August 28, 2012

Normally, my blog posts tend to be written about things that I have struggled through and have arrived at some sort of working resolve. But, lately, my life has been beaten with some things that I am having a hard time sorting through. I can't seem to nestle into a space of peace.

I feel as though I must state the obvious and say that I am incredibly blessed. I really mean that from the bottom of my heart. I have the most amazing husband and I stand in awe of my four children and all of their lovable, annoying, sweet, sassy, caring, and selfish ways. I truly feel like out of all the kids in the whole entire world, I got the four best ones. Life is good. I could make a list... a long list of everything I am grateful for. But, I feel that it would be incredibly misleading to not share the hard stuff here, too.

A few months ago, something happened where my best friend and I were caught up in a mess. Have you ever been in a mess before? It's not a fun place to be. And the thing about a mess is that it can be very messy. {Yes, I know. I am Captain Obvious today.} The details actually have become irrelevant at this point in time, but, the fact of the matter is, we were both incredibly hurt and disappointed in each other. We both had on blinders to our own perception of what happened. And although at some point we came together to try to salvage what was genuinely there and very real, things are not the same as they once were. Once trust is lost, it is very difficult to regain. And it's strange, because the love is still there. It's very hard for me to wrap my mind around it, and even harder for my heart. There have been lessons learned from this experience, but the damage is still evident. I am confident that God has both of us on His mind. I know He is still working. But, it's not a good place to be right now. I ache for what is seemingly lost. I am sorry for the hurt that has beaten up my heart and hers. And I'm not sure where this road will lead. All I know is that it's a sad walk.


My (husband's) aunt was diagnosed almost a year ago with stage IV stomach cancer. I cried when I heard the news. But then, hope began to build. She was apparently unafraid. Barely fazed. Ready to FIGHT! And fight she did. I've never met anyone like her. Not once did I hear her complain. Or whine. People would have been asking me if I wanted cheese to go with my whine if the shoe were on the other foot. Her faith never wavered. She would get chemo and two days later you would find her painting her bathroom. True story. But, she lost her battle a week ago Sunday. I was with her when she breathed her final breath. It was truly a gift. But, I had no idea how it would affect me. There is a stark and bitter realization that this life can be over in the blink of an eye. One final breath. And although I know that my eternity is secure, my ticket to heaven has been paid in full, the human part of me aches for what is left behind. Death is so real to me now in a way that it never was before. I have an ever present twinge of something that I will call fear, for lack of a better word. It's so hard to explain. I'm trying to sort out how to go on living my life all the while clinging with white knuckles to every second. I'm sad for the loss of what was, one year ago, a very able, seemingly healthy woman. I am sad for the extremely difficult journey that took her down a road that no one should ever have to go down. I am forever changed by what I saw the last few months of her life.

I have been hurt before by people. Intentionally and unintentionally. I've been disappointed and I've suffered varying degrees of loss. But, right now I just feel so tangled up in it. My faith in people has been rocked. Not in any one person, necessarily, but people in general. Perhaps I expect too much. There's not much that I am sure of these days. However, I am sure of my love and loyalty for my children and my husband. I am sure that one day I will breathe my final breath, just as we all will. I am sure that I want to make my life matter. I am sure that I don't want to give value to those things that do not benefit anyone. I am sure that forgiveness is more important than righteousness. I am sure that I serve a mighty, all-knowing, loving, and merciful God who "works all things together for my good, to give me a future and a hope". I am sure that I will spend eternity in heaven.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him." Psalm 28:7


Just Breathe

August 10, 2012

Sitting in the big recliner next to her hospital bed,
Watching her sleep.
Waiting for her next breath.
And the next.

My mind began to drift of times before.
When I was the one in the bed
and my husband sat beside me in the big recliner.
Watching me.
Waiting for the first breath.
And all the ones that would follow.

Two floors down babies are taking their first breath of life
At the same time that others are taking their last.
It seems that the distance between the two is never far enough.
A whirlwind of events seems to overpower time.
One day melts into the next.
Before you know it, you're back in the big recliner.

Do we pay enough attention to how we spend each breath
Between the first one and the last?
Do we waste our breaths on too many things that are not worthy?
Do we take for granted the pattern of the rise and fall of our chest?
Do we even notice it at all?
Do we give enough thought to what happens after our breath is gone?

Just as we all took that very first gulp of air,
We will all, one day, blow out our last.
Make sure the ones in between were not wasted away.
Spend that currency on what matters.
Invest in eternity.
Yours, and others'.
Because, in the end, you leave this world with
The same material possessions you entered with.
Live wisely and
Breathe Love.

{In honor of Aunt Nancy. Oh, how I love you.}

"then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." Genesis 2:7

"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?'" John 11:25-26.

"As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God." Psalm 42:1

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men," Colossians 3:23

"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the HOly Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20