General inspiration

Blessed Are They That Mourn


“No one told me that grief felt so like fear.” C. S. Lewis

I am reminded again of the similarity myself.  And it has me thinking about how that roller coaster of emotions effects relationships.

Even in regular, ordinary days, not times of intense grief, like at the death of a loved one, it seems that fear or illness or even lengthy retrospection can make us appear to each other as withdrawn or angry.  And sometimes we get confused when our family members start to distance themselves from us when they get signals that we are disinterested in them or that we are angry or upset at them.

Can you relate?  Ever had morning sickness and have to explain that you aren’t upset at anyone, just concentrating on not losing your breakfast?

Or has your spouse ever had a lengthy recuperation from an injury and you had to remind yourself that it isn’t you, he’s just tired and struggling to regain his balance?

There are so many ways and times that family members can practice empathy and long-suffering.  In fact, in order to stay intact, these gifts need to be given and received, over and over.

And often, the process begins with those quiet moments in prayer, when your heart is open and stretched out to God, and you realize how in need of His comfort you are!  And with that recognition comes the understanding that you need to make sure that your family knows that you are striving to be comforted and soft-hearted, and that though you may be tender now, you trust that God is working all things for your good and theirs. Often just showing our pain and our hope to each other will alleviate the possible confusion of mistaking grief and fear for anger or blame.

It can be tough.  It can be a long process.  But this is exactly what families are designed to do.  To bounce experiences off of each other, to reflect back each other’s uniqueness and goodness.  To encourage and protect each other.  To endure and try again and again and again to communicate and to share our perspective.

I guess that “blessed are they that mourn” may in part mean, blessed are they who share their feelings with others, who let their grief out, who enlist love and support from others, who don’t climb into a hole of denial and blame and thereby ostracize themselves….for they shall accept comfort and get through the process eventually.  I would guess that it also means that feeling the pain leads to the healing.

I pray that wherever you are today in your journey, through the highs and lows of your life, that you will pour out your heart to God and allow Him to comfort you.  I am doing the same.

I love you.


“I will turn their mourning into joy.” Jeremiah 31:13

P.S. Thank you Melissa for the foot rub and honey lavender tea! How wonderful to have dear friends.



Last year we came to help our brother with some yard work.  He’d had a surgery some months earlier and was still suffering with nerve pain.  He had been so discouraged with a slow recovery, and so we hoped to offer some moral support by helping him get his raised vegetable beds ready and planted.

Today, we are here again, only this time for his funeral.  The battle just got thicker and harder and we are heartbroken that cancer has ended the full life of a great man.

At one point in the summer, he said he felt he had walked through Gethsemane to a degree.  Pain and mind altering drugs for pain had left him at an all time low.  We had no idea at the time, but cancer was also ravaging his body, growing in his brain and in his spine.

What can I say except I am grateful for all of time and experiences we had together through the years. And how is it that we are so blind to those we love when we are all here and going through the common trials of life?

I believe that he won his battle.  And I pray I will do half as well in my challenges as time goes on.

And I hope to be wiser when we meet again.

Goodbye for now, be at peace.

Apollo Speaks-



Meet Apollo.

This little guy was something else.

Nothing like our lovable chocolate lab who let’s you know what he wants or needs by walking by you, not looking at you really, just kind of sending out dog- telepathy and waiting, occasionally giving you a few backward, sad-eyed glances.

No, Apollo let you know exactly what he needed and wanted.  And if you didn’t get the message the first time, he’d gladly give it to you again, only closer to your face each time. He was really quite hilarious! If he wanted you to scratch his back, he would jump on your lap and pick-up your hand with his nose.  If he wanted to play, he ran around the living room in circles, stopping to crouch down and look at you with his little tail wagging like crazy.

I have thought a lot about the difference in these two.

With one, you knew right where you stood and you knew what he needed when he needed it. On the other hand, I feel badly sometimes when I realize that Toby has needed something and I haven’t clued in.  Mind reading is pretty iffy.

Isn’t that the way with people too?  At times we want others to realize what we want and need, sometimes just by looking sad or hungry or tired.  (Not terribly attractive is it?)

Sometimes we want someone else to validate our need for rest or relief or reprieve.

But guess what?  We don’t need that validation when we validate ourselves. When we call for help.  When we anticipate our own hunger, our own thirst, our own need for creativity and friendship.

Most of us, I would guess, would be better off putting a little more “Apollo” in our behavior!

I applaud all of you who are asking for assistance when you need it!  For taking the bull-by-the-horns and moving yourself, step-by-step, into a healthy place.  You are my heroes!

Because, isn’t it true that a woman who gets herself in a balanced, happy place, by nurturing and caring for herself, is far better able to nurture and care for her family?

You are inspiring! 


To Honor


Who do you love?

Who do you regularly forgive?

Who do you respect and trust and obey?

Is there someone you want to remember or to imitate? 

Who do you encourage?

When we love and forgive and imitate, we honor.

Scripturally speaking, we are commanded to honor God, our parents and our spouse and then our children.  How do we do that in a simple, daily way?

Maybe it is in stopping what we are doing while we are listening, or in agreeing to start a difficult conversation again. Maybe it is when we say, “Good job!”  and “I’m so proud of you.”

Maybe it is in taking the break that will help us to find our sense of humor again on a cloudy day.  Or leaving a note in a sock drawer or writing a sweet message on the bathroom mirror. (Hurrah for dry erase markers!)

And, could it be that we honor our God and our parents and our children best when we care for ourselves and become a little truer, and a little closer to our real potential?

I wish you an honoring day today and hope that you will also feel honored yourself.  My guess is that there are evidences all around that you are.  Do a little looking, and see what I mean.

With love,