Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Wonderful Weekend

What a wonderful weekend. After being sick a few days last week, I appreciate feeling healthy. In my good health, my father-in-law and I cut up and loaded the back end of my CRV with wood from the basement walls and took the load out to his house where my mother-in-law and I will burn it.

I ran errands with Joshua, my son, and got stuck in traffic FOREVER on Friday afternoon in Davenport. Frankly, I loved it. What better than being stuck in a car with a son you love visiting with?

I managed to fit in some new artwork using alcohol inks and metal. I can tell this is going to be fun.

At my in-laws I sanded and stained/sealed a picnic table and enjoyed having friends visit while I camped. I ended the weekend taking my grandson to church and then hauling out drywall with my son Brandon. My basement is emptying as I ready for the big basement fix on the 20th. I can't wait.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Chosen To Be The Bad Guy

Like most people I'm all for the underdog. But, I wonder how many others feel sorry for Judas? He is the one who betrayed Jesus which started the whole crucifixion. Now, I know this had to happen, but did Judas have a choice or was he chosen by a long ago prophecy to be the bad guy.

Were Cain and Abel born with the same mindset and Cain just turned bad? I know Noah was good and obedient, but were all the other people bad? Did they have a choice, a chance? What happened to them after they died?

Maybe I'll ask.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Having Sons

Having sons is a blessing. When they were small it was a struggle to keep up with them. Then, when they were teenagers, I wanted a place to drop them off and pick them up when they were in their 20's.

But now, they are grown up and are men taller than I am. They have lives separate from mine and experience things I'll never know about. I did my best to teach them about the important things in life, and came down hard on the lines I wouldn't let them cross. They hated that I had to know the parents of their friends. They hated the curfews, and groundings, and thank you letters, and apologies, and time outs that sometimes lasted a long time. They resented my monitoring what they watched on TV and the games they played on the  computer.

I made a lot of mistakes but I was determined about a lot of good things. And,  they love me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Growing Our Faith

As we grow in our faith, we stop questioning why God does or doesn't do something. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our failures and downfalls are growing us to His image.

The happenings around us are not fate or circumstance but the hand of He made the sun and instructed it to shine. The day we stop trying to figure God out is the first day in which life becomes simple to live.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

This Old House

I knew I wouldn't die in my grief when Steven passed away, but, I never thought I could be truly happy either. I'm enjoying a life I didn't think was possible. Most widows I know would rather be busy and not home alone. I look forward to coming here. Maybe because I work all day and this is where I relax.

Despite the upkeep and expense of this house, it is mine. It holds my blood, sweat and many tears. But it also echos of the laughter of many happy memories.  I love my home. I find comfort in every room. I look out at oak trees and a beautiful yard and realize I have lived here longer than any other home.

And I realize surprisingly, that I am happy.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Who Do You Love?

If we love people, but not God, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment after bitter disappointment. Our natural instinct is to think of ones self first. It takes effort to put someone needs ahead of your own, especially, if the gesture is not noticed and appreciated.

We will demand what cannot be given. Cry for a whole pizza when there is only half left. We will think we are good and deserving and wonder why others don't reciprocate. Our inclination is to base our opinion of others on ideas we've formed and not facts.

There is only one true love. Only one saving grace and grand mercy. And, it will not be from the person sitting next to you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Is Left

It's so sad to me that a person as vibrantly alive as Steven was diminished to a folder in a drawer or an oil painting on a wall. I searched the old anniversary cards for more than just a signature, and go back to old emails I sent to see if I missed an answer, but no miracle there.

I remember reading a book, PS, I Love You, about a husband who knew he was dying an left a letter each month for a year to his wife. I'm disappointed Steven didn't think ahead at the emptiness of my life and leave something tucked away. Maybe someday I'll come across something.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Beyond Myself

Grief seems all- consuming. But, eventually, you become far enough removed from your crisis that you are able to hear the people around you and that life is happening to them too.  Now, when I ask someone how they are, I really want to know.  And when they answer I'm able to hear and not compare to my own pain. My response is sympathy and not my story. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Another Anniversary

As I came upon my 21st wedding anniversary, I asked my sister Becky to spend it with me because she makes me happy. We spent it at the campsite, and despite 52 bug bites, I did laugh and have fun.
We were joined by my sons, some neighbors and of course my mother-in-law who is kind enough to let us put our camper in her backyard bordering the Rock River.
Brandon caught his biggest fish ever, my chilidogs were a hit and I came home with plenty of time to work around home and relax on my Labor Day off.

Don't Journey Alone

If I'm lead up a cliff, I will be equipped for the strenuous climb. I know that cliff, and I live to tell the story. This blog is my story of not only survival, but the possibility of a peace and joy at the top of the mountain.
You can make it through your dilemma too. You might have to learn to ask for help as I have, and to practice living in the moment, but He who is in you is stronger that he who is in the world.