Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sometimes, It's Really Not Fair

The email pops up.
It's your birthday take $25 off your order. 
My mind racks. 
Whose birthday?
I look. 
He rarely used his e-mail for anything.
He used mine. 
My stomach lurches.
The reminders painful. 
I try to remember to breathe. 
I can't hold my breath each time; each time there is a reminder. 
Death is permanent. 
What's on the other side is eternal. 
But here, this side of eternity; it's permanent. 
And it will tear you apart. 
The missing reaches into places you never knew existed. 
It can twist and turn until you're in knots. 
That which you can never, ever have. 
Him whom you bore 9 months. 

Watched walk across the stage to receive his diploma.

So handsome.
So full of hopes and dreams.
The beginning of a new journey. 
Yet it was his ending. 

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.

I am left here to step forward. 
To redesign my walk. 
Yet I stumble and I hit a wall. 
So, this day. 
I will cry. 
I will say it's not fair.

I will shout for anyone who wants to hear that driving by the bank every day IS HARD. 
Yet, I won't stay there. 
I will say thank you every time I drive by there.

Someone has so faithfully placed plants and cut the grass back.
The flags have been replaced and the old ones delivered respectfully to me. 
All the hope and loss wrapped in a package.
The steps through this journey purposeful.
Holding tightly.
Where are you today?
How are you walking through your journey? 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

As Time Passes

It's been weeks since I've gone into his room. 
A hiatus from the reminders. 
Dust collects as time passes. 
Things undisturbed. 
Much the same way since the night he was called home. 
His room still smells like him. 
I close my eyes to remember. 
I miss him so.

How does a life continue when your child, your hope and future are torn from you? 
How do the steps move with the ebb and flow when there is a deep chasm in your aching soul. 
Elijah was God's child. 
He was never mine to keep. 
Children are a gift from the Lord. 
They are on loan from the King of Kings. 
A gift. 
To be held lightly.
This I know.
Yet my heart still aches.
I wake knowing life is different every morning.
In the choosing to see beyond the grief, I cling.
Because there is a tenacious pull.
I don't want to move on.
Yet I have no choice.
I change the lens with which to see the world.
I choose to see through the eyes of the Savior.
Constantly refocusing.
His plan; not mine.
His ways are higher.
Because this world is just hard sometimes.
There is deep beauty.
Immense joy.
Mingled with ache.
Intertwined with loss.
Part of the journey.
I am changing because of my path.
God is molding me.
He is exposing my sin. . . the area's where I need growth.
Goodness there are so many of them.
He is doing the work.
This is not our home.
We are heading for Glory.
This is but a blip in all of time.
Yet there is important work to be accomplished.
So we press on through.
With the pain. With the grief.
Looking for beauty.
Seeking grace.
Do you know those deep moments that transcend all earthly understanding?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Be Anxious For Nothing

Be anxious for nothing. 
Only when I have prayed hard?
No need to be anxious.
When I have saved enough money in my retirement?
No need to be anxious. 
When I have anticipated every problem and am assured that I have done every thing to thwart an issue.
Then I do not need to be anxious. 
When do we not be anxious? 
What about the time when you haven't prayed?
That item left off the list
When something isn't planned all the way through. 
Is that the time to be anxious? 

Be anxious for nothing. 
My son walks out the door.
He kisses me.
He says he loves me.
I cringe. 
I've heard those words before.
I don't want him to leave.
He's heading to race.
In Derby.
Without me.
We've had conflict.
Be anxious for nothing.
I don't want him to go.
We haven't prayed.

Be anxious for nothing. 
What does that mean?
How do I live as one who has been ransomed?
One that is wrapped in rich love.
When we reach deep and look to eternity the view changes.
When all of our being longs and groans for that which is to come; strength prevails.
I can not change the circumstances of my life.
Yet, I can surrender all.
To the One who knows.
Who loves us with an undying love.
He's there.
He will fill us.
He understands the hurt, the heartache, the joy.
There's more to the verse. 

Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Be in prayer. Set your requests and hearts cry before the throne of grace.
And wait for the peace.
The troubles will remain.
The circumstances unchanged.
Yet peace will prevail.
God is working.
He will never leave or forsake us.
Even in the deep anguish.
In death. In cancer.
He will remain.

Be anxious for nothing.
Not just when you have prayed the right prayers.
Walked the high road.
Be anxious for nothing.
When you haven't done those things.
Be anxious for nothing.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Backyard Dining Notched Up A Bit

We dined Alfresco. 
The girls, always in character, notched their table up a bit. 
Lights, candles; a special space. 
Dressed to the nines. 
They poured water from old wine and sparkling cider bottles. 
Moments when little girls were not thinking of grief or cancer. 

Psalm 118:4
The LORD has done it this very day; 
let us rejoice today and be glad.

Find just a moment today. 
A moment to give thanks. 
To be grateful. 
Even in the storm. 
God will meet you there. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Love That Transcends Any Hollywood Attempt

Another year has passed. It would have been my parents 48th Anniversary. I call my dad. I don't say anything about the day. I just want to hear his voice. The voice that once steadied me now needs my assurance. He misses me and wonders when I can come visit. I wonder too. It seems the edge I once had has diminished. The trip MA done in a day or several times a month. The thought, now, fills me with dread. 

My thoughts drift back to last year and since this is a month of remembering. I am re-posting last years thoughts. I am still writing reports. Still working on book work. The beat similar. The journey to the cross still the most important. The clinging to hope. The desire for grace. May encouragement find you as you read. May hope be your companion. 

Today is my parents Anniversary. It would have been their 47th. Last year we celebrated their 46th in the hospital at Brigham and Woman's. The doctors brought them a cake. . . honoring their years together as mom's life slipped slowly from her. . .I have said before, my parents relationship was  NOT perfect. They fought, said hurtful things, threatened to break that vow they had once cherished. Yet, they stuck it out. They persevered. And it became beautiful. This year mom celebrates in Heaven. . .that perfect Bride of Christ. . .

It was interesting to watch as dad's memory faded, the tenderness he brought to their relationship. When once mom had longed to get flowers or have him be more loving. . .He now was all those things. He would bring flowers, not remembering he had brought some a few days ago. As the realization that mom's cancer had progressed to the point that the ebb and flow of life would be silenced. . .he grew tender and attentive. She grew softer and peaceful. It was beautiful. It was also a gift. And on the day that the LORD called mom home, dad was right beside her. 

 I thought my heart was breaking when mom died in December. She was 69. She had a new grandchild. It was hard to lose her. But we praised God for her life and the blessing that she was able to see Tristan be born and then experience his baptism. Oh what a service that was! Mom standing up out of her wheel chair to give praise to the living God who was calling her home. . .moment by moment. 

I thought my heart was breaking in June when I picked up our sweet puppy from the hard packed road and watched him slip away in my arms. . . When I had to meet Clarissa in the driveway and let her know her precious white bundle had been snatched from this earth, too soon. 

And I then thought my heart might stop beating the night the visitors came to my door to tell me our son had not survived a car accident. . .so close to home . . .And those moments stilled the world for me. As the wee hours of the morning passed. . .I needed to  climb the stairs, walk past his room and tell his siblings that their brother now resided with the King of Kings. 

Each morning the sun rises. . .the milking needs to be done and the beat of the day presses the necessity forward. I am honored and blessed to have friends who have come along side me. . . and are just present in my home. They have folded laundry while I type out evaluations. They have washed dishes and watered plants while I do book work; they have played with my kids while I climb those stairs to lie on my sons bed and pour out my beating heart to the One who gives, and takes life. 

My heart will continue to beat until I am called home. Sometimes I think the beat will be unsteady as my aching heart longs for what it can not have. 

And as each sunrise comes, I will lift mine eyes to the hills from whence my help cometh. (Psalm 121) 
And I will give thanks and praise. 
I will stay wrapped in the love that comes because One gave all, so that all might live. 

I posted this song before. It is by a classmate of Elijah's. 
She is a gem, and a treasure. She has a gift and she gave it. 
And for that I am grateful. . . 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Show Me How What I Wanted Isn't Best For Me

It was Early Sunday Morning his Spirit left his earthly body. 
In the wee hours.
While the night was still dark. 
While I slept. 
My boy left this earth.

The shock of those days have lessened. 
They still fill me with a sickening feeling when I think of them. 
There is much I still do not know about that time. 
I can't. 
It was Sunday morning when the heaven's declared God's majesty.

Oh how our hearts ache.
We long for this to be a bad dream.
I want something I can never have.
Each morning I wrestle with the knowledge that Elijah will never come home. 
His room, still the same as the day he left.
Some clothes I can't bear to move.
Sometimes I feel stuck.
Like, if I wait long enough, things will change.
He will come home. 
So the struggle becomes the journey.
My soul needs to be recharged.
This is a daily task.
Sometimes moment by moment.
My heart hurts.
My family different.
There will always be a space.
Someone missing.
It will consume and over power me if I let it.
The negative thoughts, the pain.
I breathe deep. 
My prayer has become, "show me Lord ."

Psalm 5:8
Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies-- 
make your way straight before me.

Show me how to live this way.
Show me how what I wanted, wasn't best for me.
Change my heart. 
Show me where my steps should travel.
Place before me the folks I need to touch;
the folks that my soul needs.
God will equip me for the rest of this life's journey.
I will rest in the hope of a risen Savior.
I will cling to the Ancient Word.
 I find peace in the moment. 

Psalm 91:11
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Do You Know What You Are Reaching For?

The geese are making noise. 
 A few trees have begun their colorful transformation.

The nights have cooled and we found ourselves wrapped in blankets yesterday.
A reminder that winter is fast approaching. 
Another fall. 
Another without my son. 
Our family still reels at the thought of life without Elijah. 
Every fiber of our being longs for his presence. 
We step forward. 
We are seeking and reaching for the path God wants us to take. 
Each day I strive to live fully.
The unknowns rise before me; the tempest at large.
This morning I can feel the heaviness.
The weight of missing, great.
We hold hands around the dinner table and there is a space.
Cedric needs to reach to hold his fathers hand.
The place where Elijah sat; empty.

It is in the reaching that I am struck.
We are always reaching.
Reaching for better.
Striving to be the best we can be.
When a heavenly perspective is there, there is purpose.
His ways higher.
Unknown to us.
A path.
Our reaching, is to seek Christ.
To know the fullness of Him.
I do not understand all that continues to transpire.
This world is spiraling at chaotic proportions.
The condition of man so evident in happenings around us.
Yet all of these situations have passed through the fingers of God.
We need to stay the course. 
Speak truth. 
Speak love.
As we live; reach.
Reach for the Savior's plan.
Keep in the Ancient Word. 
As you reach today; in all you do.
May the reach be for Christ.
He will guide all your steps.
You may not be able to see through.
But know, He is there.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, 
for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Re-posting This Day Last Year. . . Sometimes Looking Back Helps With The Steps Forward

This is a re-post from last year on this day. Sending prayers of gratitude for the hands that have held us and continue to shower us with grace. 

Being a Giver. . .it is Hard to Receive

The rhythm of the routine continues. There is hay down and baling to be done.
 Cows are up in milk and the management needs care and detail.
 It's the detail that makes the difference. 
It's what makes you stand out. Caring about the tiniest details brings you closer to your goal. 
Details may mean success or ruin for us. Those details seem hard. But they are ingrained in the beat of the day, so it is good.

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Each day brings friends. Friends with food, coffee, hugs and tears. 
Some are chatty and silly and some just sit with me in quiet. All of them giving. . .me feeling weary, wondering where this grace comes from. Generosity that flows. Details that make the difference.

The girls came running in. I could hear the pounding of their steps 
before I saw their faces. I needed to come outside they said. 

I was tired. It has been another full day of friends. 
I had just come into my room for some solace.

But there was someone here I needed see. 
You see some young girls had had a lemonade stand 
and had raised money for our family. 
And they had waited anxiously for their parents to come home from work
so they could hurry to our home and  bless us with a gift.
Extravagant Grace.
How do you receive from the youngest and most precious of these? 
Matthew 19:14 
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, 
and do not hinder them, for the kingdom 
of heaven belongs to such as these."

They came as strangers and left as family. 

God wasn't finished with the blessing for the day. 
Another friend walked into the chaos of our kitchen to lavish upon us another gift. 
We were left speechless. 
I could hold in the tears and the magnitude of our loss no longer.
We have lost a beloved son.
And yet we are not alone.

2 Corinthians 4:8
We are hard pressed on every side, 
but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

My cup runneth over as the enormity of the grace resonated in my heart. 
The details are so important.
Because since the foundations of the earth God has managed all the details. 
He knows each piece and part. 
And this wild grace is a gift.

 This is Elijah and his good friend Thomas on a school trip for LUHS. 
The fact that Elijah is on this trip is a story I long to tell you. . .later.

Sometimes we can't understand why things happen.
My heart aches with God's details for my life right now.
But God is managing the details.
Each detail is so important.
So I take my weary and aching heart and I surrender all the details.
Psalm 63:1
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

I have I waited to post this song. . .It is my heart.
"This is not where I belong. . .this is NOT my home. . ."
I long for the day when God will call us home. 
Until then I will trust him with the details.
A year later we are still trusting. We are searching with eyes wide open for where He will lead us. May your hearts be full this Sunday morning as you head to the cross. A place of healing and grace. A place where God will meet you in your brokenness and in your joy. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's Just A Couch

It's just a couch. 
Stained with memories. 



Knowledge imparted through endless books. 
Resting, while heavy with child. 
It's just a couch. 
Love poured out. 

Knees bowed in prayer over young ones; pleading over their souls. 
Years and years of devotions while the farm house slept. 
Late night discussions debating all that life may present. 
It's just a couch.
Where 7 or 8 gathered for family night to watch a movie. 
It was never too small.
There was always room for one more.

The place where Nana sat and loved on her grandbabies. 

A couch and chair my sweet Mother in Law found for us. 
 A place where the sick were nurtured to health. 
A place of enchanted forts.
The chair I sat in when my farmer went to the barn and I waited to make the calls 
that our red head had taken his final drive. 
His residence now on high, with the King of Glory.
Where I sat and pleaded before the throne of grace for this not to be. 
But it's just a couch. 
A couch where youth have sat and heard God's word. 
Where friends and family have gathered to study that Ancient Word. 
Where stories were told. 
A couch that has lost most of its stuffing. 
Springs broken and frame cracked. 
Almost as important as our kitchen table. 
Love poured out. 
It really never was, just a couch.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

And. . . He's Off

He's heading off to college this morning. 
Elijah's friend. 
Ditching Marines for the Army. 
On an ROTC scholarship. 
So stinking proud of him. 

There is a dance of fine emotion in my being. 
A reminder of how much I miss my son. 
Yet, a glimpse into the goodness of God. 
I will pray for this young man and wait with great expectation to see where God will lead him. 
I will miss his "stop ins."
Though they have become less frequent. 
I will continue to pray for the young people heading back to school. 
They have been such a blessing to me. 

Time is moving on.
I can not hold the tide. 
I will embrace the journey. 
Rest in the strength of the Lord. 
I am looking forward to the stories and visits that will come. 
There is still a lot of living to do. 
There are many who need to hear the message. 
A Savior died for them.
Grace given freely. 
A solid rock on which to stand. 
As new journeys begin, may we have eyes to see the goodness of God. 
May love flow from us as we be the hands and feet of Jesus. 

Genesis 31:49
May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Remembering The Promise

The wind blows. 
It stirs me awake. 
I want to snuggle down and stay in bed. 
Some days I don't want to get up. 
This is one. 
I sigh under the weight of remembering. 
I fling my thoughts heavenward. 
I get coffee. 
This life is hard. 
The darkness hovers now; earlier. 
My favorite time of year. 
I want to see beauty yet marred by deep sadness.  
Plans are hard to make. 
So much clutters my mind. 
Time marching forward. 
Moving further and further from the accident. 
Further from my son. 
Yet closer to him too. 
Yielding more to Christ. 
The clouds roll in angry and threatening. 
The mountain is concealed. 
The wind; refreshing. 

There's going to be a storm. 
The air heavy with anticipation. 
 I want to anticipate the day. 
Yield to all that it will be. 
I am flinging the doors to the farmhouse wide. 
Letting in this breeze. 
Allowing it to wash over me. 
Resting in the finished work on the cross. 
The work already accomplished. 
Finding my way one step of grace at a time. 
Even in the storm there is a promise

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Learning How To Go With The Flow

I fear complacency. 
I fear a haughty heart in the face of a holy God. 
Obedience calls. 
But to what? 
The way is so unclear. 
The future looming. 
The days unknown. 
Weariness creeps in slowly. 
A heart pressed in on all sides. 
Reaching through to the joy. 
Yet, veiled by grief. 
Where do we go from here?
What is the calling?
The immediate rushes. 
I long for relief. 
I breathe slowly. 
Time to slow the pace. 
There is no way to the other side, but through, this journey.

Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

When the searing pain threatens to consume, I lift my eyes to the heavens.

I run the promises through my mind. 
He will never leave me nor forsake me. 
He is a God who does what He said He would do. 
I step into thankfulness, because we were created to praise.
Psalm 148:5
Let them praise the name of the LORD, 
for at his command they were created

I can't know the future; and the way seems marred.
I feel like an intruder looking in.
Who is this woman?
What is her calling?
How does she keep moving?
This way is new.
A trail not yet forged.
Different from what I had expected. 
I am learning to let those expectations go.
Resting in the plan God brings forth.
Today is a new day.
I am laying it all down.
Every ache, pain, joy and sorrow.
What about you?
What about your journey?

Monday, August 11, 2014

His Ways. . .Not Mine

Many came to help ready the farm for guests. 
There are so many details. 
My head spins. 
The weather could be an issue. 
I want it to be sunny. 
I don't want to have tents.
I want to sit out in the open. 
But that is not the case. 
It may rain; It may not. 
How do you decide?
So much of our walk in life is about letting go. 
Changing our expectations. 
If we just trust God.

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.

Put aside our desires and thoughts. 
Let God guide the day. 
We would have less stress. 
When we surrender there is peace. 
God is able to show up and do what He does best. 
So often we grab the reigns and run. 
Thinking we know best.
This day, I struggle, in the surrender.
I have expectations.  
I want to rest in knowing someone else is in control. 
The day will be what it is. 
And each piece will be for a reason. 
Joy sought amidst the pain. 
Grateful for time to be with others.

And it is just what it was. 

There were many things not as I had wanted. 
Not my vision. 
But was it mine in the first place?
This event was Gods. 
His ways are higher than mine. 
It rained. 

People stayed. 
My heart was so full watching as folks crowded under tents. 
Not leaving.
There were rainbows. 
Displays of Gods workmanship. 
Reminders of His Covenant promises. 
The visitors streamed in. 
More than 300. 
This time they came to be together.
We honored Elijah.

We raised funds for his Memorial Fund. 
A Fund we pray will bless many through scholarships, 
and other ways not yet known. 
There was music and food in the mountains.
There was deep love.
It is the force of a community resting in the unity.
Family, life long friends and strangers-now family.
This life isn't about getting things my way.
It's about learning to see through Gods lens. 
For me, this will take a life time of surrender
Day after day of setting aside my vision for a greater purpose. 
A visit to the cross daily. 

We are grateful for all that has been given. 
We have been wrapped in layers and layers of grace. 
We will continue to surrender. 
Even while we grieve. 
Even in deep sorrow. 
We will surrender, we will praise, we will keep on keeping on. 

I love music. It feeds my soul like nothing else besides the Ancient Word.
CeCe Winans sings a classic hymn. 
I hope it ministers to your soul and raises you high on the wings that are able to carry you. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

We're Wrapping All That Hurt And Sadness In Love

My brother in law gets a jump on the day. 
A Fundraiser.

There is food to cook, tents to place and list a mile long. 
We're hoping for sunshine. 
The doors to this farm will be flung open once again. 
This time we'll breathe deep. 
We'll gather together to honor Elijah's memory. 

We will remember. 

Deuteronomy 6:13-19
 Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.  Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you;  for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.  Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.  Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you.  Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,  thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said.

We're going to make a difference in this world. 
With one small event we can affect change. 
We'll come together with a common purpose. 

Elijah, you are so missed. 

Today we're taking all that sadness and we're wrapping it in love. 
Reaching big. 
If you are interested in giving to the Elijah Davis Memorial Fund. 
See the information below. 

The night of the Event we will be taking donations for the Memorial Fund. Many have asked the intent of the Fund.We established the Fund to be able to bless students and families. To date we have given a donation to the band department at Mount Mansfield Union High School and also the Lacrosse Team; both areas of great love for Elijah. We were also able to award a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating Senior. Our desire is to continue to give the scholarship as the funds are available and the needs arise. We would also like to be able to give a Scholarship to the Norwich Leadership weekend and possible 2 week camp. Elijah attended the Leadership weekend. It was a wonderful experience for him. Here is the information to make a tax deductible donation.

Checks made to: Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund 
in the memo #1068455

Mail to: Fidelity Charitable
PO Box 770001
Cincinnati, OH 45277-0053

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Even In The Searing Pain; We are Not Abandoned

I want to avoid his room. 
I haven't been in for a while. 
Sometimes the weight of the pain is crushing. 
I bring laundry up the stairs and turn away quickly. 
I pick up and work for a while. 
When it's time to go downstairs. 
I avoid looking. 
It's been a year. . . and a week. 
How can I do this long term?
How can I survive this piercing pain? 
Some days it is so hard to function. 
I am distracted. 
Each moment needing to change my focus and reach for more. 
Seeking the beauty in the struggle. 
We can be consumed by despair. 
Driven by emotions. 
Justifying actions. 
The course has been set. 
Who am I to question? 

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns his face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One, 
Bring many sons to glory

We sing the lyrics. 
My heart hurts. 

The Father turns his face away

The sinless Savior was abandoned.

He bore my sin. 
God turned from Him. 
For me. 
I can barely breathe. 

He turned his face. 

Yet, I am given the promise. 

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 been extended mercy.

Why should I gain from His reward? 
I can not give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart
 His wounds have paid my ransom. 

He will never leave me. 
He will never forsake me.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; 
perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, 
but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

He has never left my side. 
Even in the pain of searing loss. 
He has lifted my feet to solid ground.
His face will never turn from us.
He will always be waiting.
Longing for us.
Until He returns.

No one is beyond His love.
No one is beyond His redemption.
He is waiting.
In repentance; forgiveness and restoration await.