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Archive for August, 2008

grace

Was reminded of a quote on a friend’s blog…

There’s nothing we can do to make God love us any less. There’s nothing we can do to make God love us more.

– Philip Yancey

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in a smashing pumpkins’ mood…one of their songs just came on…aptly reflects my demeanor.

to say i’m having a rough time would be an understatement.

to say God is always faithful is a reality.

sometimes i just need someone to hold me.

sometimes i wish God had physical arms.

but taking one day at a time.

it’s been one of the hardest but also one of the best weeks this year to date.

and i said “goodbye to you…”

anyway. not sure how to cry out for help when your friends seem too preoccupied to notice or really care.  not sure how to bluntly say “i need to be taken care of right now.”

i’m rarely in a position of being able to ask for help, so to do so implicitly and be turned down is painful and frustrating. but it’s life.

and i have to be strong for those who look to me, too…so i want to find those spaces where i can cry. where i can be weak.  not that i am putting on an act.  i purpose to be transparent with my students, and in the midst of meetings and such, have let them know where i stand…a quick update…but the reality is…life goes on and i have to pull it together enough to lead well regardless of what the state of my heart is.  God’s grace is sufficient to get me through those times.

God has given me enough strength and energy and fortitude to be able to that this week.

but it’s been a demanding week.

i’m looking forward to monday, my next true day of rest.

especially because the next few weeks are going to be crazy.

tonight is the celebration service for my friend.  it’s going to be tough.  i wanted to find someone to drive with (it’s an hour away) to help process things in the car but no one is available.

i suppose this is what it’s all about – it has to be me and God.  this is where the rubber hits the road.  this is where faith is put to the test, eh? not that i’m questioning God’s goodness or sovereignty…been there, done that years ago when i lost Dad…but on an emotional level, it is difficult.  and the questions of “why” still swirl around.  or not even “why” but…rather…”how much longer, Jesus, must we go through this before you restore things and make things right?” this pain at times seems too much.

i cannot imagine the pain of losing your spouse or your boyfriend.  and having to adjust to life afterwards.  i don’t want to see my loved ones having to walk down that road.

and this is just one thing on my heart this week.

in the midst of it all, i’ve been pulling 11 – 13 hour work days necessarily, so i’m just a tired girl today.

and life marches on.  doesn’t stop.

and with a deep breath, i plunge back into the realities of day-to-day life.

praying for God to continue to carry me through this time.

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long day

Today, a friend went home to Jesus. He was just a few years older than me.

Grieving for those left behind.

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complex

I have a love/hate relationship for watching sports…I cannot watch any kind of game without being 100% engaged which means I rarely watch because I’m not willing to devote the needed time…but when I do catch a game…I’m on the edge of my seat…and immediately, upon celebrating with whichever team I’m rooting for when they win, I’m immediately overcome with feeling the sorrow of the losers.

Good grief.

;p

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yes…

loving exegesis and hermeneutics ;p

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dinner

Fabulous dinner – baked potato, topped with fresh avacado with some lemon juice and salt, and a little bit of plain, lowfat yogurt and fresh, cracked black pepper.

Yummy. :)

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I’ve spent the last half hour alternating between quietly crying and sobbing, reading this story.

What do I say to the author but acknowledgment of the grief I feel for him and his family and the promise to pray for them as the Holy Spirit brings them to mind?

His story stirs up so many emotions and deep-seeded feelings…I had to push myself to read through all three parts…a beautiful tribute and testimony to the author’s son-in-law and the faithfulness of God to love us through community during the painful times.

I’ve staid off writing much about the time leading up to and following Dad’s death; reading the piece made me want to write more…but I’m not sure I will capture it since it’s been over seven years since he passed and I unintentionally blocked out many memories from those two years…I’m not sure I am ready to delve back into that time…but mssc54’s piece showcased what I also experienced – the grace of God, the love of friends and family, the deep pain in questioning “why?”

An ex-boyfriend is a Stryker and when he was deployed in Iraq, I could not watch the news. It was too difficult. How much more difficult for a young wife and mother to have her love deployed. And then to hear the news no lover ever wants to hear. My heart just goes out to her and her son.

Where is God in this?

I know the theological answers; I know the intellectual. And I know the love and faithfulness of God in the midst of a broken and fallen world. And that one day, this, too, shall be made right. But when the heart-wrenching moments come…sometimes the theological and intellectual answers don’t suffice – they don’t stop the bleeding of your heart or the cry of your soul. After a time, yes…but in the moment, you need others around you, to hold you, to love you, to bring you food you don’t need because they don’t know what else to do, to minister to you. [M]ssc54’s piece demonstrated so beautifully how the Body of Christ really pulls together in time of need. I experienced it on an incredible scale when my father died…it’s why I can sincerely say that was one of the worst and best times of my life. Seeing the faithfulness of God in the midst of tragedy, learning His heart grieves with us but that He is faithful and sovereign and will provide…learning what it means to trust Him one day at a time, learning what it means to grieve, to be loved, to let others take care of you when you cannot breathe or are numb.

I struggle with understanding why my three younger brothers have had to grow up without a father. Why seven of us children were left without a Dad present here on earth. Why mssc54’s grandson will have to grow up without his father. Why men of such integrity, character and love of God and family are taken from us seemingly unduly. Why a friend currently is on hospice. Why there is pain and suffering in the world – on a personal scale and on a grand scale.

I know the answers.

But I’m thankful for the balm of human hands and human love, that God chooses to use people to reach out to us, to hold us, to touch us, to minister to us when we have to walk through the valleys.

I don’t know mssc54 or his family save for the beautiful tribute he has written on his blog, but my heart goes out to them. And I’m thankful that it is only a matter of time before we join his son-in-law and my father in heaven, to be reunited for eternity. God’s promises are true, His love, unending, and He can be trusted in the midst of the sorrow – thankful that He promises that one day, these things shall be made right.

Waiting for that day.

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