Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

Conclusion to We don’t have tomorrow

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartHappy Thursday and thanks for stopping by today! Grab whatever you’re having and your strand of faith, maybe a Kleenex and a journal as I share from my heart to yours.

In the days that followed, I received positive updates. My son’s dad was improving on many accounts but each time the nurse reported this, there was surprise on her part with a firm confirmation that he would have to change his lifestyle or he wouldn’t make it out of a convalescent hospital. The words of my nephew’s wife – I guess that makes her my niece – surfaced: “He told me before they put him under that when he made it through this he was going to change his life.”

Surely that meant he had tomorrow, I assured myself.

The days turned into two more weeks, and my soul began to be troubled as I hadn’t heard from anyone about his condition. Was he still in a medically-induced coma? Surely that wouldn’t be, couldn’t be good. I sought answers from friends in the medical field who assured me that the coma would help with healing. I pushed what troubled me back into the hallway closet of my heart.

It wasn’t until we were driving up north to take our grandson back home and be part of his first day of kindergarten that I was prompted to text my nephew. Five minutes later, my phone rang; it was him.

“Funny you should text me,” he said. “I just got out of a meeting with the doctors.”

Silence screamed.

He continued: “It’s not good.”
My heart sank to the floorboard of the truck, his words going as fast as the miles gone behind me, slowing down when he came to the final conclusion: “So they are going to turn all the machines off and we have to let him go.”

Nooooooooooo, I screamed silently. My heart and thoughts just wouldn’t make the connection and that refusal turned the faucet of tears on and they flowed. I cried over the tragic waste of it all, all that he had lost, even more what my son had lost, and any and all opportunity of looking this man in the face, soul to soul to offer empathy, understanding, affirmation and forgiveness…gone. I didn’t have tomorrow. I couldn’t stop crying and for the next hour, anytime the tears would seem to abate, a thought would come crashing into my heart, taking me back, forcing more tears to the surface. Finally I dozed off, emotionally exhausted.

“I’ve already taken him up.”

I jumped, somewhat in a confused haze, looked around to George who sat driving, his eyes on the road, silent. I looked around at the brown lifeless hills surrounding the stretch of road on either side. I shook my head and as if to tell myself it must have been a dream, I shared with George the words I heard. They lay there in the air…floating away with no response, leaving me to think I must have just been dreaming, wishful thinking. I had sent my son a text message after trying to call him…he responded by saying he didn’t want to talk about it, couldn’t talk about it and his final sentence squeezed my heart, making me yearn to be there with him, frustrating me even more because I couldn’t; he was so far away. He said: “IJeffRIP’m just glad I have my mom. I love you.”

I tried to busy myself by playing games on my phone, reading, lost in a sea of memories, clarity keeping me present.

Two and a half hours later, I received a text message telling me he had passed! My heart lurched especially as a realization hit…hard: they said he had passed a couple hours prior…before my “dream!”  I have to believe that though I didn’t get tomorrow to tell him all that I wanted, and neither did my son, that I will see him in my forever tomorrows. I am comforted knowing he is no longer running from his past, allowing it to dictate his choices, robbing him from the ability to be loved and to love.

In the meantime, Coffee hour friend, let me just share from my heart to yours, if there is something or someone you are running from, STOP! Find someone to share it with; learn what you need to learn to unpack it, to let go of those things that rip you off from the love of family, friends and most importantly, the reality of the necessity of the love and grace of a loving Savior. And if there’s something you haven’t told someone you care about, tell them! Don’t wait until tomorrow for tomorrow may not come…for them…or for you!


IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

We Don’t Have Tomorrow …

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartOh, my goodness, can you believe it; it’s almost fall! I love this time of year, when the change of seasons is just around the corner, even though the heat is trying to contradict that truth, and decorating ideas fill our thoughts; creativity brings them to life, our fall and winter clothes lay waiting for the weather to line up with the time of year. And the colors, don’t you just love the colors of fall? Woops, got carried away there, thinking just a little ahead! Grab your coffee, your strand of faith, and come on in as I share about a tragic loss I recently experienced, and some truths that came from that loss.

Three weeks ago, my son text to let me know his dad was in the hospital with the worst kind of pneumonia someone could have, especially for one whose immune system was already compromised. He asked me to pray. He attached three crying faces. Oh, but that broke my heart for so many reasons, for both of them, but especially my son. Without getting into the not-so-pretty details, let me just honestly share that I was more concerned for my son, as there were so many things left unsaid between them. So honestly, as a mom, I prayed for my son, and after working through a bit of unresolved animosity on my part as a result of his dad’s absence in my son’s life, from the age of four until that moment, I prayed for his father…and continued on with the rest of my evening.

I’ll cut this long story in half and just let you know that the next evening, my son called, tears filling his throat, making it difficult for him to talk so his words came out rather choppy: Mom, I don’t know what to do; Ryan doesn’t think he’s going to make it and says I should come out there.”

My heart fell to the ground, but thank goodness common sense didn’t follow. “Son, you have to go. You can’t “not” go or you will live with that regret for the rest of your life.” I explained we could help him financially if that was a problem, suggested he start shopping for airfare, hung up and stayed in survival mode. My sweet-hearted husband then called him back, gave him the credit card number and re-affirmed what I had told him, but man to man.

The arrangements made, we met my son up in Monterey the following day…at the hospital. I spotted my ex in-law family and after I ran to my son and held him for several lingering moments, I turned and hugged each one of them. There was no sense of awkwardness or animosity; just a genuine concern and sadness that joined us all on one common ground.

I was in no way prepared for what I saw when my son walked me into his room. There he lay, face down, suspended in the air, strapped in some contraption that kept him airborne with his head in like a cage, tubes coming out of everywhere. I gasped, hardly recognizing the man that lay there. As I listened to the beeping of the machines, my heart began to take in all that my eyes were seeing. The tears wouldn’t come; I wasn’t sure why. It was as though they were paralyzed, just like he was, from moving toward freedom.

I stared at him, thinking about all I had come to learn about him just in the last year, things that filled in the puzzle pieces of our life together nearly thirty years ago, why things didn’t work out, why he did what he did, chose the things that he did that brought him to this very moment. Oh, how I wanted him to open up his eyes and I wanted to look into them, deeply, reach down into his soul, massage it to softness, rid him of the stony heart made even more hard because of the way he lived his life…because of all that he ran from. I wanted to tell him I understood why he did what he did; why he didn’t do what he should have, could have; that I forgave him for not being the dad he should have, could have been. What I had learned didn’t justify his behavior, but it did clarify his behavior.

But I didn’t get that chance, not just because he wasn’t about to open his eyes due to the medically induced coma he was in, but  his sister came in there so I lost that opportunity.

By the next day, he was making great strides of improvement and my heart rejoiced over the possibility of another possibility…not just for me, but for him, for my son, to maybe have a chance to be father and son healthily without all the demons that had chased this man to the hospital. I was refueled with hope; I had tomorrow…

Join me tomorrow for the conclusion

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

Embracing the Waves of Change

Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartThanks for joining me for Coffee Hour today. I’m so glad there’s you. Grab your coffee and your SOF (Strand of Faith) and let’ go finish up what we started yesterday about this subject of change.

Why is it that many of us don’t embrace change? Well, there are actually a couple of reasons: first there may be a lack of knowledge where we just don’t realize we need to change, no matter how hard a circumstance is knocking on the door of our life. What makes that really challenging is usually others can see it, but it’s not for us to point out necessarily without getting in their car and their lane and causing an emotional wreck!

And then there’s also a lack of willpower wherein we know we need to change but we simply don’t have the willpower or the motivation.  And it could be anything beginning with an attitude, a diet, an unhealthy addiction, un-forgiveness…the list could literally take up our coffee hour! Oh, how many times have we said “tomorrow”? And tomorrow never comes!

And then there’s the scare-factor: see to embrace change is counter-intuitive, especially changes that bring a lot of unknowns.

So what happens? We stay the same until not changing becomes more painful than the actual change required!

I love and agree with something Steve pointed out at the workshop on stage during our T.V. talk show with Bryan Duncan: “All of us know somewhere, maybe deep inside us, we need to change certain things about ourselves, even before life sometimes forces it upon us.  Sadly, most of the time, something drastic is required before admission and then intentional behavior can start.”

What intentional behavior needs to start with you today?  Do you need to be more committed? Are you in need of a heart check, or acknowledging a circumstance that requires change? Do you need help in negotiating through the change? Are you down on your energy, spiritually, emotionally or physically?

Look up! He’s the author and finisher of our faith; therefore it stands to reason He will guide us to and through any change…for He works ALL changes for our good and His glory according to His purpose…


IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

Embracing the Waves of Change

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartThanks for stopping by for our Coffee Hour! I thought it would be fun to give you a little recap of our Five-year anniversary celebration which focused on change. Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and let’s go talk about this word that has so much meaning behind it!

Change…wow, I think of change and I am humbled…..almost beyond words, which is near impossible for an author! I mean when I just wanted to write a book, and He had other plans, to be honest, I wasn’t embracing it…at least not for the first two years. While I loved doing our workshops, I had not completely embraced this huge change in my life. By the third year, I opened up my arms in surrender and began to truly embrace my calling to help broken people learn to unlearn and re-learn things that will help them thrive IN life and love and OUT of the unhealthy habits that interfere with healthy living. I wouldn’t change it because of how much it’s changed me…and there are days I wonder if I will ever get there…wherever there is, but let’s not forget, He who begun a new and good work in us will be faithful to continue it until when…

So let’s talk about this little word that has such big consequences.

Imagine that right before you drove home from work, someone told you all of the old traffic laws had changed forever: Red no longer means stop and green no longer means go. In fact, all of the signs that used to guide you were no longer valid. The old laws were gone, but the new ones remained unwritten.

How would you feel as you set out for home?

Often, change happens just like that: quick, sudden, and it disrupts our emotional equilibrium and affects our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Change is a loss of predictability and many of us, when we can’t predict what will happen next, we feel fear, anxiety, less in control

Let me tell you something: the more we feel out of control, the more we are in control! Learning how to embrace change is yielding to the right of way!

Let me leave you with an acrostic about what change is and what it takes:

Change takes:

Commitment We can’t do anything without committing to do it!

Heart It’s not necessarily mind over matter but heart and mind over matter

Acknowledgement and/or adaptability because it takes more energy to be rigid than it does to be flexible

Negotiating through so you don’t just survive but you learn to thrive thru change

Grieving: It’s okay to mourn for you can’t disown what you haven’t owned…and then it’s time to get up so you can move on

Energy: These are those physical, emotional and Spiritual muscles I was talking about because it does take those muscles exerting energy to trust that He is working ALL changes for your good and HIS glory!

Learning to embrace change,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

Jenn’s Journey from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Monday, August 3rd, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Happy August! Can you believe how quickly this summer is flying by? It’s been one of the best summers I’ve had in a long time! I will be sad to see it end and school begin. But, that is the cycle of life, isn’t it? There is always a beginning and an end, so make the best of what is in between! Thanks for joining me today…may you be inspired.
The dry, hot summer has brought news of many fires around the country, particularly here in California. The devastation they create is hard to watch, the homes lost, animals with nowhere to go. It’s hard not to wonder where the next one may pop up. A couple of weeks ago, I drove through the Cajon Pass here in Southern CA mere hours before a fire raged through, setting cars on fire, leaving people stranded as well as running for their lives. No lives were lost that day, and we can thank God for that. I was very thankful to have missed the whole experience!
The other day, my boyfriend took a picture of a sunset that was made more beautiful by the smoke of a fire. It was absolutely stunning. The words that came to my mind were, “Beauty from Ashes,” a song sung by Christian artist Crystal Lewis I have loved this song for years.


Here are just a few of the lyrics:

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy over your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said
Yes, fire destroys. It leaves ugliness in its wake, but have you ever seen the new growth start, almost instantly, afterwards? I got to thinking about my own trials by fire. By far, the biggest fire was divorce…just six summers ago: my husband walked out. Within a week I learned there was another woman in the picture. He was also diagnosed with several personality disorders. My world went up in flames.
I know many of you can relate to having your world destroyed. At the time, it can feel as if the burns will never heal. Sometimes the barrenness remains for a long time. Other times we replay the fire so much in our heads, it keeps right on burning. But, we have a choice. The choice is to turn to the One who makes all things new in His time. His word says this in 1 Peter 1:7 “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold, so when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
I do not believe that God purposely sends trials to us, but yet He uses the ones that come as a result of sin, whether our own or from others which is heaped upon us, to better us…IF we allow Him to.
I’ve spent time replaying the fires in my life, and I’ve also handed them over to God. I am here to tell you that the latter is by far the better choice. I’ve seen Him work in my heart and I am beginning to see the new growth. He can do it for you, too. You only have to choose.

Until next week, be blessed,

Tuesday’s Trench Lessons 4 Life

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

I hope you are enjoying your Tuesday, my friends! I am so glad that you can join me today as I look at how we can approach our relationships with others. Grab a stick of gum (you will see why in a minute), a bottle of water, and your thinking cap as we tackle this topic!

I recently took a 23-hour drive as the lone driver. I have done this four times now, and find that it does tax me! I drink caffeine, have snacks on hand, roll the windows down, and keep the music loud, all to keep myself awake. This last trip, I also used chewing gum to occupy my time. 23 hours is quite a long time to keep your mind sharp. You can imagine all of those deep, insightful thoughts I had as I drove through the desert with nothing to look at but dirt! I started thinking about how our approach to chewing gum could be compared to how we approach our relationships.

If you look at a wrapped stick of gum, it is usually covered with a shiny, colorful wrapper. Thinking about entering into a relationship with another human being, whether it be a boy/girl friend, husband/wife, son/daughter, or friend, is for the most part, appealing, just like that pretty piece of gum. It holds the promise of minty freshness, or spicy cinnamon flavor. Even thinking about a fresh piece of gum can cause the production of saliva. I call that the anticipation. That is working up the nerve to ask someone on a date, or waiting for 9 months (or years of trying and wanting) for the arrival of a new child. We have hope, love, and kindness in our hearts.

I have chewed my fair share of gum, On more than one occasion, I have had a piece that must not have been properly formed. It turned to mush in my mouth. I correlate that with a relationship that should not be, such as an abusive relationship. In my life personally, that piece of gum would be the miscarriage I had 10 years ago. It was just not meant to be. The Lord had other plans.

For the most part, the relationships we have in our life do not fall into that category. We all usually get a good stick of gum! We unwrap it, and pop it into our mouths. The flavor explodes in our mouths. We have pleasure and joy. When a relationship is new, it is the greatest. Our love seems amplified, and that is what we can “taste.” We continue to chew. Sometimes, when we are excited, stressed, or anxious, we might begin to chew harder and faster. This tends to make the flavor dissipate quickly. The same can be said for our relationship. If we are rough on the other person, or they are rough on us, some of that joy and pleasure may be hard to feel. But if we chew slowly, and savor it, the flavor remains with us longer; just as when we are kind and considerate.

No matter which way we choose to chew, after time, the flavor fades, leaving us with a dull wad of sticky chewy bits in our mouth. We can opt to throw it out and get another. This seems to be a popular route for relationships as well. Once it loses its excitement and shine, we toss it out. After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea. What of those occasions when you become hungry while chewing, and you spit out your gum to go eat? I liken that to those who are driven by lust, and need their appetites satiated. These people can find that their “piece of gum” is no longer available to them once tossed aside.

The world that we live in now seems to be fueled by instant gratification. The mindset of, if I am done with this piece, I can always get another. We can be the difference. We can be the change. We can realize that people are not pieces of gum. We can also realize that WE are not pieces of gum. We deserve love and respect, and we are commanded to give that same love to others. Romans 12:9-10 reads: Let love be sincere. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.

Let us choose to chew our relationships gently. Let us opt to not throw out our piece, even when we think there is no flavor left. Let us be sincere with our love, kindness, and understanding. Relationships take work, but it is worth the effort! Until next week, choose to taste the flavor.


Jenn’s Journey from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Monday, July 27th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Good morning! I am happy to be here with you today. Grab your coffee and let’s chat a bit about rest for our souls.

We just had a weekend but how many of you are still tired? I don’t mean the kind of tired where you didn’t get enough sleep, but the tired deep down in your soul, the weariness that never seems to go away…perhaps even a feeling of hopelessness? Let’s talk about that for just a few minutes.  “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” (Matthew 11:29 NASB)

Rest for our souls. Doesn’t that sound inviting? It is so easy to become bogged down with all the things we carry in our souls. In fact, Matthew 11:28, says, “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” I have often thought this verse was referring to being tired from physical work, but there is more to it and that is what I want to share with you today.

At the time Jesus uttered these words, He was desperately trying to show the people of Israel why He had come. He knew that the people were carrying heavy loads of ‘work’ oriented religion. The commentary I read said that the “rabbinical requirements were so many that an ordinary lifetime was too short to learn them all.” Now how discouraging is that? Sadly, most of the people either gave up or became rigid in trying to follow all the rules that would supposedly bring them salvation. I am sure they, like us, became good at pointing fingers to all who weren’t following the rules, and yet deep inside, carried the stress of knowing they couldn’t possibly do them either.

Jesus’ way is not our way. What does He mean when He says, ‘take my yoke upon you’? A yoke, as we know, is what goes around the neck of animals when they are pulling a wagon. At first glance, this imagery can seem negative. It seems something like that would be binding, and if the two animals pulled in different directions, it would make for a difficult situation. Again, we need to look a little deeper.

A yoke is used to ease the load so neither animal bears the weight alone. When we allow His yoke to be on us, we are joined with Him.

There is even more significance to this verse and this is what is exciting to me. The verse says ‘learn from Me.’ When we have chosen to take the yoke and join in working with Him, we have the opportunity to learn new ways of life.  We may still walk along paths that are difficult; remember Jesus also tells us “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). However, learning His ways gives us the chance to learn better responses to the troubles life throws at us. And that, my friends, is where the rest for our souls lies.

I find this encouraging. I want that rest. I’ve looked for it all my life. I am great at ‘reacting’ to the problems life throws at me. That rarely results in peace. Jesus is teaching me how to respond, WITH Him…and I am here to tell you, it is worth it. I still mess up, often. But the beauty is, He’s right there, gently pulling me back on the right path!

Until next week, be blessed,

Paws for Coffee Hour

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

The expression “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” originated in 1534, in a book John Fitzherbert’s The boke of husbandry.  The meaning behind it is that puppies are teachable and trainable while older dogs are unwilling and less apt to be trained.  Many have used this phrase to illustrate how getting people, especially seasoned ones, to change their habits or acquire new skills is impossible.

My four-legged babies have definitely proved this statement to be false, and I challenge you to do the same.  Through them I have discovered that this statement simply isn’t true if your heart is soft and willing to learn.  I have also learned that life is an experiment, to push the limits and test what is possible.

I have seen this first-hand with my 12-year-old Golden Retriever, Corey.  In dog years, 12 is pretty old.  He has cataracts and sometimes walks with a limp; recently he barks randomly like he hears a mailman somewhere.

When Logan (my husky) was smaller I started to train him to sit, stay, and speak.  You may have seen the video of him saying “I Love you” in my first blog.  It took him many tries and lots of treats to say the phrase.  Corey sat through the process but started to notice that Logan got a lot more treats than he did.  Corey wags his tail and sits still, sometimes lays down on command but that was about all he wanted to learn…until he noticed MORE TREATS for the dog who could talk.  Huskies are vocal because they are friendly, pack animals.  Golden’s are friendly too, more loyal and watchdog like. They prefer back-scratches to conversation, until talking = more treats.

Corey interrupted our training by growling, then barked three barks – 1 short, 1 medium and then a longer one for emphasis.  I was shocked; he was proud.  He also got a treat.  Logan has moved on to more tricks and Corey tries to keep up.

Corey I Love You

The lesson here is never stop learning and growing. Try something new or refine a skill by:

  • Reading
  • Researching
  • Volunteering
  • Taking a class
  • The list goes on….

A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5).

Don’t wait to create a bucket list; seize the moment!

Jen, Corey and Logan

Faith Filled Fridays From Croley’s Corner of Chicklit Power

Friday, July 17th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. Psalm 86:11

Good Morning! So thankful today is Friday and I’m off to a great start; literally while walking, yes another walking blog. Grab your coffee, journal and let’s see what He has for us today!

Just recently my husband and I were on vacation and we still continued to do our daily walks.  I seemed to notice all the cracks in the sidewalk from small ones to large ones that were filled with all kinds of debris. I know it sounds pretty strange, but I seemed to notice them more than usual. I was trying to concentrate on where my feet were landing; however, I was distracted for a few seconds long enough while trying to avoid stumbling or falling and then it happened! I walked right into a divot and down I went. I first looked to see if anyone saw me and then checked to see if I was hurt and thank goodness my husband was there to help pick me up and that’s all it took for me, spiritually!!!

Have you ever tried walking with someone and your steps were not in sync and you then find yourself out of step you try to skip a step or two just to gain the same walking stride as the person you’re walking with? Although there have been times I’ve found myself lagging behind and I too have had to skip or hop a bit in order to find myself in step with my husband. We chuckle about walking in harmony and swinging our arms in the same motion trying to get back in sync with one another; yes, that’s considered walking in unity!

In the book of Ephesians Paul beseeches us to walk worthy of the calling in which we were called. He’s appealing to every believer to fully understand the process needed to attain unity and spiritual maturity in the Body.  He then goes on to tell us to walk in love, to walk in the Light and finally to prepare ourselves for battle.

You say ”Battle?” Yes, you and I battle the flesh day in and day out, even that can be challenging, but so thankful for God’s word that abides in us. John 15:6-10

Every principle that He has given us to live by is found in His word in order for the cracks in our lives to be filled. Be filled with unity, love, walking in the Light of Christ, walk in wisdom having the bond of peace for there is one body, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in you all.”

If we are we walking worthy of our calling; “with ALL lowliness and gentleness with long suffering bearing one another in love” then we can honestly say we are truly walking in unity. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Till next week …Remember to keep Him close to your heart.

Debbie Croley PicLove Deb

Jenn’s Journey from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Monday, July 13th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Good morning everyone! Happy Monday once again. Thank you for stopping by and having a few moments with me. I hope this new week holds some good adventures for you!

Speaking of adventures, I had one this past week. I’ve talked often here in my blog of being a recovering perfectionist. Life is full of opportunities for improving upon this aspect of my life. I’ve slowly but surely been practicing letting go of my high expectations, trying to give myself credit for the things I do right.

Back to my adventure. I promised to check on my parents’ home while they are out of town, to water their indoor plants and make sure all is in order. They live about 45 miles away, so it’s a bit of a drive. I planned out my week; notice how I say, ‘planned,’ figuring that Tuesday was the best day for this trip. I prepared my daughter for the excursion, promising a treat for both of us and charged up her DVD player. She let it be known this was not how she wanted to spend her day…but I assured her we’d have fun and make some memories along the way.

For once, we sailed right up the hill with no traffic and pulled into the driveway. I stepped out of the car, and with a sudden sinking feeling, realized I had the wrong set of keys with me. The house key to my parents’ house dangled safely from its hook 45 minutes away. Normally, this would really set me off, either I’d be mad, or be in tears. Instead, I laughed.

If you know me, you probably have your chin on the floor right now. My daughter asked me “Mom, what is so funny?” I told her the situation and she just looked at me, standing there, in the driveway, laughing. I explained that we would go to the backyard, pick the plums as promised and then we’d go get some lunch and take go to the park.

We did just that. You know what? We had fun!  I didn’t spend time beating myself up for this mistake. I was able to stay in the moment, and make some memories with my girl.

To some, this would seem a small thing. To me, it is huge.  The still small voice of God says “Jenn, slow down; enjoy what is around you. I will help you handle whatever the day throws at you” Oh, may I count on Him more.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

Until next week, be blessed.