Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Five Things I'm Good At......

Some things I do better than others.  It's usually much easier for me to notice and, sometimes, to obsess about the things I need to improve.  So, just for the simple fun of it, I thought I would put into words five things that I do well.  Just in case.....

ONE - making my bed.  Well, maybe not just the art of making my bed (although it does look nice) but more the habit of making my bed.  In truth, I would like to make the bed as soon as I'm out of it and upright but I'm afraid that would make me seem obsessive.  But within thirty minutes, I have the bed made.  The day just goes better if you start the day right and a day does not start right until the bed is made.  I know those who would turn around and head twelve miles back home if they forgot their watch, or earrings, or (heaven help) their phone!!  Me?  Would totally turn around if I forgot to make the bed.  But that would never happen.

TWO - organizing.  It really does not matter if it is kitchen cabinets, closets, junk drawers, spices, office files, old photos or the recycling...I can organize it to a thing of beauty!  Ok, maybe not the recycling.  Not only does the finished product make me happy but the entire process just makes my heart sing.  A friend once told me that ironing did the same thing for her.   (I don't even know what to say.) Give me a pile of tax receipts to organize and file any day!

THREE - throwing things away.  This is tied closely to number two.  It is so much easier to organize anything if all the extraneous is thrown away - and I don't have a problem letting go of anything. Admittedly, this has gotten me into trouble once, or maybe twice but, when it doubt, I'd much rather take the risk and throw it away.  I think this one is a genetic thing I get from my mother.  I learned very early if you left it lying around, it would most likely be thrown away.  School research papers included.  At least I can say, I never did that!

FOUR - planning.  Maybe this is really more organizing but I love event planning.  I love creating the idea, the thinking through of the details, making phone calls and coordinating all the pieces that come together to make the event happen.  Except for weddings.  Wedding planning is a thing all of itself - and just not my thing.  I think being an event planner would be a dream job.  Then again, if it were "a job" it might not be as much fun!

FIVE - driving.  I know just about everyone thinks they are a good driver.  At least, everyone I've ever asked.  But let me just say - not everyone is a good driver!  (In fact, most of the people I see driving desperately need more driver's ed.)  But, I really am a good driver. There isn't a way to measure that or for me to prove it, but you can take my word:  I am a (pretty good) driver!  Sadly, I do not enjoy driving.  I really don't enjoy being in the passenger seat either. Makes for super long car trips!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Preparing My Place

I'm joining the Five Minute Friday fun again this week.  The writing for (only) five minutes has definitely been challenging.  The writing freestyle and without overthinking - even a bit more challenging  The un-editing part - just about impossible!  But, nevertheless, here it goes.  This week's prompt:  PLACE

GO... "In my Father's house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."  John 14:2-3

The Lord once told Joshua that "every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you,"  (Joshua 1:3)  That was a powerful promise for Joshua.  God did not promise that the days and events ahead would all be easy, and the land would be given without work, challenge and in their own strength.  In fact, He repeatedly told Joshua to be of good courage.  God knew what was ahead - but He promised Joshua the victory and He promised to be with Him in the process.

In the same way, God has promised us (His children) that He is coming again.  He has gone away to prepare our new place.  Our new, forever, home in Heaven.  And when that place is ready, He is coming back to take us there.  That promise is as sure as the one He gave to Joshua.  God is a keeper of all promises.

Until He returns, not every day will be easy - without tears, heartache or difficulty.  But I know that He is with me just as sure as He was with Joshua.

STOP.  Join the others at FMF!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Three Lessons (I'm Still Learning) From Grief

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"  I Peter 1:7

I claimed this verse during the very early months of my grief and it has very often given me a small, but needed, answer to the why's my heart cried.  Even if I truly never understood all the why's, my mind could hold onto a sense of purpose.  And, if Christ is to be honored and glorified, there are lessons to continually be learned, no matter how many years I have been living with grief.  Most of the lessons mentioned here, I have learned at least once, if not several times, over the last eleven years but I found myself learning them again the last week or two - so, I thought they should be shared.

ONE - There is no rule book for grieving.  How many times have I wished for a rule book?  Not only am I rule-follower but I am a rule-loving girl.  Rules give me order.  They establish boundaries, balance and a sense of stability.  If I follow the rules, my boat stays upright and can weather even the strongest storms.  When grief completely overturned the boat that was my life, I was desperate for any type of stability. I was desperate for anyone who could just tell me the "ten steps to surviving grief."

There was no rule book in those early days and there are no rules for handling grief or honoring a loved one years later.  What was helpful and brought healing several years ago might not feel the same, or even be necessary, later.  And that is okay.  The first couple years after Tyler died, we would go off for the day.  Take a day trip.  Mindlessly wander a small town and look through shops.  The mindless part was good.  It kept us just occupied enough but didn't take thought.  For two or three years in a row, we came across an unexpected treasure which seemed to help mark the years.  In my mind, I made it a rule.  Each August 1st, we will take a day trip.  But the time came when it felt forced and more of a chore than any type of help.  So we stopped - and that's okay because there really are no rules.

TWO - Everyone grieves differently.  (Perhaps because there are no rules.)  This one was hard to learn in the beginning. Husbands, women, mothers, siblings, teenagers, grandparents, friends, etc. Everyone processes grief differently.  Everyone expresses grief differently.  And, after eleven years, each member of our family has a unique way to remember Tyler and to honor his memory.  That can still be challenging.  One of the hardest things about (self-imposed) rules is wanting to impose them on everyone around you.  Not only does it not work, but it is also just unfair.

THREE - I cannot depend on others, or circumstances, to comfort me or ease my grief. Again, it is unfair for me to expect family, friends or anyone else to know exactly what my heart needs.   Every year, God has used someone, or several someones, to say or do just what my heart needed to be reminded and to know how much He truly cares.  But God does that. I cannot try to make that happen.  If I will allow Him to work, and speak, and care so tenderly for me, I will never be disappointed.  Sadly, I have forgotten that truth more than once over the years.  But, He reminded me again this year.  What special surprises that only He could arrange were gifts this year.  What a faithful, loving and personal God we have!! May He continue to get the praise, and honor and glory!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Eleven Years

Eleven years ago today.  Sometimes all that eleven years can entail is too much for my brain to process.  It can seem like a lifetime and then, other times, it feels as fresh as if it were yesterday.  But, every day, for eleven years - on the good days, the bad days and all the days in between, God has been faithful.  He has upheld me and strengthened me.  He has encouraged and wiped away tears.  He has, indeed, given beauty where I could only see ashes.  He is good!

I received a note this week from one of Tyler's childhood friends.  What a blessing just for her to acknowledge "I'm thinking of Tyler, too!"  She included this poem that she wrote several years ago.  I will let it speak for me today.  Thank you, Kimberly.

Ty, my special angel friend
I miss your curly red hair,
the smile and awkward nods,
the laughs and fake guitar.
Never to joy in throwing your cap
or walking down an aisle.
The things we value on earth 
were you robbed,
but you got the joys of Heaven.
What are earthly things
compared to that glorious place
Why should I selfishly wish you back?