It’s always the last place you look.

I’ve spent a good portion of my day looking for lost stuff.  It’s my stuff and I’m the one who lost it, or I’d be more irritated. I’m at the point in my life that I am busy enough to be a bit overwhelmed and I become so scatterbrained that we are lucky I don’t lose children and cars and houses and lots more stuff.  I have lost my laptop, for a good month.  I have been DYING to write and every time I want to go duck out to some quiet space, there is no mobile computer.  Then I look for it only to give up when life happens. 

You keep trudging forward through your day as much as possible while you are still on the hunt of missing pieces. Something about you not entirely present as you’re subconsciously searching.  I wanted to find the laptop, so badly, I finally gave an S.O.S.  in group text to my family that I needed help finding it.  A few hours later, my husband found it!  He was rewarded with a kiss that gave me tingles.  It was in a drawer that I looked in multiple times. 

Maybe it was never about that laptop.

Maybe it was all about that kiss. 

In the process of looking for my laptop today, I also lost my phone and water bottle.  Water bottle has since been recovered and refilled.  Phone is still M.I.A… 

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time looking for the phone.  The thing is, my phone is connected to my car by Bluetooth that’s in my driveway.  I can answer my phone IN my car right now. However, in real life, my phone is in silent mode.  We know it’s in the proximity of my house’ish.  We also know I was whipping around like a rabid hyena trying to put together a disco themed wedding this afternoon.  You gotta do what you gotta do and I had disco fever.

I last had said missing phone about 12:30 to 1:00pm Mountain Standard Time.  I came home quite motivated to tackle a big project of the disco wedding – while also really wanting to find the laptop.  In addition, I had actual work to do for my little flower shop.  A girl’s gotta make a living, right?  In the chaos of everyone’s day, everyone – three kids, hubby, mom -stopped their lives – again – to help find the phone after having to stop to find the laptop earlier in the day.  I so owe them.    

I lost one critical life thingy while trying to find another thing and I lost it so good.  Dang, Dana. 

Trying to be soft with myself and not go dark.  Lots of information I need on the phone, for myself and others.  It’s a silly mistake that is causing me stress and anxiety and costing me time and much needed energy. I had to stop looking.

Since I now have above mentioned found laptop, here I am in my perfectly cozy garage trying to reset and make progress of some sort.  There are multiple fans blowing and flowing above me, I can only hear them as the air is all pointing up to the attic.  I guess it’s an attic.  It’s the space above the garage.  We needed a place for my flower cooler compressor to call home and it was natural to try the attic. Its got one of those super nifty out of ceiling ladders. The weather has been ridiculously hot this summer we’ve got to adjust the compressor, upside down, to be in the garage in the next few months.  The heat will increase the wear and tear on the machine that’s already so hot.  That’s why all these fans are lulling me into a writing coma.  

As, I noted above I was trying to make progress, but what progress that is, I’m not really sure.  Maybe progress isn’t the right word. Or, maybe it was. Stop second guessing things, Dana. I literally just sighed at myself, crossed my right arm over my belly, propped my left elbow in my right hand, and lowered my chin into my left hand.

I’m writing.  That’s something I’ve wanted to explore intensely this season.  So, buck up buttercup and keep spewing the wordage. The desire to share my gift and reflect the light the Lord has shone on me, that other people might believe and feel loved, too.  That’s the big picture and presence I want depicted in my life. This is not about me, but what God can do through me. And, I want to be used.

At the end of the day, I know my religion sounds hokey to some.  Just as unfamiliar or culturally different religions might seem to me.  I’m just thankful to be in a place where I learning to feel safe and loved and with purpose.  My God has been faithful, patient, kind, gracious, merciful, and I’m learning to lean into his love, the spirit, and my intuition to follow Him.  I am excited.  I have not felt like this in a long time.  I have been listening instead of resisting. 

I have been torn down and rebuilt in the last year in a variety of different ways.  My identity as a wife, mother, daughter, cousin, friend, florist, writer, believer, and professional have all been tested, reconfigured, compressed, stretched, and finally repurposed.  I’m not rejuvenated physically, just yet.  I’m working on it.  It’s definitely been a very exhausting year between the moves, restructuring my business, and discovering my purpose in this world.  I know it!  My will from God., that’s what I mean that I know. 

It’s, like, BOOM, right?   Way outta left field. This chick lost her phone while looking for her lost laptop, but she was somehow able to find THE will of God?

The best I can share with you, my will from our God above, at this point, that I know for sure, 100%, is that the Lord calls me to be thankful.  And to reflect gratitude.  Anger, fear, and worry cannot co-exist with a mind that is intentional about discovering thanksgiving and joy.  My purpose in life is to be grateful.   

I have not reflected gratitude in quite some time.  Not, like, real gratitude.  It all felt a little fake, I think.      I didn’t feel like I was ready to give up my brick-and-mortar business.  And, before that I was hustling so hard, I was a total jackass in the meaningful things in life.  The shop was just too much with my family and our growing purpose in Weiser.  I was bitter and resentful and that’s what I focused on.  I’ve had to take a long and hard look at my life and where I am.  Is this a mid-life crisis?  I do not know.   

I do know, and I hate to admit it, my drive to be successful was only for myself.  It was a selfish dream.  I graduated high school full of potential and always felt this guilt and shame that I went nowhere.  I didn’t finish college.  I didn’t “make it.”  The flower shop felt like my redemption chance.  My way of showing the world that I could and would.  The flower shop grew to consume me and because of the MS, I became unable to be available as a wife and mother.  I was moving constantly but in reality, going nowhere. My family needed me and it was so hard for me to let go of what I wanted.  I regret that I didn’t handle it more tactfully.  The anger caused division between me and mine and it felt isolating.  I felt alone in the transition and the disease and in life.

It has taken a lot of time, honesty, self-reflection, scripture, prayer, and intention to turn the corner and connect with my family wholly and appreciate their need for me and mine for them. Our love for each other. Even though it’s only part-time, it still feels like the flower shop has consumed me this year.  I have continued since last summer to make flowers on an order-by-order basis from our home.  The phone number and website are very active.  Last summer, my husband closed in the walls of the patio to make me a workroom complete with cooler, sink, shelving, and more.  The only problem with this wonderful space was that six months in, when it was ready to be finished, we bought another home. 

Our last house.  I am making that bold declaration right now. I’m not moving again!

Last December, we moved.  It was a bittersweet winter.  Of course you want to go and live the adventure you’ve always wanted to live.  On the other  hand , I’d been packing and moving the flower shop for six months already.  It was a big ordeal to pack up a flower shop with 40 years of hoarded supplies, equipment, and fixtures in the first place.  Combined with six months of sort of having a workspace followed by an undefined time of not having another workspace.  Instead of just rolling with the punches, in the depression, confusion, and anxiety, I chose to believe I wasn’t worth more.  What I had to offer didn’t matter.  It was heartbreaking.  Spring was hard for me.  It was hard for me to come to terms with what was true.    

The flowers are just the vessel.  The business is just the vessel.  The home is just the vessel.  The most important thing to me isn’t flowers.  It isn’t business.  It isn’t my house.  It isn’t the car that will eventually fit in this overpacked garage that now feels too stuffy.  The most important thing to me right now is the condition of my heart and how I’m using the life pumping through my veins to reflect the light and love of the most high God with an attitude of thankfulness.     

I was quite challenged by my pastor a several weeks ago who asked us how the room changes when we enter it.  Is it a joyful reception or do people suddenly stop talking?  Does it become tense?  Is it suddenly fun?  I knew that I needed to start changing my presence in the home as much as out of the home.  In all my interactions and encounters.  In any exchange of words.    

I have made countless mistakes with my words and attitudes – verbal and nonverbal. I’m learning to take accountability for the severity with which I can write and how it may be received.  I often feel like I am unable to speak.  Like, in any type of confrontation, I typically cannot properly defend myself verbally.  I’m getting way better.  However, I often used my writing to express myself as authentically as possible.  I haven’t done it with the wisdom, grace, and mercy that I should have.  I deeply regret that and ask for forgiveness for those who have been hurt by my words. 

On the other hand, I know that God designed me to be a writer.  And despite my fear and hesitation, self-deprecation, and self-inflicted wounds, I feel excited and dedicated to discover the woman God has designed for me to be.   I want to be resilient.  To keep pressing forward.  Learning.  Growing.  Failing.  Recovering.  Restoring myself over and over as a beloved child of God.  That is how I want to live.   

I want to live chasing Jesus.

Embracing Jesus. 

Exploring His character and trying to build those traits in myself. 

The thing I dig most about Jesus is that he just loved people, where they were, and wanted the best for them.  He wanted to help them where they were and have them move forward in love and light.   There was no judgement or condemnation.  Just love. 

The one thing we can all learn to do perfectly is to love.  As I reflect on where I am in life, the direction I need to go as I continue the process of resurrecting myself form the deep…  I just want the people I love most to feel that love, a love that is from me but poured out from the heavenly wells above.  A love with roots rich in wisdom, kindness, and fragrance of hope that carries long after all else fails.    

Maybe it’s never been about the flowers. 

Maybe it’s been about the love that blossoms after a painful cultivation process. 

Love that endures me losing every possible important thing that I own and my family still looking at their slightly wonky wife, mama, daughter, and friend with empathy, kindness, a bit of a smile, and a hug.  No matter what is lost, love will always exist as long as I am saturating myself in Christ.    

Love never fails.    

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