Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy anniversary

"the hardest part of moving forward is not looking back" Sally on Felicity.  I don't normally quote TV shows and really Im not that much of a tv watcher but every once in a while (the summer after the car accident, Friends became my "happy place" and well now) I find myself watching episode after episode of an old tv series.  Felicity reminds me of college and well I miss my college family.  College life is odd, crazy, and well like most stages of life you dont realize how much fun it is until its over.  Anyways this is not the point of this post, the quote is.  Today is the wedding anniversary of Mike and I.  Its wierd. It would be 9 years, and yikes that number sounds like a lot but time has flown and I can still remember a ton about that wedding.  I look back on the almost 4 years we had together and well just like college you don't realize how fun it was til its gone.  I know that both were full of there unique challenges and tough times, but really over all I am who I am because of them.  Anyways today is one of the many days that I find myself looking back and wondering if we hadn't been in the accident how my life would be different, then I force myself to stop as I usually paint that life as this amazing movie perfect life that "could have" been.  I was struck by the quote that the hardest part of moving forward is not looking back, because in many ways this is so true.  Its hard not to look back, and in many ways I think it is alright to look back as long as you stay focused on moving forward.  I am trying to be a better wife this round, looking back reminds me all too often how I was not the best wife I could have been with Mike, looking back reminds me how short this life is and how I am not promised tomorrow so I better enjoy now and not wish or plan 5 years down the road. (not that you shouldn't plan b/c you should but realize that God's plans prevail not your own).  But looking back does distract from the here and now if you let it.  My emotions get all jumbled up and most of the time I end up such a mess Armando has no idea who I am or what happened that Im this crazy lady.  Learning from the past is a good thing, but dwelling on it, either the good or the bad, is not helpful.  Our focus is to be on Christ and Him crucified.  So today I remember a great day that was the start to 4 years of God using a man to grow me up in Him, 4 years of me learning how to be a "wife" (which I don't think you ever really master)(and for the record I hate titles) and now God has given me Armando and well this marriage has different challenges  (poor guy) and different joys.  So pressing on is what I plan to do, as hard as that is some days.  I am hopefull that just like college and well every other stage of life when I look back it will  have been fun but more importantly I will have served Christ well and made the best use of the time I was given.  I don't know what the future holds, but I  am trying to boldly and cheerfully face it learning from the past but not dwelling on it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Knowing God

I started reading Knowing God by JI Packer and  yesterday after the cleaning I was convicted about how little I know Him.  In Chap 2 he says "constantly we find ourselves slipping into bitterness and apathy and gloom as we reflect on them (refering to heartbreaks as the world sees them) which we frequently do. The attitude we show to the world is a sort of dried -up stoicism, miles removed from the 'joy unspeakable and full of glory' which Peter took for granted that his readers were displaying" He goes on later and states that if we really knew God then "they never brood on might-have-beens; they never think of the things they have missed, only what they have gained".  I have gained so much in the things that I have "lost", I forget that everything is a gift and on loan from God.  After Mike died I grew a ton in my faith and prayed more (except when I didn't) and read more (except when I reftused to) than I had before.  I could look at my life in a new way and saw very clearly areas needing improvement.  I was a better person after he died more displined in every area of my life. Of course being me, I have slipped as time moved on.  When mom got sick she became my priority and I put everything aside for her and all my disipline well that went away.  I guess in my own way I was protesting against God and His plan, the only problem is that in protest and lack of disipline I was the only one hurting.  So now to remember the things I gained after Mike died again and to have that faith and daily reliance on God. In the loss of mom, I gained too.  In her illness I gained a restored relationship that I had never thought possible, I learned how to cook (all be it really unhealthy yet so yummy), I learned to be a "nurse", I learned what it is to care for the dying, I learned humbleness by watching a very independent women rely on others for absolutly everything (and I am so much like her, man I need to work on that), I learned a lot about my own heart and what really lies there when it comes to my siblings and stress and I need a lot of work cleaning it up, I learned that in Mike dying I could help my dad as no one else could and in the last 2 days my dad actually listened and wanted to hear it and he was  able to calm down a bit, I relearned the mercies of God that He provides in unexpected ways, and I learned that my mom until the day she died loved her family more than she loved her own life and she wanted to have everything prepared to make it easier (its still hard).  But the biggest lesson was the importance of daily reading of the Bible.  I know its taught and Ive heard it a million times, but.... My mom years ago bought each of us a Daily Bible and before she died she ordered another one for each of us to make sure we still had one.  It was this example that I want to most follow my mom's passionate study of the Bible.  I don't read because Im tired and yet she read and studied when she couldn't move her fingers.  why? she knew the effect of reading and knowing her God.  I want to be focused on that, knowing God, His plan is perfect even when my earthly heart feels otherwise. All my losses and heartaches as the world would call them are just the opposite they are gains.  I gained a better perspective of God and His character going through these last 5 years and while my life is not at all how I dreamed it would be it is the way God wants it and really that is what matters.  So I pray that I would have JOY UNSPEAKABLE and full of glory.  There is joy its found in Christ and not the circumstances but the circumstance all too often are what force us to realize this truth.

first day of summer

well today was the first day of summer and my first day of not working.  so I got up made shakes for armando and I and his lunch, then off to run with a friend who is in very good shape, but I need help to get motivated to workout and get back on track, so I swallowed my pride and asked if she would just meet me and we would go she wouldn't have to keep my pace, but she did and I still almost died longest 4 miles ever and of course the last .2 all up hill (if you've run a marathon you know how long the last .2 mile is) after that I went to the doctor who thankfully gave me good news, then I thought I would stop at the dentist office to make an appointment where they took me in but then the power went out so I have to go back, I hate the dentist so this is like torture.  Anyways the rest of the day I promised myself I was going to get all the things that I hate out of the way so that I can relax later, I thought it would be a good plan, but again its torture.  I began to clean my bedroom.  Its not dirty but has boxes and areas that I had stacked of things I didn't want to go through, mainly because Im not sure what to do with it.  Most of it has to do with Mike, pictures in old frames, I know its just stuff but the human mind has an amazing way of connecting memories and feelings and somehow they feel all to real.  What I did not anticipate was finding things from my mom. An old reciept from Lowes that I didn't even remember her buying for me (in the first year after Mike died I didn't want anything from her, I was angry and unforgiving and pridefull-I was on a quest to prove I didn't need her and that I could do this on my own- how wrong I was and I am glad somewhere in that first year God answered my prayer and softened my hear towards her and although she never appologized I forgave her and let down my guard and let her be my mom) I got through most of it, I still have a box of things that well Im not ready to let go of, its closed and put away and I dont even open it, but somehow it comforts me knowing its there and if I want I can touch the stuff (dumb I know).  It was a low day, I guess I knew it would be, but then there was music (I always clean to music 80s and worship- odd combo I know but sometimes the worship on pandora slows down and makes me sad so a little Bangels picks me right up:)) but 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman came on and reminded me yet again that I have so much to sing about.  God doesn't want me to grieve like the world, but rejoice in His amazing love and salvation for me and mike, and mom and the millions of saints gone before me.  The last verse reminds me of mom and what an example she is to me of how to face the end and still bless the Lord and start her never ending singing- her voice was the last thing to go, but until then she would sing not with an amazing voice but from her heart sometimes it wasn't audible just tears running down her face.   Anyways, today is a new day and as the first verse says whatever has passed and whatever lies ahead I want to be singing when the evening comes! and I do have 10,000 things to sing about! What an amazing God I have.

Bless the lord oh my soul 
 Oh my soul
Worship his holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soulI worship you holy name

The sun comes up Its a new day dawningIts time to sing your song again What ever may pass and whatever lies before meLet me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the lord oh my soulOh my soulWorship his holy nameSing like never before Oh my soulI worshhip your holy name

You're rich in love and you're slow to angerYour name is great and your heart is kind For all your goodness i will keep on singing10,000 reasons for my heart to find

Bless the lord oh my soulOh my soul Worship his holy nameSing like never beforeOh my soul I worship your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failingThe end draws near and my time has comeSoon my soul sing your praise un-ending10,000 years and there forever more

Bless the lord oh my soul Oh my soulWorship his holy nameSing like never beforeOh my soulI worship your holy name

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

adjusting to life

I am trying to adjust to life after mom, after mike, after wedding#2- I have come to the conclusion that you dont really ever come to a point where life is even and doesn't need anymore adjusting.  It is the constant adjustment that makes life, life.  Last night I found myself in a near death situation in yet another all too close car accident.  It yet again was not my turn to go and fortunately I didn't kill my dad or damage anything.  however my body reacted in a way as if I had been hit, tense muscles, shaking legs and arms, heart racing.  And this morning I find myself deep cleaning again with a side of baking.  Some people drink or smoke, I clean.  But I only clean when Im depressed or anxious.  (not surface cleaning, but floorboard in the cracks detail cleaning).  I don't know what it is. maybe its the smell of bleach, maybe Im trying to workout all the emotional energy I can, I haven't figured it out.  I do know that no matter how much time passes the void a person left doesn't go away and another person can never fill it no matter who they are or how much they try to love you.  So today I clean and bake (purple n black cupcakes =go Kings.... too funny that they would make it to the Stanley cup now that Mikes not here to enjoy it and watch with me, Kings games and Cubs games wont ever be the same with anyone else) but life goes on and you adjust your emotions and actions to make it through the day, honoring the memories and trying to make new ones.  In any case Life never turns out how you plan- that would be far less exciting- it God's plan and well I need to adjust my heart to focus more on Him trusting He knows why Im still here wishing I was not.  I know there is a reason and perhaps in my cleaning I will discover a new truth- its happened before.  Im in a place I never thought I would be and trying to adjust so that I can enjoy it as God wants me to.  Life is a gift, but some days are days I wish I could return or regift to a person I think who could handle them better than I have.  But I know tomorow is new and I will be greated with new mercies  in the morining. I hope not to be cleaning but rather singing.