Monday, March 31, 2014

Unexpected Quiet; Seeking Lessons in Lent

I hear the quiet. It is not a familiar sound. 
I fight to fill the void. 
This old farmhouse echoes with laughter and "busyness" most of the time. 
But for the moment it is quiet. 
The laundry, dishes, bills and getting ready for church vy for first place.
The farmer rests. 
His evening sleep often interrupted by the demon of worry and anxiousness 
spinning tales while his body seeks rest. 
Even when you know where you are going; worry can still get you.

John 14:2-3
In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, 
I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

He bears the weight of the burden of the farm.
What once was honoring and fulfilling; now a crushing weight.

I try to rest in the quiet. 
An attribute taken on during Lent. 
An attempt to seek the quiet. 
A practice difficult for me. 
There is value in doing. 
Surrounded by noise and people, activities and doing, there is not much time to think. 
Yet when the quiet comes it can be a threat. 
I lean into the quiet. 
I practice waiting. 
Waiting to hear from the Lord. 
Just being still. 
Resting in the enormity of who He is. 
Of all that He is able to do and more. 
The quiet loses it's ominious feeling and I feel the peace descend. 
I am broken and hurting. 
What about you? 
Do you know that peace and assurance?

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Primrose And Rain

A primrose. 

I bought it the other day. 
Something about the "living" yellow flower drew me. 
Because this is my reality at the end of March.

I don't know how long I will be able to keep it alive. 
I water it and move it from sunbeam to sunbeam; when there is one. 
Today though, there is only the sound of drip, drip. 
The sound should fill me with glee!
It has warmed up enough to rain. 
Instead I am filled with dread. 
The basement will flood. 
What is it like at the barn?
What will the river do? 
This. will. not. be. good. for. the. manure. pit. at. all. 
But it's warmer.
And no matter what happens we will deal with it. 
We always do. 
There is always hope. 
I'll keep looking at my primrose, while it survives. 
I probably should have let someone else buy it. 
I will listen to the drip, drip and think of the days reading 
"Thundercake" to the kids on the porch swing. 
I will head to Worship this morning.
I will place all my worries and cares in the hands of the One who has the plans set before us. 
He will equip us with all we need to walk through this journey. 
Really, He will. 
Do you believe it? 
He is able to meet all our needs. 
Maybe not in the way we expected. 
But He will. 

Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according 
to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Celebrating Advent During Lent

The water pours in the end of the freestall barn.

The beds are soaked.
Not one cow will want those stalls. 
They will become like concrete. 
The fuel runs out in the tenants house. 
A mistake made. 
The feed is poor quality so the cows are dropping in milk. 
The bills remain the same. 
On top of that it snowed and the sun never showed it's face. 
Really there is no relief in sight;
another storm predicted for this weekend. 
It's almost April.  
And I wonder why the farmer is depressed?
I can feel it deep down. 
I am going to lose it. There is too much to keep together. Too many things going wrong.
The snow gains momentum. It is falling in gusty sheets. 
I resign myself. 
Winter will not end. 
So, I play Christmas music and sing out loud. 
I turn the up the volume.
I tease my daughter and text her lyrics to Christmas Carols until she writes; 
For a moment I think, I can't stop, or I will lose my mind.
I feel so fragile. I need to laugh or I will cry a river. 
I stop. Right there in my tracks. 
I have a choice. 
I can succumb to the situations before me; 
or I can stand with my feet firmly planted.
Today I choose joy . 
I played the Christmas music. 
I kept moving. 
I folded clothes and cleaned dishes. 
I ran errands and sang those Carols. 
I prayed for strength to make it through these days. 
I sang about the Holly and the Ivy.
 In the middle of Lent, I celebrated Advent. 
I sang about the tiny baby in Bethlehem. 
I sang about the Parson and the Snowman. 
And it's right there. 
We wait in anticipation of the birth; the incarnate; the holy. 
We celebrate the birth so we can rejoice in the resurrection. 
We wait in Lent. 
We prepare for the death. 
The death that must come before the resurrection. 
The pain, the agony, which must come to pass.

Matthew 26:56
But this has all taken place that the writings 
of the prophets might be fulfilled."

 I find myself at the end of the day. 
The farmhouse has quieted down. 

I feel a sense of accomplishment. 
I made it. 
I made it through another day. 
I am still standing. 
The rock is solid and I have placed my feet firmly there. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Beautiful Place To Be

It washes over me like a wave. 
He's gone.
I have to take the older kids to the doctor for their sports physicals. 
We're in the car. 
A familiar song comes on. 
They turn up the volume. 
We rock to the music and sing. 
My heart constricts. 
He loved this song. 
He loved music.
We listened to so much music.
He made music.


And now;
He's gone.

My flesh and blood. 
The magnitude of the loss is crushing
How can we do this?
How does the scheme of the family go?
Who is first born? 
No one seems to know. 
My only boy now, says, I don't even know who I am. 
And it's true. 
Who are we in this family?
All our roles have all changed.
Death, cancer, depression; 
My constant companion. 
A friend mentions how can she do things when she feels broken?
I think. . . we are all broken. 
Whether it looks that way on the outside or not. 
We are all broken. 
Whether you want to admit it or not. 
We are all broken.
Yet we are redeemed.
Through Christ. We have hope.
Hebrews 6:19
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, 
firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
The promise of eternity.
I don't know how to walk this road. 
Most days I don't even want to. 
What leads me on is the mystery of how God will work all this out. 
His word is Truth. 

In Romans 8:28 
He says, " And we know that in all things 
God works for the good of those who love him, 
who have been called according to his purpose."

In Jeremiah 29:11

These things I know
I also know that He is good because of who He is; not because of what He does. 
So with all these truths,
I need to be ready to see where God will lead.
He's going to take this brokenness and he's going to do something.
He will take the pieces of my shattered heart and he will place
 them back together according to his will. 
My role may have changed.
Who I am has been forever altered this side of heaven.
 But who I am in Christ has remained unchanged.
I am a new creation.
I have been redeemed.
And that is a beautiful place to be.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why Do We Hold Our Burdens Tight?

We celebrate my farmer's birthday.
The first without Elijah.
It is so hard and feels so wrong.
We leave the farm.
We head to meet Chelsea, Adam and Lilah.
We spend time together in a mall.
I watch my farmer.  
What makes my farmer so depressed?

Why won't the medicine take effect? 
It there something metabolically wrong?
Something like electrolytes; a quick fix.

We go to the doctors. She looks at us.
My farmers blood work is good. 
His body is doing what it should. 
She tells us what we already know; but forget.
We've been through a lot. 
Grieving is hard work. 
Fighting cancer is hard work. 
But both is beyond. 
I breathe deep as she reminds us that losing Elijah is tough stuff. 
The grieving takes energy.
She shares a bit of her story. 
And I am reminded again, of how we need each other. 
If you have a story to tell.
Share it. 
Why do we hold our burdens tight?
Talk to the Lord. 
Share it with a friend.
Pray with that friend. 
There is no load too heavy for God. 
He is able to handle all our emotions, all our hurts.
I don't know why this depression lingers.
So we will continue to stand on solid ground.
We will bend our knees in prayer and lift our hands in praise.
I will seek the quiet. Listen. Wait for the answers.
And unload a bag a day.

There is an Old Hymn,
Ok, all Hymns are old.
None the less they are timeless.  
I love this Hymn.
 I remember going to Hymn Sings with my Grandfather and
I would wait for someone to request this song.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear.
What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer

These words have held me through some of the darkest nights;
through the pain and anguish.
The night Elijah met Jesus, after the police left; after Gary had gone to the barn;
and I was left alone, it was too early to call anyone,
 so I rocked back and forth and the words to this hymn ran through my head.
What A Friend We Have In Jesus. 

So we celebrate Gary's birthday.
We light Elijah's candle and Gary blows his out.
We remember.
We share.
We celebrate.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Celebrating the Farmer

It's his birthday.
And I don' think there is anyone more happy than I that he is alive.
I pray it stays that way.

But cancer, depression and the death of a son make you wonder.
We remember the good times today. 

Only the good.

We treasure the fun. 

And as I remember;

There really are only good memories.

Sometimes we forget when life is hard.

It's important to stop and remember.

To live in the memories.

I Corinthians 13:4
 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, 
it does not boast, it is not proud 

To treasure each one of the memories.

Because time, has a beat of it's own. 

Happy Birthday Gary. My farmer
I love you with all my heart. 
I'll love you through all this cancer and depression;
I won't ever stop. 
I  love every moment of being your wife. 
You are a wonderful example of a Godly man.
Your life exemplifies the Truth you believe. 

Proverbs 1:5
let the wise listen and add to their learning, 
and let the discerning get guidance-

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I Want To Be Present; Right In The Here And Now

They move the drums. They are taking up space they say.
The little girls are trying to organize the music room.
All that is within me wants to scream. 
He had set them up. 
They are the way he had left them. .. that day. 
The last day he played. 
The last day he did anything on this earth. 
The bass drum ring damaged and in need of replacement.
We had looked into getting it fixed; that last day he was here. 
The last day I have felt normal in 8 months. 
I slowly pull the drum set back out, away from the corner. 
I fight back tears. I keep my voice even and cheery. 
I don't want them to know. 
How could they ever understand, that these are the things I am not ready to let go of yet?
They are the glue.
I close my eyes and picture him sitting on the seat.
 His throne. 

Oh, how I wish I could change the circumstances. 
How I yearn sometimes for a different path. 
But I can't.
This is God's path. 
He knows the plan. 
I don't. 
Elijah now glorified. Sitting with the Father himself.
And I push hard, against the searing pain. 
They call me. 
They want me to see what they have done. 
They have moved the drums back. 
They have hung a poster from the Memorial Fund, Fundraiser.

How can I be left undone so quickly. 
I smile at them and tell them what a great job they have done. 
They really have. 
I want to be present; right in the here and now. 
I breathe deep. I cling to what I know. 
Do not fear for I am with you. 
This is what faith is, 
It is trusting in the unseen.
It is the dark moment being illuminated by the light of Christ. 
Right in the moment. 
We talk about memories they have.
We rejoice for the time we had.
 We live right in the moment.
Clinging to what we know. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Being In It For The Long Haul

I am in this for the long haul.
This journey, called life, is only a shadow of what is waiting.
It demands endurance.
We have a family moving out to farm alongside us. 
They are packing all they own and know and hauling it across this beautiful country.
They have a long haul in front of them.
This is a new culture and climate.
Many adjustments. 
They need to be in this for the long haul.
This journey in life.
 It is not easy.
It is riddled with strife, heartache and shattered dreams.
There is great beauty,

and there is deep pain.

Yet there is comfort and hope for the journey. There is solid ground on which to plant your feet.
We need to be in it for the long haul.
The investment; long term.
Our joy deep rooted.
Rooted deep, in solid truth;
where moth and rust cannot destroy.

Matthew 6:20
Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy

Rooted in the only soil where hope surges and strength is found.
When church was not an option today as the joy thief became my farmers unwanted companion,
I searched the archives of the internet for sustenance for my soul.
I chose John Piper and the first message to show in the list was; "Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing".
So, I gathered the Ancient Word, and my notebook.
I showed up fully alert. 
I wanted to hear what God would say through the scholarly, highly regarded John Piper.
It wasn't long before I heard it. I saw it.
He knew. 
He understood. 
He dove into that scripture and there it was;
right in 2 Corinthians 6:10.
sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; 
having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Paul endured beatings and prison. Poverty and persecution. Yet he was still able to say;

Philppians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

You see the Lord wasn't taking away the troubles. He was showing up in the midst of them. 
He's not guaranteeing riches or an easy life. 
Quite honestly it may be the exact opposite; 
as you surrender each day.
He removes the stumbling blocks; We serve God not because we're rich or
because our lives are full of ease and certainty.
Uncertainty abounds. 
I can barely walk sometimes the grief so overwhelming.
 I miss my mom. I long for our puppy. I ache for our son. 
My husband fights cancer and depression. 
We serve God because of who He is; in the midst of all this. 
I don't know what the future holds. 
But I know who holds the future. 
I am in this for the long haul. 
Growth over time. 
And that makes all the difference in the world. 
The anchor holds. I know where I am going. 
And while the wind shakes all around us;
we will stand on solid ground. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Heartbeat Of Women

It's right there on the return address label. 
I am surprised by the emotion it evokes.
I shouldn't be. 
I should be used to this by now
But I'm not. 
Rose Bud Lane it says. 
Someone lives at Rose Bud Lane. 
It stirs in me that raw, yet warm memory feeling. 
Mom called Clarissa, "Rose Bud".

Dad called her Rag Weed. 
 Mom; gone now to live with Jesus. 
Dad; companion with the memory thief. 
 Rose Bud was the perfect name. 
She was rosy and sweet when she was born.
I dressed her in everything pink.

I treasured all the sweetness wrapped in that bundle.
And now she has the most contagious and infectious laugh. 
She has joy and confidence.

Her eyes sparkle when she laughs and the days of Rose Bud seem so long ago.
She spends the day fasting and raising support for World Vision. 
She brings God's love to a local kid's group. 
I spend the day with women. 
 We hear the journey of one woman. 
It is good to hear the faith journey's of each other. 
It is good to share them. 
We are strengthened by the stories. 
In some way we can connect. 
Something said, stirs in us. 
It is the way of our ancestors.
Quilting and canning gatherings.
Times to share, talk and work. 
Times of encouragement when winters were long. 
Times of Fellowship when the sun warmed the earth. 
So much we have pushed aside. 
No time for gatherings and sharing. 
We are too busy with the bustle of the urgency. 
We race from one activity to the other all in the name of "what's best" for our kids. 
But I wonder. 
Have we got it all wrong? 
In the desire to move away; to be independent of our families have we destroyed what God intended? 
We have lost community;
the gatherings and sharing of work. 
Reminders of; you are not alone, echo through my mind. 
They are the heartbeat of this country. 
They are the heartbeat of this farm. 
Barn raising's and spontaneous gatherings are terms that resonate within us; 
a picture of groups working together to create community.
Maybe it's time to clear the calendar.
Forget about how clean the house is or what someone might think. 
Forgo the movie and forge a new relationship. 
Invite someone over. 
The Rose Bud label was from a woman.
Sharing a book.
Reaching out.
Walking the journey with me. 
It's time to be real.
Time to listen to the stories that long to be told.
Offer to help a friend with a project. 
Be intentional about gathering. 
Be intentional about listening.
We each have needs and we don't have to do it alone. 
We can be the hands and feet of Jesus. 
Showing love to all as we walk this journey. 
Clarissa comes home. 
She is reflective. 
She has been with others. 
She has fasted in the name of World Hunger, 
she has shared God's love. 
It changes you. 

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, 
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Let Down From Our Desire vs Reality

I walk by his room.
 I lean into the doorway. 
It's a habit now.
 I breathe in deep.
 I softly call his name.
 I just want to hear it. 
I long for him to be bustling around late for something. 
He was always late.
Couldn't find what he needed. So much like me. 
So many days it's the same endless feelings. 
Desire vs. Reality.  
Skinny vs Plus size. 
Clean house vs Messy.
The desire to have studied more; the reality of failing.
 On and on it goes. 
We can run scenario after scenario of situations where we 
feel defeated or let down from our desire verses reality.
We become discouraged and hurt as the reality beats us down.  
I long for my son to return. But that is not going to be. 

Jeremiah 29:11 says,
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, 
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God knows the plans He has for us. 
He knows.
They are not our plans. 
Trust me. 
His plans may not be plans we necessary like or enjoy at the time. 
But, they are His plans. 
He knows the outcome. 
And I would rather walk each day on this heart wrenching journey in his plan than any other way. 
As we pray and surrender each day to God's mercies and grace;
He will lead us. 
Even through the painful, heartache filled moments. 
He is there. He will lead us. 
As we draw near to him, His desires become our reality
His strength; our strength.

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you

As we draw near to Him our focus shifts from the me driven thought, to the Holy. 
We are changed.
He's got this. God's got it all in His hands. 
We can't take the good without the bad. 
We can't receive the good God offers without the troubled part in the journey. 
This is not our home. 
But we are here; for a time. 
And this is your time. 
Your time to be God's hands and feet.
You're here at this moment for a purpose.
 Seek that purpose with all you have. 
As I step into each new day, each day that leads me further from the accident
further from my son here on this earth
I challenge you to step into the day too. 
Embrace the journey God sets before you. 

I think Kid President says it best. 
Some days you'll get ice cream; and some days you won't.
Some days your kite will fly high; some days it will get stuck in the tree.
Just treat everybody like it's their birthday. 

What a thought. Be God's hands and feet. 
We can't change the circumstances of our life. 
But we can change how we look at them. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

We Were Created For More

I gaze at the pictures on the wall. I sometimes wonder if I should take them down.

Everywhere I look there are signs of Elijah. 
And there should be. 
He was still living. 
He had no intention of meeting Jesus on July 28. 
He was expecting to go to a shooting match and then live the rest of his life. 
He was going to boot camp and we would celebrate his birthday.

I was going to write letters to him and fly to South Carolina for his graduation from Boot Camp. 
But he never made it home.

His bed remained empty. 
And now my heart is shattered. 
I step each day into seeing where God will lead. 
What will be the message He has for me this day. 
I try hard to push aside the distractions. 
I fill a bag with clutter that contributes to the distractions. 
I search for quiet moments; times to be still and know that He is God. 
This journey is not over for me. 
I still have living to do. 
How that works without my son is still an enigma.
I want to be faithful.
I need this to count for something. I keep doing the next thing.
We were created for more.
There is more than just this life. 
We are called to be torch bearers for the Word.
We bring a message of Truth.
We wait with anticipation for the day in which we are called heavenward.
We continue to grieve with hope. 

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
 so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We will stand in the face of depression with faith
And we will walk the journey of cancer with grace. 
We will rest in the peace that passes all understanding.

Phillipians 4:7
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Even When I Feel Alone. . . He Is There

They came to the farm.
We knew little of what was happening.
Never had any idea of the magnitude of the gift.
They were there to serve.
And today.
When there is still snow on the ground, when depression's clutches dig deep;
when the wind blows causing temperatures to plunge to freezing, we are reminded of the gift.
Reminded that the farmer does not have to go each day to forage for wood.
It is there. Piled high.

It is grace. All wrapped in a beautiful package.
When those pieces of love were cut and stacked, there was no diagnosis of cancer.
There was just deep heartache and loss.
The void of the 17 year old man boy; our red headed son.
We were reeling with grief. Stepping one foot in front of the other.
Holding on to hope. Clinging to what we know.
Being held by a community spurred to action by the magnitude of great loss.
The diagnosis of cancer would come later; after the the wood was cut.
After it was all stacked and piled high.
It would come when we least expected it.
When the majestic color splashed across the landscape dulled it's hue.
When the night's hours grew longer.
The diagnosis came.
And those pieces of love became the sustenance of life,
while the temperatures plummeted to record lows.
And cold remained for days on end.
While friends and brother in laws tossed the fuel into the burning embers, we were kept; warm.
As Spring approaches and no visible signs in this northern climate.
I hold those memories dear.
I rest in the being held.
My mom would send flowers when the snow lingered a bit longer.
She would remind me that Spring really will come.
Even though I can't see it. 
A work is being done.
Provision being made.
God knew our needs and He provided.
Even when I don't feel like He is there.
Even when I feel alone.
He is there. 
And I am grateful. 
Searching for the quiet. Unloading a bag a day.

I Am Holding on to you. . .

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Moments Of Inappropriateness

Oh, I make everyone mad in my family. 
It does't happen often. 
But when it does. 
I can't stop. 
I call it holy laughter because there really is nothing funny that has happened. 
And it's usually at prayer time at the table. When I need to be modeling appropriate behavior. 
It's just before we are about to say grace. 
And it's really an inappropriate time to giggle. 
But I do anyway. 
And then everyone else does. 
Except for Gary and Elijah. 
Oh, Elijah would get so mad at me. 
I couldn't stop. 

It happened again yesterday. 
I even got up from the table and went outside. 
I came back and I still couldn't stop.
We had a guest at the table. 
But I couldn't stop. 
I giggled right through the singing of our grace. 
And I rejoiced that I could laugh. 
I am not sure what my children will remember when they are older. 
Maybe their mother was crazy? 
Or maybe, just maybe, they will remember that in the face of great adversity and deepest pain, there is a place where laughter remains. 
A hope that rises from the strength rooted deeply in the grace of God. 
While I may not be the poster child for the best mom in the world, I cling to hope that laughter remains in the midst of anguish. 
That God meets us right in the thick of the turmoil and yuck. 

Job 8:21
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
    and your lips with shouts of joy.

Elijah would constantly show us videos. This is one we love so much. 
Hope you enjoy. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When You're Behind Before The Day Has Even Started

The dishwasher hums because I forgot to start it last night. 
The washing machine whirls because for some reason it stopped full of water. 
Sometimes our water pressure isn't strong enough and it will stop mid cycle. 
So I start the dishwasher, get the washing machine going. 
And I already feel behind. 
There is laundry and a bag to fill.
There is quiet to find and bills to pay; children to teach, a farmer to love. 
We all have the pull of the urgent. 
The feeling of being behind. 
We are defeated before we even start.
Steven Curtis Chapman's song comes to mind. 
Do everything you do, to the glory of the One who made you. 

I Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you 
do, do it all for the glory of God.

He's a genius for writing that song. He gets it.
Intentional living before the throne of God. 
Everything you do today is Holy. Every act. Every choice. 
It is all for His glory. 

Stop. Breathe. Let it all go. 
Give it all to the One for whom we live. 
Every e-mail you send, paper you write,
 diaper you change, business deal you seal. . . it's all for Him. 
I am choosing joy. Every piece of laundry I fold I will give Him glory. 

I will rejoice. 

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the LORD has made. 
We will rejoice and be glad in it

Look for ways to steal back the joy that has slipped away. Stand. On the solid ground. 
The ground that even when it shakes violently, you are able to remain standing. 
I will choose joy.

I will face the enemy with the Ancient Word

This day will be about searching for the joy where it is often not found. 
Seeking for holy in the work that feels the least holy. 
Yielding to the flow of the day; but not bowing to the pressure. 
As my dad used to say, 

Everything we do today will be for the Glory of the One who made us. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Leaning Into The Leprechauns: Somedays It's Just Do The Next Thing

Years of teaching leaves me with traditions that promote the creativity in the young ones. 
It's Saint Patrick's Day Eve. 
There are traps to make. 
Catching a Leprechaun takes over all their senses. 
There is pure delight. 
I have relished every year of watching the traps being built. 
Such ingenuity. 

Some more glamorous than others. 

Those silly creatures turn over the chairs and tear the room apart. 

And always leave a Pot O' Gold.
The milk turns green. 
Last year the resident redhead discovered even the toilet water turns green. 
This year that redhead resides with King of Kings. 
And the years of traps and fun come flooding through. 
It trips me up. 
It's these unexpected things that drive you to your knees. 
It's these moments that I cry out to God in heaven to take this burden from me. 
It is too heavy to bear. 
I can not stand under it's weight. 
It presses me further and further into the deep. 
The fog descends. It is a protective mode. 
I hear the girls giggles and talk as they work out their plan. 
But my heart is heavy. 
I step one moment at a time into gratitude. 
I push aside the fog. 

memories. grace. years of traps and green milk
Blue eyes, lopsided grin
1,000 conversations, the relationship my kids had, 
A Savior that will never let us go, Quiet, A bag a day
My farmer, sleep, help each day for the farmer
doctors and nurses, journaling, the sun
warm weather, hope

It is only in the daily choosing thankfulness that we will overcome the grief and heartache that can befall us. I don't understand how to this; but I am trying. Each and everyday. Time spent in the word, time in quiet reflection and prayer. Being still. Letting God speak to me. Remembering that this is not our home. And looking to love others -stepping outside of myself and giving as Jesus commanded. So step into thankfulness on this cold, wintry, it's supposed to be closer to spring, but looks like the dead of winter time. Reach for the hope. Cling to what you know