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

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.