Random Thoughts & Things

You know what I've discovered?  I compose my best blog posts in the bathroom.  Showering, applying make-up, drying my hair, brushing my teeth...something about being in that room I guess.  The problem is, the bathroom holds all of my awesome posts hostage.  I walk out of that room and *poof* - gone.  I'm thinking about hooking up a laptop in there but I'm not quite sure how to keep the steam/humidity from ruining the thing inside of three days.  My husband likes his showers VERY hot.

Which is to say, I have plenty of thoughts - kind, gentle and intelligent thoughts (anyone who knows me just choked on their coffee hard enough to blow it out their nose...) on all sorts of issues from gun control to the President's inaugural activities held off until Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to what my kids at for breakfast but not one of those brilliant posts will ever get published.

They're all still in the bathroom.

Instead, I'm going to chat just a tiny bit again about Mom.  By now I REALLY thought that painful ache of missing her, that physical pain - the one that makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs because I'm certain the power of it is going to make me explode - would have subsided just a bit by now. 

Why am I so ridiculously wrong about this one thing?  I have yet to accept that I am ALWAYS going to feel that pain when I think about missing my mother.  I've described it before but it is really like someone took my right arm and just ripped it off.  What's left is all jagged and exposed and raw and just...excruciatingly painful.

I'm fairly sure I've also talked about feeling and knowing that grief is not about losing Mom, it's about missing Mom.  It's about me.  Mom is celebrating God and His glory every. single. day.  She isn't missing earth, or us, or our squabbling or driving to work or even holding her grandbaby.  She is celebrating God.  What I grieve is that I don't get to talk to her.  I don't get to go shopping with her.  I don't get to bounce ideas off of her.  She was my creative filler-outter.  If I had an idea, I could bring it up to her and she'd start with "Oh yeah... great idea.  And then you could..." and off we'd go.  I keep saying that I need to figure out where my motivation went & get it back.  Only one way I can do that and so far?  No one has snuck into heaven and returned to earth with someone God has called home...  at least not that I've heard about and I'm fairly sure someone would have published a book.  Or a blog.

So..to get back semi-on-track.  When I was thinking about Mom the other day I wandered back to a conversation she and I had about the fears she had.  She was oh so afraid of the dying part.  So that day I told her what I believe happens.  I told her that I believe the last time someone closes their eyes here on earth is the moment Jesus shows up.  And I believe He walks that someone home. Or, we just...go to sleep until He returns if that is how God is working it. 

For years now I've held onto that hope, never having any kind of proof just basing that on what I know of who God is. The just going to sleep part, though, doesn't strike me as right somehow.  There is nothing concrete there, it is all feeling (which, as the Bible says, we aren't supposed to trust our heart so I don't rule it out as a no way, no day idea) but it really feels wrong that a God so loving, so merciful, who put us here with the only purpose of glorifying Him would leave us sleeping for, for some, millenia. 

Then I read this verse the other day:

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His faithful servants (Psalm 116:15)

And it stops me in my tracks.  Precious?  Death is precious to God?  I started digging a little deeper because I thought it HAS to be referring to that age old Christian phrase "dying to self."  And all I read, every commentary, every study, everything I grabbed said the same thing - physical death is precious to God.  He knows we weren't built for it.  We weren't meant for it.  It terrorizes us, scares us and for oh so many of us is painful, some quick, some drawn out but still painful...and He considers it precious.  Like a delicate bird to be handled oh so gently.  I think of the verses that talk about God dancing over us, rejoicing when one "sheep" is found, singing over us...and I wonder...how must it be to pause at the death of each faithful servant and consider it precious.

And I knew Mom was safe.  I just knew it.  I've known it since before she died but I keep getting reminders over and over and over again that what I know is true.  I'm not making it up, it's not out of some desire to sugar coat what she went through.  She's safe.  And I get to be with her again.  We are going to hold hands (or whatever God allows us to do) and praise God together.  Together.  Again.

So, the post was a little less random than I expected but just so I can say I didn't monopolize the WHOLE thing talking about Mom again, here's a picture of my two boys on Monday.  The elder C took the younger C up into the mountains for some snowboarding.  What cracks me up about this picture is the sun.  If you were here on Monday you would know the entire Seattle area was socked in, grayer than gray, in a freezing fog.  The mountains, on the other hand, had brilliant snow and temperatures in the 40's, 50's & in some places?  60's.  Ridiculous...


As 2013 begins

On December 20th I left work until January 2nd.  It was such a beautiful couple of weeks full of rest, relaxation, lack of alarm clocks and responsibility.  I watched a bunch of movies, read a book and started 2 more, catching up on so many things and just...enjoying my time off.
2013 has started and while 2012 went out quietly, full of relaxation, 2013 has swept in like a tsunami and has wreaked all sorts of havoc.  Between a crashed server and other hardware issues at work, Aaron woke up last Saturday and as the day progressed got steadily sicker.  The flu entered our home.  Our receptionist at work has been sick all week, too and has come in with it a time or two.  Fortunately I've had my flu shot so I am hoping to dodge the bullet but Christopher is still vulnerable. 
Having talked to several people the same theme has come up - prayer this is the worst that 2013 has to offer and we get all of our "troubles" out of the way at the start.  Not sure that's going to be the case.  Watching the news tonight and like every night we are bombarded by so much that is not comforting.
Fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings, flu "epidemic," gun control, school shootings...and those are the headlines in the first two minutes.  Our country seems to be rushing toward... something.  A showdown?  A cliff (not just the fiscal kind)?  Disaster?  I'm not sure. 
The funny thing is, I know I'm not in the first generation to think such things.  I hear - a lot - and do agree that things seem to be "getting worse" but I also know, well... they're supposed to be.  No offense but... God doesn't say it'll get better before Jesus returns. 

It is heartbreaking to see, though and to know that even if I manage to die before anything horrific happens and thereby escape true "suffering," my children or my grandchildren or my great-grandchildren won't.  Someone is going to have to suffer for the mistakes we make.  Too many bright minds lost to drugs.  Too many neighborhoods lost to drugs, to unemployment.  Too many families losing their homes, their jobs, their livelihoods.  Too many children dropping out of school.  Disease, earthquakes in "unusual" areas, hurricanes of such massive force they make roller coasters look like toothpicks...  These are not new occurrences and perhaps they aren't even anymore frequent than they have been in the past.  We just hear about them more now.  Media and Technology have made this a very, very small world.

Yet...there is hope.  This morning I woke to a dog wagging his tail, happy to see me again.  Cars still run on the roads, children head off to school.  I know it's not perfect but then...this world isn't supposed to be.  It is, however, still good in many ways.  So...come, 2013.  And I don't mean that as a challenge but more a welcoming invitation.  Help me to grow - in my faith and in my character, challenge my mind, open my eyes.

Show me my to-be memories...


Technology - Joined at the Hip

I have to admit.  It has been a pretty nice couple of weeks.  Toss out the minor surgery on the 21st and it's been perfect.  (Surgery went well, recovery has involved pain - only downside)  I had to come back to work on Wednesday, though.  At first I was fairly excited.  It felt good - the idea of moving again, getting back into the swing of things.  My leg improves almost every day so the idea of not HAVING to rest so much felt REALLY good (I don't make a very good lump, actually).

Loving my job is easy.  I've been here a very long time and while I never know what I'm going to get when I get back after an extended time off, I certainly wasn't expecting what happened this week.  I walk in the door on Wednesday and there is no voice mail, our server is fried and we can't access the internet...

Oh joy.....

It has been a VERY long three days of phone calls, no emails, no computer...  Our IT guy tried to set up our receptionist's computer (she is off this week) as a virtual machine we could run things through until he could fix the bad block on the server's hard drive but he ran into problems there.  He has been able to keep her machine online, though, which is the only reason I can do this.  There have been a few things I could do that didn't involve my computer but it absolutely floored me to figure out just how much of my work life relies on this machine.

There is a pile of work on my desk brought as far as I could bring it without the computer and now I wait... 

The server is back in the building, though and our IT guy is slowing getting us hooked back up and running.

Here's to next week being normal.  I hope...

How has your New Year been going so far?


A Sermon Worth Watching

I don't do this very often but I feel quite strongly to share the link to my church sermon from last Sunday (December 30th).  Pastor Mark Barrett has been with our church for a couple of years now, he spoke at my mother's funeral.  He has a way of not pulling any punches when he's speaking but he's not hurtful or mean with it.  He knows the truth, he speaks the truth and he isn't going to sugarcoat it.

Just want you to be prepared for that when you listen but please...the video is 37 minutes, 5 seconds long and it's 37 minutes & 5 seconds you want to take.  It is worth every moment...and then some.

Be blessed!

Worship:  The Greatest Priority



For 2013...

I wish you....

May your joys be as bright as the morning, and your sorrows merely be shadows that fade in the sunlight of love. May you have enough happiness to keep you sweet, enough trials to keep you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to keep you happy, enough failure to keep you humble, enough success to keep you eager, enough friends to give you comfort, enough faith and courage in yourself to banish sadness, enough wealth to meet your needs and one thing more; enough determination to make each day a wonderful day than the one before.
(Irish Blessing)


“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." ~Numbers 6:24-26

May 2013 be filled with all God intends for you, may you see Him at every turn and may you remember He is Emmanuel - God with us.  Always.

Happy New Year.