Tag Archive | hope

Exotic Places to Live

As she approached I remembered her daughter had lived in Asia.  Probably prompted by my daughter’s potential adventure.  I asked how her daughter was doing.  She brightened and answered, “Oh she’s doing great!  She’s married and lives in Seattle now.  Now my son lives in Amsterdam and I got to visit him.”

It wasn’t one-upmanship, really.  The thought strolled into my mind unbidden and unspoken.  Filling my heart with joy.  “My son lives in heaven and when I go to see him it will be to stay.”

 

Heavenly Moment

Early morning,

Barely awake,

Stunning realization,

Mental inventory;

Head, right foot,

Low back, left shoulder,

Hands, fingers, joints,

Nothing hurt.

I felt absolutely,

No pain.

New Year’s Resurrection

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It’s the beginning of January and I’ve read the happy, peppy posts filled with high hopes for great things in the New Year and I confess, I’m not feelin’ it.  I look around at the half put away Christmas decorations, particularly the once fresh floral bouquet that now looks like the ghost of Christmas present at the end of the day – and that is what I’m feeling.  I can’t quite get up to speed with the New Year optimism.

I’ve traded the pressure of December expectations for the pressure of New Year’s pursuit of perfection.  I have made my resolutions – only 5 of them – but each with a subset of mini-goals and each requiring varying degrees of self control, which when taken all together seems monumental.  Perhaps it’s the grey skies no longer brightened by twinkling lights, or the reality of back to work on Monday, or the raging sugar-withdrawal-induced headache, but I’m just a little slow in the get-all-excited-for-a-new-year department.  Maybe I need to get one of those Happy Lights I saw at Costco – but that would blow one of my resolutions.

I am remembering a country song lyric which said, “if we can make it through December, everything’s gonna be alright I know.  It’s the hardest part of winter and I shiver as I watch the fallin’ snow.”   Where I live January is often colder than December and February can seem like the longest month of the year.  March indeed comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.   By April the New Year’s resurrection has begun and the little crocus pop up and reach for the warmth of frosty sun.

Bit by bit I’ll get my Christmas décor put away (before going back to work on Monday).  I’ll develop a new habit of using those cloth bags at the grocery store and do my part to eliminate global warming.  I’ll enjoy the grocery store since that’s the only one I plan to visit for a long while as I save for a car.  I’ll gradually reduce the clutter in my closets and write for a few minutes each day.  And of course, by my birthday in late March I will enjoy my new svelte self  and the discovery of a new wardrobe that already hangs in my closet.

By far my most challenging goal, one that is renewed year-by-year is to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  To believe the best of others and myself.  To expect the best, because we often get what we expect.  When my hope seems buried under the weight of yet unachieved goals or unforeseen circumstances this truth will lift me up —

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” Ps. 31:24

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

 

A Far Greater Part of Our Future Than of Our Past

Remember Me (2)

 

There are times when an ordinary day becomes tremendously significant and profound comfort comes from a most unlikely place.

Seventeen years ago it was a crisp, beautiful Saturday like today.  My husband was at his regular early morning tennis match, my soon to be 9-year old daughter was nestled comfortably in her bed.  I  was excited about the day.   On the kitchen counter was a decorated birthday cake prepared the night before for my daughter’s birthday party to be held at the local swimming pool that afternoon.  On the table were  the preparations for a morning baby shower to celebrate my sister’s 10-day old son.  The plan of the day was fun, life affirming celebrations!  But nothing went according to my plan.

Something was horribly wrong.  My quiet, well-planned morning quickly became paramedics pounding on my door, my pajama-clad daughter being shuttled by strangers to the next-door neighbor and an ambulance transport to the hospital for an emergency C-section.  There would be no sibling rivalry, no dad coaching his son’s little league team, no cousins playing and growing together.  No 17-year-old son doing whatever they do regarding their mom.

JaredA couple of months ago, before she returned to college, one of the things my daughter wanted to do as a family was visit her brother’s gravesite.  In our little somewhat yearly ritual we look at the gravestone, clear off grass and any other debris and think about what might have been and what might be.  We look at the other grave markers and take note of the dates and the families and allow a little stab of pain to enter our hearts as we see new markers have been added and know the pain others have experienced.  This time though, a phrase on one of the markers caught our attention and spoke profoundly to our hearts.

Future Hope (2)

We pondered that last phrase and considered the truth of it.  He is a far greater part of our future than he is of our past.  The pain of the past, the emptiness of the present is nothing compared to the joy and gladness we will know in the future.  We grasp at straws to extract as much meaning as we can from the seven months and nine short hours that our Jared lived with us on earth.  Throughout each passing year we remember at odd and sometimes unexpected times this person that we did not have the opportunity to get to know and wonder, as the Kenney Chestney song says, “Who You’d Be Today.”   But our eternal future stretches unendingly before us filled with promise and hope.  A hope that we are assured will not make us ashamed or disappoint us.  A hope that serves as the anchor of the soul.  And he’ll be there.

We miss the good that we imagine would have accompanied Jared’s life with us here.  But this world is filled with pitfalls, and I have spent sleepless hours praying for my daughter, concerned about her well being, wondering about her future. I admit, I have not had one anxious thought about my son’s well-being.  I have not said one prayer for his safety or his future.  I have perfect assurance that he is in good hands and immune to the dangers of this mortal life.  His mortal has already put on immortality.

Parents want their children to be remembered.

Parents want their children to be remembered.

This grave marker also struck me because the parents put “Remember Me” at the top of it.

That was such a large part of my grief, thinking no one would remember my child.  How could they?  They wouldn’t even know he existed.  That is why I chose “Zachary” for his middle name.  Zachary means God remembers.  That is why I wrote a book of poetry expressing my grief and God’s comfort following our loss and called it “God Remembers.”

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I am grateful for these other families and their silent encouragement to me – left on the markers remembering their child’s short life.

It was a blessing that day to be reminded that my eternal future is a much larger part of me than this earthly existence.  And that my son is a far greater part of my future than he is of my past.

 

The Good Life?

Ahh, the Beautiful People
Living on the pinnacle of dreams
The good life isn’t always as it seems
They are all too human after all
Not the god-like beings standing tall
In the glow of all this world esteems

Ahh, the Powerful People
By all the man-made standards they excel
With genius, beauty, strength they do compel
But these must all diminish over time
None occupies for long the heights sublime
Just one prevailed against the gates of hell

Ahh, the Brilliant People
More wise in their own eyes than simple truth
They cling to their ideas and their own proof
By their own good works they choose to stand
Not humbled beneath God’s almighty hand
But will they stand the test of faded youth?

Ahh, the Pitiful People
With wealth of grace they lack and suffer loss
Their fortunes, fame, intelligence – but dross
Martyrs to their faith they can’t find hope
In power, prowess, people, pot or pope
Stumbled by level ground at the foot of the cross

 

“Thus saith the LORD, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness, in the earth:  for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”    Jeremiah 9:23-24  The Holy Bible, Old Testament

 

 

What the World Needs

This was an interesting collaborative poetry prompt from writingwingsforyou.com. This is the first time I’ve participated in something like that. It is fun to think on this subject and also to see the thoughts of others and the way they expressed them.

What the World Needs

Courage and a cheerful smile,
Kind hearts that go the extra mile.

Beauty in the human heart,
Reflected in our work and art.

Vision to prize higher goals,
Love purity and long lost souls.

Minds that will meet you more than half,
A good old-fashioned belly laugh.

Hope when we hang on the edge of a funnel,
Light at the end of the darkest tunnel.

The helping hand to pull us out,
Forgive, restore, remove our doubt.

Triumphal music of the spheres
That melts away the hurtful years,

Courage to conquer Giant Despair,
And reflect God’s goodness everywhere.