noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

That Which is Inverse May Also Be Harmonious December 7, 2012

Filed under: Adventure,Discouragement,Grief,Joy,Thankfulness — lauradegroot @ 6:05 am

A  handicapped sticker hanging in the window of a Porsche Carrera  –  oxymoronic?

41% of Palm Beach County homeowners ‘under water’ on their houses –  contradictory to the American Dream?

In weakness finding strength…    In surrender being victorious…    In dying, really living… – inverse to human nature?

These are my ponderings of the week.   All of them rub me the wrong way.  Honestly – who doesn’t prefer to be in control, be in the know, be on the path you laid out, be confident and successful in all circumstances, be healthy-wealthy (or at least financially sound) wise?   To accomplish this state of ‘be’, I tend towards fighting losing battles; sucking it up and moving ahead; pulling myself up by my bootstraps; pushing through full-steam ahead even if I am steamless.  Do I have any company who share this way of life/living?

If I had the wisdom of Solomon, I would certainly give advice to seekers that this way is unsuitable for any human being.  I’ve been given that wisdom myself.  Unfortunately it comes naturally to go the way of doing the same thing over and over and never getting different results.

22 years ago in the deep water of grief, I faced a crossroad with a choice to make:  Choose bitterness or Choose Joy.   Circumstances lended themselves to the first choice.  Joy was contradictory.  I choose the second (with a little divine nudge).  And so found life in dying, experienced strength in weakness.   This choice did not require bootstrap strength or mustering self-generated steam.  It required obedience and surrender and victory followed, in time.

There are similarities in my current circumstances to 22 years ago.  These adventure days are marked by loss, unfamiliar territory, lack of control, mental/emotional fatigue, the need to live day by day – sometimes moment by moment.  That Joy choice was a one time thing, but it’s also a daily one too.

It’s curious how thankful things get overshadowed by troublesome things.  It’s also curious when I let them blend together rather compete for my undivided attention, they become harmony.

There is more than plenty to be thankful for in my current circumstances.   And so I shall choose Joy again today and let the harmonious sounds play while I live.

I am thankful that I am a homeowner in Boulder county and a renter in Palm Beach county.  I am thankful I live in a community where they love dogs.   I am thankful that we were invited to 2 parties by some of our new neighbors  today.  I am thankful for coolers to hold the food from the fridge and freezer that is currently needing a thaw.  I am thankful for a man who is taking me out to dinner tonight since our food is currently living in temporary cooler housing.  I’m thankful for my friend Ruthie.  I am thankful for parents and children and friends in Colorado who are helping me choose Joy and keep things in perspective.  I’m thankful for all the awesome birds that live here and that I am no longer afraid of the little lizards that are everywhere.  I am thankful I can see and for a puzzle which distracts me from stinky thinkin.   I haven’t gotten lost, in fact I’ve acclimated to the driving surprisingly well – a gift.   The  humidity feels so nice – as the temperatures are moderate  which is another unexpected reason to be thankful.  Calvin and Pekoe have adapted easily – thanks again.   We’ve located good mexican food – different from Colorado, not that spicy, but unique and delicious…THANK Goodness!


And I suppose – there is something for someone to be thankful for if they can drive their Porsche yet have the need for a handicap sticker!


Laura – choosing joy one day at a time.





The 3rd time is…. December 2, 2012

…not a charm.

The third time we heard that our Colorado house deal fell through was not charming at all.   That was last night.

Yesterday we were supposed to be moving into the second Florida rental we found.  First one fell through.  No charm there.

The third rental biting the dust – also, NOT charming.  That was today.

Should I have seen this coming?  After all, our start on this adventure was not so charming.

The morning of  the much-anticipated RV journey to Florida, we left the house with pets, headed to Longmont to fill the large RV tank but before we could get through the busy intersection by the gas station – our rig stalled.  Yep, you read that right…6 miles from home there was a stalled out 30 foot Cruise America RV with JR in the driver seat and yours truly riding shotgun. Over the next few hours there was a call, a wait, and a surprise re-starting of the engine.  That was followed by a choice:

A. 2-3 hour wait for a tow truck and trip to a Ford dealership for a possible fix or

B.  A risky trip back to the Cruise America rental center to exchange current rig for a new one.

We chose B.

The risk was the right choice – and so the unpacking of RV #1 and repacking of RV #2 took place.  THEN we got started on the journey.

JR and I leaned into that experience together – teamwork – do what needs to be done.  No complaining, just grateful there was another RV available.  Though of course I will admit to many internal grumbly voices and thoughts that would have been unfortunate spoken words.

After nearly 5 weeks of 3 up and 3 down with both the Colorado house and the Florida housing, JR and I have leaned into challenge again.  And I will admit to feeling distress, defeat, discouragement, and not such great thoughts that turned into some regrettable words.  My leaning was weak.

Thank the Lord that this is not the only part of our Adventure.  The RV got us and our pets safely to Florida with plenty of comic relief along the way.  GEO has taken care of our fancy camping and we’ve met some great people here in our complex.  I’ve got Monday night Yoga and Saturday morning Tennis lessons on site (brand new to me; for beginners & FREE!) and there is progress in both.  JR continues to get confirmations that this job is God’s call, answered prayer, and a really good fit.

We’ve decided to simply stay here in this dog friendly complex.  We’ve decided to take our house off the market, do a few things to it and put it back on next year.  Though this was not the way we would have chosen, it feels like being good stewards of what we have and staying true to who we are.  We sense relief this evening.

What does ‘3rd time’s a charm’ really mean?   I couldn’t find its specific origin, but I liked what Gary Martin at The Phrase Finder concluded:

“It seems more likely that it is just a folk belief that, having had setbacks, we ought to persevere and not give up. This is enshrined in the phrase ‘try, try and try again’. Three seems to be the right number of times to try. Two isn’t enough but four is too many. Think of every time you’ve seen a drama in which a character tries to unlock a door with a set of unfamiliar keys. The first key fails, the second key fails – it is always the third that works.”

The third time wasn’t the hoped for charm.   We did try, try, try again.  The third key never got handed over.  This adventure has had setbacks (a universal theme).  Now we choose to persevere and not give up even it takes 21 times.  What a journey.

Onward , Forward, Adventure Ho!  – The sometimes Charming Laura



wa·ter·shed (noun) 1. an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. 2. an event or period marking a turning point, a change of course.

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noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

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noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

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