Incense, Chocolate & A Little Bit of The Cards

Incense, Chocolate & Cards

Remember that gargantuan Gramma project that I told you all about? The compilation of photos that just kept on growing? The ambitious endeavor that seemed to take on a life all its own (and carried me right along with it)? The book that started off as fifty pages but ended up at two hundred and fifty pages? Yeah, that project. Well…it’s done. Complete. Finished. Completely finished. Can you feel my relief from where you are? Because it’s overwhelmingly sweet on this end.

I celebrated in my usual way–chocolate and solitude. It’s probably not all that original, but it’s my go-to because it works every time. Well, the solitude works; the chocolate pie is just my typical celebratory indulgence. And sure, the dopamine release is always nice but even better than that? An impromptu vacation.

We’ve been a little erratic with our posting here on Follow Us Home lately–even falling silent for a week (gasp) while I got my act together. My brief disappearance was absolutely intentional (and completely necessary) because a much, much needed vacation was calling to me. There was no urge to go anywhere tropical or to do anything special. All I wanted was quiet and a much slower pace. I wanted to cook and to read and to sit in the sun listening to birdsong while dreaming of freedom from deadlines (self-imposed or not). I just wanted to Be. Here. Quietly.

Until We Meet Again

Because honestly, “the gargantuan project” was a little bit (hugely) heavy at times. Out of all the people I’ve lost in my life, Gramma’s departure has really been the only one that I wanted to resist. Her presence was such a strongly loving one, and the world needs so much of that right now (always), that it was a shame to see her go. I’m happy for her–shedding a breaking body must be such a relief–but sorry for the world she left behind. I’ll miss her right up until we meet again.

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Full of Living

And for the past four months or so, I’ve been swimming through the memories of her life. Some days this felt like a blessing, but other days were wholly overwhelming. Her life was big, guys, just full of living. And here I was, trying to consolidate the high points into a book so that her whole family could experience the journey with me. More than once, I wondered what I’d gotten myself into, but thankfully the push to follow through was always stronger than the doubt.

Some parts were easy, like every time I’d have a desire for a specific photo or a letter or some clarity? I’d get it. It was really, really cool; I felt like she was walking the whole walk right along with me, and placing objects directly in my path as I needed them. As I worked I often had the thought, I can’t wait to show this to Gramma when I’m done. Her presence was so strong through the whole process that it was always a little bit of a shock to remember she wasn’t around to share the end result with. She’s been a constant in my life since she left us, more so than when she was here. So yeah, spending these past several months with her has truly been a blessing.


But it wasn’t all easy. Formatting issues arose, and gaps in the story, and pieces that I wanted to include (for Gramma’s sake) but couldn’t. Also the small matter of putting aside so many other aspects of my life (yet again) to focus on this one particular project. And up until the very end, there was resistance: the file refused to upload correctly, pages were missing, captions had been cut off. Finally, in desperation, I pulled out a piece of paper and started manifesting. I wrote finish Gramma’s book fifty-five times, envisioning the completion.

You know what happened, right? About a dozen lines in I had a thought snap to mind (no surprise from where), so I hit pause on the fifty-five and gave my idea a go. Then I resumed manifesting and by the time I was done, the book was uploaded. Correctly. The Law of Attraction works. And sometimes, it works really, really fast.

A proof copy was joyfully ordered, and my vacation officially began: picking apart my life a little bit, solidifying my direction and purpose a little bit more. Chilling out. Making really yummy food. And pretending I could stay like that, well…forever.

Busy as a Beaver

During the course of introspection, I had to stop and wonder if I’m doing something wrong. I’m not sure if wrong is the right word, but the past several years have been insane. Step (cautiously, reluctantly) into Instagram, start a business, start a blog, write a book. Write another book. As one project ends, another just as quickly begins, and there’s never any time in between to catch my breath. And here I am, gasping like a fish out of water (poor fish), and wondering if things ever slow down.

Is this me? Is this my problem? Or does Guru figure I’m strong enough, so he just keeps piling it on? If it’s me, then I’d like to change my patterns up some; just tone things down ever-so-slightly. But if it’s Guru? Or God? Well, I guess this is how my life looks for now. It’ll take some (more) getting used to.

…Or Two

So I’ve taken some (futile?) precautionary measures to head off any impending projects: specifically, learning a new hobby…or two.

Admittedly, two might be (is probably) pushing it. But the way I see it, if I fill my days with worthwhile projects that aren’t enormous, then the next time God’s busy doling out jobs She’ll look down and see me over here, busy as a beaver. And then pass me by because I’ve got enough on my plate. Yeah, I know, it’s ridiculous. But if that doesn’t work, the girls have threatened to tie me up, throw me in the basement, and torture me until they extract a promise to cease and desist. It’s fair because I become somewhat unbearable when I dive into a project. (But then I whip up a chocolate pie that more than makes up for things. I hope.) I just figured that if I were to mysteriously disappear, someone should know where to find me.

And…a book. Because I find a book for everything!
Diving In

So before the next project can assault me, here is hobby number one: photography.

Once upon a time I took pictures–a lot of pictures–because it’s part of the package when you scrapbook. But after Jordan discovered a love for photography, I let her take over and, consequently, the photos here and in my Instagram feed are almost always supplied by her.

Which is great because she’s really, really good at it. Besides, it’s one of her assigned roles here on the blog. I mean, we each have them, and I do a ton of jobs she flat-out refuses. But the reality is, it probably won’t be her role forever because she probably won’t live here forever. One day when she’s busy chasing around sticky little ones and trying to squeeze in sleep whenever she can, I figure it might cause problems (between us) if I shoot her a text asking her to drop everything and take a mouth-watering picture of my newest dish. The sad fact is, I’m eventually going to need to rely on myself for those artistic shots.

So photography satisfies two desires: the first is to learn something new. And the second is to learn something productive.

A Little Bit Different

And my other new hobby? This one is a little bit different, but it’s piqued my curiosity like nothing else. Ready for this? I’m learning to read the tarot.

I know it’s kind of unusual, but then again, so am I. The really strange (and really surprising) thing is how comfortable that deck feels in my hand. Admittedly, I know next to nothing about the craft; in fact, the whole thing used to make me very, very cautious. And skeptical. Fortune-telling, divination, card-reading, crystal balls–they all put up an instant wall of distrust. Honestly, I don’t want to know what my “future” looks like, don’t tell me when I’m going to die or what hardships await me; I’ll deal with them when life says I need to deal with them. Besides, who really knows what kind of energy is working behind those cards? Seemed more than a little suspicious to me.

And on top of all that? You’re probably a fake.

Witchy Friends

And then? I met some witches–some lovely witches–right before I met the cards. And after Jordan had a reading done by a friend of mine, I started to wonder if maybe I was stubbornly ignoring something that could be helpful to me. Because those cards showed us only one thing: exactly what we already knew. Exactly what that inner voice had already whispered, but that we sometimes doubted. In the face of so many unexplained happenings in our lives, sometimes we’re left wondering if we’re heading in the right direction at all. Those cards said hold steady, and all of a sudden they didn’t seem so scary anymore; for the first time I understood how they could perhaps, used rightly, become just another handy tool.

The Dangers

I still see the dangers; I know someone who came to depend on her pendulum like it was a drug. She stopped being able to make even the smallest of decisions for herself, always resorting to the crystal for her answers. So I can understand how it could become easier to ask (and rely) on the cards instead of trusting in yourself. And what if you have someone pulling cards for you who doesn’t have your higher good at heart? Seems dangerous. And risky. But then again, what if they do? What if someone intuitively strong is shuffling those cards? Couldn’t that teach you how to depend on those inner whispers and to trust in that guidance? The guidance that’s already in you? (So, so much to ponder…)

And while these thoughts percolate, I also have the caution of my guru ringing in my ears, reminding me that no matter what the cards, or the stars, or the horoscopes say, I still have free will. I always have free will. And because of that, the future is never–can never–be set in stone. No matter what my karma says, I still hold the reins and can change my story if I change me, by changing my choices. As long as I don’t hand over my ability to create my life because the cards have me under their “spell,” (i.e. I gave them my power), then there’s probably much for me to learn. Use them, but don’t be used by them.

My new favorite incense company All natural and hand-rolled. I’m thinking I’ll try my hand at this one day too…
Not Today, Satan

And for someone (me) working to develop her intuition, the cards hold possibility, like they might be a helpful accessory. My intuition has always been strong; for a lot of years now I’ve been relying on it to steer me in the right direction. Admittedly, I don’t always (often) understand the why of it all at the time, but eventually things become clear. It takes some practice to hear those quiet whispers, but once heard there’s no ignoring them. Or there’s no point, anyway, unless unnecessary pain is something I want more of.

So what I’ve noticed is that when I shuffle the cards and focus, I’m focusing on God. I can almost feel my intuition flexing and growing. And when I ask for clarity, it’s never directed at some unknown entity, but always to God. Sometimes the cards have happy things to tell me, and sometimes they don’t. This past week I’ve been repeatedly (stubbornly) asking for guidance on something in my life that’s been present for years now without clear meaning. Every single time I asked I could feel the cards evading me–until last night. You can’t know this right now. (Stop asking already.) You must experience it to grow from it. And you know what? I already knew that. I’d guess more lessons in patience are headed my way.

As for what kind of energy exists behind those cards, this is all I have to say. Besides simply confirming the conclusions I’ve already reached (or have already been shown), the cards consistently tell Jordan the exact same thing. Seriously, I could pull her cards ten times a day and every time this is what they have to tell her: meditate. Her solutions, all of the answers to her prayers, the fulfillment of her earthly desires–they can all be found in one place. Only in one place: inside. Through meditation and communion with God. So if this is evil energy trying to infiltrate our spiritual home, it’s barking up the wrong tree.

The Pie Is Gone

But now my mini-vacation is over (sigh), the pie is gone (a bigger sigh), and here I am, back to putting my thoughts to the page. Which is probably right where I belong. And really, it does feel a whole lot nicer (and much more fun) without the pressure of a giant project looming over me. I actually feel like my mind is still a little bit in vacation mode, and I figure I should hang on to it for as long as I can. Because the way my life moves, I never know quite how long it will last…

Have a peaceful week, my friends. Love & Light ~ Melinda

2 thoughts on “Incense, Chocolate & A Little Bit of The Cards

  1. Reading this is like reading a page out of my recent days! Glad you were able to complete the Gramma project! What an undertaking. I have a box of my own photos from the last 25 years (how has that happened?!?) that I really, really need to go through. You make some interesting points with the Tarot cards. My husband has always enjoyed them, both for the artwork and insight, whereas I feel a little more trepidatious about them. We left the ministry four years ago, an the evangelical community as well, and I find myself less bound by ‘shoulds’. You really sum it all up with ‘use the cards, don’t let the cards use you’. Lots to think about now.

    1. Thanks for the wonderful comment, Kara 🙂 I understand the trepidation, mostly in the form of distrust for me. It just seems like an easy way to…trick (?) people. Plus, I never really understood them and the energy until recently. But we’ve been playing around and figuring stuff out and it’s pretty incredible the things that come up. Dead. On. I think it could be especially interesting in those situations where you’re completely muddled and confused, when intuition is lost in the shuffle of the (loud) world. I’ll keep you posted as to what we uncover 😉 And there really are some beautiful decks out there. I’ve read that some readers collect them and I can see why. Although I can’t imagine having 1000 decks. Ever. 😉 And now I’m off to see what you’ve been up to…almost caught up on my blog reading!

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