Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It's a Confusing World?

I slip through the stores, looking around quietly from one item to the next. It's great to see some modest, feminine blouses. I guess the designers have worn out the "let's-see-how-little-material-we-can-use-and-still-call-it-a-piece-of-clothing" style or the "how-can-we-make-this-top-look-like-bare-skin" style! I hope I'm right and this new look is around for a while.

I listen and watch and mosey through stores and down sidewalks of an outdoor mall.

Music plays, a young girl singing, "It's a confusing world, a confusing world. It's a confusing world."

"It's a confusing world"?

I remember feeling confusion in late high school and early college days. It was unsettling. My daily duties were hard to perform well because my mind was troubled. I was experiencing feelings and situations I never had before. I didn't know how to process what I was going through. I lost weight. Didn't sleep well. It was difficult to talk about. But I wanted out of the confusion. I wanted peace of mind more than anything else, so I kept listening and thinking and eventually talked to those I believed understood the world better than I did at that point, and after some time, things started to come together. As I more fully understood and embraced the message of Jesus and insisted that my life line up with that understanding, the confusion began to clear up. Naturally, there are times even now when I find myself in a confused state, but it never fails to clear up once I see how the dots are connected, how each situation fits into the bigger picture of what God has going on.

But for people who aren't embracing truth, for people who aren't building their understanding on the revealed mind and will of God, it must remain "a confusing world."

What about this young girl-singer, song-writer? I wonder what kind of life she lives? What about the young man I saw at the coffee shop this morning who was talking about his boyfriend, as though such a discussion and relationship were as normal and acceptable, moral and good as my drinking my cup of clear mountain water since I was thirsty after my morning walk.

"It's a confusing world."

Later, on my way back to our room, I pass the dinging, ringing, clanging slot machines in the lobby of our hotel. I see the weary souls leaning into screens, craving a win, an adrenaline surge, all they know of fun. Most will go away with less money and emptier souls. They drink, even as they pursue their fun to escape what they already feel.

"It's a confusing world."

"How often would I have gathered" you together, "as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not."  Luke 13:34

There is a place where confusion melts away. I pray you, my reader, have found it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Live-Streamed Service for Nancy Ferguson

This coming Sunday afternoon at 3pm we will have a Celebration of Life service for my mother-in-law, Nancy Ferguson. Here is the link for anyone interested in watching.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Waiting and Watching

There is nothing like watching someone you love die, that gradual goodbye that seems to go on forever in the midst of pain and lost meals, and eventually no food or water, and morphine that totally clouds the mind and speech. 

Your life goes on hold and you see everything else through the lens of this waiting and watching. 

There is nothing like watching what was once a healthy, rosy, vibrant body get smaller and thinner, strength wasting away until until there is no movement save the rising chest that gradually slows... Stops. Rises, falls, Stops. Rises, falls, Stops. again and again, until it Stops. to. rise. no. more. 

When you know the final breath is coming, and you are confident your loved one is going to a much better place, it's not the final one that is so difficult. It is those many slowed and stopped ones before the final one. 

We got the diagnosis Monday, August 1st. No wonder she had broken her hip, then her knee, and had fallen more than once over the past year. No wonder she had complained of pain and had taken more Tylenol than ever before in her 77 years!

They told us she had stage 4 breast cancer that had gone to the bones, 6 months to 2 years, maybe...

She took it calmly. No panic. She was fairly quiet about it, and her baby girl, along with the help of her other children and friends, quietly kicked in to "full-time do whatever you have to do to help her through this final battle." 

Time seemed to stop, but it didn't stop at all. We can hardly believe she was gone only 46 days after the diagnosis. 

Many life-lessons learned, many prayers later...

We are trusting we will see you again, dear Mother-in-law! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Days

A meadow not far from home

These summer days, I awaken every morning with excitement. The girls are home. Need I say more?

Most mornings we are up early to walk or run before the sun starts to bear down. After our time on the track, we come home to enjoy a cup of iced coffee along with a refreshing breakfast. Curt is soon off to the office, and before long somebody is teaching, somebody cleaning, weeding, or scoring music, somebody practicing, reading, or writing.

Because we start early, the day seems luxuriously long. It's so good to live with people who are being made into the image of Jesus.
"Summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~ Henry James
I trust your summer days are filled with joy as are mine!

With a grateful heart,