Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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Just Another Wave of Grief

April Evening Wave

 

I used to be good at math.

Now, the numbers get tangled up

With tax brackets and grief

Falling from my family tree

To cover the ground

Like dried up stars.

I have so much to be thankful for.

So much to be thankful for.

So much to be thankful for:

A good man who loves me

Who came before my father died,

That retirement gives me time

To deal with all this….

Is this just another wave of grief?

Holidays on the horizon?

Feeling my feelings more easily?

Now that I don’t have to be strong

All the time?

Is it just grief and the new role

as the senior family member

Against the backdrop of

All I have to be thankful for.

All I have to be thankful for.

All I have to be thankful for.

It must be time for a gratitude list.

(I started writing this Monday night and feel better now with some perspective.)

 


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When People are Hard to Love

“Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some people are hard to love.  Maybe it’s a teenager who you love deeply, but it’s hard to like her when she’s spewing drama. I remember telling my daughter, “I love you, but I hate the way you’re acting right now,” and “Please lower your volume. I can’t hear you when you’re yelling.”
It’s even harder to love the haters, the racists, the ones who intentionally do harm. But Matthew 5:44 says to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you. Now, I know I’m not persecuted. Not really. But it’s still hard to love the haters. I can pray for them, but love them? How do I do that?
Can I say, I love you as part of humanity, because you are created by God. Can I ask, Could we try to listen to each other with respect?
I have no way of knowing if that would work. And to be honest, I’m not too keen on putting myself in situations where hate is strong. I’d much rather avoid conflict altogether, though sometimes I’ve pushed past the fear.
My heart goes out to the family of Heather Heyer who was killed when she stood against hate in Charlottesville, Virginia. They had no way of knowing  her life would be cut short by an act of violence. It’s hard to know when and how to make a stand – when to push past the fear and when to love people from a distance.

In Trust the Timing, I considered it a victory when I finally learned I could just walk away from toxic relationships that would have killed me slowly if I had stayed in them.
But I don’t want to walk away from my country. I love my country in spite of it’s flaws and with all our different kinds of people. But I have to admit, I find myself fearing the actions and beliefs of some of those people.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center recommends in this article  that if hate groups plan to demonstrate on a campus (or in a city) to ignore them and ask administrators to denounce them. We need to realize that facing hate head on might give haters the distraction they crave to keep from looking at some turmoil stewing inside themselves. I believe that deep down, haters are using anger to cover up hurt and fear. That’s no excuse. That doesn’t mean we accept the behavior. But perhaps this could bring us closer to the love the Bible talks about in Matthew.

“Grief unprocessed becomes bitterness, resentment, and unharnessed fury.  Grief processed becomes an unstoppable force of compassion, empathy, and love.     __Allison Fallon

I have no plans to go into places where hate is strong.

But sometimes hate crops up unexpectedly.
      I want to be ready with love if hate crosses my path.
I want to avoid posting negative comments on social media.
I want to hold up positive stories of people doing good work.
I want to say less about what I’m against,
and more about what I stand for.
I want to remember that peace begins with me.
      I want to recognize any seeds of hate that might hide away in the deep corners of my mind – the lingering resentments from old hurts.
I want to forgive myself and others, to bring the hurts to the light, open them up and see if I can love the hate away and heal the fear and sadness underneath. I can’t do this by myself. But with God’s help, maybe I can let love grow so big that it takes up all the space and seeps into the dark places.

What if that could happen in our country? In our world?

      We can start by finding the gardens of love within ourselves and letting that love grow. Water the love. Nurture it. Give it light.
        I wish you peace and strong growing love.
The above is from my August Newsletter. Here’s one more article of interest:

SOCS badge entry 2017

 

On a side note, please hop over to Linda’s blog and vote for this year’s SOC Badge. My entry is the “Sparkly Stream.”

Click here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/08/17/vote-here-for-the-4th-annual-socs-badge-contest-winner/

 


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One-Liner Wednesday X 2 : Grief

“Grief unprocessed becomes bitterness, resentment, and unharnessed fury.

Grief processed becomes a unstoppable force of compassion, empathy, and love.”

                                               Allison Fallon

    “When There is Violence, Hatred, and Evil in the World – Now is the time to Write.”

http://allisonfallon.com/time-to-write/#

 

For more One-liners, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/08/16/one-liner-wednesday-wordless/

The rules, which I sometimes follow are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

 


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Sometimes We Just Need to Be Held

Song Lyric Sunday

Two songs came to me in response to today’s theme: Healing

At the turn of the century, I thought my world was falling apart. But time gave me a different perspective. “Just Be Held,” by Casting Crowns, affirmed, years later, that  God had taken the divorce that brought me to my knees and replaced it with  a miracle beyond my wildest dreams.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
(Stop holding on and just be held)
Just be held, just be held
Just be held, just be held

 

Natalie Grant sings, “Held,” a powerful song about being held through the devastating loss of a child. The song is written by Christa Nichole. Listening will convey the power and love best with this one:

 

Song Lyric Sunday is brought to us by Helen at:

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-32617/


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A Letter to My Divorced Self in 2001

I commented on Oneta’s post, Graduation Day, that it made me think about what I’d like to say to my younger self and what my older self might want to say to me, now. Oneta encouraged me to write about it, so I’m going to take that one step at a time. This first step takes us back about 16 years. In some ways, it seems like yesterday, and in some ways, it was a lifetime ago.

broken heart from pixabay

Dear JoAnna,

I don’t know how you will get this letter, or if you will, but I’m writing it anyway. I’m hoping you will get this when you need it most, when you are newly divorced and feeling abandoned.

I know this is harder than anything you have ever dealt with, that you never expected to have the rug pulled out from under you like this. I know it hurts like hell.

But here are some things I want you to know for sure:

You are loved and cherished deeply, profoundly, and forever by the one who created you, the one who will never leave you, the one who will help you heal.

You will heal. The pain will get easier and your mood will lighten. It will take time – longer than you think it should, but you will feel peace and joy.

You are beautiful, valuable, smart, and kind.

You are a woman of integrity and truth.

You are strong, stronger than you think. But it’s still okay to cry.

You have a purpose. More than one purpose in fact, and the world needs you well, so taking care of yourself, loving yourself well, is good for the world.

You are whole. You do not need any other human to complete you.

Focus on the constants of your life that have always been there for you. The people who have always had your back and the things that bring you joy, peace  and comfort like  music, art, writing, and nature.

Know with certainty that God has a plan, a plan more wonderful than you can imagine. Trust the timing.

If you want a peek at God’s plan, read about my Work In Progress 


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Special Delivery Back in Time

time-tunnel-through-gold-trees

What if you could go back in time to give yourself a message?

If I told myself not to bother dating the first guy who asked me out after the divorce because God has a much better plan, would I listen? Probably not, because I wasn’t listening very well back then. S0 now, I have more compassion for people who find themselves in unhealthy relationships and more appreciation for healthy ones.

Maybe something simpler would get through to my past self. Sometimes I just want to hug that mixed up, co-dependent, grief-blind woman I was, and tell her:

It’s all going to work out!

I promise.

Love YOU!

There are a few songs I’d like send back in time to myself. Here’s one of them.


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Answered Prayer

I asked God to take away the desire for a partner or else send me a good one. “And God, I would really appreciate it if you could get my soulmate here before Dad and Jesse die,” I added.

  From Trust the Timing

When I prayed that prayer seven years ago, I knew I would be strong enough to deal with the death of my father and my dog, Jesse, when those times came. Even without a partner, I had proven to myself that I could cope with loss and keep my head above water. No matter how much it hurt, I would deal with it. But I didn’t want to go through it alone gritting my teeth and forcing myself to be tough.

Now, as I process grief for my father, I can’t imagine how I would deal with the waves of sadness, especially after I spend a day going through Dad’s abundant possessions and then come home to sort through his mail and paperwork. I’m going through mom’s stuff, too, because he didn’t want to get rid of anything after she died eight years ago. If I had to do this alone as the only surviving child – and go to work the next day at a challenging job – it would be overwhelming to say the least.

But I don’t have to do it alone. I know that even if I was still single, God would walk with me through this, and that I’d survive (probably with jaw and neck pain from the teeth gritting.) But it helps so much to have a supportive partner. That is an understatement. Not only does my husband support me emotionally, he made it possible for me to quit my job just one month before Dad died. We didn’t know the timing would work out that way. But I bet God knew.

My husband was here for me when Jesse died a couple years ago, and now he’s here for me as I grieve for my father, because God answered that prayer.

God doesn’t always answer my prayers my way. Despite all I’ve learned about trusting the timing, God still seems awfully slow to my limited perspective regarding prayers yet to be answered. But I know things are being worked out in those I love, and ultimately, love will prevail.

I am thankful beyond words.

bride-leaning-on-groom-in-doorway

2012, just after our wedding

dad-waiting-for-bride

Here’s Dad on my wedding day.