Tag Archives: winter

Stories from behind the Cardboard Signs

untitled-17Good Morning Eddie

Hello (He always looks surprised that I remember his name)

How was your New Year?

It was great!

Are you staying warm at night?

Yes ‘mam, I spent the night last night checking on my people.

Here is some chicken and napkins

Thanks ‘mam and God bless.

Wondering in the quiet

_MG_8357

This quiet Christmas morning I will sit still. No dinner preparations this year. Presents already unwrapped, wrapping paper and bows still linger under the tree. The tree is the only light in the early dawn, there is the magic of stillness dancing in the air.

Today I will sit in the quiet of the moment, reflecting on what we are celebrating. God, in all his unimaginable glory packaged in the flesh of a helpless baby.

_MG_8402

Do you ever wonder how that felt? Do you ever wonder if he was frustrated with the limitations? I wonder if he always knew he was God, when he was lying in the manger, did he know? Could he see the life that was ahead of him? Or was he blest with blindness of the future that we as humans are blest with? Did he know that just a short time ago he soared with angels, and now he was dependent on two imperfect human beings for even the most minor of needs?

Did he know in that moment of celebration that in 33 short years he would know a time of despair that had never been felt before? Did he know right then that he would be resurrected to save the souls of mankind? Did he know that even with his very best given it would be rejected by some?

I wonder these things as I sit here this morning.

_MG_8347

From our home you yours I pray for you the peace and wonder of this amazing miracle we celebrate today.

magic in the storm

IMG_6517aAll night the wind blew and the snow fell. We had not seen this kind of storm for years, maybe even a decade. We were house bound, except for a few walks around the house to shovel the walks, to make sure the bird feeders were stocked and the hummingbird feeders were not frozen.

On this morning I woke before the rest of the house. This was not unusual, I like the quiet of the house in the mornings. But this morning  I needed to bundle up a bit and take out the hummingbird feeder before I settled in with my cup of coffee. I stepped out on to the front porch with the feeder, and was met by Mr. Hummingbird. He sat and fed while I still held the feeder. I ever so slowly reached out my hand and stroked his back, he looked up, and continued to feed. When he had his fill, he flew off.

It was still storming all around me. I stood transfixed, in awe at the gift I had just been given.

Isn’t this just like God? With a storm raging all around, God gave me a very magical gift. Maybe if I stop raging back at the storms of my life and look for them, I might just fine that my most magical moments come in the midst of the storms.IMG_6584a

time out

7

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart; Isaiah 40:11

For the last two days I have been in self imposed time out. I have been waking up from nightmares in a panic attack. I could live with that, however unwelcome, but Monday at work I fought them off all day. Some what successfully, I hope. I gulped down sobs all day. Some what successfully, I hope.

So I took a time out, to regroup, recharge. To focus on what is going on inside my head and heart. Alone, with God, time to just dig down deep, really to rebuild some reserves. I am short on that, emotional reserve. I had run out, I had not a drop of reserve left. These last two days have been  much needed.

I have re-remembered somethings these last two days. I need to get my body moving, I need to get those natural endorphins flowing. Movement is a great stress reliever also. I need to be more open and ask for help before I get to meltdown. I need to take a few steps back every once in a while. I need to recharge on a more regular basis. I am still not sure how that looks, I can’t just drop out of life on regular intervals, but I know that I need to take some time regularly to recharge. I need to remember to ask my heavenly Father for help on a more regular basis, I need to really rest in his arms and let him carry me. I need to be more honest about how I really am inside, and not pretend that everything is okay, when it isn’t.

I am just about ready to face the world again tomorrow,renewed, rested and recharged.

eagle
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

to cast and stand

spring

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

We often hear the phrase – God never gives us more than we can handle – but I think he does. I think he gives us too much so we will learn to lean on him – so we will run straight into his arms. He wants us to depend on him, he wants to be our strength.

How many times do I struggle with a problem, or an issue for days, before I finally give up and hand it over to God? Too many. By the time I do hand it over, I am beaten down, exhausted.

I dislike that feeling, I dislike feeling beat up, and tired. If only I would let go sooner, if only that were my first thought instead of my last.

I have been having bad dreams lately, about bad things happening to people I love. It shakes me up. I begin to let my mind wander to places it should not go. I let fear and anxiety creep in. This is not new to me, but since Jason passed it is scarier and more real. Thoughts of what would I do if? How could I possibly remain sane if?

I am trying to not just push these thoughts aside, but cast them. Cast them on my God who is ready to take my anxiety.

Somehow I get it in my head that I must be stronger, I must push forward, I must …. whatever.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Ephesians 6:13

To stand – that is it. I am not required to run a race, or dance with joy, or do anything but stand. Sometimes that is all I can do, all the energy that I have. All I can do is stand, and that is okay.

So the challenge I put to myself today, for this week, is to cast, and stand.

Unexpected Peace

20121215-IMG_9924

I hear the news, I see the photographs, I shut my eyes tight and gulp down the sobs that threaten. Yet a few tears escape, a sob makes it up my throat, I gulp it back down. Then the slide show begins in my head, I see myself walking up the sidewalk staring into the face of the fire chief, he says “I am sorry”. I see myself bent over with the shock of it, my mouth open, the single word “no” erupts. Then I see my husbands arms around me. I can’t stand still, I am pacing, trying to grasp it. The rest is a blur. Then I see myself standing in front of the church in my black dress, hugging the many, oh so many, people that come to honor my son. I cry for this person, I cry for me. I now know the difference between sympathy and empathy. Mixed in with my personal slide show is imagined faces of parents looking into the face of emergency personnel or clergy. I feel the hope that is held so tightly crushed. I feel them bend over and utter that one word, NO.

There is a difference between sympathy and empathy. Empathy hurts, it reopens wounds. Empathy threatens to pull me back into a dark place, I wonder if I go there, will I come back? I swallow these feelings, like I swallow my sobs. I allow a few tears, but I can’t go there again. I pray for these families that went home without their babies, to Christmas trees and bright lights. I pray for peace. I pray for good night’s sleep. I pray for the comfort of the Almighty to encompass them.

20121215-IMG_9917

And then, in the most unexpected place, I am reminded God cares. I don’t need to go to that dark place. Walking out of Walmart, he reminds me, there is light, always there is light, and I feel a peace wash over me. He loves me enough to take my breath away int the beauty of a sunrise. He reminds me, after the dark of the night there is always light. An unexpected joy washes over me, right there in the parking lot of Walmart. And, my heart cries, God is good, all the time.