Life’s too Short

Find your happy, healthy life without guilt!

Life’s too short. 

While the passion behind it is every bit as moving as a Nicholas Sparks novel, my writing here will no doubt fall way short; so, please give me the grace to stumble through and do my best.  With all sincerity, I hope what I’m sharing here will impact you in some way regardless of where you land in the world of relationships.  If you’re married to the love of your life, be wise and never let them go.  But, if that’s not your case, and perhaps like me, you’ve continued to accept a destructive marriage for way too long, there is freedom. This is for you. To start, I’m going to plant a seed here: release the guilt and give yourself grace to live a healthy, happy life.  Alright, here goes.   

A little background:  Welp, it’s been 96 days since he left us (the 4th time).  And while that’s a necessary detail, it’s really not the part of the story I want to focus on.  It’s simply the pivotal moment in my life that violently shot me in the trajectory of this new normal I find myself in today.  I have learned so, so much as a result of his decision to escape his life. Yep, he escaped with no forwarding address and zero effort to see his girls since that day.  We’ve had birthdays and graduation where I presented our younger daughter her diploma, prom… and in a blink, life just goes on.  I will quickly say here with full confidence, I’m in a better place because I finally let him go.  I’m choosing not to be angry and I do have compassion for his struggles.  But, I fought the good fight.   Yes, of course I made every effort to save the marriage year after year to keep our little family together.  I pleaded for him to be truthful with himself and to get help.  But, here’s the reality:  at the end of the day, my path changed.  I will always be thankful for the good times, but most of all, I’m thankful I have my girls.  And with that background, I can share what’s really on my heart.    

Warning: Especially if you’re a Christian (as I am), fall more to the conservative side (as I do), and are Bible believing (like I am), this may challenge you.  Here’s why.  People like us grew up being filled with a set of ideals from a young age.  It’s “one man, one woman, together forever”, right?!   Our parents, grandparents, and Sunday school teachers were well intentioned.  They were determined in their efforts to instill in us the “right” Biblical worldview and values that formed who we are as adults today. I believed it all and that was my plan!   

BUT, what happens when our real-life path diverts?  In all my years in VBS, I never heard a story that said this: life is going to disappoint you; you are going to struggle; there will be unexpected failures, yet God will never remove His love from you and you will come out just fine. Here are a few truths often glazed over in those stories: God said David was “after His own heart”, yet he was taken by Bathsheba.  And He loved Jonah, who fled in disobedience.  And what about the woman at the well?  Jesus loved her enough to have close conversation with her followed by compassion. All are examples of living an imperfect, unexpected life still loved by God.  Consider these scriptures with me: 

Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”

Isaiah 61:3 “…he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair…”    

Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Here it is:  What I am saying is this, you may be called to a different path.  And that is the place that well-intentioned Christians sometimes refuse to go.  From childhood, our brains are conditioned to believe there is only ONE “right” path and anything less than that is failure.  There is a disconnect here.  The truth is we are living in a fallen world where sometimes the husband leaves again or a wife becomes disengaged and quits trying.  Sometimes divorce is the healthiest path for you, them, and even the kids.   Spinning into shame and guilt for wanting something more than a miserable, destructive relationship, pushes a message of perfection instead of grace!  Because God is love, (that’s what scripture says) and He’s not a God of disorder, why would He ask us to stay on a miserable path or continue in destruction?  He wouldn’t.   

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “choose your hard.” Marriage is hard.  Divorce is hard.  My personal reality is this: my “hard” was due to accepting a miserable marriage for way too long.  I was paralyzed in those “ideals” from childhood that said we MUST stay married regardless of the pain or destructive, unhealthy behaviors!  So, for way too many years, I gave in to the pressure to stay married because I was supposed to, not because it was the best choice.  I am finally in a better place of allowing myself the grace to live a healthy, happy life because life’s too short to waste being miserable.  I know everyone’s story has their twists of complexity, so choose your hard and forge that path in confidence.     

As a side note, please don’t hear me saying to be negligent in your marriage.  Perhaps my message is untraditional, and maybe it will stretch your thinking.  I hope it does.  But, before many years pass and you wake up one day 10 years older in the same situation like I did, I hope you’ll consider my words. Nobody plans this, right?  But likewise, no one plans to roll over and passively accept misery either.  I did fight, by the way.  I went to counseling… lots of it.  I quit my job when he asked me to.  I prayed more.  I read so many marriage books it’s ridiculous.  I gave up friends he asked me to.  I dressed differently.  I spent less money.  I let him track my location, control all the finances, and make all the big decisions.  I kept myself in shape.  I made good meals.  My house was clean and organized.  But at the end of the day, it was never enough.  Life is too short for that.   

Conclusion:   Spending half your life with someone who you feel lonely standing next to isn’t worth it.  The kids will be fine too, by the way.  As a matter of fact, I asked a close friend recently to tell me his thoughts on navigating a life between two families.  He’s college age and his response was refreshing and one I won’t quickly forget.  He said, “It’s made me a stronger, more independent person and I have a bigger family to share life with!”  He’s one of my favorite people in the world!  We have many lengthy discussions and I respect him a great deal.  He’s already lived enough life to have a healthy perspective surviving imperfect, unexpected circumstances. I applaud his parents for guiding him so well.   

Consider this:  Who do you wanna call first when something stupid funny happens?  Who can make your coffee just the way you like it?  Who would you drive two days for to see only two hours?  Who can you really laugh with and never worry about being judged?  If your ‘who’ in those questions is not your spouse, it’s time to be real and move on. I’m saying this confidently only because I’m coming out on the other side of the pain and I see things more clearly now.  Sometimes, God allows events to happen so He can bring you to the next path HE has for you.  Yeah, there may be a storm to get there, but I’ll say it again, release the unrealistic ideals and all the guilt. Give yourself grace to live healthy and happy.  Life’s too short not to. 

Today… “It is Good!”

Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day…” Genesis 2:2 “and on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested…”

With my limited understanding, after He spent six days creating, God did not dust off His hands, look over His other shoulder and say, “Now, if I hurry, what else can I make?” He certainly didn’t utter, “How can I make that animal better?” or “Now let me spray that garden for weeds.” Funny!  With the Creator’s example, the verses above spoke to me and I believe they can have a life application worth a few moments of thought. Here it is: After God worked, he noted “it is good”, and followed that by a time of resting.

When I’m not careful, I am easily sucked into the world’s influence of …gotta hurry, gotta make it better & it’s not quite good enough! Do you ever feel like that? Maybe it’s my house, or my car, my work, my schedule…or even my kid’s schedule? As a mom, if I don’t deliberately take caution here, with that attitude I will not only be miserable & without an ounce of peace, I will raise two young women who continue that same worldview of discontentment and empty busyness also. I don’t want that for any of us!

For some reason, it is not natural in our culture to rest, but equally disturbing to me, is the rarity of stepping back from anything long enough to say, “It is good.” Am I the only one who sees how often we’re in a hurry to make things “better” and then, what we get done rarely seems good enough? At this hurried, “gotta do more” pace, therapists will be very successful with personal counseling appointments as sought after as prime property!

When do I allow myself to slow down, experience peace and say,
“It is good!” and then rest?

Sadly, I believe we’re teaching our kids to always be rushing to pursue more, bigger & better to the extent they may not have a healthy grasp on moderation and contentment as adults any more than we do. With that being said, of course I want to encourage my girls to excel and have a healthy level of ambition. But, it is more important to me that I teach them a sense of balance between accomplishments and contentment. Surely you’ve heard the analogy comparing overly busy adults to thoughtless gerbils on an exercise wheel! What a visual…is that what we desire for ourselves? What about for our kids?…

Thinking again about that short passage in Genesis, I am challenged first to work hard. (Obviously, God’s work is perfect and mine will never be.) It’s, after I do the work, learning to follow it up with enough contentment

with my schedule …my accomplishment
…my place in life …a particular task …the condition of my home
 

to say the words, “It is good!” Then, take a break and rest afterward. It’s a tall order. But, I can trust in the seemingly simple example God gave us in Genesis… work hard (again, knowing it won’t be perfect), realize it’s good (did I mention not perfect?) and take some time to rest!

I can choose to exit the “gerbil wheel” for a time. If needed, I will work on that project tomorrow, next week or next year. Or, it may mean I wait until the kids are grown!   I can have confidence  … for today, “It is good!”  

~ Domestic Chick

3 Anxiety Lowering Tips for Your Day

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:2

Within the last several days I have found myself in multiple conversations on the topic of mental health. It seems to be an increasingly hot topic, and given how 2020 has gone, I suppose there is no shocker in it’s popularity! I have personally suffered from social anxieties in the past; so, from this perspective, I can relate to the genuine unrest that can occur within our minds, especially during particular seasons of life. Perhaps it’s a pandemic like COVID-19, an accident, divorce, death, triggered fears like abandonment or personal insecurities … the list is long leading to each of our experiences within the scope of anxiety, or at the very least – potentially how we deal with the enormous amounts of stress that happen along life’s way.

Here are my 3 tips for reducing anxiety:

(Because I am a Christian, I see life through this lens; so with that, my content here is based from that worldview.)

1. Read Scripture Morning & Night

My husband has a goal to open his Bible each morning before he puts on his shoes! Reading the Bible does not have to be lengthy or difficult. It just has to be our priority, and all we have to do is open it. In my personal life, I have yet to open my copy of God’s Word and feel LESS peaceful afterward… I always feel more centered. I have more direction. More peace. The Bible is often called the “Living Word” and true to this description, every single time I open it, I “discover” something as though it was new material being revealed to me at the very moment I need it. Reading, even briefly, helps calm my spirit and reduces my level of stress and helps the unrest in my mind. It’s a wise way to start the day!

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Joshua 1:8

2. Talk with God

So, it’s taken me a lot of years to realize God, as the Holy Spirit, is with us & never leaves us. I love how the pastor of the Marriage Today ministry, Jimmy Evans, simplifies this communication with our Heavenly Father. He says this, “You talk to God, or pray, about what you’re stressed about. There’s your prayer list!” How true! The conversation I have with God through prayer helps me to “get out” what’s on my heart… to get out all the stuff that’s stressing me and causing me anxiety. For me, short chats toward God is how I approach my daily moments. Sure, sometimes I’m bowed, eyes closed, but with our fast paced world, more often I’m speaking right out loud driving down the street or even while doing laundry! In my present season, I pray a great deal in our garage… as I hug my girls each morning I pray as they drive away to school each day. When I take the time to have this talk with God, my stresses and anxious thoughts are much lighter and even relieved when I’m done.

 …casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

3. Get Moving

There’s plenty of scientific evidence in favor of exercising to reduce stress. Personally, my day typically starts in the order of 1-2-3 here! I READ, TALK, & then MOVE! When I skip the active part of my day, stresses seem to pile up on me more quickly. I feel more anxious, more irritable. Perhaps a good sweat not only releases the toxins from our physical bodies, but helps to clear out the unhealthy thoughts in our minds too! Regular exercise will start my day better every single time… even when it’s hard to get up and do it! I’m thankful for the ability to exercise at home too. (This has definitely worked out well in 2020 with quarantine and social distancing!) I can honestly say that I’m in my best shape since college all because of Beachbody on Demand exercise streaming at home! If exercising at home sounds like your jam – I’m here to help! I work as an online fitness & nutrition coach. Regardless of how you choose to move, just get moving! It is proven to lower your stress and reduce anxieties in your day!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
https://share.coach.teambeachbody.com/?lang=en-US&postId=1133011&coachId=2270245

I’m here for you!

Like I mentioned, I too have dealt with seasons of mental unrest. It’s not a fun experience. I am not a counselor; however, I can share with you my journey of learning to find more peace, wellness, and a healthier life no matter the circumstances! Feel free to contact me 🙂

God Bless you in your journey-

~ Domestic Chick

Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins – 5 ingredients

15 minutes to make ➙ 15 minutes to bake

It’s Pumpkin Spice Season, y’all! 😋.

This yummy recipe is super simple, it freezes beautifully & it smells oh so good! My girls ❤️ them for breakfast!

All you need:

  • 1 box spice cake
  • 1 cup solid pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces MINI chocolate chips

Mix it all up & divide into 24 sprayed muffin tins. Cook @ 350 for 15 minutes. That’s it.  😋 

* notice that you only use 1/2 the pumpkin & 1/2 the chips… SO, it’s easy to make a second batch, just buy 2 boxes of cake mix, 2 more eggs & water!  Doubling the recipe lets you freeze some and then your future self will thank you! 👌🏽

Organic💚
Allergy Friendly 🎉
Yummy 😋

Happy Fall, y’all 🎃

~ Domestic Chick

3 Reasons to Cancel Your Gym Membership

As COVID-19 shut down our world just as the flowers were starting to bloom in the Spring of 2020, immediately friends were loosing their ability to workout “as usual”. Gyms closed down overnight, it seemed. Then, as we fast forward to the fall of 2020, yes, gyms opened back up again; however, many require masks & rigorous cleaning standards that limited members allowed inside & the availability of equipment! No argument that within this elusive virus floats of cloud of serious precautions; but, due to fears & inconveniences, many have made the choice not to return. I am here to offer help and a viable solution to this chaos on the fitness front as I have YOUR family’s (& mine) overall health & wellness in mind!

Let’s be honest, shall we? Many of us struggle with the priority of exercise regardless of COVID. If you fall into this saturated category, have no guilt! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You are among many friends who struggle finding how to fit in the daily workout! Perhaps you’re like those of us who have a schedule that varies from day to day… again such a common situation! Shift work, retail professionals, medical personnel… all on the list of individuals challenged to nail down the “perfect” time to exercise due to an ever-changing daily routine!

3 REASONS YOU SHOULD DITCH YOUR GYM:

1. It will save YOU time!

Flexibility is key for me! Friends, I’m a homeschool mom, I’m a wife, and I work from home! Like all of you, my schedule is full, and having the ability to workout when it’s best for me makes life so much easier! I love it that I can still enjoy a “class”, but when I attend is up to ME – so I won’t ever be late & miss 1/2 of it! LOL 🙂 I save time by completely eliminating drive time to a gym and there’s no need to “get ready” … all I have to do is walk into my living-room, bedroom, backyard, or, when I’m traveling, stay right in the hotel room and PUSH PLAY! It’s that simple & saves me time… I love that!

THE solution = the “Netflix” app of Exercise ➙ BOD!

It’s a simple app called, BOD – Beachbody on Demand. It offers 1,000’s of workouts, all from your device. . . for less than $10/month for the whole family!

“I use it daily! It has revolutionize my fitness routine!” ~ Jennifer McMahan

2. It will save YOU money… a LOT of money!

I personally gave up the gym membership a decade ago! LOL 🎉 With that being said, I’m in the best shape of my life… I just turned 47 too. And all my workouts are #nogymneeded! Private club memberships vary widely; however, it is difficult to find a membership that doesn’t set you back at least $25-75 per month depending on the level of gym you choose & the number of individuals on your membership contract! With BOD, it comes to less than $10 per month! So, cancel that membership & bring your gym AND YOUR MONEY home!

3. It will keep YOU the healthiest! (fitness + nutrition)

I’m a wellness professional by education with certifications and experience in the field. So, discovering the top-notch programs led by elite trainers sealed the deal for me in letting the old gym go! I am so encouraged that every program is led by elite trainers who know what they’re doing. Every program has high-quality calendars to track your progress. Every program is well researched and balanced to offer both challenging and modified movements!

BONUS: along with the fitness side, there is also the Beachbody Nutrition component with two professionally designed nutrition programs (2BMindset & The Ultimate Portion Fix) to get your eating on point too! Gyms don’t do this! And it’s proven that Fitness + Nutrition is the only way to achieve real results. Beachbody has it all ⬅︎ Check out this video link!

Of course, the fact remains – the virus is still lurking. In addition to the risks of going to the gym & catching COVID/the flu/ Strep from all the heavy breathing and sharing of equipment, there is a BETTER CHOICE… and it’s a MASK-FREE option too!

The Total Solution = Fitness (BOD) + Nutrition + Support*

*If you sign up with me, I will be YOUR personal coach! I am here to get you started on a program that fits your needs! I am here to answer questions online & to help you achieve your wellness goals! Ultimately I want to help you achieve the best YOU ever!

That’s my job & I love helping people find success! 🙂

Ready to get started? Email me here ⬅︎

Join the thousands of others who use BOD – to save $ – to save time – to get healthy!

Your future self says, “Thank you!” 🙂


~Domestic Chick

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Easy Crockpot Tortellini You Will Make Again


“I need an easy Crockpot Recipe to make for dinner!”

Crockpot meals make me so happy, y’all! Regardless if you are home during the day or away, it sure is nice to toss everything in the Crockpot hours before dinnertime! My Crockpot makes my entire day easier. Being a homeschool mom & online wellness coach, there are plenty of other things needing my attention. Spending too much time preparing our meals takes away teaching & work time. So, I use my Crockpot as often as possible! And, I can tell you, as long the food is delicious, everyone is happy! This Cheesy Tortellini with ground beef certainly did not disappoint my family one bit at the end of the day! So, if you’re like me and could really use a great meal with little effort, this is definitely one recipe you will want to add to your cookbook! Enjoy 🙂

Special Note: If you’re looking for a healthy Nutrition Program that doesn’t limit food groups and still allows you to enjoy the foods you LOVE, check out 2B Mindset! I personally follow this program and believe it to be a fantastic choice to healthy weight/ loss & management.

Super Simple: Here’s All You Need

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (precooked*)
  • 1-2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 2+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes & green chilis, undrained 
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 19 oz. package frozen cheese tortellini
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded

So Easy: Less Than 30 Minutes Prep Time

I make delicious, easy meals with my Crockpot slow cooker! ~Domestic Chick

Directions:

Put all ingredients except tortellini and cheese into the Crockpot.  Cook on high 4 hours, or on low for 6 hours.  Add tortellini 20-30 minutes before it’s done cooking.  Top with shredded cheese as you plate this dish & add  a beautiful green salad or side of steamed broccoli for a sure crowd pleaser!  

* Precooking the beef makes this an incredibly easy meal to prepare.  Tip: Buy meat on sale, precook and freeze in 1-pound bags to easily pull out and prepare a quick and delicious meal.  

~ Domestic Chick

Your Plan Ahead Meal Solution


Planning Ahead Makes Lunch Easier & Healthier too!

Regardless if it’s your lunch, your spouse’s or the kids’… having a well planned out lunch system makes life so much happier! I came across these little treasures preparing for the meals ahead and can’t help but share them. Literally any food that is on the Beachbody Nutrition plans will go inside! A wrap fits nicely in the top compartment, but as you can see in the photo, salad works great too. PLUS, the little circle in the middle holds just the right amount of salad dressing (my personal preference is balsamic vinegar & a touch of olive oil) 🤩… and you can wait until & add it when you’re ready to eat, so your salad doesn’t get soggy!

Having handy containers is the first step to planning ahead for a healthy meal and avoiding the emergency drive-thru mentality! None of us can afford that 99 cent heart attack, y’all! Using either one of Beachbody’s Nutrition programs: The Ultimate Portion Fix or 2B Mindset, along with having purposeful containers will keep you following the plan and your nutrition on point, which is vital to achieving your overall wellness goals! Remember no workout plan can make up for a bad diet!

Sistema is what I have & here’s why I like it!

  • They stay closed tightly with clips on each side!
  • They are dishwasher safe!
  • They have a variety of containers: soup, sandwich, breakfast…etc!
  • They come in fun colors!
  • They are great for anyone wanting to control portion sizes!
  • Some items come with utensils that clip right inside!
  • So easy to grab-n-go!

Revolutionize your meal prep process!

~ Domestic Chick

Diversity in Learning…

Freedom in learning is a good thing!

When we started homeschooling, it took me some time to accept that our learning at home would not necessarily look like the traditional classroom!  Oh yes, I tried at first… to make our learning “look & feel” like the classroom from my years teaching in the public.  I genuinely thought that was the “right way to do it”. 

🤣

Oh how wrong I was!!  Our older daughter, Shelby, (in this fun paddle board video) perhaps taught ME the most about learning in our first years at home!  She thrived on thinking outside the box… as she illustrates here with her ingenuity using a boat dock & paddle board!!  She was my student in elementary school who would sing every answer to me and resist with everything in her to sit down while doing her schoolwork!  Thankfully, I can smile at these memories, but initially, as her teacher, I wrongly thought it was my job to conform her actions to the patterns of the “traditional classroom” believing (of course) we learn sitting down, raising hands, and reciting answers in a completely boring methodical fashion.  UGH… I now see what a snoozer that was!  

😴

Isn’t it crazy how the world has turned?!!  This very moment many, many kids across our country & world are on the sofa or their beds with laptops in hand completing assignments outlined by a virtual teacher and they’re still learning… AT HOME!   Haha!!  I like to say that we homeschooled WAY before it was cool, but how we accomplished it definitely morphed thoughout the years!     

📚

The reality is, today’s students don’t use books like we did.  They don’t sit in classrooms as much as we did.  And they carry the entire encyclopedia with them every single day calling it “Google”!   

⬇️

But here’s how I want to encourage you  —>  if given the freedom (ok, fine – or being forced by a nasty virus) kids will indeed learn wherever they are!  So, like Shelby taught me years ago, I had to allow her the freedom to learn differently!  She needed the freedom to explore life learning in untraditional ways (in other words, untraditional to me) … she needed the freedom to fulfill her curiosity with the paddle board experiment in Tennessee!  And I am so, so glad I realized this strategy early on before she lost her internal drive to learn!

🎉

Yay!!  Let’s encourage & empower our students with a little more freedom to learn in new ways & and more freedom to be curious, exploring what excites them in life … whether it be virtually or even outside!  Either way, there’s no argument that education is changing and, in my personal opinion,  it might just be a good thing!  

🤔

Are you teaching at home?  How is it going?  

~ Domestic Chick

DIY: 4 Super Easy Steps – Terra-Cotta Patio Vase

Step # 1 – Sand off any rough, flaky places, making the surface as smooth as possible.

Step # 2 – With a moistened sponge, wipe on the joint compound giving the surface your desired texture. Let dry according to the directions before painting.

Step # 3 – After the compound is dry, sand to achieve the smooth or rough look you are going for. Either will look fantastic! 👌🏽

Take a break & smile for the camera 😎

Step # 4 – Spray paint & let dry!

Grab a glass of tea, fire up the grill & sit back to admire your new patio addition!

~ Domestic Chick

God Met Me at the Park



Well friends, God evidently had plans for me this morning.  Of course, who am I kidding?   I am confident He plans my every day; admittedly, I’m just slower to recognize it sometimes.  Today was one of those unavoidable moments, it was different and I’d be selfish if I didn’t share that if God met me at the park, he can meet you anywhere too.  

I wasn’t dressed for this event at all.  I had on zero make-up, a hat, tennis shoes… and, to risk being a bit graphic, while in the direct morning sun, I feel confident my aroma was nothing less than pungent as well.  And this is how God chose for us to meet. 

It seems that the storms in life are where one tends to “grow” the most.  With this, I definitely am referring NOT to physical growth, but speaking in regard to emotional and mental growing.   And in authenticity, this is the season where I find myself currently.   

As I mentioned, it was hot this morning, and Shelby & I were out walking together for exercise, as we often do.  We laugh together, we solve problems, talk about relationships, friends, our struggles, college classes, ethical questions…. I guess we cover it all.   🙂  These are definitely moments I count as blessings with my sweet girl.

Today as we rounded the park, we saw Blake* at a distance.  He was walking “Cookie” as he always does – while reading a book – which he also always does while walking around the park.   Over the past year, we’ve shared a handful of conversations, I guess.   Mostly we discuss books, our views on politics, college plans for Shelby, and most importantly, our common faith in the Lord.  He has a higher than typical intellect, as is common with chemical engineers, but what is remarkable to his personality is how is relates in conversation.  Through his own self-admission, he has an unusual ability to take on the feelings of others around him.  As I mentioned, in all my 46 years to this point, perhaps I’m in the most difficult storm yet. 

Catching up to Blake*, we exchanged a few pleasantries, gave Cookie some attention and a little scratch, then briefly discussed our quarantine lifestyles.  Somewhat randomly, he shares with us a song he recently enjoyed while worshiping out on his back patio… and he begins to sing.  Instantly I’m thankful to be hiding behind sunglasses, as the tears emerge.  He follows this by quoting some scripture… of course, the exact verse I have been praying specifically through this storm in my life.  And, I felt the very presence of God.  By now, there is no hiding my tears, as much as I tried.  Our intention was not to dive into real life with Blake* today, but it was God’s plan that prevails, not ours.  As our conversation unfolded, he poured scripture over us and shared about the work of Jesus in his own life.  In humility, he shared his regrets and some of his own life’s mistakes.  Ultimately the three of us held hands (yes, during “social distancing”) and we three prayed together right in the middle of the park to our mighty Lord, the only God who is capable of miracles. 

Some days I’m stronger than others, but perhaps today I needed a little boost.   Jesus knew exactly what my heart and my spirit needed today.  He knew how I’d be dressed, where I’d go and exactly who to place in my path bringing me the reassurance, security and peace during this storm of my life.   God met me at the park today through a man walking his dog and reading a book.  He poured out His Spirit and showed me that His love has no boundaries.  Praise the Lord!      

*name changed

Thanks for reading, y’all. 🙂

~Domestic Chick