When your heart is broken in a million pieces…

I write about life, usually from a variety of different angles, because that is how I view life. Life is not flat…it is dimensional in every way. Nothing is truly just superficial.

There are close family members and friends who are just like family who have gone through some of life’s most anguishing struggles.

I have grieved as I have watched drugs assault and destroy the hope and promise of a much loved young man. A young man who “seems” to have so much to live for, yet who has found his drug of choice to reduce his own mental anguish. It isn’t just this young man who is suffering from his addiction, but his parents, siblings, extended family and friends. That addiction has been a never-ending, runaway roller coaster ride for a very long time…The “answers” man offers up just don’t address what is truly an issue of the heart…

Depression and suicide have recently devastated the lives of two different families…tell me, what words would you offer to the grieving parents? Brothers and sisters? Sons and daughters? Would you know what to say to someone whose heart just burst into a million, tiny, jagged pieces?

I am full of words, but I had none to offer.

A friend, who is more like a daughter, has been struggling through her father’s cancers…not just one, but two different kinds, simultaneously. And now, she finds that her husband has a brain tumor…At some point, I think we just silently lift our longing eyes to heaven because we no longer can find the words we need to pray effectively. That is when the Spirit takes our heart’s groanings and translates them into prayers…

Then there are those things that we cannot talk about…those hurts that we have in common with others, but are not ours to share. The “confidential” ones…you know, when we put on that brave face and cover up our pain because…well just because we can’t talk about it.

We tend to be masters of disguise…burying things so deeply because we want to be “strong”. Ha. We are not strong. Our very breath is a gift of that moment…we have no promises of a future breath.

How often do we TRULY look at life within the understanding of the scope of its temporal and temporary confines? And then, do we step back and simply gaze at the unfathomable eternity and still stand amazed in spite of the anguish of these earthly lives filled with earthly struggles?

That is what I am doing today…trying to see beyond the temporal and the temporary…for that glimpse of future Glory…

Psalm 73:1-2, 21-28

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped…

When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

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I REALLY Need a New Body!

I am waiting.

For a new body.

You see, my body is failing me.

I have a sore back. My glasses don’t correct my vision. I broke a tooth…well, technically, I broke the crown for my messed up tooth.

I have to take a bunch of medicine because different parts of my body don’t like to work the way they are supposed to without a little help.

Hey, I even have a cool, SWISS STAINLESS STEEL SCREW in my foot. Would YOU like a screw for your foot? Doubt it.

I have gone well beyond the stage of feeling invincible. I feel extraordinarily VINCIBLE. (I know, that isn’t a real word, but it works better than my body does…)

Several of my Facebook friends (yep, I have them, too) were sharing their physical ills and the need for divine intervention for relief from an array of bodily failings. Some serious. Many annoying. All impacting their quality of life.

Some of the comments were humorous…we are a funny group of women, after all. And it reminded of a cartoon I saw MANY years ago…

There was a long line of women in angelic robes…they were discussing their brand new heavenly bodies. One of the ladies muttered to the woman behind her, “I thought that my heavenly body would AT LEAST be THIN…”

As we commiserated with each other, several voiced the same desire…for that new, glorified, heavenly body we will receive when we are finally home with the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:1-3

English Standard Version (ESV)

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.

The promise in scripture about our old bodies being replaced with new bodies that will no longer become ill, or broken, or sinful is our great and confident hope as we wait for that great reunion, face to face with our Savior.

But as I considered that thought, of having a brand new body that would never break down and get old, I was again reminded of another spiritual truth…Jesus, although in heaven with a glorified body, still bears the scars of Calvary in His own body.

Why doesn’t He have a perfect, unbroken body now that He is in heaven, seated at the right hand of God, the Father? Why does He still have scars in His hands, feet and side? Why is His face still marred from the beard that was torn from His face? Why are the marks still on His head from the crown of thorns that He wore?

Because Jesus, in His great love for each of us, chose to be the eternal Lamb that was slain for sin. While His believers look forward to those new bodies…we will also be seeing the visible proof of His love for us borne in His body through out eternity.

His love for His children is endless…so many times He could have chosen to leave us on our own without a remedy for our sin that separated us from Him. Yet, He left His throne, descended to this earthly realm and took on human form. The God-Man, Jesus, willingly separated Himself from His rightful home in heaven in order to physically make a way of escape for mankind from certain eternal death.

And He chose to continue to bear those scars as a reminder to us of His great love, so freely offered to us, yet at such a great cost.

In the Silence of Beginning
(The Lamb, Eternal, Slain)

By Chris Juby

In the silence of beginning
Spoke the love prepared to pay
So the wellspring of creation
Was the Lamb, eternal, slain
In the glory of the Godhead
As the universe was made
Was the promise of redemption
In the Lamb, eternal, slain

From the blood of righteous Abel
As the world gave way to hate
Every sin cried out for vengeance
For the Lamb, eternal, slain
By the code of temple worship
Sacrifice of blood was made
In that sacrifice, the shadow
Of the Lamb, eternal, slain

On the cross, in desolation
As he bore our sins away
Hear his prayer “Father, forgive them”
See the Lamb, eternal, slain
Through his blood we have forgiveness
For he died to take our place
Death itself has been defeated
By the Lamb, eternal, slain

Now alive in risen glory
Though the wounds of love remain
Holding out the Father’s mercy
Know the Lamb, eternal, slain
When that final kingdom trumpet
Heralds his triumphant reign
We will worship him forever
Hail the Lamb, eternal, slain

Birthdays and Anniversaries and Special Days…

February 9th…

Not a national holiday.

Not a religious holiday.

Not my birthday. But it IS my nephew’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Sean!!!

Not my wedding anniversary. BUT…it is the first anniversary of MY BLOG!

But those, as special as they are, do not come close to my number one reason for loving this day.

February 9th is a special day because…

Still so happy together

Still so happy together

On February 9, 1979, my now-husband of almost 33 years promised to marry me with a little ring from Woolworth…symbolic and pure…and its worth was not borne in the cost of the ring, but rather in the cost of that promise.

Little did he know what all that promise would bring to his life…a mixture of great joy and great sorrow…trips to unexpected places…laughter and tears…a life of changes for a man who liked things to stay the same.

With that promise two lives began a lifetime of change as we have been woven together into something we never could have even imagined. Neither one of us really resembles the people we were at that time–not physically nor in any other way.

Gone is his afro–and pic. Streaks of gray are now faintly visible. Gone is the mustache (he kept THAT for a lot of years!) and wide leather watch band that he custom made for himself.

Gone are the crazy clothing combinations (well…that may be an exaggeration since just yesterday he dressed as if he were color-blind…). His ginormous glasses are a bit more contemporary these days.

As for me…let’s just say that I am a more well-rounded individual. In more ways than one. 😉

Just yesterday, Curly Top assured me in her tender, special way–“I am the Curly Top, Nana. You have gray hair.” Ahhhh…the honesty.

But the things that I loved about him so many years ago, I still love today. He is FAITHFUL. He is FORGIVING. His love is UNCONDITIONAL (and believe me, I have tested that one more than once). His smile is still always on his face.

Those things matter so much to me. My love for him is based on things that endure and grow, not on things that disappear or fluctuate. Each and every day I know he will remain true to me because he continues to remain true to His Savior and Lord.

Family members still laugh at all of our “special anniversaries”…the first meal…the first, second or third ring…first kiss…we have a lot of special days. And I hope we never forget any of them. They are mile markers of the love that has grown and mellowed. It is a love that endures.

I think it is very important to celebrate the big moments, days and years. Every single day should be worthy of celebrating another day of life. So often we squander the opportunities to celebrate those little things and we take for granted those little, seemingly insignificant details that make up our daily lives. They need to be celebrated, too.

We forget the miracle of every. single. breath.

So join me today…celebrate the most wonderful gift. Life. Abundant life.

2 Corinthians 9:8

 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

1 Timothy 6:17

 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God,who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Ephesians 2:1-10

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,  in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Parenting…realitatem ferit suspendisse…

You know “those” kids who learn everything easily? How “they” make parenting look like anyone could do it and have a genius for a child?

You know “those” parents with that child who learns everything so easily, and somehow these parents act like they have that whole parenting thing down? And how they readily spout off their “knowledge” learned through their “vast experience” as a parent (usually of one child)? I can see your eyes as they roll with eyebrows raised…you know who “they” are.

Then these parents have a second child. Or a third one. I can hear you snickering, and I see those nodding heads…;)

Eventually these parents have to come to terms with the fact that their parenting skills are actually seriously lacking. They no longer are the “go to” parents for those parenting dilemmas afflicting their friends. And, in all honesty, they never should have been the “go to” parents…You know who they are…I can hear you guffawing…

These once-masterful parents begin to question their parenting history. Maybe their memories were clouded by some hormonal overload that made everything appear to be rosey and right.

Or it could have been that in their sleep-deprived state they created faux happy memories?

Did you know that in early parenting, the revisionist tendencies are often used as a coping mechanism for survival? Are you aware that an actual psychological disorder has been identified that explains these suffering parents? Seriously. It’s called–realitatem ferit suspendisse, translated–reality strikes parenting.

I confess that I once suffered from that disease…many, MANY years ago. Thankfully, I received the early cure when our second child joined us.

You know how they say the cure is worse than the disease? Well, I would disagree with that only because at least you have the blessing of the child as a part of both the disease and the cure.

Now my third grandchild, Curly Top, is giving all of us a run for our money. Considering that she is remarkably like her mother (our second child) …well, let’s just say that nothing surprises me too much any more.

don’t all princesses play soccer while dressed in their gowns?

who? Me???

As you already know, if you’ve been following this blog for awhile, Curly Top has had some “issues” reconciling that she is a GIRL.

Yes, she has two older brothers. Yes, she knows that brothers are boys. Yes, there are certain anatomical distinctions between boys and girls. Fortunately for all of us, she has reached a point of realization that she is a GIRL.

Unfortunately, she seems to think she is a girl D-O-G. (And it doesn’t help that her brother, Dancing Eyes, just hooked her up with a leash…)

Today, the crazy child-dog laid a good-sized pile on the driveway and covered it up with grass. I am still too shocked to even try to make sense of it.

But considering all the things I DON’T write about, I am beginning to sincerely doubt that Curly Top is going to make it to her third birthday…And I am investigating a newly identified disorder–realitatem ferit avis–reality strikes grandparents.

 

 

 

Never Ask Your Husband This…

I have been watching my weight for a few years…going in the wrong direction.

It started with the beginnings of the “change”… you know, that non-pregnant “pause”…

Following the “pause” came the torn ligament or tendon in my foot that occurred when I started a swimming for exercise regimen. Bummer.

So I took up bike riding. My first day out on the bike led to a fall that led to a torn labrum that resulted in shoulder surgery. Surgery followed by months of rehab.

I realized that maybe I should just take it easy, so I took up walking. About two days later I thought it would be a good idea to clean the cabinets thoroughly. Unfortunately, I hyper-extended both feet somehow and tore the plantar fascia in both feet. Uh huh…months of rehab for the feet.

I got amazing relief for my feet through an awesome physical therapist named “Matt”. Who also worked out the shoulder rehab, the low back issues and the torn whatever in my foot.

I got a new job. It was so cool. Commercial real estate and helping cool new companies launch. It required an overhaul of the filing system and all 150 four-drawer file cabinets. I was surprised at how quickly I developed a frozen shoulder in my GOOD arm. Of course, I got to go back and spend some quality time with “Matt.”

and THEN…

I fell. I fell off my front step (singular) while cleaning the window. I did not need the x-ray to tell me my left foot was broken. In four pieces. It was a very bad break. I was in casts and a boot for about 3 months.

I graduated to walking. The first day, I walked up the street three houses and back. Woo hoo! No problem. No pain.

I then walked around the house more on day two. I tripped over my grandson. Broke the same foot. I got to get hardware this time. A nice screw with imported stainless steel, hand-turned into my foot. Three more months non-weight bearing. Three more months of subsequent physical therapy. This time with “Bryan” because I still couldn’t get all the way out to see “Matt”…sigh…

I have not been the same since I broke the foot and got the screw, although this year has been the least painful since 2008.

And THAT is big news. Because now I can DANCE…every morning we (my little charges) dance to the Madagascar sound track and the Latino Party CD…I must say that I am so surprised that my daughter has not videotaped my efforts in an attempt to blackmail me for money…

I thought that all this dancing and gardening was beginning to help with the weight…my jeans were a little looser and my old, tight stuff was close to being wearable. So I got on the scale…

I had lost twelve pounds! I was so excited!!! (I have since lost more, but anyway…) I didn’t say anything for awhile. Just kept double checking on the scale…

So, I decided to go out on a limb and ask my husband if he could tell I had lost some weight…

He looked at me, head to toe, and said, “Maybe in your face…?”

TWELVE POUNDS FROM MY FACE??? REALLY??? I am still choking over that.

Never, ever, under any circumstances, ask your husband if you look like you lost weight…

(I am still trying to figure out how anyone COULD lose twelve pounds from the face…somebody, a little help?)

Cleaning Out the Closet…

Since my sweet husband has been away, I decided to use the time wisely by organizing his drawers and closet. You see, when he is HERE, he has this problem when the purging begins…

So I started with the easy part…the closet.

Let me just start off by saying in my defense that in my past, I was a confirmed perfectionist with very particular ways of folding, hanging, sorting, washing, line drying, organizing…You know, my way is the right way and there is no other way…

My husband is not color blind. He can see all colors.  My FATHER is color blind. He cannot see red, green, brown…or mixtures of these colors. So my FATHER has a legitimate reason if something is mismatched. My mother found socks with snaps so they don’t get separated in the drawer. Brown and tan in one drawer, blue and black in another drawer. You know, I learned my organizational skills from HER.

Nathan believes that if something is blue it always goes with anything else that is blue. All greens can be worn together. And he believes that since the rainbow doesn’t clash, neither do his clothes.

When he comes home at the end of the day and I realize that he went to work with mismatched clothes, he is always so surprised if I don’t think the combination worked. I ask him, “Have I ever put that combination together?”

And his response is always the same, “I thought I would try something new…”

That is now forbidden.

I asked him if he would like his shirts matched up with pants to help figure out what works…He wasn’t sure he could manage that. Really??? (I should note that when we first got married, he only wore navy or brown pants, no patterns, textures or variations. You wouldn’t believe how hard I had to work to get tan and gray added…)

So…back to the closet. I put all of his button shirts by color from white to black, left to right. Then his cold weather casual shirts and his light weight shirts. All following the same color pattern. His pants separate the current season of shirts from the warm season shirts. After all, we have been known to have sudden warm ups in the middle of Winter.

I like the order of the colors as they transition from light to dark. I like knowing that with the second button fastened I won’t have to worry about wrinkled shirts lying on the floor…I like knowing that with a quick glance it will be easy to put clean clothing away because it is so organized.

RIGHT. After all these years, I am still the only one who cares about the clothes being in any sort of order, the only one who actually thinks about where the clothes SHOULD be hung…the only one that recognizes that there actually IS a pattern…

And I also continue to be that slow learner that refuses to just give up and admit it’s hopeless…

And tomorrow, I will tell you all about the lessons learned from the sock drawers…