Thursday, February 14, 2019

Poppycock!!!

This is a bit of a rant!

I hear it a lot.
About all kinds of days.
I hear it about birthdays.
I hear it about anniversaries.
I heard it again last night.
"Oh we don't celebrate Valentine's Day.
He loves me well every day of the year."
I say poppycock!!!

Don't get me wrong!
We should love well
every single day!
But every once in a while
we should go above and beyond.
We should make our husbands or wives
feel extra special,
extra appreciated.
And our culture has provided us
with a few "public" days to do that.

Can I tell you a secret?
Except I don't think it's really a secret.
I think everyone -
men and women alike -
know this without being told.
But we don't say it out loud,
we just feel it in our hearts.
Women - and men I think - who say what my friend said last night...
don't mean it!
They really wish their spouses
would make them feel extra special
on those extra special days.
And really, they're embarrassed -
and hurt -
that their spouses don't care enough
to go to the extra effort
just a few days out of the year
to make them feel extra cherished.
Because that's how it feels.

Can I tell you something else?
Those of us whose spouses
go to that extra effort
feel a bit sorry for them.
And no one wants their friends
to pity them.
Especially because of their spouse.

Men, it doesn't take a lot!
It just takes remembering,
a little extra doing or saying -
"I'm glad you're my Valentine!"
"I'm glad you were born!"
"I'm so glad you chose me to be yours!"
Maybe dinner out.
Maybe a card.
Maybe write a corny poem.
Take her in your arms and slow dance -
even for just a minute..
These little things
make us feel wonderful,
even giddy.
And they make us feel very, very loved
and very, very special.
Just a little effort goes a long way!

And a bit of not doing or saying.  
Never, ever, ever say things like -
"This is a stupid day!"
"Just another day for retailers to soak me!"
"I love you every day, I shouldn't need to remind you."

And ladies, don't you get sloppy either!
He may say it's silly, unnecessary
but really, he wants you to
make him feel special too!
Bake him a birthday cake!
Make a romantic, candle lit dinner.
Fix your hair that way he especially likes it.
Tell him how very much you appreciate him
and all he does for you!
Make him feel respected, admired, needed!
It makes him feel very fortunate to have you!
Just a little effort goes a long way!

So, get on the stick!
And have a happy Valentine's Day!




Monday, January 28, 2019

Year of Jubilee

To be sure,
I am loosely translating this
to my life!
The Year of Jubilee
in the Jewish faith and tradition,
(Our LORD was Jewish
and while many of the customs of the Jewish faith
are null and void
with the death and resurrection
of our Saviour,
we can still learn and profit
from them!) 
the Year of Jubilee
is a year of restoration, forgiveness, and freedom.
Technically,
the Year of Jubilee occurred on the year following
the lapse of the seventh Sabbath of years.
So the Year of Jubilee is the 50th year. 
However, many consider it to occur
every seventh year.

In the United States
every seventh year,
bad credit falls off your report.
Many crimes have a seven year
statute of limitations.

In Jewish tradition,
the Year of Jubilee
meant the forgiveness of debt,
return of property,
freedom for slaves. 

Think about that for just a second!
Life changing freedom!
From that point forward,
no more slavery to the past.
Nothing will be as it was!
Never the same again!

This evening,
I will enter into the seventh year.
Today is the sixth anniversary.
At 4:59 p.m.,
I will begin the seventh year without my Al.

Yesterday morning,
while laying in bed,
talking to the LORD,
I was very suddenly impressed that
I was entering my Year of Jubilee! 
As I considered what that might mean,
I began to think about my grief journey.

The days when the pain of loss was physical,
when I thought I might literally be dying.
The days when I couldn't move,
couldn't think,
couldn't eat.
The confusion.
The tears.

Then came the days of desperation.
Anything to make it stop.
The frenzy of activity.
Running away from home.
Dating too soon.
Laughing too loud.
Forcing myself to move forward.

Then the days of stillness,
waiting on the LORD.
The quiet.
The solitude.
Choosing joy over happiness.
Moving at God's pace,
not mine,
not Al's.
Softening grief.
Beginning to see beauty again.
Genuine laughter.

Then my Lanny Love.
Restoration.
Happiness.
Love.
The return of the music.
And a different kind of sorrow.

The fifth year,
the one leading up to the fifth anniversary,
when the grief unexpectedly
consumed me again,
threatened my happiness,
hovered over everything
like a dark shadow.

Always,
over it all,
the constant knowledge.

He is gone!

Then last year,
the sixth one.
Softening once again.
The assurance that it was not just
okay
for me to be happy,
it was right under God!
The lessening,
then cessation,
of daily, actively missing him,
missing his presence.
The lessening,
and just recently,
the cessation
of feeling guilty for loving my Lanny Love,
for being happy -
not just happy,
but happily, joyously, lovingly married happy -
the end of jealousy on his behalf.
The end of the constant shadow,
the constant awareness that
he is gone.

Then yesterday morning,
the LORD's whisper -
"Your Year of Jubilee is about to begin!" 

Today,
as I remember Al
on this sixth anniversary 
of his Homegoing,
I think of a phrase about Heaven
that someone mentioned recently,

"We are homesick for a place we have never been" 

and I rejoice that Al is not homesick,
he is Home! 
Today,
on this sixth anniversary,
I feel a lightness,
a happiness,
a freedom
that I have not experienced before,
and,
as I have suspected for for a little while,
I believe I am no longer grieving.

Love has not ended.
I love him still!
There are those days when he should be here
and I miss him.
There are those moments I remember a specific thing
and I miss him.
But the constant awareness,
the sorrow,
the grief,
that has left me.

Now I remember and smile.
In gratitude that he was mine for those years.
In love.

My Year of Jubilee.
Freedom from slavery to grief.
Nothing will every be the same again. 
Thank You, LORD!

Image result for year of jubilee


 
 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

What is this?

I have been quiet.
For some time I have been pondering
what I want from my blog.
Is it simply a way to process my life,
a public journal?
It is definitely that.
Is it a way to express myself creatively,
something I crave?
Yes.
Is it a forum for widows,
remarried or not,
and how life is different now than then,
a way to encourage,
help them know they are not alone
in what they feel and experience?
Uh-huh.
Is it a place to celebrate
my happiness,
bemoan my irritations?
To a degree.
Is it a place to brag on
my "practically-perfect-in-every-way"
husband, children, and grandchildren?
Any forum is appropriate for that!
Is it a potential way to
make some money?
Possibly. 
Is it a way of witnessing
to the faithfulness and grace
of a loving God, a merciful Saviour?
Absolutely.
What is it ultimately?
I think I want it to be all of those things.

But, you see,
in order to be any of those things
it - no, I -
must must take risk,
be completely open.
Vulnerable in a way that,
frankly,
makes me quite uncomfortable.

I must be willing to say in public
those unspeakable things
I think in private.
I must be willing to share
my emotions and feelings
regardless of what "they" will think,
those things which are unshareable.
Otherwise, this is just another social page.
And that I know
I do not want!

It is something I feel
spiritually compelled to do,
this risky, open, vulnerability.
So, here I go.
Vulnerable.
Open.
Risking.
Hang on for the ride!