Friday, April 19, 2013

Does the heart go on?

I've been turning inward quite a bit of late. Thinking. Pondering. Trying to make sense of how my heart feels. Wondering what it is God is trying to teach me, and where exactly is His path taking me right now in this moment? I've tried being still (Psalm 46:10), as one my very favorite verses gently whispers, but it just isn't helping this time around, and I can't put my finger on it. Words have always been a talent for me and lately I can't even find proper ones to put a rational thought to exactly what is bothering me... I feel restless and tired. A weary that I feel goes down to my very spirit. A strange quiet has come over me. It's actually been around for months now. Maybe since Fall. It's as if I could sense then, my life was changing and a new season (a new chapter) was coming, no matter if I wanted it to come or not.

I miss my Mom a lot. She crosses my mind almost daily. I can't believe it's been just over two months since I held her hand in that hospital room and said my goodbyes. What a strange moment that was - beautiful, sad, gut wrenching, peaceful, grace filled...all at the same time. She had suffered so in those last years and so deserved to go home to Him, but nothing prepares you to let go of your Momma. Nothing. I dream very strange dreams of her, weird twisted ones at times. Ones that give me panic attacks in my sleep. I wish they would be more peaceful and comforting. I pray that God gives me those. My heart needs those. My mind replays those last moments with her as she slipped away. The last words she ever said to me. They were good, simple and perfect words. That she loved me and my sugarpies - never forget that. She was always worried about us knowing she loved us. She often said that in those last months, would we know she loved us... Without a doubt, Mom, without a doubt.

We knew her love by her actions. She sacrificed her entire life for all 9 of us. Always dying to herself for the greater good. She was a humble servant to many. A good and faithful servant until the end. Sometimes I wish she would have been stronger and looked out more for her own happiness, so she wouldn't have had to carry so much pain and heartache. But then I think maybe that wasn't His will or plan for her and it was all part of His great plan. I wish my heart wasn't so troubled still. I wish it would find peace. I don't enjoy feeling this way. I ache for her. For one more moment. For one more talk. One more time to hold her hand. To understand things better. To say I am sorry for stupid things. I think it must be called regret.

I finally got a good dream the other night. I sensed her in my dream. She felt so close. I dreamed of pennies and violets. Both were things that meant something special to her in this life. I hope I get more dreams like that. I hope as the days grow longer, I feel her closer, that the ache in my heart grows less and that the joy of celebrating life and its precious moments grows stronger.

I think part of me is just selfish. I feel too young to have her gone. I want to be sitting on a bench with her at the park and watching the kids laugh and play. I want to be going through the drive-thru with her in my passenger seat for a treat of an icy coke. I want to be picking tulip bulbs out of the gardening books with her.

Is Celine right, does the heart go on?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Joy Stealing Stress

Stress. Yep, it's been weaving its way through my days of late. I don't know why I let it creep in - it's never good for me. My job stresses me out. My family stresses me out. My lack of time to get things done around the house stresses me out.

I was up at 2:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Well at least I got some much needed things done around the house - blessing in the sleeplessness. It's almost 6 now, the dishwasher is swishing in the background and I finally have sat down and picked up something to read as I wait for the morning to greet me - One Thousand Gifts once again. I'm actually about 3/4 the way through the book, which is amazing given my lack of down time of late.

I open to page 146 and it starts with stress and how it's very much a joy stealer. Well then. I love how God meets us exactly where we are and nudges us in the most gentle ways. Okay, Big Guy, I hear ya.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Be Still

Psalms 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God..."

Today I got some gentle advice. I do say it was timely and right on, and I see the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit all over it. I've been a little rattled this week. A little off my game. A little stressed. Filled with worry about the future and things I can't begin to control. I was beginning to let myself be overwhelmed with it all. Blue feelings beginning to creep in and steal moments from my days.

On a whim I had lunch with my sister. As I sat down at the table, breathless with hurry, I unloaded my day on her and my stresses. I talked a mile a minute. She looked at me and smiled and said write this verse down and look it up later. I wrote myself a post-it on my phone, sighed and enjoyed my lunch with her. An hour to let go and be. Just be.

Back at work, I went to BibleGateway and checked it out. You know a small bible in my purse sure would be a handy idea. As the verse popped up on the screen, I laughed. A laugh fully aimed at myself. Yes, I could use some "be still" in my life. I'm so worried about moments yet to come, I'm missing the beautiful moments in front of me. Yes, be still.

My life is so full of His blessings. So full. So much to be thankful for. I'm right where I'm meant to be. His plan is so much more than my plan could ever be. He knows the desires of my heart better than I know them myself.

And as if He thought I might need a bit more, the verse of the day on BibleGateway was...

Ecclesiastes 11:5 - "As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Little Things Like Cheese Sandwiches

I'm finally back to reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I started it back in January when the air was crisp and a whole new year was ahead, and then life got the better of me. And that said life has been draining me a bit of recent. I'm stressed often, and I know it shouldn't be that way. I'm so glad I picked up this wonderful little book again. So many beautiful things to ponder...

"And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me." - One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp

There is something so pure and pleasing to the soul to give thanks - even for the little things in life. It centers you. It allows grace to flow and joy to abound.

1. The twinkle of a little man's eyes as he smiles at me
2. Moonlight through lace curtains
3. Baby girl twirling in her dress
4. Living room blanket tents
5. Cardinals fluttering on my back porch
6. Half eaten cheese sandwiches made by little hands

1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "In Everything give thanks..."

By the way, Ms. Voskamp's website, A Holy Experience, has a daily blog. Awesome food for thought. I love her simple beautiful posts. And I love that she often calls herself The Farmer's Wife.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Taking a Step Back

I bought these for myself today. I don't usually buy stuff like this, but today I felt the need. They are my favorite - I love them in orange, yellow and hot pink. I adore their simplicity. And yes, they did the trick - they perked me right up. I've had a lot on my mind of late that has been weighing on me heavily.

I feel like my husband and I were on a certain path for our family and were making great progress on our plans and goals. However, I think the saying goes - "even the best laid plans...often go awry." I think I'm struggling because my pride is getting in the way.

Deep down I know that this possible step back is where God is calling us, but I'm not happy about it. I'm fighting it and I know I shouldn't. I know in the end it's the right decision and what's best, but deep down my pride keeps poking its ugly head up and waving frantically. I'm getting in the way of His plan and I know it. That's the worst part.

A little over two years ago we moved to a small rural community. I've written about it in previous blogs. I love it.  Especially our house. I knew I'd eventually have to give it up when we were finally ready to buy. That was all part of the plan. Down size a bit two years ago, pay off debt and work towards a home of our own. Well, we've come to a little bump in the road, possibly more so a fork in the road if I was being more positive.

Little man has some special needs and the small financially strapped school system we're in isn't the best for what he needs. As he has gone through this Kindergarten year the issues have slowly presented themselves. It's been a rough year, but yet a beautiful year of firsts. First day, first bus ride, first school lunch, first recess, first school program, first parent/teacher meeting and the list goes on. I've so enjoyed watching him grow and learn, but I know 100% that if we switch school systems he'll be far better off and get the help that will allow him to reach even higher.

We've talked to teachers, counselors, OTs, our doctor...we've researched. The clear answer is in front of us, but yet I am fighting. I'm doubting. I'm second guessing. And still through all that, Jesus meets me where I am. He gently shows me the way and tells me I can do it, and it will be okay. Let go and trust. As I struggle with all of this, He sends me gentle reminders and some times big bold ones that I can't ignore no matter how hard I try.

As I drove home from the store tonight, listening to KLOVE with my hot pink Gerber Daises in the seat next to me, I realized it's just a step back, no big deal. A few years ago I took the biggest personal step back I could have ever imagined, and it changed my life in amazing ways. I'm more so on the path that God intended for me as a woman/wife/mother than I ever have been. One day I'll find the words to write about that, for it's stories woven within stories and His fingerprints are sprinkled all throughout, but I still can't quite get the words out on that one.

I'm pretty sure our life is changing a bit come Fall, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve my little yellow house with the wrap-around porch. But one step back is going to equal a whole lot of little steps forward for little man, and that alone is enough for me. It's just a house and after all, it's not really mine at all.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tea Time

My sisters are coming for tea next week. I'm thrilled! I adore simple things and having tea on my porch fits right in with that. Keeping my fingers crossed for warm and sunny, unlike today's chilly and rainy. For months I've been on the search for unique tea cups. I've looked at Goodwill, antique villages/malls and small gift shops. I got lucky and found all I needed at a new small vendor consignment shop in my town. A hole in the wall kind of place that you can lose yourself in all day as you take in all the old items around you full of a past of their own. Each booth within the store was different from the next. Some with themes and some with a random collection of items for sale. I loved it and was so glad I had chosen to stop in by myself that day. Savoring it all on my own. I slowly moved along the narrow path in the store and took it all in. I knew I was on the lookout for the tea cups, but there were so many other wonderful things that kept grabbing my attention. I think the things I like the most are the old pitchers and basins, along with old jewelry.

My mother used to have a large white pitcher and basin in her room. I was very taken with it as a child. Why she never used it puzzled me, how it was always just displayed. The funny on that one is now I have a large white pfaltzgraff great bowl that just sits a top my kitchen cabinets on display. Giggle on me on that one. I adore it but I use it maybe twice a year for homemade German potato salad and Asian slaw. I guess at aleast I use it. Now as for the jewelry, I love to think of the woman that wore it before and the things she did and what it had meant to her in her life. I have an old necklace of my Grandmother's. It's a long gold link chain with amethyst like stones. It means a lot to me and I wear it proudly. I love to think of my Grandmother wearing it and going about her day. I love that it ties me to her.

I guess I'm just a girl who loves things that come with a story! I like simple things. An old farm kitchen table (can't wait to find one of those one day and make it mine), flowers in an old pitcher, whimsical flower pots on a porch, simple pretty jewelry with a story and tea cups with a past. I wonder who the ladies were that sipped from these cups before my sisters and I? Did they dress-up and wear their best hats while enjoying tea in the garden? Did they giggle over stories on the porch? Did sip alone, cozy as the morning greeted them? Or possibly over a good book by the fireplace? The wonder is endless. I ponder if someday someone else will come across these same tea cups and wonder about their journey. How delightful that now my sisters and I will be added to their story. They will have been witness to our moment in time with one another. Our chatter, giggles and hugs; and our treasured moments become intertwined with the others.

I'd take something old over brand new any day, well unless it was a sweet new baby...

Here's to a simple tea and sisters! Two delightful things indeed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Top 10 Mommy Commandments

I'm in a bit of a mood this month. Work is stressful. Extended family is a little stressful. My kitchen still has Christmas stuff up. Kids are giving me a run for my money daily. What's a girl to do?

I'm trying my best to take it one day at a time. One moment at a time even. Slowing down and asking myself at the end of the day what really matters. I keep pondering the words of a speaker that I was blessed to get to hear last week at my M.O.M.S group. She was a regular mom just like me. A confessed imperfect mom. I loved a lot of what she had to say. One of my favorites was that our life experiences shape our ministry. How very true. However, I'm still wrapping my mind around the idea that my mothering of my children and my role as wife to my husband is a ministry in itself.

The other thing she mentioned was that she kept a framed "Top 10 Mom Commandments" for herself in her home and had given her children copies. Ten things she kept herself accountable for in her ministry of motherhood. Each was shaped by her life experiences and very close to her heart. Also, they were all things she felt she needed to often remind herself of and each were tied to scripture. Her first one was "always be a lady of courage." Her sister had died young of cancer, but she had done it with such great courage. It was something that left a lasting impression on her and shaped her life, her soul and her very motherhood. The remaining nine, were about listening, believing, praying, celebrating and so on. Each with a verse that accompanied. I wish I'd had paper with me to write it all down, but just maybe that wasn't the point. Truly a list of my own wouldn't look exactly like her list. It would be all me with some grace sprinkled in from above.

What an inspiring idea indeed! Each of us have experiences that have shaped us to our very core. Experiences that really define much of who we are and what we stand for in our lives. Experience that shape our motherhood. I'm not quite sure I'd call mine Top 10 Mommy Commandments, but possibly a Top 10 Mommy Play List? I do love music and often find inspiration in song lyrics, and I do happen to be a wife of a coach too. Hmmm...

The wheels are turning. I see a list of my own taking form and coming soon. Stay tuned.