Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day???

Be forewarned! Blogging is a place of honesty for me! Mostly, I am happy and upbeat. I look for and find silver linings. But sometimes, I just need to process the yuck. This is one of those posts!

I am not enjoying Valentine's Day!!! I am missing two men. Desperately. I miss my precious Al!!! He has been gone one year, two weeks, and three days. Today, the missing him wound is wide open, raw, bleeding profusely! I spent a considerable amount of time at the cemetery today in enough anguish that several came to ask if I was okay. One precious lady knelt beside me as I sobbed and cried, praying and quoting scripture. I miss him so much!!! I love him so much!!! He is still such a part of me!!! I am mostly living again, moving forward with my life. Have begun dating. But always, there he is. Still my husband! Still the love of my life! Still the one person I miss most! Still the one person I most long for! Widowhood is a strange state. You are no longer married, nor are you single. I think remarriage is the only cure for this awkward, emotionally charged feeling! At least I hope remarriage cures it rather than making me feel like a bigamist!

I am also missing my now ex-boyfriend. As my daughters say, my rebound love. But I did - do - love him. And that he is no longer a part of my life really hurts. I have cried over him today too. The break up was painful, but absolutely necessary. There will be no reconciliation. Ever. But still, the love for him, the loss..... When I'm still feeling the loss of Al so keenly. No, it has not been a good Valentine's Day!!!

But, nothing has really changed after all! Al is still gone and is never coming back! He still wanted me to date, find God's choice for this second half of my life. And, I have learned that I can love again. I really didn't think I could! So, I'm getting back on that horse!!! Christian Mingle and E-Harmony accounts have been reopened! And anyone out there reading this in my area that has the perfect, most fantastic man that is just waiting for me - well for goodness sake, fix us up!!!

God closed the door on Al. Firmly!!! He has closed the door on Harlan. Just as firmly!!! So, while I will likely go cry myself to sleep tonight, I do so with hope! With the sure knowledge that life can - and will - be good again! Because no matter what, God is my center! And God is good! All the time!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Do you ever wonder what God is thinking?

I wonder what God is thinking all the time! That's because I believe that He allows anything that comes into our lives. Oh, He may not orchestrate it, it may not be His will for us, but He allows it! And I admit to being perplexed at some of the things He allows!

For example, good people, Christians following Him as nearly as humanly possible that have great sorrow and devastation come into their lives (death of a husband). People whose children have terrible handicaps that make life, even their calling by God, difficult to obtain (a friend who has a child with an auditory learning disability making it very difficult to comprehend what is being said to him, called to ministry). Lost babies, financial reversals, broken hearts, lost jobs, failed classes...the list goes on and on.

But this I know! God is good! All the time! He is in control of our lives! All the time! He does allow what happens to us to happen for our eventual good and His glory! Our goal is not happiness in this life, it is contentment and joy in Christ and eternal life with Him!

To God be the glory for who and what He is!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


It has been a crazy winter weather-wise! Not only in the United States! I saw a post from a British friend yesterday commenting on the terrible rains and flooding they are having over there! Here in the USA, it has been very cold and snowy! In my neck of the woods, we have experienced single digit and sub-zero temperatures several days this week. That is very, very cold for our southern climate!

I live in a pier and beam home. While my pipes are content with occasional dips down into the teens and 20's, they were NOT happy with several days of extreme cold and protested by cutting off my water supply to most of my home. I had no hot water anywhere, and no water to my laundry room, kitchen, guest bath, and the master bath shower. For three days. May I say that alcohol sponge baths are not terribly fun or effective! And hair? Can you say pony tail and hat? And lots of scratching!!! Thankfully, water returned yesterday and an immediate shower, then a long soak ensued!!! I feel much better. And the funky smell that had been following me around finally dissipated!

One of my daughters also lost water, but she lost everything and has not thawed out yet. My other daughter lost no water. We all live within a few blocks of each other, and my daughters live across the street from each other. So why the different levels of loss? We all had the same temperatures. We all live in pier and beam homes. We all have the same level of protection. The girls keep their home temperatures at about the same level, my home temperature is warmer than theirs. We should have had the same amount of loss. But we didn't. Who knows why. But it made me think.

Life happens. We see it happening and often comment on the unfairness of it. And it is unfair. One person, just as good as the next, experiences tragedy and loss. Sometimes repeatedly. The next person, equally good, seems to live a charmed life full of success and contentment. The person after that, cruel, unkind, also seems to live a charmed life, while the next bad guy seems to get what we would feel he deserved. What is the difference? I don't know. But God does!

I can tell you this. The most spiritual growth I have personally experienced has been during the worst times of my life. The most effective lessons I have been taught have come out of adversity. Maybe that's the difference between the two good people. One learns easily, is just as dependent upon God during the good times as the bad. The other becomes self-sufficient during the good times, leaning less upon God then than in the difficult times.

Something to learn perhaps for this likes-to-be-in-control good person.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Is this Alaska?????

I live in the south, the northern edge, I'll grant you, so we do get cold and snow, but we are having sub-zero temperatures and wind chill, not normal for our area! The water in my kitchen, laundry room, guest bathroom, and the shower in my bathroom has been frozen since yesterday morning. I have no hot water in my tub. I last showered day before yesterday. Please don't come see me right now, it's not pretty!!!

But it got me to thinking. Every morning, I wake up, turn on the faucet and trust that water will come out. And it does. Until yesterday morning. I was shocked! Where was my water??? It's always there!!! Every morning, I wake up, pick up my devotional book and Bible, read, and spend time in communication with God. But do I trust that He is always there? Do I trust that He, as His Word says, is sovereign, in absolute control of everything that comes through my life? Do I wake up and turn on the faucet of God and expect Him to quench me?

Sometimes. When everything is going well. When my water isn't frozen. When my plans are going as I intend. But sometimes, like this morning, I turn on the faucet and when God comes out, it wasn't what I expected. And I am shocked! Where are my plans? I laid them out so carefully!

Trust is hard for me. I think it is hard for most people. We have all been betrayed, learned the hard way not to trust completely, hold a little back. And God, whom we cannot physically see, whom we say we believe has absolute control, knows the end of the story, allows all things that come into our lives, that same God doesn't always give us our way. And so we mistakenly think He is not to be trusted either. So we close off a bit of our heart, our vulnerability, say, "I can handle this myself" and deviate from the amazing lessons God has for us through adversity. How foolish we are!

As I look out at the beauty that surrounds my home, the gully, the hills, the sky that goes on forever, the blanket of new snow, I am reminded that the God who controls my circumstances - if I let Him - created all this! He makes it work! Part of the beauty is the extreme cold - and the frozen water lines. Without the cold, there is no sparkling, pure white snow. There are lessons in adversity! I pray that as they come, I will pay attention, learn them well the first time! Praise Him that He loves me enough to want to improve me, draw me closer to Him, through whatever method it takes!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First up

So here we go! This is a test blog. There will be lots more to follow, but for now, let me tell you a bit about why I'm here.

I am a widow of just over a year. I started blogging on Caring Bridge - a wonderful site - when my husband was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma, bile duct cancer, in May of 2012. I blogged our experiences in the ensuing eight months as we fought and then as we said our good-byes. After his death in January 2013, I continued blogging my widowhood experience there. It was very therapeutic! But it's time to move forward with my life! I find that the things I really want to blog about no longer fit the Caring Bridge site. So, here I am.

I hope you will come with me as I journey on!