Saturday, May 30, 2009

me too

It has been said “that the most powerful sermon in the world is two words: “Me too.”

Me too.
when you’re struggling,
when you’re hurting,
wounded, limping, doubting,
questioning, barely hanging on,
moments away from another relapse,
and somebody can identify with you-
someone knows the temptations that are at your door,
somebody has felt the pain that you are feeling,
when someone can look you in the eyes and say, “Me too,”
and they actually mean it…
when you aren’t judged,
or lectured,
or looked down upon,
but somebody demonstrates that they get it,
that they know what it’s like,
that you aren’t alone,
that’s “me too.”

Lord, give me eyes for the fellow traveler whom I can come alongside and share the hope you have given me in this journey.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

troubled waters

I was reading a blog by Susan Lang, who is a building consultant. She writes:

“Many times in my life I have found myself in “troubled waters” which has caused me feelings of despair, pain, fear, sadness, panic, hopelessness, etc. depending on the situation. These “troubled waters” may have resulted from the death of a loved one, an illness of a loved one, my job, my children, my friends, my relationship, or simply an everyday situation. When I was younger I found when I was in “troubled waters” it was quite disturbing and uncomfortable. As I matured, so did my faith. I learned that the Lord led me to “troubled waters” to teach me something, to prepare me for something better, or to even prevent something from happening. Now when I am faced with “troubled waters” I remind myself of two sayings that I have heard many times: “If God took me to it, God will bring me through it” and “when one door closes God will open another door”.

I’m reminded of a Bible verse that I have read frequently:

Isaiah 43:2 (New Living Translation) “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown….”

I have the quote about God ‘opening and closing doors” on my kitchen windowsill right now. In my adult life, I have been working on resting in God’s hands (as he opens and closes doors)…I want to allow him take care of me in the “high waters.” I have to admit that some days, I react to life better than other days. When I write, I can be more thoughtful about it, and I react in a better way than I do “off the cuff.” That’s why I write…so I can sort through things, and give more thought to life.

Most days, I (or someone I know) tread the troubled waters. It’s good to remember God is right in the middle of it all, offering peace and rest.
help me remember,


Sunday, May 17, 2009

rock of comfort

So…Jon and Emily’s big day, which we have anticipated and planned for, has come and gone. It was a beautiful time of thanksgiving and reunion…an eclectic mixture of Emily and Jon’s family and friends…of their pasts…and of their future.

As I was watching the ceremony, that took place at the altar of our church, I thought about how many special times of our lives have happened at that very place. It was there that Loyd and I exchanged our vows, thirty-two years ago . When Amy and Emily were newborns, we dedicated their lives there; and almost a year ago, we celebrated Kathy’s life at the very same place. And now…it’s almost as if we have come full-circle… Jon and Emily have dedicated themselves to each other at the same altar.

During the wedding, the congregation sang an old hymn of the church, “Come Thou Fount.” In one verse, there is a reference to raising an “Ebenezer.” We were having a family discussion about what an Ebenezer is, and I had to “google” it…It seems that, in the Old Testament, to Samuel and the Israelites, the Ebenezer was an actual stone that was erected to be a testament to the fact that God keeps his promises… that” his mercies are everlasting; his covenant is forever.” The Ebenezer stone was a visual reminder, to God’s people, of God’s comfort to them. An Ebenezer is literally “a stone of comfort.” Wow! The altar in our church is just that to me…a symbol of the comfort of God…a reminder that I can give the situations of my life to God, and he will take care of them….

Thank you, God, for you comfort…thank you for the reminder,

PS Kathy’s presence was felt this weekend. She was with us.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

they are not dead

They are not dead (author unknown)

They are not dead,
Who leave us this great heritage of remembering joy.

They still live in our hearts,
In the happiness we knew, in the dreams we shared.

They still speak in the echoes of the words we've heard them say again and again.

They are not dead;
Their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.

They are not apart from us, but part of us,

For love is eternal,
And those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.

We have felt your presence, in so many ways, this weekend, Sister. We love you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

thank you, friends

Tomorrow our daughter, Emily, will be married to a fine young man, Jon Newlin. Our Kathy would have been all over this! She would have known just what to do. I never realized how much I have grown to depend on her... her advice, her help....Thinking of things like this was so easy for her...her mind was so quick and is hard for me, sometimes, I don't have a clue as to what to do.

God has sent me incredible help for this task. My family...,Mom, Dad, Deb, Mike, and Crystal... Joy is even here from California (I am very excited about this).

My most unexpected help, though, has come from a little group of women that I call the FOK's (Friends of Kathy). They are a group of ladies whom Kathy did all kinds of little projects with...the ladies she talked to...and was involved in their lives...some of her most dearly loved friends.

These friends are so kind and helpful and dependable. They do what they promise they will do, and they do it with prayers and smiles and deep love for us and Kathy. What a special blessing they have been to me and my family. What a gift from God (and Kathy).

Thank you, friends...what would I do without you?


Saturday, May 9, 2009

mother's day

So tomorrow is yet another special day that will remind us all over again of what has been lost. I will be glad when this first year is over. It’s like you can almost touch what happened last year…but yet it is so, so far away….

I am clinging to the promise of Psalm 91:4:

“He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

This verse paints a lovely picture of God acting as a mother would…protecting her helpless children…giving her very life for them.

It is actually in times such as these that I realize the power of the love that our Father has for me. I have come to the end of myself, and I find the very heart of God…

Lord, I’m trusting your promise…be a father… a mother…to all children, everywhere, who need you,

Saturday, May 2, 2009

somewhere down the road

“So much pain and no good reason why
You’ve cried until the tears run dry
And nothing else can make you understand
The one thing that you held so dear
Is slipping from your hand
And you say
Why, why, why
Does it go this way
Why, why, why?”

(Amy Grant, “Somewhere down the Road.”)

So many unexpected things happen in life. Many of them are kinds of death….the death of a life, the death of a marriage, the death of a relationship; the end of a dream, the end of a friendship, the end of a career; someone leaving, someone moving, someone changing; something taken, something lost, something misconstrued…all death…all having to say good-bye to an old way, a comfortable way…moving from the known to the unknown.

“Why, why, why?” I have found that my God is not angered or intimidated by my “whys.” Back when the twins first got sick, I thought about this a lot. I asked “why” many times. Why do such hard, painful things happen to some people? Why did God “choose” certain people for their particular trials…why did He allow the things that happened to them, to happen?

Through it all, I have concluded that God does not “pick” trials for people…life just happens to all of us…sometimes, our genes determine what happens…sometimes our choices determine what happens…at other times, the choices of other people determine what happens to us. Life happens to us because we are humans, living the human experience. God, in his infinite demonstration of love, gave us, humans, choice. In doing that, He gave us control of things that, at times, we don’t have the good judgement to control (Remember Adam and Eve and their choices… remember me and some my choices?).

So “why, why, why?” I’ve come to the conclusion that Isaiah 55:8 says it best:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.”

The important truth I have learned is that I do not have the where-with-all to understand it all. I do not have the answers…but HE does. When I trust him, he can work it all out, and he’ll work it out for my ultimate well-being.

So “… all I can say
Somewhere down the road
There’ll be answers to the questions
Somewhere down the road
Though we cannot see it now
And somewhere down the road
You will find mighty arms reaching for you
And they will hold the answers at the end of the road.”

thank you, Lord,