Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ronnie B. And Me~ Remodeling Team Extraordinaire

What a gift to be married to my Ronnie B. I swear this man can do almost anything. Watching his mind work on designing and building our new home has been enlightening. The way he sees the details has made our home beyond incredible. It always amazes me how he can just see what needs to be done and make it happen. There are little sketches all around the house how he figures angles and just how to fit things together.

Perhaps the greatest gift is how he lets me work beside him on this project so it is not his but ours. I have had a small hand in plumbing, electric and even stair building. We have managed to get heavy, bulky plywood and 5 gallon cans of paint upstairs on a ladder with just the two of us. Ron on the roof and me pushing from below raising one rung at a time. His confidence in my has given me the confidence to do more than I thought I could.

This is truly our forever home with our sweat-equity lovingly embedded in every detail. There is really nothing I would change about the past year of remodeling. Working long days together has not only given us a beautiful new home but a much closer us as well. So although I will be so glad when the kitchen is in and our days are not filled with tape measures and hardware store visits, I have enjoyed the journey with my Ronnie B.

In Him,

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Turn STEM to STEAM or A Little Art Will Do Ya

Let’s expand STEM into STEAM
Each of theses is crucial to learning and mind development.
Art ties it all together.
Let’s get steamy and add Art to this new focus in education.
There is most certainly a place for it.
Heck, maybe we could even throw in a sonnet or two.

In Him,

Friday, June 29, 2018

Balancing Grace

Balancing grace for others and protecting my own heart is tricky. When I feel excluded time and time again it comes to a point of when do I take the hint and move on? This is especially tricky when it is family that leave me out. I worry so about including others and not hurting anyone’s feelings because I am so sensitive to getting my own feelings hurt. Ron supports me by pointing out that some people are just more sensitive and some are more self centered. My orphan spirit woke me up at 4 am this morning when pictures of smiling faces that left me out but more importantly my 13 year old daughter and 84 year old mother. Hurt me~I hurt. Hurt them~ I want to confront the situation.

Pointing out to these family members how unfair their treatment of us is only makes them see my whining not my heart. I truly believed that raising our kids while Ron and I volunteered, pitched in, and helped others out would make them generous, compassionate adults. If only. Now I have vented and shared way too much. The good news is they don’t read my blog either.

My grace should be that they may not intentionally hurt me. Like when a mom just washed the kitchen floors and the kids come running through with mud on their feet. Are they conspiring to dismiss her efforts or simply enjoying life. I do recognize this is my heart and not necessarily their heart to hurt. How do I become less sensitive since I can only control my reaction not their actions. Praying for wisdom and grace even when it is difficult. That’s what Jesus shows me and asks me to show others.

1 Corinthians 16-14 Do everything in love.

This blog was not that. Or was it about loving myself, mom and granddaughter.

It occurs to me that more than I know, others are probably feeling left out by my choices and I have no intention of hurting them or awareness of how my actions affect them. I guess it is time to spend my sensitive side on being a more inclusive person myself.

In Him,

Thursday, June 28, 2018

My World Is Not Perfect

This can’t be easy. I am so sorry. How can I help?  We all share those words with others who share their heartaches with us. Just listening is what we all need when we are walking through life’s bumps in the road. None of us have everything just perfect in our lives. This is so true but so misconceived. Too often we wear our burdens live a heavy chain around our neck all the time looking at others with envy. Envy that they couldn’t possibly be dealing with the same struggles that we are dealing with. And we are right.
They aren’t living with our struggles but their struggles are just as challenging.

Our relationships are what make it true that there is never a moment where something or someone is not going through a hard time. But our relationships are also how we lift each other up to get through the tough times. What a gift to care enough to ache for those we love when life throws punches. I feel sorry for those who don’t share their hurts for fear of being judged. Let’s face it much of the tough stuff is self-induced. Reality is that most of us have made mistakes and can relate on some level to others shame. Social media is a window to other’s lives. Sure some of it is glossed over to impress and some is complaining about every little hang nail in life. But it is also a place to celebrate new births, grieve with other’s losses, and to support with prayer and finances when moved to do so.

Connections get us through life. Holding hands on this walk whether physically or virtually makes life so much richer. I for one am glad that my world is not perfect. That means that my heart includes not just me but so many others as well.

In Him,

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

10 Months and Counting

Remodeling 10 months in and seeing the light at the end of this project. Ron and I needed a new roof and stucco on our 1946 vintage home in the Southwest. Well, if you are going to do a new roof why not get rid of the old flat one and pitch it. Well, if you are going to pitch it why not make a steep pitch and get a second story with much needed storage. Well, it you are going to do a second story it makes more sense to add walls upstairs to get more room. Of course you need a second bathroom upstairs and a deck off the bedroom. Stairs, of course you must have stairs to get upstairs. That is a given.

Here we are with a beautiful staircase that still needs a beautiful wood over the exposed plywood and an upstairs suite that is heaven on earth. It features an 8 foot door that completely folds away and a second sink/vanity area that is perfect to put a kitchenette upstairs. With our soon to be completed balcony we don’t want to wander downstairs to make a cup of coffee to enjoy the morning sun.

This has been a year long process that we have worked together on from morning until 9pm~ish each and every night. Ron being brilliant designer and owner builder on our massive project has saved us so much. Having his cousin, Beth, do a lot of the electrical and all the tile work has been a gift. I have climbed more ladders and learned a bit about all that goes into a project like this. Even electrical had a few jobs that I could tackle with a good bit of supervision. Ron and I have both fallen into bed in our quaint RV each night exhausted but knowing that we are the heart of this rebuild.

There have been a few times I questioned if the two of us were strong enough for some tasks. I got especially concerned when Ron decided getting a pice of 1/2 inch plywood up to the roof couldn’t wait until morning when the guys came to work. We inched it up the ladder one rung at a time, me on the bottom pushing and Ron on the deck pulling. I feared he would fall off on his head or I would get clobbered when the plywood fell. Ron always believed more than I did that anything was possible for the two of us to accomplish. He always did the bulk of the work but I stayed right beside him assisting in any way that I could.

Here we are seeing the rewards of our efforts and changes everyday to our new home. It will still be a couple months until our kitchen is installed. But our outdoor kitchen of a microwave, toaster oven and barbecue make outdoor dining a joy. It will feel strange when we are sitting on furniture with our refinished 1940s vintage oak floors and filling our evenings with activities that don’t include a tape measure or a paintbrush. Our hope is to then fill this gift of a home with others; family, friends, and really anyone who needs a temporary place to stay. June 10th we had a summer student come to occupy Natalie’s old room and even with the construction site feel he is enjoying our home and being right on Noni’s Park to play soccer with his friends. My Mom and Elissa are in another bedroom and we even have curtains up thanks to Pat’s handy stitching.

So include us in your travel plans this fall or anytime thereafter. The Barber home is ready to be filled with laughter and new memories. God has blessed us greatly.

In Him,

Friday, June 15, 2018

68 Cubes of Butter is Just the BBeginning

For the first time in decades or perhaps my life, food seems like fuel not what I need to fill the hole inside. Part of it is the Keto lifestyle but most of it is less focus on food and more on life. Cravings are gone and I feel in control of my food intake. I find myself having to remind myself to eat rather than reminding myself to abstain from eating.

Too many others my age are dealing with lifestyle induced diabetes and I know my choices could put my health at risk. To be honest, I never thought I could do Keto or give up so many things I love. The truth is it has been much easier than I assumed. I can’t say I am feeling better or worse physically but emotionally I am in the best place with food I have ever been. Diet and food don’t consume my thoughts. The simple can have and can’t have list is simple to follow and frees me up to focus on life not focus on food.

No plan is the right plan for everyone. I am just thankful to have found a lifestyle that is the perfect fit for me.

In Him,

FYI I have lost the equivalent of  68 cubes of butter in 6 weeks. I have gained time and attention to life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Accountability to Write

Let me start with a scripture.
Romans 7:15
For I do not understand my own actions.
 For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Now this is not true all the time but often enough to make me angry at myself. 
So here is the deal
I have enlisted an accountability blog partner to write daily with me.

I need to write. 
I want to write.
I enjoy writing.
So why am I not writing?

Okay, perhaps one of you need to write too, or sing, play the piano, climb a rock.
Let me know how I can help. 
Just call.
I will be here writing.

In Him,