Thursday, July 31, 2014


The rhythm of the year always reminds me, even if my mind seems unaware at first.  Getting ready for school (which begins this week) and the winding down of the summer break tells my brain that August 2 is rolling around again even when I am not looking at the calendar.  It always starts with the recognition that the day is approaching as we enter our summer break, and concludes with an abrupt awareness that the day is almost upon us.  This year finds me remarried to a wonderful man, who ironically enough, has his own heartbreaking memories connected to early days of august…but that is his story, and not mine, to share. 

What I find myself reflecting on today is that Todd would HATE August 2 to trigger these reminders of him.  He would want to be remembered for his life and not his death. And thankfully that is true…we do think of him 365 days a year…mostly with smiles and joy for the gift, but also with unavoidable sadness for the loss. So it is with August 2.  And thankfully, the new man in our life—Alan—totally gets that and doesn’t think any of  this takes anything away from our love for him.  He understands that love multiplies…it is fear and selfishness that constrain.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Restored (Happy New Year)

I had a, to be accurate, I had a MAJOR come apart tonight.  Stomping, raging-through-the-house come apart.  And the words that came out of my mouth as I was raging were hateful and mean and so not pretty.  I am not proud of any of this, in fact, it is pretty embarrassing to share.  I felt such anger and rage as I have not felt in a loooooonnnnnnggg time.  It had been brewing for about a week (okay, more like 4 -5 months), and I anticipated it would have to have an outlet soon.  My kids were not here tonight, so this could be the night it would all come out...I almost looked forward to a good, therapeutic, cleansing cry...but this was beyond ugly.  I mean it was U-G-L-Y.

Here's the good news.  Some friends came and rescued me. At first I thought it was best if I just stayed by myself...trying to minimize collateral damage.  They persisted.   I didn't answer. (I was busy downloading free Beth Moore books on my Kindle...but too angry to actually read any of them at the moment.;-) One friend then texted that she wanted to come get me to join them for some worship...ugh...drat...that hooked me right there because my spirit new that is really what it needed.  With resignation, I texted back that I would come, but that I would need to do some crying and screaming before I would get in the car...she said that would be fine.  And true to her word, she let me rant, curse and cry while she hugged me, before I got into the car.  Another friend was waiting in the warm and cozy vehicle, and she let me yell too.  We laughed (good and hard) before we even got out of the driveway. 

Here's the really awesome part.  In the complete mystery (and irony) that is God, one of these friends is a recent widow, having lost her husband just a few weeks ago.  I had actually tried to contact  her earlier today thinking  she could use some encouragement today from a seasoned further down the road, you know.   LOL!  Me, encouraging anyone?  Ha!  As we sat in her living room, singing songs about God's goodness and love and faithfulness, I felt my anger and rage let go of its hold on me.  Almost like a summer rain washes away the dirt on the hot pavement.  I shared a chair with my newly widowed friend--pretty much sitting in her lap--and she scratched my back.  Her face shone as we sang...radiant.  We laughed. We listened as her brother-in-law played the piano.  We sang more. Kids ran in and out of the room.  We ate chocolate cake...lots of chocolate cake.   The psalmist's words kept coming to my mind:

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
Psalm 18:16

That's exactly what it felt like God did.

When I got home, I looked up the rest of this section of the psalm:
(verses 17-19)
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes who were too strong for me.
They confronted me on the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

As I looked around the room at all the people, I was acutely aware of the fragility of life...plenty of representatives in the grief and loss department...and those are just the stories I know. Yet so much joy.  That He would delight in rescuing a foul-mouthed, ungrateful sinner like me from the midst of my rage and anger--confronting all my rage with such gentleness and kindness (administered through these friends) and showing me the only salve strong enough to soothe my angry soul was worship...Wow...that is beyond amazing.  I couldn't have planned a better way to let go of the old and bring in the new.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
Psalm 23:2-3

Happy New Year