Posted in Family, life, Love

On This Day a Year Ago……

On this day a year ago, we lost my grandmother on my dad’s side. She was a beautiful lady who just happened to be born on my daughter’s birthday 94 years earlier. She left this world at age 96.

Because we lived a good distance apart, I don’t have a vast amount of memories of her, but the ones I have I hold near and dear. I have blogged about her before here. As a testament to her greatness are her children. I truly have never seen children love their mother so much. I have heard others, and have been guilty myself, of complaining about our moms. I have seen children growing frustrated with their aging parents and speaking harshly at times. But not my grannie’s kids. They loved her, doted on her, spoiled her rotten up until her last days. We can only hope to be as lucky in love.

I remember when I heard about her passing. We had known it was near, but one can never quite prepare themselves for the grief that comes. To be very honest, I was surprised at myself for my emotion that followed, but it was an emotion that I had never felt before. I don’t even know if I have the words to convey it. But it wasn’t just loss. It wasn’t just sadness. It wasn’t an empty feeling. It was a realization instead. A deep realization, that if the world follows natural laws, all the people who came before you will leave before you. Of course logically I know this, but she was my last grandparent remaining. My father had already died, and I realized that now my mother only remains.

I experienced a deep understanding that I am one living person left of being an orphan. I know it sounds ridiculous. An adult orphan. But my last grandparent dying made me realize that my mom is all that’s left of the people who, because of them, I exist.

Maybe no one else knows this feeling or maybe I’m just terrible at explaining it, but it’s what I know.

But anyway, time marches on, there’s nothing we can do about lost time or lost loved ones but to keep on living and remembering them.

The only thing that stays the same is everything changes. We as believers however, have a hope because of our savior that one day we will meet again in our eternal home where there is no sadness and there are no tears. Until then, we carry on.grannie woods

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Posted in Dear Diary, life

And the Earth Renews

morning cows etc 025

Glory, glory to this early spring day!

Although I woke from a very restless sleep, my body groaning under the weight of its 40 years: hips and hamstrings, neck and knees, the outside world renews me. I’m so glad my 3-year-old wanted to dress and head directly outside, despite my opposition.

The birds are so happy today and why shouldn’t they be? They are announcing the coming of a glorious day.

The earth is wet from either a heavy dew or a light rain and it doesn’t take long for Emma’s shoes to grow wet all the way to her pale pink socks, as she frolics and plays.  The sun is warming the world ever so slowly, removing the chill, granting the warmth.

There is an earthy smell of rebirth in the air. The wind carries it on its breath. Nothing can keep quiet. Nothing can be still, for this day is indeed worth shouting about. The whole of nature is trumpeting the coming of spring!

So I sit with the small pleasure of life: coffee, front porches, pen and paper, and wet tennis shoes. I watch the world in all its activity. My little black cat pounces and climbs, pausing on occasion to stare at something unseen to me, and switch her tail in eager anticipation. And then, as if it couldn’t get any better, the icing on the cake—–a “butterfly”, as my daughter calls them dances by.  She’s black with yellow rimmed wings. She too heard the call of nature, felt the breezes, heard the birds, smelled the dampness of the earth and yet, knowing her days were short, came out to play.

Apple trees are in bloom, lilac bushes are in bud.  I say to them, “careful, careful, not too soon. Have patience”. But surely they know better than I.

My senses take it all in. My soul exhales the dregs of winter. Truly nature is where we find rest yet energy, calmness yet revitalization, serenity yet pulse. A place of reprieve, of lessons, of growth, of birth.

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.~~Bernard Williams

Glory, Glory to this early spring day!!

Posted in Faith, Family

Change

It seems my life stays in a constant state of adjustment.

Change happens.  There’s no stopping it.

Some changes we create, and some changes just happen and we have no choice but to  hold on with a white knuckle grip.

Although I’d like to be in charge of the change in my life, sometimes I prefer the latter.  That way I can call it God or Fate or Providence or Destiny and in turn I can take no responsibility for the failures or disappointments that may come from it.

We all experience it, and change is not necessarily a bad thing.  It’s perceived as such most of the time, but we must ask ourselves:  really do we want to always remain the same person– in the same situations –working the same job –living in the same house– doing the same old things?

Yes!! Yes this girl screams!  We do!  I do!  It’s much safer there and it doesn’t hurt.

But life just doesn’t work that way.

Over the past two years I’ve come face to face and heart to heart with

  • the death of my dad (grief, tears, sadness, longing)
  • a move to the little trailer house on the prairie (snakes, wind, dust, mice, trains, and yes even Jehovah Witnesses still visit)
  • pregnancy and the birth of my child (joy, tears, pain, guilt, fear)
  • job change for my husband (worry)
  • quitting my job of 12 years to stay home with my baby (dependence, budget, purpose, freedom, happiness)
  • learning how to be a mother ( sleeplessness, selflessness, worry, guilt, time management, joy, exhaustion)

And now, now, another biggie is heading my way.  Another move.  But this time to another town.  In another state.  I haven’t really talked about it because when I talk about it, that makes it real.  I don’t talk about it, not because I’m not excited or I don’t want it to happen, but because I’m afraid.  I don’t talk about it because doing my ostrich impersonation is much easier than recognizing that it really is happening.

But change–it is a comin’.

Soon and very soon, we will be packing up our cares and woe, tossed in with a little happiness and excitement and heading to a new destination.

My husband’s dream is to live in the mountains.  And I guess we aren’t getting any younger.   We’ve sold our little place here in the country, chickens too, and as soon as the buyers little ducklings are in a row, we will know when our last night here will be.

So on this eve of Thanksgiving, with my heart and my head filled with so much worry, trepidation, and fear, that it’s hard to find the excitement, I give thanks to God my Father, the Almighty, Who knows every breath I’ll ever take, Who numbers every hair on my head, Who knows my thoughts before I think them, and my blog posts before I type them, Who did not give me a spirit of fear, but of strength and power; I thank Him for his sovereignty and grace, for His love and providence, for His son and my salvation.  I thank Him for my daughter and my husband, my family and my friends, my health and my freedom to just pick up and move whenever and wherever we choose.  I thank Him for my past and my future, for my hurts and my sorrows, for my joy and my elation, for opportunities granted and doors closed.  For all He has done and for all He is going to do.

Dear friends, please hold me and my family in your prayers as we begin again.

 

 

Posted in Faith

Change and Creation—my year in review

I’m three days late, but I wanted to take some time and reflect on the year 2011. It’s long gone now,  but still deserves some time of remembrance. Any blogger worth their weight in blogging ability has already accomplished this feat, however, it’s me we’re talking about here.

I began this post a couple of days ago with the best of intentions, but I was (and still am) having trouble getting my thoughts nailed down to make it coherent, but alas, I’ll try. 

I’m experiencing mixed emotions about the new year, and about saying good-bye to the old.  This is a new phenomenon for me.  I usually wake up on January first of whatever year it happens to be, and go about my usual life.  Just another day.  But this January 1st, 2012, I found myself  at a crossroads.  There’s a song by the Bellamy Brothers where one line says, “he’s an old hippie and he don’t know what to do, should he hang on to the old, should he grab on to the new.”  Oh how I can  relate.

 Last January there was a movement if you will, instead of resolutions, choose a word for the year. A word that will define you. A word that you will focus on during the year.  Like hope or faith or happiness or fitness.  My friend Suzanne asked me what my word was.  I took a while to think, and finally I chose the word create. I wanted to create great writing.  I wanted to create a home for J-Dub and myself in our new country dump, I wanted to create a wonderful garden, a chicken coop, so many  new things. 

How little did I know that with creation comes change or perhaps change begets creation.  But I can look back now and affirm, create was my word. 

We lost my dad to a heart attack in February and I began to create a life of only memories.  Whether through facebook or blog comments or email or phone calls, we spoke daily.  I’m thankful for technology, for through that our relationship grew closer and we knew each other better than ever.  Creating a new life without him has been hard for me. 

Less than a month after burying my dad, J-Dub and I packed our horse trailer with boxes and furniture and moved to a place outside of town.  A place that needed (and still does) a lot of work.  We had spent the previous winter attempting to create a home for ourselves along with a  plethora of mistakes, problems and money that come with home improvements.  Moving is life changing and not knowing where the dadgum lightbulbs are kept is more than irritating.  Shortly after moving in, like 4 days, I got a box of little chicks in the mail and my life was changed forever!  I spent the spring and summer, raising those babies and adjusting to the country life with snakes in the front yard, water wells breaking, drought, wild fires and wind.  And with wind, lots and lots of dust. 

In May, I felt like I was losing my ever loving mind.  I believed Satan had come in and taken control of my body.  I felt like a raging lunatic, and then while on a trip visiting my dad’s grave for Memorial Day weekend, I discovered the cause of my angst.  I was pregnant.  So the summer was spent in shock and adjustment.  And the fall was spent in shock and adjustment.  And now that we are three weeks away from giving birth, I’m still in disbelief and adjusting.  Someone told me in a comment on this blog that God gives us nine months to prepare for childbirth.  I’m here to tell you, I probably could be a pretty good elephant because nine months isn’t enough time for me.

Although I desired to create great writing, and a wonderful home, and new and beautiful things in 2011, I never would have fathomed that I would create a daughter. What a change.  What a creation. What a scary experience.

Plans for building a new fence and putting up a barn were replaced with painting a nursery and choosing a name.  A whole new dimension has been added to my life.  God has given me a great task.  He has chosen me to be the mother of a little girl who I worry I won’t do right by. 

With this great task ahead, I find myself fearing the new year. Afraid of what it holds. I find myself walking by sight rather than faith, fearful of the next step.  And the one after that.  And the one after that. 

My 2011 was a year of adjustment. Lots of changes took place, the kind of changes that rate high up on the stress level list.  So why don’t I want to move on?  As I ponder, I decide it must be the familiarity of  the old and the fear of the new.  I am embarking on this new year,  expecting more changes and I’m frightened that the struggles I faced in 2011 will follow me into the new year. 

I’ve been weepy the last two days and it appears this day is no different.  My present prayer is that my sorrow will be turned to joy, my worry will be changed to rejoicing. 

Like the old hippie, should I hang on to the old or should I grab onto the new?

If I look to the scriptures, I am instructed to remember the days of old, remember what God has done for me, how He has carried me through, and then press forward to what is ahead, walk by faith, finish the race, and trust in the Lord.

Hang on or grab onto?  I’ll try to do both.

And so I go.

Happy 2012.