Storms of Contentment


 

Thunder boomed and lightning flashed overhead as I experience the first t-storm in my trailer…though normally I am scared of storms, this one seems peaceful.  Though normally I want to hide under the bed, this time I just typed away to the pitter patter of rain drops on my roof…Perhaps its because I’m finally content in my own little home.  Or simply knowing that God is in control…

 Even my cat has been content…during the last couple of moves, she seemed stress to the point of not eating and/or getting sick; however, since we moved to the trailer, her appetite has been normal and she seems more playful like a little kitten…

 Though I’ve had a few incidents with the trailer like draining the tanks during a downpour (Yeah, that’s my life now…), thinking my fridge was about to go out (just a matter of adjusting the temperature), and dealing with bugs…yeah, I’ll have to find a way to keep really gigantic ants and flies out of my trailer

 Yet, I often worry about these little things…in some ways, I get impatient with them yet I’m working on being patient…because little things happening is a part of life.  I stress and worry about things like getting ready to go back to work…or making a good impression in my new community and church.

 Therefore, I need to let to let worry go as heard on the radio the other day when the DJ quoted the following by CS Lewis (The Collected Letters, vol 3):

Remember one is given strength to bear what happens to one, but not the 100 and 1 different things that might happen…and I’m sure God never teaches us to fear of anything…

Yeah, that’s me…I worry about 101 plus different things and constantly fearful like worried about what could happen as I prepare to start my new job…

 Or most recently…I had an interaction with someone and my analytical mind thought I had done something wrong because I didn’t hear from the person for a few days.  So I became almost physically sick from worry…yet, that was not the case.

 Yeah, I could say I have a right to fear because things have happened in my life…yet, I continue to pass through those valleys and come out stronger each time with the strength God has given me.

 Anyway, what are you worried about?  What can you do to lessen stress and worry in your life? 

According to Luke 12;25 (NIV) “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” 

As someone who needs to keep stress down due to a health concern, I’m not helping by worrying so I need to let go and turn it all over to God…and not be so fearful about what could happen.  Or just be like my cat as she cuddles with me during the storm…knowing Mama will take care of her like God, the Father, takes care of us…

 Or, like I do, take a moment, sit on the front step, and just enjoy His Creation and the wonders of the earth…meditating on his word with scripture reading and prayer.

Advertisements

Ahhhh…the joys of homeownership…


I’m back…it’s been a couple of weeks of ups and downs with final move and adjusting to life with a trailer plus waiting for internet access (which I almost didn’t get but I have it now)…anyway, I guess it’s called welcome to home ownership…

 

First, the move went smoothly…some great guys from my church (the same one a second time) plus my parents helped load up the heavy furniture and off to storage we went…though I did trail dirty plant water all over the carpet (though was warned) but at least it didn’t rain.  And, it looks like that house is finally selling just in the nick of time (though, I did pray for a buyer a few weeks so guess the prayer worked)…

 

Second, came moving the cat down to the trailer…yeah, she was shocked at another move especially when the crate kept tipping over with stuff all around her during the more than one-hour trip.  Poor baby…but she’s settling in and enjoys the trailer.  Just need to keep her in due to coyotes and wildlife around the area.  Though she gets excited about the birds, cats, and other wildlife but hiding when things get a bit scary.  Sadly, our neighborhood kitty has disappeared but there are other cats around…

 

Third…then there were not one but TWO key incidents…the first incident involved coming home after shipping and cleaning up the house…I put my load in the trailer amidst all the boxes, etc.  Then I took the garbage before leaving for an errand…wait!  Where are my keys?  After searching the trailer, van, and even the ground I could not find them…but could they be in the dumpster?  So after not one dive but three dives into the dumpster…I found them buried under stuff…

 

Then the next incident…I needed to dump the tanks so excited, I found out how to do them and stepped out of my trailer, closing the door to keep kitty in.  While I draining, I discovered I locked all keys inside with kitty howling at me…yes, I met the local locksmith but I do not step out of trailer without at least one set of keys…and, while waiting for the locksmith, I managed to dump wastewater on myself…gross…then I went to the church where other people were losing keys…aye…aye…but God was there to help each of us…

 

Anyway, through a bunch of small incidents…I now I have internet and even satellite tv…my outdoor stove isn’t working…and then I blew the main breaker while cooking dinner…yes, I’ve almost been ready to give up trailer living until I realize that each time, I called out to God and my daddy, who helped me through each incident…so don’t give up even if life gets a little tough.

 

It has also helped me be more appreciative of people like my dad, my father-in-law, and even others who have helped me with minor repairs over the years…oh, please learn to handle small repairs on your own before an emergency happens…like now, I need to find out why propane is not going to outdoor stove…

 

So who do you appreciate?  Whoever it is, tell them thanks because after all:

1 Thess 5:18 ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

 

So stay tunedmy dad is on vacation and I must rely on myself to figure things out…but I did drain the tanks and checked the propane on my own while tending to my little garden…and even setting up my patio area and stocking the kitchen…because, despite the funny things that happen, me and kitty are content living in this little trailer as God continues to bless and take care of us.  And, even with these incidents, its nice to sit on my front step after a long day to enjoy my new life as a homeowner…

The Son Always Shines in Storms


While writing this blog, I was sitting at one of my favorite parks, which consist of a small lake and a few picnic tables.  Actually, it’s a spot for launching boats; however, I enjoy sitting at this spot while writing, reading, or artwork.  The park is quaint – kind of hard to find – but, once it’s found, its nestled in a forest with tree covered mountains on the opposite shore.  Yet, the atmosphere is relaxing and the air smells so clean out there as people come to fish, boat, or even just picnic.

 

This park is similar to others in my new location…for example, one park appears to be a partially dried up lake but its landscape is breathtaking.  Yet, it waters sparkle in the sunlight, eagles and hawks soar high above its waves, and it stretches from my new town to another town about fifteen miles away.

 

Then there is the breathtaking commute for my job…yes, God has provided a new job and more details are coming…of Mount Rainier, which is about a twenty-minute drive from my new job in a tiny lakeside community…the job even has a peekaboo view of the mountain.

 

So, this is my new home…recently I’ve started a new bible study about rising as a lioness…the book describes being in God’s creation to understand Him and his nature.  Thus I believe I am in the right place, however, before I arrived at this place, it took going through quite a few storms.  Like the death of my husband and facing the possibility of losing my home…yet doors have been opened such as finding a church, new home, and now a job plus another door may be opening soon…one I thought had been closed a long time ago.

 

While writing, storms clouds hovered over the mountains and lake…the occasional downpour would be released from these clouds but it was refreshingly cool and warm at the same time.  Yet, this came after a message at church based on Matthew 14:22-36 about Jesus calming the storm and how Jesus tells his disciples to be courageous and not fear even in the midst of the storms.

 

Thus I was reminded of an old quote I have cherished over the years…even in the midst of storms, the Son is still shining…as the storm started to clear up before I left the still amazingly beautiful park to head for my church’s evening service.

 

So what storms are you facing?  Whatever they are, I’m praying for you and just remember, as quoted in the message, God is growing you and, as I learned since losing my husband, focus on Him as the anchor throughout the storm.

 

 

The Delivery Process


Well, my trailer has been delivered and setup…though we had a few hiccups…like wrong delivery address and electricity issues…I have spent a couple of nights there already and everything seems to be going smoothly…even with a few worries like getting rained on…

 

First, after unloading and unpacking, I settled down…since it was a warm day, I sat on the front step and studied the scenery…on one side is a golf course and then the rest of the trailer park is surrounded by trees and mountains…plus, across, the street, is an old barn with a herd of cows!  Yeah!  I finally have my little trailer in the country…yippee!  Or should I say moo?  The simple life I’ve been dreaming about for a while…

 

Next, while talking to my mom, I had a visitor…a little kitty who I had met before…he/she wanted to come in; unfortunately, I had to put a stop since my little lady is very territorial.  Anyway, the little thing hung out with me before heading off to find another adventure…

 

That first night was interesting…I heard thumps on the roof…were wild animals breaking in?  Oh, how I worried…then it was a matter of adjusting to new sounds and a mattress; however, by the time I spent a second night, things were more comfortable…though I missed the little lady, who also missed me…and less worrisome.

 

Despite the ups and downs throughout the process, I am excited to live here…though it was cool “home” after church last night rather than facing the danger of deer on the road or even blinding sun to get to my other home.  Plus, it is about ten minutes versus over an hour…so sweet!  I don’t even have my laptop, radio, or even a working television yet so it was nice not to be distracted by gadgets except my phone…just enjoying God’s creation practically in the middle of nowhere…

 

<<sigh>> I once heard you are in the place you’re supposed to be when you’re happy…well, this new adventure called trailer is a happy and relaxed place to be…where I truly believe God is calling me to live a simple life while even ridding myself stuff.  I guess, after losing my husband, relationships are more important than stuff…

 

Well, at the same time, I do have other worries like how to light the propane oven, change the gray and black water tanks, and then supporting myself…yet, I also know I shouldn’t worry since God will take care of me.

 

After all, according to Luke 12:22 (NIV):  Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear…basically have faith for God to provide since according to verse 30 “your Father knows that you need them…” 

 

At the same time, don’t wait for things to come to you…like me, I am looking for a job; however,  I know God will provide while I work on ways to earn an income through writing or whatever God has in store for me to live this simple life.

 

So, what are you worried about?  Like me, I was worried something would go wrong with the delivery, which did happen but, overall, the delivery went smooth and I met some great people with my dad’s help…so trust God and unwind from worry…after all, like the delivery guy said, worry just stresses a person out so release the worry…deep breaths…and let God work things out for His glory.

 

Or, just bask in His marvelous creation…like my new friend who doesn’t seem to have a worry even after accidently being locked in a shed all night…

Celebrating an Old and New Birth


Yesterday, I experienced one of many firsts without my husband…though they have been tough, I manage to get through each one from our anniversary, holidays, and other milestones.  Yesterday was no different since it would’ve been his 53rd birthday…though we miss him dearly, he probably celebrated with Jesus or other family members who have passed.

 

To celebrate this day, I went to the dealer to inspect the trailer with my parents.  Not only did I inspect the trailer I am now calling Mercy, I was given a quick guide on how to handle the many hoses, gadgets, and other bells and whistles that come with the trailer.

 

The appointment started with anxiety when I showed up and they weren’t ready…I just wanted to see Mercy and touch her again…after all, it’s been two weeks since I bought her.  Oh, Mercy is a name I gave her since my van’s name is Gracie…me and my husband tended to name our vehicles.  Well, anyway, after a several minute wait, I looked out in the parking lot and there she is…clean from a “bath” and ready for inspection…it was like welcoming a new member of the family.

 

Unfortunately, within an hour, my head was overwhelmed with learning how to hook up hoses and cords…and so on.  How to turn on each function…rather to use propane or electricity…battery power or electricity and so on…then learning the difference between black water versus gray water and types of hoses to use…and so on…

 

Excitingly, she comes with a ton of bells and whistles that include an outdoor kitchen and speaker system…an amazing entertainment center plus other cool features like the awning and tons of storage.

 

Of course the downfall is deciding what to keep in the trailer, store, or bless other people with…after all, I finally decided to be a girl and splurge on some cute shoes other than black flats…then there is my princess kitty who gives me looks as I pack AGAIN…but I hope she enjoys the new home; though I’m sure she’ll be content as long as she can keep hogging the bed.

 

Well, anyway, it’s getting excited and tomorrow Mercy is delivered to my spot in a really tiny town with trees and fresh air.

 

As for my husband’s birthday, I plan to celebrate my first night in the trailer with his favorite treat of cherry pie and sparkling cider…though I have a feeling he is smiling so I raise my class to a classic husband and the new adventure I am about to embark on…

SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A WONDERFUL HUSBAND 

Anyway, are there some firsts you are about to celebrate with or without a loved one?  How are you handling them?

 

 

Birth of a Simple Life


Today marks just a couple days before I inspect my trailer and then the dealership delivers it to the park…which is just about ten miles from my church.  I am excited about starting this new journey, which is happening the week of what would’ve been my husband’s 53rd birthday; however, I am also nervous about such a bold move while deciding what to keep or give.

 

So what is this move about?  Well, for a while, my husband and I considered living in an RV; however, it wouldn’t have worked with his health needs and a wheelchair so we gave up that idea.  Though for a while, I have been contemplating a simpler life…maybe its losing a spouse and realizing life is too short…that it deserves to be enjoyed so I have slowly even been cutting out tv and focusing on God…soaking up his presence.  With this move, I hope to enjoy move of his creation while returning to being creative through art and writing.  Furthermore, I’ve always wanted to travel to various camping sites and reach out to people or even just listen to them…similar to the dream of opening a coffee shop…

 

So what about the coffee shop dream?  Well, in my new little community, there is already a coffee shop like the dream…so, I hope to eventually at least have a small group there…just last week, I stopped for lunch and discovered amazing people and even delicious food…at the same time, the shop has a lending library, rooms for privacy, and even a separate area for fellowship so perhaps I can still keep some of that dream…

 

What is the community like?  Well, like me wanting to live a simple life, the people here are simple in their lifestyles and amazingly friendly.  Just getting the spot for the trailer required a hand shake…something you rarely see…Even the church is amazing.  One such lady is in her 90s, mows her own lawn, and takes care of her yard while managing a cat who doesn’t kill mice but is a great companion.  Then there is the lady who reads her Japanese bible…Oh, finally, the lady who cuts hair but is amazingly knowledgeable about the bible and has a great singing voice.

 

Finally, the whole area is not only a simple lifestyle but its amazingly beautiful…to get to church is like stepping into another world with amazing views of Mt St Helens, Rainier, or even Mount Adams…surrounded by more trees and mountains…plus the deer that wander across the road…yes, I almost hit one but fortunately stopped in time…oh, then there are several lakes in the area and even recreational opportunities like hiking, boating, and even fishing plus I heard there are bears and even cougars in the area…hmmmm….guess me and the princess cat will live a simple but alert life as we continue this journey together while inhaling the sweetness of fresh air, pine trees, and even cut grass and hay…oh, there’s also the livestock like watching a calf run across a field..  Or spotting horses playfully gallop across fields with their newborns…

 

So, are you being called to live a simple life?  It may not be as drastic as me living in a trailer in the country but take simple steps to live a simple life…like me, who has to decide what goes or stays…

Birthing a New Journey


Well, life is getting interesting again as I birth a new journey…I found an interesting home to be closer to my doctor and even my church in an area that is wonderfully beautiful….anyway, the home find started while lookin g at various homes around the area including buying a business; however, without a job, I wouldn’t be able to find a home. Even looked at rentals but they were gone as soon as they were advertised or wouldn’t accept pets…no way was I giving up the princess cat.

Then, I attended an RV show…well, after walking around for what seems like miles and climbing up and down several steps, I found my new home…its 32 feet long trailer with a lot of bells and whistles, which I’ll be living in…
Then, after many calls and miles driving around looking at places, I found a place to park it…a cute little trailer park surrounded by trees, mountains, neighbors, and even a golf course…plus this sweet kitty wanted to go home with me…
So tips for searching for a home or whatever else is needed (1) pray pray pray and (2) trust God…oh, I also listened for His voice as he reminded me of ideas my husband and I had including buying an RV and traveling the country.
What will I do while living in a trailer? Well, He also called me to live a simple life so, yes, me and the kitty will live a simple life while reaching out to people who living in trailer parks or camps. Learning their stories and even ministering to them.
Tips for buying a trailer and RV? Know what you want and wear comfortable shoes…also research. I was fortunate that I have researched RVs, etc. over the years and knew what to look for. I don’t know everything yet but I hope to learn as I go…I also have had a desire to live in a trailer, RV, or tiny house for a while…
What about you? What are you looking for in a home, job, or other area of your life? Well, I’ll be praying for you but keep praying and listening for God’s voice yourself…also trust Him. I have other areas of my life covered for now but still need a job so I’m trusting Him on that…

1 Thess 5:16-18 (NIV) Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

So yeah, I’ll continuously pray and give thanks for all He has done including providing this new home…
What are my next steps? Next, is packing and deciding what to sell or keep…its tough because I have many questions like what if I need such and such down the road, etc. After that, my trailer will be delivered next week so its setting up a new home that will be comfortable for me and kitty cat so stay tuned as I prepare for the transition.
Final note…I birthed this new journey across the freeway from where I was born and then, on the way to the dealer to sign paperwork, I drove past my original childhood neighborhood…so now I start this new journey while still trusting God on this new journey…so keep trusting God for your life’s journeys too…especially while birthing a new journey yourself.

 

 

 

Journey of a Waterfall


Hello my readers…hopefully I am back on a more continuous basis…the last several months since my husband passed have been like a waterfall cascading over a rock hard cliff…with planning the memorial service, my new life without him, and wondering why he was taken…even though he’s healed, I still miss him quite a bit…

Many changes include moving to a new town and county…I am now in Lewis County, SW Washington area and close to family and friends. I’ve graduated via a trip to Southern California and fun fun times at Disneyland. Even a new church…though now its a matter of finding the right now. There is one that I enjoy…my parents’ church…but its over an hours’ drive away…so trusting God to lead me to the right one.

Many emotions from anger that my husband was taken to even joy he’s healed…during the time he was leaving, people reported seeing a light above him…like an angel taking him home. Likewise, emotions have included laughter during times he paid a visit like the time I felt like he was playing a trick on me with his pictures by tipping over or turning on music…but the pain of missing him is very real.

Even the journey of finding a new home has been a rollercoaster with choosing a home that had problems and now the one I’m living in is on the market with several people looking at it; however, I know God has been in control and He is guiding me through the changes…both good and bad ones.

For now, I am using this time to seek Him and become stronger…I realized I was a mess of a Christian and, in order to serve Him, I need to become strong; however, my weaknesses can still be used as I continue to learn about them…like reaching out to other lonely people especially the widows, who are often forgotten.

What weaknesses can you use? Or what has your journey in the valley and even high up in the mountains taught you?

All I know is that this journey is forging me like a waterfall down a cliff…becoming something new…amidst weeds but is a place of beauty…

Widowhood Journey


This is a journey that I cannot leave…you see, since I last blogged, life became interesting.  My husband entered the hospital for a while…well..the equivalent of over month.  The first time, he had an infection, which we thought had cleared up.  Then, a week after he was home, the infection returned.

After a few days of tests, he had a heart attack…then after another round of tests, he had surgery to remove his catheter and another one was placed in him for his dialysis.  The infection continued and he kept having more complications plus more procedures.  Until, one day, he realized that he no longer wanted to fight so we gave him the okay to go Home…

Well, almost three weeks ago, after a couple days of no sleep while watching him struggle from the infection, he took his final breath…now its the journey of widowhood…

The weeks since have been a struggle…the first few days were a daze but I’ve been focused on God and becoming a godly person like my husband.  My mom stayed with me for a few days while I figure out how to plan a funeral…something that is totally new to me…all I know is that losing someone as close as a husband is a lot different than losing someone like a grandparent or in the case of my in-laws, losing a son.

I come and go but no husband here…I do have our cat who has been a blessing…and I’ve been turning to God during this dark valley.  Yeah I’ve experienced all kinds of emotions since losing him from anger, tons of tears, and even smiles as I think of him…graduated and fully healed.

What have I learned?  That you don’t know how to be a widow…you expect people to drop things and be there for you, but they have their lives. Yeah, some have been here like my mom and the friends who brought dinner but i’m basically on my own now.  I’m not the type of person to stay in bed all the time…getting up and taking care of myself has helped because, not only have I become a widow, I need to find a job and a new home…so that’s another journey that’s easier to walk than the journey of being a widow…

So for a while my blogs will be sporadic but I hope to start back up again as I share insights on being a widow while finding a job and a new home…but I know God is helping me on each of these journeys.  And, as one pastor told me, my husband is probably helping God with my journey too as I cherish memories, his ashes, and our rings while being part of the widowhood club…

New Journey


Hello, my friends…I’m back…

Since I last wrote this blog, quite a bit has changed, most of it for the good like having major surgery and discovering no cancer but still healing…praise the Lord.  This taught me that God is in control no matter how scary life gets…

Then, in the midst of recovering, I learned that I would be finishing school earlier than planned.  Yep, I’m done…my last two classes were on care ministries where I learned to counsel, shepherd, and care for people; then, Small Groups, where I learned how to set up and maintain small groups.  Both classes were amazing and I learned a lot but then as quickly as they started, they ended and now no more classes for me…except eventually to take a few for credentials.  My last class wasn’t done up to the standards I was used; however, I did pass and learned that I do not always need to be perfect and life still goes on…

Then in the midst of finishing my classes, I also had to complete paperwork and a portfolio required to graduate…that was a major project itself since it took me back through looking through three years’ worth of final papers as well as collecting information and figuring out where to find this information.  The exercise taught me to be a bit more organized in the future…

So, now I’m done…my portfolio was approved and one of the next steps is to walk in December so now I need to make travel plans to California, which should be fun as I decide to drive, fly or train?  While making the trip fun…

So, now that I’m done, I need to find a ministry Care that comes with many questions since I don’t know what’s around the next river bend…but I am learning to seek God and His desire for me and my husband.

After all, according to Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Questions:

  1. Are you struggling with your own future or next journey in life?
  2. What fears do you need to overcome?
  3. If you’re not sure of which direction to go, have you prayed and read scripture?

So, what’s next? Well, I hope to continue writing a blog about the journey including following God’s lead on deciding our future so that I am able to use the degree that I’ve worked so hard for, with God’s and my husband’s strength, while fulfilling His purpose for our lives…