Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wall of Sand

This past week I gave up my wall of busyness and succumbed to a wall of sand. A wall that would crumble at the slightest touch...I stopped completely, I burrowed into the sand, afraid to move for fear of it falling in around me. I gave myself a time frame and am both thrilled and horrified that it is now over. The problem is I am simply not sure what to do next.

I am person who values honesty more than anything, you may hurt my feelings for a moment or two but that is ok, just be honest and we can work through it....I hate being surprised more than just about anything and the blindside that began this newest journey eats at me. Had the people involved simply had the courage to tell the truth I think this would be a much different story. But alas, it is too late to change and now I must move on.

When I arrived home last week I opened my bible and here is what I saw on the first page:
Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress. Psalm 25:16 (NLT)
And then on the other side of the page:
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 (NLT)

In my sand filled hideaway I read them and hoped, my head knew they were truth but my heart needed time to catch up. Now, a week later I am able to take a breath and move forward, dissect the words given to me and pray I am able to fully embrace them.

I don't often buy into the 'simply open your Bible' method of study but as I look into these verses I have to admit that there is comfort in these seemingly random verses. Now that I have had time to rest it is with a renewed spirit that I look at Psalm 25 which starts with 'To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.' , an expression of trust and faith. As I read the full Psalm I see themes of not only trust but guidance, forgiveness, praise, friendship and the prayer of protection.... Ok, I certainly needed that :)

And then Psalm 27, it is more than a simple expression of confidence, it is also the cultivation of confidence....the confidence I did not feel  am having a hard time feeling. It ends with: "Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!". That is how I choose to start this new week, waiting for God to step in and heal my heart...still somewhat afraid of what is next but moving forward with Him rather than on my own....confident that this stretch of sand dessert is behind me and there is an oasis of beauty before me...confident that I will indeed see the Lord's goodness.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Addicted to Busy

What does one do when they find themselves with a lot of time on their hands? Although it is something I have often thought I may enjoy I also know myself well enough to know that the novelty would wear off very quickly....and it has...

This past week has caught me off guard, turned my world upside down and given me much time to reflect. Typically I love to journal, I love some solitude...but typically it is scheduled. This week there is no schedule and I find myself at odds. I have not had this much time to myself since before the birth of my first child...32 years! We often wonder where the time has gone, I know, it has been spent ensuring that my family is taken care of. Now they are grown, I am older and have this imposed time to reflect and it is much more difficult than I would have thought.

As I try to break it down and allow myself to look upon what is happening I have hit a is a wall that I have carefully constructed, it is the wall that allows me to simply take a deep breath and move forward when bad shit is the wall of busyness that has absorbed the brunt of my failures and disappointments and that wall is gone and I am not sure how to function without it. I am not sure what to do with 'time', I have never fully learned to 'rest'...I no longer have the shelter of busyness to protect my heart and emotions. My first instinct is to quickly rebuild the wall, like a master mason I can find the right bricks and stones, build them up and fill the chinks with small tasks that I enjoy...I can simply rebuild the wall. I know it can be done, I have done it before.

That is my instinct, I am fighting it right now...trying to stay still and see beyond the wall, trying to see what God would have me see, trying to take that shelter in him...but I think he too must be busy. A good friend advised me not to 'miss the opportunity', it is so unnatural to me that it feels more like a being sent to the naughty corner. My head knows this is not truth so I am working at convincing my heart to stay out in the open for a while, to delay building the wall. Today that feels soul crushing rather than life giving, I guess old habits die hard.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


One year...a lot can happen in a year...

When I last wrote I was in a place that was filled with hope, excitement and promise. I was so sure it was my year but alas in retrospect that was wishful thinking. I have a number of writings during that time but I think I shall keep those private and start again....perhaps it will lead to some healing.

Last year I was managing  2 Village stores and after a crazy fall season that included opening the second store and Christmas I was looking forward to our first rug sale (which can be a wee bit of work). It was shortly after I wrote the last post that I found out my dad was going to have the heart surgery he had been needing and although it was not without risk I was hopeful, it was scheduled right in the middle of the sale but I still felt confident we would get through it all. Friday morning, April 17th I left home very early to head into Vancouver with my parents....while I waited for my father to come out of surgery my beloved grandson was at a doctors appointment of his own, seeing a neurologist. Dad came out of surgery that day and we were told it had gone well, unfortunately my grandson had a diagnosis of  a seizure disorder that would change his everyday living. We chose to take a deep breath and move forward. Medication would help the little man cope with his episodes and there was a possibility that he would out grow them. That evening it was discovered that dad would go back into surgery for some bleeding issues but the doctors did not seem overly concerned and  we still felt it was going to be ok....we were wrong.

I do not have the heart or space to fill you in with the many challenges, extra surgeries and issues that ensued but it was exactly 6 weeks (almost to the hour) that our family gathered to say good bye to our father, husband, brother, grandpa and friend...we were shattered and exhausted.

 Only 2 short days later, on June 1st,  the stress of losing her beloved rock was too much and my mom was in the hospital with a mild heart attack...thank God she came through without any permanent damage and after a week in the hospital was able to come home. We started to sort through my dad's affairs while trying to establish her in her new reality. For the second time in as many months we moved her into her new apartment and continued to deal with the many changes. During the few days prior to my dad's passing we had also found out that my daughter had lost another little angel (this was not the first and she was shattered) ...our hearts were so heavy we weren't sure how we would ever deal with it...but again we took a deep breath and chose to be strong and courageous as we worked toward healing.

Life seemed to be gaining a bit of normalcy and again a glimmer of hope crept into my world. We are a family of survivors, we were coping, we were making headway....and then the phone rang....

July 27, only two months after my dad's death I received a midnight call that my only brother had been found at my parent's property, it was determined that he had died in the early hours of Saturday morning and once again our world came crashing was getting harder and harder to breath.  My sister made her 7th trip from Calgary in 4 months and together we worried about my mom, niece and nephew...we dealt with a number of difficult issues that I will not share today....we were once again shattered.

The next two months were a whirlwind of chaos, death certificates, doctors, lawyers, sister and I did the divide and conquer routine as we supported mom in her many changes and took care of each estate. We planned a celebration of life for the two men in our lives and once again we chose to take a deep breath and move forward. We were (and are) very grateful that medication had my little man's seizures under control, my daughter was again pregnant and this little miracle was growing like he should (due right around my dad's birthday) and I was once again hopeful....certainly there were no more surprises in our world, certainly we would finally be able to fully grieve our losses and celebrate our victories...certainly the chaos of the year was over.

 Unfortunately it was world would once again be would be nothing as traumatic as what had already happened but still raw and bruised from the previous months it seem to rock my world more than it should have...sigh....that however is another story. Perhaps I will be ready to write about it tomorrow but for today this post is too long and taking a deep breath is no longer as easy as it was just 10 short months ago.