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Grief Revisited…

It takes only a song, a smell, a memory shared on FB, a sound, a picture, a date on the calendar… and the grief comes flooding back. Fresh as the day it began.

Today was just that… a date on the calendar. Four months to the day. A time on the clock.  It happened right now. The emotions and sadness and heaviness surfaced back up to the top of the heap.  I’ve worked so hard to let them go… to quell the sadness… to replace the sorrow with sweet memories that make me smile instead of cry. Her reminders around the house have brought me peace and comfort… until today.

Grief doesn’t happen in a straight line.

Those were the best words ever shared with me by a counselor I sat with for a year after my divorce. And how true they were. I’ve shared them with many friends over the past ten years as they’ve walked through the various stages of grief.

Today I was caught off guard and had to practice what I’ve been preaching!

Four months ago the tears were daily… many times a day.  That tapered down to once a day and then several times a week.  Eventually the tears have subsided; replaced by a smile and a little whisper that I miss her.

This afternoon felt raw and fresh.  Tears. That lost feeling deep in my soul. How has it been four months?  It feels like it just happened.

Tonight I’m upstairs preparing a space for a new little kitten (or two!) to join our household. It scares me to turn them loose in our huge old house so I’m creating a space that is smaller and more contained.  Eventually they can graduate to the big house!

As I’m sitting here in my rocking chair that Abigail and I spent many hours sharing, I’m having a moment.  I feel like the widow that visits her late husbands grave asking him to release her to move on and love again. It sounds crazy, but it’s real.  I am, in a sense, asking Abigail to release me to love another kitten or two. Up until now it’s felt like betrayal.  How can I love another cat like I’ve loved Abigail for 16 years?

Tonight’s grief revisited has been a blessing.  It purged another layer of grief and nudged me to begin to prepare for new life in our home.  Once I have the space prepared and the essentials purchased and staged, I will begin the search.  I know God will put the right little eyes and ears in my path at just the right moment.  Our hearts will connect and a new story will begin.

Abigail’s story will not be forgotten.  There will never be another Bubba Girl, but there will be new memories to make and a new one to love and grow with. It’s time. This grief revisited has opened a new door of possibilities and adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts · Grace · Growth · Humor · Intentional Self · Lessons Learned · life happens... · My Journey · Prayers · Questions to Ponder · Random Saturday · Seasons · Struggles · The Journey

Entering the Throne Room…

“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”    -Psalm 5:3

It’s so easy… yet so hard. I’m up early before leaving for work. I can’t just get up and go.  I need time to prepare for the day. I need coffee and quiet time. I’ve got all of the tools necessary. Quiet and comfortable location (several options), coffee, journal and favorite pen, bible (several) and time.

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GO!

Good morning, Lord…

Suddenly a million distractions come my way.

Oh wait! I need to find a good worship song (on my iPad!).

Now that scripture would be great to put on a photograph… and then I can put it on Instagram!

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Hmmm, I wonder if anyone has commented on the one I put on yesterday?  I’ll just check real quick…

Oh ya, my bible plan… back to business. 

Lord, thank you for this new day. Please give me strength to get through this day and…

Wait! What time is it?  Shoot, I need to be in the shower in 5 minutes! 

I wonder if anyone commented on the photo album I put on FB last night?  I’ll just do a quick check before jumping in the shower!

And that it how it plays out more mornings than I care to admit.  To quote a great movie, “Squirrel!” 

Some mornings are much better and my time is spent indulging in the sacredness of my Heavenly Papa.

While I’m confessing my innate ability to botch my morning quiet time with Jesus, some mornings don’t have any quiet time at all, although that is rare. I’ve tried to exercise first thing and that has been a disaster! I’ll save that for later in the day… if I get to it!  Oh my, that is another blog for another day!

The other evening I was reading Abba’s Child  by Brennan Manning. In the summer of 1992 he spent time alone in a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without TV, radio or any reading material. After reading about his experience I began to ponder what that would be like.  Time alone with God with nothing else. No distractions but our own demons that keep us from that sweet time with the Lord. How long would it take before I could truly “be still and know”? (Psalm 46:10)

I wonder what I’m missing by letting the things of the world get in my way? What sacred indulgence does God have for me that I’ve missed because I’m too busy getting my sanctuary ready to be with Him?

What am I afraid of? Why is it difficult to go to the throne room without my coffee and journal and bible (AKA my iPad full of distractions)…?

Lord,   Show me how to simply come before You and be in Your presence… uninterrupted so that I may partake of Your sacred indulgences awaiting me.   In Jesus’ name… let it be done, let it be so…

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Growth · Healing · Hope · Intentional Self · My Journey

Journey to Find Me…

For one year now I’ve been on a journey with a life-coach. Every three weeks we speak on the phone for 30 minutes.  During that time we recap the previous three-week period and set some goals for the coming weeks.

Coaching is different from counseling.  We don’t spend time hashing out all of my past and dirty laundry.  We speak in the here and now with the goal of moving forward and growing.

At the beginning of this journey I was tasked with creating a vision/mission/purpose for my life… something I’ve never done.  It was challenging.  I’ve spent my entire life putting others first, never really thinking about what I wanted.  Now it was time I became my number one priority.

My Vision/Purpose:
My life is a good/healthy balance between giving myself to others and taking time for me.
Giving myself to others encompasses my job/career (even doing work in the summer), personal time spent taking care of the people in my life (family, friends) and saying yes to things people ask of me.
Taking time for me encompasses doing things that nurture my passion, creativity and soul, and that are good for me.
Both of these involve surrounding myself with healthy people and being able to reach out and ask for help if needed.

The journey has been very positive and also challenging at the same time.  Some conversations were easy to have and encouraging.  Others, difficult and seemed to last forever.  Occasionally I’d start out almost dreading our time and hang up refreshed and encouraged; ready to tackle a new day!

My coach is real and honest – something I really appreciate, even in the difficult conversations.  She challenges me on many levels – spiritual, personal, emotional, relational and physical.  She does not mince words or sugar-coat.  She speaks with truth and asks hard questions, while at the same time encouraging and affirming the work I am doing.  She challenges me with spiritual tasks as well as everyday practical tasks.  She helps me balance the areas of my life that are unevenly weighted.  We both pray before our sessions and God always shows up.

Mid-way through this past year, I did an analysis of “My Intentional Self.”  I listed what was successful and what still needed time and work.  To my surprise, I was far more successful than I thought I’d been with nurturing and growing my intentional self… ME!  When I shared those things that I felt were in-progress, she gave me suggestions on how to carry on and see change.  She gave me hope along the journey.

Winter into spring brought challenges that seemed daunting.  She helped me see God in them and gave me hope and tools to press through them.

At that point I really couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  The sessions seems to be getting harder.  One night in March, I was feeling very flat and it seemed that I was falling into a hole of isolation. During our conversation she stopped and said with conviction,

“You are strong – really really strong!”

I was stopped in my tracks and totally taken aback.  I am?  Really?
I had moved so far into feeling tired and discouraged that I was missing monumental changes surfacing in me and my life.  What a gift to receive on that cold March evening, for it was that strength and encouragement I needed to get through the last three months of school.  For in those months, I operated more in keeping my head above water and surviving.  I was extremely tired and that made for a more difficult journey.

So, here I am a year later.  As I look back over the past year I am encouraged.  I’m different.  I’m stronger.  I look at my life through a different lens than I had 12 months prior.  A better, stronger, more positive lens.  It’s one that says I matter… I’m worth it… I’m valued.  It’s one that says “I can do this – no matter what difficulties are thrown my way.”  I am stronger even though I’m exhausted and ready for a summer break to rest and rejuvenate.

I’m once again brought back to my vision and purpose.  I’m not going to just survive… I’m going to thrive!  My summer is filled with things I WANT to do, not just need to do.  I’m taking ownership of what I value in my life, not what I think I should do or what I think people expect of me.  At our session last night I set a reasonable goal for the next three weeks and I’m off!  In the meantime, I’m going to take a nap… because it’s what I want to do!

Having someone to coach and guide and be that outside perspective is powerful.  I have an accountability that pushes me, but is filled with grace.  I wish for everyone to have that someone in their lives that can take them on a journey to find their purpose and live intentionally… one day at a time.