Peace in the midst of Change…

Tender. Unexpected.  Surreal.  Complicated.  Quiet.  Beautiful.  Lonely.  Joyful.

 

These are just a few words that describe the last couple of weeks.  Often my heart is bombarded with different emotions all at one time..And as this school year comes to a close and summer is upon us I struggle to find peace in all the change!

Change Is good…Not always easy…

I imagine I’m not the only one trying to put one foot in front of the other these days.  Just the end of a school year can nearly get the best of me….not so much because of a busy schedule, but the abrupt change in events and routine.  I get used to our everyday schedule and the people we see etc.  My heart ‘adjusts’ to doing life without Warren (whatever that may look like) and then, just like that, I have to start all over again..situating my heart to face another season without him.

*Maybe for you its kids changing schools or leaving home for college, weddings, new job, marriage….. All of these things can steal our peace, if we let it.

Change is good, but change means facing new days and new “seasons”.  Missing the “old” and wishing for the way things used to be…

For me, with summer around the corner, I have to face all the what if’s, what should be, and even the memories of summers past that will never be again.

Our Last Trip to the Beach….

I was driving in the car the other day and was reminded of the summer (2014) when we all piled in the car and headed to Florida right after school was out.  I remember we met Bill for lunch at a Bar B Q place near his office.  He was having to go for business and we decided to take advantage of the trip and make it a family vacation.  We were so excited to tell them!  After we left lunch we went straight to shop for beach necessities!  We bought way too much…things we probably didn’t need!  I can close my eyes and remember the smallest details like how excited Warren and Grace were to be spontaneously getting ready for a trip to the beach!!

This memory… as wonderful as it is…causes a hurt deep within me that I can’t even explain.  Never in a million years would I have thought that beach trip would be our last together with Warren.  I miss everything about it..the sand & the sun, the yellow umbrellas, sunscreen, Warren’s blue surf board, riding Go Carts and playing put-put golf in the blazing heat!…..I love this memory and I am so glad to be at a place emotionally to ‘remember’ it, but there is a tug-o-war that happens as I allow the details to to flood my heart and mind…I’m filled with both the sweetness of the memory and the harsh reality that Warren is gone.

Summer 2014
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort…Miramar Beach
After a terrible sunburn one summer , he would always voluntarily put sunscreen on!

Summer 2014

Summer 2014

 

IMG_0010

There is a line from one of our favorite new songs ….

“Every seed, buried in sorrow  You will call forth in it’s time

You are Lord, Lord of the harvest  Calling our hope now to arise” 

There Is A Cloud by Elevation Worship)

What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.. (I Corinthians 15:36)

What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in GLORY.  It is sown in weakness, it is raised in POWER.  It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  (1 Cor. 15:42-44)

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24)


I must surrender every single day to how I thought things would be…how I think things should be.  I must fall to my knees… and like that seed, die! Die to self, not my will but His….AND……. in that surrender, He strengthens me to RISE UP in Glory and Power!!  

In the surrender I find His unexplainable PEACE!


“And with great anticipation we await the Promise to come

Everything that You have spoken will come to pass, let it be done

Oh, it shall be done!!!!!

Every dream, every word, every Promise.

We shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52)

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be STEADFAST, IMMOVEABLE, always ABOUNDING in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15:58)

 

Easter 2017

This Easter was a JOYFUL occasion!!  We got to celebrate our precious nephew Tatum’s new life in Christ through baptism.

IMG_0660

 

Mother’s Day 2017

Mother's Day 2017
Grace (14)

Mother's Day 2017

Blessed to hear this amazing couple’s testimony.  If you don’t know their story..GO! Check it out!!!! – Jay & Katherine Wolf   HOPE HEALS   What an encouragement they are!!

8th Grade Dance

Precious, beautiful Grace.  I love her MORE!!!  What a fun evening celebrating the end of Middle School.

This was one of those “moments” that our hearts were trying to juggle great joy and great sadness…We can’t celebrate this wonderful event without remembering that this was the first event after Warren died that his friends and classmates attended without him. It was heart breaking 2 years ago, and it was difficult this year, as Grace is now creating new memories that Warren did not….his absence was loud, and yet HIS Presence brought unexplainable peace and comfort..and even Joy!

8th Grade Dance 2017
8th Grade Dance…..

8th Grade Dance 20178th Grade Dance 2017

Think on these things…

It’s easy to get lost in the onslaught of emotions… Especially in the midst of change and uncertainty.  During these times I have to remind myself I have a choice.  I can focus my attention on the circumstances surrounding me, or I can choose to put those “eternal lenses” back on and fix my eyes on the One I trust most, the One who can bring me out of the “crazy” and into pleasant places…Quiet places where my soul can find rest. (Psalm 16:6)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:6-8)

Living With Brokenness For 827 Days…

How I wish things could be…

Living with brokenness for 827 days, 118 weeks, 27 months is challenging and time consuming.  It’s exhausting.  Missing Warren and wishing I could go back…Wondering how I can possibly do this for another day or week, much less another 800 days.

I want to hear his voice, I want to feel his arm around me, I want to smell his “scent”.  I want him to be here for Grace.  I want him to give her advice about high school, boys, and all the other things her big brother  would do.  I don’t want her to be an only child, wishing for her brother to still be here.  I don’t want the “handshake” they had together to be something she now does in the air…alone.  I hate when she goes down the street to shoot hoops all by herself.

I want Bill to have his son.  I don’t want Bill left alone at the house while Grace and I do cheer.  I want them hunting together or playing baseball.  I want Bill to be having grown up, mature conversations with his boy about driving and dating and college.  I don’t want Bill getting ready for baseball season…alone, without Warren.

I wish I was posting a picture of him and a date at the formal from last weekend or getting ready for the Sweet 16 dance.

I struggle with the realization that Grace has now passed him in age.  Her older brother is now younger than she is.  It’s like all of a sudden we have no frame of reference.  Everything is new for us…graduating 8th grade, high school, driving.  It’s weird and hard to explain.

On one hand it’s like we are leaving him behind.  As we leave middle school and the memories of the last couple years behind, I feel like we leave a part of us as well.  Although going back was so difficult after Warren died..it’s all we’ve known and it almost brings me comfort to be where he last was..A new school, means new memories that don’t include him.

IMG_0581

“various trials”

As time keeps ticking and we wake to face another day..we are forced to face many other life issues…

We are not immune to life’s other “various trials”.

I remember thinking right after Warren died that surely we would get a “break”…We did not, and have not.  I could list major obstacles and challenges that have come our way just in the last 6 months.  Parenting and marriage is hard when operating from a very broken place.  Juggling time and responsibilities bring stress and sleepless nights.

In the beginning we gave ourselves a bit of a break, knowing people would understand (or hoping they would)…But now, it’s just different

I don’t know if the statement “Time Heals” is accurate, but “Life Goes On” certainly is!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Not the Only One With Stuff…

I have found myself on my knees praying and asking God to “please help us”!  That may sound a bit dramatic, but the truth is I can’t face any of this alone.  Not the “normal” stuff, not the hurt, not being a mother, not being a wife…and on and on!

In my weakness, the above paragraphs of “how I wish things could be”…would always take over and despair would set in (and believe me it happens)

But as I have cried and worked through some things..I also know I’m not the only one with “STUFF”

I’ve been reading and following Katherine and Jay Wolf and reading their book Hope Heals.  www.hopeheals.com 

Katherine suffered a massive brain stem stroke and lives with many physical disabilities.  She is paralyzed on 1/2 her body and is in a wheelchair.

Even in her own suffering she realizes… just because you’re not in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you don’t face seasons of life where you feel stuck or paralyzed with no way out…

Oh, how often life has not turned out the way we planned.

All of our suffering is unique and cannot be compared..However, no matter the specifics of our circumstances there is only one answerone hope and that is Jesus.  We all might journey differently to land here, but no matter your hurt, or fear, or the unbearable situation you face….there is ONE Hope, One salvation, One Jesus and He cares about YOU and me!

So, as I scrolled through Instagram earlier and saw a precious newborn facing certain challenges his sweet momma never dreamed they would …I am reminded of the one thing that most often connects us ~ our pain and brokenness.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.  (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Why are you downcast O my soul and why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God.  For I shall again praise Him.  He is my help and my God. (Psalm 42:5,11 43:5)