Saturday, February 22, 2014

20 is a few. Really.

Is there ever really "good" grief?  We have all grown up reading it being said from the bald, round-headed, yellow-and-black-chevron-shirt-wearing Charlie Brown.  (and why doesn't he have any hair except the swirl in the front?  I've always wondered, but love him anyway)

In college, I took a course called "Death and Dying," thinking it'd provide valuable information that would be very useful in my career choice.  That has proved true, no doubt, and although the title of the course didn't seem fascinating, it was an amazing class.  We spent time learning all sorts of things, including the stages of grief.  

Fast forward a few years to today.   Remember, 20 is "a few".    Really.  
Now, in this very place I've written about how there are friends of mine that are walking roads of grief after the loss of a loved one that I cannot fathom.   That still holds very true.  However, dealing with grief not associated with physical death is very real.   No news to anyone, I realize.  

This week a dear friend and I were conversing.   She, much like Chad, suffers from physical pain and lives in a body that doesn't want to cooperate.   Growing up, she was a very gifted runner, and won many, many track medals.  Today, her body fights regular everyday movements with a vengeance.  She grieves. 

A few times over the last number of years(more in the last couple of weeks), Chad and I have had similar conversations.  The soccer star...the hard worker that would never quit a job until it was done to exceed expectations..the firefighter that actually did carry people---strangers--out of burning buildings and twisted car frames.  The man is still here with the desire to push himself, and he's trapped in a body that fights itself to even move(although the man can at times put up a fantastic front).  And his body is fighting against him more and more every day.

That makes him grieve.   
Me, too.

How do you put "good" and "grief" together?  Life's not really turning out the way I thought it would.  (but does anyone's, really?)
It is turning out how God sees fit.  To put the "good" and "grief" together, I will continue to trust that He's working things together for good like He's promised. (Romans 8:28) One day we will know.  

This has been on my mind a lot lately & without realizing it, these were two pics posted this week.  
Dressing in the firefighter's bunker gear, &

The soccer star.

This will be good grief.  But I'd rather just have the good, thank you.  ;)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

When most of the laundry piles are clean

This up and down business in life is crazy.   Kind of like this winter weather that's grasped almost the entire nation. You know, where it's 70 and sunny one day and two days later there's ice all over the roads?   In life it's happy-hunky-dory-butterflies-and-rainbows one day and what's-the-deal-when-is-Jesus-coming-back the next.

Imagine this: you are 13, in a very defensive basketball game.  Your team is down by two and it's almost half.  You get the ball with 2 seconds left, you're at half-court.  You shoot and the ball goes in without a bobble on the rim.(click here to see it!)  At half time, your team is now ahead by one because of that shot.  A few games later, still on the high of the above mentioned shot, you miss an open lay up. 
This is a story of my boy, the ups and downs of a middle school basketball player.

As his momma, encouraging words flow pretty regularly.  The "Get back up and try again!" when things are not going right.  The "Atta' boy!" when things are going great.  My love for him never changes or falters or leaves. 

Somehow this was relevant and made a connection lately:

When the kids are happy and healthy,
When it's cloudy and cold and dreary,
When Chad can't get out of bed or off the couch,
When our family gets a night at home and has game & movie night,
When straight A's come home,
When there's the feeling I'm much more of a caregiver than a wife,
When our friends hurt at the diagnosis of a lifetime of struggles for their daughter,
When I see joy and elation in my son's eyes,
Or when I see frustration settling in,
Hearing giggles from my daughters,
Spending precious time and hundreds of dollars at the pharmacy,
When most of the laundry piles are clean...

I will praise. 
My hallelujahs may be broken or whole, but they will be there.
Because my God loves me.  He is there with love that will never change or falter or leave.
I'm not saying I never shake my fist at God, with questions of why He feels so far away or why my questions aren't answered the way I want them to be. 

"I'm absolutely convinced that nothing--nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable--absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love..."-Romans 8:38-39


"I've seen joy and I've seen pain
On my knees, I call Your name
Here's my broken hallelujah..." ~ the afters