Musical Message

In my last post, I wrote, “I keep second guessing myself, but then remember that when God calls you to do something, it’s not necessarily going to be easy. Of course, then I second guess the calling!!”

Not long after I that, I was driving to the store and the song “Reason” by Unspoken came on the radio. I felt like God was sending me a musical message, a confirmation. I sat in the parking lot, downloaded the song, and read over the lyrics. 

“But God has a plan, a purpose in this. You are His child so don’t you forget.

He put that hunger in your heart. He put that fire in your soul.

His love is the reason to keep on believing.

When you feel like giving up, when you feel like giving in…..

His love is the reason, to keep on believing.”

I have to believe this burning desire to write is what I’m being called to do. 

I’ll confess, I’ve been somewhat reluctant and even embarrassed to tell people that I quit my paying job with good benefits to write for fear they will think I’m crazy. Also, because being a writer doesn’t seem like a real job until you actually get paid or can show someone a book with your name on the cover. (I’m working on that!)

Luckily, my writing group, hope*writers, lets me know I am not alone in my thinking. Additionally, there are several authors who have written books on this very topic…Jeff Goins, Anne Lamott, and Stephen King to name a few I’m reading now.

So, with God in my corner and fellow writers cheering me on, I think about a quote by Jessica Honegger, “When you’ve got a vision, you don’t have time to wait around for your fears to vanish before you start moving.”

So, I guess I’ll just tuck my fears away and keep moving and keep believing.

If you are in a similar situation, I sincerely hope that you won’t second guess yourself and quit on your vision. 

“Life is going by very quickly and if you’re not careful, you’re gonna be 80 years old and have spent your life wishing that you’d gotten your work done.” Anne Lamott

Until next time…..be well.

Lori

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My Secret to Getting Through Laundry and Dishes

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Why are laundry and dishes like Gremlins and constantly multiplying? Only seconds after my dishwasher beeps indicating its ready to be unloaded, do I notice the sink is overflowing with dirty dishes. After I fold that last towel, breathe a sigh of relief, and imagining putting my feet up on the sofa and reading a book, I notice that the hamper is full again, and I only have 3 people in my house! Why does it seem like it takes hours to fold a load of laundry, you know, the one that has been “fluffed” in the dryer 4 times. Ugh.

Stop the insanity!!!!

Here is how I do it. Its not rocket science, but I distract myself! I put on a playlist and set the timer for 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the task. My playlist is up-beat songs that put me in a good mood, get me moving, and the timer gives me a challenge. Many times I find that I complete these mundane tasks before the timer goes off. I can clean my kitchen in 20 mins and usually fold a load of laundry in about 15 and then get to things I really want to do.

Here’s my “Laundry and Dishes” playlist.

  1. Cut You Loose (feat. Ringo Star) – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  2. Play that Funky Music – Wild Cherry
  3. No Rain – Blind Melon (Gotta love “The Bee Girl.”)
  4. Meet Virginia – Train
  5. Bulletproof – Citizen Way
  6. Shining Star – Earth, Wind, and Fire (Think Elaine dancing on Seinfeld)
  7. I Love Rock n’Roll – Joan Jett
  8. Family Affairs – Mary J. Blige
  9. Here and Now – Letters to Cleo
  10. Overcomer – Mandisa
  11. Black Coffee – Squeeze
  12. Seether – Veruca Salt
  13. Can’t Stop the Feeling! – Justin Timberlake (Look at these people moving at work!)
  14. Grace Got You – MercyMe
  15. Hella Good – No Doubt
  16. Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  17. Positively Lost Me – Rave Ups
  18. Life’s Been Good – Joe Walsh
  19. Lucky Star – Madonna
  20. New Sensation – INXS
  21. The River – Jordan Feliz
  22. Everlong – Foo Fighters
  23. Freedom! ’90 – George Michael
  24. Brian Wilson – Barenaked Ladies
  25. Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band

Get movin’ and make those dishes and piles of clothes disappear in a flash and do something fun! Who knows, you might even find you had a little fun doing housework!

BONUS!!!

Leave a comment about songs on your playlist and be entered to win a $10 iTunes gift card. (I’ll email the winner the access code at the end of October.)

Until next time…..Be Well!!

Lori

 

 

Balance

As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey approaches, I think back and can still vividly recall the days of rain that led to our evacuation and eventually a change in perspective.

As I watched the river behind us and the lake across the street slowly turn to one and rise, my heart raced and anxiety overwhelmed my body and mind. I watched as our belongings floated out of our yard and into the lake. As the sun set, I could no longer see what loomed in the darkness, but could hear the sloshing water under our house. I knew an evacuation was inevitable, as we no longer felt safe in our own home. It was a sleepless night. As the sun rose, our mailbox and fences were no longer visible and the water was making its way up the steps. My husband had me throw what I could into a plastic bag while he swam across the street to capture a small sit on top kayak so we could make our way down the street and up the hill to safety.

As I held on to my 5 year old son and my 1 bag of belongings (which I had to downsize several times because it was too heavy), we balanced, literally shifting our weight from side to side to keep from tipping over. My husband pulled us over a mile through knee deep water, to waist deep water and at one point, chest high water with currents. We did not know what condition our home would be in when we returned but it didn’t seem to matter. At that moment, I wasn’t thinking about what I left behind, only that right then, I had EVERYTHING I needed. I knew as long as we had each other we would be ok and a sense of peace came over me.

My senses were overwhelmed upon our return. Monstrous piles of furniture and other belongings littered yards. A layer of silt and mud covered everything and an indescribable smell lingered in the air for weeks as did the nightmares of rising water. The once peaceful sound of rain, ignited anxiety and I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling that we had been violated by an unwelcome intruder.

After nearly a year of putting our home back together, things are mostly back to normal but the whole experience made me think about how precious my family is to me and also made me question what I really need to be content and happy. I think it comes down to what we did in that kayak to keep from falling into the water….BALANCE.

Things seems to work better when they are balanced…..your budget, your meals, your tires. When elements in my life have been effectively (not necessarily evenly) proportioned everything seems more stable and more joyful. I want to achieve more balance in my life so that I might be able to be more stable and more joyful when the unexpected happens.

This means balancing:

work and play

Laundry and dishes have to get done and meals have to be prepared but I can balance that with watching a movie or playing with my son outside. Happiness researcher Robert Biswas-Diener, is quoted in Time magazine as staying, “Don’t fit joyful activities into your days – fit your days around them.”

noise and quiet.

Being the mom of a 6 year old boy means lots of noise. Sometimes we turn up the music and play guitars and sometimes we read books on the couch.

bringing stuff in and letting stuff go.

When I bring in a new treasure for my home I make sure to let go of the items that no longer bring me joy or no longer serve a purpose.

busyness with rest.

It feels good to cross of items on my “to do” list but if I take a little nap or just a break to let my brain and body rest, I will feel completely recharged.

purpose and presence.

For several months, I have been writing in a gratitude journal and reading a short devotional each morning as I drink my coffee. However, lately what felt good and relaxing, was feeling like a chore. I felt like I needed to get it done before I could do anything else so I recently began waking up earlier just to sit on my porch and watch the sunrise and listen to the birds. There I sit quietly and think about the things I am grateful for and breathe and simply be.

Changing my perspective about what is important and putting into action a plan to achieve balance in my life is making a difference. It’s not always easy but I am finding that I am more joyful and I am certainly more thankful for what I have because you never know when it can all be washed away.

This post was published at NoSidebar you can see it here.