Do you know what you get when you are raised in a family with a Strong faith in God.. AND you have a vivid imagination?
Something beautiful .. aaaand a little scary at times.
When I was little? My dad would tell me that even if I THOUGHT I could get away with doing “little” bad things with no one knowing..? That God would still know.. And it would break His heart to see me make bad choices.
In my mind’s eye I could see a God like “face” looking at me .. The same way that my earthly father looks at me when he had to punish me.. Broken hearted and sad.. Maybe tears in His majestic eyes?
Yup.. That kept me on the straight and narrow.. (90% of the time)..
But sometimes my imagination is just plain good..
This morning I received the call that my grandma passed away.
The only grandma I have ever known .. Had gone home to heaven.
It was peaceful for her .. She was surrounded by the family who could make it in time.. They were loud at times.. (How could that be peaceful you ask?) She would have liked it loud and lively. She loved to see the “characters” around her. I think even when she was resting .. she was probably comforted by the loud voices and laughter..
But I can imagine that moment when she slipped from this world into the next..
In that moment?
Standing outside those pearly gates.. She would see her 3 children, that went along Home before her, waiting patiently for her. Her parents would be there too.. And her siblings..
But in the middle of them all?
In the middle of them all, I imagine my grandpa standing. I can see his eyes light up when he finally sees her. The way his eyes always lit up when he saw her.
Ha ha.. Then he’d say something sassy like.. “What took you so long?” Or “I’ve been waiting for you for ages!”
Then I imagine my Gram K would smile gently and put him in his place.. With a “It wasn’t my plan to send you on ahead..” Or more likely… “Well .. waiting builds character.”
And then my Grandpa will laugh .. The way he always does when her quiet sass amuses him.
Someday it will be my turn to meet them all at the pearly gates.. And I know they will show up to meet me.
Until then I have to finish the things God sent me here to do..
But I am so curious..
I wonder if my Gram K will have her bright red hair back in heaven.. (Which would make my Grandpa happy..) .. Or if she will be able to convince God that the gray hair suits her better .. (After all? You can’t wear pink with red hair..)
I love family trees.. I love to try to trace my ancestors back to their origins.. The countries they were born in.. Oh the stories these trees would have to tell. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to listen to these ancestors tell their stories..?? And to be able to ask them questions.. like why did you leave your countries? Would it have been for adventure? Greater freedoms? Escaping bad memories?
Oh the possibilities…
I mean .. really? I have a great great grandfather named Dougal McDougall. An afternoon with him?
But there is more… Great people like Fredrick Law Olmsted.. or the original Olmsteds who came over when America was young. Sarah Fitzgerald (what a fun name).. the Von Kuhlmans from Germany..
All of it has me so curious and writer side of me ITCHES to record it all…
But then there is the Start side of my family. My Grandma Betty.. and her parents. They are Dutch.. all from the Netherlands. This side of the family never seemed as interesting to me.
Well… because they were so familiar to me. Familiar and safe. My grandma’s dad had a soft laugh when he was amused. My grandma’s mom was always smiling. They would offer you little candies from little dishes. Their backyard was like a little park. And even when they were upset with you (hey.. we were kids).. you just felt disappointed in yourself.. not scared.
My Gram Betty is in so many of my memories.. I remember her singing Brenda Lee songs with me.. and Johnny Cash’s “Everybody loves a nut.” I remember her always giving us fruit to snack on.. teaching me to eat rhubarb with sugar…. telling me that her “mom always said there would be days like this,”… sometimes adding with a wink, “she never mentioned there would be so many”… I remember her wearing hats… I remember laughing with her when she recalled being relieved to turn gray so “early”.. instead of “that awful red”… (Which we all know her red hair was actually quite pretty.. because grandpa always told us).. and I remember her being called Miss Blue. Because she loved the color blue.
After my grandparents moved to Florida, my memories of them were more sparse.. but just as loved. I loved hearing about their travel adventures.. their little arguments… and hearing my grandma use her age as an excuse for not having to do things she didn’t want to..
My grandpa died young.. only in his 60’s.. but I have so many teenage memories of him teasing my grandma, winking at me.. his laugh that echoed joyfully where ever he was.. his bear hugs.. and his more serious moments when he encouraged me to reach for the stars. (Not his exact words.. but that’s how I always felt. He had so much faith in my future being great.)
This side of my own family tree is the strongest side.. The Start/Kuhlman Roots of my tree go down deep… Deeper than any roots on paper. The love.. the stability.. the generations of support.. those roots go deeper than any other branch of my family tree.
But as a teenager?
These roots felt like home.. and I wanted adventure.. I wanted to be like Dougal McDougall and set forth from my homeland for adventures and tales across the sea…
As an adult? I realize that I missed an opportunity to explore those roots. I was always exploring the branches.. looking out over the horizons.. looking to the future.
Today instead of looking for adventures… instead of feeling curious about the great people of the past.. or wondering what tales my exciting ancestors might have to tell?
Today I am wishing for a conversation with my quiet, safe Grandma in Florida… To hear her soft laugh.. or hear her tell me that her “mom always told me there would be days like this”, and that “this too shall pass”. To hear her tell of her sassy days of dating my grandpa.
And I’d love to tell her how much I love her .. and how she shaped my life and gave me such strong roots.
As I tried to find the perfect 500 word excerpt from Shadows this morning, I consulted my daughters… They quickly listed off a couple samples.. but I still couldn’t decide…
So I thought I would ask you..
Which section would make YOU more likely to download a copy of Shadows?
!The first Sample!
“I can’t believe my luck. Sure was happy to see ya walk past my horse. I was jest leavin’ town myself. Now I can escort ya home,” the stranger continued happily.
“You’ll hafta excuse me, sir, I must be hurryin’. My Da will be expectin’ me ta have dinner ready soon,” Emma stated.
“Well then, we musn’t keep him waitin’,” he replied. There was a chuckle behind her. The fair haired gentleman smiled in response to his friend’s laughter. “I’ll come along with ya. Ya can introduce me, so I can git permission ta call on ya. Official like. We can git our courtin’ started today.”
“I believe ya misunderstood me, sir,” Emma replied appalled.
“Misunderstood? Na, I think not. I see that ya waited fer me outside of town, so that we could walk together without all those busybodies watchin’ us and interuptin’.” Smiling, the man reached for her arm. Emma stepped back and bumped into the horse behind her. Feeling panic well up within her, she looked around for help and was amazed to see a pair of stormy eyes walking towards her.
From behind, Emma heard the man on the horse cleared his throat in warning. The fair haired gentleman stiffened in irritation as he turned towards the approaching man, demanding, “What do ya want now?”
Emma could not take her eyes off the approaching help, even though she knew it was rude to stare. The gray eyed man did not look away from her as he answered, “When this young lady fergot ta bring me my coffee before she left town, I started in ta worryin’.”
Looking down into her basket, Emma realized that she had indeed purchased the tin of coffee the man had intended only as a distraction. “I fergot,” she said weakly, trying to figure out why he would want the coffee she accidentally purchased.
Coming to stop a few steps from Emma, the gray eyed man smiled at her. “Ya steal a man’s heart and then ya steal his coffee, darlin’?” He winked at her. “Ya go too far.” The smile that touched his mouth, did not reach his stormy eyes. They tried to convey a meaning to her. A meaning that Emma could not quite grasp. “Ya shoulda waited fer me ta walk with ya. I’ve been wantin’ ta speak with yer Pa,” he paused briefly before continuing, “before the weddin’.”
Gasping as his plan dawned on her, Emma ducked around the fair haired gentleman and reached for her rescuer’s arm. He weaved her hand around his tense elbow and held it there. Wanting to look convincing in her new role, she desperately tried to remember how Abigail had looked at her David all those months while they were courting. Opening her eyes wide, she batted her eyelashes. “Oh do forgive me darling,” she said, attempting to mimic Abigail’s sugary tone. She hoped no one would notice how her voice quivered.
!!The second Sample!!
By the time she walked back from the field and made it to the hill by the creek, she had convinced herself that Thane would have left by now. When she arrived, it was indeed vacant. Emma sat down in disappointment, but intent on looking carefree. “Well Mama, it looks as if I brought ya a sandwich.”
“Ya’ve already given my sandwich away?” asked a voice that made her jump guiltily.
“Ah—No, of course not,” Emma replied, willing her heart to slow down. “But I almost dropped it in the water, ya scared me so,” she scolded. Thane sat down a couple paces from Emma. She handed him a sandwich, wrapped in a towel.
Thane took a bite of the sandwich. Looking thoughtful, he asked, “Ya gonna introduce me ta yer Mama?”
Emma looked up at him. She couldn’t decide if he was making fun of her. Finding no hint of teasing in his face, she replied, “Mr. Hawkins meet my Mama, Lilliana Wells. Lily, to those that loved her. Mama, this is Mr. Hawkins.. He’s taken ta savin’ me lately. Even promised ta marry me ta protect me from an ugly mess,” she ended with a smile.
“Pleasure ta meet ya ma’am. Please call me Thane.”
“Mama wants ta know where ya come from that we shouldna know ya already? We thought we knew everyone here in the valley,” Emma asked innocently.
“Well ma’am, I live in those hills,” nodding his head across the creek, “tucked in a valley. I come this way a couple times a year but spend most my time on the trail huntin’ and trappin’.”
“So yer a trapper?” Emma asked between bites.
“Call me Emma –,” she reminded him.
“Beggin yer pardon, ma’am, I thought I was talkin’ ta yer Mama,” he said with a lopsided smile.
She chose to ignore his teasing and looked toward the hills.
“Yer mama seems ta belong in this spot,” Thane observed.
“She does,” she stated simply. “A fever took her and my baby sister ta heaven a few years back.” Her final words were barely above a whisper.
“I’m sorry,” Thane said softly.
Emma blinked back a tear before she looked at him.
“Where is yer sister’s stone?” he asked.
“Isn’t one. She was so small, I couldna bear fer her ta be put by herself. Mama had wanted her so. And Da– well he couldna bear ta name her. So she sleeps in Mama’s arms, here in Mama’s favorite spot.” She waved her arm to indicate the hill top overlooking the little creek. “Da brought this rock here. When he dug it up outta the cornfield – he decided ta roll it here so Mama wouldna have grass stains on all her skirts. She always was sittin’ in the grass. She tried ta make them stop before they hurt themselves. But Da had jest teased how “embarrassed” he was ta have a wife with green dresses. She finally relented then …but wouldna come down here fer weeks,” Emma laughed sadly. “But when she did, she sat on the rock.” She paused, remembering. “She kept one skirt with an especially bad grass mark though. She hung it right in their room. It’s hangin’ there still. Da won’t even let me wash it.” She didn’t notice the tears on her cheeks until Thane handed her his towel.
“What about yer Ma?” Emma asked, trying to lighten the mood as she dried her cheeks. “Will I know her if she’s in town? Or will I have ta wait `til the weddin’?”
Thane looked back towards the hills. “Awhile beyond that, I expect,” he answered softly. “My Ma died when I was young. We went out trappin’ and when we returned.. she was gone.”
“Oh,” Emma replied, not knowing what to say. “How old were ya?”
“Not sure really. Probably 9 winters ago.”
“Ya don’t know how old ya are?” Emma asked incredulously.
Thane shrugged his shoulders. “Pa doesn’t keep track of such things-says they’re nonsense. I stopped askin’.”
Wiping her eyes again, she cleared her throat. “Maybe we should jest start plannin’ our weddin’ before I start cryin’ again.”
**Please Vote in the comments below**
… if you haven’t downloaded Shadows yet.. you should… It’s a bargain at 99 cents..
A year ago, I was so proud because my first novel, Shadows, was finally published and was LIVE for sales.. At the time, I thought that the long road to publishing was finally over..
Man was I naive..
Publishing is just the first leg of the journey for book writing. Then comes marketing.. And getting reviews.. And recognition..
But it is rewarding too..
When Shadows placed as a Finalist in 2 categories of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.. I was so happy.. (Yup.. I cried)…
As I move into my second year of marketing for Shadows.. And finishing up the sequel (Road Home).. I am looking for feedback..
.. In the comment section below, tell me what you think stands out about Shadows.. What you think of the cover.. Positives or negatives.. As long as your comments are constructive, then they will be helpful!
If you would like to get a free copy of Shadows in return for an honest review.. Send me an email..
If you haven’t read Shadows and would like to.. Click below!!
Yesterday I went for a ride.. It was beautiful and peaceful… The wind was blowing gently. The sun would disappear for a time behind fluffy clouds just to reappear a short while later.
Absolutely peaceful… but it wasn’t perfect.
I watched my special needs son.. frustrated with our slow pace… paddle far ahead. My sister in law had a tough time keeping her adventurous daughter in the boat. My nephew grew tired of paddling and we made mid-water “passenger change-overs”.
Not to mention, if you went too close to the shore the bugs would swarm you.. ghastly mosquitoes and biting flies….
But as I floated through the flooded path between the lakes .. the path we would have had to carry our boats along if the water level wasn’t quite so high… As I floated along I looked at all the little paths among the trees that I would love to explore… How fun it would be to weave in and out of the trees and under the low branches..
The writer in me?
Well I could feel a story lay somewhere in those trees…
But the water was murky.. and I didn’t really know what I would be getting into.. the last thing I wanted was to get in an iffy situation .. one where I would have to ask for help getting out of.
And I was fairly certain I would be swarmed with bugs. Am I afraid of bugs? No… they aren’t pleasant.. but I am not afraid. So why would I avoid them? If there were unpleasant, small buzzing sounds flying in your ears, mouth and in your eyes.. would you want to continue?
Reading the news lately has made me want to retreat more and more from the media. The more I listen to the News ridicule good people and cheer on confused ones? The more I want to get out my kayak and just go for a ride.
Honestly… if I did that? I would always be in my kayak….
I am not perfect. I would never tell you I was.
In the middle of walking my son through an hour long dip of serotonin.. and rising of adrenaline… an hour of such paralyzing frustration … an hour of him yelling his phrases while clutching my arm.. an hour of him physically and mentally needing me to walk him through his coping mechanisms so that he won’t hurt himself… an hour that seems to stretch into eternity while his body re-balances itself…
… in the middle of this hour of intense “helping”? Yup… I sometimes wish I was somewhere else.. writing.. reading.. yeah, I’d even rather be doing the dishes…
.. I stick it out until I see my son resurface from under those confused emotions… and when I see his confidence return I know it was worth it… but as any parent of a child with special needs will tell you.. it is not easy..
No.. I am not perfect.. I struggle with my failing every day… and then I try to forgive myself for these failings.. but it is hard.
My family isn’t perfect either .. they are amazing and loving … but not even close to perfect. I love them ALL because of it.
2 parents, 5 brothers, 1 sister…
…Grandparents, aunts and uncles too large to really count…
2 parent in laws, 1 brother in law, 6 sister in laws..
… 7 nephews and 10 nieces…
… and soooooo many cousins….
… Ha.. I have even adopted a few honorary sisters into my life..
Not one of them perfect… not one would say they are…
… when they mess up? I find it easy to forgive them..
Because this kayak trip through life isn’t perfect.. the wind is sometimes too strong for us (and we falter)… the current is at times to strong (and we long to turn around.. to give up)… the distance is often daunting .. just too far (we doubt we can succeed).. (so sometimes we chose short cuts)… there are hidden obstacles under the water.. sand bars, fallen trees, or even really thick weeds.. all are things that make us want to lash out in frustration…
… and then there is adventure and temptation… floating along a path that is usually blocked by land.. finding a hidden lake.. great adventures…
..life gets to be repetitive… and we humans are weak for our own temptations.. and we think? Why shouldn’t we be happy? Why shouldn’t we do what we want?
.. but if MY adventures could put OTHERS in harms way? Those are THEN temptations… When choosing a freedom.. or acting on a “dream”… hurts your children? Those are paths better left unexplored…
When I mess up … and I frequently do…Whether they are small in my mind or large… I have to ask for forgiveness from God.. and from others..
I want them to forgive me..
..so in return? It’s easy for me to forgive them… (Even if I need to walk away.. and go for a ride first…)
What about the bugs? I know that is what you are thinking… why mention the blood sucking and biting flies… if I wasn’t going to connect them to my story?
That horrid buzzing sound of flies is the sound of the Media… the gossiping… the false reports… the rumors… the people who are unable to forgive themselves for past sins (so they can’t forgive the sins of a young teenage boy who has paid for his crimes)…
… I try to stay away from the edge of the lake…
When this is my world and I should care what is going on in it? Why don’t I listen?
MY World.. is the world God placed around me… my family.. my extended family… my community.. They are the piece of the world that God entrusted to me..
What about those who don’t have a community who will surround them? Those with out people to love them and support them?
Well? Then I invite them to Michigan to be a part of my world.
As for gossiping and judging people?
Jesus told us himself…
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
Matthew 7:1-3 NIV
I could write a whole book on what this verse means to the world TODAY.. because it isn’t up for interpretation… But God doesn’t intend for me to show the whole world.. He intends for me to show MY piece of the world! He asks me to show them by living it..
So.. while I CAN see when others sin… I can see how that sin hurts others.. but I will not judge them. I will not teach my children to judge them.. but I will teach them to pray for others. How? I will show them how I forgive and pray for those around me… I will show my kids by forgiving them when they disobey and praying for them everyday..
.. and I step in where God asks me to… in my part of the world…
.. but at the same time? I will not judge others for their weaknesses…
So when I am frustrated by social media and the gossiping… and mostly the unforgiveness in our country today… I will go for a ride.. Taking care to steer clear from the edge of the lake… away from the buzzing and the biting…
..but I do pray for forgiveness for the media… and possibly a change of heart for some… because I believe it possible in all those who want to change… and just like the smile my son gives when he comes through a rough spell…
… it will be worth it…
.. but mostly? Mostly I will just focus on the world God has assigned to me… which is extensive… and includes small communities in other countries…
.. and maybe?
Well maybe I will write a few stories about forgiveness too…
I have a son who has special needs… He has autism with a touch of bipolar. As a parent? That can be tough on a day to day basis.. or it can be easy.. depending on the day… and Honestly? Honestly it depends on the season. Summer is the easiest for us… .. but Please don’t think my son is the norm for all kids with Autism…
There is a very accurate statement out there.
If you know one person with Autism? Then .. you know ONE person with Autism..
Every child with Autism is an individual.. every child with Autism has their challenges.. every child with Autism has their super powers…. Every child with or without Autism.. is a child… first and foremost.
But in our little crazy household?
Summer time is the easy season to parent. So much to do.. free time to explore.
Fall and Winter come with their mood challenges…
Spring is a challenging time for our family… The longer days… the warmer temps… the increased activities… These all increase the serotonin levels flowing through all of our veins… but for a child with a mood disorder? It wrecks havoc on the delicate balance in the system. For us it means increased happiness.. increased agitation.. increased activity.. increased anxiety.. increased frustration… increased laughter.. increased tears.. and sometimes… increased aggression.
I say sometimes…
There were years that all I could remember was the aggression.. because it is devastating… Can you imagine anything more devastating than your child hurting another person? Can you imagine anything more devastating than your child feeling so “in danger” that they lash out to protect themselves? Can you imagine anything more devastating than your child feeling so OUT of CONTROL that they punch themselves in the head to relieve the “pressure”?
All of these things threaten to overwhelm me in the Spring…
But I am Blessed… My husband has always provided a stable platform for me and our two children. Because of this, I have been able to have careers flexible enough to care for our son. Flexible enough that I can be home for him when this Spring thing happens.
With my husband’s support.. constant prayer … and the wonderful people God has placed in my son’s life?? We survive every spring.. Every year we grow a little stronger and mature (my son and I both)…
My son has grown so much.. in fact… that this spring? When the flowers bloomed.. I was able to do some things I enjoy in the spring.. Like taking walks and reading books… and sewing prom dresses.
So someday soon… I hope to rewrite this spring thing…
Sometimes I make plans… Oh can I make some detailed plans... Plans to be productive.. plans to be helpful… Plans to organize my plans…
And then God shows me that it is not MY will … But HIS that I should follow…
When I don't listen to what God's Will is.. things tend to go wrong. Just little things.. but there are enough "little" things that I have to deal with? That I start to feel like a salmon … fighting against the current to swim upstream. When I continue to fight against the current… YUP… I feel stressed and exasperated! You probably know the feeling…
When I tried working at the preschool my kids attended? I was good at my job.. and I enjoyed it! I REALLY enjoyed it. But I fought my kids to go to school every day.. with a child on the Autism Spectrum.. with a side of Bipolar? Fighting them to do something that stresses them? It doesn't really work out very well. I kept having to go pick him up from school because he was overwhelmed. He was stressed.. I was stressed.. my neighbor who was putting him on the bus was stressed…
Then one November? My kids were sick… the whole month. I missed a WHOLE month of work.. A runny nose here.. a sore throat there.. a cough… a wheeze… a fever… some bronchitis…
sigh…. and then I sat still and listened…
You see .. MY plan was not what God had in store for me. It took me 3 years to figure that out.. yes I said 3 YEARS.. I am stubborn and persistent. Once I decided to listen to the Still small voice of God.. I realized what He was telling me. HIS plan for me was not at that preschool that I loved… and I wasn't listening…
So at the end of the year I resigned… and I stayed home for the next 6 years. And God? God sent me family after family who needed in home care for their kiddos. I never had a shortage of work.. and I never felt like I was swimming upstream… Now it was challenging and was hard work.. don't get me wrong… but I never felt like I was fighting against every element to make it work…
With that slight change in will-power? I had turned it around, swimming in the direction God was trying to lead me… and BAM.. I was back in control..
Except control is an illusion… I never really had control in the first place….
Someone once asked me what it was like to live with special needs.. Not just special needs really.. But with Autism (and a side of bipolar).. At the time I couldn’t really answer..
I mean.. With autism you know what you get.. Overload.. Anxiety.. Obsession.. meltdowns..
But add Bipolar? Then you add unpredictability.. When you get home? You don’t know if you have a child with a good mood or anger.. Or tears. When your son comes out of his room? You don’t know if you will have cooperation or frustration..
Honestly I can’t tell you if I will see my Son.. his autism.. OR his bipolar… from one minute to the next .. Especially in the spring months..
So to the question? I simply said, “It’s a roller coaster ride.. But it’s worth it.”
And that IS the truth ..
Tonight I watched a movie with my girls called “50 first dates”.. It was really cute .. a little crude in places (yes I am very old-fashioned.. I don’t like crude jokes).. But still cute.. And worth the watch..
For anyone not familiar.. 50 first dates is about a young lady who is in an accident that results in a brain injury. Because of the injury, she cannot create new memories .. So everyday her dad and brother recreate the last day she remembers. Over and over and over again.. When she meets a new guy, he has to help her fall in love with him over and over again.. every day.. Like EVERY day.. Eventually they develop a system.. They create a video of flashbacks since the accident.. Events.. Dates.. And eventually their wedding… And the young lady writes her thoughts in a journal.. A list of things she doesn’t want to forget.. Important things ..
Then she goes to sleep and wakes up refreshed.. And starts each day over again.. Remembering nothing .. Then she watches the video and reads her notes .. EVERY day ..
At the end of the movie? When we saw that she had to be reminded of her child that she couldn’t remember. As the credits began to roll, my daughter said.. “What a terrible way to live”..
But what if she never progressed beyond that accident.. What if she never stopped living that day over and over? What if she never lived ANYTHING NEW beyond that day?
That would be terrible indeed..
But to have flashback videos and hand written notes every morning.. To catch her up to ? To remind her she is married? To remind her she has a baby?
To be living that married life?
To be a mom?
That is being Blessed!
Being a mom to a young man with autism? Living with a loved one with Bipolar? It is very similar to “50 firsts”..
Every morning I wake up.. And I watch a flash back of important moments in our lives.. Important break throughs.. Flash through my mind.. Every day while I drink my chai? I read through the notes I have made through the years.. Only the important ones..
And then I set forth!
I set forth to make new Memories.. New important events.. I deal with each event as they occur.. Living in the moment! Never bringing the past into play.. Not remembering the mistakes from the day before. Unlike the movie? These choices are voluntary.. To choose to forget the bad.. to forget the mistakes..
THEN? Then I record those moments in my mind.. Sometimes I even write important information down..
Some days are good.. And just like movie? Yup.. Some days are a disaster.
And just like the movie? Sometimes the days are so bad that I cry myself to sleep at night ..
Then every night ? I sleep and the stress washes away. I wake up each new day ready to conquer some new activities.. With my flash backs and handwritten notes.
And we celebrate every “first” that comes along.. His first 2 word sentence at 5, his first full night sleep at 6.. His first solo cooked meal.. His first time walking to class on his own.. The first test taken by himself.. The first time he stayed home alone..
Ok.. You are right! There are WAY more than 50 “firsts” in our life. But we celebrate each one…
I know that some people look at my son’s life .. At MY life.. and they think, “What a terrible way to live”..
But to me?
To me a world without my son in it? A world without 50 OR 100 “firsts” being celebrated?
I woke early today. Before the sun rose over the horizon. Fog clung to the Earth with a chill in the air. If you looked closely through the fog, you could see deer moving slowly and quietly through my backyard.. Eating treats where they can find them. With spring, my backyard is coming to life.. so the deer stopped often.. If you didn’t watch closely, you would miss the movement at all.
As I drink my chai, I find myself thinking.. Did Mary, mother of Jesus, look out her window 2000 years ago and see a quiet foggy morning? Did she wonder what would happen that day? Did she wonder why Nature seemed so calm when her life seemed to be falling apart? Did she wonder why God didn’t send a terrible storm? Full of fury and winds?
I have a long list of things I would like to get done today. Mostly getting prepared for the fun family celebrations this weekend… But it is definitely work.. and I would rather sit here.. blending into the still world around me.
The still world around me?
Being still this morning? It made me stop and remember.. Remember that right about now? Right about now Jesus would have been in pain and bleeding.. Jesus would have been exhausted.. And marching with a heavy cross upon his back.. Moving forward as fast as His earthly body would let him…
Yet Jesus never complained.. He never tried to get out of His duty.. Jesus knew what God was asking of Him.. He knew He was about to die to save us all from an eternity in Hell.. Yet when Pilate told Jesus that he could set Him free.. Jesus didn’t jump at the chance.. He simply answered…
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” (John 19:11a NIV)
In other words.. Everyone on Earth is only given the power which God has allowed them… and Jesus knew that He was sitting in Pilate’s office that day because it was God’s Will that it should be so..
So what did Jesus do?
He politely refused Pilate’s help.. He accepted God’s plan for Him.. He picked up His cross and Jesus set off to do God’s Work.
I am tired today. I fill my days with volunteering.. and parenting. I squeeze in doctor’s appointments and cleaning the house. I have chicks to care for, chickens to feed and laundry to wash. This week I have also had friends who needed support, children who needed to be listened to, people who needed prayer and meetings to attend. Not to mention fighting off a virus.
I literally had no time to write this week.
So today? YUP.. today I am tired.
But when I think about Jesus on Good Friday? Think about Jesus on the hardest day of “work” in His short life?
I think I will politely refuse Pilate’s offer to set me free from my tasks. And with this last sip of chai, I will hoist my cross.. my heavy tasks.. up on my back and set off to do God’s Will…
…because my day will be nothing like Jesus’s Good Friday… but it is what God has asked me to do….
Have a Blessed Good Friday…
Everything sounds better with the echo of a still small voice.