My Agenda

The last few days I’ve been engaged in a debate on another blog. I’m not  going to go into the details of the debate, but suffice it to say I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated, and agitated over this social justice warrior’s inability to see the other side of things. When I asked a question that chipped a rather large chunk from her foundational argument, she responded with “This conversation is going in circles, so I’m going to step out. Thanks for the discussion.”

Which basically said to me, “I have no answer for your question, so I quit.”

And that’s fine. But it still frustrated me that so many of this particular generation base their beliefs and actions on feelings, feelings which can change with the wind, because Truth is not absolute in this day and age. There is your truth, and there is her truth, and his truth, and supposedly my truth. I don’t understand how there can be multiple truths for any given situation.

Anyway, while I was feeling frustrated and agitated and irritable about all this, my husband pointed out that he’d been much less stressed the last few days because he’d been consciously avoiding any discussions that hinged on politics or social agendas. Which reminded me of something rather important.

See the title of my blog up there? ↑↑↑

Not “A Scribbler & A Shutterbug”

Underneath that.


“Persistently Choosing Joy”

That one.

I think I’ve slacked up a bit in that area. And I need to refocus. On my agenda.

To persistently choose joy.

Because if I’m persistently choosing joy, my focus is on the future.

Not the past. Adios, depressing blog posts.

And not even the present. Au revoir, social justice warrior debates.

My focus is on the future and what I can do, how I can serve, to live a joyful life for the benefit of myself and those around me. Positive actions (not feelings) actually produce positive feelings. Now isn’t that interesting?

Hallo, peace, joy and love!

Spending time with this guy definitely increases my joy meter.
These two should be reason enough for anyone to smile! ❤


If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you have most surely seen a video, story, blog, or photo of a tiny house. I still remember the first time I saw a tiny house online (and then later a real one off I-10, near Seguin, Texas). I was enthralled with the dollhouse like details and how much one could fit into a tiny house that was well-designed. I could definitely see a tiny house parked out back of our place to be used as a guest house, writing and/or craft studio.

A Texas Tiny House near Seguin, Texas – one of the company’s prototypes, this little house is made with all recycled materials.
Another tiny house — what you see is the entire living room. The ladder leads to the sleeping loft above the kitchen.
The sleeping loft. I took this photo standing on the ladder a few inches from the foot of the bed. Not sure where one keeps his or her clothing.

I cannot, however, see living in one full time. While I do not deny I have plenty of stuff to get rid of, the things that I use, that my guy uses — it just wouldn’t fit in one of those houses.

Earlier today Jami and I managed to throw out a healthy stack of papers, though. We managed to throw out enough stuff that we were able to consolidate what had once taken up two filing cabinet drawers and three plastic file boxes into just one file cabinet drawer, and it’s not nearly full. Mostly we threw out school papers from her brief three year stint in public school. We pulled a few “samples” of her work for posterity’s sake, and in the trash the rest went. It was really satisfying to take the few items we decided to keep and put them back in the formerly crammed full filing cabinet drawer, with plenty of room to spare. Soon I will begin scrapbooking again, and those items will make their way into a book where they can be viewed and enjoyed on a regular basis.

I guess I’m just too sentimental to be a complete minimalist, although I am working on only keeping the things that give me joy, or that mean something to my family. I realized that much of what I was keeping was out of guilt: “I can’t get rid of that, my mother gave it to me.” Or, “My girl may want that someday. I need to keep it safe for her just in case she does.” After realizing this, I’m being more selective about what I keep for myself, and I’m asking my girl to make the decisions that relate to her memories. I just know that it is hell going through your family home after a parent dies, having to make those decisions when you are already overwhelmed by emotions. Hopefully I can get my own “warehouse of memories” under control so my girl doesn’t have to deal with that when we are gone. I’m learning there’s a great deal of peace to be found when you let go of the things you thought were important, but you’ve discovered really aren’t. And it makes room for the things that bring you joy.

Searching for Faith and Trust and Peace

For several months I’ve been struggling with my faith in God and my ability to trust Him no matter what the circumstances around me may portend.  As a result, it seems as though there’s a constant flutter in my chest — an absence of peace and an almost paralyzing anxiety.  It might not be so paralyzing except that my worries are not simple matters like trusting God for fair weather on a  day when we need to install thirty blinds or for provision to pay off a bill or take care of a house repair.

My weak faith, my difficulty in trusting God are my own fault because I’ve not been diligent in reading His word — getting it really locked into my mind and heart.  And so recent worries threaten to overwhelm because I struggle so much to believe that He cares about me or that He’ll take care of my worries.

Worry #1:

I am almost fifty-one years old and I’m not in the greatest shape.  I’m not talking about the vanity of fitting into the same clothes I wore thirty years ago.  Aching hips and creaking knees, pains that shouldn’t be showing up for another twenty years or more are slowing me down.  I’m talking about not knowing if that anxious feeling in my chest is just an anxious feeling or something that requires a trip to the ER, and being OCD about keeping aspirin in my purse since that supposedly can lessen the effects of a heart attack if taken quickly enough.  And while I hope to spend eternity with the Lord, I am terrified of dying any time soon.  I want to see my daughter achieve her personal goals (whether that be children’s librarian, music teacher, wild chorkie wrangler, etc.), see her marry a good man who will cherish her the way God intended, to hold my grand-babies if that is in His plan for our family, to enjoy the “twilight years” of my life with my husband, whom I love more than anything in this world.  I have friends who say, “Take me now, Lord!  I’m ready to leave this world behind and be with You in glory!”  And I feel guilty for not feeling the same way, because it seems as though I am putting my husband and daughter above God in importance.  But surely He would not give them to me if He didn’t want me to love them with all my heart?  Would He?

Worry #2:

Then there’s that.  How to transition from the parent who makes decisions, guides, and protects a beloved child, to the parent who gives advice, guides and tries to protect the not-still-child, but not-quite-adult…  How to be there and offer counsel and accept that the counsel may or may not be heeded.  I have cried and prayed over how to let go and accept that in this fallen world, heartache and pain are a given and I have not been, and may not always be able to protect my girl from either, because she is growing up.  While I struggle to trust God, my struggle to trust humans with regards to my girl is even greater — I’ve loved her for well over nineteen years (if you count the time I carried her) and it’s difficult to not view the intentions of some of the people entering her life with suspicion.  Do they see her for the wonderful young woman she is, or do they see her as a source for something they want – a commodity to be take advantage of?  She’s so amazing and she loves so hard and she wants to believe the very best about people — until they hurt her and then she’s devastated.  It’s the kind of hurt, the kind of devastation that makes a gentle heart hard and less likely to love in the future, in hopes of not being hurt again.

I’ve loved like that and been devastated when the love I gave was cast aside like yesterday’s trash.  It’s a huge part of the anxiety I feel — wanting to spare her that heartache because I know how it feels and how it scars and how it never goes away completely.  Then I am forced to remember that as much as I love her, God loves her even more than I do.  Whatever happens, if I put my faith and trust in Him, He can redeem any situation for His glory.  So I need to spend more time praying, reading my Bible, strengthening my faith and building my trust in Him.  Then His peace will come.