Tag Archives: spring

I kept going

runYesterday, I ran the longest I have run to date. I owe this to a bluejay, a swallow and two women I have never met.

As I hit mile one, fatigued, hot and sweaty, I was thinking I would just go a little further and turn around and walk back. I could try again tomorrow right? No harm, no foul. I am not really competing with any one but myself and who would blame me? I had already done a couple hours of yard work. Just then a car pulled out of a driveway, a woman in the passenger seat waved and gave me the biggest smile. It felt like she was cheering me on. I kept going.

A little later I noticed a bluejay hoping from fence post to fence post just ahead of me. He would stop and watch me until I got a little close then fly to the next post. It detracted me enough to get a little past the 1 and 3/4 mile mark without really noticing it. I kept going.

I let myself talk me into stopping at 2 miles, same reasons as above. Just before I got to my stopping point another car pulled out of a driveway, this time the woman in the passenger seat waved, smiled and gave me a thumbs up. That simple gesture lifted my spirits, put a smile on my face and gave me just a little more energy. I kept going.

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About a half mile later a swallow decided to fly with me, weaving in and out of the grass in the field next to my route. He would get ahead, then come back and do that little ballet flight that swallows do. This went on for about 1/4 of a mile. I kept going.

By this time, turning around and going back was further than just going on. I kept going.

I thought, in our lives, in our spiritual journey, how many times does God send jut the right person at just the right time to encourage us? More than we know.

I want to be that, an encourager, someone who smiles at the stranger on the corner, the haggard mom in the store, the gentleman shuffling along with a walker. Just a smile is all it takes sometimes to keep someone going, to make their day just a little more manageable.

I want to be that person that not only keeps going, but I want to be the person that encourages others to keep going.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

 

My Race

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Yesterday I wrote about running, and that I was committing to this activity, and making myself accountable by telling others my intentions. I wrote about some lessons I had learned in the first week. My desire is to also learn God lessons from this experience.

God lesson #1 – Just like I have to run my own mile, and not compare my mile to someone else’s, I have to walk my walk with God. Not someone else’s, mine. I should not compare my God walk/run with others. It is so tempting to look at someone else’s race and envy the “easy” race they have to run. The truth is I don’t know what waits around the bend for them, or what horrible dark valley they have come out of. The path I was given to run is my own. There have been bumps, times of pure despair, times of great rejoicing, and carefree running. But whatever turn in the road God has for me is mine to run without comparison to other’s path.

God lesson #2 – I should not try to look too far ahead on my God run. Just a few steps, just enough to not trip. If I knew all that was going to happen, how could I love and enjoy the moment of now? I would fret and worry, and miss the joy of the moment. If I had known that when my daughter was 6 months old I would find myself single, would I have missed out on this incredible woman? If I had known that I would live through the pain of losing my son at early in his life, would I have missed those amazing 30 years? God graciously does not allow me to see all that is ahead on my run. He allows me to see just enough.

My race is my race.

 

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Recently I decided to start running again. When I say again, don’t think I have run recently, it has been many years, 40 to be exact since I “use to run”. I have not run since high school. There were several things that got me started, I want to lose some weight, I want to be healthier, a friends blog, and the realization that at my next birthday I am going to be closer to 60 than 50, (Whew, that really snuck up!) I want to be one of those “seniors” that stays active, and does things, so I am committing to run.

I started last week when my new running shoes came. My commitment is to run 3 times per week. My short term goal is to run a 5k in June. Sounds easy enough, right? Sure, but life has already threatened to get in the way. Next week is a full week. Several appointments after work are going to make it hard to stick to my commitment. My first thought was, “Well, maybe I will really start the next week”. But I know me, if I don’t keep with my commitment now, I won’t. Life will always get in the way, always and I will always be putting it off until the next week and then the next and pretty soon I won’t even be thinking about it anymore.

So I have to make a plan, and then another if that plan is not going to work, and then another. I need to make back up plans for the “just in case”.

I have done a few things that I hope will help me keep my commitment, one is huge for me, I am telling people, that makes me accountable. I am not comfortable with this, I want to be able to hide if I fail. But here it is for all the world to see, I am now accountable, you all now know.

I bought really good, and also important, cute running shoes. The really good part is so I don’t injure myself and have to quit running, the cute part is well just because.

I bought good wireless headphones, music in my ears helps me stay focused, and the wireless part because wires bug me. 🙂

I looked for an app that fit my style and would help me achieve my goal. This app “talks” to me and tells me when to warm up, when to run, when to walk, and when to cool down, it will methodically, over the next 9 weeks, guide me to run 3 miles.

A couple lessons already learned, I can’t look too far ahead. It discourages me. Just a few feet, just far enough so I don’t trip.

Another important lesson, I have to run my mile, not anyone else’s mile. My second run I thought I needed to improve my time by a certain amount. I pushed myself too hard, I almost quit part way through the run. I nearly sent myself into a full blown asthma attack. I felt like I was sucking on my inhaler like a pacifier. It is not important at this point how fast I am going, just that I am going. Today’s run I slowed down, ran just hard enough to challenge me but not hard enough to kill me. 🙂 I finished, and felt really good.

My goal this week was 3 runs, I met it. It feels good, now to make plans to meet my 3 run goal next week.

futile to resist

I could feel it yesterday, tugging at my soul. I tried to resist, it is not time yet. I have so many “inside” projects yet to finish.

But it kept nagging, poking at my heart. It was calling me, “come on, just a little time, just a little yard work, you know you want to. . .” I gave in. I found the promise of spring all over the yard.

Mr. Hummingbird greeted me at the back door, as he often does.

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Buds on trees.

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Flowers wanting to burst forth.

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Even lowly weeds, heralding the promise.

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Babies frolicking in the meadow.

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It is on its way . . .

Spring!

My new life . . .

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A lifetime ago, I skipped my way through spring and ran toward summer, arms open wide. My hands in the dirt, anxiously waiting for those little green sprouts to peak up through the brown dirt. My excitement about growing things and being outside in the sun knew no bounds.

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That was a lifetime ago, in my new life, I run toward summer, but there is a sharp pain in my chest. I push on; I love this time of year. My heart hurts. I stop and take a deep breath; the pain does not go away. I push on, skipping, running. The pain is still there. I push on.

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I want to love summer in the carefree way I always have, but the reality is that I will never again skip through spring and run toward summer in the same way. There will always be the pain.

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In this new life I continue to look at the amazing things that spring and summer bring with a sense of awe and wonder; the sounds of hummingbird wings, the smell of honeysuckle, and the feel of the sun on my shoulders. I will still skip and run, but the wonder of summer is tempered by the pain in my heart, in this . . . my new life.

Mother’s Day

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This is a tough day for me. I miss my son. I miss so many things about him, but his hug, that is what I miss the most today. His big lift you off the ground all encompassing hug. I just plain miss him.

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I sit here this morning trying to process conflicting emotions. I am so grateful for Chelsey, I don’t want her to ever think she is not enough, or that she is second to Jason in anyway. I am so happy she is my daughter. She has grown to be an amazing woman, and sometimes I feel like she gets lost in my grief over Jason.

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I have two great adult step-children, I love their interaction with each other, it reminds me so much of Jason and Chelsey’s relationship. If I am truthful though, sometime is makes me so sad. I miss Chelsey and Jason together, I miss their interaction, I miss seeing how they cared for each other.

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I know Chelsey grieves for the loss of her brother, the loss of their friendship, and I feel a little guilty and helpless for not knowing how to help her with that. I barely know how to process my own right now. Some days, like today, it is so big.

I feel like I am on a teeter toter of emotions, at the top I am happy, grateful, full of joy for the life I have. For having the privilege of being Mom to two amazing, wonderful, God-loving children. So grateful for the wonderful man God gave me to help me walk through this. At the bottom I am sad, deeply sad. There is so much more “up” than down these days, but right now, I am bouncing on the bottom. I am sad, I am missing Jason.

 

Here I sit

Jason's gardenI am finally sitting in the garden this morning. A space planned and built by me. To honor my son, Jason. This project has been healing for me. A place to put my creative energy. A place he would be proud of. Built with reflection and lots of love.

As I was putting this together, I had plenty of time to reflect and remember. I remember my dad watching me build some shelving, years ago.He told me I built just like his mom. Never really measuring anything, but seeing what I wanted to do and then just building it. My grandmother on my dad’s side died when I was young. But I have snippets of memories. When I look at pictures of her I can see myself in her style. Without really knowing her, I carry part of her in me. I would have liked to know her.

I got to thinking about how we all carry parts of others in us. These people make us who we are. I watch my now adult daughter and see so much of me in her, I pray it is only the good parts.

This morning I sit here in the garden, at peace, listening to the birds lift their voices in praise, to the one who formed me, and gives me the peace that passes all understanding. I think of those who have gone on before me and am forever grateful they are part of who I am. I will carry them with me, and pass them on to the next generation, with just a little of me mixed in.

Connections

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While working in my yard yesterday, I was posting some of my progress in Instagram, I was also checking on friends I have made through this medium of communication. There was a post from a friend who lives a world away, it was to me, about how she thinks of me when she picks up sea glass on her side of the world. I can’t begin to say how this touched me. We have never met, we probably never will this side of glory, but I know she has two adorable boys. She is an artist, a photographer, and she lives close to the sea, her sons are creative and love Legos.

I have met many wonderful people on IG, I would love to meet them face to face. They are scattered all over this earth, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, England, and all over the United States. We are fellow, knitters, crocheters, artists, photographers, parents, lovers of God, we are strangely connected through this wonderful electronic world. Many of these friends have hugged me across the miles as I walk my grief journey. They have brought me comfort, as well as laughter. We get little glimpses into each other lives, the good, the bad, the funny, the sad. It is all there, picture by picture. I share in the joy, the celebrations, and in the things that are not so joyful, but we encourage each other, sending virtual hugs, and encouragement.

I have met fellow bloggers, through my blog, I have met others through Facebook, the more I think about this the more amazed I am. I have watched as these friends struggle with life changing decisions, I have prayed for wisdom for them. I watch as they blossom because of these decisions, I cheer them on.

People talk about how as we have our noses in our computers we are becoming more impersonal, more isolated. For me it is so opposite, I have “met” so many people that I would call my friends, even though I have never been face to face with them. I keep track of family that is far away, even “in person” friends that because our lives are busy we don’t get to hang out as often as we like, but we keep up through this electronic world.

As I was writing this a friend I met through Facebook, posted a picture on my timeline because he thought I might enjoy it. These things bring me joy.

These communities are scattered over the whole world, but they are communities non the less. I am in awe and amazed at this world we live in.

 

Learning to live with and without

908919_10151513901549717_759179977_nI can’t believe it has been over a month since I last sat down to write. I intended on writing more, on being more consistent in my blogging. This writing has become a sort of therapy for me. This blog has become place to put my feelings, discoveries and memories. I often go back and read previous posts, they help me put into perspective where I am now emotionally.When I go a long time between posts I guess I am taking longer to process the new lessons or discoveries.

Looking at past posts make me realize how much I have healed and that I have come a long way from the despair I was feeling. When I feel like I have not made progress, or I haven’t grown, I go back and read a bit, and I realize that God has been so gracious to me. He has lead me on path, and even when it was as dark as night, he was there. He was tenderly leading me to a healing that I thought could never happen.

I recently read an article by a Bereaved Mother. It was written so well and I would like to challenge you to follow this link Bereaved Mother  and take a few minutes to read it. It is short and even if it does not apply to you at the least it can bring understanding.

Another article I read this week, that really spoke to me as well as helping me sort out some things in my mind and soul.  (Find it here My Grief Will Last a Lifetime. ) Like this mother, I had always thought that grief was something to “get over”.  I thought I would walk through it and be “cured” of it. I have had other grief in my life, both of my parents have passed, but the grief of losing a child is nothing like that or any other grief I have felt. As I read this article I realized that grief will be a part of me for the rest of my life. This discovery has been somewhat freeing. While my grief has changed from a gaping open wound, to a scab, and will eventually change to a scar, it is something I will wear for the rest of my life.

As I thought about this article I came to understand, I can grieve and live a fulfilled and happy life. I can grieve while being happy and carefree; yes I can even dance through life with grief sitting beside me. I believe that I will grieve for the rest of my life. I will miss Jason until I am reunited with him. I am learning to live with the grief without being sad. I am learning that grief can live with me without dragging me into a dark place. Grief will be one of my life long companions. But I am so blessed to have not only had the opportunity to have known Jason, but I had the amazing blessing of being mom to such an awesome man.

I miss Jason more than I can express, and sometimes the missing him is bigger than I am. But when you see me happy and carefree, laughing and enjoying the people around me, it is not that I am forgetting or that I am done grieving, it is that I am learning to live without him, and I am learning to live with it.

I will echo the sentiment of the article (My Grief Will Last a Lifetime) – don’t pity me, don’t be sad for me, for I am blessed beyond what I deserve.

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Thankfulness continuing . . .

I am behind again, so here I go catching up, thankful again for the quiet mornings that allow for reflection.

Thirteen: This may seem a little strange, I am grateful for knitting. I can’t tell you what this simple act does for my mind and soul. There were days after Jason passed that the simpleness of knit, purl, knit, purl were what kept me sane. I am so grateful God gave me an activity that calms me and is so rewarding at the same time.

Fourteen: Technology isn’t it a wonderful thing? In this day and age we can connect to people everywhere. I can keep up with my family far away, I have made many new friends that I will probably never meet on earth. It is an amazing thing.

Fifteen: Music, I am sitting here this morning worshiping with some of the most beautiful music playing in the background. I can not imagine what this world would be like with out music.

Sixteen: I’m going to be a little silly here but I am  thankful for coffee. I love the comfort of holding the warm mug while collecting my thoughts in these quiet mornings. The feeling of the warm liquid passing through my mouth and down my throat. Oh, and the smell, yum.

Seventeen: I am thankful for the rain we are having, it means flowers in the spring. We are about to get a lot of this rain, it makes for cozy afternoons sitting next to the love of my life.

Eighteen: I am really thankful for naps, it is a wonderful feeling, curling up beside Tim in the afternoon and feeling his arm around me while a drift off. I love afternoon naps.