Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Hope

I never used to enjoy Spring very much but the past year or so I look forward to our new trees budding and leafing out again.  I love seeing our roses bloom for the first time.  The colors seem so much more brilliant now than later in the summer.  We also have our new tree (Andrew's tree) that is showing signs of new growth already. 
Seeing the new leaves, the new colors, and the new growth give me a sense of hope that we will get out of the holding pattern we've been in for the past 1 1/2 years. 
We are so ready for something new.  It might be something around the corner, half-way across the country or half-way around the world.  We just don't know, but we're ready! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What if...

 We heard this song (by Laura Story) on the radio the other day and then again last night.  It raised some interesting questions as we have talked since then.  I have more questions than I do answers at this point, regarding suffering.  These words help give me some direction in my questioning.  Maybe I am just too dense and slow in my thinking to see ultimate good and love in the midst of horrible-ness.  I want to learn and I want to understand.  I'm hoping that God will be patient with me as I struggle with this.

"We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Andrew's tree

We planted a tree in memory of Andrew today.  We plan to plant at least one more.  This is an Aptos Blue Sequoia (Coastal Redwood).  It's supposed to grow 3 feet every year.  I took our little deer statue from the backyard to put by our new tree. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's difficult to describe the past week, but if I had to use just words....
Fog, confusion, grief, questions, anger, love, support, family, tears, hope, sadness, fatigue and so many other words.
Let me just say that the memorial service for my nephew was... SO good.  It was heart-rending but it was good.  The pastor spoke from God's Word and gave us a sense of hope all the while comforting us and helping us to laugh even just a little bit.  We watched a slide show of Andrew which truly showed his LIFE and had some great Newsboys music in the background.  It made us smile.  Then my brother got up and talked about his son and about God's love for each and every one of us.  He read from Romans 8 while his wife (my wonderful sister-in-law) stood by his side.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 
Shall trouble 
or hardship 
or persecution 
or famine 
or nakedness 
or danger 
or sword? 
I am convinced that 
neither death nor life, 
neither angels nor demons, 
neither the present nor the future, 
nor any powers,  
neither height nor depth, 
nor anything else in all creation, 
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

He was so full of grace and kindness and concern for all the people there.  I've never been more proud of him and humbled at his Christ-likeness.  He stood outside the chapel and comforted the many, many (many) people who came to comfort and support him and his family.
I am still  full of questions and confusion and, like the rest of the family, will have some things to work through, but I am amazed, thankful and humbled at God's grace in the midst of this very difficult time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Time for Everything

 "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:  
a time to be born, and a time to die; 
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;  
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;   
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
a time to love, and a time to hate;a time for war, and a time for peace."  
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I suppose there must be a time for everything.  Right now is a time for mourning, for grieving, for crying.  This week I will go to the memorial service for my 18 year old nephew.  How I wish it were not so.  How I wish I could turn back the clock and do.... something.   I have determined to not let a day pass without telling my kids I love them, without taking every opportunity, no matter how seemingly insignificant it may be, to do good to those around me.  Life is fleeting.
In a few weeks, however, we will have a time to "dance", a time for joy,  as we share in the wedding of another nephew, my nephew, Terry!  He and his fiancee will be married Easter weekend. 
Cherish those around you.  Live every moment.  Don't ever dismiss that feeling that you need to do something or say something.  That chance may never come again.  Drink in every moment with those you love.... every time you stand in the kitchen and do dishes and talk, every time you go to the grocery store, every "daily" moment you have.   "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift,  that's why we call it the present." :)