Tuesday, January 28, 2014


"From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.
         My brothers, these things ought not to be so."~James 3:10

That's how i'm feeling some days.  I have profound encounters with my Lord, I sense growth and expectation.  Recent events have my heart overflowing with gratitude and humility at His love, mercy & grace.

And still, today, such unrest, bitterness and anger are just under the surface.  Not quite sure what to do about it.  Self-examination can be a good thing, but it's a slippery slope on the way to self-absorption too. 

I feel frustrated at not being able to be with my love, frustrated at not knowing when to start packing, looking at all these empty boxes.  Frustrated with missing almost half of my children's lives that can never be returned to me.  Frustrated that I didn't make more of myself when I was younger, though I couldn't tell you what that would've looked like, all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother.

So, in trying to embrace that which is causing me to feel so "not me," I try to go steps further.  I have much to be thankful for, I really do, that's not just a trite cliche for me, I know it to be so.  I think it's the patience thing, I have none, zero, zilch and probably never will.  So while I do attempt to exercise it, i've got very little to work with.  I have developed in the course of my life that hated trait of "if only."  As a believer especially, I know this is fallacy, and still I do it.

Now I am reminded of something my brother taught on Sunday.  When the enemy of my soul is trying to tempt me, he presents an idea and then an image.  That was powerful stuff for me, it rang so very true.  I get an idea about life, and then the image follows and when reality doesn't match up, i'm irritable and impatient.

Tonight i'm weary, aware and shutting down a bit.  I will ask the Holy Spirit to straighten out my attitude, confident that He will do that exact work within me.  I will look forward to Friday when I leave to see my sweetheart for a couple days.  I guess, because it's been such a long haul, I want to get on with it and that just can't be right now.  I have to be still and know that He is God.  I have to trust that all the silences of the years, all the time apart from my precious kids, the betrayal of the one I trusted most on earth, all of it, is laid down on the altar and left there.  He will be faithful, as always, to heal, to renew, to deal gently with His child.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage;
        Yes, wait for the Lord."~Psalm 27:14

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Let Me Have A Wagging Tail Attitude

I must admit that when I woke this morning I definitely was not bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  My little friend woke me up wanting her breakfast about 4:30, I held her off for an hour before succumbing to her cuteness.  Knowing however that she will be starving long before the prescribed dinner hour of 4:30 p.m.  Oh well, some green beans and apple should tide her over. 
Got up, got dressed, put her halter on and we were out the door, through the door to our building onto the landing between the buildings, unlock the door that leads to the other building, up a couple stairs, down same stairs, around the corner to the elevator.  She being a Doxie is not supposed to go up and down stairs and the ones to our place are killer. 

*Grouch alert.  I am becoming more and more disenchanted with life in downtown Grants Pass.  Wine & hard liquor bottles...and worse...left in bushes in the little alley between buildings is gross.  So we hit the mean streets of GP.  ;)  I have changed our route to try and avoid the street people in the morning.  It seems the homeless, around here at least, are not so needy that they are gentle souls, they have become scary.  If they say something to you and you don't respond, watch out.  So since Dave has left, I take her out for the last time at 6:30, don't wanna be in that dark alley later than that.  That said, there are some guys that work at Rosso's and G Street that are sweethearts.  They love Sadie and she loves them, and when they are out on break, it's fine.

Sadie has become like Lady and the Tramp.  She has made friends with all the people that work around here and many carry treats for her.  :)  She will have to cultivate a new following in Vancouver.  ;)

But as we're walking i'm grumbling to myself.  I'm just tired, I wanna be with Dave like yesterday and it will still take some time.  I wanna be in a church i'm excited about, it's been a long time for that and I need it.  I wanna live where it's quiet, where you don't hear the drunks on the street along with the language.  Before you judge me, I will also say that I thank the Lord that we have a home at all, it's warm and cozy and was another one of my miracles when I got it.  It's just time to move on.

And i'm like, "C'mon God, what's the hold up?  I know all the things we say, 'You're in control, everything is according to Your timing, have faith', but i'm so tired, so weary."  It was then that I think I heard Him say, "Give me a break."  Ugh, busted.  I mean, i'm out walking, still able to in spite of the effects of diabetes, got my best friend beside me wagging her tail as she goes, plenty to eat and shelter from the cold.  BE GRATEFUL!!  Okay, corrected, back on track.

There are a lot of questions swirling through my head.  And being wired the way I am, they will continue.  So no big reason for this blog...just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shake that Bottle

New Living Translation (NLT)
Psalm 16:1
A psalm of David.
 Keep me safe, O God,
    for I have come to you for refuge.

In the weeks that have passed since Dave has started his new job and I remain here until we can be together, I observe some die-hard reactions.  It would seem that over the last 7 years, we have developed some ways of thinking that are not Biblical, and not beneficial.

In trying to protect ourselves, and this is aimed more at myself than my beloved, we hope for little, so we won't be disappointed.  We almost plan on failure in order to avoid being disappointed again. 

The odyssey of the past 7 years has left us scarred to say the least.  While always believing God held us in His loving hands, innumerable resumes sent, jobs applied for of all kinds, all seeming for naught, you recite the reasons why this might not work out either, and some are valid.  Being out of the work force for so long, you are behind in computer technology, office procedures and machines, etc.  Age also can be against you.  Not only has Dave had to meet these challenges, he is having to do so in the midst of strangers, kind though they be.  There is no "home" to go to after work and be greeted with loved ones tender care.  Or a tail that nearly wags off its body at the sight of you.

That said, I should say that Rennaissance Man loves a challenge, is a great problem-solver, takes risks, loves literature and football, good food, sci-fi and hard rock.  Takes a lot to daunt this man.  He says very little, i've hardly ever known he was intimidated by anything until after the fact.  So he is keeping his cards close to his vest as usual.  These are my observations with a few hints from him.

My feeling is, we have nothing to lose, nothing.  May as well walk through the door that has opened with gusto.  Problem is the gusto has transformed to fizz like a flat soda.  Impossible to keep the momentum going when everything with the move is on hold.  So a lot of the excitement and expectation has dampened, definitely not the gratefulness, that abides.

The key I think is to just keep focused on Christ, do not take our eyes off of Him.  However this plays out, it is indeed in His hands.  If we have to come back, we'll come back.  That said, it was really nice to believe, and who knows?

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Journey

I am thinking this morning of the struggling and obstacles that seem to never end.  Even blessed answers to years of prayer present new problems.  I am coming to believe that these struggles, how we overcome the obstacles, is the point really.  Because life is what it is, you never reach an end, until you reach the end.  There are financial issues, health issues, unsaved loved ones, on and on.  So I am finding, the point must be in how I tackle, look at, deal with these things. 

It changes my perspective some.  When I look at a situation seeking to find Him in it, whatever that looks like for the given circumstances, I become more sensitive to His rod and staff.  In taking up our cross daily, things are bound to get bloody.  The trick is not to bleed all over everyone else, keep it between He and I.  There is a sweetness that takes place when just He and I fellowship and tackle something together.  The relationship grows deeper, more precious.

I do know however, this is not that secretive, gotta look good so put on a smile thing.  There are times when we need to share with another believer.  The Word teaches this.  "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15.  But running from friend to friend frantically when we struggle, often-times just leaves us weary and empty and friends the same.  All we really needed to do was go to the Fountain and be filled.

I am trying to process the last 7 years and am finding that more and more it really wasn't about money, or even provision.  It was about relationships, and the lessons I learned I will never forget.  Because we probably couldn't tell you many of the amounts of money needed, but we sure could tell you those who helped us, often-times sacrificially.  The love shown shakes you down to your core, and you know that God was in it.  Only He can repay, you know you will never be able to.

I'm still learning from all that's happen, and will continue to learn from what's happening now.  It's a process, a journey, and I think, as I said, the Journey's the point.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ebb & Flow

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

And so it goes.  As we are about to launch into a new season, already have really, all around us there is loss and sorrow, new beginnings, continued endeavors.  What i'm finding is that when you are coming out of a lengthy trial, you are not the same...duh.  As joyful as you are about the passing of this difficult time, that almost did you in, is the same thing that makes you aware, and keenly, of the suffering of others.  You long to encourage, to help, yet knowing that we all have to walk the path He puts before us. 

It is on that path that I have learned more and more of His heart, of Him.  Cliches i've heard forever, proved true.  He is indeed faithful, every time, all the time.  We are never out of His loving view.  As a parent watches their child struggle to grow, and can only learn some lessons through falling off the bike a time or two, so He allows our hearts to break, allows circumstances to bring us to our knees.  Sometimes we receive correction, sometimes it is just tough love.  He knows what will best serve to teach us about Him, about our place in the world where He can best use us. 

I must say that coming through the last 7 years, there have been tremendous highs as well as the lows.  I learned that He did not abandon us in our circumstances.  He gave me the best gift of this earthly life, my love, my treasure, my David.  We never once turned on each other, that is to His glory and our love for one another.  My stubborn will had to be broken, and it has indeed.  The stubborn spirit that says "I'm depressed, I can't handle this, I'm just gonna lay in bed and be sad."  I learned that is not acceptable.  Might be okay for a day or two, but then Philippians 4:13 comes into play, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  It is true...whether I want it to be or not. 

While it's true, you never have to look far to see others whose suffering far exceeds your own, our own pain matters to Him.  He longs to comfort and have us react with faith, even in sorrow.  He knows the plans He has for us, plans for a future and for good for us, whether on this side, or when we see Him face to face.

I cannot lie.  I don't like pain, I don't like my plans thwarted, I don't like the effects of a quiet disease on my body, especially when I have caused it myself.  The thing is, He doesn't leave me alone in all that.  He is with me, I can depend on Him.  And ultimately, I cast my cares upon Him, because He cares for me....even if i've caused those cares myself.  That's what love does, it doesn't lay blame or "should" you, it just loves and offers help.
So, mingled in these days of joy for the job and the miraculous way it came and ended this long-endured season, there are those all around us dealing with illness, death, financial crises, etc. and I do and will always want to rage against those things.  Difference is instead of beating my fists at the air, I try with all that is within me to trust His sovereignty and His love and pray.