Thursday, October 27, 2011

I feel today like a well of sorrow is almost overcoming me. One of those days that I'd like to just climb into bed and cry to my Father. But I don't have time to cry, or to grieve. Can't it just go away already, it's been nearly 2 years???? I'm so tired of crying. And yet even as I sit here the tears stream my face... I ask Him again for the millionth time; How do I do this Lord? How do I do this alone? How do I provide for them? How do I take care of all of their needs? How do I do his job? How do I educate them? How do I grow their character? How do I love them and find joy in them when Im frustrated and overwhelmed and can't get one minute to myself? How do I pour You into their little hearts... How do I give Lord when I have nothing left??? I feel alone, exhausted, heavy burdened. Funny how you can feel alone but yet I know I'm so loved. And what about me Lord? Who will love me? A 40 yo mom of 4 little boys? Not an ideal date. And I know I'm so much more than that but will someone take time to see that? Is there a man with such courage or so crazy? Who will be able to look past our circumstances and have a heart for me? Someone who could love children that aren't theirs? And do I want to risk giving my heart to another? The risk of being hurt, them not loving you back... losing someone again ...Ugh! Is it even worth it??? I hate risk. I like security, the comfort of my husband who was growing old with me, stood firm by my side, loving during even the ugly times. I miss him. I wish I could say that life without him has gotten easier, but it really hasn't. It's different, harder even in some respects.
So this is just me venting my thoughts, my heart. I'm sure I'm not alone in them. It's been almost 2 years now and while life is generally good I can still feel the wound, always carrying with me the pocket of sorrow as one of my dear friends put it, still sometimes wishing for the time when he was and the pain was not...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We went to the Aquarium of the Pacific this morning with my home school group. One of my friends who went just found out her husband has cancer. I was uneasy about going to begin with because the last time I had been to the aquarium it was when George was sick, just 2 months before he died. I remember the day so clearly. I remember how I felt leaving him altho he told us to go because he was going to go to work (which he wasn't able to do.) When I got to the Aquarium that day I some how lost all my money and I remember calling him crying because I just felt like the devil was trying to destroy our life. He, being my rock, of course reassured me of God's faithfulness. But still death and destruction seemed to just linger with me that day. I can still feel it now. So here I was today, now 2 years later, walking along side my friend and strangely feeling like I was talking to myself. It was surreal and again my focus for what really matters in this life became vividly clear. She talked with me about repentance for how she had treated her husband. Not that she was a bad wife but it's so easy in a busy family for us wives to shuffle our husband to the bottom of our priorities. After all, we have lots of children to care for, school to teach, a house to clean, and a bunch of other justifications for our sin. And it is sin. God has an order for the family; Him, husband, kids, everything else. If thats not the order in your life then it's not good- even if it doesn't look like anythings wrong- it is wrong and eventually you will bear the fruit of it. She told me about how she's changing and loving him more now, tells him and shows him. Why does it take the possibility of losing someone to make us love them the way we know we should???
I had dinner with another widow a few weeks ago. She, another wonderful wife, living with the regrets of not spending more time with her husband. Remembering all the times he would ask her to go places with him, just simple places like home depot but she would just say no because she just wasn't interested. Now she wishes she had the time to go anywhere with him as long as she could just be with him.
For me the struggle or excuse is that there never seems to be enough time for me to do everything I need to. I am raising 4 boys who require my attention constantly and usually at the same time as well. I am doing 3 bible studies, home schooling, teaching in a coop, laundry baskets are ever flowing with dirty clothes, loads of clean laundry all my bed, dishes needing wash, food that needs to be cooked, bills that need to be paid and my list goes on. And you know tonight I was trying to do some of that stuff and Simeon came in wanting to play basketball with me and I told him i was too busy and sent him away. He came back in a few minutes later and asked me to hold him and give him kisses and you know I had to force myself to stop doing the dishes and sit down for a few minutes and love on my boy. What is wrong with me??? Why is it so hard for us -me- to let go us these things that don't matter. Why is it so hard for me to get it? Is our house being clean more important then tying strings of fellowship with our families? Is there anything so crucial that we can't greet our husband at the front door with a kiss and a smile? Is Jesus going to say to us, well done good and faithful servant, your dishes were always done and your laundry baskets were always empty??? I desperately need to slow down and retrain myself in what's really important- to God. It's the Mary vs Martha thing. Mary's at Jesus's feet and martha's busy working. And I love what Jesus says to martha in luke 10:42. I crossed out martha's name and put mine there. But Jesus says to her.. you are worried and bothered about so many things but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for mary has chosen the good part... It's interesting to me that it says martha was "distracted" with all her preparations or services. We need to be very careful of anything- even seemingly good things- that distract us from the things that really matter. When George was sick, I spent every minute by his side, talking to him, serving him even if that meant sitting next to him while he was sleeping. I loved him without regret, like there was no tomorrow, because I knew eventually there would be no tomorrow for us. How are you loving? Are you loving? How would your husband and kids answer that? Let's be honest. Let's not wait. I am being ever reminded that life is short. None of us but God knows the number of our days. Let loving God, our husbands and children be our highest calling and our greatest quest! What else matters?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

You have collected my tears in Your bottle...

Thinking about him alot tonight. So much that I can't sleep. Just looking out the window wishing to hear his big diesel truck pull into the driveway again and watch the boy's excitement as they realized their Dad was home. Each one of them would recognize the sound as he was coming up the street and would race outside to meet him. I miss him. They miss him. I don't even know what to call him? It doesn't sound right to call him George because i never did. I called him Babe or Honey. I still have his cell phone number in my phone under Honey. Sometimes I think about even calling it. Obviously i know he won't answer but I miss calling him. I miss our 3 or 4 little conversations a day or him just saying; hey beautiful, i love you. Things you never really think about. So Im thinking tonight about how God takes into account our wanderings and puts our tears- mine and yours- in a bottle and how they are all in His book. There's something really beautiful about that to me... I feel like tonight im wandering. Wandering through more memories of a life that should be joyful but they're not joyful. New memories stir up the sorrow like Im back at the beginning again. It's gut wrenchingly painful and sad and the sorrow always awakens some anger and it's just... grieving. But God, my Father, the Lover of my soul, keeps track of every one of these times that I go through this. He is so near and concerned and so intimately acquainted with this part of me that He takes each one of my tears and puts them in His bottle AND every ache of my heart is recorded in his book.
Did you know that? Did you know that God cares about every tear you shed? That He see's every tear? Knows every heart ache? Hears every word- even the ones you can't speak? That He's right here with us in our wanderings, our wrestlings, our dark moments in the middle of the night. He knows all about it. There's just something really intimate and beautiful about that to me. He's really that near to touch the tears on my face... I'll love Him forever for that, for His faithfulness and His gentle love for us. It's such a beautiful gift to know Him this way.
psalm 56:8
You've kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.
another translation
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I hate worrying. I hate it when you wake up during the night and you have the temptation to worry. You know, a certain thought comes into your mind and then the battle starts. The worry thought comes, then God's word comes. Worry comes, God's word and on it goes. Meanwhile your adrenalin starts racing and by the time you've determined to rest in God, you're wide awake. Hence, me sitting here at 4am. I understand why Jesus said "Do not worry." I can see very clearly why "do not fear" is the thing He commanded most in one form or another because Im sure one our greatest temptations is to be afraid. Fear is a thief. And worry is the fruit of fear.
I feel like I have been through the ringer these last few weeks or so. I wish I could tell you the whole story in detail but it would be too long. Some of it I have already shared. While we were finishing up the work on the house I got pneumonia so Im already weak. After that I had strep throat. Then I came home to my house that morning and someone had gotten into the garage and stolen some things. At the end of pneumonia I had something else wrong, not sure still what it was, but I felt like I was in transitional labor for a few weeks. I was taking atleast 20 ibuprofen a day. My back hurt, my stomach hurt, all symptoms that George had had. So you can only guess what was being whispered in my ear. So we're living back home at this point, but I wasn't sleeping very much because I was afraid. Every sound I would here, every time a sensor light went on outside my heart would start racing. So then I went out to my car one morning and someone had been inside my car. My door was unlocked but the rest of the doors were locked, which is strange considering my doors automatically lock. So they took some things. (didn't get some other things though) And Im thinking... Is someone watching us? Is this the same person who stole our things from the garage? Are they going to try to get in the house too? On and On. And just as I was determining to not be afraid I started getting creepy text messages from people I didn't know and Im hit again. So as the labor like pains were ending I had a consistent pain in left side of my stomach so I went in to the Dr. He did an xray and said there's no blocks or tumors- thank God! Then at last minute he decided to do a test on my pancreas because it's close to that area. So I got a higher than normal test result which just freaked me out and sent me spiraling. So I go back to the Dr. he re-ran the test and it turns out IT was wrong- thank God again! Meantime Im trying to muscle up some faith because believe me- I had none. And it seemed like everytime i would try to gird up I would be hit with something else. I was bombarded. And even my well intended friends, who I know love me and would never hurt me were just saying things to me that were like piling weights in my already sinking boat. Finally I took a friend in the bathroom and just broke. I felt like the devil- the enemy of our soul- was trying to kill me. Now I know we live in a fallen world and that all the things that happen to us may not be spiritual BUT in corinthians it say's a spiritual man spiritually appraises ALL things. The spiritual world is just as real- if not more- than the world we see and we would be foolish to not pray and spiritually examine the things happening in our lives-especially how I was being bombarded. The scripture is pretty clear that we have an enemy. And his goal is to steal God's word from us, to lie, kill and destroy. And that's what he was trying to do to me. After i broke down in the bathroom with my sister, I went and got my life preserver- my bible- and we went in the bedroom and I just started reading through the psalms with her. It's amazing how God's word can just run over you and be like a drink of water in a desert land. So after some time of reading and regrouping my self, my friend left the room. So I was still sitting there reading when this teen age boy came in. He's a really sweet kid and he was crying. When I asked him what was wrong he said to me- that the next day would have been his mom's 50th birthday and that she died when he was 2 1/2 and that he missed her. I couldn't believe it!!! Seriously!! And then I could totally see him- the liar. I mean really? What are the chances of all of that just being random ( as my 10 yo would say). We have an enemy! And he tries to confuse us- A. about God's will for us; perverting the scriptures the make God out to be the one who lies, kills and destroys and Im sorry to say but the church buys it! God help us! You know the thing that made Him so angry with the people of israel in the wilderness was that they limited His power and they never came to know His ways. Hmmm. Something to think about. You know Canaan was their promise land and a picture not just of heaven being our promise land but also being a picture of us entering to posses anything God has promised us. God told them canaan was theirs, but they had to go in and take it. They had to believe what God said was true and act on it- that's what faith is. And when they sent the guys in to spy out the land and they came back with the report that the land was beautiful BUT they couldn't take it because there were giants in the land and they were like grasshoppers in their sight. Who told them they were like grasshoppers in their sight??? Read the story, it's very insightful. God called their report evil but it was true. Wasn't it? There were giants in the land- men 10ft tall! But they believed what they saw, how they felt and the lie that they were like grasshoppers over what God had said to them. They, like Joshua, should not have been moved by what they saw or how they felt and neither should we. That generation believed God was going to let them die in that wilderness and guess what? They got what they believed. Numbers 14: 28 Say to them, "As I live" says the Lord, " just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you. Your corpses shall fall in this wilderness..."He had had enough of their unbelief after He had proved Himself time and time again. And anytime we are believing God for something there is going to be warfare- count on it! The circumstance will always look contrary, there will always be giants and we are going to hear things like - you won't make it, you're going to die, lose your house, never be ahead, never have peace, God's not going to do it for you, that promise isn't for today, look at so and so...the list goes on. LOOK AT JESUS! When the storm is raging, look at Him- not anyone one or anything else. Im looking at Him and believe me I fail! Im coming off of an epic fail. ( to use another of my 10 yo's words) And there is grace and mercy and foregivness in abundance- thank God. But by that same token, He expects us to believe Him! What finally stirred me back to faith was listening to a teaching on David and goliath. I never realized that for forty days Goliath came and literally terrified the israelites. What was the fear- death and slavery. And every day they would would put on their armor like they were going to fight but they never fought. They just sat there. For 40 days they got suited up to walk around camp. Finally David comes and you know the story but what I love is how David doesn't care what the outside voices are saying ( and they were speaking, read the story) and says to goliath- You come to me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands and I will strike you down... I just saw myself there, girded up, but just sitting down terrified, not fighting. We have to believe what God says and fight. Put yourself there. Goliath is a type of the devil, taunting us and God, making us afraid, trying to kill and enslave us. Now I say- you come to me with sickness and fear but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, my God and my Father and He will deliver you into my hands for it is written.... and you fight. Jesus did it. I want to be of that spirit-like David- that he saw the same circumstance, the same giant as everyone else did, yet he believed God and hasted in faith toward the enemy with a stone and defeated him. And you know what? Jesus has disarmed and defeated our enemy! ( col 2: 14-15) He made an open show of him so we know how he works, and paul said we can be aware of his schemes. And we have our weapons eph 6. but it's not enough to just put on our armor. We must put it on and fight.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I had a sweet lady over the other night. I met her through facebook- really the Lord Im sure brought us together. Her husband had a heart attack and has been gone now for two years. She has two boys 3 and 5. While she was sharing what happened she said something to me that has stuck with me; "7 minutes"... Seven minutes is the time from him being fine to him being gone. Seven minutes! No good bye- nothing. Such a small increment of time that has now changed her life and her boys forever. She has had to press through far more than me. We cried together and I am so blessed and encouraged by her strength. It's amazing how having something like this can bring two strangers together and give us an automatic love for each other.
I have been reading the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Francis Chan was the senior pastor of corner stone church in simi valley, ca. After much prayer Chan decided to quit his job as pastor ( which he never got paid for) sold his house and left the country with his wife and 3 girls. They now are traveling through Asia and India. He said he couldn't take it anymore when he started hearing his name more that God's or the Holy Spirit. People were trying to turn him into a super hero and he didn't want it- good for him! The book causes you to really look at your life with Christ. He said one particular thing that Iv been chewing on since the first chapter. It is this- " Most of us know .... that we are suppose to worship Him (God) with our lives. I know I knew that before on some level but it really hit me when I read it. Now whenever Im doing something I think - how am I worshipping You right now. It's really easy for me to worship God with hands raised in church. It's easy for me to worship Him by serving a neighbor or giving to someone. But how about when Im doing the dishes, cleaning up a huge spill on the just cleaned floor, or asking one of my boys for the 5 millionth time to pick up his shoes? Or how about today when I was walking through walmart with all the boys and Simeon was throwing a fit like- none -other because he wanted candy. He screamed through the whole entire store- no lie! And im thinking how is my life right now an act of worship to You? It really wasn't because once we got to the car I had a mom meltdown. But you know what? Even mom losing it- if done right- can be a beautiful picture of apology, grace and forgiveness.
Tomorrow is Ben's birthday. He will be 6. I remember so clearly the morning he was born.We had all of our babies at home. I did the work, George did the catching. My labor with Ben was a pain free 7 hours unlike my other 3 that were 12. I rocked in my birthing chair all night just singing praise songs and talking to my Father. At about 4 am I woke George and told he better get ready cause I was pretty sure the baby would be here soon. Ben was born at 5 am. He was quite a surprise considering they told us he was going to be a girl! Regardless, we were so happy and Im blessed to be his mom. He, out of all the boys, reminds me most of George. Everything about him; his smile, his toes, even his crooked little pinky fingers. I love how he says I amn't instead of I'm not. Makes me smile, and cry too. Have I said yet to love your husbands? Look past the things that bug you. Don't let bitterness or anger grow. Smile at them. Find reasons to delight in them- and your children too. Guard your treasure. Choose joy. Remember - 7 minutes!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tonight i am just sad. I haven't really felt this sad in a while. I feel like Iv had a bunch of little things happen that have now just seemed to get to me. Things like: on Christmas eve one of the teenagers was playing guitar in my garage it took my breath away because i hadn't heard music come from there since the last time george was out there playing. The other day at the park one of the dads showed up and his son saw him across the grass and yelled daddy and ran to him, tonight we watched a nanny mcphee and first they get a note saying their dad died then it turned out to be a fake and ofcourse the movie ends with all the children running to their dad. I asked the boys if these kinds of shows make them think of their dad and they said yes and that it makes them sad. I wonder how often they have these moments where the realization hits them that they're missing something- someone. Im sure it happens alot and it breaks my heart. So today I just feel scrambled. I have been thinking about switching to a charter school ( don't hate me girls) so today i spent too many hours looking into them and searching out homeschool classes. I love having my kids home but sometimes teaching them is overwhelming, I feel inadequate to do everything on my own and i believe they could learn better in a classroom type setting but seriously 3 classes would cost over 1000! That's rediculous! So Im praying about things and waiting for God to lead.
I remember about 2 weeks after george went to heaven someone told me that people would move on and forget about us. I remember crying to God about it and He so clearly said to me: "I will not forget you." I have to say He has not. I have never felt for a second that He isn't right here with us- even when Im angry at Him. I am blessed beyond measure with some amazing sisters, family, and even people I have never met who hold us up and storm heaven in prayer on our behalf and i love you all for it! If your my facebook friend you have already seen this but I love it and it has been like water to my soul so ofcourse im going to share it again :)

God is our refuge and strength." Not our armies, or our fortresses. Israel's boast is in Jehovah, the only living and true God. Others vaunt their impregnable castles, placed on inaccessible rocks and secured with gates of iron, but God is a far better refuge from distress than all these: and when the time comes to carry the war into the enemy's territories, the Lord stands his people in better stead than all the valour of legions or the boasted strength of chariot and horse. Soldiers of the cross, remember this, and count yourselves safe, and make yourselves strong in God. Forget not the personal possessive word "our;" makes sure each one of your portions in God, that you may say, "He is my refuge and strength." Neither forget the fact that God is our refuge just now, in the immediate present, as truly as when David penned the word. God alone is our all in all. All other refuges are refuges of lies, all other strength is weakness, for power belongeth unto God: but as God is all-sufficient, our defence and might are equal to all emergencies. "A very present help in trouble," or in distresses he has so been found, he has been tried and proved by his people. He never withdraws himself from his afflicted. He is their help, truly, effectually, constantly; he is present or near them, close at their side and ready for their succour, and this is emphasised by the word "very" in our version, he is more present than friend or relative can be, yea, more nearly present than even the trouble itself

I love the last verse how it says He is more nearly present than even the trouble itself. When I read that I could just see Him quickly coming in between us and whatever our circumstance or trouble is. Still can see it now and that's what I hold onto- Him- our ever present help, the one who understands because He walked the road before me and now walks it with me, the one who has kind intentions toward me, the one who wouldn't give me a snake if I asked for a fish, the One who keeps His promises and cannot lie, the one who loved me more than His place of glory in heaven, the One who is able and says He can do exceedingly abundantly more than I could ever imagine, the one who says do not worry, let not your heart be troubled, I have loved you with an everlasting love and drawn you with loving kindness, the One who holds everything we see together and that is not moved by our circumstance but reaches down to deliver us from them, the One who holds us in His hands and says nothing can take us out! To Him be the glory forever and ever! I feel much better now! It's amazing what a change of your focus will make.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I can't sleep tonight

So much has been going on.... When my husband went home to heaven our house was a mess. We had no walls, plywood on some walls, no working heat, things were not good. About 2 months ago some amazing people in my homeschool group got together and created a beautiful home for us. ( I will post before and after pics on facebook soon) We were staying with my mom while the work was being done and a few days before we moved back in someone robbed us. I pulled up to the house and one of the garage doors was open and 2 of the gates. I told the boys to stay in the car while I checked things out. I didn't notice anything right away ( because they took stuff from the other side of the garage) but the boys noticed their playstation 2 was gone. Then I noticed there were some tools missing. The amazing thing is that about a week before I had a friend over and told her I wanted to take inventory of what was in there because i may try to sell some tools I won't ever use. So I had a list of what everything was, pictures, and serial numbers. Had I not had that I would have had no idea what was stolen. God is so amazing! He even starts working things out for us even before they happen! I have to admit though, I wasn't upset about the stuff. ( Well, I was upset about the boys playstation cause it's just wrong for your kids to have their stuff stolen) But I was upset that I was alone and fear tried to set in. And believe me, I know God is with me but I miss the presence of my husband. I was never afraid at night. If I heard a noise or the sensor light went on Id either curl up closer to him or if I really thought it was something Id wake him and he'd check it out. Now every sound seems to me magnified and every time that sensor light goes on it freaks me out, my adrenaline starts going and i watch to see if there's a shadow or something. So I stay up "on watch" until I just can't stay awake any longer and then I say to the Lord "ok, You'll have to take over now because I can't stay awake any longer." And then I lay there....
I miss my husband. Sometimes life is just going by and we're happy and I feel "over" the grief. It's hard to explain, but I feel "ok" without him but then something happens tha stirs things up again. The other day one of his friends texted me on accident :) After he realized who I was he told me that he was putting a scrapbook together for me and the boys about every conversation he had with my husband about how much he loved me and the boys. Just seeing the words- how much George loved you and the boys. For awhile i really missed hearing him say he loves me or getting a text but - im not sure the right words- i guess I had stopped thinking about it until his friend sent me that message. Now I really miss it! So much so that Im keeping the text from his friend and I've read it quite a few times. Yep, I miss him and so do my boys. So I'm hanging onto Jesus. He is my Rock, my Refuge, my Hiding Place, my Defender, my Life. I love the scripture in Isaiah 49: 15-16 that says- Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even though these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands... The hebrew picture for that last verse means you're holding something so tight in your hand that it actually carves the imprint of that object into your hands. I just love that picture. And I believe He is holding onto us just like that. Going to try to go to bed now. Curl up extra close to your guys tonight and be thankful they're there.