Tag Archive | A Love Lee Place

I Found My Word For the Year

That’s right…I found my word for the year after being challenged by my  dear friend Andrea Stunz who is a contributing author on Kirk Cameron’s website thecourage.com. I absolutely Love… Love…Love what she wrote in “The one word I need for the new year”.  After reading her story, I could not think of anything else…What was my word? I thought of a thousand words but none were perfect for me. Then all of the sudden it came while I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. Of course, my word for 2018 is the most perfect word EVER!!!

HOPE

What is hope? What does hope really mean? I thought I knew but wanted to be sure. OMGosh, my heart skipped a beat as I read about hope and I absolutely loved the definitions.

Noun: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
            Synonyms: Aspiration, Desire, Wish, Expectation, Ambition, Aim, Goal, Plan
Verb: to want something to happen or be the case.
            Synonyms: Expect, Anticipate, Look for, Be hopeful of

Now when I was young I was taught the polar opposite definitions of hope. I was told:

  • “Don’t expect anything and you won’t be disappointed it doesn’t happen”
  • “Don’t get your hopes up”
  • “That will never happen”
  • “We’ll see”
  • “No”

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As an adult those phrases were pushed to the back of my mind until August of 2016 when   my life completely unraveled. I had allowed myself to dream but only to have every thing come crashing down around me. The words I heard growing up became a self-fulfilling prophecy and my life was engulfed with loss and disappointment.

For some, hoping is easy but for me it is a huge risk. Taking the risk to hope again could result in more loss and disappointment. However, I’ve decided…Nothing ventured…Nothing Gained.

There is so much anticipation in the word HOPE. It’s kinda like getting to go on vacation. All you can think about is where your going and what you plan to do when you get there. You expect to have a good time…YOU HAVE HOPE!!!

My favorite scripture contains HOPE!!!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

My Word for 2018 is HOPE

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What Lies Beneath

We humans are the most fascinating creatures…We may be going through some really tough times financially, physically, or even emotionally but no one would ever know. Nope, the world is clueless because we are the masters of disguise.

I was reminded of this one day when Richard said, “How ‘Bout A Cup of Coffee” and we headed to the pier to have our afternoon chat. It was windy that day and the waters were a little choppy. I remember thinking to myself…Wow, even though the water is a little rough no one would ever know…

What Lies Beneath

By watching the video below you will understand exactly what I mean!

For the fish in the video, it only takes is a little food to bring them to the surface. You see, they are hungry and under those somewhat calm waters they are scurrying around trying to find that which satisfies their hunger…

We are much the same. We as humans tend to flounder around seeking that which satisfies the emotional hunger in us. To fill the void we buy cars, boats, clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and even enter into unhealthy relationships. That hunger for affection, acceptance or even success can drive us to unhealthy measures in efforts to quiet the turmoil within.

While our physical hunger can be met by the right choices in food, satiety can be obtained for our emotional hunger. In order to recognize what your hungry for, you must…

  • Remove those toxic relationships from your daily life. It is so important to clear out  those negative influences; the ones that drag you down and keep your life in constant turmoil. The relationships that cloud your view of what’s above the chaos.
  • Build healthy relationships. Foster those type relationships that build you up, support you, hold you accountable, and encourage you to be the best you can be. The relationships that keep you from drowning by holding you up and keeping your head above water
  • Be the perfect example of the type of person you are seeking to associate yourself with. Like attracts like so if you want
    • To be treated with kindness…show kindness
    • To be loved…love
    • To be shown respect..respect
    • To be included…include

I could go on forever but I think you get my drift..We can actually satisfy our  hunger by feeding those around us. In doing so we no longer have to feed on the bottom of the lake but instead we actually get to eat the good stuff. We are no longer subjected to the chaos, turmoil, confusion, or unrest…

What Lies Beneath!

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10

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How ‘Bout A Cup of Coffee?

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Richard and I have always enjoyed coffee in the morning but it was in 2005 I learned to appreciate afternoon coffee. I even remember the exact moment our afternoon coffee ritual began…

We were living in Jones Creek, Richard was swinging on the porch swing and I was sweeping the patio when he said, “Baby, come sit with me and have a cup of coffee”. It was in that very moment I realized my husband didn’t care if the patio was swept…He desired my company and wanted my undivided attention. We sat in that swing for the longest time talking, laughing, and just loving each other.

The next day, I was working in the flowerbeds when I looked up and there was my precious husband holding two cups of coffee and he says, “How ’bout a cup of coffee”. I took off my gloves, set the rake aside, and made my way to the swing where we sat and once again shared memories of the girls, talked of the joys of being grandparents, and planned our future projects. Each day we would sit and have afternoon coffee and before I realized it, we had established a routine. Then, on the days he had to work I found myself craving a cup of coffee and our “together time”.

While that patio was one of my most favorite places to sit together, we have since found many places we love to have our afternoon coffee…floating in the pool, sitting by a camp fire, riding on a golf cart, sitting in the park, or our most recent…Sitting on a pier overlooking the lake at our daughter and son-in-laws home.

For Richard and me, coffee has become the code word for quality time. He recognized his “worker bee/ results oriented” wife did not know how or was ever allowed to just sit and relax. Not only did he teach me the art of relaxing, he also showed me the value of quality time, the importance of communication, how to dream and plan for the future. Richard believed in me and invested in me and while drinking coffee we have become closer friends.

Is there someone in your life worth investing your time in…someone you want to be closer to? A sister, brother, parent, friend, classmate, or co-worker?

Perhaps all you need to do is ask them…

“How ‘Bout A Cup of Coffee?”

Be ready…Some may not be willing to allow you to get close to them while others may try to suck the life right out of you. You will never know if your investment of time will be worth it unless you are willing to test the waters while visiting over that first cup of coffee…

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More Powerful Than Any Drug

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Do you ever wonder how generations past managed to survive without all the drugs we have access to now?We now have medications for just about whatever ails you:

  • Pain
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiousness
  • Food sensitivities
  • Allergies
  • Irregular heart rate
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

In addition there are medications to help you stop:

  • Smoking
  • Putting on weight
  • Drinking
  • Doing recreational drugs
  • Laying in bed awake at night

You get my drift…

While watching a movie recently, “Awakening” based on a true story. Dr. Sayer played by Robin Williams makes the most profound statement ever…Sent chills over my entire body when I heard it.

“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and that’s what needs to be nourished.”

So, what is the human spirit? It is the ability to think, feel, love, design, create, and enjoy music, humor, and art. And it is because of the human spirit that we have a “free will” that no other creature on earth has.

So, if you think about it…When you can REALLY think, feel, love, design, create, and enjoy those things which God has given us for pleasure we have a tool at our disposal more powerful than drugs. Unfortunately for many life has become so complex and complicated. We get so stressed and overwhelmed that soon we begin to develop physical and emotional problems and turn to drugs first.

For many hearing this is a difficult pill to swallow…It is easier to grab an actual pill and go for the quick fix. However, I would like to recommend…

  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Listening to Music
  • Nature
  • Peaceful walks
  • Finding beauty in the little things
  • Verbalizing or demonstrating gratitude
  • Sing
  • Play
  • Dance
  • Spend time with a child
  • Volunteer
  • Spend time with those who lift you up rather than bring you down

You will find any of these activities to be…

MORE POWERFUL THAN ANY DRUG

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Do We Really Love?

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When is the last time you said “I Love You”? Did you mean it? I mean did you really mean it? So many people say “I love you” giving no thought to the true meaning of love.

Really, think about it…Do you actions match your words?  Love is not a verb…It is a noun. Love is an intense feeling of deep affection and when the intense feeling is present there is:

  • Patience even when you want to rip someone’s head off
  • Kindness even for the meanest and most undesirable person
  • No envious thoughts no matter how bad you want ____ (you fill in the blank)
  • No boasting even though you are about to burst with excitement
  • No conceit despite how proud you are of ____ (you fill in the blank)

So, the short of it is…

If we say “I Love You” while harboring or expressing any of the following:

  • The opposite of patienceAgitation
    • Cowardice
    • Indifference
    • Resistance
    • Impatience
    • Intolerance
  • The opposite of kindnessAnimosity
    • Hatred
    • Hostility
    • Ill will
    • Indecency
    • Indifference
    • Intolerance
    • Meanness
    • Mercilessness
    • Selfishness
    • Thoughtlessness
    • Cruelty
    • Harshness
  • The opposite of no enviousness (Contentedness)Hatred
    • Ill will
    • Malice
    • Resentment
    • Coveting
    • Spite
    • Opposition
    • Resentfulness
    • Lusting
  • The opposite of no boasting (being modest)Gloat
    • Grandstand
    • Blow one’s own horn
  • The opposite of not conceitedArrogant
    • Cocky
    • Full of Hot Air
    • Ham
    • Know-it-all
    • Loud mouth
    • Narcissistic
    • Self-important
    • Stuck up

Do We Really Love?

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it!

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It Has Been A Hard Year

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Saying goodbye to 2016 will be one of the easiest things we could ever do!  This has been the hardest year of our adult life!!

The hard stuff started with Richard working a 100 day shut down. As if working shift work was not hard enough on both of us…The plant expected him to work 12/12’s in a row, take one day off, and return to work on the 14th day. Supper tough when transitioning from night shift to day shift as he slept his days off away!

Then, we decided to sell our home. Our grandson’s wife came in and helped us sell most of our furniture and interior decor only to discover our contract fell through…The buyers backed out! So, I redecorated the whole house again. Soon after we were settled in, our daughter and son-in-law approached us with a plan to downsize our lives and build a smaller more efficient home. After much discussion we were all in and placed the house on the market again. Before we knew it the house was sold and we were moving all our belongings into storage and we moved in with our daughter and son-in-law. Yep, that was the plan…Live with the kids while we built a house.

We found our land, our builder, and the process was in full motion! We worked the land, installed the culverts, obtained permits, had the electricity ran and we were well on our way then the neighborhood flooded. While where the house would sit was above the flood plain the roads to our land was under water. The flood delayed the building process and provided us more time with the kids. Then on July 30th our son-in-law presented an alternate plan…”Why don’t you just live with us rather than build? It just makes sense” he said. He offered us the second story of their home and again, after much discussion we were on board! He relocated his game room and we moved upstairs!

Also, during that same time Richard took a new job! He was finally going to be able to work Monday-Friday with weekend and holidays off. Woohoo…I had waited over 28yrs for a “Normal” life!!!

So, with us simplifying our lives and reducing our cost of living, I decided to retire. I gave my notice on August 1st. One day later we learned of our oldest daughter’s death. Tori lived in Austin and had passed away on July 31st but because we had move, they had a difficult time locating us. Our world as we knew it was rocked to the core and a giant hole was carved out of our hearts…The following days and weeks were a daze. We had a memorial service for Tori and celebrated her precious life. I am not sure we would have made it through those days without the support of Brandi, Robi, Cheyenne, and the kind words from family and friends.

Soon we realized we needed to get back to some resemblance of a life so we started the daunting task of emptying the storage buildings…4 of them to be exact! It was good to have something to keep our minds occupied because our hearts were aching! We sold, donated, and gifted people with our “stuff” by the trailer loads!  It was hard to believe all we had worked for our entire married life was gone in less than 2 months!!!

Once we finished all the hard work of downsizing we decided to buy a 5th wheel so we could do a little traveling. Richard’s schedule was 4/10’s with every Fri, Sat, and Sun off which was perfect for some weekend traveling! That is until what would be a 3yr assignment turned into 3 months and he finds himself without work.

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

While 2016 has been filled with mourning and despair, God has been faithful and provided us with beauty for ashes:

  • We have a gift of a lifetime given to us by our daughter and son-in-law. One of family, love, laughter, and simplicity
  • We have witnessed our granddaughter Cheyenne enjoy being drum major this year
  • We have an income and our financial needs are met
  • We have a home
  • We have each other
  • We know we WILL see Tori again

It Has Been A Hard Year…But God has held us Beneath His Sheltering Wings and Close to His Heart and His Promises Are My Hope for 2017

We wish you a Healthy, Happy, and Prosperous New Year Logo

Love,

Richard & Lee

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Do You Feel Lonely or Forgotten

Lonely 3Most of My Entire Married Life, I Have Been…ALONE and At Times Felt LONELY

Being Alone is not an easy place to be for many. In-fact the divorce rate jumps from an average of 11% to 57% among shift workers because the shift workers spouses are so lonely.

As the spouse of a shift worker, I often find myself “alone”. Though I have a fabulous marriage and adore Richard with every fiber of my being and I know he adores me…I am often alone and at times find myself lonely (There is a difference in being alone and being lonely). In our earlier years it was less obvious because we had children and they filled my void. As I have gotten older and our children have left the nest…I have filled my lonely days with Work, Projects, Facebook, Blogging, and of course…Retail Therapy.

However, as I have gotten older, I have also come to realize there is something far worse than being lonely…

 Being Forgotten!

In my current role as Director of Nursing in a Skilled Nursing Facility I have become keenly aware that being forgotten is far worse than being lonely. Loneliness can be remedied through touch, conversation, laughter, and activities. There is however only one remedy for Forgotten and it is being Remembered by those the love!!!

Forgotten Can be a Subtle Transition or Blatant and Purposeful

Forgotten can gradually evolve when your children learn a new level of independence…When they learn to toilet alone, dress themselves, cut up their own meat, cook their own meals, drive themselves, leave home, get married, have children and develop adult friendships and hobbies. While this is a natural and essential process of maturing…One feels Forgotten!

Forgotten can occur when a friend moves away or you able to witness them develop and nurture new friendships via social media and all the while calls and contacts are farther and fewer between…One Feels Forgotten!

Forgotten can also occur when families grow apart or together without you…One Feels Forgotten!

Here are Some ways I have found to cope with being Lonely or Forgotten…

  1. Be realistic: Everyone gets left out
  2. Look honestly at the situation: Seek like-minded people
  3. Make a choice to be better not bitter: Don’t wallow in self-pity
  4. Smile: Makes people wonder what you’re up to
  5. Try not to read too much into being left out: Look for the simplest explanation first
  6. Find something to do: This will distract you
  7. Talk to your spouse or a trusted friend about your feelings: It helps to have someone to keep you grounded
  8. Listen openly to their responses: Feedback provides an opportunity for growth
  9. Be proactive: Take the initiative to reach out to those who want to be a part of your life
  10. Heed the message: Remove yourself from those who drag you down and make you feel alone and forgotten

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Always Remember…

A Season of Loneliness and Isolation is When the Caterpillar Gets its Wings

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Just Give it Up Already!!!

Whatsoever “Junk In = Junk Out” is a saying I learned while working on an electronic documentation system for the hospital. I have learned this phrase is not only true for computers but also humans. At times we can be our own worst enemy by filling our mind with negative thoughts which is the “Junk In” and these thoughts in turn affect our behaviors which becomes the “Junk Out”.

While we try to be positive we are bombarded both consciously and subconsciously with negativity. In turn, our actions begin to reflect these negative thoughts. Then before you know it our posture and appearance screams negativity with our slumped shoulders, down facing gaze, slow and non-purposeful gait, and even a scowl or a frown.

Of course about now you’re thinking…Not me, I always try to be positive and upbeat!!! Well, we all have been guilty of:

  1. Doubting Yourself
  2. Negative Thinking
  3. Fear of Failure
  4. Criticizing Yourself and Others
  5. Negative Self Talk
  6. Procrastination
  7. Fear of Success
  8. People Pleasing

Yep, we are all guilty!!! But, God does give us instructions on how we can turn our negative stinking thinking into the positive in Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

There you have it!!! So…

Just Give It Up Already

Give Up the Negative and Instead Think To Yourself “Whatsoever”

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Freedom Can Be Ours!!!

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I have always been saddened by the injustices inflicted on slaves. Not a life anyone would choose or was it? According to Harriet Tubman, many did not recognize they were slaves. Slavery was the only lifestyle they knew. While there are many definitions of slavery the common theme of slavery emphasizes the idea of complete ownership and control by a master. Now a master can be defined as having chief authority.

 With this concept in mind, perhaps we should ask ourselves…

Aren’t We All Slaves?

Could it be possible we are under the authority of someone or something which in-fact makes us a slave. A slave to the very things in life we detest or fear. The term slavery or slave most often has a negative connotation. One which makes us subservient and weak. Perhaps we are not necessarily a servant to another human being but in-fact a servant to

Unhealthy Addictions

  • Work
  • Food
  • Cigarettes
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Sex
  • Shopping

Unhealthy Behaviors

  • Negative
  • Co-dependent
  • Passive Aggressive
  • Avoidance
  • Impulsive
  • Disruptive
  • Aggressive
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Manipulative
  • Intimidates or Bullies

Unhealthy Relationships Which

  • Take each other for granted
  • Lack Trust
  • Hurl Constant Insults
  • Include Frequent Fighting
  • Lead to Social Isolation
  • There is Continuous Blaming
  • There are Omissions of Truth
  • There is No Communication
  • One Attempts to Control
  • One Keeps Secrets
  • There is Lack of Respect
  • There is Unhealthy Jealousy
  • There is No Compromise

You know, many of us have more than one master. Perhaps we have multiple masters. And…what’s worse is we don’t even recognize we are in bondage.

If We Only Knew We Were Slaves Then We Could Be Rescued From Our Bondage!!!

This post is not intended to point out flaws but only to introduce awareness to those things in our lives which prove to be unhealthy. Recognition is the first step to Freedom!!! Once we recognize we have a master then we must free ourselves…Not ever an easy task! We run, we hide, and even bargain to avoid facing the giant head on. But, with God’s help…

Freedom Can Be Ours!!!

“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything.

2 Corinthians 6:12

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How Juicy Do We Want to Be

Peach

 So, You Work Hard to Be the Best You Can Be…

What Happened???

You brush your teeth, wear a smile, comb your hair, and put on clean clothes

You read your Bible on a regular basis, pray, and walk in love

What on Earth is Wrong With Me…Why Don’t They Like Me?

We have all wanted to be liked or accepted…To “Fit In”. Waiting for that friend or family member to accept us, desire our presence, call us, send us an email, or post on our wall on Face Book, or include us in gatherings. Then we discover we were the one eliminated from that “Get Together” that was “thrown together at the last moment”…I’m sure we all remember a time we felt ostracized.

Well, my friend, it just may not be us…We just may be the ripest, juiciest peaches in the world but if someone doesn’t like peaches…It is not going to matter how perfect we are!!!

So, step back and evaluate the following about those you desire to associate yourself with…

  • How do they make me feel?
  • How do I act when I am with them?
  • What do we talk about when we are together? Are the Love Lee Thoughts?
  • Do they pursue you or do they come around because you pursue them?

By answering the questions above honestly we may discover, the relationships with friends and family we want so badly may not be the healthiest relationships for our lives. Perhaps God altered their taste to protect us from the negative effects these people have on our lives. Does it hurt…Yes!!! and this is because we think we “Need” these people in our lives. But in-fact, we would be much juicier and sweeter peaches if we place ourselves in the company of those who desire us, esteem us, and love us.

So, as the New Year approaches perhaps we might want to consider is…

“How Juicy Do We Want to Be” 

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