January 20, 2010

I Wasn’t Made for This!

-My Thoughts on Dying

This coming weekend Jerry and I will be taking part in two memorial services. One is hard enough, but two?

We weren’t made to die. Dying is not in our program. That’s why death is so difficult to deal with. It’s not the way we were made. This is not an experience that God had planned for us in the beginning.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, but it just makes sense. No matter how ready we think we are, no matter how well we prepare, no matter how strong our faith—dying is difficult. It’s just not “in us.”

Look at the beginning, in the book of Genesis. Run your finger down the list of things God created and see the phrases associated with the word “living,” and being fruitful, and growing, and multiplying. It’s all about life! Then he made man in his own image. Does God die? Was man in his image made for dying? Of course not!

So when we are anxious about our coming death or grieving the separation from those who have already passed on, we can take comfort in our discomfort, knowing that God will give us the grace to walk through it with him. When that point comes that I remove my hand from the hands of the ones I love, and put it completely in the hand of my Savior, I know the difficulty will only be a hiccup. I wasn’t made to die, but I was made to walk with him.

That’s all I’ve ever really wanted, anyway.

January 18, 2010

He Has Shown Me

He has shown you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8
I am experimenting with the idea of uploading actual pages from my journal. Handwriting has always been an enjoyable pastime for me, and I feel that the words actually communicate more when hand written.

This scripture has been cycled through my journal and life consistently since high school when I sought to walk simply with God and not be overburdened with rules and religious traditions. This is still a desire of my heart. I just hear him better when I keep things simple!

January 2, 2010

At Least I Didn't Howl

I sat in my rocker with a pile of handwritten notes in my lap, lingering over each word as I read. The tears started delicately at first, and I could wipe each one from the corner of my eye in a ladylike fashion. When I had to take my glasses off, however, I knew I was a goner.

My favorite gift for my family every Christmas is filling their homemade stockings. Amy carefully pieced together 5 more this year to include my grandchildren and foster daughter. Along with setting up the nativity set and the tree, this is a tradition we could never let go of (I’ve been told).

This year they filled my stocking. Boy, did they fill it! They gave me the best gift of all – their words of love:

“From doctor (caring for scraped knees and bruised egos), to chef (tamale pie, pork chops and sauerkraut), to cheerleader/videographer/photographer (you’ve captured so many cherished memories), to spiritual guide. You’ve done an amazing job showing us the right path in life without forcing us down it.”

“Thank you for a simple life of peace on a hill in the country. You were content to do without some things to stay at home and raise our children, and you did a great job of it.”

“Dad wants me to be eloquent and flowery, but what I have to say is simple: I love you. You are an amazing woman and you are setting a wonderful example of walking by faith for me. Thank you.”

“You are so gracious and kind. I don’t remember ever hearing you say an unkind word. Even when I thought you had a good reason.”

“Your willingness and desire to always get down on our level (and later, on our kids’ level) and really interact is a good example of the way I think God would spend time with us.”

I was pretty much a snotty mess by the time I got through them all. I looked at each one and thanked them through my tears. Thanks be to God for these moments!

I have periodically asked God to make my family forget my mistakes, but maybe that’s not his plan. Perhaps instead, he allows them to see my frailty so they can recognize his work in me. That’s ok with me! It was also ok that they didn’t mention too many of them in their Christmas notes.