[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
This past week I have been faced with a lot of it…change, that is. The seasons are changing. I see evidence of it daily, with the nights arriving earlier and earlier and the coolness in the morning air. I even changed my hair, getting rid of my blonde streaks and adjusting to a darker color again. I have noticed the leaves changing on the tree outside my home office, and the grape leaves are changing color on the vines. I even changed some of the clothes in my closet, getting rid of some summer things and unpacking and washing some of my fall things. I have also been looking at my office and thinking of all the changes I anticipate making to it this fall and winter.

In my contemplation of changing my office, I retired an old “dream board” that I had nailed to the wall. However, before tearing it all down, I spent a lot of time with it, acknowledging the things that had come to fruition during some major life changes in the last couple of years. Most of the change has been GREAT. Career-wise I am much happier, and I feel like I am on the chosen path, striking a balance between using my creative side and my administrative side, something I never really was able to do before now. I have also made a conscious choice to change the way I view life, love, and people. My new outlook has resulted in a much happier me.
Change does not intimidate me like, it does some people. I am very aware that I am always evolving. I often wish that I would just stand still for a while and be content for a minute. Then I remind myself that does not really seem to be who I am. I am contently discontent. I find that I am always looking for a new challenge, a new personal goal, trying to find my personal best and to stretch myself just enough so I’m not ever truly comfortable. I have yet to decide if that is good or bad. One thing is for sure, because I am the way that I am, I have never really “mastered” any one thing. The up side is that I feel very well versed in many things, a “Jackie of all trades, master of none” if you will. 
I have decided that one of my new dreams is be to master something. I have in mind what I think that something will be, but I am afraid to say it aloud…just in case. I know that is really, silly. I am sure that it is in the acknowledgment of the goals that they become reality. So okay, here I go. There are three changes that I want to see become reality in my life. I want to write a book and have it published. I want to start a little side business and stick with it. In addition, I would like to be successful at getting the extra weight off.
All three of these things I have thought about, re-thought about and thought about again, until I am literally sick of thinking about them. I have not quite figured out why I am stuck. I suppose it is the same excuses most of us use when we are too chicken to see things through; money, time, and money. Yes, I know I said money twice. Sure, they are valid reasons, yet I have watched other people achieve bigger dreams and goals with less. So I have to ask myself, what is it really?
It is easy to get comfortable in the daily ruts, telling myself I will achieve more tomorrow. Then I find myself five years down the road, shocked that I have wished away hundreds of tomorrows as if I have an endless supply of them. I cannot use the excuse that I do not know what to do. While I may not have the answer as to how I can make these dreams happen, I do know enough to get myself off the ground. I have read ever diet theory out there, yet did not sweat with the oldies or “get with the program” with Oprah. The writers and editors that surround me are always generous with their knowledge, and my little side business…a no-brainer. I have even done the business plan and know the product and the name. Therefore, here I stand, left with the ever-nagging question: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. I have to chuckle because even as I write this, I can hear my girlfriend Linda saying, “What is wrong with you, girl?” Linda is my girlfriend who is a Jackie of all trades AND a master of all trades, too. The woman is amazing…but that is another story for another time.
Marianne Williamson has a famous quote that has been haunting me lately. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”  I hate to think that she is right, but it stays with me…haunts me….
I read a darling little book called “The Dream Giver” a few years ago. In it, the author Bruce Wilkinson tells the story of a character named Ordinary. Ordinary lived in the Land of Familiar and every time that Ordinary tried to leave the Land of Familiar, he encountered a border bully. Some of the bullies were well intentioned; others were motivated by of their own fears and jealousy. I recently re-read this book and it made me think. For someone who says I am not so afraid of change, I sure seem to be avoiding it.
Maybe it is simply, not wanting to deal with the border bullies, those people who do not want me leaving them behind in the Land of Familiar. Maybe it is as easy as instinctively I know that I am powerful beyond measure, and it is that knowledge that terrifies me.
I grew up singing and taught my kids to sing a little childhood song. It has captivated me lately, and I have felt challenged by its simple but not easy truth. The song goes: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
I have come to the awareness that change is inevitable. It happens with our involvement or without it. We can be leading it, or we can be dragged kicking and screaming behind it. Either way change wins.

  1. Mary Murphy says:

    I can certainly empathize with the lack of stick-to-it-tiveness. For most of this year I have felt the need to master something. I have countlessly reviewed subjects, crafts, and on and on and on. Nothing touched my heart; nothing settled my mind.

    Frustrated I started pondering the "why": why can’t I settle on something? As I let my mind roll unheeded with the waves coming to shore a thought rested on the sand: life is seasonal. Master living seasonally and you master life. The master is no better than the servant and the servant is no better than the master. Master and servant are equal. Master and servant are one.

    I am like the seasons. I change throughout the year only to return again the next year. Without change their is no life. I am mastering life by being one with the seasons.

  2. Karen says:

    Oh I so understand I have just started my life change of eating heathier and trying to get some of my weight off, and I have good news, so far I have lost 9lbs!!! I am thrilled. I was in a size 20 and can get into some 16’s!!! I would like to get back down to a size 12. I do know that it wont be an overnight journey but my bags are packed and Im in it for the long haul. So heres to change! Keep that light forever burning! Blessings,Karen

  3. Marilyn says:

    You go girl! I was going to suggest you read The Prayer of Jabez and Beyond Jabez — but see that you re-read The Dream Giver. I too have similar goals as yours and the border bullies are mighty!

    I wish you the very best. You know you can do it. I believe that contentment keeps me from being as ambitious as I once was. And I know that age has diminished my stamina, tho not my interests.

    I am currently reading Beyond Jabez and I recommend it to everyone — it causes me to "think" and the "think differently" and I like that.

    Best Wishes on all your endeavors. And thanks for taking the time to blog — I enjoy what you share.


  4. michele says:

    "hide it under a bushel? No, I’m gonna let it shine".
    You left that part out and that is what I see in you constantly on the MJF website. You are always lifting up others and offering support. Soooo you go girl and let that light shine even more.
    Farmgirl Hugs, Michele

    WOW, thank you so very much… I love our farmgirls and consider it one of lifes riches blessings that I get to shine light on the brilliance of others…I think that is what "sisters" are for.. to brag on the other… thank you for honoring me by such beautiful words, I am fighting back the tears even as I type.

  5. Becky says:


    This statement really got me today:

    I have come to the awareness that change is inevitable. It happens with our involvement or without it. We can be leading it, or we can be dragged kicking and screaming behind it. Either way change wins.

    We live in Missouri and we just found out that we have to move to Iowa for a job and have been kicking and screaming but you are right "Either way change wins" and we are going.

    Thanks for the nice post.



    Change can be unsettling for sure. But it can also bring a huge amount of joy. Introducing us to things and people we would never have experienced. My hubby and I moved several times as young marrieds, today I am blessed with friends all over the place… what a rich gift that I would have missed out on had I not given into change. Best wishes.. Keep me updated.

  6. Blair says:

    I am amazed at how often you are able to put into words my exact feelings that I can’t seem to organize well enough to write down myself…or maybe it’s just that I don’t make myself sit down and do it. I’ve been scared in the last couple years with the idea of one day looking back and having regrets about things I did not try and it being too late at that point. (physically unable). I used my 29th b-day (last year of my twenties) as a reason to take more chances, try new things, follow through on some of my dreams and ideas. I have a long way to go, but I’m getting there.
    I feel exactly the same about change: I like to think that I like it, it’s exciting, but when it comes down to making the call, making the change, I chicken out. But at least I recongnize it, so there’s hope!
    Thank you for your fantastic blogs. I always feel like I’ve gotten something off my chest after reading them

  7. Grace~katmom says:

    You are soooo right, and while we (me)may at times try to resist change, there is a reason for it….and we all need it to help us grow mentally, physically & spiritually.  After all, if there were no movement of the pond water it would become stagnant. We too need "movement" even if it is just a simple little thing like changing our hair color. (which by the way – I was really good at! lol!)
    hugz & farm girl blessings to you.

  8. What a great post. I think humility keeps us in check …by design. Personal power can be too easily turned on and turned loose at times it really doesn’t serve a good purpose. Kept in check, like two powerful draft horses in work harness, great strength goes to a good cause. Humility is our balancing agent. We need it. :o) shery

  9. Reba says:

    I heard once that "a rut is a grave with both ends kicked out." And that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results." I realized from these sayings that life is change and change is life! The quicker that I can embrace it, the better I will be as a more complete person. It doesn’t mean that sometimes it won’t be difficult. I have found that change also does not mean that you will not re-visit some of the things that you did in the past. This is where I have been lately. I think I’m enjoying it more the second time, maybe because I’m at a different season (age) in my life. Whatever the reason I feel so much more contentment now. Thanks for the thoughts. They seem to pull out what is currently going on in my life into the "light" so that I can more clearly examine and appreciate them. Keep writing! I appreciate it!

  10. Wendy C says:

    This has been a huge year of change for me. I figured out that on average I have weighed between 230-250lbs for the past 20 yrs. In March I started OA (Over eaters Anonymous)and I have lost 65lbs to date. Really the problem lies between my ears, food is just the symptom of the problem. I exercise 3 days a week (swimming for 1 hr). I am still grappling with the reasons I don’t stick to things. I thought I was a master of change (I moved 17 times in 10 yrs in my 20’s). I am constantly changing my ideas about what I want to do. Finishing my first quilt was a HUGE accomplishment and since then I have made 6 more. I’m still trying to figure out "what am I here for". But, when I stop and look at just today and not try to project out to the future I am a much more peaceful person. I know what I love. I love to cook and healthy foods are what I love to share, I love quilting and embroider, and this year I have found the love of growing my own food. I know in my heart that having property and growing more food for my family and perhaps having stand at a local farmers market would be a dream. We are planning a move to the eastern side of Washington State in the next few years so that we can do this. There will always be "scary" things, but I’m getting better at not letting them get in my way. Right now I homeschool my youngest and that’s my priority. I fill in what little hours I have left with the other loves of my life. I liked your analogy of "jack of all trades, master of none". I think this is ok. We are well rounded and feeding that creative and adventurous God light within ourselves. You go for your dreams girl! You never know where those dreams will lead you too. You are open and receptive to you good! And that’s always good!

  11. Gary says:

    There’s a Great photo of you Rene’ on page 60 of the October-November Mary Janes Farm magazine, in it your are described as "Farm Fair Organizer"… The best thing about the photo is your expression of relaxed Happiness.
    Your skills at "organizing" are apparently excellent and well known, so when you get these "three things" organized in a way that you are relaxed and Happy with, you will do well at them.
    The thing that makes your writing so interesting to read is your ability to convey feelings within your words, because your best writing is from the Heart of what you know. Your feeling comes through in this Bloggie too… a feeling of indecision, which is ok… everyone can relate to that, especially if it involves the "D" word.
    Ahhh… diets are like casino gambling… the dieter is the player and their body is the "House", and just like in casinos, the House never loses in the long run. I’ve been on diets and "won" big and flashed my winnings for all to see, but the house never stops playing, and pound by pound I put back all this pounds I won eventually. It wasn’t until I stopped diets and timetables and weigh-ins and just changed my eating lifestyle that I was able to maintain a good weight. I don’t know what is good for anyone else, however I have one piece of advise (ohhh doesn’t everyone) on weight: Positive Focus… take Joy in what you CAN have and don’t even think about what you can’t.
    GodSpeed to Y’all Rene’…!
    in Tampa


    Thanks for the wise words……and for always reading the blog and the Magazine….. How special!

  12. Patsy says:

    I watched a positive speaker on PBS many years ago. I can’t remember her name. She changed it all for me. She said, " Are you going to sit in a rocking chair in a dark room till you are a size 8?" "Get out and do what you want to do now. Yes, it’s healthier to be less weight but it will come. Stop using the I’ll-do-this-when-I-lose-some-weight excuse" she said. Life is not a dress rehearsal.
    …..and what she changed for me? I started my own business of pampering women on retreat. Only regret – I should have done it sooner. One of her biggest tips: Surround yourself with only positive people. We all know the Debbie Downer kind – avoid them like the plague.

  13. Robin D. Shimpa says:

    Rene, I so identify with your sentiments! I am usually to busy doing school work, working, etc. lately to read your blog, but did this time and was pleasantly refreshed. I know what I want to be when I grow up – so am finishing my BA degree at the age of 56! – and the balance I am searching for in my life to quilt, read, do research, go camping with my husband occasionally, do some canning and jelly making, have the grandchildren over to play on the swingset, all…the…things I want to do, and so little time. I just need to remember to stop and breath and tell myself it’s okay, I’m getting there! Thanks for your encouraging words to me today.


  14. Teri says:

    Your words hit home today. I had my knee replaced recently and I have used every excuse there is to not buckel down and do the work to loose the 50 pounds that need to come off. I am always afraid that someone will say…"my, you have lost weight". Silly, isn’t it. Thinking about what you said, I may not be afraid of failing but of winning. You all add so much to my life. Thank you for sharing your lives. I know there is no excuses left and now I won’t be afraid to change, you have give me the courage to do it.

  15. Toni Myers says:

    hi Renee,
    Change, Dreams, Light shining, these subjects are very interesting. I ‘did’ notice the photo of U on pg. 60, ‘Farm Fair Organizer’ !!! Nice photo…
    I enjoy Bruce Wilkinsons’ bks. I’ll have to find a copy of Dream Giver. Beyond Jabez sounds like another book I want to read. But we have to remember to read the ‘greatest BOOK’ ever written & Inspired by GOD, His Holy Word !!!
    THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE is another excellent bk. by Pastor Rick Warren !!! He gets us ‘thinking’ about ‘WHAT’ is really impt. in life !! It is ‘doing’ & BEING what GOD has planned 4 each of us. We are ‘here on earth’ to bring GLORY to GOD, & NOT OURSELVES !! PSALM 139 –So, it’s NOT so impt. what we accomplish here on earth, that gives our life meaning, when it is ‘done’ for ourselves’ BUT WHEN IT IS DONE 4 others, to bring ‘honor & glory’ to GOD, is what will ‘count’, when we leave earth to meet ‘our MAKER’.
    I had many times a desire to ‘write a bk.’ also. But in my life, GOD changed that desire,(for now) ……to write in personal journals for each of our kids & grandkids, to leave a ‘LEGACY’ for them. Our families are the people that REALLY MATTER. Like one of the other ladies wrote, I still have lots of IDEAS, but not the ‘stamina’ to accomplish all those anymore. SO, I AM TRYING DAILY to SIMPLIFY my life, which is NOT an easy task. I am by ‘nature’ a DETAIL person, and have a lot of life interests.
    May GOD help U to lose some weight, Renee, I also NEED GOD’S HELP 4 that. Motivation gets harder as we get older, for most of us.
    Thanks for ‘blogging’ Renee, you are interesting, open & honest, and a caring person !!! ;o)

  16. Mary Ann Witcher says:

    AMEN Sister!!!

  17. carol branum says:

    hi well here is my advice,for what it is worth,I havent watched tv now for 4 months,at all,I have been too obsessed with my new dreams and goals,that,seems to be helping,I also,have just dropped some,well,not really dropped,but,given up some time with old friends,I just don,t care to go out to the bars with them anymore,I will miss country danceing,but now I do that at squaredanceing,witch is non-alcoloic,and I get to bed before 10,if I went out to a bar with my old friends,I,d get in at 3 in the morning,so,that,is a time waster,just simple changes that I have made has helped me with my goals.think about that,I don,t miss tv at all,believe it or not,I thought I would go into panic,but its been a refreshing change for a while.blessed be,carol branum,

  18. Tamara from N.Syracuse, NY says:

    Your three changes are the same as mine! And I have thought and re-thought the same things! We will get there. I just know it. It may be two steps forward and one step back, but I’m confident we will ALL get there.

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