Thursday, May 26, 2016

To Hold the Moment

The petals danced in the wind. 
Pale, pink blossoms showering the yard. 
Spinning, whirling.

Images of Anne of Green Gables
The White Way of Delight flutter through my mind. 
Delightful visions.
This tree. 
This moment. 
I want to hold it. 
The beauty.

To behold. 
If we choose. 
I may have missed the significance;
closed my eyes to what needed to be seen.

We dash through life. 
Event to event. 
Attempts to numb pain. 
Create a rush. 

Rare do we pause; 
until moments like this;
create the occasion to see.

The magnitude of loss; still present, 
the waiting on ct scans and organic transition still there. 

But for a moment. 

Time stood still. 

The holy touched the earth. 
Something greater than myself spoke life and
 breath into the deepest place in my being. 
A moment that transcended this life as we know it. 

I Chronicles 16:29
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Step into His Grace

I am a mama who lost her mama. 
Nine years of cancer. 
The final stages. 
You say death with dignity?
My mama endured pain; with grace. 
She clung to her Jesus. 
Knowing He knew her name.
Knowing He would call her name when time. 
We; her children; grew strong. 
We cared for this mama of ours. 
We guided our dad as the memory thief silently crept in. 
We watched our mama as her systems shut down. 
We watched her stand in the Powerful name of Jesus, with arms lifted high at her grandchild's baptism. 
We cried out to God to call her home. 
We wept. 
For all that has been and never will be again. 

I am a mama who lost her son 7 months later. 
The irony. 
I begged for my mama to be called home. 
My beloved red head was called 
in the wee hours of a Sunday morning; 
while I slept. 

No warning. 

A life being lived. 
A future just beginning. 
My mamas heart hurts. 
It aches actually. 
Burns deep. 
The breathing. 
Each moment choosing. 
Turning from the darkness that seeks to consume. 
An abyss that calls. 
The enemy desires discouragement and fear. 
At every turn he longs for us to cave to the pressure. 
The light though. 
It shines. 
In the darkness. 
Just a small glimmer illuminates an immense area. 
As that glimmer grows the work of God ensues. 
The pain remains, yet held by the Almighty. 
A buffer. 
The price paid on Calvary carrying us through. 
The ways of the world harsh at times. 
Though for a purpose. 
One which we can not see.
Always moving forward. 
In hope. 
Always hope. 
The way can get heavy. 
The path becomes dim. 
Hold on dear ones. 
Reach for the Light. 
Illuminate that darkness with the hope sent for all. 
Banish the fear. 
He came to overcome. 
He longs for time with us. 
He beckons. 
I rest. 
This weary journey gets me down. 
So I turn. 
To find rest. 
To remember the battle is not mine. 
He will overcome. 
One day soon. 
He will come again. 
His promises. 
His law.
Our response. 
In my weakness He is strong. 
In my surrender he reigns. 
Joy finds me; 
comforts me. 
Those inner places of longing and ache are held by the One who sees. 
Take courage my friends. 
We are held by a mighty God. 
Nothing has escaped his sight. 
He has not forgotten. 
He is there. 
For you. 
For me. 
Step into his Grace. 

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Each day. 
How to do dinner. 
What the table looks like. 
His car in the driveway. 
All how to live without my son. 
Each day.

The path. 
God has ordained. 
Not my will. 
But His. 
And so I learn. 
While my heart misses. 
I open my heart to the will of the Father. 

A young teen plays Elijah's drum set at church.
A young man unaware of the story.

Playing to Worship. 
The same God. 

All for His Glory. 

So I learn, to trust more. 
Rest where there is chaos. 
Quiet when the screams seek to find a voice. 
Peace given. 

A purpose beyond what I can see. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Calves! They're Everywhere!

Sunshine spilled over the mountain this morning. 

Cool mornings force us to use heat. 
Hot coffee awaits me as I stumble to the kitchen. 
I run the schedule through my head. 
I beat eggs and try not to burn toast. 
I burn eggs and the toast is safe. 
I continue the run through of the schedule. 
There's school work and book work. 
Calves need to be feed. 
Oh those calves! 
They're everywhere!

Calves always mean Spring here on the farm. 
The Winter is shedding it's skin. 
Milk production will return to a more comfortable place. 
The "hold your breath" feelings dissipate a bit. 
Cash flow begins to improve. 
This year, however, we are in the final stages of transitioning to Organic. 
This will complete a challenging year long process. 
Life is like that. 
Needing to go the distance. 
We can't be sure what will happen. 
We can trust. 
Each calf that is born is a gift. 
New life. 
Some days the mama's do what they were created to do. 
There are no problems. 
Other days there is trauma and trouble. 
The outcome not so pleasant. 
Through each of those births my farmer waits patiently. 
He watches. 
He lets the mama's do their thing. 

Yet he is never far. 

It is the picture of our Holy God. 
He is never far. 
He waits.

Genesis 28:15
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until 
I have done what I have promised you."

Sunday, May 8, 2016

What to do with this Mother's Day Thing

It's Mother's Day. 
My mom and my mother in law reside with the King of all Kings. 
And the one who made me a mom lives there too. 
And I want to cry. 
I want to scream and throw a tantrum. 
It's just not fair. 
I miss my son. 
I miss my mom. 
I miss my mother in law. 
I have much material for a pity party. 
A real "whoa is me bash."

What good is that? 

What is being accomplished?
Jesus himself had much to complain about. 
He was spit on, bruised and crucified as a common criminal. 
Yet not once did he utter anything other than, "Not my will, but thine."

That's how I want to live this life. 
"Not my will, but thine."

I don't do this life well. 
I get angry quickly. 
Slow drivers. 
Drivers who choose to not use a blinker. 
It's hard to extend grace. 
I see faults often before success. 
I am quick to speak and slow to think. 
 Just ask my farmer. 
I have an insatiable desire to be right. 
I hold tightly to things that bother me. 
Opening my hands and letting things go, are hard. 
Basically, I am a mess. 

 A mess that is loved by a Holy God. 

When Mother's Day approaches it leaves me with a choice. 
My sister in law is experiencing her first Mother's Day without her son. 
I hate that she has to endure this. 
The feeling of wanting to stomp and throw a fit is strong. 

I want to rebel against the weight. 
I don't want to celebrate this holiday. 
Once again I am struck by the use of "I". 
When did it become all about me?
When has it ever been?

The very breath of the Savior brought my bones to life. 
The same Savior called me to himself and I bowed low to the call. 
He has allowed tough things to pass through his fingers into my life. 

Who am I to accept the good but not the hard? 

 Mother's Day is not about me or my feelings. 
It is about the institution of Motherhood. 
The need for all to be mothered. 
Whether God has filled your womb or not. 
You are mother to someone. 
Every kind word you pass on. 
Each nurturing action; a gift. 
Your mother, like mine, may reside with the King of Kings.
Yet, God has provided woman after woman to fill that role for me. 
A kind word here. 
A gesture there. 
A hug. 
A card. 
A listening ear. 

Your son, or daughter, like mine, may reside also with the King of Kings. 
Deep ache. 
Heart wrenching days and moments. 
Searing pain like to other. 
Yet, I had Elijah for 17 years. 
Those years were beautiful. 
God has not for once left my side. 
Sometimes I don't feel his presence. 
It is a hard road to walk. 
His promises tell 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.

This morning the choice was made for me. 
As I woke and took that deep breath,
 that breath I take to get out of bed every morning; 
this is what I saw. 

I have 5 beautiful children still this side of heaven, 
and 2 grand babies that I adore. 
My life is blessed with many young people
 that bring me such immense joy. 
Young people that remind me of the gift and treasure I had in Elijah. 

This is where I will choose to place my heart today. 

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

(Photo taken July 28, 2013, the morning Elijah met Jesus.)

May you choose this day, a path of gratitude. 
Allow the Holiness of a loving God to shoulder your hurt and pain. 
Lay down all that you hold.
Bring it all to Him.
Each day. 
Let him do His work. 

I heard this song by Toby Mac. 
"I know you're prayers ain't been answered yet. 
I know your feeling like you've got nothing left. 
Well, lift your head. 
It ain't over yet. 
Keep walking."

And that's what I'm doing. 
I am looking up. 
Feet planted on solid ground. 
I am going to keep walking. 
Because it's not over yet. 

Toby Mac

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,
So many times I have picked up the phone to call. 
My heart hurts missing Elijah. 

Yet you reign with him on high. 

It was April vacation. 
I missed our time together. 
It was always so much warmer at your house. 

Such a perfect time to be away. 
We would sit on your screened in porch. 
How you loved that addition to your home. 
We'd drink coffee and argue. 
Goodness we never could see eye to eye on very much;
except our love for our Lord. 

I went to a family baby shower. 
Your presence missed so much. 
You just had an air about you that made a party. 

I took a walk with a friend. 
She shared part of her to do list. 
Buying flowers for her mom. 
I remember the last time I sent you flowers. 
I know there's a picture in one of your albums. 
Your Birthday and Mother's Day only days apart. 
I called to order you flowers. 
Our hometown florist. 
Folks you went to school with. 
She asked me what to put on the card. 
I couldn't speak. 
I started to cry. 
I didn't know how long you would live. 
Cancer had been your companion for 9 years. 
I couldn't pull myself together. 
I felt so foolish. 
When I gained composure,
I said, " Happy Mother's Day, Love Gary, Tammy and the kids."

And that was that. 
The last time I would send you Mother's Day flowers. 

Now, I need to head to your home.
To take all the memories and store them in other places. 
Oh, there are so many. 
How you loved life. 
Even your cancer could not, would not, destroy your joy. 
Photo Albums showing the legacy of the life you lived. 
Embracing moments. 
Capturing events forever. 
These are the hardest to sift through. 
What do we do with the life time of memories?

Today dawned beautiful again. 

After days of dreary weather, it has been wonderful to see the sunshine. 
The college girl will be coming home next week. 

Her freshman year finished. 
She's changed though. 
This place no longer holds her. 
She's changing and growing into the woman God has called her. 
She won't be home for Mother's Day. 
I don't want that to affect me. 
I have had the gift of being a mom. 
A joy for which I am eternally grateful. 
A longing in my heart; given. 
Many times. 

I miss you mom.