Sunday, June 30, 2013


Ecc 3:1-11  To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:  A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

I have been pondering that word for a while. The dictionary gives a lot of definitions, here are a few:
  1. one of the four periods of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), beginning astronomically at an equinox or solstice, but geographically at different dates in different climates.
  2. a period of the year characterized by particular conditions of weather, temperature, etc.: the rainy season.
  3. a period of the year marked by certain conditions, activities, etc.: baseball season.
  4. a period of the year immediately before and after a special holiday or occasion; Christmas season
  5. any period or time: in the season of my youth.
  6. a suitable, proper, fitting, or right time
Seasons are always changing, no matter which kind we are talking about. This last year and a half have held so many seasons wrapped up.... It was winter going into spring that we found out we were entering a season of warfare against cancer that was to last 14 months. Yet encompassed inside that season were seasons of holidays, happiness, struggles, victories- so many things.

I guess what triggered this thoughtline on seasons was when I was thinking about the 4th of July holiday and the summer season that encompasses it. It was at this point a year ago that we had hit a low point in the battle, Glenn had dropped about 50 pounds and was very thin and week. The family has begun a tradition of a campout at Valley of the Rogue during the week around the 4th and they had seen to it that we could be a part of it in spite of Glenn's physical condition at the time. It was a week of blessings, a change of scenery, time to be with family, or just us alone as we needed. A time of prayer, and deep discussions, and a time that we heard the Lord on how to focus for the next of our season within a season times... the season of reclamation.

Yep, we gained some clarity and a plan, and we worked together with the leading of the Lord and Glenn reclaimed weight, back to 200 from 154 and he regained some strength, not a lot but some. This lead to better energy and reclaiming the ability to play the bass in worship at church... something that he kept pressing to do until shortly before he passed. He wasn't going to let the enemy take the joy of worshipping on an instrument from him. Glenn was also up to driving part of the time again, as he took over on our drive to the coast as we entered the canyon area- he knew I didn't like to drive that segment (a short trip but meaningful memories for me).

As the summer season went into fall, we pressed into a season of joys and memories. The cancer was receding and Glenn was feeling better, even preaching on a Wed. night. Getting out with Jacob for a few rounds of golf. The joy of our 3rd grandchild's arrival and finding out that number 4 (who is now our first grandson) was on the way. We had a fall that saw the move to a new home, which I know gave Glenn some peace, knowing that no matter what was to come, housing was no longer an uncertainty. Thanksgiving was most definitely a time of giving thanks, the family was together for dinner and Glenn was eating well, it was a very good day. We entered the Christmas season, full of hope and optimism in the midst of the constant reminder of the health battle.

Christmas was nice, Glenn was on percussion for candlelight service, again something that brought joy to his heart, and to mine. Putting up lights on the new place, something he enjoyed about the holiday season. (Yeah, channeling his inner Clark Griswold, lol.) Again, the joy of family around and just being together. It was also a season of teaching, Glenn was teaching a class at church and it was amazing to see what it did within him as I watched him in his prep time, even when the enemy tried to tell him he wouldn't finish the series- he did!! Into the new year, we were met with the news that the Chemo was beginning to fail, so in Feb. a shift was made to a different Chemo, Glenn was getting a bit weaker but we still kept planning for the next season while enjoying the one we were in. He spent a lot of time looking online for an RV that we could figure how to get, and that I would feel comfortable driving or pulling. It was a season of dreaming. We made a day trip up to Union Creek and Crater Lake, he was tiring easy and walking in the snow was hard due to the neuropathy but we had a nice day; the sun was shining and it was beautiful that day! Our oldest son and his lovely wife came down from Alaska to visit and we were able to go and have family pictures done with everyone, while Glenn still had most of his hair. It was a wonderful time and the pictures are a treasure!!

As spring began to approach we began moving into another season... what was to become a very hard season for us, yet still with it's joyful times. Glenn's health was beginning to decline, we never quit believing in God's ability to heal Glenn, so in spite of the physical, we still pressed in our talks of the future. We enjoyed Easter at our daughter's house, the anticipation of the grandson that would arrive, the joy of our Granddaughter's dedication. We also got to see the Lord's healing touch on others around us, we knew then and I know now that God can and does heal!

Then another season came, one that as I look back I recognize it but I didn't want to see it for what it was... it was a season of good-byes for Glenn. The major drop in Glenn's health hit, and friends and family were there to support us, helping get things done, and get Glenn places that month, just being there. We also saw a lot of family and friends during April, we were both blessed by their presence. It was good to see them, and as always we were talking about all of us getting together again, talking of a BBQ for Glenn's birthday.

Then came the season of Good-bye, to Glenn... we he passed it was so quick that I really was shocked, yes I knew the 'prognosis' but still. Even in this season of Good-bye came a blessing of joy, in the form a little man, our Asher Glenn... his smile is a delight! Following Asher's arrival came time to say our formal good-bye, in the form of a Celebration of Life for Glenn, it was beautiful and so many were there, my heart is still full from the love of that day... and that is helping me as I have moved into the next season alone.

I am in a new season, again, one that has many wrapped within it. One I never prepared myself for, especially for at my present age; grief and widowhood... I know I'm not 'alone' because first I know that God is with me, and in the natural I have amazing family and friends that make sure that I have company... however, I am alone, for the first time since a week before my 17th birthday, I am without my Glenn. It is a season of adjustment on so many levels, I have to adjust to  not hearing his voice each day, not having his hugs I need and crave so much- wrapped in his arms where I felt so safe and secure. I am in a season of learning, learning to lean on and trust God in a new way, again. Trusting Him to complete me, depending upon Him to guide me-- I have always tried to, but again, I no longer have the covering of my husband... so it has changed. Beyond the spiritual side, I am learning to trust the Lord for finances in a new way... in the past there were 2 of us to earn what was needed, not now-- however, God is faithful!! He has already shown me that He will provide I just need to rest in Him... this doesn't mean sitting around, not even close. What it means is to follow His leading in income generation and trust Him to give me the energy to get through this next season of working my business and a job. I know He will be with me, I've seen Him do it for others in the same, and some in similar situations (having to be sole support for one reason or another.)

I have faith in what it says in Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.

I don't understand now, the why's of the seasons I've been in recently but what I do know is that seasons come and seasons go, in each there are both blessings and challenges, I know this- but I also know that both bring growth and during each season I draw strength through time spent with the Lord, in word and in worship and I will trust in Him whatever the seasons bring.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Heartaches and Bumpy Days

Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

The last week or so, I have had quite a few of 'those moments,' the ones that just hit out of nowhere, my heart just begins to ache and the tears begin to flow. Some just come from nowhere, they just hit, others are due to a trigger.

Emotional triggers... ugh, the hard thing, you can't avoid them because they are like landmines, you don't see them coming. I can hear a song one day and be fine, the next, I hear it and all of a sudden, BAM! A wave of memories, this last week the one that got to me was "Your Smiling Face" by James Taylor.  When I heard it, it took me back to our youth, when we were at DeMolay Dances (Rainbow and Jobies too) and we would be dancing, I can remember the faces I would make, and the ones he would make back, we loved to goof with each other that way... I miss it, so much.

Another one was when I was driving down Hwy 99 and I passed a car lot that they have some used RV's on. You might think, 'that's odd,' but it isn't really, you see, Glenn and I had dreams of some long road trips, he spent a lot of time this last year looking at used RV's online, trying to figure how we could get one, for the future... the heartache of unfinished dreams.

It is at these moments that I lean on scriptures like the one above, I remember that strength that God gives me. I know that I can't imagine doing this without the Lord, it is through Him that I have the strength to get up each day, to put one foot in front of the other and to press forward in this new season of life.

God is here for each of us, we need to press into Him-- whether times are good or you are in a hard season. Consistency is key; if we allow ourselves to be lazy and we don't press in during the easy times then I guarantee it will be hard when times get bumpy. When life starts getting hard many people will turn toward God, and they may pray... but if isn't already a habit at some level then they may be doing it in their own strength and if that is the case, when the storm really hits, they may get pulled under. 

It is through time spent with the Lord that we get our bearings, He is the Anchor in the times of storm. It is through those times that we learn to respond to problems rather than react. I have been blessed to watch some amazing examples of God's strength in times of storm, those who run toward the Lord and take cover in Him. I have also witnessed those who did the opposite, the storm hit, things didn't go as planned and they got angry at God and life, they seem to be walking along a canyon that is getting wider and further from where they said they wanted to be before the storm hit... Wow, as I am typing this, the whole parable of the two houses comes to mind...  Something that is good to ponder about our life habits; "Am I building on the Rock or on the sand"

Prov 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strength for the Journey

Psa 71:14-16 But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness, And Your salvation all the day, For I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.

Life goes on... a phrase I know that I have heard thosands of times over the course of my life... and you know, it does. Each day is a new experience, I know, that's a no-brainer, but until March of last year I didn't really think of it like that. Yes, I understood that we are blessed each morning with a fresh start to launch from; our attitudes, the way we make decisions, all of that. However until then, there was a stability of sorts... a baseline of the familiar. Glenn was here, we were doing life together, then came the change.

When we were given the news, we understood several things; 
  • First, why Glenn hadn't been feeling and functioning like normal. 
  • Second; we fully understood the gravity of the situation. Maybe not the ins and outs of what was going to be our day to day but we knew the doctors outlook.
  • Third and most important, we knew that there was no way we would be able to walk the road that was being laid out before us without the Strength of the Lord.
It was a challenging time during the battle, we had schedules and side effects to deal with. We had the battle with our thoughts, even during the good months of the battle we would both get attacked with thoughts that were quickly evicted- that is what you have to do. Our life had a new baseline and we both learned to appreciate each day more, and let the Strength of the Lord carry us.

And since Glenn went to be with the Lord, I am now faced with a new everyday, and a new level of dependency on God... and a more willing heart to let Him take the reigns. Glenn was the spiritual head of the house, Biblically, that is the way it is to be. The last year during his weaker periods I had to step up a lot, but he was still my covering... now, I am the head in the house, not a place I ever thought I would be, but it is my reality.

Fortunately, I know I have a God who loves me and is my covering. I also have Godly men and women around me that I can go to for counsel. I have to press in to the Lord more, hear clearer and trust that He will speak and guide me... I know He will, He said in Hebrews 13:5 "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

I know that even though I am overcome with sadness at times, and I miss Glenn so much that it physically hurts and brings me to tears, God will get me through. The pain will soften over time, and the tears will lessen, how long, I don't know, but I do know it will, because it is true- life goes on.

When we are hit with major events that change our lives radically then we each have to decide how we are going to go forward with life, how we are going to face it. Are we going to choose to grow stagnate in all things, frozen from moving forward? Or are we going to take a deep breath and step by step, press forward.

My choice is the latter, I will move forward, I know it is what the Lord wants me to do, because my journey isn't over just because Glenn is no longer here. God still has work for me, and He will paint my future with His amazing paintbrush if I will remain softened to His guiding, and lean on His Strength...

Yes, He will give me strength for the journey.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Potter's Hands

Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.

I saw this picture this week and it got me thinking about the verse above...

I took pottery in school so I remember the process-
  • Cut a segment of clay off the bulk block
  • Knead it to get all the air pockets out and any hard spots gone so that the clay will work smooth
  • Throw it on to the wheel so that it's fairly centered and can be worked properly 
  • Then begin the process of creating your pot, bowl, plate... sometimes it starts good and has an issue and needs to be squashed and reworked to be thrown again.
  • Green fire it- this is the initial firing before you glaze it. If something goes wrong here then your project explodes and goes into a soaking process for quite a while so it will become pliable and usable again.
  • If it has survived the green firing then it gets glazed and fired again... it is after this firing that you have a finished project, shiny and beautiful.
I look at my life right now, it was in my eyes the finished project, and it was beautiful to me. God gave me an amazing marriage, great family and we all love serving Him but lately I feel like an exploded pot... That being said, I also know that if I allow it, God will take me, and as I soak in His word, in worship and prayer then I will, like that greenware become pliable once again. I choose to willingly submit myself to the potters hand. What form the finished project will become- I haven't a clue, I only know that like any true artisan, the Lord wants to create in me a beautiful finished project. Only He knows what that is to look like.

My prayer... Lord, keep me pliable, let me not fight what you are doing with in me. Take me, work out the 'bubbles' and problem spots that could hamper the finished product. I want to become what you created me to be... 

This is good to remember in life, no matter what stage or season- no matter the calm or the storms; The best thing to say; I give my self to the Great Potters hands.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Trying to Process

Today, I find myself reflecting back over the last 4 weeks... 4 weeks?  Really? Is it possible that so much time has already passed? It's a weird thing, this hole in my life... Glenn and I were together so much of the time over the last 4 years, we worked, played and even ran simple errands together. If you were to average it all out we were probably together 23/7 since we started working together in our business... now I am trying to process the being apart, knowing that he won't be here anymore-- it's not easy to wrap my brain around. The practical side of me gets it, but the emotional side of me is kicking and screaming inside-- this isn't how it's supposed to be!!

Then I take a deep breath, it's not mine to decide 'how it's supposed to be.' I gave that to the Lord a long time ago... He knew thousands of years ago the number of days Glenn would have here, I know this, and I am thankful that I got to spend so many with him. Each day I just have to continue to breath, and put one foot in front of the other and press forward. I know that with time, it will get easier, I will process through this, like with all things, I just need to remember to 'let go and let God,' He will get me through.

The biggest challenge is just learning to process through the day to day things that you just do, you don't really think about them, you just do them. I didn't realize just how many things each of us 'just did' as part of our routine. There are parts of our both our home life and our business that were just what I did, or just what he did, and now I am having to pick up those things that he did and do both parts... that's one of those things that triggers 'those moments.'  

I miss his voice, yes, I am blessed to have a cd with him singing with our kids, but that's still not the same as when he would tell me he loved me, or even tell me to be quiet - he was on the phone. (Which I may not have realized.) I don't get to watch him cooking in the kitchen anymore, something that he loved, and was really good at... he would always get nervous when I would start cutting veggies, he'd tell me how to do that too--- didn't help, I still cut them like I always have. I miss folding clothes with him... and the snap fights that would occasionally happen when one or the other of us had the last towel or t-shirt in hand. Life was fun! 

Yes, life with Glenn was fun, I miss that the most. Whether times were hard, or life was easy, we always had fun. Even this last year when he was sick, he would crack jokes at the weirdest times... the warped sense of humor that we shared didn't hurt, I'd say it helped us get through some hard points. Reader's Digest said it best... Laughter is the best medicine.

I think an area of the whole processing thing that can be the most difficult is navigating against the tide of "What if?" As humans, we go there... what if we had done this, or he had done that, or I had said this... yes it is natural to go there but you can't dwell there- it's pointless to live in the land of regrets, all it does is feed bitterness, anger and depression. And that's no way to live.

The things that I want to focus on in processing- 
  • Memories, yes they bring some pain but it is balanced out with so much joy.
  • My family, I am so thankful for them, I want to encourage them in their walks the way Glenn would, our children and grandchildren are a delight and I know that God has big things for them. Last year when this started we told them not to rearrange their lives for this, but to press forward - you don't stop life for life. As we were believing for Glenn's full healing we told the kids that they needed to focus on the call for their lives, that is how to live, not fretting over what was going on in ours.
  • This may sound silly but I want to focus on getting my brain back to normal- it's like pregnancy brain all over again and I haven't been pregnant since 1992!
  • Trust; Trust that God will bring me through and give me provision- He will bring me to the path on which all my needs are met and my bills are paid. 
  • And most importantly, Faith; faith in knowing that God isn't finished with me, He has work for me to accomplish and I want to be faithful to complete it.
I know parts of this are possibly repeats of my thoughts in other blogs over the last month, but it's all part of the process of my processing the things going on.

I hope that through my ramblings and insights into my thoughts, you find nuggets that will bless your life, and encourage you in some way... that is my heart, I want to be a builder up, not a puller down in your life and I consider it a privileged when you choose to read the pondering's of my heart.