Farewell, 2018…

I really wasn’t planning to do an obligatory “final words” post for this year, but honestly, as 2018 comes to a close is a few hours, I cannot help but think back to what happen in the last 12 months.

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Like seriously, 2018 was ridiculous in terms of joy, heartache, abundance and loss. Let’s reflect on this gal’s year…starting with the sad stuff:

I went to 14 funerals this year. FOURTEEN. In my 45 years here on this earth, I think I attended as many funerals in this last year than I have in the entirety of my life. Honestly, this was the biggie. Loss was a big part of these last 12 months. Not just in death, but in career and finalities in relationships. I lost a job I cared about and was devout to for almost a decade. Acquaintances come and go, as well as some friends. Back in February a woman I considered like a sister decided to attack me on social media for coming back to Jesus. This woman, who I loved so much, who had an open door invitation to our home, and someone I could confide in, turned so cruel, something I am still thinking about 11 months later. I’m no stranger to controversy when it comes to my transition from pagan to Christ following, and most of my pagan friends have been kind and honest with me, even if it hurts them that I no longer believe in the things I once did.

In the last week alone, we were hit with a missile right to the heart and well, I guess all I can say is we all need to lick our wounds sometimes. I think of the song by Aaron Shust’s “You Redeem”, when he says:

“Miracles will happen, Healing will come, The plans of our enemy ruined undone”

As well as:

“You redeem, You redeem, You restore what’s been stolen from me…You reclaims, You release, You rebuild with the words that You breathe….”

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It’s a powerful song that has helped me get through some really tough times in the last couple years, most importantly this year. But if I focus on just the loss, I’ll never truly see what I RECEIVED. So let’s talk about the good stuff:

I became part of an amazing ministry called Philia Ministries. Founded by my friends James and Lea DiNonno, they are two of the most loving and compassionate people, with such deep love for our Lord. They do their best to follow God’s original instructions, well, the ones that can be followed. Because of their devotion to God, they have been chastised, belittled and mocked in ways I never thought people would be capable of. But, this is what being set apart is all about, right? I myself have been trying to follow suit, because to me, many of those instructions aren’t burdensome. They are not filled with bondage others claim them to be. So, it meant I was also on the receiving end of that mockery. One actually threatened to call my Pastor! HA! For wanting to follow God in a way she did not agree with. Religion sucks, folks. That’s why I always tell people I’m not in a religion, I’m in a relationship.

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In the last 12 months I have found kindred souls with a couple dozen people across the world, people that truly love unconditionally, people that are in the world but not of the world. There is so much humility in this ministry, I talk about them often. This is one of the greatest gifts God had given me this year. One I will NEVER take for granted.

What else…Oh, I got a job! Who would have thought that a girl who had been in the corporate world since 1999 would end up working at a humble book store a mile from my home? For me, this was life changing. There is very little stress, and a lot of laughter. I actually ENJOY going to work! I feel each time I open those doors, I am walking into my own private library. For a Bibliophile like myself, it’s a dream come true! And it’s pretty awesome I have amazing bosses and coworkers that make my days go by fast!

My health has improved significantly. In the last 12 months I am down over 30 pounds. It’s amazing what not having lots of stress inside your body does! Don’t get me wrong, this year was stressful in itself, my pulmonary issues are getting worse, as well as my memory continues to slip a little, but thankfully the good outweighed the bad. How did that happen, you ask?

FAITH.

FAITH.

I’ll say it again, folks. FAITH.

I think of Laura Story’s song, “Blessings”, where she sings:

“What if Your blessings come through raindrops, what if Your mercies come through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near…what if trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise…”

No doubt, I shed a lot of tears. A LOT. No one can take that away from me. I had some really crappy things happen to me by people I cared about. The last 6 months alone were trials in itself. But as my “Person” Jenny said that it was my FAITH that was a big part of my life this year and how certain things turned out. I truly believe this.

See, I hate no one. But I sure as heck know people out there hate me. Hate me for my past, hate me for my personality. Hate me because I exist. I cannot stop those people from feeling that way, but I sure can use my FAITH God has given me and not engage in that hatred. Life is a precious gift that should not be thrown about. There’s going to come a day when we all go home to the Father. And we are going to have to stand in front on Him and explain why we did this and that, why we felt certain ways, and why we lived the way we did. I for one will not leave this earth with an ounce of negativity within me. And I urge so many who read this to do the same. Love as HE loved us. If this is the only thing I could have taught to anyone in this world, it is that.

So, as the hours grow closer to that clean slate that will be 2019, I am thinking of people like Sally, Helen, sweet little Eliana Grace, Janet, my friend’s mom and brother, Damian, My Aunt Sharon, and my friend’s brother in law…just to name a few, who left this world way too early, and the families and friends they left behind.

But I also think of my dear friends Jenny and Steven who FINALLY got married, my other dear friends Maria and Tim who had a baby girl named Teagan, my sweet friend Alina who gave birth to her little boy, a ministry that I am proud to be a part of and the friends I have now because of it, my son’s professional wrestling training scholarship, and how my faith has grown to immense proportions.

A rollercoaster of a year, 2018. Thank you for it, but I’m ready to get off the ride now and find the 2019 ride, jump in with my arms raised and my heart open for better things to come!

There’s a war between guilt and grace

They are fighting for a sacred space

But I’m living proof, GRACE WINS EVERYTIME.

No more lying down in death’s defeat

Now I’m rising up to victory

Singing HALLELUJAH! GRACE WINS EVERYTIME!!!!!!!!

EVERYTIME!

Yeah I’m living proof…

GRACE WINS EVERYTIME.

God speed, 2018.

Be Blessed!

Love, Bridget

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Spring or Autumn? I’ll Take It Either Way…

20180518_192256_Burst01.jpgLast week it was hitting over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  This week we were lucky we hit 70 degrees.  With continuous rains, wind and cold temperatures not suited for mid-May, one would think Noah was going to show up with his ark.  Our little homestead has a very large deck in the back, but because of how the deck sits verses the patterns of the winds, we tend to be the victims of broken pots and upturned furniture after a storm here.  Nevertheless, we are pressing on and gearing up for an amazing summer.

In the meantime, I am sitting here up in our bedroom, far away from the wrestling-filled family room while the boys eat their Friday-night foods (pizza and mozzarella sticks).  With the window fan bringing in soft, cool air, candles lit and fuzzy blankets and pillows, I am all set for an evening of writing.

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(My current work station for the evening)

I had a bit of a setback with some family emergencies that came up over the last two weeks.  But thankfully all went well and I am back to at least a semi-routine. Saturday, we are heading up Northeast Pennsylvania to Easton to visit some family and help out with some things.  As much as I’d like to think it will be a quick visit, I know better after all these years, and between typing here, I am packing some provisions for this day trip, that will include our two teenage boys and our pup, Linus.

Looking out the window right now, it really is chilly, as if we were near the end of September. Because of this, my mood has taken me to the darker, moodier and albeit romantic music that tends to soothe my heart during that time of year. It just felt right to put it on.  What’s on that particular playlist, you may be wondering?  Well, below is my list, that you can actually find on my YouTube channel (click on the “Autumn Bliss” title)

Autumn Bliss

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Some of my favorite artists hail from the other side of the pond, with the likes of folk artists such as Heidi Talbot and Kate Rusby, our Canadian neighbor Loreena McKennitt, Celtic singer Enya and her sister Mairead Brennan, just to name a few.  My tastes during Autumn usually hit between Folk, Adult Alternative, and Celtic.  It just felt right to play this tonight.  As much as I dislike winter with the powerful disdain of 1000 suns, there is something so beautiful when Autumn is coming into her glory, her final triumph, before the long rest begins.  And our bodies know this, as we begin to long for things like blankets, sweaters, comfort food and campfires.  A feeling I know I feel during that time of year where my mind starts to shift into my achievements I have made over the year, and how I would like to complete the remaining months of the year.  I write more, I dream more. I think more. Autumn really is beautiful, you know?

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(One of my favorite pastimes, sitting by the campfire)

Anyway, back to homesteading stuff!  Still waiting to get our bay window installed, still need to get vegetables into the ground, as the rain and unstable temperatures have caused me to be super behind.  But my perennials are back in all their glory, like my clematis, comfrey and burdock.  And my onions I planted over a month ago are coming in wonderfully!  Now to get down to weeding that purple dead nettle and get those veggies in!!!!

(Just a quick walk around the jungle…I mean garden….with my perennials going nuts!)

Hope you all are doing well and getting into the adventures that summer brings!  Talk to you soon!

Bridget

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Spring on the Homestead!

Well hello!

One would think that not having a full time job would give me more time to write, but in fact its quite the opposite.  Funny how one can get writers block the moment you have time!

BUT, Spring is finally here (in the calendar sense), and I am very eager to get back into the swing of all things life!  And to me, writing is life for me.  If I am not typing something, I’m writing into a book.  And I have so much on my mind, that it’s really impossible to put it all into one post.

But enough of that.  So, what’s going on at this homestead?

Well, the weather thankfully has moved from the high 70’s to mid 80’s with nighttime sleeping with the windows open.  One of the best things about Spring is the scents.  Magnolias, fresh cut grass, hyacinths and many more are sweeping through the air and coming into my windows.  Especially during vespers, the scents become almost intoxicating!  And there is nothing more dreamy for me than to open all the windows and doors.

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Sadly, I live with 3 men who don’t like opening anything!  My front door has a glass pane and because the door is fairly old, getting a screen insert has been impossible to find.  Our side door is a big wood and glass door, with no way to use inserts.  There is no screen door to go with it. I always kept the back door open, but the fear of bugs coming into the house causes lots of disharmony when they are home.  Over the last several weeks I opened the Magic Screen and purchased a screen all by itself with velcro where you can attach the screen. So, yesterday while my son was nursing his tooth extractions (he had to have a couple removed for his braces), I put both screens up.  It didn’t take long for the complaints to begin, but both screens are in place, so that’s a big win over here!!!!

I am also excited to tell you that we are getting a window put in our kitchen!

See, when we first moved in, we knew this would eventually have to do this, as one of the owners from long ago put on an addition to our home, and unfortunately they did it off the kitchen, leaving no light in our kitchen.  I personally don’t like it.  It’s way too dark in there, and let me tell you, when all you crave is light and life, the last place you want to be in is where it’s dark.  I have been waiting to get this done, but our builder can’t do it until we get out of this cold, rainy season.  So, we were hoping for a mid-April date, but now it looks like it’s going to be May.  Either way, I’m getting morning sun soon!  And that’s going to be GLORIOUS!  Yay for light!  Yay for spring breezes!!!

I am currently trying to learn how to edit videos…I have always been somewhat savvy in different software, so when I bought Wondershare’s Filmora© I made the wrong assumption this was going to be quick and easy.

Oy.  Let’s just say I’m feeling things out, and hopefully I will be able to produce more video blogs.

Hope all is well!

~ Bridget

 

 

The New Journey Begins…

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Well, hi there!  Can you believe I have been working on this website for weeks now, and I didn’t even have a name for it until today!  HA!

This is my first post here, and right now, I don’t have anything to say at the moment, because right now I’m still closing the chapter over at The Bohemian Hobbit.  So, in the meantime, please be patient with me as I finalize some things over at the other website, and pray that I will have this 100% up and running soon.  (It’s amazing how much time you consume putting a website together).

Because The Bohemian Hobbit has been The Bohemian Hobbit for several years, it only stands to reason it’s not going to take a day to close it up.  And there’s a LOT of content over there, from posts, reviews, thousands of pictures, links….whew!  It’s one of the reasons I still dream of being that stay at home wife and mother that I so long to be in. It’s no great surprise to know this, if you have been following me the last 10 months.  I trust the Father is doing everything He needs to do to make sure my needs are met.  And for that, I am thankful.

Until then, friends, I thank you for visiting me here, and will let you all know as soon as my very first REAL post goes out!

Be blessed in His name,

Bridget

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