Life

Peace and Purpose

Do you ever find yourself catching glimpses into other peoples lives and thinking “Wow, I should be doing something like that.” Or are you ever faced with a task that seems so mundane and so repetitive that you think man I really should be living a more adventurous or fulfilling life. Or maybe you just feel like when you are doing one thing there are a million so much more important things in this world that you should be doing at that very moment.

I am so that way. I always feel like I should be doing everything all at once and it should all be super important and very official and so on and so forth. But to be honest with you I’ve never had any huge life goals or ambitions. I don’t mean that I’m lazy or an underachiever. I was a highly involved individual in high school with good grades and I entered so many clubs as well as held positions in those clubs. As an adult I have been highly involved in many activities and a leader in some of those as well. But when it comes down to a real life job all I ever really wanted to do was help people.

I remember in grade school doing an assignment that required us to write down what we wanted to be when we grow up. I think we’ve all had at least a dozen of those assignments. I remember distinctly being very worried and concerned that there was something wrong with me. Because I did not want to be a movie star or an artist or a ballet dancer. I wanted to help people. That’s it.

When I look around at others who are very successful it’s hard not to feel the pang of jealousy. I could have done so many things, yet I did not. I know that God has put them on this earth to do the job that they have before them and that’s awesome. I am happy for them. And I want them to succeed in a huge way. But that was never for me.

In high school friend of mine and I went to a model and talent search in Seattle Washington. Her mother drove us and we were all high excitement and adventure. Talent search! We were on our way to fame and fortune. So we enter the building and each took our respective tests and waited for our hidden talents to be discovered. I was entering the model competition. And my friend was wanting to do the commercial portion. Ironically, we both got call backs but in the opposite categories! She was called back for the model search and I was called back to do another commercial.

We opted out of the call back because we were both pretty pooped by then and it was a long day. It would’ve been fun to see what had come of it but I knew in my heart that it wasn’t something that I really wanted to pursue. I did not want to be on TV or to be famous. I didn’t want to waste my time chasing a dream that may not become a reality and that wouldn’t satisfy me anyways.

Now as an adult I can see my kids growing and getting ready to move out and start their own lives. I wonder if being a mother and being a wife and giving all of that energy to others has been wasted. But when I look at my kids and my husband I think how could I have chosen to miss this?

I’m in a transition right now with life in general. Things have definitely changed in the last few years for me. I’m no longer an all day every day turbo charged woman. I am decidedly slower and much less energetic. It’s not my favorite. I miss being a doer. But I am embracing what I can and cannot do.

My son is entering adulthood and now I’m having to help him figure out adult things. It’s not always easy. But my kids know that I put them first and that I love them so very much and would help them in anyway that I can. To have them come to me with their problems and know that they can trust me to support them and to guide them to the best of my ability is priceless.

Beyond that I’m just really thankful that God has given me an opportunity to be available to just be a friend to so many people that need a friend. I am not perfect. I am not super smart. I am not super talented. But I am one super awesome friend!

And you know what being a friend means? It means helping people. I help people in little ways. I watch their babies, I make them dinner, I hold their hand and I listen to them cry on the phone. I’m not moving mountains. I’m not doing great things but I was made for a purpose and that is to be a help.

I did a lot of life on my own and sometimes if I overthink it bitterness can creep in. But I realized that in order to fulfill my purpose in life I would need to be the person that I wish I had. It’s amazing what peacefulness I have found in this simple revelation.

Wishing you all the good things❤️

-Veronica

Life

Oh, the Irony

I have been spending some time “yardening” as I call it. My garden (vegetable) has yet to become this season and so my efforts have been purely of an aesthetic nature. Weed, fertilize, plant, prune and water. As I putter around and fuss with the sprinkler I can’t help but giggle at myself. I’m basically trying to control nature on my plot of dirt. This sectioned off piece of land that I call my property, which was someone else’s before me, is being sprayed and mulched and molded to my liking. But you know what? Every time I think I have all the weeds eradicated those filthy buggers pop right up again. I can’t help but smile ( a little) at the sheer tenacity and the force of nature. Adam’s curse come to life, right here in my front yard.

I think of creation and how we are formed. We are not the creator, we are the creature. And in our frailty we are still curators and cultivators. If I let my yard go it would run rampant in no time. And so I pluck away at the never ceasing weeds. Here we live and tend to our little things as if we have control. Who am I to tell this plant that it is unwanted? Who am I to force this one to grow? And yet we do just that. Irony at its best.

If you have never grown a garden you really should. It may not be a success but you will learn a lot! One thing I have learned, and there are many more besides, is that you are never in control. Ever. Not even a little bit. Crazy, right? Another crazy thing I’ve learned is that it’s ok and actually preferred to release all pretense of control. The less we hold tightly to in this life the more we are free to live. Forcing a flower to bloom when you want it to isn’t going to happen but with some care and attention that flower will blossom in it’s season and be the gem of the garden.

There is a wonderful message titled “Let it Unfold” that gets me every time I listen to it. Every time one of my roses bloom it is a reminder to keep tending my garden but to remember who really opens the blossoms.

Life

What’s On Your Mind?

Wow! It has been a while since my last post. I have been busy doing stuff and busy doing nothing in the last few weeks. By nothing I mean gardening, napping, reading and generally enjoying my summer break.

There is something that has been weighing on me lately. I’m not sure what others think of me and frankly it’s none of my business but I often wonder what would happen if I actually spoke all the things that come to mind (within reason). So many times there is a flittering spark of a thought that dances through my mind and in a moments hesitation it is gone. I once read that if a thought is not “married” with an action within 30 seconds the thought will not be acted upon at all. Wow, 30 seconds is all it takes to kill an action that just very well may change the course of your life. The impact of that is huge.

I’m by nature a cautious creature. Wary and hesitant. But I also want to live a full life and reach my utmost potential. I want to leave this world happy and secure of my final destination and knowing that somewhere along the way I made a difference in someone else’s life. And so I am at odds with myself most of the time.

In the midst of this I know God is working on me. His voice is ever calling me to be just a bit braver and step one more foot forward. How lovely it is to walk with Him. I cannot be who I am destined to be unless I trust in my maker and His plan.

How small we really are when we think of the vast universe. I recently took a trip and while driving home the rolling hills were criss crossed with roads. The cars motoring along reminded me so much of ants crawling over an ant hill that it made me giggle. Is this how God sees us as He peers down from above?

And yet I know that we are so precious to Him. He loves and cares for us. He watches and guides us. He heals, changes and helps us. I’m ready to see what He has in store next.

Whatever your journey entails I urge you to do the things, live a big life and give it your all❤️ I’ll be over here cheering you on as I endeavor to do the same!

A camellia I picked at my grandparents house shortly after their passing. This flower will always remind me of time spent at their home.
Being Mama, Family, Kids, Life, Love, Marriage

Where Have All The Housewives Gone

We just had our yearly chat with the gal who does our taxes. I have been contemplating working a few hours in the summer. Something very part time. I asked if upping our income a bit was going to help or hurt us in the long run. Funny thing is if I make over $10,000 annual ( which I probably won’t) we up our tax bracket and lose some of the return we are now getting. Essentially, it’s a wash.

My kids are teens now and looking for work of their own. I love this age and yet I yearn to just be out of the house. They don’t need me as much now anyway. I love home but I’m not thrilled with staying there all day, ya get me? And yet, I hear my mother’s voice saying how she wished she had not gone to work when my baby brother entered his teens. He had a very troubled adolescence and she still feels a bit guilty.

And if I’m being honest, there are days when I’m not really up to the task. I’m working on myself this year to improve that. After chronic pain had become intolerable and migraines ate up the hours in my days I stepped back and made few changes in order to better myself physically.

I’m sure this all sounds like I am justifying my choice to remain out of the work place ( at least for now). I guess it is but it’s so much more than that to me. It’s a calling. I’m made to nurture and to love. I don’t understand how being a housewife has gotten such a bad rap. No, we are no longer living in the 1950s but there is truly something satisfying about providing the best for your family.

On any given day I am a driver, a cook, a teacher and tutor, a cleaner (NOT maid), a mentor, a help meet, a friend and lover, an encourager, an organizer, a planner and appointment maker, an economizer and financial assistant, a dreamer and reader, a prayer warrior and a keeper of the home. It’s a big job.

I was purging paper work recently and found stacks of report cards and college applications. Among these were several letters of reference from various mentors and teachers. I read them and was amazed at their kind words. They were chock full of sincere praise and promise. How did I not realize I was a golden girl? I was one of the few that would “amount to something”. I was just now seeing what my teachers must have seen in me then. A bright future. A world changer. Someone destined for more.

Did I squander my life? In the world’s eyes, maybe. But as I sit here writing this my 10 year old is bringing me her school poster to inspect, my 16 year old is explaining his newest dilemma with his vintage motorcycle and I am nagging my 13 year old to feed the goats. I know this may sound like your definition of crazy but this is my little slice of heaven and I wouldn’t trade a second. I’m here for my family and that’s right where I want to be.

I may be in the minority on this one but that’s ok. I’m proud to be a mother and housewife. And, if you ever need a cup of coffee or a hot meal there’s a good chance you will find me in my kitchen and I will gladly bring you in and make you feel right at home.

Family, Health, Life, Love

Passing

My grandparents have been in very poor health this year. There were several times we nearly lost them. This week we got news of grandpas passing. Only two days later grandma passed too. It was expected and it was sad but I think also it was a bit of relief as well. They had suffered much in the last few years. In one week I have lost my only two remaining grandparents.

We often note at a death how great and noble the person was. How they will be dearly missed. How things will be altered without them. This is absolutely true. I loved my grandpa. His silly ways and sharp wit. His ornery streak that he just may have passed on to a few of us. His musical ear and gift of language and love of the old country. I love it and will think of it with wistful admiration and longing.

My grandmother, for all her quirks, taught me to love the green and growing things. She was a master gardener. She was generous with gifts and hospitality. She loved to bake and tried to feed us every time we came over, even in her feeble years.

However, there is another side of death that I’d like to address. I’d like to speak for anyone who may have been hurt at their hands. Those who have endured insults and lies. Those who have been abused. We tend to overlook the bad and really, we should. I know that. But it is still right and good to liberate those that have been bound.

To those I love: you are free now. We can all move on to a more peaceful life together. We have an opportunity to start fresh as a family and love one another more dearly. In our grief may there be blessing. As we mourn May there be hope. In sorrow may love grow. My heart goes out to you all.

Again,I say be free and live well

Your loving daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend,

Veronica❤️

Get Happy!, Health, Life

Breath

Do you every have an experience that just seems to breathe new life into you? We recently had a women’s conference at church. It was refreshing and strengthening and made me think about how I live my life for God. I brought home a few of my decor items and used them at home to remind myself of the lessons learned:

1) Go after your goals in God

2) Be an example that others can look up to

3) Holiness begins with a pure heart

There was so much more that rang true for me but these three were the ones that stood out the most. This conference was nearly cancelled and I am thankful that it wasn’t! God was talking to me and I was blessed to be a part of it!

What restores your soul?

I love a good rollicking church service and zen farmhouse decor apparently 😄

Farm, Home, Life, Organize

The Hidden Corners

A picture is worth a thousand words….

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Exhibit A: side view of glorious mess
Exhibit B: top view of glorious mess

This glorious mess was my craft closet. The place you go to for glue sticks and markers. Where the glitter, paper and paint hang out. Where the wild things are.

I was doing admirably well on my decluttering mission but I could not face the craft cupboard. You see, I have been a teacher for the last decade. That pile of junk represented years of well thought out activities and all the chaos that they bring. It represented children whose faces lit up when I told them it was time for art. It was their pride in creating something of their own that made me just so happy to be the one who got to share that moment with them.

It was also a festering cubby that had grown into an aggressive stash. It would attack anytime someone opened the door searching for a clipboard. It was time…

The empty space. Wow. That’s a pretty big cupboard!

I have come to the conclusion that these things just take time. I am still adjusting to not being a full time teacher. It hurts a bit not to be that anymore but it’s where I’m at. I gave myself permission to get rid of what I no longer needed and also to be who I am right now. This stuff that is so meaningless was tied into who I was, or who I had been. Now I have set it free and also myself.

I can honestly say I feel like the possibilities are endless. God use me for YOUR glory. Make me what you will.  ❤

Also some cool bananas I drew a while back. Because Bananas.

….🎹🎶🎵”Isn’t she lovely?”🎼🎵🎤…..

Um, sorry I was having a moment. Anyway, all the useful stuff found its way back home. No more leftover school stuff and half baked art projects. I may or may not have opened the door just to gaze at it 10x in a row…

I know it doesn’t seem like much but this cupboard really nagged me. More for what it represented to me than anything else. Sometimes the things we collect can really hold our minds in limbo. I have found decluttering to me is much like showering or praying.  The weight of worry lessens and you just feel better about life in general.

Unfinished business is always at the tail end! Thrift and gift time! I take out the trash then I can donate or gift any useful items in not going to use.

Aaahhhh…..did you hear that? It was the cupboard door closing with nary a bump!

Best of everything to you all!

Health, Life

Balance

 

 

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Enjoying time with this little life. Oh how I love my family!

I used to think that balance was the key to living harmoniously.  That by adept scheduling of must dos with periodic entertainment breaks was the key to keeping our busy lives running smoothly.  The only problem is that life never plays along with my carefully laid plans.  It is by nature feast or famine. We are overwhelmed with stimulus or we are bored. No one is around or we are swamped with people.

Can balance really help? The very word implies that we are teetering between success and failure.  If we choose option A over option B we tip the scales just a bit too far and have to scramble to regain stability.  Nah… just nah… I’m taking a different route this time.  New year, new life…whatever.  How about new vision?  New growth?  How about peace?

I want resiliency.  I want to know how to ride the waves of life and to come down with a soft landing.  I want to be held in the hollow of God’s hand and to know that He is with me through every tempest and every trial.  I don’t want to figure it all out.  I want to trust.  I want to be filled with hope and love.  I want to stand firm against any storm that I face knowing that I stand with God and not alone.

I’ve set a few goals this year and I hope you have too.

Whatever 2019 brings you don’t forget to look up!

Sincerely,

Veronica

Life

Today Is A New Day

I love the saying “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”. I hate to think about how many days have I felt unwell or inadequate or simply just not brave enough to tackle something that fluttered tauntingly just out of reach.

I ache to be a better person than I am. I strive to reach my full potential. I want to live with abandon. And I find myself falling short every time. “To err is human, to forgive divine”, Alexander Pope. Oh so true. But I often need to apply this personally and so I go about forgiving myself again.

Its amazing that the sheer resilient nature of a human can conquer so much. The power of a made up mind is a force to be reckoned with. As strong as we may be on our own we are still in need of an even greater strength. Where our human ability cannot complete the job God steps in and orchestrates the rest.

We step forward and play our part while the master conductor makes sure everything flows in perfect harmony. All we know is our small piece. We practice and perform and the rest is out of our hands. As the music flows on our finite moment has passed and now we lean on Him and wait until the piece is finished.

Today I want to know His will for me. Today I will play my part and let the rest flow past, content in the knowledge that I belong and I am needed but that I cannot play the piece on my own. Today I will live for today.

Wherever life finds you today I hope you are encouraged to live life fully!

Love,

Veronica

Get Happy!, Life

Thankful 365- May 2018

I began this series of posts after seeing the idea of practicing daily gratefulness. I thought it was so good I had to blog about it!  I have been unable to blog lately for a variety of reasons but this was very important to me and I intend to see the whole year through with a thankful thought for each and every day. Happiness is a fleeting emotion but gratitude can be cultivated. What are you thankful for today?


 

thankful 365

 


 

May 1- A new month and its the last frost day so I can safely plant out my garden! Yes!

May 2- One of my students had a birthday today so that was fun. And I got to see a few old friends!

May 3-Again, care group…I’m seeing a pattern here!

May 4- The sun is shining AND it’s Friday. So naturally I had to dress up!

May 5- I’m thankful for my family and friends. They make my life fuller and sweeter

 


 

May 6- My bus kids. I mean can you be sad when you see this?

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Me and one of my goof balls

May 7- This!

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Simple reading assignments can be a blessing too!

 


 

May 8- A short work week 🙂 and getting 2 cards in the mail. My MIL and Granny in law love me!

May 9- Church!

May 10- Church!

May 11- Wonderful conversations with friends and ….church! (My church is awesome)

May 12- Treated myself to an early mother’s day gift and bought a couple of flowers to plant in my hanging baskets On the porch. I love my front porch during the warm months!

May 13- I’m not gonna lie…..when your kids pretty much expect you to wait on them and your husband leaves for not 1 but 2 calls from work it kinda makes for a poopy mother’s day. On a positive note, I did buy myself treats and got to chat with my mom for a bit. After I was done feeling sorry for a fairly unimpressive mother’s day I was pretty thankful that I have these brats around. *sigh*

May 14- I had a bad attitude today. (I’m struggling with PCOS and it can be unkind) but my husband took the day off so it was nice having him around. Even if he did ignore me (he was installing flooring) I got a fab new floor out of the deal. And he fixed my sprinkler and went grocery shopping with me. That hasn’t happened in a looooong time and it was pretty nice- and much faster than me and the monsters!

 


 

May 16- I’m thankful for changes. I feel like we are on the brink of a breakthrough.

May 17- A get away! Its finally happening!

May 18- The Hennekes hit the big city. We aren’t on the farm anymore! We enjoyed Pike Place and a fun Ferris wheel ride over the water.

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Seattle, WA

May 19- More together time! It was lovely in lush green Washington state.

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Bremerton, WA

 


 

May 20-We enjoyed a few stops on the way home today. I didn’t want to come back! (its not often I have my hubby to myself)

May 21- My hubby starts his new job TODAY! Yes, its a new adventure and we are hopeful for the future😀🚛

May 22- Last week of school starts today and then….SUMMER!

May 23- Church (Yes, it really is that awesome)

May 24- Graduation!

May 25- First day of summer vacay😛😊🎉

 


 

May 26- My daughter is 13 today!!! Thankful for this girl

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My lovely little lady on her 13th birthday!

 

May 27- My friend has her birthday today! Thankful for a girlhood spent with her❤

May 28- Memorial day! Thankful for our freedom and those who made it possible🇺🇸

May 29- A day with my crazy one – she is pure entertainment!

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Me and cray cray having a relax day

 

May 30- My animals. Yes, they are work and yes they can be expensive at times but I love their silly little ways and all they give us

May 31- My new baby niece! Yay! I’m an auntie again!

 


 

Overall this month has thrown us a few curve balls…. (hellllo job switch!) and it is going to be an adjustment but I’m keeping things looking up because that is how we can not only be blessed but be a blessing.

Wishing the best to you and yours,

Veronica