Comfort

Stop. Drop. Write for five minutes.

Easy

Five Minute Friday here.

All on one word: Comfort                                                                                        

Holding Hands shadow on sand

 

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Both of us in the car, driving on our way back home.

We talked quietly about everything and nothing in particular when a memory triggered  pain from the past.

Remembrances flooded back, tears quietly leaked.

Heart cracked wide open.

He looked over in the evening darkness, and without a word held out his hand.

I grabbed hold.

He spoke volumes to me that night.

Comfort.

 

I’m Blaming Hormones…Because I Can

For those of you that read my blog regularly, you know that yesterday was the pits for me. I’m happy to say, today has been much better. I really need to credit my husband. Now, he probably would not fully appreciate my undying affection splayed out all over the internet…but, that is not going to stop me. After all, day in and day out we hear all the hard, gritty stuff of life and the good stuff doesn’t get talked about as much. Today I am going to counter balance yesterday’s grumpy moodiness with today’s happier, more uplifting note.

First things first. I love my husband. I really do. He’s not perfect, because Lord knows if he were, he would not be with me! I am not perfect, not even close. My husband does balance me. I was swimming around in my moody muck last night, threatening sack cloth and ashes, and loud wailing. It was not pretty. He smiled at me and said something to the effect of “it’s not that bad”. I momentarily thought of throwing a flip flop at him….but, I chose the higher moral ground and decided that assault by flip flop is NOT what a loving wife would do. So, instead I listened to him. He remained calm during my emotional thunderstorm. It made me love him even more. Then he said, “I think we need to go out”. I agreed. We had a nice dinner and an even better conversation. Nothing like Mexican food to calm the inner beast, or the psychotic wife. Just saying.

He could have reacted differently to my bad mood. I wouldn’t have blamed him. Well…..okay, I might have blamed him because that was the frame of mind I was in, but he ignored the mess he married and made the choice to love me despite my flaws. He is really good that way and I sure do appreciate that about him.

Now, there will be days when I get to return the favor…. days when he is having it rough. We all ride this roller coaster of life with its ups and downs, and we are no exception. My mom always used to say, “Just remember, this too shall pass.” I think my husband and my mom must have been cut from the same cloth…..and lucky them, they both get to deal with me:)

Seriously, I’m not that horrible. Most of the time.

I’m blaming hormones…because I’m a woman, and I can.                                                    wedding

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.   —Ecclesiastes 4

 

Faded Jeans And An Old Tee Shirt

He wore faded jeans and an old tee shirt.

He was wet from the spray of the water hose…

and he was doing the yucky job of cleaning out the chicken coop.

As much as I enjoy my chickens, they are dirty birds.

They eat, drink and poop….and a lot of it!

I am really the one that wanted chickens. I knew I’d have a lot of work cut out for me.

My husband chose to help me the other night. He didn’t have to, and I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had said, “you take care of them”.

Now, I’ve seen my husband at different times, in a tux, different suits with dress shirts and ties, freshly shaven, and hair neatly combed….

But, as he stood there this night, I told him, “I think that I love you more now, than I did even a few minutes ago!”  He smirked at me in a good-natured way.

This cleaning was a selfless act on his part.

It was a loving act.

I was grateful for his help.

My husband is a good guy, and I sure do appreciate him.

Even if he did need a shower …..

Luke 6:31
Do to others as you would have them do to you

Together Is A Good Place To Be

A man and a woman holding hands with fingers i...


thegypsymama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:  Together

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Together is a good place to be….

My husband and I were both widowed in our 30’s.  We lived in different states during our first marriages. Our kids didn’t go to school together. We didn’t even know the others existed. Each living our own lives, oblivious to what was going to happen. How life would change for us all.

Death entered. The door on the future seemed to slam shut. The room was quiet. So quiet.

Weeks to months, months to years.

The realization of new life, after death, slowly emerges.

Two people meet. Two families come together.

God is in the union.

Though one may be overpowered,
   two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:12  NIV

Bound In Love

We met through words, typed on a keyboard.

Laughing. Joking. Discussing.

Getting to know each other at a distance…

before meeting face to face. A little unsure of the unknown. Wondering. Waiting.

I had already buried my first husband, of eight years, and was several years into my journey of widowhood.

I was single mom to a son that filled my days with both laughter and tears.

Aren’t little boys like that? And don’t they steal their mother’s heart with their very first gaze?

I thank God for the gift of him.

And now, a new man was vying for my attention. And how did I feel? And what did I know?

And isn’t God here, in this?

Him…creating the tapestry of what will be, from the what once was?

Knitting together the new from both hearts that understood.

And aren’t memories, and emotion, and joy and sorrow apart of it?

His life before me, with a woman I never met…

who died too young and left her grieving husband filled with the emptiness of what will never be.

Children left with memories of yesterdays, that will never be their tomorrows.

Me, at thirty-seven. Waiting. Not in a hurry. Learning to trust in God’s timing.

Because isn’t that always the way it should be?

And didn’t my Heavenly Father know that I love men with mustaches? Who are computer wizards and can play a mean game of Boggle?

And isn’t it wonderful that He gave me this man, who is strong when I am broken? And loves me in spite of myself?

Am I not grateful that he needs me to love him when he is being unlovable? And will listen to him when the world is to busy to hear?

Sometimes I think about life, much like that tapestry I mentioned.

Stitching each day together. Life all mixed up in the quilt of many colors. Sewn together with past, present, and future.

Bound with love.

Always, love.

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14  NIV

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8  NIV

Love In The Day To Day

Love for Arts

Today, at A Holy Experience,  Ann has her readers posting about the practice of love.

I just knew I would write this wonderful blog post about love! I thought maybe Hallmark might even want it for their Valentine card collection. Maybe I’d write something using the verses from the “love” chapter 13 in 1 Corinthians. The more I thought about my wonderful ideas on love, the more I felt drawn to write the real stuff. You all know what I mean. Not the Hollywoodchick flick” romance. Not the bouquet of roses and candy. Not the slick pictures in the magazines for jewelry companies. So, here goes. The real stuff. Not the fluff stuff.

Here is my take on love in 60 seconds. Ready. Set. Go.

The daily practice of love is usually not romantic, or cinematic…

nor is it cavalier or conceited.

Love can be gritty and hard…

Some days the walk is all up hill.

The battle is hard fought.

Love can be exhausting.

Miscommunication and boredom

march to the front lines ready to do battle.

Love must be tough…

if it is to survive.

Commitment, sacrifice, and sometimes…

hanging on with white knuckles and wobbly legs.

It’s not giving up, not giving in–

even when throwing in the towel might seem easier.

Love is messy, and crazy and frustrating

and serious, and funny, and happy and

sad.

Love is both time consuming, and energy renewing.

Some days it requires standing down and looking up,

on others, it is asking for a hand to hold.

It is fierce and all consuming,

soft and safe and starting again.

Love doesn’t give up.

 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13  NIV

Live Like You Were Dying

Tim McGraw at @ #WMT2010

Image by liljhawkgirl via Flickr

Without appearing to be overly morbid, I’d like to state the obvious.

I’m dying.

Yep, you read that correctly.

And, so are you.

Let that sink in a minute.

None of us are going to make it out of this life, alive. Well, unless Jesus comes back before then…but, other than that…yep, we’re all going to die.

It could be this evening, or maybe next week. It might be before Christmas…or it could be 75 years from now, in your sleep. None of us knows when, but we know it will happen.

That really is one of the few sure things we can know, in this otherwise chaotic adventure we call life.

Now, with all that said, and you my readers, probably scratching your head and wondering if I’ve totally flipped out talking this way….

A few days ago, a friend of mine on Facebook, wrote a status using Tim McGraw‘s lyrics of Live Like You Were Dying.  If you’ve never heard the song you should take a listen. For being a secular song, it is still very good, and has a lesson in it that we could and should learn. A lesson in living. You can check out the lyrics here.  Anyway, as one thing usually leads to another, it got me thinking about life and death and all the in between stuff. I realize that most people do not want to hear this kind of talk. It makes them uncomfortable, nervous, or down right angry. That’s okay. One doesn’t have to read my blog entries if one wishes not to do so. My goal is not to make people  uncomfortable, but to make them think.

I remember when my first husband died. The day we got the diagnosis was a beautiful, June day. When we got out of bed that morning we didn’t know that it would be the beginning of the end.  Isn’t that true about a lot of things in life? He was 32 when he was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. He lived for just 1 year and 4 months after his diagnosis. Now, if you’d have known my husband, he was not what I would have called a philosopher, or a theologian. He was a good ol’ boy, born and raised in the south, loved NASCAR, and Tennessee football. He should have gone to culinary school, he loved to cook, and he was excellent at picking out just the right gifts for birthdays and Christmas. All that aside, some of the most profound things that he ever said to me in our nearly 10 years together, were during those months between his diagnosis and his death.

As the months went on, and he became weaker, his words took on new meaning. Words that still echo back to me 11 years later.

I remember…. “Dawn, come sit with me. Cleaning can wait….I won’t be here forever.”  He knew he was dying. His perspective had changed. He realized relationships were what was important in this life. (Lesson #1)

Or, the scripture he wrote in his own hand, a verse that was close to his heart….found in 1 Corinthians 2:9. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”  I still pull that verse out on occasion and read it. I look at his handwriting and think to myself, he’s there now.  He sees what God prepared for him. He had a personal relationship with the Lord. (Lesson #2)

And the final words that he said to me, as he lay in his hospital bed…”I love you.”  These words were followed by a hug. That was the last time I ever felt my husband’s arms around me. Isn’t that what most of us want to hear? That we are loved? (Lesson #3) God was so good to me that hard day. He gave me the gift of Kennis’ words.

As much as I tell this story about my late husband, and the emotion of it all floods back to me, it is not he that showed me the greatest love. It was not my husband’s love that saved me. Nor, is it he that has gone to prepare a place for me. You see, the One that wrote me a love letter….it is He that I long to meet after I take my last breath in this world. It is Jesus that will make Heaven, home.

Jesus said, ” I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…”  John 11:25  NIV

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me (Jesus)……I am going to prepare a place for you….I will come back and take you to be with me.”  John 14: 1-3

And so….

live like you are dying…

Because you are.

 

 

 

Are You Freed By Forgiveness?

splash

Today at A Holy Experience, we continue to discuss forgiveness…..not an easy subject for me. I considered just skipping this post today, but changed my mind. There might be someone out there that needs to hear what I have to say.

As one who loves to write and who has made it a life long habit to put my thoughts into words, I would like to share this excerpt from one of my many journals.

These words echo back to me, from a journal that I kept for an entire year after my first husband died. A decade ago, but I remember writing this as if it were yesterday. The last page of the journal, and it frees me as much today as it did back then.

” November 21, 2001

…… I choose this day to forgive you for lying to me.

I forgive you for hurting me. You were wrong in doing that.

There was no excuse for your behavior, but it is in the past and I am going on.

I choose to learn from the past.

I choose to put my future totally in the Lord’s hands.

I choose not to be bitter and hardened by my experiences.

I will live my life and be content….

I forgive you even now.”

Forgiving is freeing.

It is liberating.

And it is necessary.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”  Matthew 18:21-22 NIV

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Are you freed by forgiveness?

Being Thankful In The Midst Of…

Smile 2

Image via Wikipedia

Certain moments in time just make me grin. It could be something as small as a shared smile or laughing out loud. I am becoming more and more aware that happiness is not in the destination. I will never, in this lifetime, come to a place where all is well, everything is perfect, and there are no worries. I am concerning myself less and less with the “if onlys” of life. If only, I could lose weight…then I’d be happy. If only, I didn’t have to worry about money, or had more money…then I’d be happy. If only, I had an exciting job…then I’d be happy. If onlys can be deadly to a life, draining it of the happiness that can be found in the small every day moments of the here and now. Moments that are weaved into each day. Moments that make this  life worth living.

It is a continual learning process for me…and to be honest, I am not always good at it…this learning to be happy and thankful in the midst of the day. In the middle of the moments. The shimmer of light that, on some days, I search for in the darkness. I have much to be thankful for, much to rejoice in, and much to be happy about. So, I keep at it.

Not always easy, this realization.

Not always truly grasped, this epiphany.

But always there…when I look for it. With my eyes wide open.

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*peanut butter M&M’s

*ooey, gooey smores

*laughing, really laughing, with my husband last night

*new email

*racing Hot Wheels cars

*a new pitcher of iced tea

*cat sitting on the windowsill

*family bonds

*people that care about me

*freshly washed bed linens

*early morning sunshine puddled on the living room floor

*driving back country roads to church

*new corn growing

*freshly tilled flower bed

*air conditioner that works

*flag flapping in the breeze

*a trip to the John Deere store, listening to the radio

Joy is a choice. It’s always a choice. Choose to live…right where you are.

A Typical Saturday At My House

A storm is brewing. I really, really enjoy the clouds around here.

My oldest son, sporting a gas mask. He got this from a friend, who got it from I’m not sure where. It is nothing for me to be sitting at the kitchen counter and see him walking around in this get up. I love my son, even if he does have an “interesting” taste in wardrobe selection.

This is what Brad looks like without the gas mask. There is a handsome face under there! This is his cat, Shamus.


My sweet son, Kendrick, with his “man’s best friend”, Lonnie. Lonnie loves spending time with his master just hanging out. Have you ever seen the movie, My Dog Skip?

My daughter’s “a girl’s best friend”, Ace. Ace is very photogenic…if I can get him still enough to take a picture!

Ace thinks he is a sled dog. Breanna harnessed him to the wagon and off they went! I don’t know if he is Iditarod material…but, he’s perfect for Ohio weather.

Yes, I claim them. They might be a little weird, or a lot…. Their father and I realize that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.