Tag Archives: loss

When I can’t, God can!

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go. 
 
                                                           ~ Mary Oliver
 

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

                                               ~ Ephesians 3:20-21

      A friend of mine used to say that God was so much more willing to help us than we are willing to ask.  This goes for just about everything.  I have been plagued with what I thought was a friendship for most of my adult life.  Subsequently, I missed out on what a healthy friendship looks like.  There are many I love, but have not reciprocated their invitations with invites of my own.  I judge myself before I even give them the opportunity, or, worse, I judge what I believe they will think of me once they have been to my home.  All of this based primarily upon a life time of a disappointing “best friend.”

    After reading the advice by Mary Oliver, a treasured poet and a practical one as well, I believe I have passed the holding on by about three decades.  Today, I believe I will write a litany of letting go for this friendship that shaped my life and ways of looking at friendship.  I am so thankful for some precious sisters in Christ who show me the love of God with every glance, with every action, even if we cannot see each other always.

     Today, consider beginning to let go of that thing or person that holds you back.  And don’t forget to ask God for help.

     Because of Him,

     Linda

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Like Water Off a Duck’s Back

If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also. 
 
     ~ Russian Proverb
 
The fear of human opinion disables;
trusting in God protects you from that.
    ~ Proverbs 29:25
I do a lot of things that are not popular.  I used to worry about that so much more; right up until I lost my dad.  The pain was deep, the loss immeasurable   What was important soon became clear to me, and the other things, like detritus from a shuttle launch, fell away.
My vision was maintained for some time; but slowly, the every day crept in and once more I lost my way in human opinion. What I looked like, what I was wearing, who my friends were and were not, the opinion of the woman who worked closely with me…all rose up. Then I lost my mom.  The one who stood by me through thick and thin, my best friend, my matron of honor.  Once again, my vision was crystal clear about what was important, and most assuredly about what was not. The losses during 9/11 were devastating and clarifying;  like losing a small planet.  The grief was as deep as the loss of Tatouine to Obi Wan Kenobe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O87cMrdHEw (Star Wars)
This last loss was tough.  This whole past year,
post-Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy, Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and those similar losses, was even closer to home.  Devastation wrought by nature and man chewing away at all that is sacred, clearing the skies to see clearly once more.  Much less at the mercy of the opinions of others, and more attentive to what God wants.
Today, let the opinions of others, the cutting words, the self-serving actions roll, like water off a duck’s back to form a pool that the Lord knows just what to do with.  Turn your face toward God and let the peace of the Lord flood your being.
Because of Him,
Linda

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From one scarred hand…

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
    on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.


          ~ Psalm 103: 17-18
 
 
Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good. 
 
           ~ Mohandas Gandhi
 
I am watching a young man sinking in anger.  Here it is, end of fifth grade he has lost his home, his father walked out, mom is working, big brother is angry.  There is a team working on his behalf.  He can no longer control his anger.  He boasts of listening to Lil’ Wayne and is picking on kids in his class.  I pray for him regularly.  I told him so.  I don’t know what it means to him, but it is what I can do.
 
That, and not cooperate with the anger he is trying to invoke.  Each time he tries to get a reaction, I simple answer (if it is called for) in a calm voice, letting him know that he has work to do.  I have tried responding in anger, responding by removing him, responding by ignoring.  None of those things work in class.  I try  to find the least thing he does in a positive vein and respond to that.  He is a sensitive, intelligent young man making choices that he knows are wrong, and seemingly unable to stop.  
 
I am sure you have someone like this in your life.  Please pray for him.  For this post, his name will be Joe (though that is not his name.)  When you meet him in your walk, try and find something he (or she) does well, and notice that in some way.  Pray for your “Joe” or all the “Joes” out there. When he drops his anger, or needs to run for help, let it be to the Jesus in you.  Not to the sea of forgetfulness…
 
East to West

 

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The Creation, The Creator

We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them.

 
  ~ Charles C. West

20 Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse;
 
~ Romans 1:20
 
When you lose someone, buildings of the heart break like ribbon candy.  All the worries of the world fall away and we are faced with the reality of the loss.  Things that are petty seem to vaporize and one’s perspective becomes crystal clear, and eyes turn upwards, often through tears.  We stop looking at the things that have been bothering us, work, school, relationships gone awry, and we become stronger in many cases, wiser.  Our foundations have been shaken.
 
I know that each time I have lost someone dear, everything else falls away, I am lighter even though my heart is heavy. Creation becomes dearer to me, but dearer still becomes its Creator.  
 
Today, look beyond your loss.  As the things of this world fall away, look for the hand of the Creator, in a heritage bulb, a wolf spider, a pollen dusty bee, your neighbor.
 
 
Because of Him,
Linda

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Precious Neighbors

The measure of a life, after all is not its duration, but its donation.

     Corrie Ten Boom, 1892-1983
     Dutch Evangelist, Writer
 
 
10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
 
     I John 4:10
 
     I have precious neighbors.  I don’t know any of them as well as I should, I guess being a teacher has made me a bit distant.  Recently one of my neighbors lost his father.  It had been a rough week in the north east already, with the blizzard our latest challenge.  The odd thing was, I thought he was away, as I did not see his car in the driveway.  As the weekend began to unfold, I learned that his dad was in the hospital and that death was imminent.  The blizzard hit, his dad passed away and “R” and his sister stayed with their mom for several days to help.
 
     Across town in my neighborhood folks slowly  began to dig out.  Our snowblower died last season and we had not replaced it as of yet.  My younger daughter, my husband and myself began to carve a path from the back stairs.  All the other neighbors were happily blowing snow and moving to each others’ driveways, helping out.  About an hour or so into the job, I realized that the three of us were not good candidates to continue. I called my neighbor and asked if their son could snowblow what remained of our driveway.  Sure, she replied, but he has to dig out his grandmother first.  Mind you, the whole family is in the beginning of grieving, but their way of working through it was literally that.  
 
     Eventually, “G” (the youngest son) came over and began to work at the other side of our driveway. His brother joined his for a stint, then  G and my husband continued the job to its conclusion.  Maybe I am getting the days mixed up at this point, but after that, the family went up the street to physically dig out another neighbor.  Dad returned home and they continued their grieving as a unit.
     The week continued to challenge me, and we missed the first session of the wake by over an hour.  The attendant let us sign the book, but he was less than gracious.  We returned for the evening session and read a wonderful tribute to our neighbor’s dad.  The funny thing is, it could have been written about any of them, R’s wife, his sons C and G or himself.
     Their lives are lives of constant service, caring, faith.  I have known my neighbor’s wife for what seems a lifetime as my mom was her Girl Scout leader.  She is special to me and our families share a long history.  When I looked out my door that day to she and her family walking up the street, I did not see their earthly face, I saw the face of Jesus in every one.
Today, look for Jesus in your neighbor.
Because of Him,
Linda

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