Life is Beautiful

We moved to this lovely mid-west town, affectionately known as The Burg, two and a half years ago. Little did we know that we would fall in love with this town and it’s people.

Sure, it has it’s frustrations like all relationships, but the people here and the countryside puts you right back into perspective.

Shortly before we moved here we met a great couple that were part of us feeling at home. We became fast friends.

Early in our relationship we found that the wife, Shirley, had been battling cancer. We became fast warriors in prayers of complete recovery.

Complete recovery can have perspectives just like a painting. We never seem to see all the outcome or the image at once. Some see victory on earth, some see the battle and the hard work associated with it, and some see the victory being the dance and the songs in the courts of Heaven.

As humans we would like the earthly answer. It’s where we are now. So many have overcome the ravages of cancer and some the overcoming came too early and continues in eternity with no more pain.

That was our Shirley. I had plans with our friendship. We were going to tramp through woods and see wildlife. She was going to feed them as I took pictures. I chuckle as I write this. Not to mention her husband and her children and grand children had plans of a future together.

We just don’t know. As a Christian I believe in healing. I’ve seen healing. I believe we can, scripture says, raise the dead. But sometimes that terrible, yet beautiful, mystery of our God takes us to where we  humans do not want to go. Death.

If we could just step back and see our life here, on this earth, is a part of the picture. Our lives continue into eternity. It hurts to lose. I know this.

As painful as it is I get to still be a part of the earthly tribe. The parts of Shirley that still live one. The heart of her husband that beats with joy, though pained, and a giving heart so big. Her daughter carries her mother’s heart for her own children and husband that shines with faith and love so deep for so many. Her son carries her creativity in levels that go so deep I am sure Shirley is rejoicing over them! And those grand children! An amazing legacy!

img_2663

That brings me to the images I want to share. There is a property in Russellville, MO that has been in Shirley’s family for quite a while. It is beautiful! If you go there and sit on the front porch with her son and his wife you feel completely at home.

There is a peace there and a piece there of Shirley’s inheritance that I cannot find words for. There is hope there. There is vision for the future there.

A vision to help those who have struggled to come and farm and learn and use their talents to make their life better. A vision of hope for the hopeless.

As this project develops I will write more about it. But right now I honor Shirley and her inheritance. It is so wonderful to see that it never ends when our pained and broken bodies fail and leave this earth. Life does go on. History teaches us that. Memories are like gold and seeing someone living on in the hearts and talents and actions of those still here is priceless.

In the old barns they found the original tools for farming – made of wood!

Enjoy!

Cate B

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another Cup Please…….

I just poured myself another cup of coffee. Join me as I sip and ponder, music playing in the background, thoughts circling and swirling in the lyrics with a sense of assurance and breathing in and out the colors of hope.

We have lived in what we call The Burg for just a hair over two years. While culturally I am still adjusting and trying not to voice my strong north eastern opinions on how wrong they are here (said in sarcastic jest), I feel almost at home.

I think it is real to say that this is the second place in my life that I feel at home and welcome. You see, when you are one who “travels to the beat of a different drum” it can be quite hard to fit in. But that’s just it, fitting in and different drums don’t always go together….. yet they should. It’s like having an orchestra or a band without that one different instrument that takes it over the top.

There is a place for us “drummers“. Not all will see it or see you for who you are but I, for one, have to remain true to myself. True to who I was made to be. Good grief, it has taken me years, decades, to find who I am and to walk confidently in who I am.

And then you move to a small mid-western town with strange definitions for words and ideas that are so different than you ever knew and POW! There are people here who like you. Just last night I was with a group of people who see me. They enjoy me. They encourage me. Some don’t get all of me and guess what? I don’t get all of them. But we flow together in similar philosophies of life.

And best of all we accept each other for being different and thinking differently.  I do believe they call it love.

Have another cup and ponder. May you find you and find your symphony in life.

 

Enjoy!

Cate B ❤

 

I Now Know My Name

I came across this video the other day and have now listened to this girl about five times. I weep as soon as she opens her mouth. Some of you will totally understand why I cry and why it touches me. Some will not. And that is OK if you fall into the “not” category.

I will try and explain. Some of us wonderful humans came into this world quietly. We’ve sat in shadows and listened to others and let them talk. We have even been invisible, in a sense. These types are usually bent on the creative side of life. Not always but many are.

I fall into that category. I never minded being in the background. I like the quietness and sometimes the solitude. However, I also like the visibility at times. Especially as I got older and found out more of who I am and what makes me tick. I like me. I like others like me. I like this twelve year old girl named Grace. I feel the words of her song. I feel her heart.

Having married someone of the opposite spectrum has been good – for both of us. Sometimes though, I feel very invisible and have actually been snubbed and mis-judged. It is OK but sometimes quite aggravating. My spouse knows that I complete him. I know that he completes me. It’s those others that can’t see that. Sad for them.

This girl and this song speaks to me of these feelings. And guess what? I do know my name even if no one else does. I do keep trying and I tend not to play by the rules of the game.

This post isn’t for you to understand me. It’s for you to understand others and for those who are like me and this girl named Grace. “I’m lost, trying to get found in an ocean of people”.

Like I said before, I like me. I like Grace. I like people who find themselves in an ocean of people. I know you will like us too. Even if you never understand. You need people like us. 😉 We all need others to complete us. To see more of the puzzle of life. None of us can do this thing called life alone. None of us.

So try, just as we have had to try you try to see beyond you and drop those religious ideas and narrow minded thinking. There is a whole big puzzle out there waiting to be put together and it takes all kinds of pieces, called people, to put it together. It takes a lifetime.

Love ya, Enjoy! Listen to her heart sing…..

cate b

And The Beat Goes On……….(my personal musical)

Fear. Sadly, I know it all too well. I have come a long way, but I am always trying to be aware of the unwelcome fear creeping in.

I have learned that most of the fears I entertain are irrational, for me. Fear of worms, caterpillars and Dentist visits.

Fear of rejection is a bit bigger in my mind. Fear of not being heard or fear of being misunderstood is even bigger to me.

Scripture says that perfect love drives out fear – 1 John 4:18  New International Version
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Ouch. I am more aware that if I fear then I am not walking in His perfect love. Oh how I want that. Always a work in progress. And I am really glad to be a work in progress.  That means I’m still alive and we’ve got work to do – Him and I. I love it. Even the “ouches” I love. It means fellowship with my God, my Friend who totally gets me and enjoys my company and I, His.

“No Longer Slaves” Bethel Music

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
‘Til all my fears are gone[2x]
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again
Into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

[4x]
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We’ve been liberated
From our bondage
We’re the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I could stand and sing
I am a child of God…

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
You drowned my fears in perfect love
You rescued me
And I will stand and sing
I am a child of God

Yes, I am
I am a child of God
I am a child of God
Yes, I am
I am a child of God
Full of faith
Yes, I am a child of God
I am a child of God

[3x]
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

Cate B (also posted on www.churchsetfree.wordpress.com)

Life’s Journey – Music and All

A movie or a TV show without background music can be rather dry. The music score sets the mood.

My life’s journeys are usually accompanied with music. You can chuckle here. I would like to share with you a couple of songs that describe my journey the past seven years. Notice how different they are and how I have come through that last leg of my journey in what I would call “Victorious”. Enjoy!

Seven years ago today, Groundhog Day in the USA, February 2nd, 2009, my husband and I along with our Siberian Husky and Grumpy Cat, arrived in Kansas City, Missouri with all our earthly possessions. The first song was my theme song for the next few years:

“New Soul” – Yael Naim

I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit about how to give and take
But since I came here
Felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake

La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…

I’m a young soul in this very strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit bout what is true and fake
But why all this hate?
Try to communicate
Finding trust and love is not always easy to make

La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…

This is a happy end
Cause’ you don’t understand
Everything you have done
Why’s everything so wrong

This is a happy end
Come and give me your hand
I’ll take you far away

I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit about how to give and take
But since I came here
Felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake

La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…

La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la….

Now, after moving an hour southeast of KCMO, my theme song has changed to this:
“Home” – Phillip Phillips

Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along

Just know you’re not alone
‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble—it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Oo-oo-oo-oo [2x]
Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

(Come on!)

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Ao-oo-oo-oo [4x]
Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

And there you have my past seven years in a nutshell.  Life is good.  God is better. Enjoy the music videos …….
Cate B

Round and Round

I grew up in the north east of the USA.  We had many traffic circles.  When I became a driver I thought they were awesome.  Then slowly they began to disappear.

We moved to the mid-west about seven years ago and lo and behold…… mini-traffic circles seemed to appear in the oddest of places. By that I mean on roads less traveled and they call them Round-Abouts…….

IMG_2573

300px-UK_Roundabout_8_Cars

Life goes round and round and round in a circle game…..

Have a great weekend!

Enjoy!

Cate B

Wrapping Up 2014 and the Last Five Years

Well, here we are, at the very last several hours of 2014 – it is 10:33 AM as I write this.

It has been a year for me!  My husband and I were living in another town.  An area where we moved around a few times since February of 2009.  Trying to find a place we felt safe and comfortable in.  It was big city compared to where we lived on the east coast.  Most of all we were trying to find another type of place to fit into.  Jobs, people, organizations.  Seemed that each time we got involved with something it either decided to leave the state or decided they didn’t really need us in the capacity we needed or desired with them.

Our two remaining single sons met their lovely ladies and both married while we were wandering there.  We couldn’t be happier with these new daughters.

We gained a lovely grand-daughter in 2011, another in 2013 and a great grandson in this past November!  Such joy!

Part of the wandering in our spirits involved me going to The Burg (where we presently live) four days a week to care for Lovely Lucy while her parents attended the local University full time.

Sweet Lucy.  I love her with all my heart.  They moved twice that summer and then into the University apartments – which really should be remodeled or something.  It was a tough time for the then two-year-old. Moving and then parents both going to school. Daycare was not going to work – not a great place for insecurities.  So, I, Uma, came down four days a week to love on her.

It was a tough year in some ways.  Little sister was born in October.  More insecurities for us all.  I slept on a few different beds and longed for my own.  But my heart grew more each day to stuff those two girls deep inside of me.  I know my heart grew when I had my own kids.  But when grandkids came along – my heart grew even bigger!

We knew we had to move to The Burg. We found a cute house to rent and started over again – again.

What a difference.  Our grandson, from back east, came home with us last summer and spent about month with us.  I missed him terribly when we moved to the mid-west.  He spent two weeks in our old town and helped move us to The Burg, and spent a couple of weeks there.  Such a treasured memory.  I cried when he went home.

School began in August and the two wee lassies came to my house each day.  What a difference!  Not only was I sleeping in my own bed at night, but these girls went home each day to mom and dad and you could see the happiness in their every move.  They feel our home is their second home.

Lu just spent the night last night and the maturity and security in her is astounding.  Our Lord is so good.  Kids need their routines and their family.  Nothing wrong with daycare…..but they do need to be ready for it.

So here we are, in The Burg, and the new year looks promising.  We have never felt so relaxed and at home since leaving the east.  Why did it take so long?  I look back and see a time of waiting, a time of preparing.  We don’t always see it while we are in it.  But once things begin to fall into place those times of waiting and wondering begin to fade away.  They were important and necessary. I believe that all we do is for us to grow and become better.  Not bitter.  Better.  To me, it is part of Hope.  Hope is real.

As I enter this New Year I am excited for what my journey holds.  I wish for you all to look at your life as a journey.  It makes those tough times a bit easier.  It is all for us to grow as human beings, to be better humans.  When things hit you, stop and look at them.  You, at that very moment, have a choice.  Will you choose  to be better or bitter?  Will you choose to glean all you can from the situations?   It doesn’t always make it easier and rarely do the issues go away.  Just choose to go through to the end.  It will end.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year – 2015 – may you prosper in all areas of your life!

images9

Enjoy!

cate b