Friday, December 19, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Five-minute Friday promt- Adore

Meeting up here for the final Five minute Friday of 2014. The prompt tonight is **Adore**

Adore- a word not often used in my world. The dictionary defines adore as:
love and respect (someone) deeply;
worship; venerate

 I have respected many people, yet I have not adored them. I have to my knowledge never worshiped or "venerated" anyone on purpose; at least not in the flesh. On purpose. With for-thought and effort.

Yet, perhaps it has appeared I have worshiped -my husband, my children, my own efforts, my interests. But that adoration falls flat. It is of no substance.

I wrote and read the tribute at my father's funeral this past Monday, I grew to love and respect him through his suffering. But adore, worship, venerate? No. But to watch as my father drew close to the end of this earthly existence and reached out to the promise of eternity- now that is cause for adoration and veneration. Come let us adore Him. Him the provider of our faith. Him the realization of the promise of life everlasting. Yes-- "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD, God our maker."   Psalms 95:6

Friday, December 12, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Five Minute Friday prompt PREPARE

Linking up here with the FMF bunch (KateMoraung) where we write for five minutes on a given prompt. Tonight's prompt is prepare.

I am/have been preparing for my Dad's visitation and funeral over this past week. It was postponed so my son, his first grandson, could be present. I have planned the funeral and prepared the funeral bulletin. I have written an obituary. I have prepared a prayer service for the Visitation and will help lead it. I am now trying to prepare a eulogy for the funeral service per my father's request.

Prepare. Are we ever prepared for death? I prayed it would come as he wished-as he slept. He and I talked -prepared. For death. He wanted heaven and all God's splendor, yet was torn with staying here for us. He had prepared by making all his funeral arrangements. He had bought a cemetery plot. He talked about picking out a headstone, but we never made it that far. He had his hymns and old-tyme country gospel songs picked out. He wanted to be pain free.

 He asked God to accept him as he was, imperfect, with regrets, weak and unable to come on his own strength. And God said,  "Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14: 1-4)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Mistletoe?

This year was going to be "different". We began doing the Advent devotional "The Greatest Gift" Coloring the ornaments to decorate our Jesse Tree. I had cut down on the secular ornaments and concentrated on my many Holy Family pieces. I was going to soak in the true Reason for the Season with my 5 year old grand-daughter.

However, God always has another plan. My father has been struggling with health issues. The past 3 months have been grueling as he has moved from hospital, to transitional care, to an assisted living facility. It's his last move that has rocked our plans though. My Daddy will be spending this Christmas with Jesus. Singing with the Heavenly Hosts. As we here, left behind, do our best to honor him with a beautiful Funeral Service. He is truly happier where he now resides; nothing can compare. We will see him again. But still, our hearts hurt. Our days lengthen with sadness. We reach for the phone-then stop. The Christmas decorations sit, spilling out of storage tubs as we put the details of saying goodbye to our father in order. The house looks like the walls have exploded inward, spewing debris from one end to the other. And I. . . I am having trouble focusing on any given task. Just walking in circles it seems, logging miles but gaining no ground. Yet, doing so much that is needed. And how does one grieve when you are happy there is no more pain and your father has a body made whole by faith in Christ? It's the Holidays of Mistletoe, but it's Bittersweet.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Five Minute Friday-Dear

Tonight's Five Minute Friday Prompt is Dear.

Oh Dear Death. Oh Dear God.  Oh Dear. It is about all I can say. When a loved one is failing, is dying, is suffering-What is there to hold on to?
Dear God!!!!
And that is about all.
All you need.
 All you want.
But. Dear. God.

Yes, Dear God come. Take my father in your arms. Wrap him safe and comfort him.
We will grieve-but we already are, please Dear God welcome him.

Dear God help me to see You in this. Dear God subdue the enemy of my father--pain.
Dear God smite the second guessing regarding care, medications, fulfilling wishes.
Oh Dear God!! Hear.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Caughht in the Middle

So, Yeah, that's definitely it; life is Hard. I won't ever sugar coat it again. Life is hard. My father is dying. (I can sob all I want, no one is there to hold me.) And my darling grand-daughter can feel the stress. Add that to Sensory issues and what do you get? Happiness? Hahahahahaha. So i will suck it up. And be a good soldier.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Five-minute-friday writing prompt- Notice

So it's been a  long time since I visited the Five-minute-Friday bunch. And it seems no one has noticed. That's tonight's prompt-"notice"

I've been walking around for a while now wondering what it takes to get noticed. Does one have to send out a "Notice" stating: "Hey life has gotten really hard here-Help!!" Or, should a public notice be published in the community paper? I just don't know how to get noticed.

Here is what I've tried in an attempt to get noticed, and in this order.
1). Prayer
2). Verbally asking for prayer
3). Verbally asking for help.
4). Whining
5). Crying
6). Stamping my feet at God.
7). Giving up

Yeah, I may be a bit overwhelmed with a child with  sensory issues, my Dad has been ill since June, fell late August and fractured his spine, and is now in Hospice dying. I'm tried of Facebook friends; not to burst your bubble or anything-but THEY ARE NOT REAL. I have noticed, I'm tired. I've noticed I feel alone. I've noticed--no one has noticed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Lack of Connections

I am in a season of seeming friendlessness. It seems my close friends have all moved distantly in the physical sense and/or relational. Our children have all grown and moved away, gathering together in their own homes and apartments – we no longer have that tie of co-parenting to keep us in touch with each other. Or, friends have moved out of state for job or health reasons. Others are moving into the grandparent stage as actual grandparents- and me- I am a Mama-grandma, raising my grandchild. While friends exclaim how fun grand-parenting is and plan play days and outings with their grandchildren I am running to preschool and conferences, deciding whether to home-school or not, thinking about music lessons, and wondering how to develop a friend base for a child, when all my contacts for friendship actually avoid interaction with me because I am constantly attending to a young child’s needs; it’s one interruption after another, after another while trying to visit of go somewhere. I feel isolated and alone. I’ve reached out in Bible study, Sunday school classes, and just in general. I’ve made lists of things to pursue for my own growth and to meet new people to ward off these negative feelings, and although I continue to learn and grow, I still come away unconnected with anyone.
As I type this, I have received a heartfelt e-mail from a true friend, prayer warrior, and kindred spirit. Unfortunately she lives thousands of miles away and does not wish to speak by phone, so we e-mail back and forth. It is what feeds my friend hunger when I am starving. I will press on in my friend quest. I am searching for a grandparents group in my area (I wanted to start one at my church and was told there wasn’t a need). I will continue to trust Him for the desires of my heart and the outcome in my situation. There is great joy in each day, even in the toughest moments.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Five minute Friday again "writer"

Here I am again on  a Five minute Friday. Joining the group from  writing prompt WRITER. Taking 5 minutes out of my week to do what I wish I would do more-write.

I had dreams of being a writer back in my High School days. Ha. My teachers told me I had a gift. Well. Then life took off and I followed and writing was gone. Lost somewhere like dust in a forgotten corner. Yet, every now and then I took out those pages I had gloried in. Now they are yellowed after 35+ years. But I still have them. Tucked away. Those neat and carefully hand written pages. My heart on paper.

I've added to them. Some pages  handwritten from the early days of "word processors" when I was afraid to even attempt to turn on that strange thing called a computer. Some safely tucked away in an electronic file on my computer in "my documents." From time to time I go back and read my words. And I wonder, did I really write that? There must be a mistake, it sounds too good. I tuck it back away and go on about my daily life-and wonder-then forget.

Am I a writer? Barely. I mean each day flies by and it's the last thing I think about. There are so many other things to get done. Besides, who would ever want to read what I have written.?? Yet, my own words re-read years later bring me to tears. Maybe it's just me who needs to write. And read. And write. And read. . .

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Five minute Friday's writing prompt= JOY

Yes I am a few days late for Five minute Friday ( ). Working all day Friday makes for difficulty to get it done Friday, at least for me. So a few days late is better than not at all. 

This weeks prompt was JOY. I may be cheating a bit as when I read the prompt I remembered something I had written a while back and thought I'd cut and past along with adding to it.


Contemplate the Cost

It is well and good to celebrate Easter Sunday. After all, Christ has indeed risen!! Without the resurrection we would have no Savior, He would have remained in the grave and our hope would be in vain. Yet, perhaps we should not be so quick to progress to the glory without taking time to grasp the reality of Christ’s journey to that glory. If one rejoices in the resurrection, but fails to embrace the agony of the cross, part of what is glorious is lost, and the true meaning of our need for a Savior is ignored in celebration.
I have learned one cannot comprehend true joy without the experience of heart wrenching sorrow and pain. For without the sorrow and pain woven into the fabric of our lives- by what measurement do we establish the quality of our joy?  I can know the joy of holding my first born in my arms, but only after the pain and struggle of the birth process and the loss of another little one who was never to have drawn a breath. In the spring, new growth erupts and we marvel at the beauty of it after the long, hard, bitter days of winter. So, it is fitting to celebrate the resurrection of the Paschal lamb; what was thought to be dead has not only come to life, but in the process we too have been given the opportunity to taste a glorious eternity.
However, Christ was called to the cross to endure our judgment. By no means was it a walk in the park. Ours should be His naked body with its torn flesh. The spittle on His face, the curses ringing in His ears and the spasms wracking His body is what we deserve in the eyes of a Holy and righteous God.  But, God so loved us that He sent His beloved, precious and perfect Son to make us to be righteous in His sight. If one truly grasps the meaning and intensity of such love, one cannot but be amazed. That is why I ask:
Can there be any pain or degree of loneliness as great as that which my Lord felt that day long ago when His Father turned His face away and abandoned His perfect and precious Son to my sin?  Jesus risked all He had to enter into relationship with me; what do I risk when turning to Him?  A bad habit?  A sinful nature?  What degree of loneliness am I called to endure for my Savior? And, am I willing?
Do we daily take up what God has called us to do willingly, or do we go about life believing there is no struggle to be had in this life for the cause of Christ? There are many ways to respond to such a question. We can refuse to acknowledge God’s call on our lives and live as we choose, never entering into a true relationship with our Creator. We can spout Bible verses, and sing Halleluiahs in praise, claiming all is well and we never feel alone and empty. Or, we can truly be Christ like and cry out in anguish when we feel abandoned and alone; we can go before our Father and ask to be spared the trial we are being asked to endure if at all possible. We can also humbly bow and say, “Thy will be done.” In doing so, however, we may be called to endure a haunting loneliness of soul. For many times what is in God’s will is not to be understood by others. Even Jesus experienced this as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, as He faced betrayal by the kiss of a friend, and as His disciples fled in fear leaving Him alone to stand before Pilate and hear the chosen of God cry out for His blood.
If we are truly listening to the voice of God, we should certainly expect our own Gethsemane experiences in life. On the other hand, the amazing reality to it all is that we can know that we never have to experience the Father’s turning away from us and leaving us in total darkness, void of His presence, for that is what Christ experienced for us. If the agony of the journey from Gethsemane to Jerusalem and on to Golgotha was torture, just imagine what it must have been like for the Son of God to experience the Father’s absolute absence.
Yes, I will celebrate Easter and the risen Lamb! Yet I remain humbly awed by such great love, me the imperfect made perfect through the grave suffering and anguish of the One without a single spot of imperfection, my what a price was paid for me. That is why I cannot forget the cross; for only where the pain and sorrow are truly embraced openly can the fullness of real joy take hold. 

Like I said, I cheated. But what Joy there is in knowing I have eternal life.

Grandparenting with Grace: eternal life

 Today I found this poem, Hidden Treasure (Anonymous) and thought it really is the way of life. We spin and weave our lives, hopefully as He directs, and find great joy and shining moment of happiness among the sorrows and pains.  At times we do grow weary of the task of living, but if we live for eternity we can be assured of "the grandest gift of all".

Hidden Treasure
"It was long ago I read the story sweet~
Of how the German mothers, o'er the sea,
Wind in, throughout the yarn their girlies knit,
Some trinkets small, and tiny shining coins,
That when the little fingers weary grow,
And fain would lay aside the tiresome task,
From out the ball will drop the hidden gift,
To please and urge them on in search of more.
And so, I think, the Father kind above
Winds in and out the skein of life we weave,
Through all the years, bright tokens of His love,
That when we weary grow and long for rest
They help to cheer and urge us on for more;
And far adown within the ball we find,
When all the threads of life at last are spun,
The grandest gift of all~eternal life."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Finishing well

One of my New Year's resolutions was to spend more time reading God's Word, applying it to my life, and listening and praying quietly. So far I ave done this. I am unable to sit each and every day-something I am working on, but I am spending more time with God and finding He does speak through His word.

Today during my devotional time I read, Isaiah38:1-5 

vs. 1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Isn't this true? We are all going to die. We had better get our house in order!! We cannot escape; we will not recover. 

vs' 2-3  Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,  “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Oh if  I could say that!!
"I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.”    . . . with wholehearted devotion" I want to be able to say that!! Yes I do. I want to please God. 

I have been waiting for some one to come along side of me and listen, understand, and share in my struggle. However!!!! I have been counting on man!! Man cannot save me. For eternity, nor for the moment. Only Christ can meet me where I am. This trial has brought me to my knees, actually it has seen me prostrate.  I am nothing without Christ. Life is not fair. But I want to finish well. To do what is right in His sight. To know I have done my best for Him. I want to live for eternity, not just for today. I need to put my eyes on Him and run the race for Him, finishing well.

1 Corinthians 9:24-26 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air."

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Grandparenting With Grace: Five Minute Friday Prompt Write

 Lisa-Jo Baker encourages,

“. . .on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes.”  (See more at )
   Today’s prompt for Five Minute Friday is WRITE.

I’m a bit late for the Five Minute Friday rush, but here is my 5 minutes worth:

To write is a sacred experience; the sharing of one’s heart.  There is always uncertainty in how one will be accepted, if one will be understood. To write can bring pain, but to not write is indeed painful. Writing transcends the now. It carries one through, furthering this journey called life as it works out the kinks, smooths out one’s rough edges, and brings a calm amidst the rolling storms. Writing gives a voice when verbal communiqué cannot be risked. When one’s speech seems inadequate, when words become lodged mid-utterance- to write can be an egress to the soul. To write gives life to one’s life.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Grandparenting with Grace: Another try at Tweetspeak's poerty prompt; this week it's Spanish Lace

Another poetry prompt from Tweetspeak. If you enjoy mine read more poems inspired by  Spanish Lace  here.
Her Life as Woven Lace

Julie A. Olson

It’s there woven by time on her face.
The intricate design
called life.
Each seam painstakingly stitched
as in a piece of artistic
hand-woven Spanish Lace.

The beauty in the piece she holds
has long lost precision
of edge.
Retrospection of life,
disentangled from emotion,
has worked loose
it’s intricate thread.

Recollections are all interlaced,
with those she loves
Relationships unraveled, repaired.
Crisp edges are softened and blurred
by the Creator’s original design.

These textures of living are hers.
All the joys, laughter,
and tears.
Abrupt lines yield-
sway and twirl
The cogent angle of clarity now curves.

A life woven as intricate lace.  

© Copyright 2014

 Image found @ Textile Talk by the Fabric Stock Exchange