Saturday, January 17, 2015

It's OKAY!

So here we are... already into the third week of this new year!  How's your resolutions going so far? ... or work toward your goals? If you are like most of us, many of us have already "failed".  With that being said I want to let you know that I have also...and it's OKAY!

It is too easy to fall back into old patterns of behavior after even just one slip! I am speaking for myself first and foremost. My television fast was quickly compromised when I got that nasty flu bug that is going around.  During that time I sought mindlessness while suffering the aches and pains.  Now, after a week of falling off that wagon, here I sit telling you that it's OKAY!

God isn't going to love me any less. The world isn't going to come to an end and most important of all is that I can pick up where I left off.  Today is my time of reviewing the past week, planning the week ahead and adding and/or removing things from my plan that are just not that important after all.  I have a tendency to over-schedule my life and activities without much thought to overall time management. That overwhelm, in turn, often leads to just throwing my hands in the air and feeling like a quitter-and that REALLY bugs me and conflicts with my view of myself!

And so here I am today, writing the first blog post of the new year! This was a task I self-assigned that should be done at least three times a week! Abiding Ways website is fallow and undeveloped, still haven't gotten familiar with Wordpress or installed it either.  I have lots of ideas but execution? Ah well, it's OKAY!

I HAVE made MD and dentist appointments! I am reading scripture daily and doing my basic stuff. Even de-cluttering a bit as I head toward a minimalist lifestyle. As I do at least some of the stuff that I believe in, I'm learning that it's OKAY to not keep up with those things that are less important and keeping my God-given priorities in order. And have I really failed? Instead I believe that I just took a few hits in my personal pride and God gave me a few lessons! 

He's funny like that... and I am so thankful!

I'd love to hear how you're doing with your current 2015 stuff! And please, share the lesson(s) you may have learned when you felt like a "failure".

I AM working on preliminary research for an online Lifegroup (small group) Bible study which would also help decide the future of Abiding Ways. It will take only a few minutes of your time to fill out my survey. I'd greatly appreciate your input!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Job, Mary and Me

Again it's been quite awhile since I've written! I was reminded of this the other day when my daughter in law Dawn mentioned it.

The last few months brought some highs and one very low point. And here I thought I was finally recovering from the loss of son John when, on November 14, I learned that my son Eric had died suddenly... out of nowhere... so here I am again.

First, on to the highs. Right before I got the ugly news I had participated in a Chazown group with members of my church. Mind you, this was online using all that wonderful tech that allows us, tho far away from each other to be together.  Chazown is a group of exercises that helps us to see events in our lives; to see God's big picture and discover our purpose. For me, some themes stood out...and some of what I thought was my calling were less apparent and so I was going to discard them.

...and then I lost another child!

After all that could be done was done and I was once more alone with God, of course I was angry, frustrated, annoyed and most of all in pain.  The "why God, why me" took over for a short time. "What is Your purpose in this?" I need help to understand!!!

Unlike the loss of my firstborn, this loss was less difficult to deal with. I chalk it up to "been there, done that syndrome". It IS difficult to know that I'll never talk to my boy again in this life. I still have moments of anger as I pour out my heart to the only ONE who has the answers...but is silent.

...and that brings me to Job.

If you've never read it, Job was like THE most righteous man on earth in God's eyes.  God even drew attention to this man while satan was before Him.  "Hey you twerp, look at my servant Job! He's the BEST!" Of course, satan being who he is, reminded God that it was easy to be righteous when he had it all. And so God gave him permission to remove the blessings. (Job 1:8-12)

Two verses have gotten me through... first Job 13:15 which reminds me that my first purpose always is to praise God... not the easiest thing to do in this place in my life.  And yet, I do. As to the "why" question... Job 38:4 reminds me that even while I'm feeling so out of control with emotions that at times overwhelm my common sense- God is sovereign... in control.  Right now, I haven't a clue as to what's next in my life. But our God does! I don't know what today will bring, let alone the year and beyond... but I know He has a plan... and He is good. I know from reading the entirety of the book of Job that HOPE is the reward of our faithfulness in life... especially in adversity. Which brings me to Mary...

It is said that this young girl said YES to God without hesitation, freely and joyfully accepting the work God had for her-knowing in advance all the ugliness that would come. ( Luke 1:26-38 ). As we celebrate the birthday of our Lord, a song I love reminds me also of how she must have felt as the hope of the world was dying on the cross.  This song always makes me cry! Even and especially in my grief I empathize with this mother... and have to wonder if the events of our Lord's death took her by surprise as the loss of my two boys did to me.  Here is the song, but I'm betting you already know the song I'm talking about ...

OK to sum up... I have the hope that I will see my sons again.  Eric often said he was angry with God for not letting him say good-bye to John.  They were as close as two brothers could be and I know that he missed him greatly. They were fishing buddies, had an outrageous love of dogs and heavy metal music! And so I imagine that when it's my turn, I'll find them with pups by their side, fishing poles dangling and singing some booming headbanger song.

As we come to the end of this year I have so many to thank for their love and support! The staff of (Dana, Amanda and Austin-you're my heros!) My Church Online teams braving the early hours and googlers for the 7AM CT experiences with me. Of course my sweet, loving, supportive and generous beloved unbeliever Scott.  HE is my port in these storms!

I love my children, my siblings, my grandchildren (and their moms), and most of all I love God and am thankful most of all for JESUS... who is my hope for the world even in the deepest darkest places!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

---- this is the week I set personal goals, hopes, plans and make adjustments... Check out and let me know if you will be taking this journey to find vision!  See you next year!