Hiding my light under a basket

Hi there! I was not planning on writing today but something happened that is threatening to send me into a spin. Jesus tells a parable about not lighting a lamp to cover it or put it under the bed but put it on a table so it can shine it’s light everywhere. Although not exactly what he meant, I feel like telling my story out loud is like putting that lamp out where it’s light will touch everyone around me. If I don’t talk about the grief or the anxiety when it hits me, it is akin to putting that light under a basket where I will know it is there but it won’t be seen and won’t be able to help anyone see the way.

My cousin sent me a Facebook invite to the annual Thanksgiving family Football game. It brought back memories of all the years previous with my Beloved and how much he looked forward to this tradition. I remembered when he threw a snow ball into the megaphone my Aunt was using to cheer her team (not his team!) during the first game he had participated in and how I was mortified and certain that no one would ever want me to bring him anywhere after that. Of course, everyone loved him and maybe even more because he stood up for his team even when he probably didn’t even know the names of the people he was playing with yet! I remembered how every year when we got the invitation he would say he wasn’t playing this year, he was too sore after last year’s game, blah blah blah. And then we would go and he would play. I remember that he never told me if his team won or lost, just about all the fun things that happened or how different people did stuff on the field. I remembered that last year he was barely walking and the idea of bringing him to this state park with its dirt road and grassy fields was too much to even plan. Even when Al was just getting to know us, he was a part of the family when it came to playing football. After crying on the couch, I responded to her invite with an enthusiastic “Can’t wait!” (Fake it till you make it, right?!) And I can’t wait for real. Even though every part of me wants to spend this holiday alone in my pjs, I don’t think that is what I am meant to do. My sister in law always tells me “Life is for the living, go live!

My Pastor talked about forgiveness in the last sermon and how it is truly for the person who is holding the grudge. I realized while he spoke that I am holding a grudge against Al for leaving me here to go through all this alone. I know it isn’t realistic to be mad at someone for something they couldn’t control, and I am sure if he could have Al would be here. Still, I need to be angry at someone so why not be mad at someone who can’t fight back or defend themselves, right? I wrote Al’s name on a piece of paper and put it at the foot of the cross. Symbolic but also part of my memory now. Whenever I start to feel that anger bubbling up I recall writing his name down and giving it to God to take away the feelings of hurt. Maybe it is simplistic, but that truly helps me to stop and thank God for the experience.

I am trying my hardest to be a light in the darkness for those who will go through this experience. It isn’t always easy (actually, it is almost always NOT easy!) but God gave me the power of a voice while Al was sick and I don’t think it was a tool he wanted me to use then and discard after!

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehamiah 8:10

Shut up, Frank!

Hello there! I hope everyone is having a fabulous week. I am 🙂 I have been feeling pretty down over the last few days but I haven’t really been sleeping well so that is a big reason why. Life would be so boring if it was always sunny!!!

Day 10 asks me to write out a few “good” circumstances in my life and a few “not so good” circumstances to give thanks to the Lord for. The point being that it is really hard to see the good when you are upset about something awful that is happening but, as it was said before, everything that God does is for a greater good.

I will say the biggest good circumstance in my life as of late is the fact that I have been able to focus on the opportunities and gifts ahead of me (and less on how terrible my life is!). I have been able to make some decisions without overthinking to the point that I am just frozen in place. Just overall, my life has been pretty awesome!

The flip side to that would be that it is a struggle to live this awesome life. I definitely spend a lot of time telling my subconscious (Frank!) to shut up because he keeps telling me how hard it is going to be. Frank reminds me of my age and how I am starting over like a 20 year old but I am practically over the hill. Frank tells me that I am never going to be my version of perfect, I will always be fat, my wrinkles are getting more prominent…etc. etc. etc.

It is easy to thank God for all the good in my life, I usually do when I wake up in the morning and before my feet hit the floor. I don’t usually think to thank Him for the difficult parts of my day; over the last few days/weeks of the bible study I have thanked Him for the REALLY BAD stuff but the little insignificant stuff just falls through the cracks. Another lesson learned in my 21 days to a grateful heart!

I thank God for giving me the wisdom to be able to know that it is Frank’s voice in my head and not my true voice or the voice of my God. I thank God for giving me the strength to know I am not practically over the hill, fat, wrinkly, or anything else that may be placed in my thoughts. I thank God for speaking to my heart and talking louder and prouder than Frank so there is no mistaking the words of my heavenly Father. And finally, I thank God for giving me the tool to “turn it around” when anything happens. Instead of thinking about how horrible a situation is, I have this knack for finding the good that came out of it. God did that for me!!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

God is Good, God is great…

Hi all! Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there. Today has been a quiet day, I decided not to even try to do anything in case it was tough being the first without Al. Thankfully, it was okay! I went to church, I walked to the beach and sat in the sand, thanking God for all the wonderful things in my life, and of course, I did cat visits.

So Day 8’s homework is to acknowledge God’s goodness. Write down specific times when I have seen God’s goodness in my life. Something happened yesterday that is a pretty big sign of God’s goodness in my life. I messed up on a cat sit. I got a text from the owner asking me if I had been there on Saturday morning because the cats seemed really hungry. I had not been there since Friday morning because that is what I had in my schedule! The good news is that the client didn’t fire me. But it was an eye opener for me. I have not forgotten or missed a visit ever in the last 16 years, although I have forgotten and had to rush to do a dog walk here or there but they are usually last minute jobs and I didn’t put them in my schedule. I have a software program to enter jobs into so that things like this don’t happen, since the software will send confirmations and if the date is wrong the client can tell me to fix it. I hadn’t used the software on the missed visit client because she didn’t really want to; so now I need to insist with future clients. The bottom line is, when things get crazy and I start to lose focus I feel like God sends me a sign to chill out. Is that God’s goodness? I think so!

Another way God’s goodness is in my life is in my home. I wake up in the morning and I look around at the wonder of it all. I have plenty of space inside and outside. I can walk to the beach, walk to the store if I want, walk to the bank…really walk anywhere. Even being as close to everything as I am, I am still in a quiet and relaxing place. I have neighbors who I love. I am alone in my own little bubble but still connected. Thank you God for sending me here!

Absolutely my health and well being are in the top 10 things that God has graced me with. I think people (umm…me!) forget how amazing they are. I get up in the morning with lungs full of air, the strength to get myself out of bed and moving, the mind power to get dressed and drive myself to work. I eat for nourishment and sometimes for fun!

All in all, God is good!

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalms 106:1