Monday, December 30, 2013

The Walls We Hide Behind

I have the most wonderful family. And I have been blessed with good friends who are like family to me. And of course I have faith. Faith in something not visible but rock solid. With faith I'm blessed with the assurance of being loved and treasured despite imperfections. It's so cool with God because he already knows all my flaws and secrets, so there is nothing to hide from him. Unlike the fasade we put up with others, so they will like us.

We think that people will accept us if we reflect a nice normal life. So we smile and pray the kids don't say something that requires any discipline and our husband doesn't belch, or worse, fart in front of church people. Because, I'm sure they don't belch or fart even when alone.

But, what we realize as we get older, is the letting down of walls and sharing allows others to get a glimpse of the real you. It then inspires them to share, and a friendship is born. Before you know it, you are belching in front of each other.


Friday, December 27, 2013

December Anxiety

Anxiety is probably a natural state for a recent widow. While it's normal, I don't want to wallow in it. I don't want it to control me, I want to control it. So, I use medication. I thought I was weaning myself off quite nicely until it got closer to Christmas and all that goes with it. I reminded myself I'm usually a mess about this time anyway with out of town company staying, shopping, making gifts and winter storms. Then there is that little fact that I miss my husband dearly.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Life Goes On

It amazes me how life goes on after a person dies. Days pass at just the same rate. One season blends into another. New relationships are formed. Children change as they grow. And yet everyone who knew that person is different because of the ripple effect of what they said or did.

I used to think how sad it was that someday, no one will know me. The stories my children may tell will fade and what my grandchildren share will be a mere shadow of that, until nothing of me remains, not even a memory. Why does this bother me?

Maybe my name won't ring a bell three generations from now. But maybe, just maybe, I was there for someone and offered some advice, and that person became better for it and made a life choice that gave opportunity to another individual who went on to write a book, that saved a marriage, so a child was born who then became a pastor who saved a soul and on and on and on.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Dearest Steven

My Dearest Steven, how can I be doing all this without you? I'm wrapping gifts, Christmas music playing in the background, a tree all lit...and you are not here. A tree that you did not cut and balance just right in the base. How do I do this after 23 Christmases with you? 23 Christmas Eves of Lane brother get-togethers and you will not be with us. How will I be happy without you? What about the perfect gift you get me that is just right, the gentle kiss when we wake on Christmas morning? How will I watch our grandson open his gifts without you next to me? Who will make us all laugh with some antic.

I'm still breathing but nothing else is the same.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Is My Offering Memorable?

I'm reading in Acts 10:4 about how Cornelius sees an angel of God who calls him by name. The angel tells Cornelius that his prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.

My first visual of this, is a boss man behind a desk who receives a memo regarding an employee's excellent work.

My next thought is, doesn't God see everything all the time? Or does he notice more those whose gifting is greater?

But regardless, I always go back to the basics of what does this tell me about God? And the idea that things I did would come up at all before Him, makes me want those 'things' to be good and not bad. Am I praying? Am I gifting the poor? Good questions to ask during a season known for thinking of others.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Weakness For Sweets

I've lost all control when it comes to sweets. I have had such discipline in the past and now I start in the morning and continue eating candy and cookies all day. Tis the season I guess. I'm still working out but not to compensate the 'extra' sugar.

Maybe I'll try to find the Dr. Oz episode where he explains what cellulite is. That had me disciplined for months. The facts were amazing. Dr. Oz is kind of scary to me. I had to stop watching because everything is bad. Who knew you could die from picking your nose?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gifts Given

God is so good. While reading my devotion the other day, there was thanks for enjoying strengths and gifts bestowed upon us and accepted without pride or false modesty.

I thought about how many times I take credit for things I have made and forget where that creativity came from. I neglect to bring God into it and therefore the gift is just from me. How thankful I am for each ability and God given trait. I want to try giving God praise for them rather than congratulating myself. After all, all I am and all I have is from God and sustained by God. This good and wonderful God.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Things I've Learned About Clothing

Things I've learned about clothing:

You only need one set of paint clothes unless you are a painter

Everyone should have two boxes in their closet, one labeled 'big' girl pants and one
'little' girl pants.

If you use a product containing bleach to clean the bathroom, do not expect your clothing to look the same when you get done

I'm only happy with the way my jeans look 5% of the time.

I've no idea when to use starch, although I have had a can forever.

Why anyone would buy an iron for $100 is beyond me.

I don't know the rules for when to wear white, shoes match what, and what sock to not wear with what shoe.

You cannot sew a ruffle around the bottom of your jeans when they are too short, even though you did in the 70's.

Mr. Blah Blah Brassiere should get the guillotine or whatever form of death sentence they had in that period.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Steven's Cooking

As I make spaghetti, I'm reminded of Steve's nasty habit of throwing cooked spaghetti at the wall to see if it was done. If it sticks, it's done. But, he wouldn't remove it. It stayed on the wall (or floor) until I noticed it. I miss that spaghetti.

Where most couples enjoy making dinner together, Steven wanted the kitchen to himself and became easily flustered if I tried to tidy up while he cooked. Even the dogs knew not to come in. They would lay with their head on their paws right at the doorways on either side. At holiday time with the house full of people everywhere, I policed the kitchen for him. It's what any good wife would do.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

My Protecting Angel

I think of Steve so often. I hear his voice commenting on (or critiquing) what I'm doing. I hear him laugh at me when I do something stupid and sense him telling me to slow down.

Sometimes, I imagine him as Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Steve was much better looking, but ever the protector. I know he can't be in this realm of the universe, but Steven can be very persuasive. So, despite universal rules, I'm sure he is my guardian angel. He is keeping me from danger, just as he did when he was alive.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Birthday Steven

Today, Steven would have been 54. I'm so sad as I think of this. It seems young to me. What do I do? How to mourn a special day of ones deceased husband.

So, I'll call my mother-in-law and we will go to dinner, but not to mourn. We will celebrate a life lived going full speed ahead. A man who would not let go of life because it would mean he had lost, and that wasn't who he was. We will laugh and reminisce. And we'll pick a restaurant that does not mind a couple ladies who shed a few tears as they dine.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The New Norm

Life has taken a new normal. I wake up slow and do stretches and twists before getting out of bed. Lights on, clothes get flung around and music gets tuned in, warming me up for a workout. Steve is never far from my mind, but it's just me.

I come home and the house is empty and cold, but it's my home. I shout, "Hello House!" I'm not sure why. Maybe to warn off any thief in the middle of a heist. It would freak me out if someone answered me one night.

I look forward to bedtime, as any professional sleeper would. Covers heavy, pillows flat and sheets crisp. I burrow in, smile, and thank God for the day.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Above All

Above my desire for comfort, success or good health, I want to be a joy to God. What does that look like? To me, it's like pleasing a parent and making them proud. But, in this case, it's the ultimate perfect, loving parent.

So I seek His will when something is happening. Then I feel like whether it rains or it's a perfect day, it is what He wanted. Gosh, how would we feel if our children were like that with us.

God loves praise. Not because He is insecure or egotistical, but because He knows it brings the needed realism for us to be closer to Him. I think of God and something He has done in my life and my heart overflows with gratitude. And then there is praise when things are going wrong. That is even more important because it brings Him into the mix and I can sit back and see what He does. Just like a child who wants his parent to take care of things.