Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Tonight I’m thinking about grief. It’s a terribly difficult, yet necessary thing that we ALL go through at different times in our lives. Grief has no schedule…it doesn’t have an arrival date or check out time. It is inevitable for each of us. My experience is that it seems to settle in around middle age as we begin losing family members, marriages and our children grow up and leave home. Have you felt it knocking on your door? The death of a loved one, the quiet stillness of the empty nest, or the sick feeling when your divorce papers are final – all causes of intense grief.

I’ve been doing some grieving of my own this week. It’s been difficult. My ex-husband was remarried last Saturday. My daughters are visiting him and I received a text message from my eldest that Saturday was indeed the day. I don’t want a relationship with him anymore, but I found myself feeling rather numb about it. After all, he’s still the man that I was married to for 18 years – and most of those were really good. We had fun together – we built a life, we had a family. He knew me like no one else has ever known me…and now he has that with someone else. My numbness turned to tears - and I’m grieving. I wrote this poem on Sunday as I was trying to come to terms with it all.

I am overcome
With grief
And as another wave
Assaults my soul
I am swept away
Pushed back and forth by its strength
I lose footing as it shifts
And swirls around my heart
and I am tested
yet again
This cycle of grief
Seems relentless
And never-ending
Pounding against me
Just as I steady myself
I see another wave forming and
Barely have time to brace myself
Before it crashes into me
How long must I stand in this cycle
And when will it simply be over

Grief hits us all at various times and it can potentially be devastating, but there is really no avoiding it. I realize that I am no different than anyone else. I have grown to love Psalm 34:17-18 during the sad moments though. It says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (italics mine) He knows my heart, my sadness and pain…and He grieves with me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Good Week

Tonight I feel very full. Yes I did have a big steak dinner courtesy of a good friend and her husband, but I actually am feeling emotionally full. Completely satisfied. I am on vacation this week and it was one of those vacations where it could be very good, or very bad, it had the potential to go either way. It has gone well. It was time for me to revisit the past a bit. I came back to visit St. Louis - the town I still consider my home. I didn’t grow up here, but I lived here for 14 years and it became home to me. My family moved away because my husband at the time was transferred and so off we went ready to conquer a new part of the country. Since I moved 8 years ago, life has taken a few twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting, and now I live in a Southern town because it’s where my life is…but a large part of my heart is still in St. Louis. I came back this week – without my children - wanting to spend time with some old friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and release some old memories and feelings. I came to say farewell. I’ll be back, probably in a few months to visit, but this week it was about saying goodbye.
  • Goodbye to worrying about what others think about my life situation. It is what it is. I am a woman doing the best I can to love God and other people and be a good parent.
  • Goodbye to the shame over being divorced. I’ve learned that God is bigger than all the ways I have felt shame and judgment. I’ve discovered that most of my friends didn’t think any less of me, I just feared they did.
  • Goodbye to letting other people’s feelings toward me dictate choices that I make. I need to do what I feel is best and live honestly. They can deal with their own stuff.
  • Goodbye to wanting to move back to St. Louis. My life isn’t here, people I love dearly are here and a host of wonderful memories, but my life isn’t here anymore. If God shows me differently, then ok, but for now I need to focus my heart on where I live.

I’ve been able to have several deep and meaningful conversations this week that have allowed me to come to some of these conclusions. It is why I feel full tonight. I have come full circle in many ways. I still have some things to figure out, but for now I feel strangely peaceful...I think I’ll go to bed and sleep.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Morning Stillness

I've become more of a morning person. There is something magical for me to sit on my porch and watch the sun rise and listen to the world waking up around me. When I am able to spend time reading and praying in the morning I seem to feel especially renewed and ready to meet the day. Perhaps I'm still groggy enough to let the Word and Spirit move in my heart more - I don't know. This is a poem I wrote one morning as I sat, watching the sun rise and thinking about the newness of the day and God's ability to work through it. I hope you enjoyit.

Sweet morning stillness
the priceless moment
of tranquility
and relationship
The opportunity of knowing
His heart
and my own
A time for self evaluation
and expression
The point when honesty reigns
and the possibility of purity
seems somehow attainable
The quiet stillness of first light
is captivating

Sunday, July 12, 2009

All About Perspective

This morning I’m thinking about perspective. How you choose to view events or circumstances in your life certainly has a huge impact on your character. It has on mine anyway.

For most of my life I have been a “glass half empty” kind of person. I wouldn’t say that if you met me you’d automatically think I’m negative, because I don’t think that is the case. However, when a situation presents itself….I tended, in the past, to automatically jump to the negative conclusion. I’m also a worrier and I think these two unbecoming traits go hand in hand. This morning though as I was sitting on the porch drinking my tea, I was reflecting on the past few years. To say that have been eventful would be an understatement! I left a church community that I had been a part of for over 20 years, my husband decided I was no longer wife material, I had to find a job and begin supporting myself and my children, I had to find a new place to live…you get the idea. It has been tumultuous. I spent countless sleepless nights praying, crying and grieving over each of those circumstances only to look back from this new vantage point and see how God has worked every one of those situations out in an amazing way.
  • My relationship with God has grown and changed so much that it is like comparing night and day. In my previous church community I lost sight of the Lord somehow and began worshipping the church. I’ve never longed to pray, read and just be still with God like I do now.
  • I am now divorced. I hate that. I’m completely an advocate of working things out. And yet I … I like myself better now. I’d lost myself along the way trying to please someone else. I became an accessory to my husband. A very good friend of mine told me that although he knew I didn’t want to be divorced he likes me better now. Me too.
  • I LOVED being a stay at home mom. Now I am a single working mom. Life is VERY busy!! But my job has helped me to gain confidence that I needed.
  • I had to move out of my house …and I was terrified at where my kids and I would end up. God provided, through an amazing friend, a little house sitting on the back corner of 10 acres of property. It is a little slice of heaven in suburbia.

The bottom line is that I’m closer to God, my kids and my friends and have gained a stronger character along the way. Perspective. I am learning that whatever life hands me, God can work good in it. The circumstances aren’t good, but the outcome can be. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I always believed this verse, but now I understand it. God has changed my perspective. And that glass…it’s half full.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Leper And Me

I read about Jesus and how he healed the leper. I learned about leprosy while I was reading – how it is debilitating not only physically, but also emotionally and even spiritually. It can make you an outcast within your community, and after it grows in severity, even your own family keeps their distance. I checked out some pictures online of people with leprosy and it appears awful. The lepers in biblical times had to yell “Unclean” as they walked in areas where they could have contact with others. I can guess how you would feel if you had the disease: unwanted, unloved, unattractive, perhaps even ashamed. Sometimes when the limb is completely covered, the leper loses all feeling, leaving only numbness.

It’s not unlike Divorce in many ways. I have felt all those things: unwanted, unloved, unattractive, and even ashamed. In fact, I know I’ve shared with a few friends that I have felt at times like the main character, Hester Pryne, in The Scarlet Letter, only instead of an “A” I have a big “D” emblazoned on my chest. The leper cannot escape from his disease; it seems to characterize him, like divorce seems to. It becomes who you are from filling out paperwork in the doctor’s office (you have to check the divorced box) to attending a holiday picnic with all your married friends, feeling out of place.

The other day I was sitting down trying to write a poem about how the leper must have felt when Jesus healed him. I was intending to try to convey how the leper may have felt, but what it turned into as I wrote was how I felt as I have been healed. The poem is still a work in process (as I have a couple of versions I’m working with) but I thought I’d share it anyway.

Cast aside and rejected
The pain stained my heart
With shame
My sense of worth mislaid
Plagued with guilt and loneliness
I began to feel nothing at all

In the midst of my anguish
There was a pause
As you met my eyes
Touching my hand
I began to feel again
Numbness giving way to value
Filled with compassion
Your love eased the pain of judgment
When you offered me your heart

There are moments when
The pain returns
Another judgment is leveled
And it’s easy to feel the guilt and shame returning
But I force myself to stop
And close my eyes
Giving pause to accept your offering
Once more
To be filled with a sense of you again

It’s been about a year and a half now since I’ve been divorced. I still struggle with some of those unwanted feelings, some days more than others. Overall though, I am doing ok because I’ve been able to feel the healing hand of God through various ways. The leper was changed and went away rejoicing. I can’t say I’m rejoicing at the circumstances of my life, but I can honestly say I’m rejoicing at how He’s using it to change me. I’m slowing losing the sores and the scabs and gaining depth, confidence and security.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Today I’m thinking about belonging. I’m one of those – I have this insatiable need to belong. I guess it’s a longing for security. And the funny thing about me is that I am in this strange period in my life where I don’t belong in the ways that matter most to me. I don’t belong to a husband, or his family anymore, sometimes when I’m around my married friends (which accounts for 95% of my relationships) I feel as if I don’t belong, at church I’m in the minority, and the list goes on and on. I also live in a city where I don’t feel at home. I’m sure you get the drift here. This has been a struggle for me.

Today while I was sitting on my porch reading, I ran across some scriptures that spoke to my heart.

John 15:19 “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”

I guess the truth is I’m not meant to belong here. Even if all the areas that I long for connection were fulfilled, I would still long for something. Only in God’s presence will I feel like I totally belong. That’s comforting to me. He’s working on my room right now – wanting to make sure that it’s perfect for me. And, when I get there, he’s going to give me a stone with a new name…and only He and I will know it. I belong to Him, and Him only. I’m actually quite happy overall. I get overwhelmed and lonely (it’s that belonging thing), but one day I will be completely at home, completely satisfied and I will be where I’ve always longed to be.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rembering Lot's Wife

I’m reading this excellent devotional book called “Moments with the Savior” by Ken Gire. Today’s chapter is called “An Instructive Moment About Our Lives” and is about Lot’s wife and what she was remembered for. She is remembered as one looking back…not trusting where God was taking her, but longing for a life that she had and didn’t want to leave.

I feel the parallel with my own life. Certainly I didn’t want to leave my old life and I have thought many times if I could only go back and do a few things differently – would it have turned out another way? Only God knows. I’m sure if I had been willing to deal with some of the issues in my own heart that I would be further along spiritually and emotionally, but I don’t have any idea whether I’d still be married and living the “Little House On the Prairie” existence that I did for many, many years. BUT, as I have learned, there is no gain in looking back (Lot’s wife), only looking forward. Ken Gire said something that really stuck out to me, however.

“Remember him. (Jesus)
Remember Lot’s wife.
And remember that one day you will be remembered too. By someone struggling along life’s path. By someone groping to find the way. By someone for whom your life has become a parable.”

I don’t know what I will be remembered for. I know what I HOPE to be remembered for…3 things:
· My walk with God
· My parenting
· My friendships

When it gets down to it for me, those are the three things I value the most. Of course there are other things that I could be remembered for – the music I love, quirky things about my personality, the type of employee I am. But by being close to the Lord, loving my children and being a good friend, I hope to inspire people to look forward in some way. Looking back is painful for me. It brings out a host of questions and “what ifs” and “whys” that I have no answers for. Looking forward, however has strengthened my relationship with God. I’ve had to learn to trust that God will provide – from my need to provide financially for my children to the need for love and acceptance.

I loved reading this chapter. It’s almost the holiday and I’m struggling a bit with not looking back to a time of family closeness and holiday fun. I’ll be thinking about Lot’s wife today, and hoping that I can keep my focus looking forward and not back. I want my life to be remembered as inspiring in some way, as an encouraging parable.

The Beginning

I've been kicking the idea around - joining the ranks of the bloggers. My friend finally talked me into it. If you decide to check in with my ramblings I can only guarantee you one thing, and that is that if you read for very long you will know me. You may not recognize me if you run into me on the street or in the grocery store, but you will know what makes my heart beat in fear, excitement or with passion. I write about what I love and experience. I will share a lot from my personal devotional time, I will write about being a single mom and going through the joys and pains of that, and I will write about being a middle aged woman. My life is very full - both with good and bad. You'll hear it all.

I hope you'll check in with me occassionally, and please let me know what you think about what I write.