Friday, February 13, 2015

This Week, I've Found Myself Thinking...

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I’ve been feeling an itch to blog about it - or at least to blog about what I've been thinking about in this week leading up to it.

Last year, I took a lighter, yet darker, more chocolate approach to the day and wrote Valentine's Day.

But this year - this week - I’m feeling a little more thoughtful. And, slightly all over the map. I've felt a little nostalgic, a little weak, a little (a lot) thankful, a little prayerful, a little serious, a little Snoopy.

Hold on. I'll show you what I mean.

This week, I’ve found myself thinking about Valentine’s Days past. 

When we were homeschooling, we threw some fun Valentine’s Day parties for the girls. We planned and decorated and celebrated and always bought a big balloon.

I’m sure those were some slightly stressful “how am I going to get it all done” days, but I don’t remember a bit of that. I just look at these pictures and remember perfection. Isn’t that what we do? Why do we do that? Is it because we are so busy navigating today’s “hard," that yesterdays all seem relatively easy? That selective memory gig is so interesting.

This week, I’ve found myself thinking about my Mom. 

Mom died 7 months ago on July 13, 2014. She was 88 and sick and tired, and tired of being sick and tired. She was ready. Knowing that gave (and gives) great comfort, but for some reason, especially yesterday, I missed my mother. I wanted to talk to her. I missed her voice. I replayed a couple of voicemails that I've kept on my phone where she asked me to pick up some juice for her at the grocery store. "It's real good juice, not watered down like some of them..."

It’s good to have loved someone so much that you miss them, isn’t it?

This week, I’ve found myself thinking about my Lou. 

He’s a good man. A really good man. He loves the Lord and me and our crew so well. 
1987 - I've always liked this pic of us
A few completely random things about him that make me smile are:

His voice.
How much he loves tennis.
His knowledge and love of cars.
How he loves technology and all it does for us.
How he can't stand still.
His love of bike riding.
His cooking!
How much his patients love him. When they tell me they love him, I think I'm pretty clever when I come back with, "I do too!!" 

This week, I found myself thinking about my kids.
This week, I found myself praying for my kids.

How I love our crew. Five of the six are scattered to the four winds, but all are in the thick of figuring out what is what, and where they want to be, and how to do what they want to do, and can they really even do what they think they want to do? God has gifted each one of them so uniquely, and I long for them to know how to be and what to do with the gifts given to them. Even more, I pray that they know the Giver of the gifts and love Him with all their heart, and soul, and mind.
The almost ready pic
This week, I've found myself thinking about Kara Tippetts.  

Her blog, Mundane Faithfulness, is chronicling her journey from life to death, which is more imminent for her than most of us think is imminent for us, as she is on hospice care. I first became aware of Kara back in October 2014 when I read this post she wrote on Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy ExperienceI am drawn to Kara's beautiful faith-filled life. I want to love and trust my Jesus like she does when the suffering coming my way comes. We are told in John 16:33 

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." 

Suffering - tribulation - and death are coming to all of us eventually. I don't know if we are ever ready for it. The coming of most of the really hard things that I've gone through have completely blind-sided me. But so far, in these 53 years God has given me to live, He has been faithful in and through the tough times. He has helped. He has loved. God has given the strength and hope needed. He has kept His word.

That's heavy stuff, and I know sometimes our tendency is to shy away from heavy stuff. It's not fun. If fun is our goal, we are going to have a life time of fake. It's only in really dealing with and thinking through the heavy stuff of life and death can we be authentic and have the joy, peace and stamina to live out each day. We lean hard into the truths of God's word knowing He will give all of Him and the truth and the hope and the joy that is promised. When we do that, we will have all that we need for a real, authentic, joy filled life. The weight and wonder of it all astounds me sometimes.

This week I've found myself thinking about how I procrastinate.

How can I ever procrastinate after writing the previous paragraphs? I'm ridiculous. Aren't you glad God's love and faithfulness is rock solid through all our ridiculousness?

I still haven't bought my Lou's Valentine's Day card (or gift). I think I put a little pressure on myself to outdo all other Valentine's Days to date. Good grief. Just stop.

This does, however, take me back to some previous Valentine's from my Lou that I've kept. I really liked Lou's Snoopy phase...

I'm seriously impressed that you've hung with me through all these meanderings. Well done. Here's some parting Snoopy wisdom - not from my stash of Lou cards, but from the internet after I googled, "Snoopy wisdom."

Many, many blessings to you as you love on those nearest and dearest to you.

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