Tuesday, October 10, 2017

He's In The Everyday

i love to write!! I need to write!! but, the last while I. just. cant. even. I have a headful of stuff needing to come out and a heart full of more stuff needing to come out and its just all in there colliding with each other in one big murky swirling mess. life has felt very huge and overwhelming and there's so much frustration and hurt and feelings of existing and going through the motions and in the middle of that there's all this amazing love and friendships and golden moments of beauty and preciousness and God and yet at the same time God has felt immensely silent and far away and unreachable far to often and relationships hurt and betray and are silent and judgy and life questions loom large and unanswered and understanding of it all seems vague and out of reach and the need to get it all out in writing it is larger than before and at the same second the lies of you have nothing to say and your a hypocrite and people will just judge you if your real and honest and assume and whisper and you fail as a friend and as a mama and as a wife, and and, and.............last week we went to the Outer Banks (one of my most favoritest places on planet earth) with the family, we hadn't been there since 2007 the week of the first anniversary of Devin's death, it felt like coming home!! as we got closer and the salty sea air began to greet us it was like being swaddled by your favorite blankie and as we crossed the Oregon inlet it felt like your favoritest person pulled you blankie and all into the comfort of his warm embrace and reached passed you and shut the door on the rest of the crazy, ever moving, beautiful chaotic world and handed you a free from anything but rest and reboot pass for a whole week!! I entered my bedroom with it's own screened in deck space complete with little metal bistro table and chairs and 2 Adirondack chairs and I peeled back the curtains and opened my patio door and let the salt air and sea sounds wash over me with smell of sand dunes and sea oats and sounds of shore birds and I shut my eyes, breathed deep and smiled and didn't shut the patio door until I packed up to leave. I took my journal and my electronic tablet along with this crazy thought that early in the morning or maybe late at night or somewhere in the in between hours I'd sequester myself away with that favorite blankie and a mug or glass of something amazing by my side on my own little patio facing the ocean and I'd write myself empty, I'd vomit all swirling heart and mind content and dialogue and mentally decompress all while listening to the oceans crash and roar and the sea birds or the night sounds all around, but..... I DIDNT OPEN MY JOURNAL AND PICK UP MY PEN ONCE OR TURN ON MY TABLET TO DOCUMENT.....instead, I walked the beach for miles in the A.M. reveling in the peace and silence, (I know, how can there be peace and silence by the sea, trust me, it was more of a head thing,) I'd pick up shells watch the sea birds scavenge for breakfast and the sun come up, I'd hold long chopped up conversations with God, mixed in with a lot of arguing an ranting and tears and questions. in the evening sometimes id walk a few beach miles again to watch the sun set over the sound then at night we'd take the kiddos an flashlights and hit the beaches again and chase ghost crabs and spy on the deer in the dunes. and in the in between hours id curl up on my bed facing the waves and sleep to the rhythmic roaring of the rising and falling of those powerful waves. and so the whole week went by and not a word came out in writing......I came home a little frustrated and a bit irritated, cause in my dialoging with God airing my frustrations with life I mentioned how life seems at times like one massive speed bump that never quite ends and I was feeling a bit like please throw out a life line already, it's time for a lung full of fresh air, like seriously, and then I was like am I missing something?? do I not know how to listen to you or communicate with you, like what am I not getting?? then I was like, I know, I love the amazingness of your creation and nature so if like you could put something awesome in my path ill know your telling me that ill be ok, that life and relationships and frustrations are gonna be ok that we'll survive this. I thought how about like a starfish or a sand dollar or ....... I came home with a piece of a broken sand dollar and pictures of the starfish my nephew found and I felt jipped and a bit let down and a whole lot like seriously I'm not sure you even care that I'm feeling overwhelmed and jelly legged at life. and.....then.....after the car was unloaded and I sat down on the patio to catch my breath and relax a bit by the fire I saw it, my angel trumpet bush was exploding with blooms, it was magnificent!! all summer it gave a random blossom sporadically but had been a huge disappointment and now it was glorious and hanging full and I immediately thought of my request to God in showing me something of his creation to let me know there is hope and that life might be hard and frustrating but it would be ok and ill survive especially with Him guiding and listening, even it at times it is one of His frustrated girls ranting and brewing and bellyaching, I knew without a doubt He gets that too, but it also was very clear to me again that His view of my life story looks a heap sight different than mine, His look at me and my life doesn't look anything like I think it should and what I demand or think is best for me or what I want isn't always how He sees my life for me or how He plans to orchestrate it for me, and His ways of speaking to me, giving me answers or showing me Himself usually is far from how I want Him to or order Him to, and what He asks me to do is walk this life resting and trusting in His sailing this ship and to rely fully on Him and Him alone for my happiness and contentment, not in friendships or marriage or works or commitments to others and churches and dreams, but in Him alone then we won't need to have expectations or lofty goals that get shattered and hurt and betrayed. I don't always know how to do it, or take His ways of providing the means to do it, but I know that verse, BE STILL, AND KNOW, is in there for a reason, maybe, especially for me, so I take the time to quit my frantic search of Him in some spectacular show, and quietly find Him in the quiet of the here and now, in the everyday, mundane at times, life and space He has called me to in this moment! Maybe it's finding Him in the coming home, the familiar, the laying down and living fully in Him, even in the swirling murky distorted life view.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Needed...Paper Towels...Just Roll With It!!

Ma'am, ma'am, I turned from perusing the dairy case in our local Aldis to realize I was the sole occupant in that particular isle save for the slightly unkempt older gentleman piloting an electric grocery cart and it dawned on me that the gravelly voice came from him and the Ma'am was indeed directed to me. Ye-eeess?? I answered cautiously, slightly irritated that I was being interrupted and held up from my frantic, rush in and grab a few things, and scurry home to do absolutely not more than necessary, all day agenda with the bestie. almost simultaneously, as the irritation hit, the voices in my head and heart joined forces and gave me what for!!! I smiled and said, ummm, yes sir, is there something you needed??? His reply wasn't at all what I was expecting. Ma'am, could you buy me a couple rolls of paper towels? I only have food stamps and I can't get paper towels with food stamps and I'm all out and could really use some. Sure, I replied, I'm about to check out, but if you get what you need I'll take care of it. thank you , thank you so much, I got a couple other things to get yet than I'll be done too and with that he cruised off in his motor cart and I headed towards the cashier thinking, seriously, paper towels? I mean, you could just use towels, but then that would require detergent and appliances and well frankly from the appearance of the gentleman I highly doubted either was in his possession often. I went to the checkout and as the clerk, to whom I'd given a heads up that I was waiting on some paper towels from a gentleman, was finishing ringing up my last items he zoomed up beside me with 3 rolls of paper towels proclaiming, this is all, I got the rest!! ok, I said, as I handed him his bag, here ya go, you have a good day! He looked at me as he took the bags, thank you, thank you ma'am, I really appreciate this. sure!! I said, you have a good day, yet again, to which he replied, you too, as we both went our separate ways. as I loaded up my purchases into my vehicle I had to admire the fact that he didn't take advantage of my willingness to help him, he only had me get the paper towels, he didn't show up in line with paper towels plus a few other things that he suddenly needed, he didn't ask for cash and wonder off using it on something totally unnecessary, I really think he was a genuinely honest soul humbly asking for a helping hand. I wondered what his story was, what hard messy stuff he had to face in his life, what he had to endure, what choices he'd had to make wise or unwise in his life that got him here, how long it took to lay down his manly pride ask for help, how often he was tossed aside, rejected and judged for his situation, for even having to ask, then I felt sad and a bit teary and ashamed to think how briefly I almost chose to be one of those to stick my nose high and turn my back. I felt humbled to think of the many times I've felt like I'm not doing enough of service for my Jesus, thinking surely just housewife and mama ain't enough, and how it seems like almost no ministry at all, and then when reaching out and being hands and feet of Jesus presented itself in my own back yard and I almost trampled it into the mud and flounced on my way, instead of grabbing the opportunity with enthusiasm and brilliantly shining Jesus when I could. 
wasn't long ago we had a Sunday school lesson having to do with angels. after my little meeting with the paper towel man I thought of the verse that speaks of entertaining angels unaware and I wondered how many times an angel has been put in my path and because of my frantic life pace, and tunnel vision or distracted scurrying I've overlooked them and missed out on glorifying my Father and receiving a blessing. I've tried over the last few years to consciously be about my public errands with a genuine smile and joyful greetings to those I pass or encounter and to make positive conversation and often pray about being the light of Jesus before I start out, there are so many out there with such pain and sullenness and hopeless countenance, it's always a blessing to just see a face light up with joy in that someone acknowledged their existence, even if a stranger.
on my way home I couldn't get paper towel guy off my mind and the voices in my heart and head had a chat with Jesus. I apologized for the initial frustrated and begrudging attitude I portrayed in helping one of His sons, then I thanked Him for giving me an answered prayer to being a light of His while I was out and about, for blessing me with means to be able to help out and give to another less fortunate, even if just paper towels!! I need to snatch these opportunities more and just "roll" with it!! :) I then thanked Him for His mercy and grace, and thought how a few short 19 years ago when Glen broke his back and I was told the likelihood of him ever walking again or even having movement from waist down again was slim to none, then with surgery and pins and bone grafting he walked, very stiffly and slowly, but......he walked out of that hospital 5 days later........when I saw paper towel guy....I saw what could have been my husband, what could have been my life, what if I was assigned a handicapped husband, what if I would have been assigned bread/paper towel winner and paraplegic caregiver, what if that chapter of our story wrote different, I/we could have been the ones humbly asking for another stranger soul to purchase our goods........
I'm more convinced then ever, that we all need someone!! everyone in this worn, negative, weary world we dwell in, no matter our status in society, wealth, business etc., we all need each other, whether it's to be a listening ear, a hand holder, an encourager, a top shelf reacher, a nose wiper,  or a paper towel purchaser, we are all needy and needed!! Jesus please help us to hear your voice in our head and hearts the loudest, to tune into voice uninterrupted, to hear you well, and to grab willingly every moment with every child of yours you put into our path, to shine you brightest to the darkest places, to illuminate new paths for weary feet, to be your guiding light in each adventure!!      

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TALK TO THE HAND

                                          
Right now in China, volunteering at an orphanage, are 2 of my bfs, this post was what I shared a week ago at a supper and prayer time with them and for their team, it keeps coming back to me as I think about them and all the experiences they are having and do the work they felt led to do there.
 
As I was trying to decide about whether to initiate a prayer evening, and then as plans came together to move forward with one I kept seeing hands, and as I thought about the team leaving my mind kept coming back to this word, hands, so I sat down and let my pen do the talking a few times and I’d like to share with you, a few things that God put on my heart for you guys, some verses and references, some thoughts and a poem.


Everyone of us, unless we've been through an accident or tragedy of some kind and has had a few of our digits unwillingly removed, or God designed us at birth without any, have fingers at the ends of our hands, and every soul has a print on each of these amazingly powerful and useful digits uniquely his own, no ones print is the twin to an-others!! think about the amount of souls in this world and each having 10 unique prints of their own and try to add up all that, I'm pretty sure that would equal a sum of digits, that, few, if any soul, could read!! (pun intended) everyone of us has the Fingerprint of God on our lives, on the very creation of us as a human being and as His daughters, and each of us are our own unique individual, no 2 alike, therefore we won't all be called by God to travel the same path, do the same work, reach the same people, go through the same battles, struggles, triumphs and joys. Because he has made us each uniquely our own persons each one of us leaves our own fingerprints on many and various people, places and things every single day!! as I was thinking of the China team I thought about all the things you were doing with your hands to just get ready to go, typing out info, signing papers and documents, making phone calls, sending emails, making food for those staying behind, folding clothes to travel, picking up and folding little garments to take to the little orphan kids along with toys and treats, collecting your travel funds, and the list goes on and on, and in all of this you each left your fingerprints on it all. Our fingerprints, like our lives could tell a story, how will ours read, one thing I know every chapter of every soul will be a different adventure. Just like our fingerprints, our story is our own, we won't all get to go and do the same work, same mission, we can't all be the hands and feet of Jesus to the same people group, at the same time, but we can all be His hands and feet where we are at all times. as the China team gears up to leave and embarks on this journey of actively being Jesus hands and feet for 10 days to these precious babies and those living and working and caring for them daily, those of us sending them off, staying behind can step up and be his hands and feet where we are by supporting, encouraging and lifting them daily to our Father in prayer. We may not be able to physically be there to love and hold and rock and cuddle these babies, but because of our love for God and for each of this team we can still have an impact on each of these tiny lives as we carry the team in their work. Each one of this team will leave a trail of fingerprints from here and all along the thousands of miles to their destination in a faraway China orphanage where they will then leave their fingerprints on every one of those precious little’s, and because this team is a part of the tapestry of each of our lives and our fingerprints are on them we can feel a part of this great mission as well. Sometimes the devil likes to get me to believe that because I live the in the boonies and I’m not in the trenches somewhere in a war torn, third world country, or passing out God's word in secret, or digging wells in Africa, that my life isn't worth much, or that I’m not building God's kingdom, and the doubts creep in and threaten to disturb my peace, but the truth is, even if it seems small and insignificant, if we're where God has placed us for the time being we are building His kingdom. So even if we all can't physically go along to China our work here carrying them through prayer is every bit as important, cause while they're in the messiness of the hands on of changing diapers, feeding little mouths, drying tears, coaxing smiles, patting little backs, caressing chubby cheeks, holding tiny hands we can be petitioning our Father to provide and bless them with courage and strength and bravery emotionally and physically.
 (Philippians 1:3-6,9.........Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying with a glad heart. I am so pleased you have continued on in this with us believing and proclaiming God's message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. So this is my prayer; that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much, but well.)
In the middle of all the adrenalin rush of traveling and the excitement of experiencing new sites and new country and new adventures and loving on these precious China dolls I’m sure there will be moments of pure exhaustion and jet lag, alongside panic and joy and happiness and yet fears and doubts and questions, there will be celebratory moments, and what was I thinking moments, and maybe I should throw in the towel moments, and tho some of it may be our emotions or us over thinking or borrowing troubles, it is all understandable, and you are human and it doesn't take away the fact that each and every emotion is very real to each one of you at that moment, but don't let the evil one crowd out the goodness of God's work. When He comes to steal your joy and tries to rewrite the story that God has outlined for you, command him to “TALK TO THE HAND!! this phrase might not be as popular now as it was a few years back, but when it first came out it was used a lot by parents to their kiddos, especially to those whiny, want their own way, persistent kids, or the arm twisting ones, that, After repeatedly saying no, telling them to go talk to their daddies or mamas, or proclaiming we're not discussing this right nows, parents, especially mama's, would put a hand on their hip and raise the other one and exclaim, usually in a stern somewhat raised voice, “TALK TO THE HAND!” in other words this conversation is over!! I’m moving on!! we're done here!! I'm no longer listening or engaging in this verbal battle!! so when the devil tries to get in your face with fears or doubts or worries, give Him the hand!! Stop the evil one in his tracks and command him boldly to TALK TO THE HAND!! the hand of God, the hand that reads your name, engraved right by the scars declaring you are His daughter, His own little girl held in His safe keeping forever and no evil can stand up to Him, no power can come between you and His hand. And at the end of the day when you are exhausted and emotionally spent and feeling pulled in all directions, get on your knees and tell your heart to TALK TO THE HAND!! the same hand that you point the devil to in a bold, we're not going there or I'm so not having this conversation with moments, is the same hand that holds you close in safety and unconditional love and guidance forever, that hand will never leave you on your own!!
 (Hebrews 13:5B-6 Since God assured us, I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you, we can boldly quote, God is here, ready to help; I'm fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me? )
(Isaiah 49:15B-16A I'd never forget you, never. Look, I've written your names on the backs of my hands.)
(Psalm 125:3 Mountains encircle Jerusalem, and God encircles His people- always has, always will.) (Psalm 94:14,17-19 God will never walk away from His people, never desert His precious people. If God hadn't been there for me I never would have made it. The minute I said, I'm slipping, I'm falling, your love, oh God, took hold and held me fast. when I was beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me right up.)  
(Psalm 62:5-8,11 God, the one and only- I'll wait as long as He says. Everything I hope for comes from Him, so why not? He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle; I'm set for life. My help and glory are in God- granite strength and safe harbor - God,- so trust Him absolutely people, lay your lives on the line for Him, God is a safe place to be. God said this once and for all; how many times have I heard it repeated? strength comes from God.)
( Psalm 55:22 pile your troubles on God's shoulders-he'll help you carry your load, He'll help you out.) 
(Psalm 34:4-8,15,17-19 God met me more than halfway, He freed me from my anxious fears. look at him, give him your warmest smile. never hide your feelings from him. when I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. God's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see- how good God is. Blessed are you  who run to Him. God keeps an eye on his friends, His ears pick up every moan and groan. Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if your kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath. disciples so often get into trouble; still God is there every time.)  


                                               TALK TO THE HAND


                                             TALK TO THE HAND!

                                             I heard Jesus Whisper,

                                            Read between these bloody lines,

                                           See your name engraved forever,

                                          Under the scars that made you mine.



                                         TALK TO THE HAND!

                                        I heard Jesus whisper,

                                      When your called to do my will,

                                      I will always be there leading,

                                      Only trust me, and be still.



                                    TALK TO THE HAND!

                                    I heard Jesus whisper,
 
                                   When you feel forgotten and alone,

                                  You will never find me sleeping

                                  I'm always with you, while on my throne.



                                  TALK TO THE HAND!

                                  I heard Jesus whisper,

                                 When life is crowding, pressing in hard,

                                 I will always be your refuge,

                                Your quiet place, your shield and guard.



                               TALK TO THE HAND!

                               I hear Jesus whisper,

                             When fears arise, and bravery fails,

                             In me there's all your strength and courage,

                            This storm is mine, adjust your sails.



                           TALK TO THE HAND!

                           I hear Jesus whisper,

                          When joyful or sad, afraid or alone,

                          I walk with you always, I'm never out of reach,

                         You are my Child, My Heart, My Own!



                         TALK TO THE HAND!

                         The devil heard me shout,

                        Against Jesus hand you've no power, no say

                        Read between His scars and these bloody lines,

                       You'll see I'm His Child, my name's engraved there, forever and a day!!



Hebrews 13:20-21 May God, who puts all things together, makes all things whole, who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus, the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant, who led Jesus, our Great Shepherd, up and alive from the dead, now put you together, provide you with everything you need to please Him. make  us into what gives Him most pleasure, by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah. All glory to Jesus forever and always!!


* all scripture taken from "THE MESSAGE" version Bible

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hope-Filled Mess

it's been an emotional week. a bittersweet week. a week filled with the heightened excitement of the Christmas festivities fast approaching, yet clouded by the sadness of a loved ones time here on earth cut short. a week of sharing tears with the family and friends left behind to pick up the fragmented pieces of their life and gather up what Christmas spirit is left and wearily plod forward, and a week of rejoicing that the beloved Husband, son, daddy, pawpaw, friend gone on before us was ready to meet our Jesus and is home free and safe and living new life in the majestic Glories of Heaven!! Jerome, heaven is a sweeter, brighter homeland than ever before with your arrival!! we didn't get together often, a random night out for dinner her and there, a sporadic evening of catching up around a campfire, or celebrating a birthday, but, we always looked forward to our traditional New Years Eve party and though it may have been months in between our times of hanging out we could always count on picking up with you and Karen right we left off, and always looked forward to playing games, eating to much and laughing harder than we had in awhile. You will be greatly missed and ever so fondly remembered!! you had an infectious laugh, and drew people in with your friendliness and your contagious joy of life and positive outlook, the day we left your services the sky was beyond amazing, there was clouds and sunrays and the heavens breaking apart to let the glorious light shine through at random places and it appeared as though Heaven couldn't contain it's celebration of another Child of God arriving home and like your laugh and your character it was spreading the love and joy around and oozing out of Heaven to your loved ones still here on earth.


 
 Every year it seems I see the Christmas story, season, celebration in a new way. through all the roller coaster of emotions this past week and then hearing heart friends, pew sisters, families vocalize their happiness, their accomplishments and festivities along with a gamut of pain and frustration, anger and heartbreak over a catalog of hurting, heart wrenching, reasons, in my mind I kept seeing the stable and the pure selfless love of our Jesus and Savior to present us with the most priceless gift ever offered us, in coming to this crazy, sin-dirty, messed up, world as tiny babe. I love the Christmas Story, I love how Mary was just an ordinary gal, no big shot celebrity, well known model or from the high class "right Side" of the tracks. She was just Mary, courting, just Joseph, two humble human souls quietly living their humble lives for their God and when He came to them and spoke what was to be, they listened and embraced the news. I cringe sometimes at the frustration I think surely my Father must feel towards me at times, as much as I wish it otherwise it's a blue moon if I actually succeed briefly at getting my ducks all in a row, more often than not it feels like a drunken sloppy attempt to keep afloat and the feeble attempt at a straight line is an exhausted me panting zig as they all zag, to be honest most days I'm not even certain we're even in the same body of water! this is where when I think of  Mary, she inspires me to be heart wide open always for whatever God wants from me, to listen, ears ever tuned to His voice, His direction and calling and then to embrace full on what He asks, to stop being so quick to question and doubt and him haw around but to "roll" with it, fully committed and trusting. I mean think about us and birthing our kids.....a stable, really?? most of us would have been livid bringing precious cargo that we gave up shapely legs, perfect weight and "trim healthy no-mama" waists for, into a very non sterile, filthy delivery room, unequipped with docs, let alone midwives, or latest emergency technology or a hot tub. and once all that sweat, blood and tears was out of the way and we're floating in new baby euphoria and everything is all little pink toes and goo-goo gah-gah, there would be no besties showing up with little cutsie outfits and hugs and gigantic flower and balloon bouquets. but, Mary, she embraced the stable!! she was about to deliver royalty, she could have demanded a penthouse suite, or at least ocean front at the Hilton!! but....she embraced the stable cause she knew her Father and that His plan for her and their son was God ordained. and so our Jesus, delivered in a stable, you know what's in most stables, barns, animal house types of places, right??!! there's the animals of course, the pigs and their own unique nastiness, then the cows, they chew and slobber green, and swish matted toilet brush tails and with them are flies, then theres the horses and more shaking of hairy dusty manes and long stringy hairy tails and hooves that have all manner of evil stuck up in them, then the sheep, with thick dusty, burr filled wool coats and worms, (only experience we ever had with sheep consisted of many worms), then the chickens, that flit and flap and spin hay and peck and grunt and sqawk and poop everywhere every 6 and a half strutty steps and for all these critters there's mites and allergens from the fur and fuzz and hide and wool and feathers, and in the corners theres spiders and cobwebs and high dark corners theres bats and barn swallows and sparrows and the occasional owl and pigeons and there many droppings and under the hay can be rats and snakes and roaches and beady eyed mice, and along with all that is the dried corn for feed or maybe the slop for the pigs and a forgotten hidden egg here or there gone bad, and you combine that all together to create a nasty rank assortment of messy at a level all it's own with dust and dirt and manure and vermin and just nasty disgusting filthy messiness..............yet this...........is where God chose His son to be birthed..........that.......speaks to me.....it speaks life, and comfort and love and HOPE, HOPE of the highest degree, HOPE of the royalist kind!! to me it says my Jesus was born in the perfect delivery room, because my Jesus gets our messy, He embraced messy from birth!! He gets that I mess up royally, that I get angry at my kiddos, and frustrated at the man I love and made a life vow to, that I get jealous, and grumpy, I sin, He gets when I'm at an all time low in sadness or anxiety, in fear or doubt,or just plain irritable, He gets there are times that I don't know how or can't or just plain won't pray. He gets there are times that I just don't want to go to church or worship, or be happy or choose joy or love that particular "thorn" or read His word or ADULT! But....just because He "gets it" that does not give me an excuse to float along doing and living and acting how i want. because i know Him an His great love for me and the price He paid for me that means i also know that He will be my comfort and Life and Love and Hope and that i can invite Him into my dirty messed up humanness every single time, even when it feels some weeks it's every blessed day, or hour!! I love that He doesn't get irritated at me and walk away in a huff, tossing me aside and just give up on me!! He is always running towards me ready to embrace me fully, His ultimate goal in coming into my dirt and filth is to see me running towards Him every time instead of choosing to blindly ineffectively trying so hard and often to go it myself!! I love that hope arrived with life and full of love that long ago day in Bethlehem in the middle of all the messiness, it keeps me going when I feel unstable and fumbling, it provides me we strength to keep running towards My Jesus, to embrace the life He has for me and gives me courage to share His love in whatever messy is around me, giving me hope that no matter how inadequate I feel at times, or how often I feel I fail, He loves me and my mess unconditionally, and some day our running towards each other will end in each others arms, home forever!
food for thought......... ARE YOU PART OF THE INN CROWD, OR THE STABLE FEW............
 

Friday, October 14, 2016

He Cares

It's the morning after the dreaded 10th year mark of letting go of Devin. And, Praise God, I can honestly say, it was a really good day!! Somehow the anticapation of the day and what to do with it grows huge and overwhelming in my mind as the day approaches. It's one of those dates you can't not remember but the proper protocol for dealing with it is a bit blurred and alot of uncertainty and anxiety precede it. While I was in the middle of blogging the previous post I got a text from my dear friend Miriam, she wondered if she could bring lunch and hang out awhile on Devins 10th year mark. I just love how my Father already was taking care of the details of the dreaded day and sending me who and what I needed to deal with memories and heartpain. He truly answers before we ask at times and knows and cares about every detail of our lives.This dear soul sister friend is one of those besties that has been a rock to me over the years in spite of wading through some serious murky life waters herself. She arrived with pure comfort food, pizza, Pepsi and potato chips!! And a gorgeous bouquet of flowers of many kinds, in shades of greens, pinks, peaches, an almost shabby chic style maybe, whatever,  it's elegantly old fashioned and full of love!  We munched and chatted and remenisced. Back when our kiddos were little we were together alot, we scrapbooked, and yardsaled and had yardsales and shared birthday parties and vacationed and babysat for one another. Her Taylor and my Devin were best of friends and we giggled about the shared kiss between the two of them stolen on her back porch to the shock and horror of their older siblings. They played so well together, he'd dress up in pink hats and push baby carriages he loved hard and was protective of his girls whether his lil sister or his best lil girlfriend.
The day and the shared friendship and memories was great and it was a needed reminder to me to stay out of my own head so much, to dwell on the memories we were blessed with and be thankful for those dear souls we've been gifted in life to help us carry our load, and to remember there are others that have been suckered punched with a few curveballs in life too and to reach out and be therefor them, to listen, really listen to hear their heart as they share memories if that's what is needed, or vent their frustrations, fears, or failures. And the thing is, that dust bunny you thought you had to nail down, that load if laundry that needs folded and put away isn't gonna grow legs and walk away anytime soon and that shelf full of books that are every which way and upside down, will still be there for your ocd fix tomorrow, but our friends, our families,  time with them is eternally precious and ever so short, grab every moment ya can! Open your hearts and arms to them, give them a safe haven, a place to feel heard and loved, don't listen to fix, listen to hear, hear their heart. Jesus didn't push souls away, He said come unto me all that are weary and I'll give you rest. Jesus, is pure love and comfort, and we're plainly told in His word to be as Jesus, to embrace, and live His persona!! I just want to say thankyou from the bottom of my heart to each of you that has been Jesus to me this week, Rhonda your package was such a blessing, full of care and love and so timely, Laura, a bright sparkly box on the day, filled with comfort words and encouragement and your heart shining out of happy lil Sami fishes big twinkle eyes, life is hard at times, but, "we'll just keep swimming "!! :) thankyou to everyone else for the prayers, messages, texts and care, I'm beyond blessed and pray I can be to someone someday what each of you has been to me. Miriam,  Thankyou for being my rock over so many years, thankyou for remembering with me and talking about Devin, you know it heals, we've been blessed with a beautiful friendship and I treasure it, what, all because of a yardsale and car crash?? :) love you girl!
P.S. that couple pic, we really need an update!! ;)







Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Letting Go, Again

October 11, 2006, today Dr. N came to Devin's room at Hershey to make sure we were ok and to go over the next, and final step of this horrific nightmare we found ourselves in. He wanted to make sure we undoubtedly understood that we were at the end of the cancer treatment line. that, chemo was no longer working, and although radiation was very slowly shrinking the targeted cancer spot, there was another mass rapidly growing behind the original mass area, and, it was also in his marrow and blood and bones. he wanted to see us take our Devin home, to live what miniscule life he had left in his own comfort zone, surrounded by his family, and, he was prepared to get us set up to do that, and keep him as comfortable as possible. Dr. N also wanted us to understand the choice we had to make of refusing any resuscitation in the hospital if Devin should code while we were still there. with tear filled eyes he assured us that should it be his child, he wouldn't want that, that if they would resuscitate, it would be only for our benefit of hanging on a bit longer, prolonging the letting go that was inevitable. that decision, is one no parent should ever have to face, there's guilt if you hang on and ask him to fight when he's already given his all in a tremendous heroic effort, there's guilt if you let go, cause, what if, there was something else we could have done, what if, we gave up to soon, what if, he feels like we abandoned him, what if........
October 11, 2016 here we are 10 years later...... the last few weeks have been rather brutal, to say the least. there are things in losing a child that you have fought a nasty battle beside, that are forever etched in your mind!! decisions, such as the one above, that go round and round in your head, words, phrases, terms you can never unhear, faces of pain, acceptance, numbness, unbelief, fear and body changes in your child you can never unsee!! and, just because it's been 10 years, doesn't mean the why's and wonderings and the pain and torment of it all has vanished, some days I think it intensifies as life goes by and time goes on and the longing to just be in heaven with him gets ever stronger. there's so much heaviness in me over this particular month, and two of my dearest friends have both had to let their precious boys go this month also, to the same ugly cancer monster.
October 12 ,2006 today is our 10th anniversary, a date I always dreamed would be spent somewhere warm and tropical, lazing on a sandy beach, listening to seagulls and ocean waves , smelling fresh salt breezes and coconut sunscreen as we hold hands and gaze in each others eyes, pledging again to stand by each other through whatever life threw our way for the next 10 years, or a lifetime! today, we wake up groggy from a sleep deprived stupor, aching from taking shifts of curling our bodies around our precious Devin and snuggling him close in a crunchy, crackly, hospital bed made ideally for one, then switching out to trade places on a unforgivenly hard thin mattressed, slightly wider than ones body, cold window seat, directly under the central air units, to lay almost fetal like with arms wrapped around our own bodies as though to shield ourselves from the reality of impending doom, tears constantly on flow voluntarily down our numb faces, mostly unnoticed, and unaware they're even there, we lay there staring into the darkness, the only light is the eerie green yellow glow of the monitors, the only sound is an ominous hiss of airflow, pressure cuff, and the wheezing breaths of soon to be gone, beloved son, neither of us dares utter a word, just in case that other partner caught a rare few moments of blissful slumber, or maybe because it was just to exhausting to summon the energy to try and form words that in the end, weren't even there, so we lay alone in a tiny crowded sterile cancer room, tense, cold and waging war with our own minds, getting up at random times to stare into the face of our child and going over every detail of his precious face, reaching out to kiss a fluid filled cheek, hold his warm chubby hand, caress his bald head, desperately trying to etch every detail in our heart to hang onto for those long days of no longer having him here to look at, barely managing to keep ourself from crawling inside our own mind and giving into the insanity loitering at the outskirts, waiting to devour us alive. morning finally arrives and instead of wrapping ourselves up in each other and celebrating our continued love and mile marker of 10 years, we're being wrapped in hugs, and kind words and tears and reverent solemn goodbyes. the halls were lined with Devin's docs , nurses, aids, therapists, social workers, child life specialists, etc. and other patient families, as we, with heavy steps, began our last trek home from 7th floor west. it was a surreal bittersweet feeling, ecstatic we were able to take him home, suffocating, in that it really was the end of the end, so final, so very, very cold. it's a tug of war mental game to feel celebratory of the day you pledged your heart to your true love, and trying to grasp, instead of the letting go, the celebration of 5 precious gifted years with Devin, and the celebration of now he gets to be pain free, and in the arms of Jesus!
October 12, 2016, today, is our 20th anniversary and all I can do is relive 10 years ago when we brought Devin home for the last time from anywhere in this life, and we got to love on him and hold him and bask in his presence for one whole day.  I volley between feeling overwhelming sadness and despondent, to peacefully elated that we had a bit of time with him, and thankful that we had warning that he was fading and had a bit of a chance to prepare ourselves, and yet can any parent truly prepare themselves for heartbreak?! I hardly know what to feel on this day anymore, I'm torn between wanting to be delighted in that we've made it 20 years together through a whole lot of hellish rides, to feeling mournful at what was, and is no longer here.
October 13, 2006 another practically sleepless night, not for lack of a comfortable bed, or interruptions, but for the fact that we were running on adrenalin and fueled by a desperation to not miss one single minute of Devin's life, sleeping, or awake, alert or not alert, time we had left with him. the day started out with him up and moving a little, and giving hugs and precious I love yous, but as the day wore on the energy faded, the movement stopped, the eyelids closed oftener, the fluid increased, the pain incomprehendable, the breathing more labored, the communication non existent. we were blessed with being surrounded by flowers, food, family and friends. we stayed by his side every minute, prepared to do just that, even if it meant many days over, but.....by 11.20 pm. it was over.........he ran to Jesus with daddy and mommy by his side, with pappy and meemaw and aunt Angie and Uncle Aaron with us. we all breathed a shaky, teary sigh of relief that the waiting game was over, that he was no longer suffering, but, on the heels of that, the brutal reality that it really is over, and we're never going to be the same, and somehow we're going to have to get through yet another horrendous ride. praise God the hospice nurse was there also, and we all stepped back and quietly left her to do what needed done in cleaning and changing him and notifying the funeral home, which, to our surprise, came right out that night yet to take him on yet another gurney ride to yet another cold, sterile facility. what an out of body sensation, to see a hearse in the eeriness of night pull up to your house, then drive away with your son. my dear friend Miriam, who had been there earlier in the eve, and had stuck by us through the whole cancer nightmare, arrived then just to hug us and make sure we were alright.
when ones loved one dies, one doesn't get to crawl in a hibernation spot of choice and let the world go on , no, there a bazillion choices that need a semi clear answer too, like the color of casket, and burial clothes, and the design of memorial cards and words and fonts and colors and a picture of him or not a picture of him, and the times of services and the service location and those officiating and the order of service and the reading choice and the songs, and the choice of pallbearers and NO, THERE WILL NOT BE A LAST VIEWING IN FRONT OF THE FUNERAL CONGREGATION and does the mama really have to wear black? I mean, I'd rather wear happy, joyful, celebratory, he's pain free, and in heaven after all, and black is soooo..... black!! the decisions were seemingly endless and so  terribly overwhelming to a sleepless, overloaded, yet very empty parent brain. exhaustion suffocated, and uncontrollable crying jags accosted us, yet, as the house emptied and we would try and retire we were met with nothing more than tossing turning and more tears. my family, bless their hearts, picked up quickly the reality of the situation and arrived the next day with sleeping pills.
October 12, 2016 letting go of a child is not an event a parent soul ever gets over!! that week I remember clearly thinking, how, under the sun am I going to make it through the next month, let alone the next year, and yet, here it is, 10 years out! don't ever, people, tell someone they need to get over a death and move on..... there is no getting over, that child was  a product of our love and union, grown and birthed in us, they heard the beating of our mama heart from the inside, we loved, shielded, nurtured and protected that precious human being from their first breath until their last, however long or short it was, that is not something any mama/daddy gets over. we learn to deal, to cope, to move forward in spite of. we continue on with a chunk of heart missing and rearranged as carefully as it can be, we grab hold of our mates and reach out in our faith and cling to our families and friends and support groups, but we still remember, we still miss and love and cry and long for what was, for wholeness.
through all the fiercely heart squeezing, muddied mix of emotions and run away feelings each year, one thing I'm always, always, grateful for, is the being made aware ahead of time, and as feeble as it was, the opportunity, the gift we were given, to try and get some semblance of mind preparation, that this was the end of the end, that we were gifted with time to let go and say our I love yous and steal  hugs and kisses and precious moments. August 2005, when we were numbly being escorted from clinic across the bridge to the hospital for Devin to be admitted upon the earth shattering news of , I'm sorry Mr. and Mrs. Diem, your son has cancer, I was being chauffeured by nurse Joanne in a wheelchair with Devin curled up on my lap, flanked by daddy and my sister Ang and my mom and we stepped into the hospital second floor to be greeted by a very solemn/ shocked faced, group of acquaintances from our youth days. talking to them we found out the one young married guys wife was in a horrific car crash, she was alive, but not living, and the dear man had a choice to make, so heart wrenching, he let go awhile later, no time for another I love you no warning to prepare. October, 2006, we're in radiation waiting room, the hospital is filled on all levels with numb faced, shell shocked amish, the cruel ugly world has reached their peaceful nonresistant world, rocking them to the core with it's ugliness and horror. they can't unsee the terror that surprised them in that school room, they can't fix their broken girls, their haunted kids, they can't bring back those they had to let go of to soon, they just fold their arms over themselves and remain stonefaced, trying to somehow move forward, trying to be where they are needed yet constantly trying to avoid the press and wanting to sit and wait but every room they want to wait in has a tv blaring the tragic news, running before their eyes, yet again the injustice and unthinkable tragedy dealt them. my heart ached beyond words for these starched, dark clad, solemn souls, yet I had no emotion or energy or words left in me to give, I was holding in my lap a precious child of my own, fighting our own victoryless war, but I was given a chance to say goodbye, I was warned that our time was coming to termination, they woke up to sunshine and fall leaves only to be met head on with hurricanes and naked twisted storm tossed devestaion. October 13,2006 , the day we let go of our precious Devin, a former church family of ours was reeling in shock as their father and husband left this world suddenly from a heart attack. 2 goodbyes in one day, both so vastly different, they were sucker punched with the devastation their day ended with, we were feeling torn between celebratory elation, that Devin now had eternal quality of life and homefree and immense sadness that our family would never be complete again this side of heaven.
its October 12, 2016 10 years later, I still battle immense feelings of sadness and at times the guilt and wonderings of what ifs surface, and i'll be honest, I know I have innumerable blessings staring me in the face, but somedays it's easier to give in and just embrace being a "grumpdog" (word of my niece, so appropriate at times) even though I know it won't make things any better and that more often than not I end up with a headache. I know this is another one of those seasons, we'll get through it, because another gift we've been privileged to receive is the gift of faith, I don't know how anyone gets through the letting go without faith, faith that God knows the plans He has for us, and faith that one day He will wipe away every tear, and without hope, hope of being reunited in Heaven for all eternity, and without friends and family, those darling souls that come alongside and carry and hold and encourage and lift up and sing the notes when you can't and offer you shoulders and tissues and love and meals and the necessary at times, reprimand to toss off the "grumpdog" and take stock of your blessings and gifts.
getting over the letting go of a child isn't something you ever do, letting go of and getting over the anger and injustice is a must to heal, although it's a process that may require a lifetime as it's not as easy done as said, and will pop up unexpectedly at the randomest times, that's ok, the key is to keep releasing it back to the Father and yet again choosing to look for the stars on the darkest of nights, searching for the rainbows on the cloudiest of days, listening for the music in noisy mahem of life, counting your blessings in the bleakest of circumstances, clinging to Father always even when it feels like the rooms empty, He never leaves, He's always, always by ourside.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Recipe For Comfort and ......Butter ;)

I've never considered myself a "foodie" blogger, I have, however, an insatiable love of food itself, and have imagined and dreamed and plotted for years of creating my very own cookbook, a pregnancy at this juncture with no imminent birth! I love, recipes, particularly those delightfully simplistic ones that add captivating eye appeal to your buffet line up and are equally tantalizing to the taste buds, yet require minimum brain power or bodily movement! I love to cook, and bake, especially love to bake pies, pies of most any and all kind!! I love to create foods to entertain and socialize around! I confess I get weary of making dinners every night, some days there's just to much mental stimuli involved to hatch a decent meal, one that's pleasing to everyone's pallet, found at least a degree on the health meter, doesn't require the bulk of your entire day, doesn't leave your kitchen like a war zone and your feet swollen with the feeling of walking on a bed of nails! I love to party!! I love to gather dear souls around pretty dishes and teacups and dazzling dainties and marvelous munchies and connect hearts and lives amidst laughs and stories and tears and love! I love those nothing fancy down to earth, my peeps are coming over, throw on the pot of coffee, and dig out the paper ware, and freezer stash and random tossed together eats and hang out and hear each others hearts and catch up on life, and sharing and bearing the good the bad and ugly together heart moments that being blessed with besties give us in life! I love comfort!! and I love food that squeals and dances and dramatically sighs, comfort!! comfort food to me is all things, that while consuming, leaves me wanting to purr loudly, while sighing in pure contentment, food that speaks to my soul wrapping itself around my person like a warm blanket, a touch of home and peace, food that makes me want to dance and bathe myself in it simultaneously, food that, as my dear friend Sherry would say, causes you to quietly tune out the rest of the world while you create a relationship with it, excuse me a moment, please, said foodie and I are having a moment, if you don't mind!! did I mention I love to party??!! there just isn't anything quite like a party with , wait for it, ba-dum-shaaa.....COMFORT!!! I love having in home party shows. mine are from being majorly successful sometimes, but as much as I like earning free or discounted products, I just love offering an excuse to hang out with ladies and giving mamas a brief night off to focus on something other than grubby hands, snotty noses and their four-walls, or to refocus and step back and breath in a gulp of fresh air before hitting the ground running for another day in the mommy trenches. last night I had an in home LuLaRoe party with the beautiful and precious to me Collette Henry! this type of party was new to me, the dear Collette, a treasured soul of history! she was a loving, ever so gentle and caring cancer nurse of Devin's. He dearly loved her, wouldn't talk usually, but would ask me if Collette was his nurse that day and would beam with sheer joy whenever she was. Anyway, it was absolutely delightful to invite her to my humble abode and reconnect after 10 years, over the spectacular line of women's clothes she sells and of course a plethora of refreshments. sounds like an amazing party already doesn't it?? I mean, really ladies, foods, friends and shopping, all at one warm homey locale, what more of a therapy session does one need, all relationships in one fell swoop!! one thing I always seem to somehow not get right is the amount of munchies I make and serve, no matter how big or small the party I somehow could still manage to supply the neighborhood and all their shindigs for the remainder of the week!! I was told by several friends that I would fall in love with this particular line of clothing, they said, and I quote, "its all so COMFORTABLE!! the leggings, especially, they feel like, BUTTER, you'll just want to live in them!!"( perty sure there's a thing here ladies, ALOT of my COMFORT recipes contain BUTTER!!) I did fall in love with these garments! loved the maxi skirts!! never ever considered myself a leggings gal, I mean, just the visual of a whale in leggings didn't hold any real appeal, and the thought of swathing my cellulite in butter never occurred to me either!! and then.....I just let myself peer at them, and the peering, led to me caressing them......and I just wanted to clutch them tight to me and curl up with a good book or movie or ......my thumb!!! that was the beginning a blossoming relationship,, after that I had to try them on, along with a gorgeous oversized shirt that left all my mama induced extras well endowed and shielded from my party persons and no one could attest to being scarred for life, or unwittingly entertained, or screaming for new retinas to un-see what just blobbed in front of their eyeballs, and the result.......my thighs were ecstatic!! i'm pretty sure I heard them high five one another before breathing a sigh of pure contentment!! seriously though, no worries on me frightening your kiddos or causing you to lose your lunch, I plan to grace your presence in my newly acquired gorgeous maxi skirt and curl up in my butter, or leggings that is, in my own comfort zones!! along with all the apparel wonderfulness I had made a feast of party pickings, somehow I went all dippy, literally with 2 different dips and taco boats and crabby biscuit cups and an assortment of desserts, I found it all rather delightful, though my hubby rolls his eyeballs at having leftovers for daze!! so at the request of my peeps to put a recipe on here from last night I decided to do just that before I forget. sometimes I get in a kick to make something the world doesn't offer, or I can't find the right taste bud tickling recipe for, or at least one without a quadrillion steps so I put on my big girl apron and make it myself, or I come across a recipe that looks scrumptious but has a bit to many odd ingredients or unnecessary details and movements and I tweek to my approval, this is one such recipe. so without further ado here is one of those appetizers or party foods that makes your person exhale in pure unadulterated purring!!                       (p.s. it could be a good day to start a new relationship, to butter them legs, curl up with a plate of these and a movie and forget about the universe!! just saying!! ) 
for me, that's gonna have to wait, I'm off to continue laundry and proceed to filling my queenly domain with the comforting aroma and birth of 260 white chocolate truffle with raspberry frosted (can anyone say comfort?!?!) wedding cupcakes and 150 more of golden and chocolate with vanilla frosted wedding cupcakes!!


CRABBIE BISCUIT BITES


2 cans of Pillsbury flaky grand biscuits
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
3 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 onion finely chopped
2 cans (6oz) drained crabmeat
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup mozzarella cheese


preheat oven to 375 degrees
in a small bowl (I just did this using my kitchen aide mixer and bowl) combine all ingredients except crab and biscuits. mix well, gently fold in crab. peel biscuits into 3 layers, press each one into greased tart/mini muffin cups, should make 40-46 cups, divide filling into cups, sprinkle tops with 2/3 cups cheese, bake 12-15 minutes or until biscuits are golden, allow to cool 5 minutes, place on plate and enjoy!!
aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh comfort!!
may each of your day be filled with sunshine and butter, umm, blessings!!