Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

RENTING BENEFITS, OWNING JOY

When my husband and I sold our house four years ago and chose to rent, we sorted our possessions. We are minimalists, so the sifting process was…well, minimal. (We would have a much “different” experience if we were packing Tig’s race shop though)!

We moved to a nine-building complex and met a few neighbors. Like our possessions, Tig and I are social minimalists. We are friendly without engaging in most party invitations. Shortly after moving in, I met a retired neighbor who is also a published author. Despite my introverted nature, she and I connected.

Bettye Jean and I exchanged our books and short conversations until she moved to assisted living. At first, I visited her often in her new home and gradually our communication decreased. Bettye Jean and I are what our granddaughter calls “short-term friends.” Short-term friends are people she meets once at a park or a birthday party.

apartment architecture balcony building
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

I have been surprised that renting has taught me about healthy detachment. Each month, I watch heavily loaded moving vehicles being laboriously unpacked. The movers look exhausted and many ask why they keep so much stuff.

We’ve had quiet and considerate neighbors. We’ve also had rude neighbors. I’ve learned that unlike Tig and I, many occupants at this complex aren’t long-term residents. This four-year observation has taught me to appreciate the easier-to-love people, and become less irritated with the “minimally polite” tenants.

I frequently reflect on my temporary deployment on earth and ponder heaven’s victory. Renting supports my longstanding value to focus on eternal rewards. I appreciate that with less filling, unburdened joy is more full filling.

Flowing with a free spirit toward Larger Oceans,
Christina

…and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure (Ecclesiastes 8:5).

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Everything, but not everything at once

This FROG Blog comes from a writing contest I entered last year. The contest invited people to use the prompt, “In 200 words or less, put your New Year’s Resolution in writing.” I’ve used it to remind myself to respect processing times (especially when I try to leap ahead on the lily pad of life).

FROG paddling with 2020 vision for a new year, Christina

Eccl. 3: 1-8, An Author’s Living Translation
There’s a time for everything, but not everything all at once.

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time for “In the Beginning,”
A time for “The End;”

A time to query,
A time to publish;

A time to let a story die,
A time to resurrect a plot;

A time for drafting,
A time for editing;

A time to celebrate an assignment,
A time to face a rejection letter;

A time to read tragedy,
A time to read comedy;

A time to buy books,
A time to sell books;

A time for writer’s flow,
A time for writer’s block;

A time for researching,
A time for writing;

A time for fiction,
A time for non-fiction;

A time to read others’ writing,
A time to have others read my writing;

A time to interview,
A time to be interviewed;

A time for novels,
A time for magazines;

A time for writer’s conferences,
A time for writer’s retreats.

There’s a time for everything, but not everything all at once.

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

Return to Sender

The following is part of my most transparent assignments. 

As one of the five books in the FROG Blog series, I am compiling entries from my hand written journals. My purpose is to show people how I’m learning about life through lessons and blessin’s. Most of my talks with God are frequent and short. Writing is my way to direct thoughts into prayer and reflect on this developing journey. 

Thank you for reading this with a gently kind heart, Christina

post office facade
Photo by KML on Pexels.com

Messenger of truth,

Thank you for the postal workers and delivery drivers, especially during this heavy volume mail season.

Thank you for their year-round commitment. They address all type of weather conditions, customers, animals, traffic, schedules, and job regulation changes.

I find it ironic that the U.S. Founding Fathers declared (in writing, nonetheless!) “One nation under God” yet new mandates require government services to deliver mail on the Lord’s Day. Please guard my heart from growing bitter or weary from watching the world’s laws overstep creation’s guidelines.

Encourage mail carriers and delivery drivers to carry words of light in their minds and hearts as they deliver packages and envelopes. Strengthen their desire to receive Your forever stamp of approval.

In route to be returned to my Sender.

 

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

Joyfully overweight

girl eating cupcake while sitting beside woman in blue denim distressed jeans
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

A lady came for her weekly appointment at a nutritional center where I once worked. After I took her blood pressure and weight, she leaned into me, almost conspiratorially, and whispered, “I know why I gained weight. I’ll tell you when we get back to your office.”

The lady talked about how her family unexpectedly called to ask if they could stay with her for a few days between their travels. She said, “I’m not your stereotypical mom or grandma. I love my family, but I dislike hosting overnight guests.”

Thinking this lady was using her backstory to divert from discussing her weight gain, I guided the conversation by saying, “Betty (name changed), I can imagine with all of your culinary skill, your guests appreciated your home cooking!”

She offered a knowing smile and said, “Of course, but after they left, I understood something bigger. Initially when they called to ask if they could extend their visit, my patience and compassion levels were stretched. With two adults and children in my home for three days, I know I’ve built stamina muscle and you taught me that muscle weighs more than fat.”

She continued, “Through hospitality, I realized that even though my creature comforts and wants were temporarily compromised, the love in my heart grew. I figure that between gaining muscle through repetitions of patience and compromising, plus my heart increasing in love, this 2 ½ pound weight gain is worth my joy!”

To my reader, I invite you to personalize your own FROG lesson from the lily pad of your life!

Joyful holidays from a chilly pond,
Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized

Shopping ideas for a minimalist

I practice material minimalism. “Less is more and even less is even more” appeals to me (I try not to practice this minimalistic approach when it applies to patience, kindness, generosity…).

Christmas and birthdays can invite a challenge because people ask, “If you don’t like extra material possessions, what am I supposed to get you?” Consumables and outings!

Below, I’ve listed my favorite gifts. At the end, I encourage readers to offer their creative non-material present ideas!

anniversary birthday blur bokeh
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

My favorite things

Citrus or bakery scented candles (no lavender, rose, or perfume smells)
Dark chocolate (especially when blended with fruit or nuts)
Target and Wal-Mart gift cards (the only places I shop to replace shoes and essential clothing)
Blue, Purple, or Green Bic Roller Pens (no gel or felt tip jobbies)
Postage stamps (I really like this year’s FROG ones)!
Note cards and thank you cards (blank inside)
Retreat center stays
Grocery store gift cards (love to cook and bake! I have recipes to last for eternity)
Workshops/Classes/Seminars/Conferences
Music concert tickets
Cabin vacations
Theatre tickets
Figure skating shows
Fellow dream chaser to experience 1 of my 100+ lifetime dreams with me (so far, I’ve gotten to achieve 64 out of 107 from my Dream List)
Donation to humane society, dog rescues
Dunkin Donut coffee
Turtlenecks in every color (the kind that go all the way up the neck)
Double sized bed flannel sheet sets (I can never be too warm)

Readers! Your turn! What are your creative ideas to give someone who defines themselves as a “non-materially interested minimalist”? 

Leaping into the holiday lily pad of life from the FROG Blog,

Christina

 

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized

Voice Texts

When communication methods shifted to an electronic wave, I found myself saddened by a loss of personalized connection. This sadness surprised me because as an introvert I require abundant quietness. I thrive with large margins of isolation, but I’m not  accustomed to loneliness.

I socialize through snail mail cards, one-on-one walks, or phone calls. People who used to exchange phone calls started answering voice mails with texts. Sometimes within a minute of my voice mail, I’d receive a text, “Thanks for your voice mail. It was nice to hear your voice.” Based on their quick response, I figured the person was available to talk so I immediately called them back, only to be greeted by their recorded voice mail message.

marketing office working business
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Our son travels for his job and often there is a three-hour time zone difference between us. He and my husband exchange texts. I send cards and emails, but because of these time zone variances, we’ve missed “live” communication.

Last time we talked on the phone, our one-hour visit was flooded with updates and we hung up with still more to say. Neither of us are fans of lengthy phone calls so sometimes it’s weeks between verbal conversations. Our son understands why I’m unable to text and we joke that as soon as he handwrites a letter to me, I’ll text him back to let him know I received it.

Instead of continuing our communication gap, we began “voice texting.” We agreed to call each other Monday through Friday and leave a one-to-two-minute voice message. These messages may include a question to ponder, a funny story, an inspirational quote, quick family news, or a song that reminds us of something.

He knows I take lunch between 11:30-12:30 Eastern Time so when he sees my number come up during that time, he knows I’m leaving a “verbal text.” After work, I turn off my phone and when he gets home late in the evening, he leaves a return “voice text.” These daily two-minute investments have yielded stronger return than our bi-monthly marathon phone calls did.

I’m grateful for this unscreened connection that has built our mother-son relationship. H

Happy Thanksgiving week from the lily pad of life,

Christina