Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A box of china

My brother in laws dad died friday night in his sleep.  This is Sue's husbands father.  Yeah, quite overwhelming.  Larry was an awesome man and child of God.  He knew almost literally every person in St. Louis.  Mail carrier, fire chief, church janitor.  Everyone went to Larry when they needed help.
Tuesday, the funeral, was brutal.  It was the first time being with Bob and his family since Sue died.  The girls and Renee spent hours going thru the 'pretties' that were Sue's, her mom's or grandmothers and painstakingly chose dishes and linens and such for each girl/family.  I got to take my box home that day.

As I unpacked it today to see what the girls saved for me I just felt so loved.  A glass bowl with flower shaped edges, and a tray  to match.  Dishes with beautiful pink flowers.  A candy dish (now filled with sour patch kids extreme) sits on a doily on the new counters, and it belongs.  We used the plates for dinner tonight.  And I loved it.  Silly, but I did.  Sue loved her pretty things and was sentimental about them.  I don't usually follow the sentimental pattern, but I always want a piece of Sue with me.

When I found out about  Bobs dad I had quite the tailspin of a day.  All the anguish and sadness and grief I had not let out in a while came out.  And it wasn't a pretty sight.  My eyes were swollen for 2 days.  But I needed that.  I needed time alone crying viciously because of my grief over loosing Sue, my sister and friend.  My confidant at times.  My go to girl for prayer and encouragement.  The feelings were so intense.

What delight the china brought to me.  Washing it, displaying it, using it.  It just seems so natural.  And all the doilies and hankies- so pretty.  Not sure what to do with hankies tho....

The good news is we made it thru without too many tears.  I made it without any until I went into the bathroom and washed my hands and there was one of the many verses she had written throughout the house.  Came out crying just because I saw her writing.  She loved Jesus so.

But now she has a new family member up there in heaven and the angels are rejoicing.

But I have my china, and for now, that will have to do until I see her face again.

So nothing serious.  Just a joyous box of china, here to remind of Sue's sweetness, courage, and lifesong each and every day.

Love your family.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Talking a walk in North Carolina last week was so beautiful.  The sun was shining, something I hadn't seen in a while.  And it was a bit brisk out, but the sun, the birds and some greenery made it quite lovely.  My sister is a runner, so she was running the trails while I walked for a bit.

There was a river, Falls of Neuse River, that runs alongside the trail and since my body is behind schedule in the exercise/buff department I decided to take a little break.  I traipsed thru the brush to find a good log to sit on and just watched the water flow by.  I noticed some of the trees that had fallen into the river, others just hanging over ready to go down with the next good storm.  And then others that stood upright and strong.  But the best ones were the pricker trees, green with leaves.  Leaves with tiny prickles on the end of each curve.

So on the log I sat, listening to some praise and worship on the ipod, when No More Tears came on.  That's a song I want to put on Sweet Sue's celebration DVD.  But I got a bit teary.  As I looked at the river I envisioned my weeping as those trees that had fallen into the river, suffering as the trees ready to fall during the next storm, and the trees that stood upright as the praises from us to our God, our Jesus, our friend, our savior.

Then the pricker tree leaves intrigued me.  Beautiful and green, curved, yet at each curve was a thorn.

Considering the last few months of my life, including the lives of the people I love and adore and support with my heart, it's been less than awesome.

With every upward curve, a thorn.

Disease, death, death, death, divorce, friends with cancer, money, teen drama, hip and back pain, car accidents, weight gain, tests.... Just when I feel I'm on an upswing, that darn thorn is right there.  I feel like I am green and blossoming- then life throws the curves and that darn thorn is there.  Do I prick myself or do I trust?

John 6:39 MSG  This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed-not a single detail missed-and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole.
Ps 18:24  I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step.
Malachi 2:6  He taught the truth and did not lie.  He walked with me in peace and uprightness.  He kept many out of the ditch, kept them on the road. 
Ps 41:12  You know me inside and out, you hold me together, you never fail to stand me tall in your presence so I can look you in the eye. 
Ps 97:11  Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God's people, joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil. 

Good heart soil is where joy is planted, but you can't have the joy without the light, without being one of God's people.  I spoke of being sideways in my last blog.  But I am realizing how important it is to keep upright, horizontal in our position, love and trust of Jesus.  Not  a single detail will be missed and when our time is up we will be completely put back together and whole and upright.

Circumstances will always be around and make us feel sideways, crooked, lopsided.  But we have a choice as to how we will stand in the middle of those circumstances.  We have a choice.  Notice he keeps many out of the ditch (pit) and on the road.   That river wasn't much more than a ditch.  Some of the trees fell in never to be rescued, others are on the brink and the rest are upright, perhaps protecting the others, perhaps certain of their purpose.

I've been all those trees, except the ones that don't get rescued.  And my life is a pricker tree leaf.  It's alive and beautiful, but has many curves and thorns in its design.  I choose to be the upright tree, protecting my friends and family from the inevitable worldly desires that creep so slowly into our lives. And I want to stop landing on thorns with every curve that life throws.  The curves should be expected.  And the thorns, well they are a choice.  I choose to use the thorns against the one who is trying to prick me-take that you devil you.

You get it? Explain it to me......

Much Love,


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On the flip side

Since Sunday I have been just a bit consumed with how quickly life goes by us.  As Jayson and I were doing donuts on M53, which didn't look bad to me in that big truck, I realized that my precious little one was really in some possible trouble.  I know how to drive- I'm a really good driver.  But driving a truck and driving an all wheel drive are not the same my friends.  So there we were, circling around and I say to Jay hang on honey, something is going to happen, it's going to be ok.  LIAR!
I couldn't look at him at that moment of course because I was trying to right the truck, to no avail.  I think I let go of the wheel but kept my foot on the brake (yes, yes, I know... now....) and in we went to the middle berm and just toppled over.  My bible bag and all it's contents fell all over me and onto the window- sort of a funny thing.  You know, Gods word all over me and the truck.
Thankfully Jay was on the passenger side and the drivers side is what was now facing the ground.  I looked up at him and asked if he was ok.  Oh his precious face.  Ever seen that boy quiet?  He was shaking but said he was fine, and "It's ok mom, I have my 3ds.   It didn't fall."  His favorite possession at the moment.
Not a moment went by when there were several people at the scene making sure we were ok, asking questions.  I gave a thumbs up, not really believing we were so unhurt.  I am literally texting my friends at church, since they would be worried when I didn't show up.  As I was texting one person came to the windshield.  He was upright.  He looked so strange from my vantage point.  But I focused on his eyes, and got myself back to reality.  So Trevor helped talk me through some things to do.  They had me pop the back end and they went and got Jay first, of course.  Then I say, "I'm sorry, I'm not the lightest person on earth," and he says it's ok he is quite strong.  So ridiculous I am... But how sweet he was.  When I got out of the truck Jay was way over on the other side of the berm with a sweet mom and he was just looking at me like are you sure you're ok mommy.  So I went over and we hugged and I assured him I was fine, trying to make light of the overturned truck we had just walked out of.
The calvary was there very quickly, as there were 3 other accidents within a 2 mile distance.  I didn't get a ticket so I believe I didn't do anything reckless, thank God.  We did not go to the hospital even tho since the accident 10 years ago I always swore I would.  But we had nothing wrong at all.  Not to worry, the medical part is still open!  The paramedics talked to us for quite a while and waited until the tow truck came and then off they went to another accident scene.
Next came my girlfriends from church.  Now mind you I said I was in a crash.  Well, whatever.  Symantics.  They were more than a little sickened by the sight of the truck on its side.  We waited in the car until Tim got there.  My husbands truck.  It was good to see him.  And to be honest if that had happened in my car I know the hospital would have been our next stop!
One phrase has been teasing me- on the wings of a prayer.
Several people saw or were praying for me that morning.... HM.
I believe I might be the definition of on the wings of a prayer.  Or even Bon Jovi's 'Living on a prayer' song.  Makes me giggle a bit.
On the flip side, all your belongings fall on top of you and land at your side.  On the flip side you look up and your loved ones are suspended in air by the saving 'arms' of a seat belt.  On the flip side you walk on the edge where the door and windows come together to get out of the back of the truck.  On the flip side people just throw stuff out of your car to save you.  The flip side is looking ahead and seeing you are crooked and others are not.  The flip side makes you thankful for people teaching you to stand upright, to get your footing right, to help.  The flip side seems unreal, not in real time, feels like a dream or nightmare coming true.  I think I'm still a little flipped, but I am trying to figure out how to stand tall- with help and prayer and knowledge of what God does want from this flipped out lover of His soul.  He doesn't want me yet, obviously.  But I must say, I am tired of being on the flip side.  It's been a dwelling place these last few years- whether my own hard stuff or my family and friends hard stuff.  My balance is off and I am crooked.  He's got me tho:
Thank you Lord for keeping Jayson and me safe, that our truck hit nothing and hurt no one, and for the people you sent to help us.  Thank you for my friends and family who love me so much they would risk that drive to make sure they saw with their own eyes that we were ok.  And thank you for whatever you did to keep us unharmed.  Your hands or angels.  I praise you for that.  And thank you to the 2 friends that were praying at that moment.  That is amazing to know that you were asking them to pray and they did.  Thank you thank you.
Much love, but live right side up, will you please.  I need you to keep me from flipping again!