Mama Used to Come to My House

Mama used to come to my house.
This bag, inside, she’d lug…
She’d set it by the door,
And start to give the kids their hugs.

Cancer moved it to the closet –
Stored away for rainy days –
The shadow shocks arrive,
Feeling somewhat sad and dazed.

Maybe I’ll look inside –
Memories of her to be found there?
Or will that make things worse?
Don’t know if I should dare.

I smell her mama smell –
But these are just some robes…..
Deeper, digging, hoping –
I continue to search and probe.

Out comes light and beauty,
My mama’s pretty face –
Hidden down deep inside,
Of a dark corner; it’s own space.

Is this a magic bag?
One like Mary Poppins’?
Will I keep on finding things?
Is that the way these things, they happen?

Nope. This isn’t magic.
No special tricks in here…
God sends me a special message –
That He wants for me to hear.

So back to the closet it goes.
But I think it needs more light.
I’ll make it nicer in here –
I’ll make it a bit more bright.

Mama used to come to my house.
This bag, she’d always bring –
But she’s still here and with us….
In our hearts, she hums and sings.

Revelation 21:4  “He will wipe away every tear from  their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor  crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Is there someone you love who has gone home to be with the Lord who used to come and visit you at your house? Please feel free to share your story below in the comments!

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Blink of the Day – Hug Luv

Aaron

The micromoments in life are where we see God show up in big ways.

My son, Justin is a hugger down to his very core. He thrives on this kind of physical affection and LOVES to give it and to receive it as well. This is probably the primary way He likes to show his love outwardly in life.

Jessica, my oldest daughter, is very affectionate as well,yet has a different boundary and comfort level when it comes to hugging. Bear hugs, tight squeezes, and tickling are not her thing. A soft touch and a kind word are more than substantial ways of showing her some true and genuine affection.

Julia, my youngest, like my husband and myself, falls somewhere in the middle when it comes to physical displays of affection. She tends to go with the flow and accommodate to others when it comes to the hug love stuff. This little buffer provides a sweet balance in our family life.

Today, I got to stand back and watch God show up in the small moments again. These three siblings had a “hug teaching” session with one another, in which they found a way to teach one another how they prefer to give, and to receive hugs. It was such a blessing to be able to be here and watch them find ways to work God’s magic into their hug life while respecting one another’s preferences and boundaries too. I got to watch each of them defer to one another, listen, exchange information, and then “practice.” They each stepped a bit out of their own comfort zones and allowed God to help them compromise to make their hug life more enjoyable.

Who knew that hugging could be such a big thing?

The very fact these wonderful souls wanted to practice their new ways of hugging one another shows just how seriously they take this part of their relationship. They practiced it over and over again and it all ended in a group hug in which I could see that they truly enjoyed just being in one another’s presence. They all, for the most part, are young adults now – no longer small children without many boundaries to speak of – that begin to impede us as we grow older. The fact that they realize we all have barriers, but we are all called to still find ways to tear them down, and invite God to show up? Well, it just stuns me beyond belief and does my heart good.

I am so happy that these children of ours (they will always be our babies) want to continue to make hugging a part of their sibling life together. It not only displays love and affection, but trust and relinquishment of control.

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Our Lord Almighty can be found there – in those spaces – He bridges all gaps and fills every nook and cranny. Even the ones that lie between us in the midst of hugs.

Today I got a glimpse of God in the midst of that hug love my children shared. I am so glad I was there to gaze upon it. I will hold that memory in the album of my heart forever.

A million little glimpses of God can keep Him in full view all the day long – all we have to do is look.

Won’t you share some hug love with someone today?

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Shadow Shock – Am I an Orphan?

via Heartlight

             via Heartlight

Today isn’t an edification day. It’s a sharing-of-a-human-hard-moment day.

I miss my parents. I am 46 years old, but I still feel like a child when I think of my mom and dad. By all earthly standards and definitions, I am an orphan.

I lost my father when I was twenty. It was a sudden, very unexpected death.  At the time, it felt like he was cut short. He was only in his early forties. I learned a bit about shock and a lot about anger after that. He was a great dad and I do miss him dearly.

Mom passed away after battling cancer quite bravely just under three years ago. Mom was not just mom to me – she was my dear friend. She was THE person I looked up to most in the entire world. I always say that I want to be like her when I grow up, but it’s looking like I may decide to remain a child forever, ha ha. Some would think of her life as having been cut short too. And in a way, that is true.

Although I miss them both, I will focus on my heart sickness about mom in this post, because I miss her so EXTRA MUCH today.

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I long for my mom at times in ways that run DEEP. This is a heart sick kind of deep. The grief comes more from the lack of her presence in this world than anything else. I know people like to say this a lot, but this world TRULY was a better place with her in it. I knew the day she went home to be with Jesus that it would be that way, so at least he offered me that insight ahead of time so I could accept that truth before she even left.

Today I had one of those moments that I’ve decided to call “shadow shocks”. The shadow of grief came upon me very suddenly after I took my youngest daughter on a shopping trip to the mall. We had so much fun together!

Julia was only ten years old when mom died. She is now thirteen, and that is a LONG time when you are young like that – lots of things change in three years. Mom would have loved to see her and my other two children now. She was always in love with watching her grandchildren and her children at every new stage in their lives.

Those shadows come over the mountain of life’s happy moments and set upon me at times that I don’t expect. In the midst of the brightness, the laughing and the fun, the grief sneaks in and starts to envelop me. And it takes me by surprise almost every single time.

Jessie Weiler via Creation Swap

         Jessie Weiler via Creation Swap

I was driving home from the mall with Julia and it hit me pretty hard as to just how much mom would have enjoyed going along with us on that shopping trip. And I started to feel pretty sad about it all.One moment I was laughing and thinking about fun little earrings. The next, I was thinking on things about life, death, eternity, cancer, lives cut short, and orphans. Whoa.

I was reading in A.W. Tozer’s book last night, Preparing for Jesus’ Return, and I love this statement he makes about how we have to guard our hearts from how this world can impact them in detrimental ways……….

“Man is always upside down, and a Christian has to be always correcting his own heart and translating what he hears into the language of heaven so that he will not be carried away by the world.”

I agree. It is normal for us to grieve the loss of loved ones. It is understandable that we miss them dearly when they pass away and even for years to come. Yet for me, it has been imperative that I translate that shadow of grief  into the greater picture of what lies behind it all. If I don’t, I will get carried away.

MattGruber via Creationswap

       MattGruber via Creationswap

What is the glorious thing in God’s voice that he would have me hear in this shadowy situation? What is the majestic thing that God would have me fix my eyes upon once I move past the returning storm of loss? What part of himself is he wishing to reveal to me as I brace for the impact that I know is about to come?

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18

Evan Courtney via CreationSwap

     Evan Courtney via CreationSwap

It’s okay to miss my mom. But feeling like an orphan long-term is not okay for me. It’s okay for a moment – but then I have to remember what the truth actually is: I am not an orphan. God has rescued me from that.

One of the things the Lord did for me through my mother’s death was to help me to step closer to him and further away from the ties of this world. This is not because I am so grief stricken that I hate my life…quite the contrary!  I have a ton to live for here still, namely, a beautiful husband, three gorgeous and God-given children, and other wonderful family members and friends that I dearly love. I also have good news to share with others throughout this planet, and I am excited to do that in the name of Jesus! But losing mom’s presence really did cause me to press even deeper into my relationship with Jesus than I had before she passed away.I should have been doing that anyway, but God works in mighty and mysterious ways (especially when we don’t listen when he makes things plain and clear to us right from the start).

Let me make this crystal clear: I am not saying God took mom from me to teach me a lesson! But faithfully, he did teach me some valuable things through the loss of my mother. He is still doing so today.

A lot of people don’t find comfort in this, but I do: The Lord can take the worst of things and bring about new growth and goodness from it. This doesn’t mean that the thing that we started with stops being one of the worst things we have experienced. It means just what it means….that he can still make something good result even from the bad. I believe that with all that I am. I seek that through all that I experience.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

When we search for God’s truth and his light in the muddiness of things, we receive a fullness of peace and joy that we cannot fully explain. It replaces the dark that is deep with a light that goes even deeper, filling every crack and crevice within us. All the sad or tough feelings we are experiencing may not fully dissipate and they may even attempt to return (like today for me) but God can then use that to show us something of himself anew.

via Binlam

                      via Binlam

The shadow shock of momentary darkness then morphs into something we can live with and learn from. It becomes a beautiful back-lit painting in God’s gallery of glory that we will be allowed to feast our eyes upon in full once we enter into eternity.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven”. Ecclesiastes 3:1

The time I get to have with my parents on this earth has passed. But I will get to see them again one day. I am sure they will have great things they wish to show me in our new home in heaven. And we will share the same Father then that we shared while we all walked this earth together. Because they accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord too, and that makes ALL of us his children. God does not forsake his children.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6-8

He shows Himself to me if I seek Him. And He dispels the darkness when He deems it to be the season of unblocked light. When the buds on the branches of life need sunshine, he provides it without limit. When it is time for shade, he allows that to enter in as well. God knows the seasons that are needed. He decides when they shall be made manifest in our lives.

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I miss my parents. I miss them DEEP. But I am no orphan. Not by any means. And as far as being cut short? They were taken back to their eternal Father…to their forever home.

ALWAYS have to remind myself that I need to look at that one right side up!

via Pixabay

         via Pixabay