Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A thank-you letter to grief

Kate Motaung, who leads us in the Five Minute Friday link up has written an e-book called Letters to Grief. In order to celebrate that release, she is hosting a link up for us to write a letter to grief ourselves.

"There is something about writing a letter to someone that 

just brings release and satisfaction--which is why I'm

inviting you to write your own letter to grief as well."

--Kate Motaung

Dear Grief,

I never thought I’d be writing you a letter, but it does seem fitting somehow. You have shown yourself off and on during my life and I have to say, even though you’ve been an unwelcome visitor, you have also been a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

You showed up when I was very young. I didn’t know what to call you, then, but looking back I now know it was you. You were there, helping me cope through a very difficult season when I didn’t know how I should feel. 

You. Got. Me. Through it.

I have, unfortunately and fortunately learned a lot about you over the years. I have learned that you can be ignored. For awhile, and on the outside. But, you are never really gone when you've needed to be present in my life

My body has told me at the times that you were present, that you are still sticking around long after I thought you had long moved on. You have spoken to me through 

migraine headaches, 
muscle tension, 
and a host of other negative emotions that surfaced at inopportune times.

When you showed up, you also did crazy antics in my body, soul and spirit. One minute I’d be doubled over on the floor in gut-twisting sobs, and the next minute I would be laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face.

I learned that this is part of your way in us when you visit. And, it’s okay.

 I am very thankful for you during the times you have shown up. I know that sounds crazy. But, I know you are a gift from God for me to actually mentally, emotionally and physically survive unspeakable hurt and disappointment. 

Even devastation. 

That’s one of the things I learned about you from a very wise counselor. (I’m glad I asked her about you and the symptoms you were causing in me. It made me feel a lot less crazy.)
She said to me, “You are going to move through your grief pretty quickly because you are leaning into it.”  

I had to ask her to explain what leaning into grief meant.

She basically said that it is healthy to have my arms wide open to accept you in all of your forms because if I accept you with open arms, you will come and stay for a season, but like winter always turns to spring, you would eventually move on. 

And, during seasons when you’ve shown your face, that is exactly how you’ve moved.

I could be really angry at you for coming and hanging around at different times in my life, but why would I be angry at YOU? You are just a by-product, a gift to help me to accept and process hurts and disappointments. You are not the cause of them! 

You can be so misunderstood by some!
Prince and I

Again, I thank you for coming around during the very difficult times. 

It’s because of you, ultimately, that I have had so much healing emotionally. During a few different seasons of my life, like 

losing my Dad,
losing my horse Prince, 
feeling misunderstood and betrayed by those who were the closest to me, 
and dreams that have been crushed, 

you've been beside me. You've been beside me, coaching me through your stages, and ultimately coaching me to let go and move on. 

Thank you for coming just for a season, doing your thing, and then moving on. If you hung around me forever, how would I move on to happiness and enjoying abundant life? How would I move on to gratitude and having eyes that see beauty?



Friday, December 19, 2014

Welcome back, little girl dreams

Somewhere, back in my little girl dreams, I used to adore Christmas. I mean when I was a very little girl like under six or so.

Church Christmas programs with my cousins, where we would for sure sing Away in a Manger while we looked on at the dolly baby Jesus in the makeshift manger with real hay.

I, along with all my little friends would get one bible verse on a little piece of paper to memorize for the program. One year, I was asked to pray the benediction at the end. I read it off of a piece of paper, but I thought that was so special.

I remember overnight trips to see my grandma and grandpa in Iowa from my Nebraska farm. My daddy would drive all night long while I slept. I would wake just in time to see the big city lights of Des Moines as we were coming in on the Interstate. 

We would arrive about 2 or 3 in the morning and my grandparents must have gotten up to greet us because I don’t think they could have lasted that long. I sat on the edge of the suitcase while my mom and dad greeted the grandparents. And then they put me to bed.

My most vivid memory of Christmas as a small one is standing in my grandparent’s den and looking out the window after dark with my cousins. We were looking in the sky for Santa’s sleigh. I remember one of us (not me) saying in an excited, hushed whisper,

 “There he is! There’s Santa’s sleigh!”

I was so excited!! I sooooo badly wanted it to be true. I so badly wanted to see the sleigh, but it eluded me.

Somewhere since my little girl dreams, some amount of stress has taken over and the trap of comparison.

 Welcome back, little girl dreams.


Thanks so much for stopping by today friends! I so adore you!


Linking up today for the last time in 2014 with a flash mob of writers for Five Minute Friday. We all link up with the same topic. Today's prompt is "adore". No worries about perfect grammar or punctuation. Free writing for the fun of it. Visit Kate Motaung's blog for all the details!

Monday, December 15, 2014

When you need the heart of an adventurer

On December 1st it struck me that a new month was beginning. I'm thinking that it's also because the moving truck was coming the next day to carry our things to a different home and we were going to be leaving the house we have lived in for fourteen years.

We spent much time raising our now grown children in that home.  As I put my pen to my journal page this prayer came out. I call it the "anytime prayer" and not just a prayer for new things like the beginnings of months and moving to a new home. 

Because the things that were prayed for are things we need daily, if not moment by moment.

A new month. A fresh start. 

Lord, heal our wounds, correct our attitudes, lift our spirits and help us see hope from Your perspective. Help us look for you and your work every morning, noon and night. 

Finding Your fingerprints on our lives gives us meaning and fills our lives with joy.

Fill each day with meaning and by that I mean we need hearts of an adventurer to look for the meaning you've already placed here.

Give us a vision for our future. May we look forward with hope, for you have already prepared the way for us and you've already been there, too.

As we remember the past, may we not do so with a tainted, negative view at all that went wrong, but through the lens of gratitude and love for lessons we've learned along the way.

We need your help daily Lord, to see things from your perspective. 

Help us.

We acknowledge our frailty and need your strength.

May we have eyes that look for the best in others.
May we have hearts that endure.
May we have arms that stretch out to the needy around us.

And, may we know that we carry Your love in us to a hurting world.


Thanks for stopping by, friends!
Blessings to you, always!


Linking up today with Coffee for Your Heart and Three Word Wednesday!

Friday, December 12, 2014

When there's a whole lot of preparing

Today is Friday, so it's the day many of us link up with Kate Motaung for a weekly writing free write! It's only for five minutes and just for fun. Go to her website to read how you can join in on a weekly basis! So much fun! Today's prompt is "prepare." 

So. Much. Goes into preparing a home to live in! We just moved a week ago Tuesday, but before that we painted the whole interior including the ceilings, we cleaned, we touched up paint boo-boos.

A whole lot of preparing!! 

painting, painting, painting

And, we downsized a bunch which I’ve written about before, but because of all the prep work to move into a much smaller home I figure it bears repeating again. 

We downsized a bunch of stuff.

My husband kept track of all we donated, threw away or sold. It is an incredible amount of stuff over the past couple of years. And, you know what? As I unpacked bathroom boxes today, I had no place to put many things like a hot water bottle, an ice bag and um lets see... cotton balls!

It sounds silly really, but our new house has no bathroom storage. So, I’m getting rid of more and getting creative with the rest.

I seem to be caught up in trying to prepare this new (old) house for four of us to live here comfortably and not step on each others toes too much. It’s going pretty well. We’ve had to realize we need patience when we’re all in the kitchen. Hard to pass each other when the fridge door is open, or we’re all in there helping!

barely moved in

No matter how much time it takes to prepare a new home to live in, the most important thing is the love that we bring into it. Is my heart prepared to serve my family here, and not just find a spot for the extra bottles of cleaner I unpacked?

Thanks so much for stopping by today, friend! Blessings to you this Christmas season of love!

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