HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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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.

ASignature

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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In the Land of the Living


Let My Words Be Few...

Few Words Thursday…A Writing Prompt…

Join us with a quick few words of inspiration, love or laughter…no real rules…no word counts…Click the picture above to see what were about and jump in. We look forward to sharing this space with you!

It’s been a hard week…

Death has been a theme…

It’s been very hot, right off of it being wet, damp and cold.

A lot for a body and spirit to take…

But God! There is a hope and a prayer and praise music to console a weary heart and mind.

I wrote my heart yesterday, at the loss of a friend.

I’m caring for my dad’s house while he sits at his mother’s side; I don’t really know my grandma on this side of the family…

Tomorrow I do it again, after caring for my mother’s mother’s needs…my grandma…

Yet I feel spent and as if I am somehow uncared for…which is silly!

And yet this scripture came to mind amidst all of this sorrow and loss…

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!        Psalm 27:13

and I keep going back again and again to this song…It was the song that was in my head when I awoke to the Monday of this week of loss…the song that remained all day, as I realized this would be a week of loss, regret and sadness.

I believe I even posted this within the last entry…here .

So today…after yesterday…I decided I must come out of the funk and roam again amongst the living…

There is going to be loss and pain in this life…but I cannot give in to the emptiness and nothingness that is my natural reaction.

So as I, again listen to the song above and watch my love play with pups that are just opening their eyes, I…

choose to see the good that is in the land of the living and put aside the things of which I have no control…

and allow God to handle that which is His, while I live this life abundantly, as He has provided.

I will hurt for a bit…but they are with Him and singing Holy, Holy….just like the song…

Blessings Loves


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Sadness or Regret? Sad Regret.


Tears

It began like any other day. Yesterday did…

I walked out to my car feeling anxious, I thought, about the many errands I had to complete, wanting nothing more than to stay isolated in my home. Knowing this was not a good thing I pressed into my day, with prayer and praise music singing in my head…

…this song…

…as I stepped down from my porch there was our Baby Cat…rolling in the grass and sun. Just a bit further was the bird she had just killed…was she celebrating? Ehhh! (serial killing cat!)

Death…

It has been a twisting in the back of my mind, often, lately…Life and Death…Death is apart of life…

…just lost one of the pups from my Honey’s litter of six. Sad, beyond what I had expected.

Holy, Holy…Lord God Almighty…I let sing in my mind, replacing the thought, as I was off to feed Dad’s kittys and water the lettuce on the porch. He’s away caring for his mother, my grandmother (don’t really know her or that side of my family, at all) who is in the hospital and not doing well, she’s in her late 80s.

I feel concerned and mildly sad for Dad, but that is all…(is there something wrong with me?)

Then there is my G’ma, whom I care for, when she needs. In her late 80s as well, she has slowed and begun to show her age, just this year… (this hurts and frightens me in a way that I find curious…must be something wrong in me.)

then…I got a text.

Lorraine passed away…a few hours ago.” May 31, 2011 has been marked by death.

No tears…just a far away-ness. A wondering, this was a shock. I had corresponded with her around Christmas time. Kitten (Lorraine) told me she had retired and was ill, now, from the damage that chemo had done some 10 years ago when she had ovarian cancer.

Lorraine was herself in that letter, never one for a phone…and she lived only a town over!

I recall thinking of her and “meaning” to go over, couldn’t call and announce my arrival as she had turned off all her phones and I didn’t think twice about it…this was Lorraine.

I didn’t get there…come to find she wasn’t home anyway, she had been in between the hospital and convalescent center since January. No one called, probably because she had plans for getting well and buying that bungelow on a beach in Florida…she’s planned this for a decade!

I didn’t get there…

So still no tears, just an overwhelming sense of floating, regret, and wonder…

Not hungry. Oddly amazed that sadness causes the appetites to flee.

I didn’t get there…No one will call me Poodle, ever again. Now that brought contraction to this heart and a sad tear.

The sorrow is simply a blink away, yet has not settled into this spirit yet…

This is my suggestion. It is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE:

Tell them you love them! Life is too short and the unexpected happens each day. If you haven’t talked or agreed or seen them, tell them anyway, right now!

I LOVE YOU.

It’s simple, even when we are angry with them, we still love them! So tell them.

Life will do what life does, it will move forward no matter our circumstances. One day will lead to one hundred, and one hundred and one may be too late.

You see I didn’t get there…Life was the excuse, the reason, so simple yet so….complicated. Is it, or do we make it complicated, trading a distraction for a urging of the heart?

Tell them you love them, now, another moment will pass, painlessly…or that moment could stand still in regret.

Is your heart pulling at you for someone? That is the HOLY SPIRIT…answer that pull, do what is there in your heart…

…see, I didn’t get there.

I don’t have many regrets in this life…today I can feel one, very acutely…Sadly, FEEL this regret.

Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you…Matthew 5:4 and Isaian 51:3…

Blessings Loves   ♥


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Friday’s Hero and Rockin’ Robins…


Yesterday…May 20, 2011, was a rough day. Closely following a sleepless night and it’s following rough day!
Infact, I believe I would not be remiss in saying that the last two weeks have been rather rough.
 
Yet…not without blessings! Many blessings!
Rather than recount all of the events of the last two weeks let me just tell you the blessings…
 

Grandma came home from the hospital and went directly back into her routing. My mom, aunt and uncle were, miraculously the answers to many prayers! They are stepping up to do what kids should do when their parent begins that NEW SEASON in life that involves quality of life…independance and personal care issues. Not easy, and something I would have bet they (the siblings) would have avoided until her death!

My Honey Had her pups…

Honey's Expectations..

…and while we lost our “Little Guy” 26 hours later; we have 5 robustly healthy and happy Dachies…:)

Then, in the midst of Terrible Yesterday, Friday’s Hero was born…

First thing in the morning of the last day of the world (today was supposed to be judgement day according to some crackpot radio host…) while the sun beamed lazily through my lace curtains my son, James came down streaming great complaint!

“What’s your problem boy?” I asked

“There are birds in my room!!” He answered sleeping still, yet iritated! He continued on about how they started chirping at 5 am and wouldn’t shut up! Didn’t I hear them??? He asked, grumping.

I didn’t hear them, and our day went along it’s seemingly distructive path…

#&* My passenger window fell off it’s track, while open, with a rainstorm on the way!

#&* Little Guy was passing away…

….what else could go wrong I was thinking when I heard the noise!!!

Birds, loud and sounding distressed…

JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I called out…Jaaaaaammmmmesssss…

…and down he came with a baby bird in a shirt of his. “MOM! What do I do???”

We thought and I said, well put him outside and see if the mother comes….”and first bring in the serial cat!” (we have baby cat, she is quite the serial predator! Killing, seemingly for sport.) Baby Cat, safely in isolation we remained unsure of what to do…

So I called Lanoka Oaks Veterinary Center, where a friend of mine works. I was referred to Carol…who I was told handles baby birds fallen from nests…

as I called James went to check that their were no more orphans in the closet…and with that he brought down two more, angrily chirping baby birds…

There feathers simply fluff…their pinions not yet feathered, except for beautiful brown tips…and bright yellow open mouths. These babies were very hungry…

She asked some questions, and we came to the conclusion that since there didn’t seem to be any sign of the mother bird (at the time I had no clue what kid of birds these very noisy babies were) that we would bring them to her and she would raise them.

Orphan Robins

James took the birds to Carol…but not before I shot these:

Feed Me..

Resting...or Angry???

There you have it…Terrible Yesterday (May 20th) had it’s many blessings.

While we experienced great loss…

Little Guy

We also enjoyed great blessings…

Blessings Loves…

♥•*¨*•☼•*¨*•♥


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Forgiveness…Have You Forgiven Yourself? Few Words Thursday…


  

   

Let My Words Be Few Thursday

“Let My Words be Few” Thursday

Here at HOPEannFaith I am challenging myself to be concise in my writing, and I invite you to join me. It is my hope to write spirit filled, inspirational posts touching our Spirits, not just our minds and flesh. I also hope this will improve my writing skill set, while deepening my spiritual walk.

 If you would like to join me in this challenge simply leave me a link to you ‘Let My Words be Few’ blog post or simply leave your post in the comments, and I will link your post into mine for that week.Your post can be about anything positive! The goal is to be inspirational while using the fewest words. You can see I’m still working on that, so there is NO word count requirement.

 You may use the Thursday if you like, but it is not a link…I don’t know how to do that! 🙂 I’m a writer not a techie! Just manually link the picture to my blog from yours and we will be good to go, and your readers will be able to join us.

Thanks for reading Loves! I welcome the company.

Blessings Loves,

Forgiveness was the focus I got today during my time with God. And how apropro…

It is my youngest son‘s 24th birthday, and if there is one source of overwhelming guilt in my life it is he.

Yet, I have worked against feeling this guilt, as it is not mine.  I’ve tried to forgive my seemingly ineptness with this boy, this man.

 So God brought it today, the subject of forgiveness, on his birthday! I would imagine this will be cathartic and a breakthrough will come for me…yet I am saddened that the breakthrough may not reach my boy…

but God…Let me be still and KNOW that He is God! ‘Is there anything to difficult for God?’ the bible asks.

Happy Boy

 

Joyful Boy

Joyful Boy

 

Sweet, Sad Eyed Boy

 

The Man

 

 ‘Why are you downcast, O’my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God.’ Psalm 43:5

I feel guilt that my boy aches,  from a past no child should have to endure.

Yet I had no hand in that harm.

I ache that this man is so angry, so sorrowful, and too proud to ask for help.

I hurt at his hand, his unkindness towards me. I believe he doesn’t understand. I pray he is mistaken in this behavior and understands that I had no hand in his harm.

This man is one place I am at my weakest…”Where you are most human, most yourself, weakest, there Jesus lives.” – Henri Nouwen

I wish, that I could have prevented…been there…stopped his (their) torture, earlier.

How does a mother forgive herself?

I do not feel guilt for everyday things like yelling too much, not listening enough…No my guilt is for things I could not have prevented or fathomed.

My guilt is because the scarred victim in me, so young, created a victim in him, for a time.

 Jesus said that forgiveness needs to happen seven times seventy times…a day…and the apostles asked that He increase their faith…Jesus answered,

 “and the Lord said, ‘If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree,’Be uprooted and be planted in the sea.’; and it would obey you.” Luke 17:5-7

So I am planting this mother’s guilt in the sea…far away so that it cannot return. I put forth the effort, in faith, to forgive myself 70×7 times…again and again… 

Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista’s Blog said today…’Grieving continues after we’ve forgiven (even ourselves). That grieving person is who we were, hurt and angry. God still makes us new.’ How faithful He is to make us new each day with His mercies.

Yet I don’t feel new, especially those days when my boy battles and lashes out. Then I battle the grieving me who wants to blame and accuse me of being a terrible mother.

I haven’t hugged or even touched my boy in years…no one is allowed to. My heart cries to hug him, to comfort his pain, anger… even just a quick birthday hug.

Oh how I grieve for this self-destructive man. His struggle each day so fierce. His heart each day so hard, his words so harsh.

 I sometimes wonder to myself, ‘What have you done? What haven’t you done? Why can’t you fix this?’

Only God can fix this. This mother can only pray that the man allow God to fix this… Then I remember this boy, NO! Man, is saved. He has been to the altar at least 3 times. I pray God’s grace for my son, I know he walks in it, I pray he becomes aware of it.

“Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus – For sin shall not master over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.” Romans 6:11,14

Have you forgiven yourself today? 70×7 times a day…even once have you forgiven yourself?

It is understood that forgiveness heals us; you know, when you forgive those who trespass against you.

Have you trespassed against you? That same forgiveness required remains required even when forgiving means forgiving self…

You stand under the grace of God…He forgives you…more completely than 70×7 times a day…

What is your count?

 Blessings Loves ♥

This post was inspired by Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista, her blog scriptures and the quote were the ones that God sent me today, through Bonnie. Hop on over and be blessed by using the link. Thanks, A.

 


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Let My Words Be Few Thursday…Grace


 

Let My Words Be Few Thursday

 

“Let My Words be Few” Thursday. “Few Words” Thursday is my attempt at concise and profound writing; where the content touches our Spirits and not just our minds and flesh. I hope this will improve my writing skill set, while deepening my spiritual walk. 

 Leave me a link to your “Let My Words be Few” blog post; it can be about anything you want! The thing is to get to the meat of your post in the fewest words.I will link your post into my “Few Words” posts; and we can discuss and get to know one another. You may use the Thursday photo if you like…it isn’t a button because I have no clue how to do that. 🙂 I’m a writer…not a techie! However, if you would, please manually link the photo to my blog from yours (if you know how) so that your readers can participate too. 

Blessings.

 Grace…

I have written this post a dozen or more times.

Every devotion and sermon heard since Sunday has been about Grace! 

The Lesson…Grace 

The last week has been excruciating for this woman of Faith, and for the momma bear and SELF within her! 

So much is in constant flux in this life, in this walk, in this home and this family. 

It feels like chaos, it feels like ripping and tearing. Surgery with no anesthesia! 

Painful 

My flesh cries for it to stop. 

It demands someone to blame; someone to take the responsibility for these new wounds. 

Grace… 

This was going to be a post on praying for those who hurt you… 

Doing unto others what you would have done… 

The bible says to pray for ones enemies, those who persecute those who hurt us… 

But this is not about that… 

Grace… 

This about stretching and growing in Grace! This time it is about me…what needs change in me… (It hurts so badly – the lacerations of this week………..), and until I extend Grace it will continue to be excruciating. 

A lack of Grace and mercy in me… 

The disturbance in me… 

Grace: the unmerited favor of God. 

Even as my flesh and soul scream at the backwardness sensation this causes in me…I know…I must give grace, I must give mercy to those who have {I perceive have intentionally} inflicted… 

Now to get this down into a heart that has a fortress built against pain and those who {myself?}… 

Dear Grace

Thank You, Jesus, for Your Grace {You, the embodiment of Grace} that You’ve extended. Please teach me mercy and grace. If I truly walk in grace, please help me to extend the same. In Your Name. Amen. 

Blessings Loves.  

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