tree while living on our own. Over the years, the ornaments became better quality, so you can tell my income increased.

This morning my devotional says, “I am working on your behalf. Bring Me all your concerns, including your dreams. Talk with Me about everything, letting the light of My presence shine on your hopes and plans. Spend time allowing My light to infuse your dreams with life, gradually transforming them into reality.” (Jesus Calling page 362) That’s where I am on this journey.

Maybe men have different viewpoints than women about the Christmas tree. When I first met Mr. Smith he didn’t have a tree, but he did the following year and my guess would be it’s become more elaborate over time. Then again, my daughter’s boyfriend loves everything about Christmas and they were thrilled to decorate my tree for me, so I’m perplexed. Feel free to share your views.

There’s still time to buy a real tree, or the closer it gets to Christmas, you can buy an artificial one at a really good price. The ornaments will start to go on sale and after Christmas they’ll be 75% off, so if you’re not feeling the Christmas tree this year, you can plan to have one next year. I have faith my life story is already written, but December is the one time a year we can see something larger than ourselves, holding snippets of our life and it’s mesmerizing.

Here’s a single Mom, in an empty nest, with an undying love for the Christmas tree.

Feature Photo by Bao Menglong on Unsplash

The Age of Absolutely

I drove into town specifically to purchase a pair of gloves. I’d seen them in one of my favorite shoppes over a month ago and was drawn to them then, but didn’t make the purchase. They only had two pair left of an interesting pattern that I probably wouldn’t have chosen at first glance, but sliding my hand inside the glove, they offered that same divine feeling as the solid colored pair I’d tried on previously. I knew right then and there, this was an absolutely.

Standing at the counter to pay I told the cashier, “I don’t need a bag”, but she smiled and said, “These gloves come with their very own box!”

My immediate thought was, it’s a shame to not be giving them as a gift, but the cashier recommended using the box to hold any gift. I shrugged off the glimmer of guilt and wished everyone a spectacular day to begin the journey home.

I was raised in a home where Mama never bought anything fun for herself. We had what we needed, but not much extra and then my marriage of 23 years was the opposite where everything was bought for me if I looked at it twice.

I don’t recall Mama letting her heart lead until she was in her 50’s, like I’ve been more apt to follow my heart in recent years. Decisions don’t have to be yes, or no because the heart knows absolutely. I’ll leave you with that my darling reader’s, but it seems I’ve reached the age of absolutely. Have you?