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Now Choose Life

Choose to Live Your Life in Abundance in the after--- after the spouse dies, after the marriage ends, after the kids leave. Join me on my journey of CHOOSING LIFE in my after. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live- Deut 30:19

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November 17, 2017

Airing My Dirty Pantry

A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place

I really do believe this quote. I especially believed it when my kids were young. My house wasn't messy, but it certainly wasn't perfect when they were little. I always tried to find the balance of a tidy home and a fun life for all of us. But, I'm in a very different stage of life now. I was in the process of organizing all the pictures, newspaper clippings, report card etc of their childhoods that had been thrown into plastic bins in our hurried lives of raising kids when R passed away. After his passing, it was too difficult to deal with all those memories. Now that I'm in a better place emotionally, I feel ready to take on all those mementos.  

I am trying to be better organized! I organize areas in the New Mexico house and when I travel back to Texas, I try to spend some of my time there organizing. This past week, I organized the medicine cabinet and my bathroom cabinets in Texas. I feel so much better!!!

Before I left for my trip back to Texas, I worked on cleaning my pantry at the house in New Mexico. I had organized the pantry a few times, but I discovered that without baskets or bins to use in organizing, nothing stayed straight. It had really gotten out of hand when I decided I had to do something to keep it organized!!

I ordered these wire baskets from LTD Commodities. I also used other baskets that I found at Tuesday Morning. They all made a huge difference.

These are the before pictures of the pantry.

And here are the afters:

It is amazing how something as simple as an organized pantry can change how you feel, but it does!! I'm ready to tackle more!!  What I'm finding that for me when I have a space organized I won't buy more because I have nowhere to put it!! Now I just need to have that attitude in my closet! Why is clothes shopping so much fun???

I'm eager to find more organizing tips!! One of my goals for the new year is a completely organized home!! What are some of your best organizing strategies?

November 03, 2017

So this happened...handling life when bad things happen!!

Molly and Harper!!
"I want a day where I don't hear any new bad news! I can rehash old bad news, but I need a day without new bad news." That is what I've been saying to my friends and The Suze lately.

I made reference in my Peak Of The Week post that I have had a "drop to my knees" week so far. I didn't go into specifics because it wasn't about me specifically but my kids. But M texted me yesterday afternoon asking if was going to write about what happened to her. So with her permission, this was her Sunday.

Sunday morning, she left her apartment with her sweet pup, Harper. She stayed gone all day, and when she returned Sunday evening, she realized before even entering her place that something was wrong. She had been robbed!!

She called her landlord who came over immediately with his wife. They live on the property so luckily she didn't have to wait very long. She also called a friend who came immediately. The police came also and started their report.

I have been so worried about her for the past few months. She ended a relationship with someone that we all love. It has been hard on her. She is now living in a big city without anyone to talk to at the end of the day to make sure that she is home- safe and sound. I've been worried about her going out. I've been worried about her getting up in the early morning hours and running to her gym. I have had that mother's worry that I know so many understand!! I've prayed and prayed, but haven't quite been able to completely give it all over to God. I still worry as if I think my worrying and obsessing over it all will make a difference!!

I'm so thankful that she wasn't there. I'm so thankful that she didn't walk in on them. I'm so thankful that she had sweet little Harper with her!! I have so much to be thankful for. BUT there is still a knot in my stomach!!

They took so much of her stuff. She loves expensive things- designer purses and shoes. C has spoiled us rotten by buying us these things for Christmas for the past few years! They took most of the purses and shoes. They took her laptop, important paperwork, but the hardest thing to accept is that they took so many sentimental things-- like the phone she had when her dad passed away that had his voicemails on it. Those sentimental things break my heart. So many things gone- just gone. The bottom line is that when you have lost someone you love, you have experienced an Ultimate Loss- we truly live in an "after" world where so many "things" don't matter. So yes, it is hard that she lost so much, but she really isn't THAT upset. Like she told me, "It's just stuff." We are just concentrating on helping her have peace and a feeling of being safe!

She spent Monday getting things taken care of, and I tried to help where I could. By the end of the day, she sent me a text saying that this had been her anthem all day.

10,000 Reasons- Bless The Lord Oh My Soul

That song let me know that she was in a good place in her soul which is what I want for her. She reminded me of a great talk we had on a hike when she was here visiting me. I told her about this Super Soul Sunday episode that I watched and how much this segment made me think about accepting things in our lives that we don't want. I've told so many people that one thing about losing R was having to accept something that I didn't want, that I never in a million years would want-- and yet it was my reality. I had to accept my reality and learn to live with it. 

When I talked to her later, she said she was doing what we had talked about on our hike. She is breathing in what has happened. She will have to live with the reality that she isn't as safe as maybe she had thought, and she will have to accept that her things are gone, and she will have to overcome her fear of living there alone and take more precautions!

I also had another "drop to the knees" moment the very next day. Luckily, things with that situation have turned out OK. We will do some follow-ups and keep moving forward from it as well!! 

I guess it's just the reality of life that bad things happen. Things out of our control enter our lives, and we have to be prepared to handle them. I've heard that it isn't what happens to us that makes our lives, it is how we handle what happens to us that makes our lives. The scary thing is that I can't play my "widow card" and not have anything bad ever happen to me again. Life doesn't work that way, and I think for anyone who has experienced tragedy knowing that we can't play the "tragedy has already struck" card is hard to live with!! 

But I'm choosing to look for the blessings!! And, they are here. Both of my kids are happy and healthy today!! Today that is all that really matters to me!!

I'd love to hear what others tell themselves in order to deal with the "out of control" things of life!! What is your elevator music on this subject??

     As my great philosopher son told me one time when I was having a bad day and crying to him--
                                                                     "It's Life."

So just like M the other day, this will be my anthem today!!

Bless the Lord oh my soul

Oh my soul

Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
You're rich in love
And You're slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
Bless You Lord
And on that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
Yes I'll worship Your Holy name
I'll worship Your Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
Jesus I will worship Your Holy name
Worship Your Holy name

Songwriters: Jonas Myrin / Matt Redman
10,000 Reasons lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

November 01, 2017

Peak Of The Week- a list of things that piqued my interest this past week 11-1-17

Happy Peak Of The Week!!!

Happy Peak of the Week!! It is going to be ALL DOWNHILL for me. I have had a "drop to my knees" kind of start to my week. There is no doubt about it- Life is hard!!! Things have settled down for me, and I am choosing this morning to have a "drop to my knees" day in thanking God that things have turned out OK!!!

We never know what life is going to bring us each day!! I try so hard to make my days count!! When the hardships come, as we all know they will, I hope that I can accept my reality and turn to my faith without complete panic setting in!! That is a life goal!!

Here are a few things that piqued my interest this week.

Einstein Note- I love this story of the note that Einstein wrote to a bellhop stating his "theory of

                       A calm and modest life brings more happiness than 
                    the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.

Dr. T and I watched all of the Genius series that was about Einstein's life. It seems that he really did live by this moto! In his late years, he walked to his office and tutored school children in his neighborhood. It is such a lesson to me. I want a "calm and modest" life.

Vertellis - I just ordered this game for the holidays!! Its purpose is to have more engaging and meaningful conversations with family and friends by the questions that are asked on the cards. One of the most special Thanksgivings that I can remember happened when I hosted Thanksgiving at my house in 2013. A few weeks before, I emailed everyone a template for a fill in the blank poem that I wanted everyone to fill out and have ready to read. Here is a sample of the I Am From poem. This poem template is a little different than the one my family did, but I really like it!! At first, some family members didn't really want to do it, but they all rallied for me and brought their poems. We read them over dessert after our meal. What transpired was something I'll never forget. Of course, The Suze and I cried, but I will say that everyone got a little choked up while reading theirs. I'll always cherish my parents' poems. They are so special.

All that to say--- When I saw this game, I thought it would be another great way to really connect with the people that I love so much. Order yours in time for the holidays!!!

Nurse sings to patient- This has been everywhere the past week!! Such a sweet picture of a nurse going out of her way to be there for a patient. May we all be so lucky to have someone like this with us someday!!

Have a great rest of your week!! As we approach this time of Thanksgiving, may we all find many reasons for gratitude. Sometimes I have to look for the blessings, but I know they are there!!!