Friday, November 28, 2014

This Man God Gave Me

The move has brought such good things, and of course, also many challenges that I won't go into here.

But I am thinking of the man I love in this afternoon rain.  How we met through our sweet, sweet kids.  And how the Lord constructed a love story we never could have dreamed of.

I had made my kids my priority after my divorce, but I missed having someone.  And when they got older I really wanted to remarry.  I prayed and prayed.  I knew I would not settle, and the first pre-requisite was that they love the Lord and attend church.

I met Dave.  He sent me love songs, "Still" by ELP, and "Lady" by Styx, made my heart stop.  You see Dave's not a talker or a romancer per se, but he gets all the important stuff exactly right.  And right from the get-go, I knew my weight didn't matter to him, other than health-wise.  He tells me often that i'm beautiful.  And we women like that, even if we don't believe it ourselves.  As long as he sees me that way, that's all that matters.

One of the first things that so touched my heart was during one of his early visits.  We went to Calvary Church, when Ron was Pastor, Wed. night service when music included Dave Wurst and others, so sweet.  It was communion night, we went over to have communion, and he got down on the floor and bowed all the way down till his head touched the floor, remained there for a while in prayer.  I knew that he loved the Lord, and he was with me in church.  Dave's prayers are simple, but heart-felt and I love them.

He does a million things to say he loves me without the words....though he says those words every day too.  If I like something, he will walk in with it if possible. 

At a time in my life when I really thought it was kinda over, living with the kids, the Lord gave me Dave.  It was and is fairy-tale love.  I never knew it really does, with God.  Dave told me right from the beginning that I was safe, it meant the world to me, because I was scared.  He didn't lie, I am.

I watched this man carry himself with honor and dignity through 7 years unable to obtain steady employment.  His heart was breaking, but he took good care of me and our little pup, always putting himself last.  The silver lining that we clearly see now, we were together 24/7 during that time and that was the gift wrapped up in the trial.  We never turned on one another, each day together was sweet and we were grateful.

I want to encourage any single gals out there that think the Lord has forgotten you in this area, that it just can't or won't happen.  No, no!  You keep waiting on the Lord, I waited 18 years, and David was worth every one!!!  Only God knows the why of His timing, but He has blessed me abundantly in my wonderful husband.  We have our moments, but they don't usually last too long.  :)

I will forever give thanks and praise to God for David, my love.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Listening to Houses

This is the house Ron & I grew up in.  :)

Listening to Houses

Today is Thanksgiving.  I awoke slowly, our little Doxie, Sadie, waiting for me to stir which means her breakfast is forthcoming.  But I lay still, listening.  Listening to the quiet of our first Thanksgiving here in Vancouver, in this house.  Thankful for so many things, the house my witness.

I remembered waking in my parent's house so many years and so many years ago.  Our home had things to say.  Deep in the night and early morning hours, it would creak and moan, seeming to express its own life.  I could hear the furnace flame ignite and shut off.  So safe and secure, Mom & Dad in the next room, always there.  No fear of their not being together, didn't even occur to us.  And my big brother in another room.  All of us under this expressive roof.  If those walls could really have talked they would've been a narrative of over 30 years of living.  I will remember that house as long as I live of course, most of us do I guess.  I can see it all crystal clear.  Mom & Dad made some changes through the years, and I must confess, the latest are not clear in my mind.  But they were cosmetic, the bones remained unchanged.

The other "house" that spoke was our last place, downtown Grants Pass.  An apartment made from old medical offices on the 2nd floor of the Wing Building at 6th & G.  It was chock full of quirks and make-do's, but pretty cute all in all.  That was a whole experience i'll write about another time, but it talked too.  When I first moved in it made me startle in the night with its loud declarations, I was certain someone was up on that 2nd floor who shouldn't be there.  But as I peeked through the whole in the door, no one was ever there.  It was merely a very old building with tons to say.  Of course I grew used to it's complaining, like a mature body has aches and pains and complains about them.  Got to be comforting even.  To lay there and here various sounds, the old place had lots to say.  It had seen a lot.  I felt that it was happy with us there, making a real home.  It's customary cacophony became a friend's soothing voice.

It seems unfair or unreal that places we live can't absorb some of the life lived within them.  They provide shelter and a place to be, something that is precious to me.  If you ever have it truly threatened or lose it, you understand what I mean.  They seem more to me than building materials.

So I lay this morning in the stillness.  Regretting that this house, so very nice, is just too young to have anything much to say.'s listening to us.  It's hearing the life and the love and again, is our witness to the faithfulness of a God that is with us whatever house He gives us to be in. 

So happy Thanksgiving.  All of us have so much to be thankful for, Dave & I in particular.  Life is radically different than it was a year ago, and our gratitude cannot be adequately expressed to our God, and to those that helped us and loved us through such a hard, hard time.  I hope everyone has the best Thanksgiving ever and that blessings continue to rain all the coming year. 

And thank you to our Almighty God for His great love, mercy, kindness, faithfulness that covers all.

Friday, November 14, 2014

On Waiting

Renaissance Man calls to say he'll be home late.  Lots to do before he leaves this Friday.  I have my surgery on Tues. and he's taken Mon., Tues. and Wed. off.  So I have this extra time and I read Ann Voskamp's piece on waiting and it sets me to thinking.  I have thought this for some time really, because it's true in one sense. 

I have been waiting for something my whole life.  And it's true, much of that has robbed me of "now."  Growing up I waited to be unconditionally accepted.  I felt alone most of my childhood, other than being aware that a Presence was with me, only later in adulthood did I realize that it was Him.  He stayed with me all the time, never left me, and my heart missed Him then and I miss Him now.  I became aware that there will forever be a part of my heart that is lonely to actually be with Him again...and one day, that will be the reality.

I got married and found I couldn't have children.  I was waiting again.  For 5 long years it was about all I could think of.  Every shower, every stroller passed, baby clothes in the stores, etc., sent me into longing.  Then came my son, so treasured after this long, long wait.  And then Molly, equally treasured, she came from so far.

Then the one I trusted more than anyone in the world, betrayed me and left me for someone else.  Without going into that pain again, it is accurate to say I began waiting again.  Waiting for kids to get older, waiting to see if they would survive - if I would survive.  Then waiting for the real "right man."  It would be an 18-year wait.  Just when I believed the Lord did not want this for me, He gifted me with the finest man I have ever known.  And then, unemployment, and we wait.

Seven years of waiting on that one.  Humiliated, embarrassed, the Lord took care of any pride in this area but good.  We learned to rely wholly on God, for everything, and this was good.  We got to be together 24/7, and that was good.  Never the less, a very difficult time waiting indeed.

I am waiting again.  Waiting for my boy to be released from prison.  This has been the longest 3 years of my life, and one to go, at least.  It is as though part of my heart has been ripped away and I wait for it to be restored. 

It has struck me the last year or so, how much of my life has been spent waiting.  Sometimes only to find out that what you thought was the answer, wasn't.  Things often change without necessarily being all that you hoped.  There has been one that has not disappointed or been less, my sweet husband.  He doesn't talk much, which drives me crazy.....cuz i'm a big talker!  But he says "I love you" every single day, and sometimes the things that come out of his mouth totally and completely blow me away.  He is for me and won't leave me and holds me in the night when i'm scared, and when I am overcome with grief over my son.  Then he doesn't talk either, doesn't try to fix it, just lets me mourn in his arms until i'm done.

Now that i'm more mature, I can look back and see how much time I did waste waiting.  Life is indeed "now."  It is far better to be grateful for today's blessings and quit spending time pre-occupied with what the future may or may not hold.  I pray the Lord helps will help me do this more.  Today:  I rested well last night, woke up in our little house with my man and my furry child, had food to eat, energy to do my tasks, all the while He was with me, does it get better than that really?  I say no, and also a prayer of thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Wooden Spoon

Upcoming surgery on the 18th has me thinking.  It's for a hernia i've had for about 13 years.  Supposed to be easy-peasy, but we've all heard horror stories, so while I trust in my Lord for the outcome, can't help these things floating through my mind occasionally.  Has made me cognizant of certain things, certainly how much I love my husband and my family and friends. 

It has also brought back memories.  Josh is always on my heart and in my thoughts.  Last night I reached for my wooden spoon to stir something on the stove and noticed how worn it has become.  Years and years of stirring this and that.  Took me back to our little apartment in Camarillo, CA, where we lived for 14 years after the divorce.  Mostly made me smile.  Cookies, mac & cheese, stir-fry, and accompanying these meals are the two faces I love so dearly.  My little Molly, her round, little face grinning so big her eyes almost close, lol.  And Josh, at that age when he has bunny teeth and is giddy and goofy, laughing.  That spoon has witnessed a lot of joy.  Sorrow too, but cooking was always comforting and when that spoon was used, was always for a group of 3 or more. 

My brother is coming to stay with me after surgery.  Dave took a couple days off, but really needs to be in the office.  Very kind of Ron to offer and i'll appreciate not being alone without a car for a few days.  We will laugh ourselves silly...probably have to be careful with that, lol, and watch movies and psychoanalyze everything.  But I digress...

My point was that spoon.  An inanimate object that has witnessed lives torn apart, put back together, made a favorite meal after a good grade, or a comforting one for a not-so-good grade.  I love that spoon, i'll never get rid of it.  I might retire it, but it will have a place beside the new to remind me of so many memories, and above all, of God's faithfulness to a single mom trying so hard to take care of her kids.

All these years later, the boy is in prison, the girl, married and serving the Lord.  Both are as close as my next breath and always will be, no matter what geological location they occupy.  So weird, I never noticed till this year, Josh is scheduled to be released a year from this Nov. 15th...his sister's birthday.  I copied this yesterday from Lysa TerKeurst:
"It's so hard to have someone attack you in an area that's already rubbed raw with hardship."  And to the Lord, i've changed the feminine to masculine:
"I will not sacrifice Your grace for my child on the altar of people's opinions.  Of course I want my son to walk the straight and narrow path of great choices.  But I trust You Lord to write his testimony.  My main goal for him is not behavior modification but total heart transformation.  I want him to want You, Lord, and Your best for his life.  Give me the courage to not just pray about my son, but to pray him all the way through this."

These words resonate within me for Josh.  I am privileged to be his mom, God picked me out of everyone else waiting to adopt.  He's my son, I love him with all of my heart.  Through the miracle of adoption and the Lord, he is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, as is his sister.  But this boy, so talented and spontaneous and intelligent also has a dark side that is tormented and in constant upheaval.  Only God, only God.

I have already marked my calendars as I do every year with birthdays and special occasions, but this Saturday they will have a new mark, another big heart around the first on the 15th.  Joshua will be free on that day in one year, Lord willing.

Meanwhile, as life goes on, i'll continue to stir the pot with my friend and witness, the wooden spoon.  Perhaps one day Josh will be coming here to eat, I bet even that spoon stirs happier.  ;)