Thursday, December 29, 2016

Waves and Valleys

Don't ask if I am ok. Because I will lie and say, "Oh sure. Fine" and I am not.
I am not ok. I am heart-broken. I am sad. Sometimes I am angry and sometimes just reflective. But please don't ask.  Then I have to think of what to say... and you think "no, you don't". But I do. I do have to think of something to say whether it is to ease the discomfort you feel when asking, or the discomfort you feel, because you think you should ask because it's polite. Or I have to think of something to say because if I don't, you may think I'm ok and I am not.

It comes in waves, the grief. Sometimes just small ones that wash onto my feet, and it is easy enough to walk away and wait for it to recede. Other times, the grief washes completely over me. But I feel it coming so I can brace myself.  And then there are the times that the wave hits me full force just as I turn. It knocks me off my feet and tumbles me through it's tumultuous current over and over until I am able to pull myself back to the safety of the shore gasping for air and praying for it to just go away.

Everything reminds me. There is joy in the memories and then sorrow when the void sears through my soul reminding me it is there. It will always be there, the void. I know there will be days that it will remain deep, not to be felt so strongly. But those days are not here yet.  The void. which when spoken, sounds just as dark as it's actuality, a giant, gaping hole with very raw edges. It will remain with me, unwanted, but becoming part of who I am.

Today I am immersed in a day of reflection, on the verge of tears and just raw.  I woke up today with the full intention of going to a movie with my family, But when it came to it, I could not handle the idea of being around people. Or sitting still that long.  If I am still, I am thinking. At home I can get up and do something to run away from the wave of grief coming over me. I am not ok. But I will be.

Our family is not ok. But we will be. There are no words, and that is ok.

Today I reflect and remember. That is ok. And if it's ok with you, I ask that if I don't answer the phone, or call you back, or "don't show up", that you don't take offense. I am trying to find my way through the valley.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Friends, Sheep and Coffee

I lay awake at night with thoughts running through my head. I try to wrangle them as sheep and get them to jump over the fence for counting. But the sheep thoughts end up bomb-bursting every direction! It has been suggested I write down the thoughts as they come to me, but then sleep would surely be the elusive, lost little lamb that bays in the distance.  Last night was full of sheep and very little sleep.

It has been two years since I moved to Alaska. I have traveled back multiple times to California because our daughters were both still there. Each has used the house for a time.  That is coming to an end.  Youngest is married to a Coastie and they are in Buffalo, NY.  Eldest is married to an airman and will be residing in Oklahoma by Thanksgiving. We left California for a job in Alaska knowing that we did not know where our children would end up. We left California because we had to. We just had to. Those that know us I think understand.

And this is where my thoughts were last night.  Being homesick for friends far away.  And though they may not know this, I think of my friends everyday. The friend who has a new grand-baby, the friend on the verge of graduating her youngest from homeschooling, the friend who has moved because of the military, the friend starting her own business, the friend working 40+ hours a week, the friend who is devastated from betrayal, the friend surviving cancer. The list goes on. I miss them. I love them. 

I had a birthday last week.  This was one of my favorite gifts, from a new friend.  A friend loves at all times, not just when you happen to be able to squeeze in a coffee date.  But all the time, even from Alaska!  I hope my friends know I love them!

"A friend loves at all times."
Proverbs 17:17

Saturday, January 9, 2016

To Start is to Begin

So much has been going through my brain, through my heart and through my time. I go to sleep at night and think about events of the day and then I think, "I really need to start blogging again, but where do I start? How long has it been since I last posted anything?" And then I see it has been a very long time! Not that anyone but myself has noticed.

My last post was "I live in Alaska". And, I still do. This is a good thing. I have discovered that I love it here...most of the time. I also discovered that I prefer winters here, though as of today we do not have any snow in our yard. The lake is frozen to about 18 inches deep. And right now with the absence of snow, I am allowed to marvel at the formations in the ice, on the ice, and the cracks that appear daily. It's a little like life.

As typical human beings we all have cracks, fissures, fractures. We prefer these didn't show so we try to cover with crystalline, shimmery, pure white snow that lacks footprint or flaw. I know I prefer others saw only the pretty side of me, no cracks, no flaws. But as someone who wears her heart on her well insulated sleeve, my cracks show and sometimes splinter into smaller cracks, and unfortunately, not only splinter but burst into an all out fracture! And I pray for snow! I pray for a full covering of pure, white, shimmering, bursting with light snow! And by God's grace, I am covered in snow!
large crack in the ice of our lake

Snow is finicky. It gets pushed around by the wind, melted by the warmth of the sun, compresses under pressure. As it is with us. God allows us to crack, be blown about by the wind, let the footprints show in our covering.  And it is usually when those cracks that remain beneath start to show again, that we are reminded of our need for Grace. God again covers us in Grace to make us anew, like the fresh fallen snow on a sunny day. Our beauty remains in our flaws, the footprints in our snow, the cracks, the fissures. And grace remains in Him. And if we learn to see our own beautiful  cracks beneath the snow, we learn to see the beauty in others. And we learn to give others grace.

If you ever have a chance to walk on a frozen lake, not covered in snow, take it! Do not watch where you are going. Look where you are walking! Look at the details. Look at the light.
It is the cracks and fractures, and fissures and branchings out that make the ice something to marvel at. But it is also the light that is reflected from the frozen that will take your breath away.
Grace. With all our flaws, we can still reflect the love and beauty of our Creator.
Reflections of tonight's sunset