People Listen

Steve and I are a great team.

We work together

We play together

We celebrate one another’s victories and share each other’s sorrows

When there is a project in the works, we do not often ask for help.

There are family members who will absolutely step up for a helping hand if necessary.

There are many we could ask……lots of friends are willing, but mostly, we just figure it out, just the two of us.

This weekend we have been tying up loose ends and finishing up a big project before Steve has shoulder surgery on Monday morning.

He wanted to finish up a building project we have been working on for a couple of weeks.

It has been many hours of sanding and staining. Measuring and remeasuring. Bracing and preparing for the heavy work.

Now this wood might not look like much, but add about 20 other pieces just like this and some huge beams to the mix and you have some heavy heavy pieces of wood.

This morning I was privileged to attend the Interfaith Emergency Services Volunteer Appreciation breakfast.

Steve stayed home and worked on staining the final boards so that when I returned home, we could build.

As I left the event, my sweet friend said “I brought clothes to come help you and Steve today.”

I thought to myself………did I ask her to help and didn’t remember?”

I responded “well I’m not sure what Steve has finished but come on over and if there’s nothing for you to do, you can go on with your day.

Who really wants to do manual labor on their Saturday?”

We change our clothes.

We head outside.

“Steve, Diane came help! Is there anything she can do?”

I expect him to say, “no, we’ve got it.” Instead he says, “Great!”

We finished staining boards, we carried boards, we strategically placed ladders and got to work.

Here’s just a sneak peek of the boards we were dealing with.

As we perched on ladders waiting for Steve to hand us boards, we chatted.

We have mutual friends and kids and grandkids. We attend church together, we have many things to chat about during our wait.

I thanked her being there.

And this is what she said.

“One night at book club I remembered you saying how hard it is to accept help from others in a general sense, even when people say “call me!” And unless someone showed up with their work clothes on, ready to work, there wouldn’t be an ask.”

So this girl.

My friend.

Showed up, on a Saturday, with her work clothes on.

So many other things she could have done on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. But she showed up for us.

This post is not about getting things done, but the people that stand beside you as you do it.

It’s about the people who are listening, while you think you are rambling.

Make sure to pay attention to the people you are surrounded with.

Make sure to listen.

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Such a Sad and a Happy Day

I am a chase car today.

I frequently follow Steve as he delivers fire trucks to its new owners.

This beauty is heading to West Sebring.

Seeing the shiny, brand new truck never gets old.

This particular truck has a custom mural on the doors.

As I drove for three hours, this morning brought news of the most recent mass shooting in California. Hours and hours of news.

News of 13 people losing their lives. Tears as I drive, as I think of parents learning that they will no longer have the opportunity to speak to their child.

News of a mother, who will forever be known as the mother of the shooter at the Borderline Bar and Grill. Remember, she is grieving too.

Listening, as we again, hear of a disaster in our country.

It is so hard not to get hard.

Hard hearted?


So many emotions.

However, this morning, as I took the dog outside, I open a package that was left on the porch last night.

I received a text last while I attended worship rehearsal:

“I left you something on your porch . I hope your doing wonderful . Have a great week .”

As I open the package, I see familiar. I see a stained piece of wood. I smile.

I pulled out a piece, from a dresser Dad and I restored and delivered last year.

The card read:


So many things that are so bad in our world.

But, there are so many good things.

A sweet lady that will take time and money from her own life to remember a girl and her Daddy.

A sweet lady that remembers that her piece was the last piece that a girl and her daddy worked on together.

As you struggle with all the bad news, remember there are such good people in our world.

People that are kind.

People that make you smile.

People that fill your heart with happiness

Remember to be that person.

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Finding thankfulness

This weekend, we were supposed to be in Mexico.

It was planned months and months ago. Sweet friends wanted to share their favorite spot with us. Show us the awesomeness of it all.

All was packed and ready to go. The suitcase was ready. The cute outfit for the flight was hanging up ready to be worn.

A slight stomach ache and achyness was noticed the evening before our departure. It’s probably just nerves. I get a little antsy prior to a trip. What if I forgot something? What if I forgot and drank the water? What if our travel companions didn’t want to travel with us again? What if?

The stomach ache was not nerves.

It was the flu.


The flu?

The night prior to our flight, I begged and pleaded to not be sick. I cried and yelled. “It’s not fair.” “It’s just not fair!!!!”

We don’t vacation often. Don’t we deserve this time away? Steve won’t stop if we don’t leave town. This trip is needed. Not just wanted……..

The tears didn’t matter.

The yelling didn’t matter.

Steve made the dreaded phone call.

We can’t go to Mexico. Charma has the flu.

The flu sucks.

Our friends have now been on our Mexican vacation for 3 days and I still remain in bed. Today, my fever has subsided and I think I might survive.

I can now see some perspective. If I had gone, sick as as dog, I would have been sick as a dog in a foreign country, in a hotel room. I would have made everyone miserable instead of just myself.

Today, as I can actually open my eyes, I didn’t want to forget that in the midst of all circumstances, there will be reasons for the current situation.

Am I still disappointed? Yep. I’m still a little angry. However I will find the good in everything. It’s what I do.

In the fog of sickness, I remember Friday, hearing Steve say that Courtney was not feeling good. Oh geez, did I share this dread with her?? If we had been gone, of course everyone would have been fine, but an extra set of hands taking care of Hurricane Jack is always welcomed.

I will be thankful

Steve is a retired firefighter. He served for 25 years and he spent many of those years with the same brotherhood. He received a call this weekend that one of the brothers was in the hospital with a serious medical condition. If we were gone, there would have not been an option for Steve to go see him.

I will be thankful

Steve is not a cook. He can make a mean PBJ and can pop the toaster like a pro but soup on a sick stomach is very welcomed. Thankful for a Mom who loves next door and can cook a delicious pot of soup.

I will be thankful

So my sweet friends, as you enjoy our vacation, minus two, I hope you are having an amazing time. I know you are, I’ve seen your pictures.

I am heartbroken over missing our adventure, but we are looking forward to “Mexico-let’s try this again.”


The not so sick Charma Dawn

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I Ranted and then bought Melmo Jammies

Last week I was at Lowe’s.

Big shock, I was at Lowe’s.

I ran in to get a few things. As I checked out, I noticed a gentleman sitting on his motorcycle. He was not doing anything wrong, but his look was weird.

I DO NOT want to assume the worst in people.

I DO NOT want to assume someone has the wrong intentions.

I DO NOT want to live in fear. I did not like the way I felt when I got in the car and immediately locked the door. Like that was going to solve anything.

I took a deep breath and immediately got mad. I grabbed my phone and texted my friends and this is what I said:

“I don’t like it, the world we live in, makes everybody look suspicious. Having to be careful who you lock eyes with. Being fearful of a stranger. Creeper on a motorcycle at Lowe’s might not have been a creeper at all but because the world makes causes us to be scared, he gets labeled a creeper in my eyes.

My rant is over

The end.”

Ever since that day I have been very conscious of those around me. I want to see the good in people and to assume they are good. Now listen…..I’m not stupid and I won’t take unnecessary chances when it comes to my safety, however I refuse to live in fear and I will not be fearful of people. I want to chat with the people at the grocery store. I want to smile at the people as we pass in the parking lot.

Friday is Jack and BB day! We are preparing for a big shindig at our house tomorrow and much needs to be done. It doesn’t matter what Jack and I do on our Friday’s together, as long as we do it together. Walmart it is.

How can this BB deny this precious baby Melmo “Elmo” jammies when he loves them so.

As we arrive at our car, I open the trunk to put in the three huge cases of water. I notice a man behind me. I’m extra cautious because I have Jack with me. The man says “excuse me, can I please help you put the water in your car?”

Yes! Yes you may.

He finished. I thank him and he smiles. I finish putting my items away and the gentleman in the car next to me asks if he could take my cart for me.

Yes! Yes you may.

I thank him, smile and tell him to have a wonderful day.

This story seems long and a little redundant, but I believe there are good people in this scary world we live in and I want to see the good in people. I believe those two men that showed me kindness today were intentionally put in my path. Confidence? Maybe but I don’t think so.

Have a fantastic weekend.

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The Darkness

I stand on the platform at Church of Hope most Sundays

Recently there has been lighting changes.

Previously, as we stood on the platform, there was great visibility of the people sitting in the audience. I love being able to see others as they worship.

Fast songs, there is clapping. Sometimes people move to the beat of the music.

Slow songs, there is emotions such as raising of hands. Some close their eyes as they are moved by the words of the song.

No matter the emotion, I would feed off the audience.

With the new lighting, I am unable to see the audience. I can’t see if people are smiling or clapping. I can’t see a thing…… I whined. How can I get excited about the song? How can I feel the emotions of the audience when all I see is darkness?

Today was no exception. I couldn’t see a thing. I was hoping that the lighting would go back to normal.

Nope. This is the new normal.

But…… as I stood in the light this morning, all I could see were the words of the song we were singing.

The words that said:

I believe in God our Father

I believe in Christ the Son

I believe in the Holy Spirit

Our God is three in one

I believe in the resurrection

That we will rise again

For I believe in the name of Jesus

I didn’t have to see others to be excited about the words.

I didn’t need to see other people to worship. All I needed was to read the words I was privileged to sing. I could feel Madison beside me singing from her soul.

The words.

What the words mean.

That’s what is important.

The words that speak to my soul. The words that sing back to me, the promises from God to me.

Now, as I sing from the platform, I don’t need the lights. I can close my eyes and worship.

Pastor Mark spoke this morning about how God is speaking……are you listening?

Were the people in the audience a distraction? I didn’t think so.

Maybe the lights being lowered is the answer to my question.

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The Miracle Saturday

Do you ever chat about something and at the end say, “that would be a miracle?”

Here’s the story:

We have been in a pool house construction house phase for FOR-EV-ER.

Here it is a week ago.

The time frame to get this little house completed has been long and ridiculous. Steve has pushed the train up and up and up the hill again. It’s time people.

Time to be done.

Saturday as we get ready for a day of work, we chat.

“The painter did good yesterday. Wouldn’t it be a miracle if he showed up today?”

Everyone deserves a day off. I am not expecting people to work on the weekends as long as the job is up to the time frame. ITS NOT! However there are still zero expectations that we will see a worker on a Saturday.

This was my view yesterday.

We were on the roof.


And what do my wandering eyes shall appear, but a blue truck out of nowhere.

I believe it is a painters truck.


We watch as he enters the pool house and gathers some of his belongings. He entered his car and leaves.

Ok…..well that was nice while it lasted

Bye bye painter man.

We continue painting

It’s looking pretty good.

The blue truck! It’s back!

He opens his tailgate.

He pulls out his supplies!

He’s painting!

On Saturday!!


I guess just call me doubting Charma.

Another conversation was had regarding a tile guy.

“We can’t get the plumber to finish unless the tile is laid. The tile guy can’t do the job for at least two weeks.”

Now to put the time frame into perspective, we have a baby shower for approximately 80 people, being held outside on October 20th. We NEED A BATHROOM! Will we survive without a bathroom? Yes…..but it should would be nice.

Miracle number 2. Justin’s friend, a professional tile layer showed up, on a Saturday, and can lay the tile next week. I think that might be two miracles in one.

I know that there are way more important things going on in the lives of others than our little pool house.

However I do give credit where credit is deserves and I believe that our Heavenly Father will give us the desires of our hearts when we are obedient and Love Him first, Love others and Invest our lives for His Glory.

I will leave you this Sunday morning with a new song we are doing this morning. .

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Cornstalks for the Win

Fall decorating is upon us and I’m all up in the business of Pinterest and my blogger friends for inspiration.

I am lucky enough to have a great front porch! Lots of room for decorating and I need to get my rear in gear since it’s already October. I want to enjoy the fall before BAM Christmas lights and wreaths pushes their way in.

My guy and the babe will have the share the front steps with some pumpkins and such.

I have search through inspiration photos this week and there is one common thread that my eyes keep wandering to…..cornstalks.

I even posted on FB, asking if anyone knew where I could get some.

and Pinterest never disappoints.

Many Friday nights include a trip to Lowe’s. Last night was a double whammy and Home Depot was included. Tile for the Pool House was needed. The PH is almost complete and I am really excited to share.

As we peruses through the aisles gathering our supplies, I remembered that FB friends said they saw cornstalks at Lowe’s. Let’s get some!!

I love them! They are crunchy and kind of old looking. Yes I know they are dead. They still have corn on them and I can’t wait to put them on the porch.

Steve is usually quiet during my decorating escapades. Tonight, he says “If your Dad was here and saw these corn stalks, can you just hear him?” He would say “you paid money for dead corn? Are you joking me? Dead corn?”

I laughed out loud and through the remainder of the time we were in the store. I still laugh now. It’s true! He would have made fun of my purchase for the rest of the year.

Now, that might not seem so funny to some but there is a lesson to be learned in the midst of the laughter and the sarcasm.

Dad has been in heaven since December 30, 2017. Almost a year and it’s been a hard year. Many days of tears and fighting to be happy. Just this week, I chatted with my friends and shared with them that some days I think my heart may never mend.

Days will continue to be hard but almost one year later, I laugh as I think of my silly dad making fun of my cornstalks. I can now work in the garage and enjoy myself. I can see a picture and not feel as if I’ve been stabbed in the gut. Everyone deals with loss differently and I usually hide. I feel as if time will make the ache go away. Maybe I’m right and maybe I’m not.

All I know that right now, every time I see my dead cornstalks, I will smile.

It’s Saturday, I’m getting ready to have a cup of coffee, sit for a few minutes with the cutest little boy, paint the back side of the house and position my cornstalks in such a way, I can see them all the time. I’ll share my porch when it’s complete.

Have a spectacular day.

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