Sunday, January 31, 2016

Saturday's Sweetness

My grand niece made an impromptu visit on Saturday. I can't wrap my head around the fact that she is now five, and speaks with the intellect of most adults.

The weather was sensational, so after playing "pretend" for a couple hours, we went outside where she insisted on planting me a "garden."

I told her I thought her gold shoes were a bit too fancy for such "dirty" work, but she assured me that they weren't.

As I watched her digging in the dirt, and listened to her talking, I wished I could freeze the moments and keep her five for a very long time. But alas, I couldn't do that—nobody can. Children grow up, and parents grow old. That's just the way it is.

After the planting was done, she took the watering can and carefully poured "love" and "joy" over each tiny stem. "Flowers need love and joy to grow," she told me, and I wholeheartedly agreed. 

If I were granted one wish in this life, it would be that no child in the world would ever hurt for any reason. They are the very essence of God, and if we wish to be a part of God's Kingdom, we must be like them. ♦

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

Matthew 18: 1-3 and 6 (NIV)

I'm joining the good folks at Spiritual Sundays.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Loss, Love And Foggy Lenses

The first month of 2016 is almost over. I've seen multiple reminders on social media about the importance of "living in the moment." Not overthinking things. Not fretting about the future. Not dwelling on the past. Just breathing deeply and focusing on today. Reminds me of Pooh's and Piglet's conversation.

I must admit that, since last spring, when great loss descended upon me without warning (or explanation), my days have been lived behind a foggy lens. Some moments are brighter than others, but every day is blurred.

I saw a quote recently (attributed to Queen Elizabeth II) that says: "Grief is the price we pay for love." After considering those words, I wondered if I love too deeply. I also wondered if it's ever wrong (or maybe crazy) to keep loving, even when no love is returned, and your emotions are squashed, like a bothersome, repulsive bug. I honestly don't know the answer to that, but either way, it doesn't matter. I can't stop loving. I've tried.

I've discovered one thing that puts a genuine smile on my face in the midst of the gloom, however: Arabella Marie, my adorable grandniece. I call her my puddin' pie, and I visit whenever I can. She's started waving her little arm when she sees me, and for a few precious moments, the fog lifts, and brilliant rays of joy come shining in. I hope I can always be a part of her life, and that she'll always be excited to see me. ☺

A few months back, I printed out the 23rd Psalm and hung it in my office at work. Daily it reminds me that the Lord is with me, and mercy and goodness are following me, and even though I walk though the valley of the shadow of death, I'm not alone.

I love the wording of that verse. The psalmist didn't say, "Yea, though I die in the valley," or "Yea, though I stay in the valley." He said, "Yea, though I walk through the valley." That gives me faith that, no matter how foggy the lens is today, I'll see clearly again. These tears will dry. This heart will mend. And the loss that I have suffered, God will surely restore.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed."
Psalm 34:18

♦  ♦  ♦
I'm joining the good people at Spiritual Sundays.