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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Learning and Growing..

‎"You build on failure.
You use it as a stepping stone.Close the door on the past.
You don't try to forget the mistakes,
but you don't dwell on it.
You don't let it have any of your energy,
or any of your time."

 — Johnny Cash 

Good afternoon my friends.  This post isn't about failure per se, but more about "Learning and Growing".  However, the rest of the above quote by Johnny Cash seemed to mesh with what I want to write about, thus I've chosen to use it here in spite of the word failure in it.

Many of you know I turned 50 this month, and with that has come some reflecting time of my previous 50 years I've been blessed to spend on this earth, as well as looking forward to the future years the Lord chooses to provide me with.

I've recently realized many things, or shall I say the Lord is showing me many things I'd like to change.  One of those things is that I tend to be like that lone tree up above in the photo I took while recently in Mexico.  The one that chooses to "stand alone".  Why do I do that?  I believe that as a child my tribe taught us to be stand alone people and that it was the correct, strong, and tough person way to do things.  Maybe this works for some people and in essence worked for me for my first 50 years.  But I feel because of this attitude in the past, it is time now to change some of that self sufficiency.  I have begun to  ask for help, something I have struggled to do all of my life.  I try to do things that I should be asking my husband to help me with, but instead struggle to do it myself and often ended up injuring myself.  You see the tribe I was raised in, tended to be expect us to work hard, and be self sufficient and may of even been thought to be a weakness to seek help.  At least this is how I felt others would view asking for help, that is a "weakness".  Multi-tasking is all I've ever known in my life, but sometimes it's best to do just one thing at a time and truly focus on that one accomplishment.

Have any of you struggled with these vary things?  I'd love to hear how you've learned and grown in your own lives and what has successfully made a difference for you.

So to you my friend, this may seem strange to hear, but I'm learning and growing in the simple area of asking for help.  Tough to do, as I say, but I did it twice since the week-end.  I asked my dh to carry a cumbersome and somewhat heavy table that I use in my studio most of the year, but when it's showtime I have three of these that I take to shows and use in my booth for display.  My extra tables have been in the garage since the last two large events which ended in early March and my studio has been a mess as well.  Jon gladly carried it down for me when I asked him to and it saved me the potential of re-injuirng a back issue that I did at Junk Bonanza 2009 trying to be a tough farm girl and lifting things alone that I had no business lifting.  "Live and Learn"!

My Dad, currently age 87, was an extremely hard working Dad.  He fathered seven of us kids, farmed 160 acres of farmland, raised beef cattle, pigs and chickens, as well as provided us with horses, dogs and cats as pets on our farm.  We were raised at the farmstead his parents came to as young newlyweds.  His Father, died at an early age of 42 years, and left behind five children.  My Dad, at age 12 1/2 was asked on his Fathers deathbed to always take care of his siblings and his Mother, thus at this young tender age he became the Father figure of that household.  He grew up overnight and was handed a huge burden.  Thus, the background of our families strong work ethic, do it yourself attitudes.  Our tribe taught us to be that way.  I am thankful for all that my parents did for me personally, so don't get the wrong idea here.  It's just that at 50 now, I choose to live a more joyful, lighter, healthier, less stress filled life going forward, and am making positive changes for myself, my family and my health.

To take one step at a time...seems the only way to be able to change 50 years of trained behavior.  God isn't finished with me yet, and I'm excited to be on this journey with Him.

To question things my tribe taught me is scary.  Something I wouldn't of thought of doing even a few short months back I wouldn't of dreamed I'd be doing this very thing.  I'm realizing it's ok to not always be productive...  One's body and brain needs little R & R breaks, which my Father never did until retirement time.  To rest and relax and rejuvenate is a good thing!  To not always be pre-occupied with what needs to be done is foreign to me.  And the "to do" lists will know sometimes have to wait.

Wow, is this me really typing these thoughts?  A slow and steady journey will be my goal.  I am learning to enjoy things and to take the time for my family and myself, when my tendency is to be too busy.  I've recently discovered maybe the reason I haven't followed this advice to "Take Time to Stop and Smell the Roses" is because I don't have a sense of smell, thus this phrase never really hit home for me nor did it have an impact on me.  I do have my eye sight though, and my goal is through photography and walks in nature to "Take Time to Stop and Ponder" all those things I've spent 50 years passing by and not appreciating.  Will you join me on my journey?
My new analogy:  "Take Time to Stop and Ponder".  

Beautiful flowers... however, a quick walk past, a quick photo snapped and no time take to really use my new goal of "take time to stop and ponder".  What gift was waiting for me to discover?

This was the gift...

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things
 in humble places 
where other people see nothing.”
- Camille Pissarro

Are any of my readers with me on looking for the beauty from now on, and really seeing and enjoying all that God has provided in His nature for us to really see?  Let me know how He prompts you and shows you His beauty in the days to come.  Being aware is a start...


  1. An excellent way to put this, Gretchen. I think alot of us are in a similar situation but often don't recognize that we are. Kudos to you for taking a step towards taking time for YOU!

  2. Beautiful Gretchen...many blessings to you as you continue on this wonderful journey! Laurel

  3. Wow, first off never would have guessed you are 50. I was 50 in August, it has awakened somthing in me, and I do feel God leading me in new directions. God Bless you, Lezlee

  4. I really enjoyed reading this, as I have been thinking a lot lately about some changes I want/need to make in my life.
    Enjoy your day.


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