Monthly Archives: October 2016

Insult, Today; Compliment, Tomorrow

Living transparent can be a great burden.

When I started this blog back in 2009, I made it my goal to live transparently.  Simple concept……  I have nothing to hide.  It is like living in a fish bowl.  Everyone can see my life stories.  They will be able to read my ups and downs.  They will be able to connect with me on the most human level.

Now, living under a microscope paves the way for many people……. family, friends, and complete strangers ….. to criticize, to scrutinize and even to insult me.  For years, I carried what they said to heart.  Even though, in my mind, I had typed nothing wrong.

Recently…. well, let’s be honest….. one day last week, Mark and I drove into the city to work.  Our conversation was simple…… weather, church, and yes, my blog.  It had been freeing last week to blog again.  It felt good.  It felt right.  It was liberating.

Then, that old familiar argument I used to hear in my head came in crystal clear…….

You shouldn’t talk about such things.

You make your family sound like you live in squander.

You are painting a picture of you being so righteous when in truth you aren’t.

Oh and my favorite…….. There you go again with another crazy idea that will cause your family financial woes.

The torture list goes on for decades.   I used to lay awake at night arguing like a TV lawyer with each and every person who ever made a judgmental call or left a hurtful comment or straight up in my face wagged a finger of disgust.  Hours of tossing and turning left me worn out and well…….  at times, I was glad I had opened the bakery and left the blogging business.

And last week, I was up arguing again but this time was the what-ifers I was defending against.  I mean it had been a week and my mind was soaring with thoughts about what if so and so starts insulting me.

I can state my opinion on MY blog.  My opinion.  My ideas to prove that living a thrifty lifestyle is a good one to have……  My crazy stunts…… My weird ways of explaining how things work in my emotional bad self.  

If you don’t like it…… don’t read my blog.  If someone you know makes a comment about it….. simply say, “I don’t read her stuff.”  

I had it all worked out in my mind.  Every last one of those what-if scenarios.

Exhausted.  And already ready to give up the blog again…… I watched a little YouTube video of the gal who plays Amy on Big Bang Theory.  Her words intrigued me.  They got me so….. I don’t know…… back on track.  I guess that would be the best way to describe it.

Her words that echoed…….

Their insults are compliments waiting for to be discovered by me.

Whoa.  Hold the horses right here……  Am I understanding this correctly?  Insults that pop up today will be compliments later on?  Intriguing isn’t it.  Why, that just puts a whole ‘nother spin on things!

I think it was just a little tidbit that God wanted me to hear.  Maybe He is just preparing me for the firing squad.  Or perhaps, I need to take those negative comments and make them into accomplishments worth complimenting upon.

Hmmm….. Love it when I find God in the little things in life!

Advertisements

Just a Tea Bag

Five years ago, I decided to give up my addiction–Soda.  Yep, cold turkey.  And it cost me three days of complete and utter pain–sick, aches and pains, fever, and the world spinning.  I thought I was dying.  But ever since then I haven’t had a soda.

I drink tea instead.  Just one cup a day.  Ahem….. I am supposed to drink one a week but I tell ya I just need that little happy in the morning to get me going.  Yep, I drink hot tea.  Not coffee–tea.  If my mom was alive today she would die of shock!  I never drank anything growing up except water and cherry Kool-aide.  I would gag at the sight of tea.  Guess my taste buds have grown a little culture.

And I don’t just drink any old tea….. Nope….. it is what I call my Happy Tea.  It is so good!!  I love it with a bit of honey or monk fruit.  YUM!

 

happy-tea

And on each tea bag tag there is a happy little quote.  Sometimes they make me giggle how silly they sound.  And then times like today make me stop and think about it…….

img_3253 Oh dear, I should have thought to do a little manicuring before taking this picture…. Oh well, life goes on…….

Live Light, travel light, spread the light, be the light…..

So, Live Light…… Well, this totally fits with what I have been experiencing this past week.  I am lighting my load.  I have made a commitment to try to live a burden free life and attitude.  I mean in Psalms 22 God states……

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;

I am doing just that.  I am handing over every burden I pick up during the day.  Jesus clearly states that His yoke is easy and the burden is light.  Matthew 11:30.  So, I am taking God up on His offer to take care of the worries and burdens I have shouldered.

Let’s see Travel Light…..  I know there is the literal sense of actually traveling and not taking 10 suitcases…… but I think this can also apply to the whole “No Worries” policy.  I mean think about it.  It is a heavy load to carry when you are worrying about things that happened yesterday, today and what may happen tomorrow.  I am learning that once I pray over a situation, God is big enough to handle it without my help.  I have asked for His assistance or perhaps I continually pray over a situation–then my part is done.  All things are possible with God in control.  I mean really…… why create more worry or burdens for

 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Oh man…. Spread the Light.  That is a good one.  I know you gotta be thinking the same thing as I am right now……

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:15-16

Do I really need to explain this?  It is like the “Domino Effect”–I do a good deed and live by example.  Others will do the same.  Kinda like “Monkey See, Monkey Do”  but in a spread the love kind of way.

And lastly….. Be the Light.

Can’t be any simpler than that–Jesus was the light.  He has passed the torch to me and now I am the light. God’s word is the lamp for my feet in this dark dark world.  I have to take it in every day in order to recharge my light battery.  I am the light……. sigh……Good stuff, God.  Good stuff.

So, in a nutshell….. live light, travel light, spread the light…… be the light.  Ya’ll just look for God in the little things in this life…… who knew a simple tea bag tag could move me……

Teachering 101

This morning, I sprung out of bed…… late, again.  These cooler temps keep me under the covers a bit longer than normal.  Anyways, while laying there wondering if today was going to be a good day or a day I wish I had stayed in bed, I prayed a little prayer.  Just a tiny one…… God be there today.  Fill me up and send me out, Lord.

You know, last week was hard.  And after I emptied my mental cart and just left “speak and motivate” in there, my outlook on everything has changed.  First thing Monday morning, I realized it was going to require me to purge the cart several times every day to keep it clean of trash. It wasn’t going to be an easy task either.  Ummmm if you haven’t read that blog, click right here and it will take you there.

So God be there today.  Fill me up and send me out, Lord. came out of my mouth and then I added, Motivate me to motivate.  Speak to me what I need to speak, because you know I want to follow God’s plan…… like a good girl.

Well, 8:00 am came…….. the little darlings (oh wait–the middle schoolers) were walking into the school building.  It was hard not to groan but I managed and whispered……..Motivate me to motivate…..  Speak to me what I need to speak………. God needs to hand me brownie points for praying instead of grumbling…… Just saying.

The students filed in and class began.  We were doing all kinds of reading and writing….. it was just a big old English class party up in there!!  Now, we have been reading one of my favorite books, FEVER 1793.  We have just gotten to the part where the first death has happened and the main character’s reaction to the death was creating an English teacher’s dream…… a deep discussion.  Of course there was an expression used that left the kids a little puzzled…… “gone too far.”  The main character’s behavior with her mother had definitely gotta a little heated so we were discussing what those 3 words meant.

Of course, right in the middle of this discussion, I realized something……..  I signed……

Hold on!  Wait….. before we go any further.  I have a connection.  I have to say something important so listen up…….

Here’s the funny thing….. I turned to a student and said…..

I forgot to tell you thank you.  Last week, you said something to me that is still repeating in my heart. You made the statement, “Mrs. Dettra, I don’t like seeing you NOT smiling.”

Bless this student’s heart.  The kid just sat there uncomfortable and awkward wondering where in the world I was going with this……

Ya’ll last week was not a good week for me.  I know I wasn’t myself and so thank you for pointing that out to me because it made me stop and think if I had let my emotions go too far.

Wasn’t that a brilliant English teacher move??…… tying in last week, showing gratitude, and even using the words we need to discuss……  sometimes, I am amazed!!  I am just teasing….. I hope I am not that vain!!

I really don’t know who needed to hear this…… me or them.  I am banking on me.  I was in a horrible funk.  I was.  There was no question that Pam’s death even though it was two years ago had truly threw me in a tail spin.

I knew that my mood can carry the tone of my classroom.  I know it.  It is teachering class 101.  Happy teachers make happy students.  It is hard sometimes.  And let’s just say I am glad last week is over.  And I promised the student that I would be all smiles again.  Let me just tell ya…… I am.

Don’t you just love a transparent life??

So remember that little prayer I prayed……  God be there today.  Fill me up and send me out, Lord.  Motivate me to motivate.  Speak to me what I need to speak.  Well, by the end of the day, God was showing out……  He was there.  He filled me up and sent me out.  All day today, I saw him in the students’ faces.  They were eager to write for me instead of being the typical middle schoolers moaning and gagging at the request.  He was using me to show the kids that writing can be cool and creative.  And then…….

I friend struggles and God puts me right there to give my testimony.  I got chills ya’ll.  He sent me out.  Me with my little cart of two items God has given me…… Speak and Motivate.  I just knew at one point someone was going to shove the cart somewhere with my cool collective jive self!  Give me about a week and this will have played out….. I promise.

So a coworker and I were chatting in the hall……. We were talking shop about one thing or another.  We were both almost “gone too far” when I stopped and said……

I don’t know much but I do know that if I can motivate the kids to pick up a book and read.  Just getting excited about reading.  I know I have done what I needed to do…….

His reply– There’s the Regina I know.  Amazing isn’t it how God just shows up the in the little things of life.  We just have to look for Him.

Lost and Cooked Goose….

Recently, I visited the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  I volunteered to find a vending machine to retrieve a diet soda.

If anyone out there knows me I am directionally-challenged.  I get lost so easily.  Guess that is why we live in an area in which I grew up…… hard to get lost if you already know the place.  In fact, when Mark’s parents lived in upstate New York, they lived in a charming little subdivision with all these cute little twists and turns.  I got lost just riding along with Mark and his family.  And the one time, I needed to run to the little gas station for milk; I left stating, “If I am not back in an hour come looking for me!”

I get turned around so easily that it isn’t funny.  So for me to venture out to find a coke machine with an attitude of “I got this”……. to say the least got really interesting…… really quick.

I left the room and counted how many lefts then rights I made.  I vocalized the colors of the walls and the hall signs.  I was determined to get back without getting lost.  Now, I knew the lay of the land from back when our son was there. But it didn’t take me long to figure out it had been ….. 10 years ago.  Things have changed.  DRAMATICALLY!!

Left….. left….. right……. right…… oh look daisies on the wall…….. right……. right…….. left…….

I was determined NOT to get lost.  But guess what happened?  Yep, I found myself back at the daisies and wondering if somehow I missed a turn or two.  So then, what every respectable lost woman does began to fall from my mouth…….

Excuse me?  Where is the nearest vending machine?

Getting directions, I set out for yet another long walk.

Now I knew full well, that there was a little coffee shop near the front entrance……. thing is…… I had no idea where that was.

I kept walking.  Stopping people and asking them for directions.  This building is only a street block wide, one would think that with four sides I could find the entrance!!  So then I realized I was walking in a circle.  I kept passing this one nurse.  Strange really.  I had to ask was I meeting myself coming or going???

I winded around the corridors thinking that I would eventually find the coffee shop and there was the gift shop….. no wait…… that wasn’t it.  I was at a resource center of some sort.  So I got the bright idea to pull out my phone and text the awaiting party for a diet soda.

I am lost.

So grumbling to myself and not realizing I was actually verbalizing the– All I had to do was get a coke!–this sweet lady stopped next to me and asked, “Do you know the south wing?  It has orange dots.  I am so lost.”

I started laughing out loud.  Yes, this poor woman was asking me, the one that can’t find a vending machine to save her life, where the south wing was!!  I barely could catch a breath from the laughing…… I kept shaking my head and laughing.  Then, she gave me the look.  You know the one……I better find security look. I tried getting myself together and finally got the words out….. “Oh honey, I am as lost as a goose.  Do you know where I can get a soda?”

Then she pointed out on the wall…… I felt so stupid…… a little arrow and “Cafeteria” were right there as plain as sight.  I jumped  for joy.  Then I politely wished her well finding the south wing.

I will spare you the whole….. me shaking locked “staff only” doors, begging someone to show me to the area I once was in, and being absolutely beyond thrilled to see the daisies on the wall just before I almost cursed  yet, another, locked door…….

Let’s just say–I made it back to the car.  Yes, that’s right….. I never got back to the room.  I just texted my friend and explained that I will be at the car waiting…….I found the exit door and I was tickled pink.

There is nothing like the sinking feeling of being lost.  Your heart pounds.  Your stomach flips.  There is this confusion that only comes when you are lost.  You know what I am talking about……. okay maybe you don’t, but us directionally-challenged peeps do!  It isn’t fun.

I have felt that way recently.  I mean even though I physically wasn’t lost…… I was most definitely spiritually lost.  Not that I thought I lost my salvation….. No, just that I had lost my direction.  I thought I was making thorough notes along the way but I got distracted with the “daisies” along the route.  By the time I realized it, my goose wasn’t just lost; it was cooked.

I was head strong and determined to do this my way.  That was my first mistake.  I didn’t slow down long enough to really listen to the directions.  And when someone asked me to help them out on a spiritual matter–I was so far gone lost that all I could do was laugh at the idea that they were asking me for assistance.

It has been a struggle but I have managed to get back on the right path.  I know it is right because the sinking, lost feeling has subsided and replaced with pure peace.

So, hey, stay on the right path.  Don’t veer off and get lost as I have…… I mean look for God in the little places in life–just don’t get distracted by the daisies!!

 

Molting

To some, I have a problem……. ahem……  To others, I am considered a pet lover……. ahem…….. But, many agree…….. I am just plain ole Chicken Crazy!!

Yes, I love my Poultry Divas.  I have them free foraging in my back yard.  Each evening, I go out on my back porch and sing……  “Oh, Laaaaaaddddddiiiiiieeeeesssss.”  My five hens waddle up to the porch knowing full well, this Chicken Crazed Woman is about to give them a tasty treat like dry cat food, meal worms, or crickets.

Ahem…… the cat food…… is NOT chicken flavored.  Nope, Tuna.   Do think I am sick or something????

Anyways, I love my divas!!  Mrs. Chicken is the oldest of the brood.  I have had her for almost 5 years.  She is my favorite.  She’s sassy.  She’s spoiled.  And she knows it!!  Yes, I have been known to rock her in my rocker……. yes, I guess it does sound like I’m off my rocker!  But she likes to snuggle.  And, I only spoiled her when it was just her.  Now that I have a total of 5 Poultry Divas, I can’t play favorites.  Right?  That is the most responsible mom thing to do!

So, gotta tell ya about “molting”.  I will never forget the day I went out to the coop of my original divas—Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Mrs. Chicken, Eva Gardner, and Red, and saw feathers every where!  I panicked.  My heart sank.  They all looked so sickly.  I ran inside to the mastermind of all chicken care…..Mr. Google.  And I learned about what they call “molting.”

Here is Mr. Google’s answer to my “Why do my chickens look sickly and losing their feathers??” panic stricken question.

So don’t panic when your chickens start losing their feathers and stop laying eggs.Molting is a normal and natural process of shedding feathers and re-growing them that all chickens go through. The best thing you can do to help your chickens through molt is to feed a high quality, high protein layer feed.

Whew, I was scared.  I thought I was gonna have be Annie Oakley and get a gun after the critter that was harmin’ my divas!!

Fast forward 5 years and I can tell you the point of this here old blog post…….

Molting is changing.  It is a normal process.  NORMAL!  Get that….. N. O. R. M. A. L.  Normal.  All chickens do it.  Big ones, Little ones, Black ones, Red ones and yes even Spoiled ones.

And we are a lot like our fine feathered ladies.  We have to go through change.  We have to.  We need to accept it.  Doesn’t matter what kind–financial, health, age, empty-nesting, turning over new leaves, new jobs, new homes, healthy lifestyles……. the change list can go on for hours, so I will spare you.  But change happens.  Regardless.

We can throw ourselves down like the two year old in us and kick, scream, or cry.  But it ain’t gonna change anything.  Change comes whether or not if we are ready.

Sometimes change is so rough that we look like my orange hen here……..

img_3237         img_3231

Ragged.  Worn.  Jagged.  Jaded.  Tired.  Sickly.  Just plan–Yucky.  We feel just about as ugly as we look when we are faced hard change.

But, here’s the good news……. Mr. Google said to feed the ladies a high protein diet to help them through the molting.  Ahem….. see where I am going???  Yes, folks, when we are in a molting phase, we have to give ourselves high quality nourishment.  And where exactly do we get this??  The Bible…. plain and simple.  God’s word feeds us.  When we are down and out, ragged and torn, a good dose of God’s word will fix what ails ya!

Feed on God’s word and in no time your feathers will be back fluffy, healthy, and strong.  Look at Mrs. Chicken’s tail feathers and Bossy Britches’ next to Orange Lady.  Orange will be just as beautiful in a few more weeks’ time.

img_3227

 

Don’t you just love chickens??  I do!!  God bless and please, look for God in the little things…… like chickens!!