Saturday, May 31, 2014

When The Thunder Rolls

The rains came. 
The wind picked up and blew those storm clouds right over this farm;
and the fields where we were haying. 

The gusts strong and the temperature change severe. 
Loose items on the farm blew around. 
The thunder roars.
It is so easy to get discouraged. 
Everything hangs on the quality and the quantity of the feed. 
The rain is not a good part of the equation. 
Bale wrapping equipment can't run in the rain. 
Wet bales will not produce good feed. 

I wallow in the pit for a few minutes. 
I start to count the blessings. 
Really, the only way, is to look up. 
We stumble and fall when our eyes are cast downward.

Psalm 43:5
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
 Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

My farmer is not alone. 
There are 4 other folks gathered around him. 
Working side by side. 
Standing in this gap.

The storm passes and there are rumors of rainbows all around. 

Not surprising after such a storm.
A reminder. A covenant made. With the covenant people. 
We, the people.
Look for the blessing in the day. 
God will provide. He will see us through. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

We, The People

This road is hard. 
We, the people,  meant for Grace for all time. 
Thrown through the ravages of sin and justified and sanctified by the blood. 
We, the people, destined for all that is holy, yet muck through the waters until He returns. 
The step of some days harder than others. 
Weeping and flailing as if there were no anchor. 
The whole time being held. 
We, the people. 
Each so different. 
Each so needy.
 Each so loved.
 The sun beats down. 
The warmth fills the cold spaces. 
It is a choice to breathe in and out and feel.
This day is hard. 
The abrasive rubs in my soul.
The acrid taste of spewing words. 
We, the people. 
Who have been bought for a price.

Yet forgetting what lies ahead. 
Who goes before us. 
Who stands beside. 
My heart lurches at memories. 
They haunt my every waking move. 
I long for the day they will bring the smiles. Instead of torment. 
I pass by his room and a faint familiar smell permeates the air. 
How can it be?
It jogs a memory of long ago in my parents basement when hefty decisions were on my soul. 
In the depths of prayer and deep thought a waft of sweetness floated by. 
Peaceful and serene.
A calm oh, so sure, settled in to stay. 
No origins of the scent. 
And now the same. 
A reminder from the spirit that He is always there. 
Even in the dark, when the ache is deep.

He is there. 
We, the people.
His people. 

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, 
they will walk and not be faint.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blooming In The Barren Land. . . It Can Be Done

While in captivity in a foreign land the Israelites were asked to sing songs for their captors.
To sing songs of joy amidst deep heartache and sadness;
while they were mourning their homeland and all they knew. 
This act unthinkable. 
Yet, they had been told by God. 
Plant gardens, build houses and multiply during this time.
Jeremiah 29
Even during the hard times. 
When you feel you can go on no longer. 
Settle where you are placed. 
Be doing the work I have for you because I will restore this land. 
I will bring Israel back; and you need to be ready. 
So often when we are in the throes of heartache and pain,
 the last thing we want to do is sing songs of joy.
Or rejoice. 
Our hearts are filled with pain and the days seem long and tortuous. 
Yet these are God's wishes for us. 
 He sees the whole picture and He knows what is coming. 
We need to be obedient. 
Even when everything in us cries the opposite. 
He is there. He is in everything we do. 
His love encompasses all. 

Psalm 137:4
 Right there my heart hurts.
How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? 

I know that feeling. 
I don't want to sing songs of joy. 
I want to wallow. 
I feel pain. 
Deep and agonizing. 
I long for my son.
I want to snuggle with our puppy.
I long for this cancer to be gone and the port taken out. 
I want my mom back and my dad to not be a companion with the memory thief.
But these thoughts are self deprecating. 
They force my whole being to turn inward. 
Singing praise while in the foreign land is just what needs to be done. 
It is a commandment. 
And it is good. 
There is power in stepping toward what God deems. 
The Israelites were afraid of forgetting.
 It had been done.
There is a history.
A legacy of forgetting and years of barrenness in the wilderness. 
I do not want that. 
I do not want to walk in a barren land. 
I seek the fertile and prolific. 
The land which gives forth great yield.

So I will press on remembering. 
Singing praises in the wilderness.
Until His return. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

10 Months Of A Road I Never Thought I Could Walk

The days move along. 
Time has no respect for the heart. 
Maybe it was designed that way. 
The beat steady. 
10 months of a cadence that is unfamiliar. 
A longing each day for what can not be. 

 Reaching deep for strength. 
The earth a glow with spring color. 
Matchless in it's wonder. 
A palette stretched with colors unimaginable. 
The magnitude of loss so great; it mars the beauty. 
So I work. 
I step to see. 
10 months. 
I remember when you were 10 months. 
Ready to walk. 
Red hair; thick. 
But it's your hands I remember most. 
I would sit night after night and hold them. 
Memorize them. 
I wonder if my spirit knew. . . 
They were big and chubby at that time. 
And I would dream of all you would become. 
Would your hands be gentle like your daddy's?
Full of love and years of work. 
Would they make music?
Nights of wondering. 
Now the nights have ended. 
The wondering over. 
You are in the presence of the Holy and Mighty. 
Your music sweet and hands that have touched the glory of the Most High. 
Each day dawns. 
Time pressing onward. 
Reminders all around. 
Seeking the only solace that will comfort. 
Won't you step out today?
No matter the heartache, joy or situation.
Gaze at the wonder around. 

Step into praise. 

Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
 we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;

    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fanning The Flame

I couldn't keep the flame going. 
I wanted to light a candle.

I found a match. 
I lit it from the gas stove. 
The flame would not stay lit. 
I had to cradle it. 
Protect the flame until the candle was lit. 

We are the light of the world. 
A city on a hill.

Matthew 5:14
You are the light of the world--
like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden

We need to protect our flame. 
It is so easily extinguished.
Keep the flame burning. 
The winds of the times blow and the flame flickers until it is gone. 
The flame is a fragile thing unless it is fanned and fueled.
The care intentional.
I can be a crab. 
It's true.
Ask any member of my family.
Some days I have a right.
The kids have not cleaned up their clothes or belongings.
They are disrespectful and selfish.
And I speak to them about this.
But other times. 
I am just crabby.
I say things I shouldn't.
I speak before I have thought through. . . all of what I was going to say. 
(My farmer shakes his head)
I lash out. 
Sometimes I even pout. At my age.
I should know better.
But sometimes it feels good.
I know better. 
I need to fan the flame. I need to make sure that it won't go out.
Our flames are fanned by the very things we do to keep our focus in the right place.

I withdrew this week. 
I stepped away from the chaos and craziness.
It wasn't easy.
I struggle with guilt.
I wrestle with all that needs to be done.

Luke 5:15
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

I didn't withdraw alone. 
A former colleague and I plan a get away every year.
Usually during a vacation.
This year has been difficult.
Her mom took her final breath and walks in Glory now.
So we wait until now.
We talk.
We cry.
We remember.
I can feel the flame grow stronger. 
I worry about the house, my farmer, the kids.
I text often.
My farmer sends me a cute text with a quote from the movie, Mom's Night Out.
I laugh, but I know he wants me to be happy.
I feel the flame stronger. 
My friend and I laugh.
We talk of faith.
We remember the years gone by.

And still the flame grows stronger. 
When we reach out and fan that flame, we keep it strong.
In the quiet I read the Ancient Word.
I drink a hot cup of coffee.
I continue to fan the flame.
I breathe deep.
I praise God for each of these blessings.
For the gift of the flame and grace He gives to keep it going.

What are you doing today to fan that flame? 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Never Forget; Remember

It's been a year. A since the waters rose. Since the rains came and destruction ensued. It's been a year since a sweet young teacher was stranded and sought solace in our home. Where 2 teen age boys lived. And were thrilled to be in her presence. It's been a year since the break of day brought the sights of the force of rushing water.
A year since we were hemmed in and ran out of toilet paper. A year since our friends were here for a month, celebrating all that spring recitals, High School graduation and concerts had to offer.

A year.

The road is repaired. More river spills that year washed out additional roads. Rain fell continually from the sky. Great torrents. Ruining pastures and feed needed for the winter.

It's been a year since the sun shown down brightly and we marched to the grave to say thank you for those who served. Since we anticipated our son's entrance into the USMC.  A year since the red head marched in his last Memorial Day parade.

Time passed and the red headed boy took his last drive and met the King of Kings on a clear summer evening. His dream of serving this country swiftly ended. Our lives changed forever. And longing settles in. Never to be filled. Yet he now serves in the mightiest Corps there ever was. He had a higher Calling.

His patriotism evident. The respect for his life choices apparent. Flags placed. He would have made an amazing marine. His duty to God and country fierce. A desire to physically be at his best first and foremost.

Today we honor those who died in service to this country. We thank God for their dedication to ensure the freedoms that we have today. Even the freedom to disagree with what I am writing. Or what anyone writes or says. Without fear of any recompense.

We will spend the day at the parade; and  a ceremony dedicated to remembering. We will walk through the graveyard. Awed once again by the sheer number that have served, marked by the grace of the American Flag. We will walk by our son's grave. Not able to "officially" sport a flag.Yet knowing the heart he had; the love he had for God and country.

God had other plans for him. Our path left on this earth to carry on with out him. But the memory will linger. He will remain in our hearts. We will be grateful.

God speaks often about Memorials. He doesn't want us to forget. He wants us to remember. Remember well the sacrifice made by One for all.

Exodus 4:12
“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.

We need to remember. We need to feast. We need community. We need Christ.

Remember and do not forget.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pushing Regret Out The Door

It was Prom. 
Such a beautiful evening. 
Each moment a gift to be treasured. 
Because you never know when they may be gone. 
I ask for one thing. 
A family picture; from Prom. 
I have none from the boy. 
A regret. 
A request I make. 
And this is what I get. 

I love it. 
Always room for a giggle. 
Somehow there is always a space though. 
I don't know how it works.
In the center. 
A hole. 

A hole in my heart that burns. 
Yet a hole that was filled last night by the joy seen. 

A reminder of life.


Life long friends. 


Treasured friendships. 
Gods gift to us.
Hold them close. 
No regrets

John 15:12-15
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Throwing it back to my High School days. When I chose God over everything else. 
In turbulent times, He reached out and touched my life. 
Set me on a solid rock with a firm foundation. 
And I have never turned back.
He has filled me with joy. . . even when the unspeakable happens. 
I am forever grateful. 
He knew the storms that would come my way. 
He knew I would need Him. 
He knew my friends would be needed to hold me through these days.  
I cherish all my friendships, whether they been for 40 years or 40 days.
The gift of friendship. 
What a thing.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Turning Around Another First

A year of firsts that leave you undone. 
Reminders of all you have lost. 
Days when you shut the door to your heart because you absolutely can not feel anymore. 
You push hard, so you can breathe. 
Each breath measured so the next one will come. 
Bearing the weight that threatens to crush. 
Holding on with all you have; to promises made long before time began. 

Jeremiah 31:3
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

It's prom. 
A thoughtful request for her to attend.

And it's going to be beautiful. 
Her dress bought. 

Nails done. 
Plans made. 

Yet, I can't help but remember. 

The memory still strong. 
The future looming. 
All the excitement.
The magic of the time. 
He was late as usual. 
Last minute. 
Hurrying around. 
The house was in an uproar. 
Bow tie. 
It all had to be just right. 
He was that way.

There were places he needed to be. 
A time schedule he wished wasn't there. 

But he stopped. 
For me.

He didn't have to. But he did. 

And this is how we remember him. 
The picture most all of you have. 

And it is prom again. 
I will cook. 
I will look around the room.
I will breathe deep the memories gone by. 
The memories yet to be. 
I will step into gratitude for 17 years. 
For the beautiful picture. 
Though I sway with the enormity of the loss. 
I face the journey Christ has called us to with the strength that only He can provide. 

Isaiah 58:11
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Friday, May 23, 2014

I Don't Want To Miss A Thing

I spot them out of the corner of my eye. 
They were not there yesterday. 
The miracle of the warmth and sunshine.

In just a moment; things changed. 
Do we breathe in deep enough to handle those things that change so quickly?
Are we rooted deep enough to hold on?
In a flash we are knocked off balance.
With a word, our whole life changes.

Do we live so that when the storms come we have much in reserve? 
Enough to press through each day?
The time to cherish the unimportant.
Wind through the trees. A shadow across the field.

Isaiah 40:29
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Do you notice the scenery on the way to work or the store anymore?
What have you pushed aside?

Looking up today.
I don't want to miss a thing.
Even the pain.

Psalm 121:1
 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber;

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I've Never Tried To Be A Good Parent. . . Until Now

I want to be the best parent I can. 

I don't think this has ever occurred to me. 
Not that I wanted to be a poor parent. 
I just did what needed to be done. 
I didn't think about it.
When the kids were little I taught. 
There wasn't much time for anything. 
I haven't really looked to others.
I didn't have that great of a relationship with my mom. 
Yes, it's true.
God helped us to make it what it became. 
So, I just did the opposite of what she did. 
Yes, it's true too. 
Oh, there are some things that have been similar but mostly I prayed and trusted God. 

I never read a parenting book until my 5th child was born. 
And then they were the titles like "How to Have a New Kid by Friday"
Books that helped me in my environment.
This urgency to be the best parent I can comes from having one of those babes deep in the earth. 
It comes from the "I wonder's". 
When the kids misbehaved or were persnickety. I would say they would grow out of it. 
Someday they won't be like that. They will appreciate the rides, etc. someday.
But, for one, someday will never come. 

And all the later's are gone. 
So I want the right now's to count.
Each and every moment. 
Because I may never have another. 
Oh, I know it won't be perfect. 
There will still be those days. 
But I want to make sure there are fewer of those days. 
I want to listen better. 
Love more. 
I am not so concerned about the SAT's and the ACT's. 
I am not so concerned about the Advanced Placement classes. 
Because you know what?
I want them to be the best they can be while enjoying themselves. 
Becoming confident in who they are as a child of God.
Knowing there is a God that loves them unconditionally.
No matter what. 
Life is not a race.
It's not about being in every activity and class available.
Making sure the kids are "happy". 
It's about being intentional as you go. 
It's not about coming out on top. 
It's about who you extended grace to. 
It's not about taking aggressive classes. 
It's about knowing how to learn. 
It's about serving; being the hands and feet of Jesus.
It's about a relationship with a risen savior.
Deep peace and confidence in who they are for the long run.

I have a long way to go. 
But I long to be on a journey where God continually molds me into his image. 
For we are image bearers
I may not have my son. 

But I have the God of the Universe. 
I may not understand his ways. . . at all. 
I don't even like his ways right now. . . at all.
But I trust him. 
The rest of my parenting journey I want to be different. 
Because I am different. 
I will never be same. 
And I don't ever want to be. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Kind Of A Legacy Will You Leave?

Someone took his flag. 
I know it doesn't really matter. 
But it was the only thing marking his grave. 
Someone placed it there. And I have loved it. 

 I feel violated. 
I want to scream, my son has already been taken from me! 
Now the flag too?
I am sure someone probably saw the flag and thought it was randomly placed where it was.
It wasn't a malicious act. 
They had no idea there was a grave. 
I know this; but this is such a great reminder. 
The legacy Elijah left is so much more than the space in the graveyard.
We are eternal beings. We were created by a loving God. 
For Him. With purpose. 
Even on our darkest days.
When all else is falling apart around us.
That never changes.
We have purpose.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
 which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The pain and hurt of our current circumstances can not compare with the coming glory. 
We need to hold fast. 
Live for that purpose. Leaving a legacy pointing to God. 
Breathe deep. 
Rest in the promises.
God is never changing. 
He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. 
He will fulfill His purposes through us. 
Each morning I continue to push through the fog. 
The searing pain ever present.
I seek to turn those moments to praise;
To gratitude.

 The sunrises in all it's glory.
The rhythm of the day begun.
The joy comes from a deep path worn through the years of grace.

It is well with my soul. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A new addition to the Dairy. . . And It's Not A Cow

We're beginning to head back up in milk. 
The cows are calving. 

The milk is flowing. 
The pastures are still behind. 
Many farmers in the same boat. 
Limited grass for pasture. 
The guys spent part of the day collecting wood from the river spills last fall and this spring. 
Chipping slowly away at the list. 
We've added a member to our dairy. 
And it's not a cow!
He and his family, followers of Christ; desiring to serve.
It's been so nice having him here. 

A fresh perspective. 
Funny thing is. He's so much like the farmer. 
We sit at lunch. 
The two of them eat. 
In silence. 
I start to ask questions.
As simple as, How was your day?
Good, comes the reply. 
How are things coming along?
And there you have the reason woman go out to lunch. 

He and his family will fly here on June 26th, for good.
They will uproot all they kniow from sunny CA,where there are happy cows;
to the chilly Northeast; where apparently where we find our cows happier. 
They have sold most of their belongings to make this move. 
We have been searching for items to furnish their house. 
Day after day, we are blessed with household goods to take away this burden. 
Almost every need provided. 
A few items still needed. 
This Community is pretty amazing. 
It has reminded me of Abraham.
Genesis 21:1
The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, 
your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.

He was called out of a land into a new land. 
A land he was not sure of. But he knew he was called and He obeyed.
Now, I am not saying this is a land flowing with milk and honey by any means. 
Lately you'd think this was a barren waste land with all we've been through. 
It's not the promised land. 
But it is land we are proud to farm. 
It is the place Hoss and his family have been called. 
He is being obedient. 
It is a place of hope for many. 
It is the place God has called us to for the time.
We will steward this land in the best way we know how. 

We will thank God each day for the marvel of his handiwork in His creation. 
 We are blessed with the help with the work load. 
An answer to prayer.
Today looks to be another beautiful day. 
So grateful for these days with sunshine. 
Now a few warm days. 
We were half way through first cut this time last year. 

We still don't even have our baler back from the shop yet. 
Still there is much to do to keep the farmer busy. 
One day at a time. 
Plugging through. 
Bending knee in humble submission, keeping those feet planted on the solid rock.
That is the farming way

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

Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom

It's my mom's birthday. 
She would have been 71. 

Her birthday so near Mother's Day. 
I would always send her flowers for Mother's Day and a present for her birthday. 
I remember her last Mother's Day. 
The woman asked me what I wanted to say on the card. 
I must have known in my spirit that this would be my last with her. 
I couldn't say anything. 
I just started to cry. 
The poor sales lady. 
There's not enough room on a card to say all I had wanted. 
In the end I said, "Thank you". 
I had told her how I felt through the years. 
There were no regrets. 
She knew I loved her. 

It's hard to believe this is her second birthday with the King of Kings. 
Elijah will celebrate with her. 

I can't put into words how this feels. 
There is joy knowing they are together for all eternity; 
yet deep heartache at missing them. 
Mom loved birthdays. 
She made such a big deal. 
She would get up early and sing, rubbing butter on our noses to wake us up. 
I have no idea where or why that tradition. 
It is NOT one I have continued. 
She loved parties and reasons to celebrate. 
She found the good in things. 
The joy deep and overflowing. 

Isaiah 55:12
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
 and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

She loved life. 
She loved her Lord. 
She served him faithfully. 
Her positive attitude contagious. 
Even when the clutches of death hovered over her. 
I miss her dearly. 

It's hard to think about. 
So much loss in such a short amount of time. 
I have to portion out the pain.
But I have the deep assurance of seeing her again. 
I long for that reunion. 
We will sing Happy Birthday to her today. 

It is also a dear friends 60th. 
She too in a battle against cancer. 
I was able to send her a note celebrating years of a friendship. 

Find the time today to celebrate someone. 
Remind them of God's love. 
Share with them the joy they bring to your life. 

Pushing through with joy today. 

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.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Changing The Desires Of My Heart

I wash dishes.  
Over the sink is the verse;

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I have glanced at these words now for weeks. Each and every day.
I read them.
I let the words sink in. 
Words of truth. The Ancient Word. 

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

I cry out to God to hold me. To give me strength. 
Sometimes I feel like I am going through the motions. 
Blindly stepping on the path. 
Just keep moving forward. 
I don't want to stop and think.
I long to not feel.

I ask God how can I not be dismayed?
I wipe the counters. 
I stare at the picture of Elijah. 
How was this plan helping me? 

Psalm 37:4
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

He will give you the desires of your heart. 
Oh, the desire of my heart. 

You can't give me what I want. I say in return. 
Each day a wrestling match between what I want and what reality is before me. 

But I can change what you want.

I hear it loud and clear. 
He can change my heart. 
He can take all of me and mold me to his likeness. 
He can change what my heart desires. 
The desires of my heart become His desires.
What I long for becomes in tune with His ultimate plan.
We are so limited in what we are able to see.
The walk much the same with our children.
They bristle and recoil at our boundaries and expectations.
They, stretching their wings; reaching for independence and something more than what they are.
We guard our children's hearts and work hard to protect them.
So it is with God.
He shows us a better way; not always the way we would like.

We sit on the porch.
3 Saints of the faith.
Rich in years of a walk with the Lord.
We bow before the heavenly throne.
These front porch visits, storming the gates of heaven have become balm for my wounds.

Prayer is one of the underused tools God has given his people.

I will continue to wait upon the Lord.

He and He alone will change the desires of my heart.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

When You Need To Refocus

A new beginning. 
Another Bridal Shower. 
Such hope and sweetness on the horizon. 
The planning and fun of a party. 
Fellowship and food.
Women gathering to bless each other.
A warm, sunny afternoon.
Leisurely strolls through the meadow. 
Deep breathes of fresh air and peace. 
But it's raining. 

I want it to be sunny.
But it's not.
I think we might have to be inside.
But that's ok.
We'll go with the flow.
It's so much easier to yield to the circumstances.
When we resist, there's strife.

Isaiah 55:9
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
 so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

There's a plan. 
There always is. 
It's better to go with it, than fight. 
The radiance from the bride will be so bright it won't matter if it's indoor's or out. 

Such a beautiful image of our Savior. 
When we focus on Him; the brilliance will over shadow any other thing.
May your focus be on all that is brilliant today. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

I'm Celebrating Mother's Day Today

Sunday was Mother's Day. I spent the day reeling from the loss of our son.
Being mom to less.
A forever change.
Wrestling with moving on and wanting to be stuck.
In the back of my mind haunting me was my mom.
But I couldn't even think about her.
There are some places that are too tender to venture.
Your heart just can't take it.
So you push it aside and deal with the grief in front of you.
I am not speaking of stuffing or ignoring.
It's like that delicious book you want to finish.
You wait until the quiet, when you can savor the characters and the ending of such a terrific journey.
It's like that with grieving; though it's not enjoyment.
It is taking it piece by piece.
Slowly allowing the the pain to move through your being.
So these days after Mother's Day.
I look at pictures.
I allow myself to think of my mom.
For just a few moments. 
I think about her strength.
About her suffering at the end of her life.
She was so courageous.
So strong.
I know God allowed me to see that; to endure her painful death.
He knew what was coming down the road for me. 
He was beginning my strengthening exercises.
Molding my being. 
Driving me daily to my knees via the cross.
I have reworked an earlier post on mom. 
I dedicate this to a woman who was not perfect.
Who loved life to the fullest.
Who endured cancer and the end of her life with so much grace and dignity.
Who loved and served God with every breath she had even unto her death.
I miss her with all my being.
I have longed for her many days when my I thought my heart would explode
 from the devastating loss of our son.
I am grateful to her for showing me  faith.
For showing me how to live while she was dying.
Her days were filled with music, even when deaths clutches grasped.

Because He Lives. 

I can hear her singing now. 

I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, All fear is gone. 
I know the words by heart. 
She often sang it as cancer's clutches tightened their grip.  

Because I know who holds the future, 
And life is worth the living 
Just because He lives. 
My mom loved music.
She loved all kinds of music
I grew up listening to albums of the Beach Boys, Rhapsody in Blue, 
The Kingston Trio and even the Smothers Brothers. 
There was always music coming from that stereo in the hall. 
I can still hear the sound the albums would make, especially at Christmas, when the album would change. 
Even now listening to songs evoke a memory.

Because He lives. . . I can face tomorrow. 

I can't do this on my own. 
There is nothing left to give. 
I am broken and spilled out. 
And for the moment, I close my eyes; I hear the beautiful words. 
Because I know who holds the future. . .
I do know who holds the future.
I know without a shadow of a doubt, that God is right there.
 Though I can't see Him.  
And though things around me are falling apart.
I know He is right there. 
And you know what? He's going to make it all beautiful.

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this 
all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

 Really He will. 
He is going to take this broken situation. He is going to take all this pain and heartache. 
And He is going to make something beautiful.
 Because that is what He does. 
He is the God who restores. He is the God who heals. 
He is mighty and merciful. 
And He's coming back. 
And when He does. You're not going to want to miss it. 

And then one day, I'll cross the river
I'll fight life's final war with pain
And then as death gives way to victory
I'll see the lights of glory
And I'll know He lives. 

Won't you take a few moments and listen to this song. 
I promise if you're quiet. Really quiet.
You will hear my mom singing this song with all her might.
(while she's cleaning something. . .because that's how she rolled.)
I pray that all your fear will be gone. And that you will know He lives. 
That you can surrender all that hurts and causes you pain. 
That for a moment you can find the peace that comes, 
when you know who holds your future. 

We can face uncertain days. 
Yes we can.