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Faith in the Suspension of Time


Don.

He looks at me like this every day … those sparks are really sparks! I love that he looks at me like this every day.

I stopped in the middle of my day, today, asking God what I was being prepared for in all of this. It seems every post, TV show, and commercial I see is a poignant story of someone’s valiant struggle for life, ending in death. It seems I simply cannot escape that part of life that closes the door on this world.

Why?

I’m not really asking God why me. Because why not me? We all have to come, at some time or another, to that place where we realize that death is a part of life. A door shut to this world we live in as we enter into the eternity we’ve earned by fulfilling our call of God.

I’m just wondering why, now. Why so vivid?

I’m not afraid of death. This beautiful man of mine is certainly not afraid of death … he faces it on a level plane, that most of us do not, every day; while at times in excruciating pain. Pain that would cause me, and possibly you too, to cry out to God to end it for us.

During our evening of “normalcy”, watching TV together and talking during commercials;  we TALKED. I noticed during a scene in the show we watch that it was effecting him. He was emotional this evening. I saw a twinkle in the glistening of his silent, held back tears that he was worried about me; afraid that he was going to leave me alone.

Not getting many opportunities to live emotionally with this man of mine I called him on it. He couldn’t really answer my inquiries; after all he has always been a man of few words. He’s that man; the one everyone listens to when he speaks. You have to listen, he’s not likely to repeat himself so you can take notes.

Wisdom lives in those eyes. I love that about him.

Anyway. What prompted this post was something I read in Kaitlyn Bouchillon’s “In the Midst of the Mist” post from yesterday (my birthday). She wrote: “Maybe it’s not about knowing the answers but trusting the Answer. Maybe it’s a lot less about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel than it is trusting the sun will rise and the Son is Light.”

What wisdom from such a young soul!

She writes what I’ve been saying for a long time, about time. Basically this life, though it feels very long, is a span of time that  seemingly has no end for us. Though it is much shorter than we can fathom.

The bible says we are but a mist that appears for a short time and then disappears. James 4:14

We draw our first breath, naked and cold, in a brightness that we’ve never known … We draw our last breath, alone, with God, in a brightness we’ve only imagined, but never really grasped …

In between is the mist … the shadow.

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long – TS Eliot.

Today, for the Hubs and I, that mist, that valley, that shadow, is what David was talking about in Psalm 23 … the shadow of death.

NOT death … just a shadow of death …

We are learning about life in the midst of a death sentence.

Well, let me clarify … the world says cancer is a death sentence. We do not believe this. We believe God’s promise of healing and restoration.

Our faith says that physical death is a door to eternity.

I asked God today what I was being prepared for … but I realize I’m not being prepared. None of us are prepared for death; no one knows the day or the time … only the Creator Father knows the end from the beginning.

I heard it said that it’s a good thing we don’t know what’s coming next, because we’d probably never get out of bed if we did.

I’m certain that Kaitlyn was right (seriously the wisdom of our youth is astounding!) “…it’s not about knowing the answers but trusting the Answer..”

We trust the Answer.

I sat back this afternoon, wondering and then decided to just breath and sit quietly in God’s presence. Trusting the Answer. Then just now the Answer gave me an explanation in reference to my wondering.

We’re not being prepared! We’re being given an opportunity to experience, truly experience, our life together, the Hubs and I. An opportunity to make the most of this mist in the middle of the only two intakes of breath that bridge this life and eternity.

That mist is our lives … we can either walk around, allowing the mist to fog the beauty of it’s swirling light and shadow or we can hold hands and experience the mist and the beauty of being truly alive and present.

Tonight he looked at me with that look (the one in the picture) and we experienced some very important emotions. He really does look at me like that everyday. Those sparks you see are not photo shopped, they are real and full of who he is inside. And I desperately hope that this life experience, that is testing our deepest faith, can be experienced with all the life and presence that we had this evening.

Because in the rawness of emotion and truth sharing this evening we both experienced the true peace of God. The peace that He left us when Jesus went to be at  His right hand.

It’s faith in the suspension of time … time that is eternal in the Creator Father’s hand.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36

I’ll be mulling over Kaitlyn’s words for days, I’m sure. Because, as she wrote: “If we’ve only got so much time left – and that’s the case, and if none of us knows just how much time it is – and that’s also true, then maybe what matters is not all that we do but all that we are. Could it be that it’s less about how well we can see through the blurry mist and more about how we keep on walking through?”

“What matters is all that we are.” … 

And all that we are, the Hubs and I, right now is alive and present and I am determined to remain alive and present with him as long as we have, not knowing how much time that is … an eternity.

And … no one knows the day or time … not even the oncologists! ” … not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36

Thanks for reading my disjointed thoughts. Thanks to Kaitlyn for inspiring in me the spark to write tonight, it’s been a long time. Thanks to God for sending the Answer I needed, and not what I thought I needed.

Blessing to you all, my lovely readers.

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The Kitchenista! Vegetable Soup


Seriously, check this out! I met Ashleigh while beginning to blog and I love this chick. She is the bomb, the complete package of beautifully, truthful human-ness!

And now with the food. I think I want her for my wife! ❤

RECIPE: Vegetable Soup.


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Defining Grief in {my} Life …


This week’s prompt for Tuesday at Ten over on Karen’s Finding the Grace Within is Grief

My last post was a letter to sorrow, because Grief (which that prompt was actually about) has not entered Hutchland in her proper form; yet, like I said in my post, “Dear Sorrow,” , her cousin Sorrow had come to visit.

Grief has so many meanings! So many actions.

Grief Defined

Grief Defined

I’ve found that I’ve written about grief on several occasions, over the year … you can read a few here: Grief A Study.

In my life I’ve grieved the loss of much; but that grieving was not always caused by the loss of a person. The action of grief blankets many areas of life.

I’ve grieved, without honest knowledge until many years later, the loss of my family to divorce, my mother to mental illness and my father to the desolation of the marriage and for many years to alcohol.

I’ve grieved the loss of a childhood from the age of 4; of innocence, environmentally and sexually, from the age of 4.

I’ve grieved my past from a loss of memory of over 8 years.

I’ve grieved my own 1st marriage.

I’ve grieved the deaths of my step-father, my grandfather, two uncles and my grandson.

I’ve been visited by Grief. she has her place in our lives for processing purposes only. She is a tool to assist us to adjust to this most tragic change in our lives.

But that is all Grief is to do. She is not to reside in our lives indefinitely!

YES, everyone grieves and we all do it in our own timing. the reality of loss is devastating. I believe, though, that the devastation should only be momentary. She should only remain long enough for us to rearrange our memories, so that they may keep what or who we lost in our hearts; where those we love and things we treasured were, in the very first place.

Grief is a state of the heart. And she should ease up, though at times achingly slow, into a soft, treasured memory of love.

Grief should never become a permanent shield that we use to block things of life and love, so that we cannot be hurt. When Grief becomes that shield she damages our very spirit and soul. She cannot be allowed to reside within our heart.

Reading some of the posts I’ve written while grieving has caused a sadness within me; especially the posts about my grandson. My only memory of him is the pregnancy and his leaving us during his birth, but we love him all the same. It sounds almost odd to me, in my thinking, that I, honestly and with all of my heart, love a little boy who never opened his eyes or drew a breath, but I do so love and miss him. He was ours; a vital part of us.

But you see, I only grieve him now when I think of our losing him. I grieve the time we did not get with him.

And then I put grief to bed and  I cherish the love and connection he caused in our lives as he grew and thrived in the womb. He touched us ever so gently and that makes me warm with love for the little man.

Today Grief would like to enter early, laying her ground work in the heart of our hearts and the heart of our home. But we are not allowing her to come before her time.

That is a problem in our society today, I believe. I truly think that people anticipate the end of things and allow Grief to affect them before her time.

Grief is for AFTER the loss. She is not something we need for the preparation of the loss.

I believe we lose precious time with our loved ones and in our relationships and life dealings when we begin to prepare for an unknown eventuality.

One of the things God intended for us was for us to Have Life and Life More Abundantly; John 10:10. Well Grief is a thief, she diminishes us, she does not cause us abundance. Especially when she is allowed to visit before it is time.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a Time for everything …

 “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;“; Ecclesiastes 3:4

Grief desperately continues to visit us here, with all that we are enduring. But we, here in Hutchland, refuse to live less than abundantly through these trials.

Cancer is a trial not, necessarily, the death sentence, as people would lead you to believe; because Jesus has conquered death!

Addiction is a trial, not a death sentence, as people would lead you to believe; because Jesus has conquered death!

Therefore, though sadness sneaks in from time to time and fear attempts to take root, I choose to look up to where my true help comes from. I refuse to handle these trials in our life according to the world’s rules;  after all I, we, are Kingdom children residing for a time in a fallen world.

I will handle trials, sorrow and grief according to Kingdom Rules. I will rely upon my Father God and Jesus and Holy Spirit as I walk through the shadow of the valley of death … (note it is only a shadow, it is NOT death!).

I am greatly relieved that I have been delivered from the need for secular counsel and guidance. Life’s journey is a much easier path with Jesus at my side and Holy Spirit’s guidance.

I no longer have to look to others for guidance through grief or sorrow or even just a challenging moment. I simply communicate through prayer and am more often than not blessed with the answer instantly through Holy Spirit.

It’s a discipline, but one I have been working on for years now and it brings peace and comfort regularly these days.

Our days and weeks here are sometimes wrought with opportunities to give into fear, sorrow and grief. and honestly, like everyone else. Fleetingly the fatigue at the end of a day makes them seem the easier choice; allowing me to think that I could curl up into myself making everything just dissolve into nothingness. Then I remember, there is relief for the Spirit, through the Spirit, and my heart begins to fill with comfort.

When Grief visits you, remember, as quickly as you can, that God is there, waiting with open arms of comfort and peace for you in this time. You need not be engulfed in the arms of Grief and Sorrow, they provide no peace or comfort. Though they do have their place at specific times of our lives, their presence should lead you straight to God the Father for comfort.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

This was yet another study on Grief in my life … and after reading my past posts I think I’ve come a very long way in understanding how grief should be handled in a life.

What is grieving you today? Is it a lose or an annoyance that you’ve not yet found a solution to? Either way, as always, I encourage you to lift your eyes and seek guidance, not from man, but from our loving Father God.

Blessings to you all, and prayers for peace in comfort for you in all of your lives. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my thoughts.

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Tuesday


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Dear Sorrow,


I’m a little late to the party over at Kate Motaung’s blog ;but at the time of the link up I hadn’t completed my journey into grief.

The Hubs battling cancer and the boy battling heroin addiction takes up a lot of one’s time and mind space. Not to mention battling heart ache and depression. All at that same time. You see Grief has not managed to settle in here in Hutchland … but her cousin Sorrow has come to visit.

Dear Sorrow,

There are so many things you want from me here today. You entered quietly and sit pretty and dainty in the corner just waiting on Grief to arrive.

You arrived just before midnight on New Years eve; determined to begin 2015 with our family; and you did. Like a quiet breeze of numbness after the phone call. My boy, in custody, again. Ending the festive and peaceful Christmas season wrapping your cool, almost light, arms around my shoulders. Lowering yourself, snug at my side, whispering your sweet lies into my ear. But you are simply at my side. You can only whisper, hoping I will give in to your almost warm and comfortable dark.

I realize you are a part of life. You visit in times of loss and hardship and stay for awhile. Lingering too long over a cooling cup of tea and hardly nibbled sandwich in a lonely, quiet living room. Sitting a touch too close on the sofa of a darkened, quietly sleeping home in the wee hours of the morning.

It seems I must face you; but I refuse to believe that I must allow you to reside here, in my heart of hearts, in my spirit.

Sorrow, you are not meant to reside. You are not meant to remain.

Life adjusts and it changes as God, Himself is put in charge of this home. This heart of our family.

Somethings need to be so that Joy can move in and reside.

The battle with cancer continues; definitely on the path of healing.

The battle with heroin continues, now, hopefully, on a path of healing. Definitely on a path of repentance.

Life continues and I, Sorrow, continue forward with a goal of self-discipline in mind.

So, Sorrow, I don’t believe you have a place here in the heart of our home, yet. There may come a time for you to visit a while, but it is not today.

Today I seek a deepening of my relationship and dependence upon God, the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today I seek a deepening of my trust in Jesus for all areas of my life. I say: “I trust You, Jesus.”

So I bid you farewell today, Sorrow, you have no place here.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent. Psalm 34:17-18

Today's Prayer

Today’s Prayer

Thank you, dear Reader Friends, for stopping by. Be blessed.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Psalm 27: 6


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Begin … 2015


prayer.begin WELCOME TO 2015

At midnight we ended the old year and began the new one simultaneously. Many of us spent a week in review of some kind, possibly planning what not to repeat and what new plans and goals we were headed for.

Good old Resolution Time!

Well resolutions are not for me. I am not into setting unrealistic goals that I cannot manage to complete or even remember at the end of January! =)

Resolutions are truly a hindrance to one’s life progress. They create a sense of failure at the beginning of every new year. At least that’s how I see it.

So if one doesn’t indulge in resolutions for the new year what is it one does with the vast 365 days laid out before us in the vastness of that thing called the future? What is the plan?

For me, I quasi participate in the My One Word movement. This year I may sign up for the 1st level accountability group, but I don’t know. This will be my 4th year picking a word for the year.

I chose my word a few days ago: Self-Discipline(d) – I find it funny that my words are always either hyphenated or compound words. Like chips … you can’t just have one!

To begin my plan is to obtain self-discipline in all areas of my life. And when I say self-discipline, I mean this:

Self-discipline: is the ability to control one’s feelings or emotions and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.

Synonyms: self-control, restraint, self-restraint, self-command, willpower, purposefulness, strong-mindedness, sound-mindedness, resolve, moral fiber, doggedness, persistence, determination and grit!

I intend to purposefully control my emotions. I have a great friend, mentor and now my pastor, who when we met, I decided in my heart to become her. I wanted to be able to conduct myself with the class and composure that she possessed. I wanted the peace and self-control she has as a person, wife, mother and leader. Since that meeting we’ve become very good friends. I’ve taken over her post as church secretary and armor bearer to our pastor and now I am her secretary and armor bearer. I tell you, it’s an honor to be her friend and to have her in my life.

And over the years I’ve found that God intended this for me and that He had given me the tools to succeed on this particular path.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 7:1

The NIV translation says, ” … power, love and self-discipline“.

The world tells us that we cannot control how we feel. We cannot choose who we love. Our feelings and emotions are out of our control. NOT SO.

Romans 8:9-11 basically tells us that Holy Spirit lives within us, giving us life over death (or control over our sinful nature). Sinful nature sounds awful I know but what that means is that we actually have control over our carnal or natural nature. We most definitely control our feelings, as well as our emotional reactions and actions in all areas of our lives.

And in Galatians 5:22&23 the Word tells us that Holy Spirit produces in us the fruit of His Spirit.  It is His emotions we experience in the circumstances of our lives. He produces His emotions within us so that we exhibit the benefits of His presence in our hearts – love , joy, peace, patience, kindness , goodness, faithfulness, gentleness , and self-control.

So why did I choose self-discipline?

Well for the last three years my word was Wholeness. A good goal and I’ve come a long way in becoming whole in Christ. So a the beginning of 2015 I changed it up, but not by much. After all, self-discipline is a major part of walking in the wholeness of one’s life.

As many of you know I have A LOT on my plate these days. And 2014 went out with quite a blow to my spirit. Please pray for my youngest son, if you would. And 2015 came in with me HAVING to control my emotions.

Pick a word for the year … I promise you that immediately you will be challenged by your choice!

We began 2015 with a kiss good night and in the morning we began the year in prayer at our church. We were reminded to pray the solution, not the problem. Periodically we review how we should be praying so that the blessings and promises flow in our lives and ripples out into our community. It’s a great reminder not to fall into that wordy, self involved prayer style where we think because we see the circumstance as huge we much add many words to get our point across to God. How silly that is, but I do it too, sometimes.

So this morning I was in a position to keep my composure amongst my church family while praying for our particular situation (that cropped up last night before the new year was rung in). There was that challenge proving within me that I had chosen the correct focus for this year.

So this is the plan:

1. Deepen my relationship with God with prayer and structured time in the Word.

2. Devotional: Jesus Calling ( I got it for Christmas!) and following her purposeful time with God – we’ll see how that works for me; but the daily reading comes with scripture to read – keeping me in the Word.

3. A Blessing Box – an attitude changer … a tool to purposeful positiveness.

That’s how I began my day. That’s how I began 2015.

How did you begin 2015? Did you make a resolution or set a goal? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading my friends. And Happy Happy New Year.

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