Do What You Love…

a stone I found in a creek bed

There’s a saying “do what you love, love what you do”. While many probably look at this the way I did at first, I don’t necessarily believe this is only referring to a dream job that provides you with a living, although it’s great to be able to do that. I think it goes beyond than that. I believe it covers many aspects of our life.

Are you architect who designs beautiful parks and malls? Or a photographer who can capture a wondrous scene in a droplet of water? Do you write children’s stories or self-help guides? Are you a doctor who donates time, money, and materials to make sure a community is generously covered with health care? These are all wonderful talents and gifts to share with others and when they are backed with love, the results and rewards are amazing. When you are good at something, most likely, you do it with love.

What if you feel you are “just a mom”? Or maybe you’re that tired dad who works extra odd jobs after work to make sure his family has what they need? These people are not any less important than those mentioned above. No. This whole concept relies totally upon attitude. Not on what we do specifically.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE…just as that dad with those extra jobs. He is doing what he loves and that is caring for his family. So no matter if he’s cleaning out sewer lines, or mowing someone else’s yard, he’s loving his family first. Sometimes you have to look past the job to its purpose. The purpose is where you find the love.

Being a mom and caring for children is hard work and it is ever-so tiring…but hopefully, YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO. Concentrate on doing it well. Your efforts will bless you later as your children will reflect to the world the love and time you gave to them. Look past the work involved in children rearing to see the purpose. The purpose is where you find the love. Love what you do.

my dad, me, and my three oldest children
fall of 1992

When I was a young mom, I went through a phase of frustration. I was a stay-at-home mom. I homeschooled my children. I gave of myself 24/7. I wanted to know when my life was going to start. When was MY time? I was so focused on myself I didn’t see what was right there in front of me. MY LIFE. And there were several pairs of young eyes staring back at me. I finally realized that I was right where I was supposed to be and that God was blessing me with the responsibilities of raising a family. I accepted this revelation wholeheartedly, stopped fighting it, and became very satisfied with my mom status. I then began doing what I loved and I actually loved what I was doing.

two of six
2015

Don’t just take everyday as it comes. Put a little effort into planning and being creative. Discover what it is that you love to do and dive in. It may include multiple activities and interests. It might be taking care of others or raising children. Just do it all with love. Godly love. And it will bless your life and of those in your corner of the world. Do what you love and love what you do.

Did I make you think a little deeper today? Attitude is key. Look for the purpose to find the love.

Thanks for stopping by! Today I added a little coconut milk to my coffee. Delicious! ♥️

Andi

Don’t Fret

Don’t fret what you don’t understand. Some things don’t need answers.

Even though I think I absolutely have to know answers, to my many questions, in order to make sense of my life, God has shown me otherwise. I‘ve had to learn something about patience. Quite a bit, actually. And also about letting go. I know I talk about this frequently. It has been monumental in my life. But it’s all part of the process. You see, nothing makes me more irritated than waiting. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for an answer. Waiting for someone. Waiting on God. Waiting for acknowledgement. Waiting for validation. Waiting for an apology that never comes. Waiting, waiting, waiting…So when you wait without ever getting answers, you learn patience. And then after awhile, you just start letting go. Not sure what has been the harder lesson, patience or the letting go.

a trivia game
not knowing the answers to these questions
doesn’t bother me at all 🙂

Like a young child, I want to know why, why, why. But I’ve had to let numerous unanswered answers go. And many times there is pain in revisiting the question. So when I think of something painful, I have to quickly replace that thought with a more positive one. It works…most of the time.

But do you know what? Life goes on. It absolutely continues without having all the answers. Apparently, I don’t need them after all. I can only assume that you don’t need all the answers either. I am also going to assume that we are better off not knowing the answers to many of the questions we have.

So maybe it is best not to fret what we don’t understand. Understanding will find its way to you if it’s meant to be. We have to believe that.

Thank you for coming to see me today. You are just in time. The coffee is still hot!♥️

Andi

Listen to Your Kids

My plan is to periodically include in my blog, a series of life lessons taught to me by my kids, called “Listen to Your Kids”. The lessons taught were unintentional in manner, but have served a great purpose in my life.

I think sometimes we adults get so caught up in the swiftness and busyness of life, that we fail to recognize the tiny moments that are actually quite large and meaningful. These are the highlights in my life.

I am mom to six children. Three boys and three girls. Yes, they are all mine. I homeschooled them all and while our schooling was far from perfect, they amazingly filled in the blanks on their own. They’ve gone on to do special things with their lives. They taught me so much over the years and I will joyfully share some of these lessons with you.

Thank you for your patience as I prepare these future posts. I actually wrote my first one awhile back which I have renamed. “Listen to Your Kids, LL (Life Lesson) #402.

I am a very blessed mom (and grandma) and I cannot wait to start sharing more with you.

Thanks for being here! It means so much to me. ♥️

Andi

Happiness

Willowfield Lavender Farm
a happy place

Being single is very difficult for me. There’s no doubt about it. It’s not my preference to be alone but it is what it is right now, and I have to be fine no matter what.

My past reflects that I’ve searched in error for happiness (and approval) from men in order to fill a certain void in my life. I thought a man could “make me happy” and fill the emptiness in my heart. So I searched in vain for this love, which has led to a mostly deeper sense of loss, loneliness, along with heartache. I’ve taken the time to think more seriously about this over the past year or so because, frankly, I’m just tired of the heartache. I had to evaluate my own thought processes which unveiled the reason behind this continual cycle of pain. Now, hopefully, I am able to break the cycle. I travelled these years without guidance in these sensitive matters of the heart, so if I can help one woman, or one man, realize the anguish in continuing on this destructive path, I would feel blessed.

Happiness has to come from within. Relying on anyone to make you happy will only disappoint as we fail each other all the time. It happens because we are not perfect. But that’s okay. Knowing that you can still be happy by yourself is a good thing. Being secure in your own happiness allows you to love more deeply and with more com(passion).

happiness has to come from within

It has been a long, rough road for me to truly understand this concept. Others can bring joy “to” you, but your source of happiness has to come from within. Does this mean I don’t desire to have someone in my life? No. Because I do. I just don’t have to be unhappy while I am alone. I wish I would have understood this a long time ago as it would have alleviated a lot of heartache over the years. It is never to late to learn.

Thank you for stopping by today! Coffee is on and it is one of those things best shared with a friend. ♥️

Andi

Maine

Acadia National Park
October 2019

As many of you know, I fell in love with the state of Maine. I have been there several times and I have friends who call that lovely state “home”. I am surprised around every corner and from every mountaintop at the beauty contained within its borders. The fresh air, the picturesque views along Greenville Rd. (Hwy 15) in the fall, the rocky coastline, the mountains, the lighthouses, lobster boats, rivers and streams, the wildlife….etc., all take my breath away…and I want to stay there forever. I learned so much about myself as I wandered around the state. I have told my children and friends how I would move there in a heartbeat if I could. But now realization has kicked in and that dream is no longer a dream of mine. Sadly, I may have taken my last trip there. Well…maybe I can still visit.

Maine
October 2019

I did tell you that I would not be political in my blog so I am going to gently tip toe around it without stirring up already very muddy waters. But when a state chooses to blatantly disregard parental rights, I have to disagree. Our country is not a “one size fits all”. Never has been, nor will it ever be. No matter how hard our government tries to force all the pieces to fit into their so-called puzzle, we will never fit. That’s how individual we are and that’s what sets us apart from other countries and makes us strong. If it is forced, we cease to be free. We were granted rights through our Constitution. Rights to be individuals and allowed to choose what is best for our families. The family unit is the foundation of society. When there no longer remains individual families because it is replaced with government-ruled families, society will crumble. And we’ve all read about (and watched) the horrors that come with that scenerio in other countries. This is one of those situations where we should watch and learn from others (countries) so we don’t make the same mistakes.

I know that Maine is just one of many states challenging the Constitution. I know I cannot run away but I don’t have to purposely move to a place where I don’t feel I’d be welcome either. I am greatly saddened with this new revelation. It was, after all, my dream.

Moosehead Lake, Maine
October 2019

These are my thoughts, my opinion. Not sure if this was subtle enough or if I need to apologize for crossing a line I said I would not cross. If I wanted to be political, I would bombard you with blogs constantly. I choose not to do that. I didn’t get technical. I just felt compelled to write this because Maine was a dream of mine. And dreams are my passion.

Thank you for stopping by today. And, yes, I will have a cup of coffee with you! ♥️

Andi

Chasing the Wind

wind atop a mountain
Acadia National Park, Maine
October 2019

This is one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do, but yet, I keep trying. I finally figured out just today that chasing the wind and chasing dreams are not the same. I’m fact, they are pretty much opposite of each other.

Do you ever want something so badly but it just doesn’t want to cooperate? That’s because it’s the wind. You can chase it forever and a day and you’re not going to be a second closer to capturing it. The wind is a tease that brushes against your skin, tussles up your hair, and makes you crave more. Sometimes it carries with it the sweet, exciting aroma of an awakening earth in the springtime. Regardless of its beautiful appeal, you cannot capture the wind.

The wind simply does not want to be caught.

Dreams, on the other hand, desire to be caught and they want to be lived to the fullest.

A lot of time and energy is wasted on chasing something we will never have. Why do we still continue? Do we yet see a glimmer of hope? Realize that if you haven’t caught it by now, it’s probably the wind and nothing more. So let it go. Nothing will ever work unless both sides are in agreement. Dreams like to agree.

the waves were rough due to high wind
Atlantic Ocean, coast of Maine
October 2019

Letting go is hard. I know that better than anyone. That’s been the story of my life. But one must realize that “a letting go” opens up the door to other possibilities. Tangible possibilities.

So it’s up to you to decide what is truly a dream and what is simply chasing the wind. Let the wind go. Ask God for guidance and direction in your life.

Thanks for joining me today. I tell you what…this flu is kicking my butt. I will skip coffee for yet another day and drink my elderberry tea. ♥️

Andi

Cinderella Moment

A couple of years ago, I shared a wonderful day with Grandpa Dick. We stopped by Friendship Gardens and sat on benches near the beautiful waterfall and fountain. We were enjoying our time together in conversation about life, and our personal struggles, and of course, we did our fair share of people watching.

All of a sudden, a young robin flew to me. It’s wing brushed my arm as it perched next to my shoulder. I was afraid to look directly at him for fear he’d peck my eyes out. But he just sat close to me. And then he began to talk. Talk, talk, talk. He scooted in a little closer, and talked some more. He was compelled to share something of great importance with me. I only wish I knew what it was. But, actually…I think I do know. ♥️ This cutie stopped talking long enough for me to take his picture. This was my Cinderella moment.

my little friend

Sometimes it might only take a little, talkative bird to ground you again. Even now when I see this picture, a warm, peaceful feeling washes over me. That is the wonderful thing about pictures. You can remember just how you felt when it was taken.

Nature is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given. Finding harmony with nature grounds us, reduces stress, clears our head, fills us with peace, and brings us closer to Him. For that, I am grateful on this Sunday morning.

Thank you for stopping by today. The coffee is on and it is heavenly after being sick for days. Glad you could join me. ♥️

Andi

Oops!

I could write Oops! with every blog I post. Sorry about the typos! Working on both phone and desktop simultaneously doesn’t prove to be effective. (Don’t ask me why I’m on both.😬) On my latest post “Stranger in the Window Seat”, somehow the word “stranger” drifted to a place it had no business.🙄

Please visit my site to view corrected versions of everything! I am so not perfect! 😄

Thank you for overlooking minor details, because I view them as major!

Andi ♥️

Stranger in the Window Seat

Have you ever had a conversation with someone that was so strange it gave you a weird pain in your chest? Chills, too? I have, and not so long ago.

This is conversation took place on my flight home from Maine. I flew from Bangor to DC, then DC to Indianapolis. 

American Airlines

October 12, 2019

DC to Indy

I find my seat and sit down next to a man who is in the window seat. A girl comes down the aisle and sees that he is in her seat. She says it’s alright and she suggests that she takes his assigned seat. He agrees and stays in the window seat.

We weren’t sitting there very long before the man asks me something in a very southern drawl. I didn’t understand him, so I said, “I’m sorry?” He repeats it.

He asks, “Are you a Mainer?” 

I said “No. No, I’m not.” 

And he said “Yes, you are.” 

Then he turns toward the window and doesn’t talk to me the rest of the trip.

my son, Jet
had he been on this flight, this would have been his reaction

Did you notice where this conversation took place? DC to Indy. He doesn’t know that this is my connecting flight home from Maine. 

my daughter-in-law, Dani
i can only imagine this would have been her reaction, had she been sitting in front of me and heard this strange conversation

Just threw this one out there for fun today. It was pretty creepy though. He had no idea my love for Maine or that I just came from there. It wasn’t even his seat to begin with. I had about 2 hours or so to think about this before we landed. Apparently, I’m still thinking about it.

Thank you for stopping by! Hope I made you smile!

Coffee is still on! ♥️

Andi

Poppies

poppies in Italy

It wasn’t until I spent time in Italy in June of 2012, that I discovered my love of poppies. Poppies are the main wildflower all along the roadways there. At least in the region of Abruzzo. The ones I saw were the bright orangey-red ones. Those are my favorite. Poppies are such happy flowers.

a happy poppy

I worked for a florist for seven years so it was fun to visit a florist and greenhouse in Italy. I love flowers, all flowers, still nothing compares to the beauty of wildflowers.

greenhouse in Italy

Since my trip to Casoli, I incorporate poppies into my home. They take me back to my roots, a most beautiful place. One day, I hope to have a field of poppies and other wildflowers of my own.

an antique poppy print hangs on my wall

Thank you for stopping by today! I know this was short but hopefully it was sweet. I’m enjoying this day and my time with you.

Coffee is so good with friends. ♥️

Andi

Dreaming

Are you a dreamer? I am. I have no idea what a day without dreaming would be like. What fills up the mind without dreams? All I know is…I don’t want to know!

Dreams refresh me. They give me hope and fill my days with anticipation of something beautiful to come. I also believe dreaming keeps me young at heart and feeling energized. I don’t think I’d trade dreaming for anything.

I’m also a hopeless romantic. I looked up a few definitions of hopeless romantic and I like the one I found in dictionary.com/e/slang.

“A hopeless romantic is a person who holds sentimental and idealistic views on love, especially in spite of experience, evidence, or exhortations otherwise.”

I am a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. And I think they are perfect together. Like butter in my coffee, they compliment one another. I think my poem below illustrates that pretty well. They make me who I am and I’m happy with that.

a little butter in my coffee

DREAMS
 
As the autumn breeze brushes against my skin,
It whispers softly to me,
Of dreams and schemes and mysteries,
And takes me to places I long to be.
 
Spring rain falls gently from heaven above,
With my arms outstretched, I twirl around,
I raise my face to greet each drop,
And I find myself dancing in Paris town.

Or I’ll visit a castle across the seas,
Where romance never dies,
Drink ale in a pub in the emerald green,
Or ride a black stallion beneath crystal blue skies.

I dream of a place to call my own,
Set deep within the spruce and pine,
A cabin enclosed by drifts of snow,
Built from my heart; true love’s design.
 
Dreaming a simple dream or two,
During the night, or in the day,
Gives love, and hope, and inspiration,
Painting rainbows in skies of ashen gray.
 
So I encourage you to dream a dream,
No boundaries there to trap you within,
To experience love on a river walk,
Under the moonlit sky, the magic begins.
 
As for dreams, they truly release me,
From troublesome day-to-day woes,
And take me wherever…whenever,
My yearning heart desires to go.
 
By Andi
December 23, 2012

Some dreams I’ve had to put in God’s hand because I need His help. That requires a great deal of patience on my part. Others I will work toward in making a reality. Determination behind the dream is key.

I hope you dream. Life doesn’t always have to be black and white. Dreams color your world.

an amazing sunrise

Thank you for stopping by! I am sick with influenza so I’m not drinking coffee currently. But I hope you enjoy your cup!

Be well! ♥️

Andi

P. S. I’ve been writing while under the influence of fevers. Please kindly overlook errors. 🙃

“Wisdomhood“

me
on a day I felt much better

I wrote most of this blog last night. I meant to send it this morning, but time didn’t allow. And now I am sick in bed after leaving work early. This is the one time I wish I had a fever to burn this whatever-it-is, out of my system. My body hurts!

Last night…

As I sit here in my bed with my cup of nighttime tea, I have started four blogs. Although the titles are crystal clear to me, the contents keep blending together. I can’t keep them separate as my mind is buzzing like a very active hive. I know I won’t be able to sleep this night unless I write something down to eleviate some of the noise. This is the only blog, the fourth one of the night, that is coming together for me. I hope it will make sense to you.

one of many bees in my head

A friend of mine told me a few days ago that he views me as a wise person. And while I appreciate the compliment very much (I do), I really don’t see myself as being so wise. Especially, not tonight.

You see, I’ve failed again in several ways, and in a relatively short period of time. You can’t unfix some things or ask for moments back. Sometimes it’s just done, there’s nothing you can do, and you just have to figure it out and how to get back up.

I have learned much through my years, and most of the time, I’ve taken the most difficult route possible to get where I’m at today. I guess if you want to call my learned lessons “wisdom”, I won’t fight you on that. I don’t want to fight. But to consider me to be a wise person, well…I just don’t feel worthy.

Tonight, I feel an emptiness. Except for the bee hive in my head. I talk too little. I talk too much. I wait until things build up and then spew them out of my mouth, like…well…you know. (It’s the flu season. Grab yourself a visual.)

If my path to “wisdomhood” was visible to the naked eye, you would see my body riddled with bruises, cuts, bite marks, scars, broken bones, and a very scarred heart. I paid a price for everything I’ve learned. Some carried hefty price tags due to my arrogance, negligence, selfishness, and impatience. Others were on the clearance rack and purchased for little to nothing. All life-altering though. Or should have been.

I’ve learned lessons from the elderly and even from my children…and many who fall in-between those generations. And while I often hear what was spoken, I don’t always listen. Hence, the wounds I carry.

my wise grand baby

I do know that learning from your own mistakes is really key. Using what you learn to not repeat the same is even wiser. Maybe you are wise. I just don’t feel quite there yet.

So here I am in an uncomfortable place. My bed is fine, but my heart is not. Please, I do not ask for sympathy. What I do ask of you is to not give up. I want you to know that not everyday is a perfect day, a sunny day, or a good day. But it is still a day. A day you’ve been blessed with.

see…there’s a new day waiting for you and me

Praise God that He allows us to go through these trials. It’s through these times that we can look to Him for comfort and strength. And His infinite wisdom. I truly need His comfort tonight.

I appreciate you being here even though this post may sound repetitious. I know you are here for the coffee too, and while I am drinking lots of liquids tonight, coffee isn’t one of them.

I am hoping that this post encouraged you in some way. ♥️

Andi

Running Away

Lake Michigan
June 2017

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with life and it’s difficulties that you just want to hop in the car, get on Interstate 70, and head west into the sunset? That’s where I’m at today. I think a road trip is exactly what this girl needs. Would I be just running away though? I had to think about this.

I do know first hand, that running away is not the answer to problems. I ran away many times but mostly by drawing inward. I became sad and withdrawn. A recluse. A prisoner of my home and in my mind. Circumstance kept me there because I was weak. Those were darker days. Not totally dark, just darker. I had children who made me laugh and dear friends who cared about me. There were moments of happiness. I finally found the strength to change my life. I discovered the power was within me. Just like Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz”, I simply had to want it bad enough.

North Pier Lights
St. Joe, Michigan
September 2010

I did physically run away once. That’s how I discovered St. Joe, Michigan, and it’s lovely lighthouses. Located directly 60 miles east of Chicago across Lake Michigan, this little shoreline town instantly became my happy place. The water is majestic with its ever-changing personality. The sandy beach reminded me of Florida, with the roar of foamy waves, and awesome sunsets that would highlight ships off in the distance. Watching storms move across the vastness of the water is both scary and beautiful. The railway swing bridge over the canal is unique and fun to watch in action. The town is quaint and welcoming. The little bookstore and ice cream shop are two of my favorite places to visit, besides the piers, of course. Yes, I ran away once and found a treasure.

St. Joe, Michigan
June 2017

Yet, would I encourage running away? No. At least not in the manner which I did. The problems were all still there waiting for me when I returned to reality. The tension washed over me in waves as I began my drive home. I truly felt as though I was suffocating. So my venture was only a temporary distraction. It wasn’t a cure. I had no more answers to my life than before I ran away. Maybe I had even more questions.

Sunset over North Pier Lights
June 2017

But today would be different. I wouldn’t be running away. I’d be taking a road trip. I’m not running from anything or anyone. I’d be running to someone. And that person would be me. Kind of a continuation of my Maine trip last fall when I learned so much about myself. I’d simply be taking a break. Reflecting on my life. Rejuvenating my spirit. Refreshing my soul, and resting my weary heart. That way I could return to my life rested, stronger, and maybe a little wiser. I’m not wanting to escape my life like before when I did run away. No, I’m looking to be better at handling the life I have. That’s the kind of road trip I need right now.

Sunset over Lake Michigan
June 2017

Everyone needs a break from daily routine. This would be an example of taking that first breath of air from our oxygen mask before helping someone else. If you get the opportunity, go for it. Make it happen. Take some time for yourself. It’s not selfish. Connect with nature and find God’s healing power. Step out of your box and into the magic circle.

North Pier Lights
September 2010

Thank you for stopping by. I hope your new week is blessed and that you find a way to take a break from your routine. Even if it’s just a little coffee break with a friend. ♥️

Andi

Sometimes We Fall

me

So yesterday I fell at work. Yeah. Not fun. I was backing up and caught my heel on a piece of furniture and down I went on my back. I believe it was the S L O W E S T fall ever in the history of falls. Instantly my wrist hurt. Gradually, I felt pain in other places. And today I am stiff and sore.

Sometimes we fall.

I haven’t fallen in a long time. Physically, that is. I actually fear falling because I have a new hip. It scares me about the damage a fall could do to that. I’ve seen the x-rays. I see what’s in there. Yeah, I don’t want that coming apart and coming through. 😳 I fell out of my fuzzy slippers once and broke my finger. That wasn’t fun either. But the hip thing…yikes.

I have fallen in other ways that are not physical in nature, but hurt way worse. I bet you have too. This type of falling happens way more frequently than an actual physical fall. Some people won’t admit that though and I know a few of them. But guess what? They have. We all have fallen. It hurts to fall because pride is often involved. There may be repercussions related to our fall where others have gotten hurt as well. We don’t typically like to hurt anyone. We shouldn’t anyway.

Making poor or rash decisions can cause a fall. Not researching beliefs thoroughly while trying to beat those ideals into the brains of others can cause us eat a lot of crow later. And unless you are on a strictly keto diet, you might get tired of that. Our way or the highway. We can be wrong. Arrogance trips us up a lot. Lying, cheating, distortion of truths, all have ways of coming back around to bite right where it’s most embarrassing. 🍑

Let’s try to be better at catching ourselves BEFORE we hit the floor. My fall yesterday was definitely in slo-motion. I hope all your falls are in slo-mo so you can right yourself before ending up on your backside.

my brother’s framed behind

Thanks for stopping by twice in one day.
Love our coffee breaks together!♥️

Andi

Two Reminders

my sunroom
2016

It is Friday and the sun is shining! Plus, I have the day off. How perfect is that? I am looking forward to getting some much needed vitamin D!

Today I will post a couple of reminders for you to think about and hopefully, put into action.

First, take care of yourself. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Just like on a turbulent flight, you must take your oxygen first so you can care for someone else. It’s not selfish as I once thought. Make sure you fit in some “me” time. Go for a walk outdoors even if it is still chilly. It will clear your head. Your body will thank you as well.

Do you realize that our bodies were designed to work? Yes! Ride a bike. Work in the yard. Walk. Cut wood. Movement is good for you plus it stimulates the brain to function more efficiently.

Also, try to avoid certain foods, like processed foods, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Food directly affects the mind and body. Be mindful of these things so you can have healthier body, better focus, and a more positive attitude. I admit that I struggle as I have a serious weakness for sugar. And I am an emotional eater. I failed yesterday. I failed terribly. But I won’t be discouraged. Today is day one…again. And I am happy that I have another day one!

Secondly, wherever you are and whatever you are doing this day, I hope you seek out ways to encourage others too. We never know what is going on behind-the-scenes in other people’s lives. So many suffer alone. Be that person to step out from your place of comfort and listen to what someone might not be saying. Be observant. Leave an encouraging note for your coworker. Make a phone call. Visit a neighbor. You will find blessings in helping others. It’s the little things that make the most difference.

But do try to include some type exercise and healthier eating in your day, even if you already messed up with that donut this morning! It’s okay! Just start from this moment. It’s all good!

I am wishing you a wonderful Friday!

And as always, thank you for sharing a moment or two with me.
And a cup of coffee.♥️

Andi

Expectation Without Communication

St. Joe, Michigan
September 21, 2010

Communication is the key to every single relationship. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that statement.

When we begin a new relationship, a relationship that absolutely clicks, we cannot talk enough to each other. We share our histories, our likes and dislikes, our beliefs on every topic ranging from religion, to child rearing, to diets, to hobbies, and politics, etc. We share our dreams and goals too. EVERYTHING. We can’t seem to find enough time to share enough. That’s a good relationship. Whether this is a BFF relationship, or a prospective marriage partner, we rejoice in the closeness we found in this person.

Relationships also include people who come into our lives like coworkers, neighbors, church members, or those who marry into the family. Communication is still just as important. Maybe it’s not as intimate as others, but it still requires the sharing of ideas and information in order to get along in the best way possible. So while things are good, we talk. We determine boundaries and expectations. And life is pretty awesome.

Sometimes, though, things start to cool off for one reason or another. Communication is the first to go when actually this is the time we should be talking all the more. Relationships break down. Marriages fall apart. Best friends back off. Not always, and certainly not with every relationship. But many do. I think when we put all of our faith into people to do and say everything perfectly, we are let down…and, of course, we fail others as well. Relationships need to be nurtured, fed, and cared for. After awhile, we tend to neglect and forget. We begin to see faults instead of all the things we loved about that individual. I can’t begin to explain all the scenarios of why, or the how comes. All I can say is that we are human. We are not perfect. And often times we are selfish. Sometimes the changes in communication are so gradual, we hardly notice until we find ourselves in a really bad place.

The problem is that when a relationship is in a downward swing, our expectations are still at the same high level that was set when everything was going great. Inevitably, when communication slows down or stops, those expectations become thorns in our side when they are not met. We get angry, and actually expect more and more for some reason…without communicating. It makes no sense really, but I’ve seen this many times. We don’t talk. We just expect the other to know, and to do, accordingly. “They should know what I’m thinking” type of attitude. We also have a tendency to become extremely hypersensitive to anything said, and especially to what’s left unsaid. That certainly doesn’t make matters any better. And so discord abounds.

EXPECTATION WITHOUT COMMUNICATION IS A LOSE-LOSE SITUATION. People always get hurt and often the damage is not repairable. We need to be mindful of others all the time. It’s not always about us. In fact, it’s less about us and more about others. Consider that a person will ALWAYS remember how you made them feel. And even though offenses can be forgiven, emotions tied to them will most likely never be forgotten. Life is stressful enough without constant breakdowns in communication when it certainly can be prevented. Especially in those relationships that need to function in a healthy manner because they are long term.

So what am I suggesting here? I am suggesting that we pay close attention to our relationships and how we communicate with each other. I don’t believe that every issue needs to be considered critical or battle-worthy. Be kind and considerate. Do all things with humility and in love. Nurture relationships. Not every marriage has to end in divorce, or your best friend kicked to the curb. We should be doing a whole lot more of mending fences. Talk to each other! Life is short.

Thanks, friend, for stopping by today. I am very happy that you did.

Coffee (and conversation) with friends is pretty sweet.💕

Andi

PS I know my picture isn’t the best quality, but I saw it as a perfect representation of our communication with each other. Hopefully, we can sail together instead of drifting apart.

Perspective

A gift from my daughter
March 2017

We are never too old to be set straight. I can personally vouch for that.

As I went through the movements of the last few days, feeling sad and broken because of circumstances in my life, I was reminded by a friend that things could be worse. And they definitely could be. With that being brought to my attention, I actually felt slightly ashamed for how I was feeling.

I do completely understand their point of view. I am struggling with issues that I personally cannot change. But, as time passes, these issues will most likely improve, and be but a tiny blip in my memory. Okay, maybe a big blip. But a blip, regardless. My friend though, speaks from a painful place that will never get better, only worse.

Two points I’d like to make.

Health. Take care of your body the best you can. This body is housing your eternal soul. You need your body to work at its best because a sick body robs you of the physical abilities your soul needs in order to do work while here on this earth. It robs your mind of clarity. It steals hours, days, months, and years because your main focus is on yourself and your physical struggles. There are those like my friend, though, who are sick, but not because of anything they did or didn’t do. And that makes me sad. And it makes me more compassionate to understanding their point of view concerning my issues. Things could be worse so cherish good health.

Perspective. Even though my situation is most likely temporary, I am still allowed to feel. I recently wrote a blog called EMOTIONS. God designed us to have many emotions. I believe this is a great gift. Emotions tie us to each other and bring us closer. When we laugh, we laugh together. Isn’t it a blast to share a good, hearty laugh with a friend? One that brings tears to your eyes and makes your face and abdomen hurt. Sadness brings us close together too in order to comfort one another. There are many emotions to cherish and embrace. Simply put, it is a gift to feel the way I do. I am allowed to feel the sadness and brokenness. It is a blessing to be human and to feel. On the flip side though, I need to keep things in perspective. I cannot allow my emotions get out of hand only to rob me of the many good things in my day.

To sum it up: Take care of your health. Allow yourself to feel. Maintain a healthy perspective. Embrace your humanness.

Thank you for being here. I appreciate you so very much. Sharing coffee with you is a blessing. ♥️

Andi

Vision

Willowfield Lavender Farm
2018

Life is like buying a perfect piece of land with a vision of a beautiful garden. The vision requires planning. The vision requires work. The vision doesn’t just happen. And if the land is left idle it is only a piece of land.

A garden requires tilling, planting, cultivating, watering, nurturing…and so does a fulfilling life.

When you have a dream, plan your strategy while doing what you need to do to survive. Work diligently to make it happen. Sacrifices will most likely need to be made.

When you find that special someone and you envision a future with that person, then cultivate it, nurture it. If you don’t, someone else will.

Don’t be discouraged if others cannot see your vision. It’s not theirs to understand or interpret.

Vision. Dreams. Goals. Planning. Action.
Live your life to the fullest.

Thank you for being here.
The coffee is always on. ♥️

Andi

i wonder

my gazebo

i walk down a wintery path
in silence i reflect
on the many lives i’ve lived
and of the many hats i’ve worn
…and i wonder
how do i feel about it all?

i look upward into a snowy sky
i enjoy the touch of snowflakes upon my lashes and upon my cheek
and for that moment, i am a little girl of nine
when my dreams of a storybook love first began
…and i wonder
how do i feel about it all?

my head spins as i travel
through the many years
of happy moments
and of the saddest of times
of now realizing the true meaning of lonely
and of knowing the true meaning of love.

sitting in my gazebo, i listen to the silence of the snow
which is broken by a skipped beat of a scarred heart
and a breath that is not mine
and i realize the fragility of the human spirit
and how that sometimes (many times)
life just isn’t fair.

i walk the wintery path toward home
and i’m met by my delightful offspring
who’ve only just begun their earthly journey
how can i teach them of love and of heartbreak
…when i wonder
how do i feel about it all?

By Andi
January 19, 2013

I wrote this poem several years ago. I continue to wonder about love that I’ve had…and lost. And whether that void will ever be filled. I reflect on the lessons I’ve been taught through the years. I cherish the young girl inside me who is still very much alive…who still dreams wonderful dreams. And I wonder if she will ever grow up. Or if she even needs to.

I wondered what to write tonight. 😬
I hope you enjoyed this poem. I write poetry for myself so therefore, I understand them. Posting them publicly is stepping out of my comfort zone. It’s my hope that you can relate to some of what I write. ♥️

Thank you for coming by again. I love having you here. It’s always a perfect time for coffee with friends. ☕️

Andi

Forever That Person

“Forever that person who gets really excited when the sky is in pretty colors.” -unknown

Beautiful sunset view from my backyard
July 2017

This would be me for sure. The older I get, the more I love and appreciate nature, and rejoice in the simpler things of life. But mostly I’m drawn to the vastness and beauty of the sky. God’s canvas is an ever-changing masterpiece. Every sunrise, every sunset, and all the sky in-between have a beauty all it’s own. I hope the majority of those skies fill you with peace.

Moosehead Lake, Maine
October 2019

No matter where you are the sky is a constant. You can enjoy the beauty of it from a rocky mountain top or while kayaking through a river gorge. It’s not always brightly colored but it is always beautiful, and sometimes, mischievous.

Maine view
October 2019

When the skies are grey and heavy, I picture myself on a plane. As we take off and head upward, we pass through those clouds. And what do we find on the other side? The sun. Try to remember that, especially during the long, sunless winter months. The sun is always shining. We are only separated by clouds.

Arial view
August 2017
March 2016

While I enjoy the early morning sunrise, I think I love sunsets best, but I’m really thankful I don’t have to choose between the two. I believe that sunsets over water are some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.

St. Joe, Michigan
June 2016

I am forever that person who appreciates the beauty of a changing sky. I hope you are too.

Thanks for coming back. I appreciate you!
Enjoy your coffee! ♥️

Andi

A Blog Update

A picture I colored for a good friend of mine.

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog so far. I’ve had great responses from readers too. So I’m a happy girl. 😊

I appreciate that you are not the grammar police because I know there are many violations. 😊 I am not an English scholar. I just write. I do review my blog, put it away, review, put it away, review…etc., until I feel it’s suitable. Then after posting I tend to find a few more errors. But it’s too late. I can (and do) make corrections to the original but it’s too late for what you receive by email. Thank you for overlooking errors while focusing on the message. I appreciate YOU!

I have gotten a great start by blogging everyday for these first two weeks. I will probably bring it down to 2-3 times a week. As much as I enjoy writing, you probably don’t need a daily email. It will free me up to get things around here at home too…although, I could write 24 hours a day, and it still wouldn’t be enough.

Thank you for your support and for your input. Thank you for being here again today to read this blog update.

Hot coffee is so good on this cold day! ❤️

Andi

Buddy’s Bible

One Sunday morning, back when our family was still young and growing, we decided to visit a tiny, white building which housed a church. Originally, the building was built for a few families to gather to homeschool their children. We unloaded our then five children out of the suburban and marched them into the building, little knowing that our lives would be forever changed and richly blessed by love of an elderly man, named Buddy.

There was just a handful of people attending there at that time. Our seven people filled up a row. Everyone greeted us with handshakes and smiles. After hearing a wonderful message by Buddy, we prepared to leave. Everyone shook our hands and smiled once more, suggesting, hoping, that we would come back again. As I was walking out, Buddy caught me in the doorway. “Can you teach? We need a teacher for the younger children.” And the rest is history.

Buddy quickly became a “member” of our family. He and his lovely wife lived about 35 minutes away, but he spent a tremendous amount of time at our home over the next couple of years. He studied with us. He took time with our now six children and he took time with me and my husband. We all fell in love with Buddy.

On his way to our home in the fall, he would stop at a farmer’s market and pick up a gallon of cider and maybe some persimmons to give us. We would sit around and talk about his life as he had so many stories to tell. A few I still remember but my busy life erased many from my mind. And that saddens me. One story I do remember was when he was in training in the military. He had to crawl under barbed wire while being shot at with live bullets. He lifted his head up slightly and a bullet hit his helmet. He laughed when he shared that story with us but I am sure it wasn’t so funny then.

Eventually, he had to retire from preaching and he and his wife decided to move back to Tennessee to be closer to their son and his family. Buddy was sick. We visited them while he was still able to get around. He took us on a country music star scenic bus tour in Nashville. That was fun. I still remember seeing Alan Jackson’s beautiful home from the road.

We continued to keep in touch daily by phone. He still answered our many questions and gave advice when we needed it. Or, sometimes, we just chatted. Finally, he just wasn’t able to do that any longer. We got a call one day that he wasn’t doing well. We loaded into the van and drove five hours to his home, praying all the way that he’d wait for us. He did. We sat by his bedside. I read the Bible aloud as that was “home” to him and a great comfort. The Bible was his life. We held his hands and even though we could no longer understand him verbally, his eyes reflected love. No fear. Only love.

We finally had to say our last goodbyes. That broke our hearts. I could see the sadness in him as well and that was hard to take. He passed away a day or so later on September 21, 2004.

Awhile before he passed, he and I had a conversation about Bibles. I asked if I might have the Bible he opened up to us so many times. He said that I could. Once he passed, I did receive a Bible but not that particular one. That Bible went to his grandson because it had been accidentally left in the truck that was given to him from his grandad. I selfishly was a little sad about that.

The wooden box that houses Buddy’s Bible.

I remember having a meltdown one day because of the loss of such a great friend. And his passing was truly a huge loss in my life. I was alone in my room and I held that old Bible, and even though it wasn’t “the” Bible we studied, I was soon to discover it held a gift that made it all the more special. As I cried (I may or may not have been feeling sorry for myself), I held that Bible close and I felt something on the back cover. Curiously, I looked it over and when I realized what it was, I cried even harder. For on the back cover AND on the front, were the indentations of his thumb and fingers. Buddy would hold that Bible at his side while he stood. His thumb on the back cover and his fingers on the front. I quickly found pictures taken of him with my kids and there he was holding the Bible in just that manner. To me, it represented how tightly he hung onto the Word of God. He never let go of it his whole life. I found such peace in realizing this wonderful gift he left me and I was reminded of what was truly important. It wasn’t all about me and my loss…or not receiving the particular Bible I had asked for. And I was greatly humbled…again.

Buddy’s Bible and the dried petals from the rose given to me by his son, Keith, at his funeral.

Every once in awhile, I will press my fingers and thumb into those indentations and I am reminded to get back on track. Buddy’s love will was great, but God’s is far greater. Sometimes we need earthly reminders because we are human and tend to forget.

While Buddy’s finger indentations on the front of the Bible are fading, his thumb print is still quite present. ♥️

I thank God that He gave us Buddy during the end of his life. It would have been great to have known him for longer than a few short years, but everything is in God’s timing. He knew our family needed Buddy then. He also knew that we depended on Buddy so much, maybe too much, that we needed to finally stand on our own. I don’t believe that is why Buddy had to leave, but there is a lesson in everything. And I am grateful for that.

I felt this was an appropriate story to share on this Sunday morning. I actually had another blog prepared when I thought of this about an hour or so ago. I think I was supposed to write this today for some reason. I hope you gathered something good and uplifting from it.

Thank you for being here when you could easily have chosen to be somewhere else. ♥️

This morning’s coffee is Door County Frosted Cinnamon Roll. It is pretty good, don’t you agree?

Andi

EMOTIONS

Cataract Falls, upper
Autumn 2019

EMOTIONS

Is there shame in expressing sadness, heartache, or pain,
To look toward the sun and only see rain,
Is it absurd of me to feel such emotions,
Must I drink from the well of those “feel good” potions?

My feelings are genuine and very real to me,
Please don’t condemn because you can’t see,
That the positive and negative, together compose,
The very essence of people, with their highs and their lows.

Perpetual happiness is wrong to expect,
When a heart is so broken; emotions reflect,
As God in the beginning blessed all of mankind,
With many emotions, at His will He designed.

So cherish and marvel at this wonderful gift,
Knowing life isn’t always joyful and bliss,
While lifting a sad soul to a happier place,
Variety of emotion is worth the embrace.

January 25, 2013

I wrote this when I was going through a very difficult time. Actually, I was going through my divorce. And I was sad. I thought about emotions. Why do we have them and where did they come from?

You often hear one person tell another to not be sad. But I believe that sadness is just as important as happiness. I’m not talking about depression. I’m talking about the emotion of sadness.

Emotions were designed by our Creator. And He was perfect in His design. Emotions bring people closer together because when there are no words, hearts speak to each other. Emotions are expressive, and they make life colorful.

So don’t stifle sadness. Instead, comfort. Strengthen. Be compassionate. Be understanding. And always, love. ♥️

Thank you for sharing this cup with me.
Your presence is always welcome at my table.

Andi

Find Your Gift

This lovely quote hangs on my wall.

In continuing with my thoughts from yesterday, I’d like to expand a little more on finding your gift.

When I was in junior high school, I had an amazing language arts teacher, Miss Mahoney. She, and my favorite singer, John Denver, helped me discover my love for poetry. Along with my own poems, I would write down the lyrics to his lovely songs and put them in a folder. I would read poetry books. Even Rod McKuen’s sultry poetry books. 😲 I’d listen to America a lot. Their songs made me anxious to start my life. I wanted to get on the highway and just head west toward the setting sun. I simply loved how poetry and music made me feel.

Then high school happened and my interest turned more towards friends…and boys. While music was still very important to me, poetry quietly disappeared. Before the start of my junior year, we moved away from the friends I grew up with and loved. I was sad for a long time. It was a hard transition. A year after high school though, I was married. Children came and well, life just happened. To make a very long story short, I finally rekindled my love of writing poetry in my early 50’s. I had gone decades without writing. Well, except for the many “letters to the editor” I wrote. I could be pretty vocal at times. 😬 Imagine that.

What I’m trying to say is that writing has been with me my whole life. It laid dormant for decades, but it was still there. Kind of like preserved in a cocoon. Now I can’t imagine not writing.

What do you have tucked away just waiting to emerge? Do you know what your gift is? I think deep inside you do. Don’t let others hinder you. Don’t keep it dormant. Don’t make excuses, and don’t wait to enjoy it!

Because I consider writing to be a gift and am so grateful for it, my intention is to always use it for good. I desire to write thought-provoking and encouraging messages that stir your heart in a good and warm way. My heart is filled with appreciation for what’s been given to me.

When you discover your gift, or if you already know what it is, be sure to share it. A gift has more value if it is given to others.

Be kind. Be loving. And do all with thanksgiving in your heart. ♥️

Thank you for stopping by!
Coffee with you makes my day brighter. ☀️

Andi

Not a Writer

A few years back, I was told by someone that I am not a writer.

“You are not a writer.”

I held back the tears.

Writing is a huge part of me and makes me who I am. So I was devastated. I didn’t understand the reasoning for that statement. It came out of nowhere. I couldn’t say a thing. I just sat there. Crushed. Still to this day those words continue to cut through my heart every time I try to write. Yes, every time.

It makes me wonder then…

Who is a writer? What makes a person a writer…or not? And who gets to decide? Can a poet be considered a writer? A news reporter? A dreamer? A simple girl with a simple blog?

Maybe this person believes you are only allowed to wear the title “writer” if you are paid to write. If that is the case, I am not a writer, as I do not get paid. Once upon a time, I had my own column in a newspaper. It was a trial run for the paper to see if they could reach people across the state line. It was short lived, but I did get paid. And I got to use a really nice camera. 😬 I guess I once was a writer.

Just to be fair, I am not here to shame this person. Everyone has their own opinion. But their opinion does not override the opinions of others, or of my own. What was their purpose of trying to shatter my dream? That, I just cannot understand. Although the words spoken years ago hurt just the same today, I will still write. Sometimes it does put doubt in my mind and I find it hard to move past the block. But I work through it. Writing means that much to me.

I know several people who express themselves very well through writing. They put me to shame. I personally consider them to be writers. They do not get paid. They didn’t start a blog. But they have a gift. A gift of expression. And that is how I view writing.

I would like to touch on a two points before you leave me today.

My first point is EMBRACE YOUR GIFT. And I believe every person is gifted in something. Don’t allow anyone to destroy that special part of you when they say you aren’t a dancer, a painter, a singer, or a writer. Love all that makes you who you are. Even if there’s no paycheck. Embrace your ability. Have fun with it! But if by chance someone does says something hurtful, just know that it isn’t about you. Move past the block and work on loving and perfecting your talent.

My second point is WATCH YOUR TONGUE. It is razor sharp and can drop an adult to their knees. Imagine the damage it does to a child. Always be mindful of what comes out of your mouth. Preferably, BEFORE you speak. You cannot take back how you made a person feel. You just can’t. This person acknowledged what they said to me sometime later. But the damage was already done. Think before speaking. SIMPLY be kind and supportive. And if you cannot find it within yourself to do so, please…just walk away.

Be grateful for all that you have…and for your special gift. Be thankful for challenges because they make you stronger. Be compassionate toward others. Count your blessings. And love yourself!

Thank you for being here. I am so glad you decided to have coffee with me. You made my day. ♥️

Andi

The scenic photo is of Big Long Lake, taken in 2012. A place that gives me peace.

No Whining Allowed

Coffee is better with friends!

Life can really beat us down sometimes. And it can often be brutal. It’s during these times we need to pay careful attention to how we communicate our situation to others. When things are horribly bad I realize it’s not really our main concern…about how others view us. But if we are going to let loose about our life and it’s hardships, then yes, we need to care. When we bring a person into our world, we need to first consider our purpose for sharing with them. Is it for help? Is it for advice, or is it purely for sympathy? Do we need comfort? What do we really want from them?

Often during difficult times we become weak and even bitter. Then when we do share with others, we sometimes don’t have our filters turned on or we wear our heart on our sleeve. Everything, plus some, comes spilling out. I know this to be true because I’ve been there. There is a difference between honestly needing help, venting, and whining. Our design is such that we need each other, so I do not desire to take away from well-meaning conversation and/ or comfort in time of need for help and advise.

When we whine, we:

1. …isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. Our problems are bigger than anyone else’s and no one has ever experienced the same. That is often our mindset. We are all alone because no one can possibly understand.

2. …build a wall that no one can scale or break through. Honestly, we truly don’t want anyone to come into our domain. We prefer to throw it all over the wall to you. We won’t even listen to the help before us because we truly do not want it.

3. …demand sympathy. Feel sorry for me, please! We would rather waller around in mud because we find comfort there…and attention, which leads to…

4. Drama. Some people live for drama. They want to be the center of not only their world, but yours too.

5. What we do not realize is that when we whine purely for the sake of complaining, we dump our mess into someone else’s lap. We often ruin their hour, their day, their night, etc., with our problems. Many people are sponges and healers. They take on other people’s problems and make them their own. Yes, that is a fault to some extent. They should be able to put up a barrier to protect themselves, but they don’t always do that. When you unload on them, you place on them a heavy burden which they happily take home with them…because they just love sleepless nights. And they do this while you skip away feeling lighter and happier. So whining can put undo stress upon another.

Venting is “using” a person as a sounding board. You aren’t asking for anything at all. When we speak out loud, we can ”hear” the story ourselves. And with that, we can pretty much figure things out on our own along with some discussion with our friend.

So no matter whether we’ve lost our job, are experiencing sickness, are financially broke, have kid problems, or mother-in-law problems, etc., we need to ask ourselves what is the reason for sharing. If it’s not for help or advice, then maybe let the dust settle a bit before sharing. Sometimes situations look better a few days later.

Just be careful who you talk to. And be sure you understand your need for sharing the story. Is it purely for attention? Or do you truly need help and/ or comfort?

It’s always great to have you here. Coffee is better with friends!

Andi

A Dragon Tree

Sitting in the sunroom on this cloudy, Sunday morning, I am enjoying the view of the sunrise as it tries to break through the clouds, which have been a heavy canopy over my home for way too long now. Two of my besties are with me. My dog, Hercules, and a hot cup of coffee. As I scan the room, I notice how wonderfully, healthy my plants are and that makes me happy. Then I focus my attention to the oldest plant in this room. My tricolor Madagascar dragon tree. It absolutely loves this room. I don’t recall when I first brought him home because it was so long ago. This tree was in our classroom for at least 12 years when all of my kids were home. All the lessons it sat through, along with the laughter, the jokes, the singing, the loving, and the scolding. This tree has been here in this sunroom now for six and a half years. So he is getting up there in age.

I am feeling very grateful for memories with my children and the blessing in everyday life. Even when things aren’t going so great. And if a simple tree in my sunroom serves as a reminder of these things, then I guess it’s okay to have a sentimental attachment to a dragon tree.

Thank you always for stopping by.

The coffee is good this morning. And so is the company. ♥️

Andi

Butterflies and Roses

Because of you, I have…

“Butterflies and Roses”

Butterflies and roses,
gifts from a friend.

Treasures I’ll keep
from now to my end.

Dragonflies, rainbows
bring tears to my eyes,

Of both joy and sorrow,
of hellos and goodbyes.

The moment you left us
many hearts broke.

But loving kindness
was the story you wrote.

So I’ll treasure these gifts
and remember your smile.

And the warmth of your love,
I’ll carry each mile.

I miss you beyond measure
as everyone does,

But you left us your legacy
of compassion and love.

Butterflies and roses,
gifts from a friend.

Treasures I’ll keep
from now to my end.



Written in honor of Michelle 🦋
November 11, 2016

Happy Birthday, Chelle. ♥️

February 1, 1962

Thank you for being here.

Andi

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes

All the people closest to me know that I do not like change. When I see an actor who I haven’t seen in awhile, I get sad at how much they’ve aged. When I drive past the house where I grew up and see all the changes made to it and how mature all the trees are in my yard and in the neighborhood, I get homesick. As my kids grow up and get married and move out of my house, my heart hurts. I want my mom here. And my best friend. That is the hardest change of all…death.

I can’t help it. There are just some things I don’t want to change. Ever. But, realistically, all those I listed are out of my control. I have no authority or power to change any of them. And I am finally realizing that fighting change, arguing with change, despising change only causes me more grief. I’m in my 50’s and finally getting a grip on this whole concept.

On the flip side, are the things that we can change, and we shouldn’t be afraid to make them. Granted, I still fear change of any sort, but I’ve undoubtedly had to make changes throughout my life. Good and bad. This doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled with decisions I’ve made, or like Lot’s wife, turned back to see what I’ve left behind.

2019 was a very good year for me in many ways. I found my inner happiness. I did things on my own and basically, grew up a bit. Things that were BIG in my eyes. And in doing so, I learned so much about myself. Then I made some good, positive changes.

And yes, change can absolutely be good. An example is that I recently changed jobs. It was a great move for me. It’s not 100% what I need financially but the rewards are priceless. My personal growth this past year has been due partly to my new job.

Maybe in our late teens, early twenties, we have this view of how our life will be. We plan it all out. School. Job. Marriage. Family. Cute, little cottage home on Sycamore Street. But once we actually get into life, it doesn’t go as well as we envisioned. But that can be okay too. We can accept it, then make it good by adjusting our mindset, and making necessary changes.

A friend of mine is remodeling an older home. He walked into the project with ideas. But as he started tearing into it, he’d make a change here or there. His friends would stop by and make suggestions that he never thought of but really liked. So he made more changes. And, although, he’s remodeling the same house, it won’t look anything like he thought it would when he started the project. But that doesn’t make it bad. In fact, it’s going to be even better than he initially dreamed.

Such is life. Don’t be afraid to step out and make changes from the original plan. Listen to good, sound advice from others periodically, too. Weigh their suggestions, and run with it…if it’s good, positive advice. Change doesn’t need to be on the naughty list.

Life should be colorful. It’s like painting a canvas and adding splashes of color wherever you need it, but also where you desire. It’s your painting. Your canvas. Your life. Make it colorful by adding changes here and there. It may not look anything like like you planned out at the beginning, but it could be even better than you dreamed.

Embrace change. Make life colorful.

Thank you for stopping by!
The coffee is always on. ♥️

Andi

Stress

S – steals
T – time
R – relationships
E – energy
S – self-worth
S – spirit

Stress.

We are all too familiar with it. It is in every corner of our life. Once you clean out one corner, you turn around and there is another stressor staring at you, face to face. Many times, there are more than one stressor when you feel you are at your weakest.

Stress in today’s world is much different than in past generations. The advancement of technology has brought along with it a whole new, extensive set of problems. In a day when technology was designed to alleviate stress and make our lives easier…well..it just hasn’t. True, there are great advancements in the medical and science realms to keep us healthier and safer, but as far as in our personal lives, technology hasn’t been all that grand. This is my observation and opinion.

I have enjoyed the reconnecting of friends and family on social media. But I also admit to spending an overwhelming about of time on it anticipating likes and follows, cute emojis, friend requests, connections to the outside world…the list goes on and on. Texting is another issue that has gotten out of hand. Precious time wasted when I should be loving on my family here at home, going out for a walk, taking my dog for a car ride, reading, writing, working on my household “to do” list, or visiting a friend in person. All of these get placed on the back-burner. And no one pays attention to the back-burner.

Stress comes in many forms, not only from our use or misuse of technology. However you want to look at it. We have bills, children, aging parents, special needs, PTSD, illness, death, marriages, divorce, decisions, schedules, deadlines, work, travel. The list is endless. All of these add stress to our lives. Truth is we cannot avoid any of them. They are a part of life today.

Stress affects each one of differently. Some become emotional eaters while others lose weight. Many toss and turn all night. Sweet people become bitter and react verbally with salty, mean words. Some turn to alcohol or drugs as “coping” measures. Others become quiet and hibernate within the recesses of their mind. Some become cutters. Then there are many, just too many, who feel there is no longer hope and no other way to escape the pain associated with stress, so sadly, they opt to take their own life.

Stress steals our time, our relationships, our energy, our self-worth, and our spirit. And most of what we worry about, and all the scenarios we create in our mind that “could” happen, never do. A week from now, a month, five years, or 20, we won’t even remember what stole this particular day from us. But it did. It stole a kiss from our significant other. It stole playtime with our toddler, or a hug from an elderly neighbor. It stole a phone call that should have been made. It stole our best performance at work. It robbed us of time with God. It stole our gratitude. And it broke our spirit. It was relentless of what it took from us or how much debris it left in its path. It took and took and took.

But we allowed it.

I allowed it.

As hard as that is to swallow, it is truth. I had to accept it. How we react to stress is key to survival. We alone are responsible for our reactions, and our actions. That’s not to say we can’t depend on others or on God. I do not believe that we were designed to live independent from each other. We need people in our life even if we feel we are better off alone. It’s an awesome way to obtain balance and solutions. We draw from each other’s strengths. That is the beauty of humankind. There is a wealth of goodness in relationships. I believe this.

I would hate to see the actual percentage of time I have wasted on worry and the crazy scenarios I created in my mind in the middle of the night. I spent a lot of time being angry, sad, anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed. It took away quality time with the people I love most on this earth. And I know I hurt them by being short or sharp-tongued at times. Precious time I lost forever which can never be returned.

You are not alone in your feelings of stress. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your social status is, how much, or how little, money you have, or how many cars are in your garage. No one is above the anguish of stress. Know that you are not alone, there are answers, and many, many others who are struggling the same as you. Use this time to make yourself stronger and more assertive. No matter what you are going through, or have gone through, lift someone else up. Turn your focus and your energy to helping others. That is very healing in itself.

Pray for strength. Pray for vision. Pray for others who are experiencing what you are going through for you know their pain. And I will pray for you.

Stress. We cannot avoid it so let’s accept it and learn how handle it wisely. Help each other. Listen to what someone is “not” saying. Be a good friend.

If you, or someone you know, is in a place of desparation, please know there is help out there. I am enclosing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number.

1-800-273-8255.

Because someone needs you here.

I am grateful for your visit.
Thanks for sharing a cup with me today.

Andi


A special thanks to my friend, MH, who suggested I consider this topic.