Thursday, February 20, 2014

Growing Up

I'm growing up 40-something style... and that means movement & growth & change.

In this case, it just means moving over to a different website.  I'm hoping you'll take a minute and join me there. My new blog and website home is...  www.brigettaschwaiger.com. It would be a total blessing if you'd head over there and sign up at the top right to subscribe to my posts. I also have a new blog post up called Growing Up & Letting Go.

Thanks so very much! I'm so excited to start something new...



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I Don't Want Coffee Whitener

This past weekend we went to Canada for my son's hockey tournament. {mind you… 5 years ago that sentence would have sounded like a foreign language to this California girl} But now, it just seems normal.

We were in the sweet town of Fernie in a not so sweet motel for the night. However, with our large crew, we reserved the suite - a two bedroom, kitchen, living room combo. Sounds nice right? Picture a windowless cave with 60s decor. I'm not complaining though... just want you to have the right visual.

I was standing in the "kitchen" checking out the coffee pot and the little packets surrounding it. And I picked this up—



Coffee Whitener. I immediately posted an Instagram photo of it with the caption~ Ummm… that's scary! Simply because it obviously wasn't cream - its sole purpose seemed to be to whiten the coffee. Paint would do that trick too. So would white out probably and perhaps chalk.

I do hold some respect for the product though…  for being completely honest about its falsehood.

I wouldn't have taken the time to write an entire blog post about Coffee Whitener if I hadn't listened to the message on podcast I missed at church this weekend. It was titled Cream & Sugar.

Cream & Sugar. The land of Milk & Honey. God's promises for us. {You can listen to it here if you like.}

And it immediately made me think of that packet in the not so sweet motel. The Coffee Whitener. And then it made me think - how often do we settle for Coffee Whitener when we could have Cream?

Because I know God has a plan for my life and yours too. That those plans are filled with milk and honey… cream and sugar… his goodness abundant in our lives.

But to get to the land of cream and sugar, it takes work. Hard, good choices. It's not like simply opening a package and pouring in the magic whitening powder. It's not instant gratification.

Rather, the things that bring the reward of the richness of cream to our lives are often a result of the hard choice, the self-sacrificing choice. The uncomfortable {this makes me squirm a little bit because its outside my comfort zone} choice.

Like choosing to stop and help someone even when you are in a hurry.
Or praying for someone in the moment even though you are uncomfortable doing it.
Or not picking up that doughnut and taking a walk instead.
Or listening rather than talking.
Or letting your steps be guided rather than mapping them out in concrete. 
Or loving instead of judging.
Or waiting for what's best rather than settling for what's better. 


The world is full of whitener (things that look like what we want, but truly are not meant for us).

And the thing is… when we accept and ingest the false, fake, ridiculous substitutes... guess what? We totally don't get to have the cream! We give it up for nothing. We give it up for something we think is going to have the same effect (whiten our coffee like cream), but it isn't even close to the richness of what God had planned for us.


So my hope for you and me is that we would see the Coffee Whiteners of the world for what they are, walk past them and hold out for the cream {the rich goodness of what God truly has for us}.



Thursday, January 9, 2014

Living At A Leisurely Pace

This last year was full of rushed mornings, days of running a household and a business, and afternoons that seemed to roar straight until bed time. And by the time summer gloriously burst our of the dreary muddy Montana spring {a time when I should have been rejoicing in the warmth of sunshine}, I was broken down and weary.

It is in my make-up to work for excellence and at that time, not much was being done with excellence. My home was a disaster, my teenager was rolling over me in my weakened state and for the first time in our family life, I was not enjoying anything.

The last few years have been spent building a business {that I love} and it has taken work. Hard work. But, my family wasn't used to such a thing! They weren't used to hours of my time being spent NOT. ON. THEM.

And I wasn't used to it either. It made me stressed. It made me frustrated that nobody else did the laundry (not true- HH did do laundry) and nobody else cared if the house was a mess (also not true, but nobody cared as much as I did) and the refrigerator was empty again (even thought I'd just filled it two days ago).

I was not living with joy. My reserves were on empty. I was focused on how hard everything seemed rather than how blessed I was to have everything I was trying to manage.

And it was because my pace was frantic in my desire to GET IT ALL DONE!

Then, one morning {after a sobbing fit with HH on the dock by the lake we'd just jumped into at 10pm to cool off} I read something in Sarah Young's Jesus Calling.

It said -  live life at a leisurely pace.



I was like- What? How? Is that even possible?

It then said something like - God will allow time for what's needed.

Seriously? He will? Well, shoot. That's a new concept.

So, I chose to believe it. I chose to slow down and take moments when they came. To trust that what was needed would get done and the rest could wait until tomorrow or perhaps get taken care of in some other way that didn't even involve my participation. I unclenched my hands and opened my arms.

And now, life is still busy, but not overwhelming. It's full, but filling too.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Quiet Beginning

There is this whispering, this quiet inkling to find the space to write here again.  I'm not certain yet if it's real, if it's something I can carve out the time to do yet. But, it feels right. It feels like there is something that needs to be said. So… here is this - a very quiet beginning.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Season of Neglect... or not!


We have been traveling. 
Traveling around the Northwest for All Star baseball season. 
Along the way, we've have family (like Hottie Husband's cute mom) 

 and my adorable niece and her siblings and mama


 come to watch this boy do his thing behind the plate.
I'm really proud of him and so are they. 


For a third consecutive year, he and his team won the State Championship.
And in small town Montana style, they were given a parade to celebrate the 3-peat. 


Note that this photo was taken by me running down the street with a zoom lens from the Farmer's Market where I had just set up baked goods for a fundraiser for these boys. 
(winning State meant they were going to Regionals in Idaho)
The firetruck turned one street sooner than I thought it would and I missed it. 
But, my zoom lens didn't.
Thank you zoom lens, but I'd really have preferred to see it up close. 

In the midst of this, we did find time to slip and slide

and enjoy a fun-packed three day visit with my sister and her kids.
While they were here, they mountain biked with HH, wake boarded and surfed on the lake, visited Glacier Park, went fishing and jumped into the river from a really high bridge. 

I'm sure you can guess my favorite part of this photo. 


When we finally returned from Boise with a 2-2 record at Regionals, I looked around and realized everything I'd neglected over the past 6 weeks- my hair with terrible roots, my toenails with chipped paint, my garden with weeds galore, my dog who has gotten zero attention, my postless blog, my dusty house, my workoutless muscles. 
And I thought- that was a season of neglect.

But, then I started looking through photos of the last few weeks and discovered that I'd just made a trade.
 I traded my hair and toenails and house and garden and blog and toned muscles. 
And it was a good trade.
Because I'd traded them for glory moments and rare time with family and conversations with friends on walks and in hotel lobbies and on the grass of a baseball field.
I'd traded them for times I know are precious and that I'll never get back.

And now a few days home, the garden is perking up, the laundry is almost done, the house is still dusty and I'm off to get my hair done. 
 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winning Sure Is Fun!

We are smack in the middle of ALL STAR Baseball Season. 
This means Friday through Sundays with up to 12 games to watch between Luke and Jack's teams.
And HH and I love it. 
It is probably one of our favorite times of the year. 
He is in his element coaching and I simply try to limit the amount of grey added to my head during those stressful close games. 

This weekend Luke's team won a tournament. 
This is just a little peek into how we celebrated Montana Style, farmer tans included. 

Whitefish 12U All Star Team


Grandma was a trooper and went to every single game. 


Rare photo of me taken by Grandma. Don't know what I am doing with my arm.

And Toots joining the team festivities.

When this team wins, they jump in the nearest river. 

Don't mention his farmer/baseball coach tan!

Love that these coaches jump with their boys.



Summer fun. Love these kids. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A little something about the ... F bomb!

I am not a cusser. Not a girl who uses the sh-word or the a-word or the b-word or the f-word. I never have been. In fact, I was not even allowed to say "shut-up" as a kid and now my kids aren't either.

Hottie Husband (who at this moment is jump roping in the back yard, doing double unders, without a jump rope and making me giggle) is not a cusser either. We've been together since high school and even back then, we just didn't let that kind of lingo fly much. That isn't to say that we NEVER cuss. There are certain things that provoke it— snow skiing and almost eating it, bad drivers, near crashes, police lights flashing in the rear view mirror, dog poop on the floor, sudden pain.

One of my favorite stories is about one of my best friends who, holding her Bible in her hand, stepped into the pedicure water at a salon and then shouted F*** at the top of her lungs. The water was scalding hot and then so was her face. Sometimes it just can't be contained.

I just took my two youngest boys on a road trip to South Dakota for my cousin's wedding and on the first leg of the drive, my seven year old said, "Mom, does the F word rhyme with duck?"

Me- Yes, who told you that?
Him- Such and such at school.
Me- Well, just don't ever say it!
Him- Yeah, well I just asked Luke and Jack if the F word was F***!


This is one of those mommy moments where I nearly come out of my skin and then say really stupid stuff.


Me- I JUST TOLD YOU NEVER TO SAY IT. If you ever say it again, I will wash your mouth out. ( I realize on the road there is no soap or sink in the car I then get really ridiculous.) I will pull over to the side of the road and make you eat grass!


It is quiet now for a moment, then he says, "Mom, is grass soap?" I stifle a laugh, "No dear. Grass is not soap."

I say all this because in my novel, there is a girl, a character I love, who uses the b-word and the sh-word and the f-word and I recently had a reviewer write that she didn't appreciate the F-bombs in the book. Honestly, they were not easy to write. And it was really uncomfortable for me to think of my dad reading the words I'd written aloud to my step-mom.

But, I know this girl in my book and I know about seven like her in real life. Girls with hard lives. And guess what? Those girls don't filter and they let the f-word fly. So, for my character Clara, for this good-hearted broken girl who I "get", I let her use the f-word. I think I would have done her an injustice had I not.

Disclaimer- If you are my friend and you use the f-word, I don't really care so please don't feel the need to filter. If you are my child, not so much.