Tag: loss

mom Christmas 2016

The first Christmas without your loved one

These next couple of weeks are going to be very hard for a number of people, those who have lost a loved one this past year.

I am one of them.

At least with my mom, I expected it. She was ill and in her nineties. But even with all that, this Christmas will be kind of “hollow” if you know what I mean.

There’s an echo where there used to be a voice.

There’s a spirit where there used to be a presence.

There’s one less person at the table.

There’s one less person to buy a gift for.

Loss is hard and especially at Christmas. I think of all those who lost family and friends due to violence, drunk drivers, natural disasters, etc.; that’s even harder. I hold them up in prayer.

Later this week I will be posting about my cookie baking over this past weekend. Last year at this same weekend, I was frosting Christmas cookies with my mom.

Can you believe this is a ninety-two-year-old woman? She was something else.

mom Christmas 2016

(I still have the tablecloth.)

When we were baking this past weekend, I found a plastic container to store some cookies. The lid is written all over with notes about what was once in the container. I hand-washed the lid, told hubby to do the same. I have very little in my mom’s handwriting so I’m hanging on to this. I kept her recipes as well for that reason.

Christmas container 2017

One less person to frost cookies with and to laugh about what a bad job she did. She laughed the hardest.

“Hey, mom, I know you hated decorating cookies, but you did it every year because I asked you, too. Thank you.”

The snow is blowing hard today as we are under a winter storm warning. I would be calling her today and we’d be talking about this terrible weather and how glad we both were that we didn’t have to go out.

One less person to talk to about the weather.

But I have more as well. I have people I love and who love me. I have the assurance that I will see my mom again someday. I know she is in God’s arms and is totally at peace. I wouldn’t take that away from her. Not for a minute.

I have the more of God’s grace that we can’t imagine until we need it. I have the more of God’s presence. I feel God’s love more.

 When there is the less, God always provides the more. In ways we couldn’t imagine. He has for me.

It’s just a hard day. Hope I didn’t bring you down. This wasn’t going to be the post for today but all of a sudden, there it was. Hopefully, someone is helped by these words.

God bless and have a wonderful day with the people you love.

 

 

scared about the future

Do you ever get scared about the future?

Do you ever get scared about the future?

All the “what ifs”?

What if “this” happens?

What if “that” happens?

I have to be honest. Even though I’ve been a Christian most of my adult life, if I allow my mind to project into the future far enough, I get scared, really scared.

I fear losing the people I love. Not necessarily through death but in any way that takes people away from me. I wonder how I would survive.

Would I survive?

And yet I have. While my mom’s death continues to make me sad, while it has brought to light some areas I need to focus on, I have survived.

And when I feel that way, I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m looking into the future and not accounting for the fact that God is already there. When the time comes,

He will provide.

He will equip.

He will sustain.

It’s what I wrote about last week when I said that sometimes we live so much in the present we forget that the future we worried about yesterday, is here today. And God has been there right along, in the past, the present, and will be in the future.

Said another way, “Today is the future I worried about yesterday.”

I have such great admiration for people who step out and move in faith without having a clue what the future holds.

Anyway, if you are fearful about tomorrow, I’m not going to tell you not to be. We probably all have reasons to be afraid of something. Don’t berate yourself for your fears. Talk them over with God in total honesty and let God direct you.

Much more about talking to God honestly tomorrow.

For now, God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

 

 

hydrangeas

A beautiful reminder of my mom

Sometimes God visits us in a unique way, a sunset, a sunrise, a stranger’s words, a book, a flower.

We should never be surprised with how God “speaks”, and yet we always are.

It was last Sunday morning. I had gone to church (hubby was at the cabin as the electrician was coming) and heard a much-needed sermon based on Psalms 139. It soothed my aching heart as Sunday’s are particularly hard for me during this grieving process. My husband and I almost always stopped by my mom’s after church.

Last Sunday I did that again as I needed to drop off something for my brother. I knew he would be gone but he left the door open to her house. It was hard walking in as everything is the same. I’m hoping my brother buys some new furniture soon so things will look different.

Her Hydrangeas are in bloom so I debated, “Should I pick a bouquet or not? How hard would that be?”  I decided I would.

It was hard.

She grew the most beautiful and largest Hydrangeas I’ve ever seen. But here’s where the surprise came. Without a doubt, these are the largest Hydrangeas ever on her bush. I wanted to take them in the house and show them to her. I always did that;   I would cut a bouquet for her and me.

The one in front and to the right is just one hydrangea. Huge! If I were to place it on a cardboard pizza disc (the largest size), it would be that big.

hydrangeas

But she wasn’t there.

I came home and arranged them, tears flooding my eyes. Why were they so huge this year of all years.? Why not last year, when I could show them to her?

And, of course, that question we tell ourselves we will never ask but we always do.

“Did I do all I could? Were there things I should have done differently?”

So to be reminded that I am “wonderfully, and fearfully made”, brought me comfort. And the Hydrangea reminded me that I, too, can flourish. It’s OK to get on with things, to enjoy my life, to laugh, to enjoy her Hydrangeas. God knows us intimately. He sees our struggles. When it’s the darkest in our life, he is there.

Nothing we can do can interfere with God’s love for us and nowhere we run can keep us hidden from his loving care.  

 

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts Or How amazing are your thoughts concerning me God!
How vast is the sum of them
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

hydrangeas

God can comfort us in all kinds of ways with all kinds of “props”. For me, it was Hydrangeas.

God bless and have a good day.

cabin bedroom

Some really exciting news about “teeny tiny red cabin”

(So it’s been a busy week. This was supposed to have posted Wed. Anyway, here it is.)

Yea. Picture me jumping up and down.

I have some exciting news.  Teeny tiny red cabin (it the cabin’s name, like “Barbara Sue”)  is having a baby. An addition.

I’m having some anxiety about all this with some fear thrown in, too. I’ve never done this before. When we had the bunk house built, there were models to pick from. All I did was point and say, “I want that one.” Then the Amish came and built it. “Ba da boom, ba da bing.” I watched and it was done in a day. The watching and paying for it was the only thing I did. This is a whole new ball game.

Teeny tiny red cabin will still be small, under eight hundred square feet, but now she’ll have her own bedroom. This has been in the works for the past couple of years but finally, we’ve found a contractor who seems to be trustworthy and communicative. It will free up space we are using now for the bed.  The futon will go here.

cabin bedroom

Designing a space from the ground up isn’t easy. I’m a total visual learner and until the walls are up, I won’t be able to “see” what I want as far as door and window placement.

The bedroom will be the biggest I have. Our main residence is an old farmhouse with small bedrooms. This one will be the size of our bunk house, twelve by sixteen.

I did some research on interior design and these dimensions almost reflect what is called, the “golden rectangle.” To be totally a golden rectangle, it would have to be eighteen feet long but I couldn’t afford the extra two feet. Besides, if you know anything about drywall (sheet rock) panels, you know they come in eight or sixteen-foot lengths. We had originally planned on the length being fourteen feet but then I realized I would be throwing away some drywall. (Do the math.) I’d often read that it’s almost as inexpensive to go a little bigger so we did. But to add in the other two feet meant, of course, that would be throwing away at least six feet of drywall.

A perfect rectangle would’ve been twelve by eighteen. So I’m almost there.  But seeing as no one I know is even aware of this golden rectangle rule, I’m good.

I am nervous about this. I’ve never been involved with an addition. I’m going to be on pins and needles for a couple of months. I’ve already driven the contractor a little nuts. But that’s OK. That’s what he’s getting paid for.

I will keep you updated with pictures when construction starts which should be next week. I will even ask your advice from time to time. The room will be white and will have vaulted ceilings. I wanted shiplap but that’s more money, of course, and I decided more floor space was more important.

Here are some pictures that inspired me. Tomorrow I’ll tell you where the bed will be and why. It’s very feng shui.

The bed will be on the peaked wall like this picture but without the window. Hey, maybe just one wall in shiplap?

bedroom for cabin

Am having a few beams at the ceiling for dimension. Don’t know if I’m going to install any overhead lighting or a fan because, think about it, how do you clean them?

white bedroom

 

This flooring is wonderful. And guess what, it’s vinyl sheeting. My friend has it in her sunroom and it’s wonderful. This is a three-season cabin so any other type of flooring won’t work. But that’s ok because I love, love, love this. Gosh, I’m getting really excited just talking about it.

bedroom floor

For once in our lives, hubby and I have decided we want the room to be “turn-key” ready. For those of you who don’t know what this means, it means we’re not doing anything. Except it really won’t be “turn-key” ready because we are making the barn door ourselves. We wanted to have our hands in something so this is what I chose. Besides, can you see a contractor even “getting” this? Hubby hasn’t seen this barn door idea yet and he’s probably going to freak out but I’m determined it’s going to look like this. Can’t you just imagine this?

barn door for bedroom

 

Here’s what our “bedroom” looks like now. This isn’t even a room. The area here is the size of the bed with about one extra foot on each side so we can get it. We bought the bed with the cabin and it will go into the new bedroom. It’s a log bed so it will look great on my floor, don’t you think?

cabin bedroom

 

 

Gosh, just writing about it has calmed my nerves and got me excited about it. That is going to be the hard part. Allowing myself to enjoy the process while I’m still grieving the loss of the mother. I would so have loved to tell her about this. She would have been excited for me.

You might ask why we are starting this now. This isn’t a snap decision. We have been contemplating this for a couple of years.  We both decided there’s no reason not to move ahead with the project.

I hope you’re going to enjoy the process with me.

God bless and have a good day.

mom's birthday cake

Grieving a loss by baking a birthday cake

As you know from my earlier post, today was my mom’s birthday. I made this tiny cake for her and some cupcakes. I took a fresh rose and a cupcake to the cemetery and wished her Happy Birthday.

I did today just as I said. I took the day for myself. As the day went on, I felt a sense of closure. I miss her terribly. I will always miss her. I will also miss the lost opportunities to learn more about her. But she was a very close-mouthed person and kept most things to herself.

But I know she loved me. Not by the fact that she said it often but by what she did. She was always so good to me. That’s how she showed me her love. She would’ve given me her last penny had I asked for it.

By the way, that weird frosting? It’s a combination of chocolate and a brand new peanut butter frosting I just found. My mom LOVED chocolate and peanut butter. So I combined them both.

 

Happy Birthday, mom.

mom's birthday cake

 

 

 

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