Friday, August 28, 2015

An Empty Bed

He didn't come home that night. 
His bed was empty. 
Last night she didn't come home. 
Her bed was empty. 
It's been 25 months since I have seen that
 red headed boy of mine. 
2 years and 1 month. 
And how my heart still aches. 

Somehow times marches on. 

In some ways I am stuck. 
And will always be. 
On July, 28, 2013. 
A piece of my heart that remains, there. 

She, on the other hand. 
Has flown the nest. 
Spreading her wings. 

We moved her into her dorm room. 

So much ahead of her. 
But, that. 
Is what we call success. 

That red head has graduated too. 
To the place we all long to be. 

The place for which we were created. 

Her journey; more elevated. 

These are the things I ponder. 
On which my mind ruminates. 

The new path is begun. 
I'm filling this day with many things that need to be done. 
I am choosing to trust. 
I can feel the prayers of people. 
Moments of despair pass over me. 
Yet I am pulled to that place of peace. 

Heaven is our forever home. 
Earth our temporary one. 

I am going to eat lots of ice cream. 
Because ice cream makes everything better. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

She Wore Her Brother's Cap and Gown

She wore her brothers cap and gown. 
The same cap he threw into the air, 2 years ago. 
The same cap I asked him to go back in to get. 
It was unique. 

He would be able to find it. 

I just wanted that cap.

The cap and gown I would display at his wake just 40 days later

She wrapped herself in his gown. 
 And wore his cap. 

She walked to the tune of  graduation, hope and future wrapped in his gown. 
The cap, forever announcing 2013. 

The year everything changed. 

 With out so much as a deep breathe we changed gears.
College Orientation. 

They steal my daughter away. 
I head off to listen to the speaker. 
His words.
The words of one of Clarissa's classmates - haunt me. 

"The paper is blank, you have the tool to do the writing.
The unknown before you. You are in control. You will do the writing."

Both speakers. 
2 separate occasions. 
The same idea. 

An unknown future. 
A blank slate. 
You're in control. 

I want to stand up and shout. 
My soul aches. 
Deep ache. 
They have missed a great truth. 
They have missed the greatest news on earth. 

And I was silent. 

It has tormented me. 

Our lives are not a blank page. 

There is not a blank slate, waiting for you to write out the plan. 
Oh, my dear friends. 
There is a loving and compassionate God with a plan far greater that you can ever imagine. 
There is a divine Creator, who has created you with a plan and purpose long before the foundations of the world began. 
He has placed in our hearts the desire to worship and serve him. 
He longs to fill the pages of your life with His wisdom. 
We are not alone. 
We are not in control. 
There is purpose and hope far beyond anything our minds could ever grasp. 
There is hope. 

I think on this because between, deep loss, 
ambulance rides and change these things are important. 

I don't want to lose sight of the promises God has placed before us. 

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.

Not only is there a plan; but He will walk every step with us. 
My daughter's future is not an empty page. 
It was written and stamped long ago. 
She will, with God's help discover that path and become all He longs for her to be. 
The road with be riddled with success and pain. 
It already has. 
Yet through the strength of out heavenly Father we press on. 
We seek. 
We praise. 
We learn. 
We grow. 
All in His timing. 
All for His purposes. 
And oh, what a glorious purpose and plan. 

Things are changing again, 

The living room is piled with her life's posessions. 
We have gathered the most needed items to survive college. 

But I know in my heart. 
The only "thing" she needs is Jesus. 
Because that ground never moves.
He never, ever changes, 

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

I send her off knowing that her page is not blank. 
That a loving, a merciful Savior has ordained her days. 
That joy and peace await her; even in the struggle. 
I am planting my feet on the ground that does not shift. 
I am lifting my hands high in praise. 
I am letting go of the ache and pain that threaten to choke out the beauty of these days. 
Here we stand on the threshold of a new beginning. 

Won't you join me in letting go? 
Stand on the rock that is immovable. 
Embrace the journey no matter how hard it may be. 
God will see you through. 

Here we go baby girl. 
I love you with every fiber of my being. 

You are God's child. 

You are loved. 

He will use you to bring about His amazing plan. 

Ephesians 3:20
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, 
according to his power that is at work within us,

Tuesday, August 25, 2015



New Beginnings.

Endless days. 

Special moments. 

New Chapters. 

New life. 


Matthew 11:28
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Lift Your Head Weary Sinner
David Crowder

Monday, August 24, 2015

Are You Thirsty?

The day is warm. 
Sunshine streaming through fluffy white clouds. 

We head to the river. 
My happy place. 

We're headed to celebrate;
New life. 
Promises and Covenants. 
That sweet next to the youngest farm girl is entering the waters of baptism. 
She's shaking off the old. 
Stepping into the new. 
The life that isn't promised to be easy. 
The life where knee is bowed and hands lifted high. 
A life built on truth, hope and certainty. 
The truth that she has already had to wrestle to the ground 
as she navigated the shocking death of her oldest brother. 
And then the turmoil of her father with cancer. 
Yet she stood strong. 
She placed her feet on that solid rock. 
She dug deep when the pain threatened to pull her under. 
She stood. 
She breathed. 
And God poured into her aching soul. 
He reached down and called her by name. 
And she answered. 
And today. 
She professes. 
She confesses her unworthiness. 
Her brokenness. 
She proclaims her unity with the Almighty. 
Who came as a babe. 
Suffered on the cross. 
That she might live. 
And she enters those waters. 
The same waters that her brothers and sister entered. 

That glorious water.

Life changing.

The water runs through. 
And she is forever changed. 

She's quenching her thirst. 

 I think of another family. 
Saying Good bye. 
Celebrating a life lived well. 
Taken too soon. 
At the hands of one who felt she was finished with this life here. 
Trying to take her own life. 
She took the  life of another. 

And the weight slams hard. 

We do not know what this life will bring. 

We are not promised an easy life. 
We in this country are so far removed from suffering. 
Our lives are scattered with pretty things. 
Our goals. . . to be successful. 
Our desires for personal gain. 
When all the while a gracious God waits. 
Waits patiently for our yeilding. 
For our shift to see Him. 
For His purposes. 
The water is cleansing. 
In a moment we are changed. 
New life has begun. 
Those who entered the waters are not destined for an easy life. 
Their alignment with Christ does not buy them any "passes" from the tough stuff. 
What it does is solidify the great promises that, He will never leave you nor forsake you. 

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."

Won't you hold tight to these truths? 
Let the living water change you. 

John 4:14
but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Monday, August 10, 2015

Back Porch Wisdom

She sits on my back porch. 
The porch we are so grateful to have. 
We gather together for a bridal shower. 

For one of the younger generation. 

I visit with a beautiful woman. 
Decades ahead of me in age and wisdom.
Decades ahead of me in grieving. 

All the years I have known her. 
She has spoken little of her grief. 
She has laughed and shared stories. 
But the raw. 
I never saw. 
Until she sits on my porch. 
9 decades of living. 
She grabs my hand with an urgency. 
Her gaze does not meet mine. 
She says. 
"How are you."
And I know. 
I know what she is asking. 
She is reaching deep to the place that only mommy's whose babies 
are the way of the earth can know. 
She turns to look me full in the face. 

She says in haltering words.
They don't understand, you know. 
Unless they have walked the path. 
They just can't.

 She gives my hand a squeeze. 
The moment has passed. 
This dear soul. 
Her strength;
Imparted to my ache. 
She knows the day to day. 
That no one sees. 
The alone grief. 
Where the guttural cry still longs to be released. 
She gets the raw. 
The sod holds her son and her beloved. 

The encounter was brief. 

I still feel her squeeze on my hand. 
And I savor the moment. 
The gift. 

Time marches on. 
The routines for others set in motion. 
While I still feel somewhat left behind. 

Even with promises of hope. 
Even when moments of joy rise forth. 
The ache still lingers. 
The missing real. 

And so I treasure the acknowledgement from one so wise. 
I look to her life as strength to press on. 
I remember to look beneath the surface. 
Because the ache, may not be seen. 

We never know when we may minister to an aching soul. 
May we all have grace to listen. 
Eyes to see. 
Wisdom to seek the needs. 

When we die to ourselves. 
Keep our focus on the One who is able to see. 
We become more like him. 
The urgency to live life, on life becomes more important. 

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, 
but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, 
I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

So grab someone's hand today. 
Look into their eyes. 
Breathe life into an aching soul. 
Rejoice with one who rejoices. 

Just be there. 
Grab a cup of coffee and sit on the back porch. 
Show up. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Conquer The Clutter

We clean up that farm boys room;
because it is a mess. 
All the rooms are a mess. 
Clothes, papers. 

My cluttered home has seeped into my soul. 
The clutter of grief and loss. 
Daily consuming. 
I fold a shirt. 
It belongs to  the son who has left this earth. 
I can feel the ache. 
It has threatened to spill over all day. 
The loss. 
Another in the community has lost too. 
One so young with 3 children. 
And I just can't bear the pain. 
The grief she is feeling. 
The shock. 
The fog. 

The clutter in my soul is too much. 

Do you know this? 

When all weighs heavy. 
When the rush of the day and tyranny of the urgent creep in? 
It is then, when I fold that shirt. 

 That the trickle begins. 
I haven't taken time for the word today. 
I wanted to conquer the clutter in the house. 
Conquer the little girls room. 
The pretty room with not and inch of clean floor space. 
The upstairs hallway, rich in history, yet cluttered with "stuff".
The farm boys room that smells of something unidentifiable. 
Where the floor rises to meet you as walk in. 
I wanted to conquer, that clutter. 
While the other clutter grew deep in my soul. 
The pain. 
The ache of a friend as she aches for her friend. 
Buried deep in my soul. 
Until the weight spills over my cheeks. 
It is then that the words flutter to the front. 

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
 for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I can tackle the clutter of this home, 
Only when the clutter of my soul is gone. 

The heavy soul clutter needs to go.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you resTake my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

It is imperative to the journey here; 
this side of heaven. 

The ache, the pain, the grief;
that is here to stay. 

When grief upon grief is stacked. 
The soul becomes weighted down. 

We become blind to the truth. 
We buy into the lies. 
When the soul is cluttered. 

God longs to carry the burden of our souls. 
He waits to help de-clutter; if only we will let him. 

So today. 
I am beginning with the word. 
That Ancient, glorious truth
I am going to set my feet where Truth dwells. 
I am going to let God Abolish the lies. 

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.

We are so loved. 

Are you willing to lay down your burdens and let God conquer the soul clutter? 

David Crowder
Come As You are.

Come out of sadness From wherever you've been
Come broken hearted Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow 

That heaven can't heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't heal