He watches over each of His sparrows. And He watches over me.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Was - Is - And Will Be

Four years ago for the first time in my entire life there was no Christmas tree in my home - no tinsel, no sparkle, no light.

The tree was instead in the room at the care center - a purchased fiber optic one with a few decorations. Our daughter made a wreath and some random decorations were hung by caring visitors. It was the last Christmas with my beloved.

As the months passed and the next Christmas season approached my spirit was torn - I got physically ill while thinking about getting out "that" tree (you know the one). It held memories.....so many memories. Oh, and the decorations and the ornaments that we had collected over the years.....

Yet, I also could not stand the thought of this house being "dark" again at this special time.

Over a period of several days and after earnestly seeking the Lord with the simple question "What do I do Lord - I want to honor you and celebrate Your birthday - but how?" - I was given an idea - do it different - leave the "other" tree in the box and just do it different.

I have always enjoyed the theme of blue, white and silver at Christmas. My family, however, have always leaned towards the traditional colors. So that first year I decided to pursue the blue, white and silver theme.

It started simply with a tiny two foot white tree and blue lights. In addition I added some blue and silver odds and ends of decorations and then I rested and said "OK". It felt good but strange.

Each year since I have continued the same color scheme because I really like it and still can't imagine pulling out the "other" tree. This year I graduated to a three foot tree!

Yet, there is still something missing - I miss hearing him say "The house looks nice babe". A simple statement - simple words - but I so miss hearing them....

I have often wondered why I have bothered to put up these decorations in the years since my beloved passed........

It's just me, the cat and the dog here.........

But really......? Jesus is here too.....isn't He?

And dear ones I want you "here" as well! So I invite you to my home to see....

The tree.......

And of course, a butterfly! 
A centerpiece...
A candle garden........
A simple Nativity..........
It will snow here tonight in the Midwest. And it will be cold and dark as most winter nights are. And tonight as my neighbors and strangers travel through the dark they will see the tree lights through the window and they will see this.....
the Nativity that sits simply out front. It needs nothing else to adorn it - the message is simple. The light that comes from it illuminates the entire corner where I live. It sends a message that this house is not dark, this house though stung by the pain of sorrow will not give in to the dark. It operates on a timer, and each night I will not turn on the tree lights until it comes on. That is my silent way of saying what is most important.
We used to set it up together, my beloved and I - and yes, I do miss that - many years he would put it out by himself while I was at work so I would see it when coming home.........
I like to believe that he does see it and is saying, " Looks good babe".
I know Jesus sees it and maybe, just maybe is saying "Thanks for remembering My birthday".
I am so glad I was able to share my Christmas with you dear ones. Whether this is your "first" or you have been through many, the message is the same - the Light has come. It brings hope to our weary, broken hearts.
Be at peace this night dear one - for He loves you so........

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Meeting

Date: October 18,2010
Time: 4:30 am
Where: Heaven
Present: God

Good Morning. I have called you all together at this early hour to tell you that my Sparrow's beloved has just suffered a stroke.  This has come as no surprise to Me. It has, however, shaken her immensely.  It is not in My plan to heal him, for his time to come home to me is
drawing near. 

The upcoming months will be most difficult for her and she will find her faith tested almost beyond measure. I, however, know she will remain faithful throughout the days ahead.

I set a plan in place several months ago to have her assigned to a position in the school directly across the street from the hospital. She will find herself working for a group of teachers who will be incredibly supportive, tolerating her ringing cell phone, last minute absences and her sometimes "foggy" days.

And, when it is time for him to leave the hospital after six weeks, I have arranged for there to be a room available at the best care center in the area. There, too, she will find a supportive and caring staff.

Although she will be greatly upset that he will need to be in a care center, it is My plan for him. There are many who will benefit from his presence there and his strong faith in Me. He will tell many about Me. In addition, I wish to have this time apart with him in order to prepare him to come home to Me.

Now for your assignments: Her safety while in her vehicle is crucial. There will be many late night and early morning trips. She will also be driving while in tears and in harsh winter weather to visit him each day. Her health is also very important. Stress will be her greatest enemy during this time.
Help will be needed to navigate through the mounds of government and insurance paperwork. Make the way easy for her when she shops for special clothing and shoes for him. I don't want her going endlessly from store to store. Protect her house from winter's storms and keep everything in proper working order. When a repair is necessary get it done quickly at minimal expense. There is a younger couple I have positioned in the house up the street who will be a great support to her, Keep an eye on them as well and let them know when it is time to check on her.  As the months go on and she is becoming increasingly weary I will lead her to online friends. At various times these friends will need a "nudge" to send her a message with a butterfly. These beautiful creatures of Mine have always been her favorite and I want her to receive many of them. I will also arrange for the butterflies to appear in her life in many different forms - on shirts of strangers and flying across the hood of her car one particularly hard day.

Shortly after the second anniversary of her beloved's passing she will hit a very low point. She will find herself in a very dark place not understanding how she got there or why, This too is in My plan.  At the urging of her physician and with My permission she will start medication to alleviate this darkness. In time she will come to see the light again and I will return her "words" to her.

That day will be October 18, 2013. On that day, three years into the future, she will sit at her keyboard and once again feel the joy and honor of sharing My words.

She will still not know what her future holds. But I know - and it is only good, as I have promised. For, as she relays how I have worked in her past, she will be reassured of how I will work in her future.

Ok, meeting dismissed. Now you know your assignments - get to work My angel armies!

And this my friends is what this verse means to me now: Psalm 91:11 For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.

Be at peace this night dear ones, for He loves you so!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Burgers and Fries

     Today is the second anniversary of my beloved's home going. Early in the morning, just before dawn, he did exactly what the song said - he flew away into glory.

    Allow me please to share this memory with you as my tribute to my beloved.

    We frequented a local place in town when neither of us felt like cooking, getting a burger for each of us and splitting a large order of fries. One evening, many years ago, we headed out to this place and upon arriving saw what we would gently describe as " a homeless man" standing by the door. This was quite unusual for our town. We had lived here for many years and had never encountered one before. His eyes were empty, his shoes didn't match and his gloves had holes in them - and it was cold.

     Upon getting our food, it was difficult to eat, knowing he was outside in the cold. We asked the counter people about him and were told that several people had provided food and coffee for him in the few hours he had been there. They weren't happy, however, with him coming inside to eat so the food was taken outside to him. That knowledge eased our minds a bit - but still......

     The next day I went to work and when I got home my beloved said that he had returned to the restaurant that morning and insisted that the man come inside with him to join him for a meal. The man resisted the invitation, saying "They don't want me in there" - but my beloved opened the door and said "It's ok, you're with me". There were some strange looks, and  I am sure some whispered comments, but my beloved ignored them all as he ate with this man.

    We decided that we wanted to do more and gathered some gloves, a warm hat, socks and a warm sweater and headed out to give the items to him and perhaps purchase another meal for him.  We were greatly disappointed to find that he was no longer there. We were told that he had just moved on as is the way with the homeless.

     Over the next several days through conversations with various business people and the local police it appeared that he had really "disappeared". He was there - and them simply gone - he had not been seen on any of the local roads heading into or out of town.

     We put the experience behind us although we thought of him often over the next couple of weeks. It was getting colder and we could not forget the image of those mismatched shoes and the gloves with the holes in them. In fact, my beloved even mentioned that he had driven around town looking for him; and, how disappointed he was that he had not been able to give him the warmer clothing that we had gathered.

     Then one morning, as I joined my husband for coffee at the kitchen table, I noticed he was quite distracted and a little shaken. I asked him what was wrong. He told me with tears in his eyes that he had had a dream. He dreamt that he was in what appeared to be heaven - he had not died - he was just in heaven. There in front of him was the throne and he could tell that God was on the throne with Jesus at His right hand. He could vaguely see another figure at God's left hand and as he walked closer he suddenly recognized him - it was the homeless man.......... Then he woke up. That dream took my breath away!

     That was my beloved - I was concerned about the man's condition - I was willing to buy him food - I was willing to give him money - I was willing to give him clothes.  My beloved took it so much further - he sat with him - he invited him into the warmth without any thought of what others would think. What an honor it was to be married to him!

     As I reflect on these last two years I recall that statement my beloved made to this man "It's ok. You're with me". This is what Jesus has said to me every day -" It's ok , you're with Me - I am walking with you - I am right here beside you - I will go with you into those places where you do not feel welcome - those places of loneliness - those places of sorrow - those places where you cry - those places that are strange and uncomfortable. It's ok, you're with Me in this place of widowhood."

     Tomorrow will be the first day of year three - and Jesus says "It's ok, You're with me.

     He is with you also dear one - be at peace this night - for He loves you so....


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Please Visit

I would love for you to visit A Widow's Might once again to read my latest post.


I tell the story of how this beautiful windmill came to rest in my yard, and how it represents God's steadfast love for us all.

Monday, April 8, 2013


     A couple of weeks ago, at the end of one of those "sad" days as the sun was fading I felt a gentle "nudge" that seemed to say - "Take your camera and go outside - and look". Well, of course there was a bit of argument with that feeling - it was still bitterly cold here in the Midwest and winter coats were still required - in addition to the fact there were some pretty hefty winds blowing. However, I listened to the prompting and took my camera and went looking. I didn't really feel like it - it had been a difficult day - in fact it had been a difficult couple of weeks. I was tired. I was lonely. I was wondering. You know "those" feelings........

     With camera in hand I wandered around the yard - there were still patches of snow scattered about

     And lots of dreary brown

     But.....just a very few short feet away I found this.....

     The first sign of the crocus my beloved planted for me years ago.....

     And this..........

     The daffodils - planted also by my beloved - he knew how much I loved these first spring flowers.........

     And now today - still beset with the "wonderings" and the "waitings" so typical of this grief journey we are all on I once again received the gentle prompt to "take your camera and go outside" - and found this.........

     And this......

    And this........

     The crocus are blooming! I would have missed them if I had not listened to that gentle voice....

They are a gentle, lovely reminder of my beloved and his care for me ......

I truly don't remember seeing them last year or the year before that.. For  I was still in that place of snow covered patches and dreary brown ground and I could not see them through my tears and pain - but they were there and they rested again throughout the winters, waiting to bloom again for me to see. How wonderful is our God who gently guided me outside to make sure I saw them this year. And told me to take my camera so I could capture the pictures and share.

And He reminds me of His word in Isaiah 35 - The wasteland will rejoice and bloom with spring crocus.........

And it will - this wasteland of grief - it will rejoice and bloom with spring crocus......

There are still days of sorrow and dreary brown - but on those days I am reminded of the spring crocus - they always bloom - always.....

A constant reminder from a loving Father that seasons come and seasons go and there will always be a Spring after the Winter.........

Your Spring is coming - maybe not today - maybe not tomorrow - but IT IS COMING....just as surely as the crocus in my yard - your Spring is coming.

For one day you will hear a strange sound and realize that it is your laughter.

For one day you will feel a strangeness about your face and notice that you are smiling.

For one day you will go to the store and not have to buy multiple boxes of tissues.

For one day you will be able to start wearing regular mascara because you are not worried about those horrid black blotches caused by it running when you cry.

And one day dear one you will experience a "memory" from the past that will give you a soft, warm feeling instead of stabbing your heart.

Yes, dear one - your Spring is coming - God has promised it - it is written in His Word -

Be at peace tonight dear one - He is readying the crocus for you - and when it is time you will truly enjoy them.- for He loves you so..........

Sunday, March 10, 2013

An Honor........

When I started this blog it was a means of healing for me. So many of you have read these posts and I am truly humbled and honored.

Imagine my surprise when I received a request to write a guest post for "A Widows Might"!This is a blog that I turned to in my need for help and support through my journey.

After a brief session of "No I can't do that" and "God what will I say" and then "Yes God, tell me what YOU want me to say" the post is on the site tonight.

I pray that it blesses you - be at peace this night dear one - for He loves you so!

Go here to read it:


Monday, January 14, 2013

A Cry For Help

     This is my journal...........

     I have kept a journal faithfully for most of my adult life.  This one is a bit more special than the ones before because it holds the days of my sorrow, my tears stain some of the pages and there are many things written within that will not be read (hopefully) until I have gone home to be with Jesus.

     It is also special because it was a gift from my beloved a few years ago. Little did either of us know that I would be using his thoughtful gift to record the most difficult days of my life.

     Tonight I will take a risk and let you "peek" inside it to an evening in September 2011. I had been a widow for about four months and life was bleak to say the least. After reading Psalm 16 and listening to a favorite song by the St. Louis Jesuits titled "For You Are My God, You Alone Are My Joy", I wrote this;

          For You are my God - You alone are my joy - defend me oh Lord.
          You are my God - all that I have when I awake alone in the darkness of night.
           You are all I have, for there is no longer one beside me.
           In the morning when the sun comes and I pour coffee for only one, You are all I have.
           There are too many never used cups on the shelf now.
           When the day's work is done and I enter an empty, quiet house You are all I have.
           The quiet screams back at me the never again sound of his voice saying "Hi! How was
               your day?"
           As darkness falls and I sit in his chair eating dinner alone You are all I have.

            You alone are all I have. You alone are my joy.
            Defend me Oh Lord as I go into this life alone.
          . Defend me Oh Lord from the loneliness that batters me from all sides.
            Defend me Oh Lord from the desire to give up and the need to give in to hopelessnesss that stalks me
            Defend me Oh Lord from the anger that wells up inside of me,
            Defend me Oh Lord from a heart that wishes to give into bitterness and despair.
            Defend me Oh Lord from those who have no heart for my pain.
            Defend me Oh Lord from my vision of the future holding nothing but empty lonely days.

            You alone are my joy. Defend me Oh Lord.

Now 16 months later after writing that prayer I can look back and say - He has.

Yes, I still wake alone, I still eat alone, I still battle thoughts of a dismal future - but He is God - and yes He is all I have - and YES He has defended me through each of these last days and nights. And He will continue to do so - gently guiding me, protecting me, loving me and standing strong round about me defending me from all "those things" - For you see HE IS MY GOD - HE ALONE IS MY JOY.

And with that I have peace, 

Be at peace this night dear one - for He loves you so,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Something New!

     Well, of course, it's something new - it being the first day of the New Year and all ......

     But ......that's not what I'm talking about!

     I want to share something new I received from my daughter for Christmas this (whoops - last) year - however, first I have to tell you about the something new I received from her for my birthday in October.

     She blessed me with a digital camera! How excited I was when I opened that package - because, you see, this has been a desire of mine for a long time. There have been so many times I have seen things I wanted to capture - so many times I have wanted to share pictures of different things with my Facebook friends. And, of course, I have desired the freedom of posting my own pictures here without the worry about copyright issues. I have been able to put some pictures online through the complicated maneuver of sending it to a friend who then posted it on Facebook for me - then I could save the image to my computer - goodness - it got the job done - but how complicated!

     So, there I was with a long awaited dream come true - and what did I do? - left it in the box without using it because of my fear of new technology. Yep, I took one look at that instruction manual along with the cables and that little memory card thingy and all those buttons and froze. New electronic technology is not my thing - I am the lady who learned how to type and cut and paste newsletters the old way - typewriter, glue and scissors and a copy machine - and yes before that a mimeograph machine! Old "technology" I know - this new stuff - not so much. After all my first camera experience was the old "Brownie'' box camera - now that I knew - not this tiny little thing with buttons and zooms and replays and record and auto focus, and.......well, you get the picture (sorry, just had to do that)!

     So, then comes Christmas and our first snow and a cute adorable sleeping Isabelle kitty and so many picture opportunities left untaken because of my fear of the unknown - after all I convinced myself something would go wrong, I wouldn't be able to understand it, I would break something, etc, etc, etc. So many blog posts I could have done "if only I had the right picture".

     And then comes along the gift she gave me - one of such gentleness and tenderness and depth of maturity from her young 20 something heart - I just had to share it - but I didn't know how to use that camera - until today.....

     Today was the day - today was the day I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the unknown world of digital photography - and guess what - nothing blew up, nothing broke and I captured the image and actually got it transferred to my computer!!!

    So what is this "thing" that is so great - well, here it is....

     It's a solid wood heart that measures about 4 x 4 inches and is about 3/4 inch thick at it's center - and it is simply beautiful in it's simplicity.

  It's special you see because my beloved was a master woodworker and if he could have made this heart for me he would have.

    This is the message she wrote with it:

                   I saw this and immediately thought of you and Dad. I hope when you look at this, it reminds you of the love that the three of us shared and will continue to share forever. When you feel sad, just hold it.  It will make you feel better. I love you. (her name) and Dad.

     Of course there are tears - but there is also joy - and peace - a peace that comes from knowing he lives on through her and the love we shared - a peace that comes from knowing that God is always faithful, and a peace from knowing that stepping outside my comfort zone is a good thing - there's wonderful things out there beyond that comfort zone.

    I took just a small little step today - but there will be more - yes there will - for you see He is doing something new - every day - and He's walking right beside me with every step I take.

     And dear one He is beside you as well - I encourage you when He beckons gently to take that little step outside your comfort zone to be brave and take His hand - there's wonderful things out there in this "New" - I promise - when you are ready you will see.

    Be at peace tonight dear one - for He loves you so.








     I have been sitting her for about an hour looking for a picture and trying to think of something profound to say about the "New Year".

     Truthfully ..... I have gone to my window several times throughout the evening and seen the neighbor's lights go out one by one. Quiet bunch - my neighbors.

     Truthfully ..... it's really cold here in the midwest tonight - this last night of 2012 - just 15 minutes away from 2013.

      Truthfully ..... tomorrow will be Tuesday - just like all the other Tuesdays in the last 17 months - just with a different date.

      Truthfully ..... it will be a "New Year" - but only because of the date on the calendar.

      Truthfully ..... each day is the start of a New Year - each day is the start of a promise - each day is a gift.

      Truthfully ..... God has a plan and a purpose. His mercies are new every single day. His banner over me is love.

      Truthfully .....  Life is waiting - beckoning - calling. Life is waiting to be lived - each new day.

      Truthfully ..... There are sorrow and tears.

      Truthfully ..... There will be joy again.

      Truthfully ..... There are sunrises and sunsets.

       Truthfully ......

He knows what He is doing. He knows who I am (and who you are). He knows where I am (and where you are). He knows my pain (and yours). He also knows that when He crafted us in His mind's eye before we were even born that we would be walking this road. And because He knew even then, He designed us to withstand and go "through" not "around".

     Truthfully ..... He knows.......

      Truthfully ..... As I have been writing the "New Year" has slipped into this house quietly. It's here - a "New" year - a "New" day - fresh with His mercies - and hope - and promise - and presence.

      And with that I have peace. May you as well dear one - for He loves you so.