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

Top Ten List of Things I Didn’t Expect, Part 2 July 24, 2013

I did not dream about this list.  On one of my daily potty walks  with Calvin, (I walk, Calvin potties), I realized there were below the surface things I didn’t expect.  Here is the deeper counterpart to the list in part 1.  (see July 23, 2012)

1.  The rhythm is missing.  Seasons of weather give rhythm to the year – cooler color season, soup season, planting season, vacation season.  Here, it is always bathing suit season.  I’ve had a few soup Days, the planting happens backwards or continually, snow bird season takes up 1/2 the year and people come to FL for vacation year round.   Don’t misunderstand…I LOVE being at the water any old day and exchanging my work fancy pants for bathing suits.   I don’t miss the cold & didn’t expect to miss the natural changes which gave a reliable rhythm to my world.

2.   When I got married, I never thought about year 27.   I never considered what it would be like to drop my twins off at college 1200 miles from home; sing my sister into heaven; enjoy  a 16-year-old girl from Thailand living with us; pack up our home of 11 years and leave a state we had lived in for 27/40 year (myself/JR) and move to the nearly southest/eastest corner of the US  – all in a little over 1 years time.  And so I didn’t expect how meaningful, comforting, amazing the phrase, “I’m still here” would be.  It’s a highly repeated phrase we’ve shared the last 8 months. The phrase sits alongside gratitude for the friendship, partnership, mutual mercy and encouragement that has been flung back and forth between us.  I love my husband for better, for worse.

3.    I am capable of learning new things.  Not just about how to play sports, but about how to do life post kids in the house, post living in Colorado. How to do life here with a fresh white canvas to paint on and alot more awareness of who I am.

4. I am grateful for the funds to buy a lot of plane tickets.  Those connect me face to face with the people I love.  Physical proximity to family and good friends should not be taken for granted.   I did.  Forgive me.  Now I’m not.

5. Prior to moving, I was warned about Hurricanes, Alligators, Bugs – they’re all here.  No one mentioned the powerful instantaneous cow-and-horse downpours that happen here A LOT.  I’ve doubled the amount of umbrellas I own and have strategically situated them.  It is an awesome and beautiful display of the Creator’s beauty.  Rain appreciation club member here.  Who knew.

6.  Truly I HATE tight things – spaces, pants, bras, long sleeves, coats, and especially shoes.  Barefootedness feels like a type of freedom that I’ve been granted.  Barefootedness feels like childhood.  Great non-expectation.

7.  Henry’s beach, Santa Barbara California – home to many of my best childhood memories.  I’m nearly unexpectedly overwhelmed with gratitude  for the Oasis the beach is, on a holiday, on the weekend, on a walk.  I am as content  and joyful there now as I remember being when I was growing up.  Thank You Lord for this perfect, personal gift.

8.  Distance makes the heart grow fonder?  Yes it does.  So does watching my girls grow into remarkable young women via places I’ve never been, people I’ve never met, things I’d never do, experiences I’ve never had.  They are leaning into their lives full steam ahead.  I’ll take the Skype conversations over a phone call, and the individual visits over no visits at all.  In fact spending one on one time with each daughter has offered new depth to our changing adult relationships.  Didn’t see that comin…

9. The companionship of my dog in all of the unfamiliar is priceless.

10.  I’ve liked to watch birds on occasion.  Other than the shameless thief of the seagull nature, my eyes and interests have opened up wide for birds.  They are plentiful here and I’ve spent much time quietly enjoying them, appreciating & observing them.  Perhaps number 10 on the list points out the most unexpected of all, the relief and healing of having time to live at a sustainable pace and notice beauty, people, opportunity, blessing, potential.

And it took a move to Florida for this to happen.

I certainly didn’t expect that.


Top Ten List of Things I Didn’t Expect

Filed under: Change,Dogs,Fun in Florida,moving,South Florida,Tennis,Uncategorized — lauradegroot @ 3:44 am

I have a very active imagination.   Maybe that is why I dream so much.  I don’t use it all up during the day, so it continues into the night.

I dreamt about this list – even the title.  I saw the list in the dream but have no idea what it said.

In one of the thousands of conversations we had leading up to our move from the 303 to the 561, I remember saying “we don’t know what we don’t know.”   At 8 months, 23 days and 7 hours and 44 minutes after arriving in tropical south Florida, here is a no-particular order list of a what I do know now.

1. I like the weather.

2. JR and I spend a lot of time together, and like it.

3.  Tennis Rocks.

4. Delray Beach is a long way from everywhere else we go to visit.

5. It rains here A LOT.

6 . I am barefoot 90 percent of the time.

7.  I’ve celebrated 7 holidays at the beach.

8.  I miss my daughters tremendously, and when they visit I am tremendously happy.

9. Calvin our lab has lost weight and eats twice as much as he did at a mile high.  I contribute this to the 4-5 walks he gets a day instead of his slow wandering in the backyard.  Most people ask if he is a year  or two old.  When I tell them he is 6, the common response is “WOW he looks so young and handsome.”  I however, am on all of those same walks, have not increased my food intake and  not lost a pound.  I have been carded at a restaurant, but  rather than checking to see if I was legal drinking age, I think it was to see if I got the 55 plus discount.

10. Seagulls will snatch the best bite of your peanut butter and pickle sandwich right out of your hand if you’re eating it on “their” beach.


The First Trip Back July 19, 2013

Filed under: Home,Joy,moving,Peace,Uncategorized — lauradegroot @ 12:49 am

Home…Colorado still feels like that.  When the tires hit the tarmac my whole body burst into a noticeable smile.  The flight attendant commented that I looked excited to be in Colorado.  She had no idea…

Pat picked us up and I smiled the whole way to Niwot.

Deep Breath…


Smelled like fresh-cut hay…

And the mountains were right where I left them and showed off with their soft layered look…


I could have held on tightly to each person, each place, each experience I had there as they all made me so happy. But I knew they could not come with me to Florida. (important note:  they are most welcome to come to Florida).   I intentionally enjoyed being present with each person, each place, each experience, but didn’t cling.

Seeing the unpleasant color the new owner painted our previous residence, effectively established that “home” as: Not Mine Anymore.  In an odd sort of way, I am thankful for that.

The first trip back to Florida from Colorado resulted in peace.  And readiness for setting up a place to call home.  And a gentle eagerness to engage in what’s next with people, places, experiences here.

Perhaps people make a place feel like home more than furniture or where you get your mail delivered.  So, no doubt – Colorado people, I miss “home” because you are there.  It was great to feel like myself from the moment I landed in Colorado.

I may just have brought a little more of myself on this first trip back.



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.

Life with Emily and Matt

(and two kiddos make four!)

Ellen Brock

Professional Freelance Novel Editor

created for the love-light.

stories of a life captivated by an imaginative, creative God.


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

Don't Ask the Fish | Christian Daily Devotional

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

Big Fat Sweaty Guy

The personal blog of Derek Brouwer.

%d bloggers like this: