Monday, December 27, 2010

SUFFERING LOSS

It has been an emotional week for many. I have prayed for my friend, Edie, and her husband and her children. I feel her pain even though my home has never burned to the ground. I feel her pain not because I want to, but because I need to. It doesn't matter if everything inside of me is screaming that is is not about me; I know that in some ways it is. I still have lessons to learn when it comes to loss.

We all face it at some point--and we are rarely expecting it or have prepared for it. Things--in an instant change--forever. But we know that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord and that our ways are not His ways.  And with every ounce of faith you can muster up, you will yourself to believe it and accept it. And the idea of faith being fused with actions is repeated in your mind--in the lucid moments. And you take that one step. And then you take another. And then you are actually living the life of faith. You become a doer and not just a hearer. And it is hard. It is very hard.

And life goes on--but the music has changed, and your steps must now be chosen to match the new rhythm and beat. And you adjust--just like they said you would. And you return to the land of the living for a season or two or three. 

And then, from time to time, you are invited to return to that place.  You would like to decline, but your heart  actually wants to go there--to that place that you have so neatly tucked away. Because it is now part of what defines you. It is a place of wonder and pain and what-ifs. Wonder at the sheer thought of survival. Pain at what that survival cost you--or what you think it cost you. And the realization that not one thing that is present reality would look the same if not for the past reality. Not one thing. One simple--or not so simple--veer in your life's path, and everything changes. There are no what-ifs.

And you realize that you wouldn't change a thing--you couldn't change a thing.  This is your wonderful life. And the intimate moments with the Lord as He wraps His loving arms around you and patiently teaches you the lessons you must learn become what you yearn for. And the question changes from Why? to What now, Lord? And you accept the fact that we look through a mirror dimly. And you accept the fact that some things just cant be replaced, because there is no replacement value calculated on the loss of what could have been. There is no price on broken dreams or broken hearts or broken memories. 

And as Edie texted me on Christmas morning:  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!

And through acceptance comes growth and a closer walk with the God that is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow--the God that is the constant when life spins out of control.  And when others suffer loss, He is the God that reminds you that His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in weakness.  And through the tears, you heal a bit more.  And you pray for the same for others.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

Friday, December 24, 2010

WHEN THERE ARE NO WORDS

Home.

Your safe place.

Your sanctuary.

Your memory vault.

Where every item has a story.

Where every item is a prop in the drama of life.

There is no replacement value.

Home.

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Edie.

Loves with abandon.

Lives with enthusiasm.

Gives without limits.

Believes.

Believes.

Believes.

Edie.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:13-14

There truly are no words.

This will not be an easy journey.

But make it she will.

With family.

With friends.

With the Lord.

Through prayer.

And tears.

Many tears.

edie

I love you, my friend, and will continue to pray for you.

And cry with you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY

These are not the photos that will be used for my daughter's family Christmas card this year.  I don't understand it really.  I think they capture something special.  I just wish the first one could be sent with audio.  hohoho

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

DECORATED MAILBOX AND A FEW TWEETS

I have had decorate mailbox on my to-do list for several Christmas seasons and am happy to say that I can finally cross it off.  With greenery from the shed and flowers and berries from the Dollar Tree and a bow that I actually made myself using the Bow-dabra that my daughter gave to me last year for Christmas, I completed this project with weeks to spare.
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I've been kind of busy this month with Tessa's theater debut in White Christmas.  She's got a very important, lead role--okay so it's just one dance and the finale, but she's a star to me!  I love, love, love the theater and have enjoyed every minute of being the stage mom.  I love breathing in the Aquanet as I stick over 60 bobby pins a performance in Tessa's hair and I love that I can't get "Sisters" or "Snow" out of my head and I love sneaking in back stage to capture random moments with cast members and I love the new friends I've made. 
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And because I am so fond of all the new friends we've made, I've decided to make a little something for them so that they don't ever forget us or the show.  A sweet friend gave me one of these nifty paper birds a while back, and I flattered her by copying it.  I bought some two-sided tan paper from Hobby Lobby and copied White Christmas music onto it.  I then spent all afternoon cutting out.  I had no idea how long cutting birds and wings would take, or maybe I would have just wished them a Merry Christmas.
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This is the original gifted bird.
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This is the finished White Christmas bird.  Cute, huh?
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FALL BULLETIN BOARD IDEA

I have observed that there are some seasons in life that creativity is my *place* or my escape from whatever stress life throws at me. But for most of this past year, my *place* has not been in creating but more in solitude and reflection. I've missed my creative side, but have, I suppose, needed the break.
I was extremely thrilled in October when I had one of those moments--you know, when *the* idea hits you. Usually it happens in the shower, but not this time!  I was immediately energized and excited to execute the project.  I have been doing bulletin boards at the school on and off for the past five years.  It is not really one of my favorite parts of the job.  And after a while, season after season, they all start looking the same.  Well, not mine this fall.  I know--it's not the right season to post this, but it's when I am doing anyway!

Unfortunately, I deleted the photos of the board from my camera and only had some that were taken with my phone.  The lift-up flaps had jokes on them with the answer on the inside.  My favorite joke:  Why do Pilgrims' pants fall down?  Because they wear their buckles on their hats.  Doesn't that just make you crack up and grin and smile and guffaw?  It did me.  I was in a needy place.

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fall bulletin board

If only I could come up with something original for winter now!