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

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

It’s Okay to Love Yourself

Do everything in love

1 Corinthians 16:14

I had forgotten how much joy fresh flowers bring to me! I bought a bouquet the other day because I was feeling down and needed a pick-me-up.

Show yourself love, as you would love others. Don’t forget about you in the hustle of the daily grind.

Rest Assured

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

Matthew 11:28

I am thankful for a creative mind. Lately my mind is overwhelmed and burdened by many things, especially work.

In fact, I pray so much about it, I’m sure God wonders why this is a repetitive issue with me. Not only do I turn to Him, I turn to my art because I figure with both, I can conquer my messy mind and I won’t have the need to think of anything burdensome, therefore I can rest.

The world sits heavy on my shoulders, as does my commute, daily challenges, and so much more. I’ve been in this situation before and I wonder why I’m never satisfied. I pray about this too!

Art by Robin Moreau

I don’t believe I have received an answer as of yet, but that doesn’t stop me from asking or listening! I am sure it will become clear from Him. When in doubt never give up praying and listening! He will answer you in His time.

In the meantime, I keep myself busy with creative eyes with new projects, ideas, and ways to settle my uneasiness I have been feeling as of late.

With love,

Robin

A Pint of Prayer

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

I am mourning the death of my youth.

There is nothing like a spoonful….um…pint full of Double Chocolate Brownie Truffle cashew milk ice cream during a bad day.

I can’t say my day went horribly wrong, but lately my frustrations appear to be beyond my control. Maybe it is the adjustment of staff at my work during this pandemic and I am absorbing more responsibilities, or maybe it is because my regular routine has been disrupted.

Or it could very well be the wretched heat waves I have been experiencing of what my Doctor blatantly stated, “Robin, I hate to say it, but welcome to the sisterhood of aging. You are peri menopausal.” I fell out of chair.

I gasped. “You…take…that…back. Take it back!” I was distraught. She laughed. “I’m sorry there is no avoiding this one!”

If she would have slapped me across the face with a latex glove and told me to snap out of it – it would have been easier to take.

But this….I went in to have my hand examined and I leave with one foot in the grave and a pamphlet on discounted plots. This marks the idea that my precious life is 3/4 of the way over. Hypothetically speaking of course, if I were only to live until my eighties.

I cried later in the shower. Just me and my tears. If I would have looked up to pray, I’m sure I would have drown.

But it’s times like these, no matter the circumstances or unexpected news flashes, a big spoonful of prayer and a pint of Double Chocolate Brownie Truffle cashew milk ice cream will ease the pain and calm the mind.

Bloom Big, My Love

“Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come”

Song of Songs, 2:12

With the hate and confusion of multiple tragedies going on in the world, I turn to prayer and the beauty of my rhododendrons.

How could one not stop and enjoy the beauty of what God brings us and become one with our senses of sight and smell?

Right now, our rhododendrons are in full bloom. I love these flowers so much, our home is surrounded by them. I cannot even begin to tell you how much joy these flowers bring me. Right before they bloom, the anticipation is immense! Similar to a child the night before Christmas, I am consistently checking the blooms, patiently waiting for their tiny petals to open wide for the my enjoyment.

I once told a colleague I was a tree hugger. She laughed and I said I was serious. I told her I meticulously care for my trees and plants, cutting off any dead branches that may be robbing the plant of nutrients. I talk to my plants and tell them how beautiful they are. I thank God for their beauty. It may sound crazy, but I almost bet my plants and trees hear me! They are that beautiful, as though it makes them proud with my compliments.

Lately I am obsessed with trying to capture their beauty. It is good for my art practice, provides me with a form of meditation and peace while shutting out all of the negativity in the world. It captures a perfect moment of beauty that I can enjoy until they bloom again.

Art by Robin Moreau

With love,

Robin

Not My Father’s Potato Pancakes

Oh, how I miss my father’s potato pancakes! This man made many wonderful foods when we were growing up. If only I could turn back time.

A short list of my favorites were:

Potato pancakes, shortbread cookies, hash browns, peanut butter and cheese sandwiches.

I know you may be thinking, these foods are so simple, what’s the big deal? Well, food allergies. That’s the big deal.

However, I have substituted certain ingredients and it’s simply not the same, unfortunately. I have mastered his hash browns to the perfect crispy consistency throughout. This morning I attempted potato pancakes from leftovers. I can’t have eggs, nor regular flour. However I did have patience and I needed it! A quarter cup of rice flour, a hot oiled pan and a big prayer for patience.

Just as in 2 Chronicles 15:7, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded”.

I have been trying to master my father’s potato pancakes for years but they never turned out. This morning was different. Despite the ingredients not being the same, I was patient. And it paid off. They weren’t perfect, and they were thinner than his, but in that very moment, the color is what captured the essence of my father. Perfectly golden brown. I know he looked over me and smiled. I could have cried. I did cry!

Just remember, never give up no matter what you are striving for! Remember God and practice patience because you will be rewarded.

Image by Robin Moreau

And they were delicious!

With love,

Robin

From Darkness to Peace

I love my husband. Last night he made me a soft dinner. Something I could easily chew after going to the dentist.

I was so scared to go. It was the first time ever I had to have a root canal. The dentist new I was nervous as I always am, even before a routine cleaning.

What I didn’t realize was how bad the tooth had been. The dentist asked me if I had any pain. I replied with a simple no. He scowled. “None? No pain? Any sensitivity?” I shook my head no. He had pondered my answer.

My tooth was infected so bad, the infection was already into my jaw bone. I will spare you the gory details of what he found lurking in the darkness within the left side of my face. After the procedure he put me on an aggressive antibiotic plan to clear up the infection. He warned me that I would be sore and asked if I wanted a prescription for pain medication. I said no. I could see from the look on his face that was not the answer he was expecting. I told him I’d be fine with Ibuprofen.

Honestly the only significant pain I have is a headache and I was pretty dizzy this morning. And I don’t like how these antibiotics are making me feel. Nauseated.

I have to remind myself though, as nervous and scared as I was, especially with the pandemic, I needed to turn to God and I did. I prayed for Him to keep me safe and calm my nerves. And He did as He was working through the dentist. With every little move, the dentist spoke to me, telling me what to expect, what I would feel, smell, hear and taste. He frequently asked how I was doing and if I had any pain, putting me at ease with every minute passing. That is the power of God and I can almost bet the dentist didn’t realize it.

Below is a tiny picture I drew. I drew the dark, scared feeling I get prior to going to the dentist. Now, my dentist by far, does NOT look like this, but my imagination can sure make things scarier than they really are.

Turn to God in moments when you are scared. You’d be surprised at what He can do for you.

With love,

Robin

Image by Robin Moreau

Turnover

Life is full of surprises. I thought I knew myself pretty well until this pandemic came along. Apparently I didn’t know myself at all.

What have I learned from this pandemic?

1. Art appreciation. Yes, I have been drawing, painting and coloring more and I sure have missed it! Art is my meditation. Since working from home, the stress have driven me to open my creative mind again. I haven’t picked up a pencil in at least seven years.

2. I am a working woman. I love the hustle of work. Or do I? I have enjoyed being home too much! When I need to go into the office, which requires commuting, it makes me seriously cranky. I am thankful I can work from home, but now my mind is wandering to hopefully get remote work. Someday anyway.

3. I am thankful! Being home has forced me to be thankful with many things. I am thankful I’m still working. I am thankful for my health, my family’s health. I am thankful!

4. Grateful. I am grateful for the food I can find. Store shelves are still pretty sparse and I have many food allergies. I am grateful for the food I can find to eat. But I do miss bulk items like fresh ground peanuts for peanut butter and organic mixed nuts. Bulk items are not available where I am since the pandemic. They have been pulled for safety reasons.

5. Prayer. I have prayed far more and believe I am closer to God since the pandemic. I pray for the health of others and many other things. What I pray for most is to find a way to find peace with myself because Monday morning as the work week begins, my stomach is in knots, and I cry. I cry a lot. Maybe I am not the crazy hustle of a working woman like I thought I was. There is not much I can do about it, so I continue to pray.

The pandemic has changed my life in subtle ways. More so than what I have shared. My wants and needs have shifted and it’s amazing how that has transformed me. I have a different outlook on reality and myself. I wonder how many people out there have realized the same thing?

With love,

Robin