I didn’t go today.

(This blog post was not harmed by spell check, grammar check or any other form of perfection.  It is once again, a shoot it from the hip blog.)
I chickened out, ran far away, melted down, choose one or all, and you would be correct.

Saturday’s dive was all set.  Last Saturday that is.  I spent the morning chiseling away on my epic kitchen ‘paint’ job.  kitchen I stopped at noon, knowing full well that I was in the pool at 2:30, and didn’t want to be worn out.   I was excited!  Today I was getting to go in the deep end!  Yea, I’m 56 years old, and am excited about going into the DEEP END of the pool.  With full scuba gear on, flippers, too.  I was EXXXCITED!  Until.  Until I had to wrestle my feet into booties and flippers. Until I had to try to remember to clear my ears every 2 feet.  Until I felt like the walls were closing in on me.
Until I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  Until my instructor, Jeff at The Aqua Hut, said I had a death grip on his finger.  Deep end equals eight feet of water, friends.  Eight. simple. feet.  For pete’s sakes, I had AIR in my lungs, I could touch the bottom, yet, I completely, 100%, totally, melted down.
I’m going to assume that you’ve seen Finding Nemo?  Remember when Nemo decided to swim away, and Marlin had a panic attack? Yup, that was me. marlin-screams-in-eac-in-finding-nemo Complete. It was not happening.  There was no way I was staying in that pool.  Or, at least, the deep end.  I stayed in the shallow end, and swam around like a little baby.  I felt like a wimp.

I could give you many reasons why I had a panic attack, so, I will!  Remember to clear your ears every two feet, remember to breathe right, remember you use your entire leg when you have flippers on.  I was surrounded by walls, and felt they were toppling in on me.

I planned on going back today, hanging in the shallow end, pretend to clear my ears, practice doing so, just keep swimming, keep swimming.  Keep breathing, keep breathing.

This morning, I was struck by the realization that I know the real reason I melted.  It wasn’t supposed to be eyesthis way.  I wasn’t supposed to be taking Scuba Lessons alone.  In that deep end, I should have had these eyes telling me, it’s okay, you can do this.  But, I don’t.  Who knew scuba diving could be emotional?  oy!

A new day is coming, schedules make it a bit crazy, but, early next week, back in the pool I go.  Knowing that I am taking it all, step by step.

 

Thanks for following along,
Growing in Grace,
Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com
Beautycounter by Laura Grayce

 

 

Living it Out ~ Step by Step, Part 1.5

Yes, you read that correctly, part 1.5.
In my last blog, Part 1, I shared this:  For about a year prior to his passing, we began to dream big, and decided to live large, as our children had all made it to adult-hood.

Today’s post is more about living life out loud, and what that looks like in my world.  Over the past couple of months, I have felt that, in relationship to ‘why’ I am involved in Beautycounter.

In November, I felt that my why was no longer real.  Didn’t seem real to me, and, if it doesn’t seem real to me, how could it sound real to others?  As I considered that thought, I began to re-word my ‘why’, a portion of it looks like this:
As Ted was retired, we believed that with my income from Beautycounter, we would plan to travel, and live out loud the rest of our lives – however, that plan changed, when he passed away in October of 2013. To say that altered my life, would be an understatement, but to honor his memory, my income with purpose-findyourwhy-v3-300x300Beautycounter is allowing me to pay it forward into areas of giving that Ted held close to his heart, and also give me the opportunity to ‘live our list’,,,

I must confess, when I began to re-work my ‘why’, I had not officially been named the recipient of the Live The List . I was hopeful, but, hadn’t been officially named.  I’m excited to face that challenge, alone, but, not alone, as I know I have the backing of so many widows and widowers who have walked the same path.

I’m also looking forward to 2016 with a new perspective, a new chance to live out loud, pursue my business with passion (re-fired), and continue to discover ‘me’! 59590260a4364acf5ecd5aaa46441117
What about you?  What do you look forward to as 2016 peers down upon us all.
My prayer for you is if you’ve lost your compass,  that you find a new strength, a new purpose, a new hope.

An update on my Scuba Adventure ~ the plan is to begin my lessons soon after the 1st of the year, so – next week!! I’m pretty doggone excited, and am looking forward to you to continue the journey with me!

 

Growing in Grace,
Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com
Join the Counter Revolution!

 

Living it out, step by step ~ Part One

Do you know me?  Maybe not, maybe you do, maybe you follow my (very sporadic) blog posts.  Over the next few weeks, or, however, long it takes, I’m inviting you to go on a journey with me.

In October of 2013, my beloved went home to be with the Lord.  For about a year prior to his passing, we began to dream big, and decided to live large, as our children had all made it to adult-hood.  One of the big plans/dreams was to take scuba diving lessons, become certified, and dive in exotic places around the world.  Sadly, that did not materialize.   I gave up on living live out loud.  Or, at least, on those things we were going to do ‘together’.  As a matter of fact, one friend encouraged me to still dive, and I said, no – I didn’t even want to do that anymore.

I would have to say, about a year and a half into my ‘new normal’ journey, I stumbled upon a facebook page entitled One Fit Widow.  Her story of loss, but, more importantly, her desire to live, and to live out loud,  was simply inspiring for me.  She is truly, in my mind, a super-hero.

That is the back-story to where I find myself today. One of the facets of Michelle’s life is the building of a not-for-profit organization, called Live the List.  Michelle’s passion, along with her husband Keith (chapter 2, isn’t that amazing to be doubly blessed?), want to see widows and widowers live out the passions that they were unable to do because of the death of their spouse.

The Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving, I applied.  I thought, I can’t lose, right?  I reached out to the Aqua-Hut to determine the cost of classes, etc.  It was soon after the first of the month that I saw this on Facebook:
fbscreenMan!  Did I feel honored that Michelle was posting about ‘me’.  I wanted to burst, so I did.  into tears!
On December 8th, I posted this on my Instagram, and Facebook: It was a couple of hours later that I received an email from Live the List that I had been selected!  So, yeoceans, I burst out in tears.   You probably are getting a pattern here!
Tears.  I read the email to my son, as I cried.
When I think about this, I continue to cry.  I am truly humbled and blessed beyond measure that I was chosen for this truly memorable gift!

Last night, I couldn’t sleep – as I scrolled Facebook, I ran across this post on the One Fit Widow Facebook Page:

Tonight I want to tell you a love story.

In the photo below is a beautiful couple who shared a lifetime together. This is Ted and Laura and they first met 12/31/1977 when they were snowed in for 5 days STRAIGHT at Laura’s sisters house during the blizzard of 78.

Talk about fate and timing!

For 35 plus years and 6 children – Laura loved Ted and Ted loved Laura.

Ted dreamed of taking scuba diving lessons when he recovered and received a liver transplant. Unfortunately Ted never got the chance to make this dream come true.onefitwidowpic

Laura has come to Live The List Nonprofit to help her complete this wish of Ted’s. She has decided it will help her move forward boldly with her own personal future all while honoring a man who gave her all of him.

That’s what our nonprofit wants to offer. You see, by fulfilling dreams they had for their future in many ways we decide to keep living our future. That’s what I personally learned when I started living Mitch’s list and I love that other widowers are able to have that incredible feeling too. Many widows don’t have the financial resources to have these simple moments of pure happiness because the difficult situations they were left in leave them strapped. No time to think of themselves and their wishes for the future. We want to grant as many wishes as possible because we believe it makes a difference in many lives.

Laura, I can’t wait to see the photos from your dive and I’m so glad our nonprofit was able to help you live this dream for Ted but also for YOU.

By December 31st our goal is to raise $10,000 for our baby nonprofit. We have currently raised about $2000. We are a 501c3 organization which means some or all of your donation is tax deductible. If everyone just gave $20 tonight we’d long surpass our goal and be able to help countless widows/widowers.

Can you help us help others Live the List?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for any shares or donations. We can’t do it without you.

Good night world – together we can make a difference,

Michelle

Guess what happened??? I cried my eyes out!!

With that, I’ll wrap up post #1.  I would love to see you follow my journey!
You can simply subscribe to my blog for updates!

Growing in Grace,
Laura B.
lgbeck59@gmail.com

 

 

 

One year ago this day ~

Yes, I know – today is the 19th, not the 20th.  It is, however, a Sunday.  To be exact, it is this Sunday a year ago, that The Lord chose to call you home.  I will never say you went before your time, never say, The Lord ‘needed’ you – none of that.  It is appointed unto man once to die.  October 2oth, 2013 was your appointment.

I have spent this week thinking much about our life together, spending time thinking about the last week you spent here with us, even though you could not communicate with us verbally, I know you heard us (hard not to, man! we raised one rambunctious group!)

As I survey our children I look at their personalities and marvel at them.

You gave them strength.
You gave them courage.inmyheart
You gave them solid footing.
You gave them wisdom.
You gave them sandy grit and determination.
You gave them passion.

You taught them that giving up was not an option.
You taught them the value of hard work.
You taught them integrity.
You taught them that no one is a stranger.
You taught them that it really is okay to give someone
the shirt off your back, quite literally.
You taught them how to shoot.
And to throw hawks and knives. And to pee in the woods.
(A trick being handed down to the next generation).

As I look back, I marvel how The Lord wove such a tapestry of love and grace throughout our life.  I marvel at how, as two young people, we stood before Him and promised ourselves to each other for the rest of our lives.  Many hills we climbed, many valleys we walked, but, always together, hand in hand. Some marveled at our ‘together’ness and thought it odd.  It was never odd to me.

So many songs pop into my head when I look back ~ we both loved songs together ~
I took your hand and we walked together and we held on to each other
we certainly did fall into a burning ring of fire
you were certainly my carpenter, and I was certainly your lady
and when you were away, we certainly hungered for our next touch.

Yet, these words: I could have missed the pain; But I’d have had to miss the dance ~ ring true.  Watching you slip from this life into the arms of Christ was painful – but, I would NEVER have missed the dance.  The dance that brought into our lives six wonderful children, and 5 amazing grandboys.  The dance that took us to different states, different jobs, different homes, and different countries.  The dance that taught us that HIS GRACE is Amazing –

What began on August 5, 1978 and ended thirty-five years, 2 months and 15 days later on October 20, 2013 what the BEST DANCE I’ve ever had.

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore.

You kept your hand upon the throttle; and your eyes upon the rail ~ You have reached the other shore.

 

With love ~
Laura