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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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.


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Signs From the Other Side

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

Since my dad passed away, I’ve seen signs of his light.

The morning after I got the call, this is what I saw in the Tennessee sky

from the passenger side of the car where I rode.

indiana-2017

Dad saying, “Hello. It’s me. I’m okay.”

The morning of Dad’s funeral, I saw this rainbow reflected from an old bottle in my kitchen window. I had never seen this rainbow before.

sign-rainbow-sharper

As we drove home from the funeral/celebration dinner, I saw this sign in the sky. Dad always liked red.

sky-sign-from-dad

Sunday morning morning, a sweet lady, Dad’s contemporary, gave me this card with the poem above about signs.

card

I imagine these signs were easy feats for the man who taught me, “Nothing is Impossible.”

The timing is interesting, though not surprising – my dad died just a few weeks after I retired from my 30 year career, so now I have more time and energy to grieve, to sort through his stuff, and to see the signs.

I’m curious. Have you ever noticed signs?

PS: Jo’s comment below and repost: https://hellsbellsandcreativetails.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/the-odd-egg-a-repost/ reminded me of the water mark heart that appeared on my mom’s bedroom ceiling some time after she died. They slept in separate rooms, but only because Dad snored so loud. I used to think one was a heart and one was an apple, but maybe they are two hearts. Mom was short and Dad was tall, so these hearts could represent the two of them. Now they’re together again. And I bet he doesn’t snore in heaven, or if he does, it’s like music to her ears.

heart-and-apple-on-moms-ceiling

 


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Being Held

“The world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place.” Casting Crowns
Did I have any inkling of this 15 years ago at the end of a 20 year marriage? If I did,  the inkling was overwhelmed by the grief. But now it all makes perfect sense. Sometimes it’s hard to trust the timing, but God is listening, working with us, and has wonderful surprises in store for us.

Loving Me, Too

“You are being held so strongly and so deeply, that you can stop holding on to, or defending, yourself. God forever sees and loves Christ in you; it is only we who doubt our divine identity as children of God.”

___ Richard Rohr in Breathing Under Water.

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Love Prevails

blue rescue  (2)

Art by JoAnne Silvia

Angel armies guard the grieving

weeping for their sons and daughters.

How long do we wait for love to prevail?

For thirteen years he prayed

For his father to accept him

and not despise the way he loves.

He reached past the harsh words

and called again on Father’s Day.

Perhaps the prayers had made their way

Into  his father’s heart

or maybe Orlando’s anguish

released the simple question,

“How’s your fella doin?”

Melting the wall of sadness and

Confessing a father’s love

While there’s still time.

To read about Orlando’s angels who guard mourners from protesters, click below:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/19/482698337/angels-from-orlandos-theater-community-guard-mourners-from-protesters