Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Hopes And Dreams

Deep, restful sleep was not an option that was available to me last night. I very foolishly consumed too much caffeine while visiting with a friend in my home and paid the price with a fitful night's sleep. How unwise of me! Anyone who struggles with sleeplessness or intermittent wakefulness knows how annoying it can be.

I finally fell asleep at dawn and woke suddenly, sobbing my heart out! I have dreamed about Buck on several occasions, but he was in the distance and unaware of my presence. This dream was especially powerful and devastating because it involved three of my senses. My Bofren was at the bottom of a stairway as I looked down at him. He was busy doing something when I called out, "Honey, please come here" to get his attention. Unlike previous dreams, he stopped what he was doing and came toward me. I sobbed as he climbed the stairs and opened his strong arms to embrace me. As we held each other, I couldn't speak and he spoke softly with words of comfort as I wept in his arms! I can't recall any of his words, only his tone of love and kindness. To see him face to face, to hear his voice and to be wrapped up in one of his famous, warm hugs again was pure bliss, if only for that moment in my heart of dreams!

Waking to reality was almost too much to bear and the ugly cry returns again as I share my story! Just when I think the roller coaster of emotions is settling down; new waves of grief show up again! I suppose it's not time yet, for the word predictable to be part of my vocabulary. Recently, I told my daughter, Sarah, that I thought the worst was over. That was the third time I remember making that statement, each time with a heart full of optimism. Clearly, that is not safe to say (yet)! Perhaps, I should know by now that these waves will come on occasion and it doesn't mean I have lost any ground. Rather, just a spot where I needed to pass through another valley on the way to the mountaintop. The Lord will help me to regroup, refocus and move forward again! I know that we can all survive our own personal ups and downs if we are trusting the Lord to walk with us and show us the way.

So what about my hopes? The new year has kindled a desire to keep moving as I remember my sweetheart; to enjoy the present and utilize the creative gifts God has given me. I think I can best honor my husband, by focusing on becoming the woman God created me to be. I still have many loose ends to take care of, but the Lord has provided His people: the Body of Christ, to help me when I don't know how or where to begin! I praise God and thank Him for the way He is taking such good care of me through my family and His people!

Steven Curtis Chapman has always been one of my favorite Christian musicians. I especially relate to his music since he lost his young daughter in a tragic accident. I hope you will enjoy the video I have attached. It is a wonderful live for today song: "There's a wonder in the here and now. It's right there in front of you. And I don't want you to miss the miracle of the moment."

I'm feeling better now and more encouraged, having just passed through another dark place. The Lord provided a beautiful sunset to comfort me and soothe my spirit. I believe in my heart that this is going to be a better year as the Lord and I continue on our tandem journey!

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year FOCUS

After a quiet New Year's Eve, spent in solitude, I couldn't sleep when I turned out my light in the early hours of the brand new year. My heart and mind couldn't help but relive the event that changed our lives forever at the same time two years ago. I soaked my pillow again as I reminisced about Buck's public proclamation of love for me during a party being held in the home of some dear friends. It was easy to recall how cold it felt as Buck stopped the car and got out to observe the wounded deer and his frustration because he had no means to put it out of it's misery.  Every detail of this unexpected medical emergency came flooding back and my heart pounded as I found myself in the emergency room in York Hospital with the love of my life, once more! I could hear the excited expectation in Buck's voice as he asked the ER doctor: "Is there any chance that I'll get to meet Jesus tonight?"

It was a sleepless and emotional night as my heart and mind replayed the beginning of this segment of our journey. Of course, it was no surprise to begin the new year this way. I wept again when I woke and read my daily devotional: God Calling. The words of encouragement jumped off of the page and communicated to my weary heart, the words of godly wisdom and love I needed to hear.
January 1 ~ Between The Years

I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come - the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness.  Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorrow and disappointment.

Dwell not on the past, only the present. Store only the blessings from Me, the Light of the World. Encourage yourselves by the thought of these.

Bury every fear of the future, of poverty for those dear to you, of suffering, of loss. Bury... your disappointment in others and in yourself, your gloom, your despondency, and let us leave them all, buried, and go forward to a new and risen life.

Remember that you must not see as the world sees. I hold the year in My Hands - in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.

Leave the rest with Me. You must not anticipate the gift by fears or thoughts of the days ahead.

And for each day I shall supply the wisdom and the strength.
These wonderful truths hold true for all of us who have faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. I thanked God for the powerful words that filled me with new hope, courage and comfort.

As I traveled to attend a party on New Year's Day, I started thinking about the joy I get from taking pictures with my digital camera. In thinking about the words of encouragement to dwell "only on the present", the word focus came to mind.  It occurred to me that as I take pictures, I can only focus on the present...that moment I hope to capture. I can't take a photo of the past or the future...only the present.

I pondered these thoughts as I drove and decided that focus was going to be a powerful word for me this year.  As these ideas bounced around in my heart, I heard a song on the radio, sung by a favorite Christian musician: Steven Curtis Chapman. It was the first time I ever heard, Beauty Will Rise and it touched me deeply!
What will I focus on? What will you focus on this year?

                                  New year to focus
                            On what lies ahead of me
                                 My tandem journey

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas Reflections

Crepes With The Fam On Christmas Morning
Kyrie, Sarah, Justin, Colin and Bob

I just returned a few days ago, after being away from home since Christmas Eve. It was a very pleasant but exhausting eleven days filled with family and friends. I stayed with my daughter, Sarah, and her family. I am very blessed to have the freedom to spend such quality time with my loved ones! My three grandchildren, ages: fourteen, five and two, provided lots of entertainment, distraction and loving attention. Sarah and my son-in-law, Bob, always make me feel more than welcome and very much loved when I am in their home.This was needful as I encountered my second holiday season without my sweetheart. It proved to be an emotional time on many occasions, usually hitting me most powerfully upon waking. One morning when I came to the table for breakfast, Sarah told me that I looked like a had a black eye because my eyelid was swollen. Thankfully, a few minutes with an ice cube restored normalcy.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am not a Christmas enthusiast. Although I enjoy my family time, I am not ashamed to confess that I am thankful when this hectic, stressful, exhausting season is behind us once again! However, it was better than years past, because I intentionally purposed to do things differently this year, making simplicity my goal . Breaking tradition and not putting up a tree this year turned out to be a wise decision and helped me to conserve my energy to do more enjoyable things like baking, which didn’t deplete me emotionally and provided some home-made gifts. I have to say that I even enjoyed the Christmas music this year, thanks to the wide variety that was played on my favorite radio station: WJTL.
Kryie Got Her Own Wheels For Christmas!

Although  I broke tradition this year, Sarah put lots of thought and effort into creating new ones. It was a blessing to attend a Christmas Eve service with Sarah and family in a very unique setting.  A new church that will be launched in March had their kick off service at Ripken Stadium, Aberdeen, Md. (indoors, of course) of all places! Epic Community Church had a great turn out for their very first gathering! It was a blessing to worship with my family! I am hopeful that it will become a new Christmas Eve tradition.

Colin Discovers His Bag Of "Coal"

Kyrie Loved Her Tinkerbell!
It was wonderful to wake up Christmas morning and share in all the excitement. It's always fun to watch the little ones open their presents and it was especially delightful to see five year old, Colin's face, when the first thing he pulled out of his stocking was a little bag of (candy) coal! He was very excited about his spy gear complete with night vision goggles with blue head lights and his bow tie! Sarah and Bob sent my 14 year old grandson, Justin, on a clue-filled scavenger hunt to locate his gift of a new woodworking workshop in their basement!  Tinkerbell and a tricycle were a big hit with two year old Kyrstin. These were just a small sample of the many gifts they received.
Colin Sporting His Cool Spy Gear!
We made lots of memories this Christmas season and many were captured in our photos. Sarah and I love to take lots of pictures and have so much fun with our digital cameras! Sarah and Bob gave me a digital picture frame loaded with a collection (theirs and mine) that represented a year’s worth of their best and favorite photos, starting with Christmas 2009 and included all the family events throughout the year. Watching the slide show that Sarah and Bob put together for all of us grandparents was one of the best gifts I have ever received! I so appreciate all the thought and time that was invested to provide such a precious gift! I will look forward to future slide shows with great anticipation! I know this wonderful gift will provide many smiles and will lift my spirits whenever the need arises!
Justin Checking Out His Awesome Workshop!

 Although it was often emotional and exhausting; looking back, I am able to say that this was a very Merry Christmas, thanks to all the activities, memory making and love that I experienced throughout my family and friend time. I hope yours was happy and memorable as well! Happy New Year  to all of you!