My Days on the Road

I spent the majority of the last two days in the passenger seat. Steve needed a driver and I was available. Although He only needed me to drive for one hour on the second day.

Ok, well what do I do the rest of the time?

I read a lot

I search the internet looking for new and interesting projects. After yesterday I am now going to wallpaper, shiplap a fireplace and 482 other interesting things.

I daydream looking out the window. I eat way too much and get to spend an incredible amount of quality time with my guy.

The one hour behind the wheel is different. There is no internet to search so I fill my time with other things.

Steve has Sirius radio and I always search for something interesting to listen to. Did you know there was a Billy Graham Radio? I did not. However yesterday, February 20th I listened to his speech to the Harvard Business School in 1982. What a powerful man BG was. Eloquent with a little bit of sass. It was so inspiring and I loved every second. This morning I see that today, February 21st, we celebrate his graduation to heaven. Coincidence? I think not.

This is my view as we drive.

Steve and I speak of how many hours he logs driving. It’s a lot. He takes the time to do special delivers For his customers. He could mail certain things, he could call on the phone but instead he gets to them face to face. It matters. I always tell him he is a great salesman but he’s the best at customer service. He makes his customers feel as if they are a priority because they are.

See this little car?

I saw it coming off the exit ramp and I squealed a little.

It’s called a Metropolitan. My Mom and Dad had one. There’s was turquoise instead of orange but it was the cutest little car and I remember it vividly.

The whole goal of driving this time, was to get the firetruck to the racetrack.

The Sebring Racetrack needs a firetruck for its race every year. Steve makes sure that they have a truck every year. He personally delivers them a truck. He doesn’t get paid extra. He takes time out of his schedule to find them a truck to borrow. He also knows the guy in charge just got a promotion, he knows the other fire guy is in the hospital having stents put in his heart. He might be their salesman but he’s their friend too. He is investing in their lives and it shows. I’m proud to be his driver and watch as he works.

Investing in people is not always easy. Sometimes they are difficult and it’s easier to let someone else do it. It’s not always convenient either. But through work and play, I’m going to take a lesson from my boss the last two days. Making others feel special is the right thing to do.

Be blessed this Thursday my friends.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

Do you know the whole story or are your lips just flapping?

I was honored to be asked to give a young man piano lessons. He’s not just any young man, it’s Aiden!

Do you know Aiden? If not, you should. He’s a really cool kid.

Aidens Momma gave me the green light to share this story and his picture.

Aiden and his family have been dealt some real tough things in his short little life. I don’t know all of his story but I do know that currently he has little to no eyesight and is in treatment for brain cancer. He attends blind school, is learning Braille and is tirelessly in pursuit of advocating for others, especially other sick kids. And he is adding piano skills to his resume.

He’s a great kid and I can honesty say that I was very unsure of how to teach a visually challenged guy the piano. I’m not that good!! However if he wants to learn then I’ll learn right alongside him.

Aiden and his Momma showed up for his lesson this morning. We were chatting about their recent vacation. They were at an amusement park and were waiting in line to slide. Aiden wears a mask for his own protection. He was so excited to slide down like every other kid. You know kids with limitations are sometimes left out. Aidens Momma is such a good Momma. She is protective and an advocate for Aidens wishes and dreams. As they wait in line, the camera is ready to go and there is chatter in the line behind them. Not excitement for the sweet kid that gets to be like all the others. It was chatter about how dare his mother let this poor sick child wearing the mask slide down. Now let me tell you it’s a little I know about Aidens Momma. She’s tough. She is protective of her children and she’s not going to put up with anything said about her kid. She turns around and says” that’s mine right there in the second row! He’s got brain cancer and is blind! I allow him to live his best life. I hope you have a good day.” Smile as you watch Aiden. He’s in the gray sweatshirt.

Now are you questioning the decisions made by others without knowing the whole story? Are you judging? Are you whispering about things you know nothing about? I’m no saint and I can be as guilty as the next person but when I hear a story like I did today, it can hit right between the eyes.

Are we advocating for the hopes and dreams of others or are we judging from behind the curtain?

I do know that I’ve filling a piano playing dream for one young man and I’m going to keep pushing forward to become just a little bit better than I was yesterday.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

The Heart of a Woman

I attended a woman’s event last night.

Snacks

Coffee

Cute shoes

What else is there?

Oh I forgot…..women.

We sang some really good songs and listened to a message. I sat beside some incredible women friends.

There was note taking because the speaker was THAT good .

It was a good night and sometimes I need a little while to wrap my brain around the real reason. Why does there need to be an event that is titled “the heart of a woman?” Why do we need a special evening?

Women are caregivers. Women are nurturers. Women are worriers and warriors. Some are employees and some are mothers. Many are wives. We are daughters, aunts and cousins. Women are incredible humans.

Tonight I watched as women raised their hands in praise. They laughed and for just a few moments took care of the heart our speaker spoke of. Most of the time women are not necessarily thinking of their heart but thinking of the hearts of others.

Last night, these ladies took the time to take care of their hearts, even for just a little while.

As the music played and we sang, I closed my eyes and just listened. I listened to the hundreds of women proclaiming in song

I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am
I am who You say I am

I am not just a wife or a momma. Even though it’s my favorite job. I am the daughter of the King. I am who He says I am. I am not the other women who are so easy to compare myself with.

I can know without a shadow of a doubt that even when I struggle or question myself, that His promises are true. I am the chosen one, right?

That even on the hard days I am loved beyond measure. He is for me but against me. I am who He says I am.

I was sad today. Woman are emotional creatures and I shed a few tears. I’m ok with that. Women have larger than normal tear ducts…….I made that up but it should sounded good.

I am grateful to walk beside women who have beautiful hearts. You know who you are.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

When there is Lack, He Provides

Do you ever feel like you are sitting in a pool of indecisive muck?

Life is so good. I have nothing to complain about but the moments of question, the decisions that are hard to make can feel like a noose.

My head says to worry and wonder the “what if’s” and my heart says “when there is lack, He provides.” Lack of confirmation. Lack of truth. He will provide. I just have to trust.

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday morning. It went something like this:

D: I just put a little gift on the porch. Also left a little something for you. Love you! You and Steve have a fantastic anniversary trip😘

C: You are sweet

D: Sometimes you need to put yourself first, sometimes the littlest things make us feel special.

C: Love you. So grateful for you in my life

D: Me too!

C: I live a cushy life I sometimes don’t feel worthy of putting myself first.

D: Well friends are here to remind you of those little things sometimes.

C: That’s why it’s important to have those people in your lives

D: I’m sure that’s God’s intention!

C: What is lacking, He provides

God provides needs and wants even when we don’t think we deserve it.

We traveled South today for a couple days of rest. We stopped to see Dad Kern. He loves his dog. His dog loves him. God has provided daughters to care for Dad. Daughters that live close by and are able to be there for his and his dogs daily needs. It’s sometimes hard to live hours away. Today when we stopped, we were able to walk his dog. We were able to give daughters a day off, not that they asked for one. When there is lack, He provides

Our home is full of people. We are a great team. But sometimes it feels like something is missing. As Steve and I drove yesterday, we talked about how spending time with others is a major priority this year. Peoples lives are full. Our lives are full. Redundancy creeps in and it feels like work, cleaning, cooking, TV and sleep are the round the clock schedule. We are blessed to have a great house for gathering. 2019 is the year for making people important. I sent out a group text for “game night!” Even with the closest friends, I still feel anxious wondering if friends want to gather. Maybe they are too busy. Maybe it’s a bad night. Maybe they are sick of game night. When there is lack, He provides. 12 wonderful friends will be coming over for game night.

When life brings questions and concerns, as I look out into the ocean and see the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The bridge that was struck by a barge on May 9th, 1989 at 7:33am. Though the blinding rain, drivers in the southbound lanes were unable to see the missing roadway ahead.  Six cars, a truck, and a Greyhound Bus plunged into the waters below.  One man survived.  35 others were killed. Today, this majestic bridge stands strong. It carries 1000’s of people everyday across from Palmetto to St. Petersburg. Growing up in Manatee County, I have driven across the original bridge as a teenager in a 1969 Volkswagen with a stick shift. The original bridge was a long flat span and then straight up. Scary as crap I say!!! The new bridge is more of a slant and it’s so beautiful.

Some of the original bridge still stands and now is a fishing pier. It’s original purpose might not be used but it now allows people to fish and provide food for their families. It allows peace as people stand from this old bridge platform and see the new bridge in their sights knowing that in lack, He provides.

Have a blessed Friday,

Charma

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

When Creativity Hits

I need to make things.

Everyone has something they like to do that fills a creative void.

Maybe it’s writing .

Maybe it’s decorating.

Maybe it’s building something.

There are lots of options. I like to build things and I like to paint things. I LOVE to find something and give it new life. It’s gives me life.

Today was a beautiful sunny day and by golly I was outside in it. I watered the flowers, I gave JR a bath, I relished in the sunshine.

I perused IG for a while this morning and saw this picture from #thereluctantentertainer. This lady is a pro at charcuterie boards. You know…. huge platters with all kinds of different items showcased on one board. You know!! Charcuterie.

I had absolutely no idea what a charcuterie board was until Courtney and Justin we’re getting married and she wanted it at the reception. ZERO idea.

However today, when I saw that picture, all I saw was that 12 x 42″ board.

I needed that board.

I would make that board.

What a fabulous day to create.

Now you know the garage is one of my favorite places. With all its tools and wood. Drills and saws and my new favorite tool….. the table saw.

I have been scared to death of the table saw. It’s whirling blade that could take off my hand. The instability of the board as it has to be guided by ME through that same whirling blade. However, I have been practicing and with a little guidance from Mr. professional tool guy, I’ve become pretty handy with the ole table saw.

I searched through the woodpile and found some sweet wood pieces that would work just fine.

No one said that the wood would match. It was a hodge podge of all sorts.

There was a big piece from the pool house table. Smaller pieces from……..I have no idea.

A little glue here and there and my handy dandy nail gun and presto, a charcuterie board is made.

A lot of sanding was necessary and some serious caulking was completed.

I painted it

Of course I distressed it

Some cute handles were added to the sides

Book Club next week will be treated with treats on my new charcuterie board.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

It’s Already February

Where did January go?

Wasn’t it just New Years?

Time stops for no one and I’ve been thinking about the last month.

January 2019…..You have been a full month.

Full of weather I don’t love.

Full of sick that’s no fun.

Full of a traveling husband.

Full of starting new projects for a new year before finishing projects from 2018. Ugh

Full of sad things and a lot of joyful things.

Full of Jack throwing his bowl full of food on the floor even after a suction cup plate was purchased. Seconds ago this happened……Again.

But man is he cute

Yesterday, a nice lady from the HOPS (Historic Ocala Preservation Society) stops by to check out the house and make sure we were on schedule for the House Tour in April.

As usual, I’m nervous about the things that are not done. Stressing over a stranger viewing our home.

Does anyone else never feel good enough?

I love showing people our home but mainly telling the story of how we bought this home in its run down and unloved condition and turning it into a home for then 6 people and an unborn baby boy.

Why do I only see the unfinished?

The wood nailed over the window

The stairs that are in major need of paint.

After I had shown the lady around, I asked “do we qualify to be on the tour? Are we what you are looking for? I know you have homes on 5th street on the tour and we are definitely not one of those homes.”

She replied, “those homes on 5th are in the own category. They are beautiful. However those homes were paid for to be beautiful. Most do not include blood, sweat and tears from the homeowners. There is not usually a story that goes with the home. Your home gives people hope and inspiration. It will inspire others that they can stencil a plywood floor. Inspire people that if you have the vision to look past the ugly, there could be something beautiful.”

Today I share the unfinished. The unloved.

Because behind all this, there was beauty.

Wow. I was so grateful for her words. Not only for speaking such kind words in regards to our renovation but her words spoke to me personally.

How often are we so hard on ourselves because when we look in the mirror, it might not be exactly what we want to see. The scale might not read the numbers we want it to read.

But through Jesus and the unfailing love He give us, the family who provides love and support to us and friends who fill our life with joy, we can believe that we are good enough. We are not the face we see in the mirror but the heart. We are the smile we give to the stranger. We are the hug that someone needs that we didn’t even know they needed it. We are the kind word, the sweet gesture and the conversation around the dining room table.

We are so much more.

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment

2019 REV Summit

REV is the company my guy works for. They build all kinds of vehicles but Steve sells their E-ONE emergency line, ie FIRETRUCKS!! Short story…….Steve was a firefighter for 25 years and helped design and purchase E-ONE fire trucks while he was an active firefighter. He retired at 25 years of service and 47 years old. A second career was wanted and before retiring, he was asked to sell E-ONE firetrucks. Badda Bing, we move to Ocala in 2010 and Steve begins his second career.

Every year, REV has a dealer meeting. Rah rah sessions, classes to learn and be updated on new products, lots of food and activities.

I get to come too! It’s always held at a nice hotel and I can always find something to do while Steve is in class.

This year the weather was not ideal. It rained one whole day and it’s a little colder than I like. However I can always find something to do. I read our upcoming book club book and worked on study questions for our meeting, I’ve watched an abundance of HGTV and got deeply involved in a new project.

Yes I have a tape measure with me most of the time. You never know when you might need one.

I can always find something to do.

Write a blog post

Call a friend

Take a nap

I didn’t mind being in a hotel room all day with zero responsibilities. Right?

REV provides a night out to all the employees that have come to the Summit. This year, they bought out the House of Blues and REO Speedwagon was our entertainment. I’ve love REO for years but when did they get so old!

The lead singer is 68 years old and he can still sing like crazy and never missed a beat. I was tired just watching him.

I loved the guy playing the piano

It says something for a group of musicians that have been together for 40+ years. The lead guitar player was only 30+ years but you could see the friendship that they had while they entertained. It was incredible to watch.

I wish I could watched from a chair but no seats were available and I was not the smartest in picking out my shoes for the evening.

Anyone that knows my husband, knows what a hard worker he is. Whether it be his paid job, a house project or helping out a friend in need, it doesn’t matter, he gives 110% and you will never be disappointed if you ask for his help.

He was gone yesterday for a class, and he returned with a box in his hand looking sheepish. He said “I didn’t know they were giving out awards today.”

5th in the nation in sales and he didn’t know it. I’m so proud.

I’m proud of his award but I’m prouder that he works so hard and doesn’t pay attention to what recognition he might receive.

I’m proud that when I stand next to him, people shake his hand and offer his congratulations and tell him that he really deserves it.

I’m proud of how he chooses to be kind and respectful to people when they might not deserve it.

I’m proud to be his wife.

Congratulations my favorite guy!

Posted in Cinderella Project | Leave a comment