Friday, January 31, 2014

Was God Joking?

I hear people remark that God sure does have a sense of humor. I understand this perspective when I think of some of the animals He created. But in my Bible reading, I don't think God/Jesus had a real funny side. I hear a lot of other necessary emotions but no laughing or teasing.

Well, there are the parts in the old testament where God asks questions He already knows the answers to. Like when Adam and Eve are naked and hide behind some trees, God calls out, "Where are you?" and "Who told you you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?"

Of course he knew all the answers. And then when he questions Cain after Cain has killed his brother Abel. "Where is your brother Abel?" I'm pretty sure he knew.

But, I have to admit, I did the same thing as a mom to young boys. "Did you make this mess? What were you thinking? What did you do to your brother?" Luckily, by the grace of God, neither one has done in his brother yet.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Funeral

I went to a funeral over the weekend. My first since Steven died. Millie was someone I really admired. She was a gentle woman that was soft spoken and never seemed in a hurry. Attributes I seem to be lacking. I wonder sometimes if God makes some people clumsy and outspoken. Anyway, Millie lived a wonderful 89 years and is now with her husband.

I became upset moments after entering the funeral home. Not so much for Millie, but the grieving I felt, rather than saw. And it all came back to me. The family eating between visits, the picture board and reminiscing, the flowers and the groups of people speaking softly. I needed to get a grip, so turned to look at a painting on the wall. I reminded myself to think of this as a celebration of a life well spent.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Day We Got Steven Warm

I remember when Steve was sick he would get cold so easy. Winter was very hard for him to warm up at all. One day he told me he felt bulky with all the layers he had to wear. He said he wanted to get down to a tee shirt and jeans. So, we turned the heat up to 78 and it got very toasty in our home. I was wearing a tank top and shorts, he was down to this tee shirt and jeans and there was a 6 inches of snow on the ground.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Voicemail From Steven

I have a voicemail from Steven on my phone at work. Listening to it yesterday, I realized it was 1 year ago that he left it.

When I left for work that morning he was doing so poorly. The headaches he was having were from brain swelling caused by the radiation. I told him to please, please call me later and let me know he was okay. Now I look back and wonder why the heck I didn't stay home with him.

So his voicemail says, "Hi Neece. Just calling to let you know I'm feeling a little bit better. I'll see you later. Bye bye." When I listen now I could very well think he left it today. Except his voice would sound stronger. He is better now, and I will see him later.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oh To Be Free

One of the best sermons I have heard at Heritage talked about the viscous circle we go around when we try on our own to free ourselves from an addiction. Pastor Shawn said we are slaves to what we obey, and too often we are unsuccessful when we try on our own which leads to discouragement. The solution is to let Jesus change us from the inside. Sounds big and it really is. But what if you could close your eyes, quit being afraid of letting go and let God lead. We chose the rest of the story.


Check out “The Story - Freedom” by Heritage Church on Vimeo.

The video is available for your viewing pleasure at http://vimeo.com/83049216

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Today is God's Plan A

Today is God's Plan A. Nothing can stop His Plan A from happening. Not Satan, or sickness or a spouse can stop this sovereign plan. God carries out his purpose without any regrets or mistakes. His plans are never thwarted.

This makes me ask myself why I pray, if it's all decided anyway and nothing can change. I pray because I'm told to. And I know for me, I relate on a more personal level if I'm talking to God. Perhaps the praying is more for me than for him.

Sometimes things don't go the way I'd like them to. My husband wasn't miraculously healed from cancer. His death was slow and painful. And for those of us who were here and witnessed it, our lives were changed. But in my surrender from long ago, I realized that there is nothing I have that is not from God. Today is God's divine Plan A. Not Plan B. I don't have to see it to believe it.

The LORD Almighty has sworn this oath: "It will all happen as I have planned. It will come about according to my purposes. I have a plan for the whole earth, for my mighty power reaches throughout the world. The Lord Almighty has spoken - who can change his plans? When his hand moves, who can stop him?" Isaiah 14:24, 26-27

 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

La La La La La

I have a nasty habit of rehashing stupid things I've said. Some of them are from years ago. There's the time I didn't know the answer to a really easy question in Trivial Pursuit. The way I mispronounce words and get laughed at, the things I've said that hurt people, and questions I've asked whose answer was obvious I wasn't listening.

I think of how Satan whispers in my ear that I'm not worthy because of my failings. Satan doesn't care if I'm rich or poor, happy or sad. His mission is to keep me from growing closer to God. Hence where the 'not worthy' comes in to play.

I've decided to do what I do when I don't want to hear what someone is saying. When Satan begins his lies, I'll sing La La La La La. If I'm standing taller, I'll know it worked.

 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Power I Now Hold

When you are grieving, you act on autopilot. But that can be difficult when everything is different. For me, I'm missing the backbone of my family. The kind of decision maker who didn't feel the need to consult me when changing something. The intensity of Steven's 'power to decide' just makes it harder for me to now do this on my own.

He is not here to fix, replace, renew or keep me safe. He's not here with all that strength. I have this power now, but not the natural ability to make decisions. So I'll feel good when I chose correctly and learn when I make a mistake. Sometimes, the best thing to know, is who to ask to assist you in a decision.

One thing I can't do, is sit here all vulnerable and do nothing. I need to be smart as I move into this new life alone.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Silence Is Golden

How is it I can enjoy being alone and yet miss Steven? How can I feel joy and sadness at the same time? But I do. That silence is golden makes sense now. And I love the silence.

I have never had so much time to do what I want. Nor have I had this many chores to do. I didnt realize how much Steve helped with the everyday things, until he was gone.

I like winter. Something about being stuck in a warm house with the perfect excuse to not go anywhere is appealing. I can't fix a fancy dinner (like I would!) because the weather is too bad to go to the store. I can't start that project because it's too cold in the garage. Well, I might as well read a good book and take a nap. Life is good...sometimes.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Words To Hold Onto

Steven was not the kind of guy who would get mushy with words. I knew this when I married him, but never stopped wanting him to 'go beyond' I love you. Why do you love me? When did you know? What are my strong attributes and why would you miss me if I were gone?

After someone dies, it's easy to talk yourself into believing anything because they are not there to correct you. So, I reflect on all the gifts I put so much thought into and how he never once gushed over even one of them. And he probably never really loved me because he never told me why.

Then I find a note that I never saw before. What is up with that? God is so good. God gives me what I need, when I need it and not a minute before. It's like finding the note from Steven on the iPad after I accidentally deleted all my notes.

The words are: I love you with every fiber of my being and every ounce of heart, self and soul.

I hold on to the words, even though the man who spoke them is gone.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 - The Year Of Cancer

I overheard someone say that 2013 went by so quickly. I started crying as I thought of how long and drawn out the year was for Steve and I as he succumbed to cancer.

We started with brain radiation in January which turned out to be a regret. His side effects from this were worse than with the chemo. Then he contracted pneumonia and had such low oxygen levels they admitted him to ICU. There he was on a ventilator for a week and lost any strength he had. We came home with no more hope of the miracle we prayed for. Hospice helped the last two months of Steve's life but he refused the medication and spent a lot of time in pain as the cancer grew enough to shut down his organs.

I'm without him now and will begin a new year trying to be optimistic while still missing my husband. I struggle to see him in my mind as strong and happy, but still see him weak and angry. At this point I even miss the weak and angry.