Peeve Petting

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1 Corinthians 9:25

I wish life would quit petting my peeves.

The little annoyances that get me worked up in my day so much, I have to pray to Jesus to ask for control of my thoughts and my mouth!

And all of the childhood reminders of what my mother and granny would say to me, come dancing into my head during these peeve petting moments.

“Be careful little mouth what you say”

“If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all”

”Watch your tongue”

Pffft.

Let me say this, I say! Alone I am not, with all of the little peeve petters I’m sure of. Here are some of the pet peeves that drive me bonkers. Laugh if you must! I’m sure we could compare notes.

1. When my dog continuously licks her chops when I’m trying to fall asleep

2. When I’m driving well over the speed limit and have someone whizz by me only to slam on their brakes to turn in front of me. Really? Was that necessary?

3. Continuous interruptions of low priorities when I’m trying to concentrate.

4. When I set my coffee cup down and I can’t remember where it is.

5. When men stare at me at the store and try to strike up small talk and I don’t want to talk and they never seem to get the hint and all I want to do is smack them up the side of the head and tell them to hush their mouths. (My girlfriend would tell me those thoughts are called movie moments).

6. When I write myself a note only to refer to it later and have no idea what it means.

7. When I am unable to locate the note I have written myself to remind me of something later.

8. When I get home from the store only to realize I forgot the most important thing on my list. Or when I get to the store and realize I have forgotten my list.

9. When I’m in my office and the deer look in my window when I least expect it. It’s like having my own little personal stalkers.

10. When I faithfully wear my mask in public due to this pandemic and the public looks at me like I’m from another planet.

And to think these are just a small handful.

I think Jesus really tests my patience. What are your pet peeves? Just like 1 Corinthians 9:25, we are competing for a crown that will last forever. And I deep breathe and hush my mouth. I smile and show kindness, gosh darn it even in the most difficult times. And there are times when I am guilty of losing it. I am human and I am sometimes truly tired and truly cranky and the steamroller kicks in.

Then as I sit and pout or fume, Jesus somehow, in someway, puts his hand on my shoulder and all I can say is, “I know, I know.”

Dream a Little Dream

The strangest thing happened to me the other night. I woke up around midnight and I was unbelievably hungry. I was not going to allow my body to tell me what to do in the middle of the night, especially telling me to eat, THAT’S for sure! I knew if I got up and ate something I feared it would become a habit. Rather than eat, I opened the fridge and took a few large swigs of almond milk.

The strangest thing happened though. When I crawled back into bed, I couldn’t fall back to sleep. At least I didn’t think I could. Next thing I know, I’m watching myself hugging Jesus! I am not kidding. I knew it was Him. It felt like a very brief moment. It didn’t appear I was dreaming, but I had to be, because I remember lying in bed thinking to myself, “I want to meet You!”

Never in my life have I ever experienced that. I don’t know what it meant or why it happened. But now I cannot get it out of my mind! Is it just a reminder that things will be okay? Or?

I have had so much on my mind lately. Maybe it is a reminder I’m not alone? I have been very aware of many things lately as well. Little things, such as yesterday I was adding fresh water to the sunflowers I had purchased and rearranging them. I was removing some of the flowers and as I did, some of the petals were falling off. At that moment I thought, “it is sad how something so beautiful comes to an end.” I am caught up in awareness of little moments like this.

Our lives are filled with many beautiful things. But sometimes the daily stressors take over. Don’t allow this to happen! Take note of the little things in life. Enjoy the sunrise, the flowers, waves crashing and the buzz of bumblebees. Enjoy the blue skies and don’t forget to hug Jesus!

Image by Robin Moreau

Slow it Down

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

I am guilty of consistently rushing around on a daily basis. It never ends, from the time I wake around 3:00 a.m. to the time I fall asleep about 9:00 p.m.

I never rest. If I’m not working, whether it is at home or the office, my mind is always in a disarray of multiple races of various projects I want to work on next, dinner planning, work emails I need to reply to, and so much more. I am similar to a bumble bee, buzzing from flower to flower on the hunt for the next bit of sweetness.

About four weeks ago, I was getting ready to leave the house to head to the office. Realizing I left my water bottle on the counter, I ran back into the house as I was already late. As I rushed in, I hit my hand between my index and middle finger on the laundry room door handle. The pain just about dropped me to my knees. When I looked down at my hand, there was a large knot that had surfaced. By the time I arrived to the office, my hand was starting to bruise.

Three days later, again I was heading to the office and as I opened the garage door, I realized I had forgotten my water bottle. Again I ran into the house, and once more hit my hand in the exact same location! The pain riveted through me and I started to cry. My hand was already bruised, and despite the swelling that had subsided, it instantly came back.

A few days went by, and I helped my son bring a large box into his room. The same hand I hit several days prior, I caught it again on his bedroom’s door handle. This time I cursed. How was it possible to hit the same hand three times in a row?

The next morning I woke up to pain not only in my hand, but my wrist as well. When I tried to pour myself a cup of coffee, I practically dropped the whole pot as pain shot through my hand.

The following week I seen my physician and she ordered an X-ray. She also suggested bubble wrapping the door handles. She can be so snarky. The results were negative, thank goodness. She wrapped my hand, and referred me to an orthopedic doctor. Although it wasn’t broken, I had damaged the ligaments and he taped my fingers up to stabilized them.

I thought to myself, I really need to slow down and quit rushing around. Honestly there is no need for it. In the Bible, Jesus says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.” Luke 12:22

A couple of days ago, working from home, I finished up the afternoon and headed to the store for a few groceries. I had also treated myself with a few large bouquets of flowers. I just wanted to get home, prepare dinner and then ask my mother if she would want to go to Michael’s. She had told me they were open again. Of course I didn’t need any art supplies but I hadn’t been to a retail store in what felt like, forever!

I had quickly kicked off my shoes in the bathroom and on my way out, now barefoot, I kicked the bathroom scale. HARD. I had broken my toe. I hopped around on one foot holding my toe, eyes watering and believe it or not, I started to laugh. Despite the pain, I couldn’t help but laugh.

I was quickly reminded about Jesus saying not to worry about life. Here I was again, rushing to the store because I was worried about preparing dinner just so I could go to the craft store.

Later in the evening, I sat in my studio chair with my fingers taped and my toes taped, viewing my bouquet of flowers and sipping wine. I started to cry and I had given in. I thanked Jesus for the flowers. Acknowledging my consistent worry and vulnerability of injury, maybe this was His way of telling me to slow down.

Why do I rush around and worry about the next given moment? Why do I rush around and worry about arriving late to the office, what I will be cooking for dinner or running back into the house for my water bottle? When we worry and rush, we can cause more harm than good, and we are missing so much more Jesus has to offer us! We can easily overlook moments we will never have a chance to experience again.

Slow down, enjoy life! Sometimes we simply need to be reminded of this.

Image by Robin Moreau

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10

With love, Robin

Minuscule Beauty

My husband and I walked the perimeter of Walmart last week, looking at the array of colorful plants. The only reason I agreed to go with him is we were going to look at plants. I’m not very fond of Walmart, and never have been.

He insisted we add some color to the yard, as we are filled with evergreens. I am not much on annuals or perennials, because they die so quickly after a short bloom. As we are walking through the garden center, I really started noticing the colors of flowers. They were a magnificent blend of brilliant colors, and those pale in color had intricate petals great and small. I was so intrigued, I took out my cell phone and starting taking pictures.

My husband just rolled his eyes.

When we arrived home, I scanned through my images and one particular one, stood out. So I decided to see if I could capture its beauty with my new 150 count Prismacolor pencils my husband recently purchased for me from Blick Art Materials. I was excited to start using them and this would be the perfect opportunity to truly see how I could capture their beauty.

How can something be so beautiful? God’s work amazes me, as we are surrounded by beauty no matter the season. “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you” Song of Songs, 4:7. There are no flaws in these flowers, no dull colors. They perfectly hold their blooms high, stretching out of their pots, in hopes we will take notice. How could we not?

The gloom of the world today can weigh me down. But I have took note, with the flowers in bloom, the colors within my pencils, the pigment of the lead is pulled across the paper, I full heartily try to capture the essence of these flowers.

There is no match to the real beauty.

With love,

Robin

Questioning the Unquestionable

I usually go to bed fairly early, somewhere around 8:30 to 9:00, but not last night. Last night I was wide awake, until well after 10. I scoured Hulu in hopes to find something interesting as I listened to both my husband and dog snore.

Against my better judgement, I decided to log into my work email as a head start for today. Big mistake. As I stared blankly at the screen, I sent a reply then logged out. I stared at the ceiling in the dark and started to pray. I didn’t know what else to do. I just lost one of my key volunteers. This person with a background of many skills that have helped the staff in computer technical issues, financial and government skills, resigned as a volunteer as this person indicated it had evolved into too much.

Knowing that this person was on the verge of burnout, I cried. I have a very, very small staff and rely heavily on volunteers. With the pandemic, my staff just may get smaller. I get little pay for the job that I do but the core staff are salaried while the others hourly.

My husband has watched me over the past couple of years, learning an executive role and putting in countless hours. I have had very little to complain about, despite the non-stop hustle, but this….this key person has pushed me over the edge. The product of burn out will increase my load.

This morning I have been on a search. Not for a new job, but asking God to help me find the way. Since working remotely, I have discovered I don’t want to go back to work. I have enjoyed working from home, taking care of our home, cooking for my husband and not having to rush in the morning. I have enjoyed it far too much. I would never admit this to my husband, as we cannot afford to live on one income. I have worked far too hard to get where I am today and now that I am here, I question my results. Is this stress really worth it? But living in a very small town during a pandemic, I should be beyond thankful by the grace of God my husband and I are still working. Yet, this persistent nag will not leave me alone.

I cried over my coffee this morning, reading Christian blogs, praying, and simply hoping I would find an answer. I know God has a plan for me and I know He will lead me in the right direction. What I don’t know is where that is. Why do I have this nagging sensation? Why can’t it be a simple answer in front of my face so I can say, “Oh yes! Thank you, I see the direction of where I need to go.” But it’s not like that at all.

Image by Robin Moreau

I think of Proverbs 31, the portrait of the virtuous woman. Oh to set myself up to paint a picture of how I feel I should be. To care for my husband, concurrently with helping others. Can I do both? Is it selfish to want to?

I hope as I continue to pray for answers, I will finally find it. Whatever that may be.

With love,

Robin

Growing Up Christian

I remember when I was a little girl, maybe about 8 years old, the very moment Jesus called me to Him. I remember sitting in the pew at church on a Sunday morning, minding my own business, when suddenly I just had the urge to get up out of my seat.

I remember the urge being so strong, that when scooted along sideways toward the aisle and tried to surpass my mother, she blatantly said, “where do you think you’re going?” What I don’t remember, was my response to her, nor how I managed to get past her. But what I do remember is that she was NOT going to stop me.

As I walked up the aisle toward the Pastor, all eyes were on me and I could hear whispers and tiny gasps. I knew what Jesus was up to and no one was going to stop me. I was on a mission and so boldly told the Pastor that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, when he bent town to hear what I had to say.

I envy those who have those callings as an adult. I am not saying I never have them anymore. But what I am saying is I crave them. Crave the direction I clearly remember having as a child. It appeared black and white then, which now, seems more gray. I envy those who get called to mission, those who get called to teach the Bible in a variety of ways. Where is my calling again?

I started going back to church. Believe or not, I actually work for a church, but it is not a church of Christians, it is Unitarians. Not that there is anything wrong with their beliefs, but it is just not my belief. Finding a job in a church is difficult to do. I pray to give me the strength not let some upset me because our beliefs don’t align. I pray for strength to get me through the day. What I am thankful for, is their beliefs are filled with love and I have never experienced a place where so many people do what is right for the community and for each other.

As I was reading the Bible this morning, 1 Corinthians 15: 54-58, 58 states, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you now that your labor in the Lord is not vain”. Is this my calling? It doesn’t feel like it, but also when I finished reading, I noticed to the right of the page, at some point in my life, I highlighted the words in chapter 16: 14, “Do everything in love”. Maybe this is what I am called to do? Live my life through love no matter what others’ beliefs are. What I do know, is if this is not my landing place, I am sure Jesus will let me know when the time is right.

In the meantime, I persevere in a gray world, not the ever-so-clear black and white I remember as a child, and I persevere the best I can with love. Sometimes I grumble about it and I am far from perfect. But I guess I am only human.

With love,

Robin

A Moment

It’s amazing how quickly our daily routines can be turned over to something unexpected. I have been working remotely for exactly three days now, not including the weekend, since the Covid-19 outbreak. It is hitting me harder than I thought.

I am a social person in terms of loving the everyday hustle of work, errands, interruptions and family. But since being confined to my home, and working through conference calls and emails I am more anxious, annoyed and short-tempered than ever before.

My only thought in saving myself is turning to prayer, trusting God and diving into my artwork as an outlet. This blog is my story, another outlet for reaching out and grasping at any social life I can. This truly is a test  from the good Lord above of how I deal with isolation, confined to my home.