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.

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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…

Adoption Anniversary…A Cat’s Journey


Well, in just little over a week, we will be celebrating our cat’s 4th anniversary since she came to live with us…

Her journey from the start has been interesting since we adopted her from a pet fair at a local pet store.  We already had one cat but felt she needed a companion so we made the decision to adopt.  She was a scrawny thing at that time, facing away from people, and already rejected by one potential family.  Yet, my husband wanted her even after she swiped at him with a claw.  I told him maybe we shouldn’t adopt her because he does not need a scratch from a cat.

He insisted so adopt her we did.

We took her home where our one cat became pissed even after we took our new baby into the spare bathroom.  Frightened, we left her alone until the next morning when I went in to check her.  She was scared and wanted nothing to do with us yet I sat with her for a bit and comforted her.  She cuddled with me for a few moments before backing away.

After a couple of days, I let her out and she went wild so I told my husband that maybe we should give her back.  He decided to call about her history and discovered that she was the runt, lived with an older person, and had gotten pregnant at a young age and then lost that batch.  The foster parent told us that once you got to know her, she was quite loveable so we decided to keep her and give her a chance.

Well, that chance became a challenge as I was determined to change her into a sweet cat.  It has been tough and it has taken a long time to tame her especially when she spent most of three years outside.  Even then it was a journey as she brought in everything from dead snakes, live baby bunnies, and even a rat into the house and let it loose!  Yes, many near heart attacks but I survived…

Then, unfortunately, due to issues with my husband and his health, we had to give up our older cat.  Later, we realized we should have tried other methods to prevent this cat from attacking my husband’s medical equipment, which was causing infections.

Then, our girl started to calm down as she was finally able to sleep with us and started bonding with us more.  More bonding came as we moved to an apartment and she was not able to got out.

Yet, since our move to our new town, she has become even more calm and the bonding continues to the point that she is finally warming up to even strangers and finally doing some serious cuddling.  We’ll just see how she does after we take her to a new vet this week…sigh…

Throughout this journey, she has taught us the following:

  1. That no matter what, it’s important to give not only animals a chance but humans as well.  Being patient and loving will lead to bonding and trust, which needs to be earned even with humans.
  2. Forgiveness – she has forgiven us for a lot of unintentional boo boos like me kicking her at night in my sleep, taking her to the vet for shots, leaving her alone for 2 weeks (with a cat sitter coming in to visit), and even the long trip to a new home.  Thus, we need to learn to forgive each other no matter what happens.
  3. Even cats can be service animal especially with our cat who has alerted us when hubby is low on blood sugar or even having a stroke…so listen to them when they try to tell you something.
  4. Oh, she loves company sine we always have a cats coming up to our porch and hanging out…
  5. She loves to listen when I read the Bible with her as the audience…her big eyes watch and she acts content…so read the bible aloud to your animal…

So, yeah, if you can, let your animals teach you something…after all, God made them to be companions and even possibly teach us a thing or two.

What have you learned from your pet throughout your journey?

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We’re still alive…in the country


Well, we made it to Medical Lake and we’ve had a few ups and downs over the last several days…

First, was a week ago when we arrived at our apartment and discovered we lost a few things along the way including an heirloom punchbowl.  Oh well!  Everyone is safe and well.

Second, came the unloading of furniture and trying to fit everything in.  A few cross words as I wanted things a certain way while trying to be grateful for the help from parents and family friends.  We were truly blessed when our fridge and cupboards with a bountiful of goodies while our parents and siblings blessed us with loading and unloading of belonging.

Third, we almost lost the kitty.  She was traumatized already from the move (and being locked in a crate for 3 days) and then I made the mistake of sticking her in the closet – out of the way from the movers.  Some instinct told me to go check on her and I found her barely moving behind a stack of boxes.  She was not getting enough oxygen so we had to quickly move her to another spot in the apartment and soon she was back to her perky self.  Then, for the next several days, she was awake all night wanting attention after sleeping under my bed all day.  Fortunately, she is getting back to her old routine of staying up part of the day and playing (as well as eating).  Yeah!  The cat survived!

This part was just the first day!  The last several days, have been spent organizing things, adjusting to life as sole caregiver to my husband, and waiting for service and deliveries.  Sigh!  Good old fashion small town cable companies are a lot better than national internet and dish providers who do not promise as delivered!  Fortunately, small town cable company was able to have internet (and cable) up and running within 2 hours…

The final blow came as I prepared to update my blogs and focus on schoolwork…I received a phone call about my son and yet I am too far away too help with the need.  When I became prepared to drop all to tend to my son – including dropping a class – the rug was yanked out from under my feet and my wanting to help was dismissed.  All I can do is put my son (and my ex) in God’s hands and pray for the situation.

To ease the stress of the last several days, I went in search of my dad’s property in Eastern Washington less than 2 hours away from our new home.  He bought it when I was a little kid and we’ve barely been there since so I do not remember which wheat field is his.  It has snakes and other wildlife so I do need to be careful – at least we have cell phone service out there!  Once I discover which one is his, I hope to turn it into a place of contemplation along with other places I have yet to explore in the areas surrounding my new town.

Even with life’s ups and downs over the last few days, I have learned that waiting is usually the best method and I do need more patience since life around here is a bit slower than the big cities of western Washington.  Furthermore, though I have struggled in a relationship with my parents, we re-discovered each other and understand each other.  The relationship has improved and I realized how great my parents are.  This has been a good move as we discover what loving in the country is like…different, challenging (few mom and pop placed opened on sundays!) and relaxing as we get to know our neighbors, new town, and adjust to a different climate.

As I face this new adventure, I need to remember as stated in Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message):

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

What ups and downs have you faced in a new journey?  Please feel free to comment…

Stay tuned for more stories of life in the country including discovering that even the neighborhood cats will come when I call…

7 days and counting…


Well, the final week is approaching as we prepare for the move…it’s exciting and scary (never really lived so far away from family and friends before).  Along with that a host of other worries and stressors that include the following:

There has been stress and conflict; however, we take the time each night and discuss the stressful conflicts so we aren’t going to bed mad at each other.

Next, it’s been working with our cat to settle into her crate – which will be home for a few days while we transition from our current apartment to a new apartment across the state.  She loves the crate; however, I worry the move might be tough on her.  I guess all I can do is reassure even as she is becoming more and more clingy with me.  Funny though, when she sits in her crate for a couple hours, she gives us the look like – so this is a boring game, when do I get out?  silly girl – here comes more treats for her…

Then, there has been contacting utilities, cable and even internet provider to ensure I have internet access for school.  Otherwise I will have to type out discussion entries on my tiny little phone keyboard.  Oh, well, it’s better than not having internet.

Above all this stress, we are staying focused on the One who is providing and will help us through the next several days and months as we settle into a new life.  After all, if He is providing for the bird who landed on our windshield last week in the attached picture, He will provide our needs and take care of us according to Luke 12:22-25 (NIV):

Then 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.   For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.   Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

So, what is stressing you as you prepare for a new adventure or journey?  How are you handling the bumps that come up?  Please feel free to comment.

We can walk to church…


Well, the doors have been opening up for us as we prepare to move to Medical Lake. Today, we signed the lease and did all the other paperwork. So we are almost set to move two weeks from today…quite the journey.

We’ve spent the last two days exploring and getting to know the ‘hood. There are a ton of camping grounds and we counted at least 4 – that’s right – 4 lakes within a few miles of our apartment. One is less than a mile.

We have a gazillion parks including one that is just steps from our back door plus a high school football field practically in our backyard. Yep, Friday nights will get interesting around our place this fall…

The people are friendly here and we discovered we’ll have to do something we have not done in like forever – actually going to the local post office (which is walking distance) to pick up our mail…as we reserved our box, we have a friendly chat with the postal worker and met a friendly woman who welcomed us to town.

This is a beautiful town and its quiet. Traffic is practically nil including taking I-90 into Spokane during “rush” hour. What a big difference between here and the Seattle-Everett area. “Rush hour” traffic is like mid morning traffic in Everett on I-5. People say they rarely get stuck in traffic – so true! Unfortunately, there are a few drivers even around here who will test your patience…sigh…guess they are everywhere.

Another cool thing is that I needed a measuring tape (thought I left it at the hotel only to discover it was in the car). I found the local hardware and walked in to see a cat sitting on the counter. Yep, a very friendly kitty cat who lives there. Again, met friendly people like the guy who helped me select a measuring tape out of a gazillion choices.

Our next adventure was locating a washer/dryer for our new apartment. Our new landlord recommended a place. So, we went over and found a great washer and dryer and again, friendly people at the place. He was playing great Christian music (we have a great Christian radio station here) and I asked if he knew of any churches. He knew of one but it’s too far to travel…think we’ll stick to the churches in our new town. We can walk to them and become involved. Yeah!

I can go on and on about our exploration including the friendly and warm yard sales where people believe in selling the stuff and not making big bucks. Unfortunately, we were not able to find what we needed but we will be back. Or, how I almost got stuck in a carwash (do not like self service ones) but it was a laugh…even Dene’s doc has found medical resources for us. So, things are looking up as we prepare for this journey.

Finally, the welcome mat in Medical Lake reminds me of the following verse from Matthew 10:40 (NIV):

Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me,
and anyone who welcomes me
welcomes the one who sent me.

So, what doors are opening up for you as you prepare for your own journey? Are you finding people who welcome you to their community? I pray so and please feel free to comment.

A Harness of Unforgiveness


Since we are about to move to a new state, we need to prepare our cat for such a long move.  To prepare her, we bought a harness to put around her little body so that when we make stops and need to let her out, we do not want her running off.

Our first step in preparing her for the harness was to get her used to a collar.  We never had one for her because we wanted her to be free since she used to be a part time outdoor cat.  When we moved to a new apartment, she lost that freedom and now she is mainly an indoor kitty who is getting lazy and a bit chunky so we want to exercise her; thus another reason for the harness.

She likes the collar especially the new one with a jingle bell on it and little bees decorating the collar.  My blind husband can hear her and she is warming up to him more since he knows where she is at and can be petted more by him, which is a way to bond with a cat. Though the new collar makes a great wakeup call especially early in the morning when she decides to play near the bedrooms – before the alarm clock goes off.  We love her anyway especially when she comes up and cuddles with me first thing in the morning.

Anyway, when we first put the harness on, she hissed and growled so I removed it.

After she had time to calm down, we tried it again and I was given the look that said I wounded her pride and she was not happy.  Next came lots of lovin’ and kisses and treats with a dose of reassurance.  After a couple of hours, we removed the harness.

Today, the harness went back on for several hours.  When I finally removed it, there was a bit of fussiness but soon she relaxed as “mommy” petted her and reassured her that all is well.

Our next step will be to spend a few hours a day with said harness and eventually work up to the leash…what a chore!  Guess we’ll put test the theory as to rather or not you can train “old” cats new tricks…

Our Misty is learning new tricks as we learn that animals…no matter what you do to them, will forgive you for many things especially if they are treated well.

Though forgiveness is not always so easy for people since we are not so quick to forgive.  This bitterness and unforgiveness will keep us from fulfilling our purpose.  As you read this blog, is there someone in your life that you need to forgive?  Like a harness, perhaps this heart of unforgiveness is keeping you from pursuing your vision…

Moving from cold rainy forest land to dry arid desert land!


Our first step with our vision, which is to open a community-type coffee shop, is to relocate.  Even though this is a beautiful area, my husband and I no longer enjoy the cold and wet of the great Northwest.  We both love dry, arid and desert type communities.  After all, I grew up in Eastern Washington so I remember the cold bitter winters and the dry, hot summers.  I miss those and I am starting to feel claustrophobic in Western Washington.  It is time we move on and so we are preparing to move to the great desert land called Nevada. 

We visited this area not too long ago and feel God calling us to go down there and set up our dream of a community-style coffee shop.  This process of deciding where to go has been long and we have visited many other states including Montana.  We decided that Montana was not for us and that we need to find another land so we drove down to Nevada last month.

That was a long drive but it was a great drive especially when we were in the Death Valley National Park.  Even as I admired the beautiful landscape, the temperature was quite hot and I discovered that we would need to acclimate to the warm weather especially when I became frequently dry and thirsty.

Why do we want to move here?  For one thing, along with the call, my husband and I noticed our aches and pains seem to go away.  I have arthritis in my hips and the pain lessened as my joints soaked up the heat.  Furthermore, my husband’s health improved as his diabetes related aches and pains lessened and he seemed more alive in that area then he does up here.  Normally, bedtime is 10 o’clock for us; while in Vegas, we were staying up until midnight and still had energy to burn even on just a few hours of sleep.  My husband’s appetite was tremendous down there; here I would be lucky to get him to eat a few bites for each meal.

As we study the pros and cons of this move, the pros outweigh the cons and we are pushing forward as we look at movers, medical staff, and rentals in that area.  We are praying that God opens the right doors since we hope to move at the end of our current lease in August.

What step do you need to take to fulfill your vision or purpose?  Where is God leading you?  I am praying that God opens your eyes to your vision or purpose.

Stay tuned for our next blog as we describe our vision and learning that cats do not like halters!