Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23

This is the verse at the top of my reading today out of, "Streams in the Dessert". I want to quote some of it. I had just sent an email today to some friends, expressing my desire to want to trust God with my dad's death. I was saying that it was a process for me, and the process feels long, especially when I look into my precious mom's eyes and see how very sad she is. Here's my reading....

The "everything" mentioned here does not always come simply by asking, because God is always seeking to teach you the way of faith. Your training for a life of faith requires many areas of learning, including the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, and the courage of faith. Often you will pass through many stages before you finally realize the result of faith - namely, the victory of faith.

Genuine moral fiber is developed by enduring the discipline of faith. When you have made your request to God, and the answer still has not come, what are you to do? Keep on believing His Word! Never be swayed from it by what you may see or feel. Then as you stand firm, your power and experience is being developed, strengthened, and deepened. When you remain unswayed form your stance of faith, even in view of supposed contradictions to God's Word, you grow stronger on every front.

God will often purposely delay in giving you His answer, and in fact the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfillment when it comes. He worked this way in the lives of all the great Bible characters, Abraham, Mosses, and Elijah were not great in the beginning but made great through the discipline of their faith. Only through that discipline were they then equipped for the work to which God had called them.

The discipline of faith...this just put things into perspective for me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My boy's 13...

The Davester was putting on a puppet show tonight for the girls. He was behind the couch, talking away and making up stories. As he was introducing his characters, he brought up a donkey. He said the donkey's name was Bob. As he was talking away, Caleb blurted out, "No, the donkey's name is Jack."

How do you not laugh at that?

He's so naughty.

No wonder...

It just hit me today, if it's true that you become best friends with your parents after you are an adult, then I just lost one of my best friends. Not only my Dad, but my best friend. No wonder I'm in such a funk.

I was reading through my grief books yesterday. The author was talking about why well intentioned comments can be so painful. He said, when somebody is trying to comfort you, and it comes out wrong, it feels as though they are taking your grief away from you. I had one of those "aha" moments. Yes! That's it! The majority of us are uncomfortable with grief, and when we see someone that we care about in pain, we want to fix it! We want to make them all better. The reality is, we can't take it away. In God's timing, and with His healing will be turned into something beautiful. For the moment, it just hurts. And it should. My Dad is worth missing. He was such a part of our lives. And always will be.

For the record, when I've felt the most comforted is when my best friends just hug me. They don't ask how I am. They can see it in my eyes. They don't say a word. I hope I can extend that to others when it's time to comfort somebody else.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Bethany is now using the bathroom all by herself, the flush, the handwashing, all of it. This is a big deal of independence in our home. At school, they taught her to rub the palms of her hands together as she washes them under water and to prompt her, they say, "Make a snake." I thought that was so clever. So the other day, as she was washing her hands, she wasn't rubbing them together. So, I said, "Make a snake!"

In her low voice she said matter of factly, "It doesn't work."

My literal baby...cracked me up.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Duct not Duck

I had a good day today...wanna know why? The duct work guys came today and vacuumed out all of my cruddy nasty dust in my duct work. I had a hard time saying "duct" on the phone today..sounded like duck. Anyway..all winter, when the furnace would kick in, we'd have that smell of burned dust, all winter..yes you read that right. Not just when we initally turned the thing on. All winter.'s clean..and it's spurned other cleaning and organizing. Call it cleaning therapy, whatever. It just felt good to control something..even if it was just dust.

No yard work yet, though.

Kelli...wanna trade? I'll organize, spring clean, and you can do flower beds in Afton.

Deal or no deal?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just for fun...

I have a two year old. If you've gotten my answering'll hear her sreaming in the backround. We affectionately call her the "screamer".

Last week I took her to County Market. She screamed because she didn't get one of those truck carts. They were all gone. You can imagine her reaction when we would turn a corner and see a mom with a young child in a truck cart and she didn't have one. Kicking and screaming like you wouldn't believe. If you're ever at Target, Walmart or County Market and you hear a screaming child, it's probably mine. We rarely get through a store without something tripping her off. I refuse to leave her home. Shopping is necessary and so far, God has helped me to remain calm and just go about my business and ignore all the staring people.

Well, today I thought we had hit the jackpot! Screamer had a truck cart! You should've seen her clapping with joy as she loaded herself in behind the black sticky wheel. She turned corners and did all kinds of amazing things in her truck cart. For the first time in months, we made it through a whole shopping trip with no screaming. Or so I thought.

As we inched towards the check out counter I heard the familiar sound. "NOOOOOOO! TWO MORE MINUTES!!!" Followed by screams. she was mad because her truck cart experience was coming to an end. I managed to pay for my groceries, bag them up, guessed it..she was still screaming.

As I was loading my kicking and screaming toddler into the truck and pushing her into her car seat..I just laughed. I can't wait to tell these stories to her children. Maybe she'll be blessed with a screamer, too. And if I'm really mean, I'll say the dreaded pat comment, "Oh, honey. Enjoy them while they're young. It goes by so fast."

And that's a bad thing?


Things not to say to a recent widow:

1. Don't grab her hands in your hands and say, "Oh, every day it is just going to get easier. And in a few months, you will wake up and will forget that this all happened." Especially if you are only in your mid 30' and have

2. "I'm a widow, too. It's been seven years and you know, each day doesn't get better. It's harder now than before. I miss him more every day."

3. At least you'll have a great reunion in heaven.

4. Pretty much omit any sentence that begins with "At least" or "Just be thankful" or, "I know how you feel" (especially if you're not a widower yourself).

5. "How are you doing?" while standing in the church foyer. How do you think she's doing? Barely holding herself in one piece. Rather, you could say, "Good to see you." "Praying for you." Hug them and whisper in their ear that you love them. Pretty much delete the whole phrase of "How are you", please. Culture shift....please.

6. And by all means...this is the absolute worst thing...please, please, don't freely share any cancer stories with her or other death related stories. She's living her own cancer nightmare at the moment, why in the world would she want to enter into someone else's nightmare? It's like when you're pregnant with your first baby and every other mother has to tell you her birthing story and how terrible it was. This is cruel to say the least.

Yes, my mother has lived through all of these statements and many more. Well intentioned stabs. Thus, the title. W.I.S.

Monday, May 5, 2008

In Between..

I'm somewhere between affliction and joy. Just read a great chapter in Piper's book, "Suffering and the Sovereignty of God". It's a collection of chapters from several authors. Not sure who I just read, but it was from a man who lost his baby son to premature death. He said sometimes when we are in pain, we don't feel the presence of God. And that doesn't mean that He's not there. When we're in between the suffering and the joy that comes after long nights of weeping, we often don't feel God's presence. He quoted Psalms 88, perhaps one of the saddest Psalms that has been written. And it doesn't end in hope. It ends in laments. He also said that in this culture, after about a week, we expect the mourner to get back to life as usual. As westerners, we are uncomfortable with grief, and we want to quickly fix it, or hide it from others. And when we see others grieve, we want to quickly assure them of the hope that they have in God for fear that they have forgotten.

It is normal to not feel God's presence when we are in the thick of grief. It is normal to not feel like praying and when you read the Bible, it often seems dormant. The pain is too great at times. But be assured, God is in the dark pit with us. His promises are true, even if it feels like He has left the building.

That's what it feels like. My heart is heavy and burdened and it took all the strength that I could muster (and with God's help) to just give the welcome last night at Latte. I didn't want to be there, didn't want to be around people and pretend that I was fine. So, I wore my dad's favorite color, yellow, with hope that it would help. In the end, it was just a shirt. God went before me, loved me through many sisters in Christ and I made it.

I was encouraged by the chapter I read tonight. And if I can think about it in spiritual terms, God put that chapter in my hands right when I needed it. My head knows He's here, and soon, my hope is, my heart will as well.