Breathe out…Breathe in

Breathe out…Breathe in

One year ago today my Daddy died.

I had planned to work from his room that whole day, just so I could be close to him. I had my notebook, all my files and multi-colored pens, but I had forgotten my laptop at work, so I needed to stop by the office first.

I never did pull out that laptop.

You see, my Dad was in hospice. He had been up and down for weeks, but this last downward spiral wasn’t correcting itself. He continued to decline, farther than he ever had. The hospital staff had said that there was nothing more they could do…his body was shutting down. The best thing for us to do would be to enter him into hospice and make him comfortable.

We moved him back to the assisted living facility. He loved it there. And the staff loved him. They promised that they would take the best care of him. And so we were waiting…trying to comfort him with our touch…lovingly feeding him thickened liquid to keep him hydrated. And when he refused the liquid and turned from our touch…then we sat with him so he could at least feel our presence.

As I arrived in the parking lot that Monday morning, my phone went off. It was my Mom. She told me not to go inside but to wait until she could get there and we’d go in together. This made no sense. She was supposed to be in bed resting…it was my turn to sit with him…it was my watch. Before I could ask her for clarification, she hung up.

I knew.

Even before she arrived.

I knew.

He was gone.

I sat in my car, numb. Not wanting to admit what my soul had already accepted.

But I am an obedient child.

I waited until she got there.

And then the words she spoke broke my heart in two and my world came crashing down.

After his initial diagnosis in 2009, my world changed, yes.

But without him in my world it would never be the same.

And one year later I find that this is the first time I’ve been able to write about September 18, 2017.

I have been anxious and stressed out about this one-year anniversary. How would I feel? What would I need? Where would I need to go? I had no answers. I hadn’t been through this before.

Knowing this was coming, I had been nestling into God’s bosom recently and He whispered some words of comfort I’d like to share with you. Maybe you need them as much as I did.

In the moment of my Dad’s transition

He breathed out pain…
…and breathed in complete healing

He breathed out the brokenness…
…and breathed in being whole

He breathed out the fear…
…and breathed in complete safety

He breathed out sadness…
…and breathed in pure joy

In that split second that only he and God witnessed

My Dad breathed out this earth…
…and breathed in heaven.

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Day 31 – We Made it! (And What’s Next?)

Adobe Spark (3)

The past 30 days of this encouragement writing challenge has been a roller coaster ride! Three months ago, if you would have told me I’d write a blog, I would’ve laughed at you. Two months ago, if you would have told me I’d write blog posts for 30 days straight, I’d probably encourage you to get your head checked out. But now that the challenge is over, all I can say is God is good and I have learned so much about Him, about myself, and about all of you.

The 30 days were a challenge

If anyone invites you to participate in a 30 day challenge, think really hard before accepting. Pledging to do something for 30 days straight is no light task. This was indeed a challenge. There would be so many days when I’d arrived home from work, late, eyes half closed, only wanting to crawl into bed and sleep for days. And then I’d realize, “Oh no! I haven’t written a post today!” I’d roll over, turn the light on, find my laptop, turn it on, and wonder what in the world I would write about. But I pledged…so I’d put my hands on the keys, say a prayer in my heart…and God would always show up.

The 30 days were challenging

Not only was it a challenge to write every day, but it was challenging to write these particular blog posts.

Baring your soul ain’t no cakewalk. There were many times I wanted to write something easy, something light, something filled with sunshine and rainbows.

Something surface.

But when I attempted to stay above deep reality, no words ever came.  It’s only when I surrendered once again to the hard things, the deep things, the real things that the words poured out. I couldn’t hardly type fast enough to keep up with the word flow.

The 30 days were a blessing

The 30 days were a challenge.

And challenging.

But most of all they were a blessing.

This past month was so full of amazing support and love. You all truly came through and the fact that you took time out of your days to read something I wrote meant the world. I would be surprised every day when I woke up to a comment. Or I’d get a notification that someone “loved” the post on Facebook. Or you’d send me a text, or corner me at work, or shoot me an email sharing how that day’s post touched you/challenged you/comforted you. It was overwhelming and absolutely amazing.

And a special shout out to those who read every, single, post, every, single, day.

You are rock stars!

And then those who would share the post with others. I still can’t believe how God took this challenge and used it for His glory.

The challenge also showed me just how rich God’s word is and how deep one can dive into its riches. I would always be amazed when I’d run across a scripture it was like God blew it up into a neon sign that flashed and played alarms and spoke so clearly and so loudly because I had stopped to listen. I don’t know if you have ever experienced that with God’s word, but I did. Every single day.

Now what?

But the challenge is over.

(Woo hoo!)

Now what?

I have a feeling that there is still more…

More to write…

More to share…

More to bear…

More to bare…

More.

And here is where I would like your help.

Would you mind completing this short survey to let me know what YOU would like more of on this blog and from me? It should only take you 2-3 minutes.

SURVEY 🙂

Once again, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Challenge…COMPLETE!

Day 30 – Find Your Field

Find Your Field

I’m no farmer.

And some of the parables and metaphors used in the Bible go right over my head.

But one agricultural symbol makes sense to me.

The field.

Our church is situated next to a large cornfield.

And when I drive by, it occurs to me just how much work goes into coaxing out real, useful crop from a big open plot of dirt.

Growing things is hard.

(Ask all the plants I have killed).

It takes dedication.

Hard work.

Skill.

Knowledge.

Experience.

Just showing up.

And like a farmer works hard to cultivate their field, to reap a bountiful harvest…

So are we as workers in God’s kingdom called to our own fields.

These fields are areas in our lives where God has purposefully placed us to work.

Work hard.

Be dedicated.

Apply our skills.

And knowledge.

Gain and use our experience.

And show up to work.

Let’s see what Jesus says:

35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” – Matthew 9:35 NLT

There are many fields in this world that need workers. Many places where people need to be taught, served, and loved.

What is your field?

It may look completely different from mine.

Your field may be to counsel former prostitutes.

It may be to feed the homeless.

God may be calling you to work in the field of childcare, to love on and teach the babies.

Or maybe your field is with the elderly.

Now that you think about it, could your field be your own home?

Your marriage?

Your neighborhood or workplace?

Could your field be overseas?

Or in your very own backyard?

You see, the world is filled with fields of need.

Fields that need workers.

Fields that need you.

I invite you to take a look around and see where God has purposefully, strategically, intentionally, and divinely placed you.

And ask Him,

“Lord, Is this my field? Is this where you want me to work for You?”

And when He answers…

Be willing to work.

Serve.

Love.

And show up the next day to do it all again.

Then await the beautiful harvest.


Have you thought about where God has called you to work? Do you know what your field of service may be? This week, take some time to reflect on where God has placed you and talk to Him about where He wants you to work for Him. Be blessed.