What does Christmas mean to me?

I have had a lot of time to reflect and think this Christmas season.  Perhaps too much. This morning as I sit in a quiet house with a beautiful tree in front of me and a beautiful view of the lake I keep going over and over this question in my head.

When I was a girl growing up in a house with three older sisters, Christmas was about ANTICIPATION!  The anticipation of it all was the wonder!  I remember waking up REALLY early and we could hardly wait to go in the living room to see what Santa had brought.  We had a rule that we couldn’t go in without Momma and Daddy and I think the time may have been 3:00 am that we had to wait until to go get them.  We could hardly wait to go see what Santa brought. I can remember waking up and watching the clock until 3:00.  I am the youngest so I know that my sisters probably reached a point that their excitement for the season had waned but they always were good sports to me and played along.  Then most years we would load up in the car and travel to Arkansas to see our grandparents.  I loved being with cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Mammaw and Pappaw in that cold cold house in Arkansas.  I remember my Pappaw getting up really early when we were there so he could warm the house up before everyone else got up.  The house was heated by gas space heaters so it would take a bit to get it warm enough for everyone to start moving around a bit.

 

When I was a young woman, raising my own children, the anticipation was there but Christmas was more about the PREPARATION!  Oh the hustle and bustle of the holiday season when you are a young mama. The shopping, the baking, the fun, the calendars, the present wrapping, the long car rides, all of it was a blur at times.  I can remember being so exhausted when the season was over that I wondered if I had done it all right or not. I remember loading my babies into the car to go over the river and through the woods and trying to keep them entertained while we made these treks and wondering if I had focused too much on presents and not enough on the presence of Jesus.  I would wonder if and when we would all slow down enough to remember the reason we were celebrating.

10624663_10205211892397956_3918959902955010982_n

Nowadays, I still have the anticipation and the preparation.  (I cannot wait to have all of my people under my roof!) But Christmas is becoming more and more about the MEMORIES.  I have reflected a lot this week on days when I was younger and busier.  I can remember longing for a quiet Christmas and now that I am here I realize that Christmas shouldn’t always be quiet. I truly don’t want to say all of this to be sad. I cherish my times growing up so much in my heart. I cherish the days I was a young mama and I was so tired.  I cherish the times with my sisters and I cherish the days I had my Mama and Daddy to go see.  I miss my grandparents and aunts and uncles. It’s really weird to realize that you are all of a sudden the older generation. Maybe it’s just a part of getting older.  You can’t help but reflect on the days gone by.  And you long for those days.

BUT MOST OF ALL Christmas is about JESUS!  Through the ANTICIPATION, the PREPARATION and the MEMORIES!  I pray that more than anything else that we will always remember the baby who was wrapped in swaddling clothes and was placed into a manger!  I pray that Jesus warms our hearts even when we are excited about the times to come with family or exhausted from the preparations or reflecting on the memories of the past. I pray that Jesus will always be the central focus of whatever we do during the holidays.  I love all things Christmas!  I love Rudolph and Santa and red and green.  I love old Christmas decorations as well as new bright shiny glittery ones.  I love old Christmas movies, as well as the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. I pray that as we have decorated and as we celebrate and even as we start to take it all down and pack it away that we will always remember that He came to give us Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!  I want to always remember the baby most of all. I want to always remember “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”. I want to sing Christmas carols old and new and I want to hold those I love close and I want to make room for new traditions and I want to hold onto the things of the past close and dear to my heart.  I pray that if you are reading this that you will do the same.

10614311_10205085434716593_214140128348506311_n

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

 

Thanksgiving Wishes

Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I really hate it when it seems that every post I start is like that.  When I started this thing out I really intended to post weekly and then well, things like “writer’s block”, life and just not wanting to sound so depressing on every post kicked in.   Then it seemed for a while that I might be abandoning it altogether.  But then this morning, I woke up with all these thoughts going in my head and heart and I know that I process things better when I write.

 

I have been on a mission this month to try to find something to be Grateful for every day. I have missed a couple of days but have for the most part been able to find something to post. (I post on Instagram). I love Christmas and all things holidays but I agree with a lot of people that sometimes Thanksgiving gets pushed aside for Christmas.  I have to be intentional to remember Thanksgiving and look for things to Give my Thanks for so that I don’t gloss over it with preparations for Christmas. This morning as I am thinking of things I am grateful for, I am also thinking of things I wish I had known to be grateful for.

IMG_1845

Today is Sheri’s birthday.  Her first one in heaven would have been her 57th here on earth if she had stayed.  I’m sorry but it still seems so surreal that she is actually not on earth anymore.  Some days I have to remind myself that she is not at her house sitting in her chair watching some old western on television or some crime drama. Sheri loved to watch television probably better than anyone I know.  If you called and one of her shows was on, some of the conversation would turn to uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.  I always knew something had caught her attention on one of her shows and that she wasn’t listening to a word I said.  It was sometimes better to just catch her at another time.  There have been many times over the last 10 months I have started to pick up the phone to call her.  I wish I had done that more when she was there sitting in her chair.  I also can’t walk into a Wal Mart anywhere that I don’t find myself looking for her, which is really dumb because the one she worked at was in Crossett, Arkansas.  But it will forever be etched in my brain that she belongs there in Wal Mart working in the back room.  I somehow think I see her rounding a corner at every Wal Mart.  Sheri had a great laugh when she remembered to use it.  I loved her smile and I loved the twinkle in her eye when she had a bit of mischief going on in that head of hers. And her giggle.  I wish I had remembered to love it more when she was here with us.  The last few years I think Sheri forgot to laugh though.  She became more worried about stuff and she didn’t feel good and went through a period where she was just sad and negative a lot.  But hey she got the last laugh.  I guess the one thing about Sheri celebrating this birthday in heaven that brings me some comfort is that I know that she is loving that she got to go be with Momma and Daddy first.  She always loved to tell the story first or get to experience things first, get the first piece of cake, etc. When I was younger these were things that bugged me about Sheri but now I wish I had known to love it more.  I guess it’s ok that she got to go first.  Ok for her, it really stinks for us.

For many years we would spend this Thanksgiving week in Arkansas, staying with my Daddy and my guys hunting with him and we would cook and have lunches at the deer camp.  With lots and lots of family and friends.  I cooked more the week of Thanksgiving than I did the rest of the year back in those days.  I do remember looking out at the fire and see my guys sitting around with my Daddy, my brother in law and the other men telling stories of deer they had seen or dogs they had lost and working a plan to go hunt for their dogs that had gotten loose on the deer lease and not come back. I can still see them sitting around the fire in camo and orange and muddy boots.  I wish I had lingered a little longer.  I wish I had taken more pictures of it.  I wish I had known to love it a little more when it was happening.

526157_4819501086491_1201021259_n

My childhood Thanksgivings were also spent in that house in Arkansas.  The one my sister lives in now.  I am so grateful that life is still going on in that house.  But oh how I remember being there as a child and then taking my own children there when I became an adult. When we were kids there was no central air and heat in that house and it was probably one of the hottest places on earth in the summertime and one of the coldest places in the wintertime. I love that now I have things in my house that remind me of that house.  I have the coffee cups I can remember my Pappaw drinking his coffee out of every morning and yes, I drink my coffee from them and I love it. I have a quilt that Burr and I have decided is the warmest blanket in this house that was made by my grandmother.  I have some furniture pieces that I brought back with me after my Daddy passed that will always remind me of that time and place.  I am grateful for those things now, but I do wish I had known to be more grateful for them then.

12360331_10207890176553386_6250018799108846254_n23231148_10214137329208298_93395414543836071_n12346430_10207890197393907_5786934095081247013_n

This year we will be travelling to Ben’s for Thanksgiving if our little princess does not arrive first then we will be travelling before.  We will actually have our family time on Friday, I can’t wait to have all of us in one house. Life is so different as your children grow up and move on.  So I really want to be intentional to enjoy those times that we can all be together.  I pray that as we all gather together around a Thanksgiving table this week.  Whether it be on THE Thanksgiving day or another day that all of your family can gather, that we will drink it in and that we will remember to Love it now, while it is happening!.

 

 

Be Still (even if you are in the Wilderness)

It’s been a few weeks since I have done a blog post. Life for us has been somewhat on a roll lately. Between helping my son and daughter in law move TWICE in 3 weeks time (long story), having friends and family in for Labor Day weekend, finishing up a few weekend projects, launching our bible study, my body was really beginning to feel things building up last week and I knew that my weary bones as well as my weary soul was in need of some serious REST.  I have tried to do some of just that this weekend and for about the last 24 hours I have stared at this computer screen off and on thinking: What do I write about?  What do I want to say?  Does anybody care? Does it matter if they don’t care? Why did I start this in the first place?  So what if I never write another single thing would it matter at all?

 

Well I know the answer to that last question is a big old emphatic NO!  It would not matter a hill of beans if I never sat down to this computer to write another word out to anyone except ~ to me. And I’m not even sure why it would matter to me except that writing it out somehow helps me to process it. Whatever “it” is that is going around in my head and my heart. I know that when I write, I somehow feel more grounded in my thinking.

 

When I feel God speaking to me, whether it be about leading me to do something or comforting me in things that are troubling me, it always seems to come in themes.  The Bible Study that my group is working on right now, pointed out that God’s voice when He is wanting us to “get” something will always be persistent and consistent.  I have found that to be very true.  When we were praying about the Bible Study and if it was to be, God was consistently and persistently wooing us to do it. He gave me a theme verse and it seemed that everywhere I turned that verse would be there.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ever ask or think by the power of his name. Ephesians 3:20 

Everywhere I turned that verse would be there.  Whether it was in a devotional or a sermon that was preached or bible study or just someone quoting it to me it was always there.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that that is a pretty popular verse and I am sure it is there all the time.  But for the first time, every time I heard it, it would burn in my heart.  It was like even though I was hearing it over and over and I knew that I had heard it many times before, it was like I had never heard it before.

 

IMG_2803

There are two themes that God seems to be teaching me about right now, that keep coming up everywhere I turn. The first is BE STILL AND ENJOY HIS PRESENCE! I am really working this one out right now. I really have no problem with having a daily quiet time.  I just know that if I am not careful it becomes just a request list, and a thank you Lord and I checked that off my “to do” list today, now all I gotta do is wait for the blessing.  Oh I don’t want to be that way.  I so want to spend my quiet time practicing His presence.  I am not even sure what that looks like yet.  But I know that I am falling way short of it.  I am working on it. I want to be more intentional.  Not to make it legalistic, but you see my “ADD” personality can be distracted by so many things. I want to be more disciplined than to look at Facebook or Instagram during my quiet time. “But Lord, I may see a prayer request or someone who needs me to pray for them!” Yeah that’s true but how much time am I wasting watching little videos or liking posts that mean nothing.  I want to focus my time on His presence and not just chasing all of my scattered thoughts. IMG_2779

DSC08084DSC08090

The other theme in my life right now is that sometime The Wilderness is not all bad.  Just a few weeks ago in this study that I was doing, I learned something that I had never noticed before. Exodus 13:17 says

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.  For God said “if they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

You see I never realized that God led them out of Egypt through the wilderness intentionally.  Now the Israelites did not have to remain in the wilderness for 40 years. However, God was intentional in leading them there to begin with.  Because if he hadn’t, if they had not seen His miracles in the wilderness and learned to depend on Him for their manna and their water and the day to day leading. Then they would have turned right around and headed right back to Egypt and into slavery. Something else just occurred to me and of course this is speculation but given how Pharaoh was turning up the heat on them daily just because they were asking to leave, if they had gone back, don’t you for a minute think that the conditions wouldn’t have been even more treacherous than before.  They would have thought oh my what have we done, within the first few hours.  When God leads you out of Egypt, going back should never be an option.  Are you stuck in a Wilderness or are you still stuck in Egypt?  Or are you praying for someone else who is?  Depending on that Egypt, the Wilderness may still be hard to go through but if you walk through it and you look for God in it, He will lead you to your Canaan.  Oh Lord my prayer is that I will not return to the many “Egypts” he has led me out of.  I pray that I will learn whatever it is that He wants me to learn in the wilderness so that I can live in Canaan.  I want to LIVE in His presence.

 

Thank you for reading.

Until next time.

~Sonia~

 

PS Just as I was about to post I had a friend come looking for a afternoon snack.  I am still in awe that God has given us a place to do life where a deer will walk right up on my patio and say hello.  I didn’t have anything at the time, but I now have her some carrots for when she returns.

There’s a touch of Fall in the air!!

This Labor Day weekend, I am so so grateful for this little touch of Fall as I sit here on my sun porch, and watch a beautiful sunrise and enjoy just a few moments of solitude.  My thoughts keep wandering a bit over the last two weeks and I realize how very blessed I am.  We here in Mississippi have been going on about our business while Hurricane Harvey wreaked a bit of havoc on Houston and the surrounding areas.  Oh don’t get me wrong.  We survived Katrina so our hearts and our prayers are certainly with the people of Texas.  I actually have some Texas people who I have been very concerned about.  I am grateful to say that all of my Texas people are safe. I hope that if you have Texas people yours are too.

But, it has been a busy two weeks.  Actually the whole month of August has been somewhat of  a whirlwind.  Working at a school, it’s crazy time.  But add to that launching a bible study, helping one kid move, Fall cleaning at the lake, getting ready for company and it has been a hectic two weeks.  Plus celebrating one of my BFFs 50th birthday!!. My old body aches just a bit, but my heart sure is full.

IMG_2714

My kids are coming today and I am so ready for some family time to just sit and laugh and eat and fish and ride fourwheelers and the boat and do some bonding.  Last year we had my sweet daughter in law’s whole family here but today we will just have our family plus her brother and his girlfriend.  But right now I get to sit here alone and think and reflect.  I love sitting here and listening to the woodpecker in the tree and the geese as they go flying by.  There is another bird out in the trees right off my porch who is being quite noisy this morning.  I wish I could get a good picture of that woodpecker.  He is beautiful.

One of the many swirling thoughts I am having is:  Why is it that we Christians are always so in awe and amazed that God would bless us?  His word says that he wants to.  Yet, we will every time be in awe when He does.  Approximately nine months ago, after the death of my sister I began to feel that God was leading me to do something. I shared with a couple of people that I felt God birthing something in me.  I then forgot that specific statement but kept searching for the answer as to what it was.  See I had prayed this prayer to God that if I had to hurt this bad please let it count for something.  I never knew how bad it would hurt to lose a sibling until I actually lost one.  You see it’s always been the four of us.  There were 4 Seamans girls, and now there are threeFullSizeRender-10.

Then, this past week the day after the bible study launch, where 47 women came together to study God’s word together, I was sharing how it went with a few friends at work. One had been there and the others had obligations and couldn’t and one of the ladies made a statement.  “Your baby was born, this is what you have been working on.”  I went back into my office and I remembered that statement that God was “birthing” something in me.  And I realized that we are just a couple of weeks shy of 9 months since we lost our sister.  I am so in awe as to what God has done here and brought together.  I am so looking forward to what He is going to do with all of us.  I am praying for testimonies after this study from women that show God’s faithfulness and what He wants to do with us, with ALL OF US.

I am also thinking about these adult children who are coming to visit today with the sweetest little grandson anyone could ask for.  When he smiles his whole face smiles, just like his Mama and the brown eyes that he got from his Daddy just have that little bit of mischeviousness in them that his Daddy always had.  Every time I look at him I see a picture of his Daddy in my minds eye that brings back a memory and makes me glad all over again that God granted me the privilege to be his Mom.

IMG_2404

Just having this lakehouse itself is a blessing that I never thought we would have.  It happened in a quick instant it felt like.  Actually the process took about 2 and ½ months when the first thought crossed our minds and the papers were signed.  I can still scarcely believe it.  Especially if you know my man who puts more thought into everything he does than the average bear. Yet now we have 2 years worth of memories here and we fall in love with the place even more every time we come.  I still love my life back in Madison, but my weekends tend to be here at the Lake where I get to pretend that I am a country girl.

As I get ready for my day, I am so grateful to God for what He has done in me, in my marriage and in my children. Y’all have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend and Be Grateful!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever, Aman.

Ephesians 3:20-21

August Breezes, Blessings & Prayers

I went for a walk yesterday. I have been desperately trying to get back on my exercise program and to get back to eating right.  So yesterday morning I decided to get out and take a morning walk.  If you are not from around here, you may ask what the big deal is about this, but you have to understand that I live in Mississippi. You see while I would never be able to live up North because my body would never acclimate to cold weather for long periods of time (like over a week), living in Mississippi there is only one really hard month to live here.  The month of August is usually miserable because of the heat.  You break into a sweat just walking from the front door to your car.  There is rarely a breeze blowing.  In August it is just plain Hot and Still  unless there is a thunderstorm brewing.  So I braved the hot temperatures because I do love a good walk outside when I am here at the lake.  There are so many more sights to see than walking in my neighborhood back home.  So off I went, I put my headphones on, turned on a podcast and set out.  As I was walking there was this little butterfly that flew along beside me for a good while.  I kept wanting it to land so I could take a picture.  (The picture below of me with the butterfly is not from my walk it was taken years ago but the rest are from my walk)  I saw wildflowers blooming, and water pouring out of a drainage pond into a little creek that flows into the big lake.  But the biggest blessing and surprise of all was a cool breeze when I would end up under a shade tree.  I found myself taking a pause in a couple of shady spots just to feel the breeze on my skin.  I love a gentle breeze, it almost feels like a whisper from God.  “I’m still here, and I’ve got you.”

IMG_2686

IMG_2694     IMG_2684

IMG_2691

I’ve had some stuff I’ve been praying about this past week that has sort of monopolized my quiet time and I have to admit it’s frustrating when I’m not sure what the end result of these prayers will be.  I am not a very patient person and many times in my life I have prayed for a burning bush or a pillar of cloud right in front of me telling me which direction to go in.  (Sidenote, I’ve yet to have one.)  But I can say that when I look back I can see God’s fingerprints all over me during those times.  I do appreciate the faith that that has built in me.  You see I have no doubt of God’s deliverance, I just sometimes fear the how.  Because I know that His thoughts are not mine and His ways are not mine. (Isaiah 55:8) I know that he has a purpose and a plan. But that doesn’t mean that my human soul is not going to hurt in the midst of the working out his purpose.  I guess because of the last year or so, I am fearful of that pain.  I don’t want to hurt like that again.  Ever, if possible, though I know it is more likely to not be possible.  But at least for a long time.

 

This week as I have prayed over these things that are completely out of my control, I have had one song going over and over in my head.  “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family.  You can listen to it here.  When you just don’t know how to pray this song covers it all.  It has been a huge source of comfort for me.  The words in the bridge “Down like a child on my knees all that comes to me is thy will be done.”  I read a series of books years ago that some of you may have read called The Mitford Series by Jan Karon.  The main character in this book would say quite often that when you don’t know what to pray just pray the prayer that never fails.  “Thy Will be Done.”

Thy Will by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

When I feel God’s whispers in the breeze it blesses and Restores my soul.  I know that even when pain does come at me again that I will survive it.  I know that God has what concerns me.   Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect what concerns me.  You see my faith comes in where I know that whether things work out to my liking or not, they are going to be with God’s best thoughts in mind.  I do believe in his goodness.  I know that if I open my eyes I will see his goodness in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13)  Romans 8:28 tells me that All things work for good for those who love Him and are called to His purpose.  I know that he will carry me through it all.  But I also know that in this world we will have trouble so I do have to hang on to the one who’s got me.  I must continue to look for the joy and the beauty.  I also have quite a lot to get done this next week.  In a little over a week we will have our first Restore Bible Study and right now I have about 50 people who say they are coming.  It is scary cool!  So if you are reading this and you are a praying person, please pray for me as I try to continue to lay my concerns down and to get done what God has called me to do for him.   Thanks for stopping by!  Praying you have a great week!!

A Few Clouds Make the Most Beautiful Sunrises

Since we got our lakehouse almost 2 years ago I have become quite the sunrise watcher.  I have taken 100s of pictures and video of beautiful sunrises.  Don’t get me wrong the clouds can be so thick and dark you can hardly tell there is a sun behind them at times.  Except that it does become daylight.  Then the other end of the spectrum are sunrises that are clear and just peak over the trees on the other side of the lake.  And the sun comes up to no particular burst of color.  But then some days there are just enough clouds in the sky that reflect the sun into all sorts of pretty oranges, pinks, blues and purples.  It can take my breath away.  I love when I feel like God awakens me early enough to take it all in.  I can sit in my rocking chair in my sun porch or on the deck in my Daddy’s rocker and I can talk to God and just sit in awe of the pictures he is creating.  I especially like when I sit in Daddy’s rocker because I feel so much closer to him.  I hash out the things on my mind with God and I drag all of my stuff, every bit of my baggage to the cross and lay them down at the cross. When I am watching those sunrises, I become even more grateful for my life, for my people.  The ones I have still with me as well as the ones that I have loved and lost.  God’s sovereignty just overwhelms me at these times.  He paints that sky and he paints my life too.

IMG_2644IMG_2651IMG_2648IMG_2652

The stuff that brings the dark clouds into my life as well as the times I am rocking along on a clear day. Oh Lord, give me enough. I actually pray for just enough clouds to make my life more beautiful. I have known dark days where I could hardly tell if it was daylight or dark except for the hands on the clock. And then I’ve known clear skies where things were good enough that I may forget or push aside my quiet time because life was good and my need didn’t beckon me to spend my time with Jesus.  And then I’ve had times in my life that the clouds were just enough to beckon me to my time with Him.  Times when I had this deep seeded need to spend time with Him because I had stuff or clouds to talk over.  When I look back over my life I truly think these times in my life actually painted the best pictures.  I know that if certain clouds had not covered me I would never have grown in my faith and my life the way I have.  I know that if I had led a life with perfect sunrises every day.  I would not know Him, the one who carries me through and counsels me and loves me quite the same way.

 

So today, I say thank you Lord for a few clouds that paint a beautiful life for me.

 

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!  I will sing and make melody!  Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.  For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! Psalm 57:7-11

“I wish someone would tell my heart.”

One year ago tonight I was sitting in a hospital room with two of my sisters, my brother in law, and my niece watching my Daddy breathe his last breaths on earth and be ushered into the arms of Jesus.  I like to think that my Mama and his brother and sister as well as his Mama and Daddy were there to greet him as well.  I can remember sitting in that room that week and praying for mercy for him and then as soon as he took his last breath, all I could think is “Wait Lord, I was just kidding, I want more time.

That is all I can think about today.  I have done other things, I have worked on things, I have perused Facebook and Instagram, I have watched TV.  I planned it all that way to have a very quiet day at home.  But it’s been in my heart all day long that this is the last big milestone.  They say that the first year is the hardest and I think it is probably true.  There is a part of me that is like “whew, I made it” and then there is the part that is sad because I think that people will think I should be “over it.”  And I am not sure I ever will be.  I know that may sound crazy.  I mean, I know it is natural that we are all going to lose our parents one day.  I know that I know where he is.  I know that he is better off. I know that he would not have wanted to live the way he was that last couple of weeks but my heart still misses him so.

My Daddy was not a large man in stature but in my eyes he was huge.  His poor body had been through so much in his lifetime.  He had heart surgery twice, lung surgery, stents in his heart, an abdominal aneurism as well as a hiatal hernia just to name a few but he was our Timex.  He took a licking and kept on ticking.  Daddy never forgot anything a day in his life.  He had a clear bass voice and he loved doing the bass part to “Elvira”.  He never stopped.  When he was sick he did whatever he had to do to get well.  He was on a tractor two days before his last heart attack in July of 2016.  So I know that we were very blessed by his long life and how well he had always bounced back.  I think though that we thought he always would.  He was a perfect girl daddy.  He brought us chocolates on Valentines Day and loved to watch us at Christmas.  He was my hero and will forever be.  He loved my mama well and for that I am grateful.

I am so thankful that he is my Daddy.  I miss you Daddy.

IMG_1902 (1)

 

HELLO WORLD!

 

Well I have finally gone and done it.  I have for years thought of starting a blog but never really knew if anyone would want to read anything I would write.  Over the course of the past year I have truly felt that God was calling me to do this among other things.  I am not sure if I will have anything anyone will really want to read.  It may turn out to be nothing more than the ramblings of an old lady but here goes anyway.

As I was thinking what to put as my first post, I went back into my journal and read my first entry of 2017.

REFLECTIONS

            When I think of 2016 my first instinct is to say good riddance!  My heart was broken in so many ways this past year that there were times I wasn’t sure I could even handle it. 

           I was scared out of my mind when I thought I would lose my sister.  I thought it would bond me and my sisters like never before when she survived.  I guess I was wrong. 

            Then losing my Daddy in August ripped my heart out like never before.  It hurt when I lost Mama but I guess something in me thought my Daddy would live forever.  You lose so much more when you lose that second parent.  You lose your glue that holds your family together and you have to decide if you are going to hang in as a family or if you just become separate families.  It also hits you that the choice is not just yours to make.

          Then there was the other side of 2016.  I became a Grandmother and that shot me over the moon with Joy.  I truly feel warmth in my heart when I think of that little man.  It makes me happy just to think of him.  I get downright giddy when I am going to see him.  I have also loved Ed more when I see how he is with him.  He shows a side to himself I’ve never seen.  It’s also such a joy to see how good Ben and Jordan are as parents.  I knew they would be good parents but they are great parents. 

            Then there is all this worry about Burr and his future.  I will tell you that for me absolutely the hardest stage of parenting has been when my boys are/were in college. I know a lot of this stuff is “coming of age” stuff.  But I truly worry about him daily.  My only comfort is Ben made it to the other side pretty well in tact so that is what I am clinging to. 

            So what are my lessons learned?

            Heartbreak that is so physical you feel like your heart is going to explode right out of your chest.  Will I survive?  At times I wasn’t sure, now I am.  You think it will kill you, but I guess it’s true.  “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Suddenly petty stuff that used to hurt your feeling is nothing now. 

            Joy that is so so much more after experiencing real heartbreak.  Joy is felt in every fiber of your being.  Not just in your head and your heart.  When Joy comes and you know it will, it’s sweeter than ever before.

Bring on 2017.  Twenty sixteen didn’t kill me.  It made me more determined to live.

 

Yes, this was part of my first entry in my journal in 2017.  Little did I know when I wrote this that my heartbreak was not totally behind me.   I guess it never really is.  It’s called the circle of life.  However, the words still ring true now.  I am more determined to live!  There is just another notch on the heartbreak side when I lost my sister on January 11.  But I am still determined to live.   It has made me even more intentional.  I am much more intentional on looking for his Glory and the Beauty in his creation.  I am also asking him to make me more creative.  This may be one of the ways, with this blog.  But also to use my pain.   I believe that if we don’t use the pain we feel to help others then it is wasted pain.  Please Lord don’t let this be a waste.  I also have learned that I will end 2017 with a little pink in my life.  Carson will have a baby sister sometime around early December.  What I really want to say is “It’s never too late”. And so I will start, I will write, I will paint, I will pick flowers, I will take long walks, I will try to begin now learning a better art form of living.  I will not let the devil continue to beat me up over the things I didn’t get right.