You, Not Me

A woman knows. I can’t explain why or how, but a woman just knows.

She knows when things aren’t quite right. The unsettled feelings, intuition, the gut feeling….however it is phrased. A woman simply knows when things are “off”.

I am that woman. Struggling with past situations that’s have kept a wall up and my feelings guarded, my heart protected. I don’t know if it will go away. I struggle with my own thoughts, I dive into work, art and anything I can grasp so I won’t think about it.

It does not matter what was done nor what was said. It is still there haunting me. I pray for guidance, for a black and white answer. Please God just tell me what to do.

I still don’t know. And I withdraw.

I sketch to ease my mind and even my perspective is off and I’m told it’s off and I don’t care.

I simply just don’t care. My chest aches, my mind races and I wait….for the definitive answer and I know the weight will finally be lifted.

Patience (charcoal) – by Robin Moreau

A Tree Named Carol

My sister sent me a text a couple of weeks ago asking if I wanted her Ficus tree, Carol. My first initial thought was, you named you’re Ficus? But I happily accepted, “sure!” I’ll take Carol. I’m a sucker for plants, although I admit I hadn’t cared for an indoor plant in many years.

About a week later while I was at work, my sister texted me to let me know Carol had been delivered and was on the front porch.

Carol is huge!

Painting by Robin Moreau

I told my husband to bring Carol in and put her in my art studio as I thought that would be the best place for her. The room has bright, indirect light, just what a Ficus would want.

Apparently it was not.

Carol was too cold.

A couple of days later, I walked in to the studio to find leaves all over the floor. Not thinking much of it, I picked up the leaves. The next day, I came back into the studio to find even more leaves. I decided to text my sister.

“I don’t think Carol likes me”.

My sister asked if she was dropping leaves and if so, she was stressed from the move to my house.

My gosh, Carol is stressed? Trees get stressed? Am I missing something here? I have never heard of such a thing. My sister told me the best location of where I should place Carol in the house, but currently the Christmas tree was in that location so to the living area she went.

Carol didn’t like that room either.

Carol was going to end up back at my sister’s if she didn’t knock her attitude off.

After Christmas I moved Carol to the dining room. A few days later she seemed content. Finally she was happy!

Until my geriatric dog had an accident next to Carol when I was out running errands.

Carol was MAD.

She dropped so many leaves and I thought, did she know I would come home and be angry about the dog peeing on the floor? It was like she sensed it and it stressed her out.

The stupid thing is, I caught myself talking out loud to Carol, telling her I was mad too. I must be crazy!

My husband and I laughed about it later and I guess that even though Carol is a tree that stands quietly in the corner of the dining room, as with all living things, Carol has character. I have to at least appreciate that.

But when Carol is not happy, no one is happy.

Eyes Wide Shut

My eyes seem to pop open every morning at 2:30. Really? I cannot seem to get out of this trend and I honestly don’t even know how I stay awake, let alone function through work until 5pm.

With added stress of multiple things in my personal life, I am to a point where I am desperate to find the perfect self care regimen to help me stay asleep. I have tried, or at least I think I have, everything.

I am open to suggestions.

I feel like the walking dead lately.

My eyes hurt.

Image by Robin Moreau

I just want to hide under the blanket like my dog and sleep. Although I keep the same schedule daily, eat dinner, an evening walk, hydrate, then 9pm bedtime, 2:30 am wake up is a trend I’m getting annoyed at really quickly.

Happy New Year to me.

Creature Comfort

I have a huge love for animals. I always have and my family has told me for years “Robin, you have a strange relationship with animals”

So it is! I’ve always had pets growing up from dogs, cats, birds and fish. My parents weren’t fond of animals, especially my mother However, my father would always find a way to bring an animal home to me, complain about the cost of food, fur everywhere or many other complaints, but I would care for those animals deeply and he continued to bring them home through the years.

Nothing has changed as an adult. Currently I have two dogs who are in their senior years and cost me a small fortune of prescription diets and more.

My mother recently said to me after many years of marriage that she was surprised I married my husband. The remark threw me so off guard, I question her about it. She told me with the amount love I had for animals, she was surprised I didn’t marry a farmer. I laughed and stated that farmers had not been interested in me or I would have. She had said I always told her when I was young I wanted to live on a farm. Yet I married a city man.

She does make a point. When we first moved to the Olympic Peninsula, I had to visit the game farm. It was filled with wild animals and yet I was sad to see them being continuously watched by a multitude of people. I captured many images and wish I could have thrown my arms around each animal and told them how much I loved them even though we had just met for the first time.

Art by Robin Moreau

I believe some animals are partnered with us humans for a reason and the bond is more than anyone could ever have in a human relationship. They provide us with comfort and companionship. Hug your furry friends, because deep down they truly love you.

Love Me, Love You

For the past few years, I’ve made it a tradition to paint watercolor Christmas cards for my family. This past Christmas, I was told by many of my family members, mostly from my husband’s side, how they enjoy the uniquely painted cards.

Each card is different and when I started my new job, I decided to paint everyone of my staff a card. It was difficult but honestly after seeing the look of amazement on their faces was worth it.

I dabble in watercolor, it is not my best media, but I enjoy working with it for small things such as cards.

By Robin Moreau

I’m always disappointed after Christmas as it feels as though the color has faded back to another long year of grey matter. I feel this the most when all of the Christmas lights come down. I decided since 2020 has already been a difficult year, I would take my mini paintings to another level and paint cards not only throughout the year for other holidays, but experiment with painting on glass ornaments.

By Robin Moreau

I need some practice, however the methodical movement of carefully holding the ornament and placing each one of those dots was interestingly a stress reliever.

What I realized is the more I love me and practice self care, the more I love you and your happiness means the world to me.

Love, Robin

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

Dingo in Disguise

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Song of Songs 4:7

In November of last year, my daughter moved out. She is my baby and it was the hardest moment a mother could ever endure. Although I have worried and protected her, her whole life, the time came when worry was the only thing left for me to do.

Trying not to be overly motherly, my only request was that she texted me at least once a week so I knew she was alive. She was moving to the big city and I cringed at the thought of, well….EVERYTHING!

I am proud of her. She was offered a good job, one that would potentially grow and her talents will flourish.

Then one night she texted me. She was upset because things weren’t working out with her roommates. I had never lived with roommates, therefore I didn’t know what she was going through.

Rather than vomit all of the thoughts and fears I initially had of this big move, I just encouraged her to be strong, not to make any harsh decisions and told her how proud I was of her.

Although she is still living with her roommates and it is not the best situation for her, she continues to persevere.

Then she brought a puppy home.

I told my husband that was the last thing she needed. Something that will cost her money, that will be a lot of work, and I hope she is prepared for this.

Then she sent me a picture. Oh my goodness! That poor little pup was not the prettiest….putting it lightly. Poor thing has oversized ears and brindle in color with stripes and patches going every which way. His name is Bear but honestly looks more like a dingo than a bear. A face only a mother could love.

Bear is actually a blessing in disguise. He has brought my daughter more comfort in these unpredictable times and they are inseparable.

I felt ashamed for thinking this pup wouldn’t bring joy to her life. She sends pictures of him to me and the radar sized ears are kind of growing on me. I just had to draw him which I’m afraid made him uglier than ever. But Bear makes her happy and this is all I could ask for.

Art by Robin Moreau

Sometimes we are quick to judge the choices others make in their lives. I know I am guilty of this. However sometimes those decisions create a path that open other opportunities. It is those opportunities that bring us the most joy.

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

Romans 2:1