Good Grief

Good Grief

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


School has begun.  Boys started almost a week ago and Molly started yesterday.  I've always hated school starting back, think its just a carry over from when I always had to go back.  I dreaded it a bit more this year.  See, I grew accustomed to having my 3 around all the time.  Kinda filled the loneliness that I try and not think about.  The loneliness that really can't be described.  Plus it was just another first without Shane being here.  He was always the one that got excited about school.  He thrived on routines, me, not so much.  He use to get so excited when I would come home with the school supplies, he always wanted to see what the kids had and always liked to sneak a whiff of the new crayons, playdo, etc.  We're weird like that,  I still do it.  I knew the boys were dreading it too.  Knowing they were dreading it like every other kid, but also dreading it for other reasons. I decided to attend the UCS convocation but Jake was reluctant.  I told him it would be good, kinda get back in the swing of things.  His answer, "But mom, all those people will be asking us how we are doing."  I responded by asking if that was a bad thing.  His reply, "Dad?"  Sam had already mentioned that if they had a day for dads, he wanted to stay home.  When I thought about it, I understood, during summer we were surrounded by those we see everyday, for 2 months we really didn't have to face people asking how we were doing, they already knew the good and bad days, the days we were missing daddy and the days we didn't want to talk about it.  I still have that stigma about walking into a room of people, never sure of what the reaction may be.  Especially for those that I don't see often. Just one more thing to overcome.
During all of these new transitions I think sometime that maybe we can get a little break here and there.  Not true.  Everyday life continues on.  When Shane was here, we had our share of little inconveniences but seems like since he's not here things just keep happening. Knowing things are just magnified since he is not here.  Here is a short list... our cat ended up having to have emergency surgery (required a house cat again for 1+week), our dog ended up with heartworms (my fault, while medicating Shane for 6 months, I forgot to medicate the dog) he has had to be confined for 2 months which requires me to walk him several times a day.  I have endured a severe crick in my neck, thankfully that is gone, I've had to have a mole removed and have had to depend on my 3 year old to help bandage it, its smack dab in the middle of my back (she is very good, never misses.) Then, Tuesday morning, our confined dog woke me up at 4am barking, checked on him and he was standing in the pouring rain and wouldn't get in his house in his confined kennel. Since this was Molly's first day of school and I couldn't sleep I was praying for the day and a storm came up, literally out of nowhere.  The kids had joined me in my insomniac state by this time and at 5:20 am the biggest bolt of lightening and the loudest thunder hit right outside of our bedroom window.  Shook us all up.  I don't like storms, nor do my kids.  Immediately we tried to turn on the bedroom tv, that's what my junior meteorologist does during storms, to no avail.  Checked downstairs and that tv wouldn't work.  Long story-short.  Lightening came in to the house, hit my tv (Shane gave me for Christmas 2 yrs ago), hit the tv in the boys bedroom and the Wii.  We had just changed over cable, internet and phone so sweet technician guy came back and had to install all new boxes, modems etc.  He noticed the lightening had struck a tree outside of our bedroom, not bad just the barked knocked off.  So, while I was thankful the tree didn't fall on the house or lightening didn't catch the house on fire, I literally lost it on my way to pick up Molly from preschool.  I called a friend and asked her, in not so nice terms, when this stuff was going to end, when we were going to get a break.  I expressed that I didn't really know how to pray, she responded with -ask Him for help. I've done that, time and time again. While I was sitting in car line, I looked at all the cars in front and behind me and thought about each mom in each car and thought about what their worries were.  They have the same worries that I had 1 year ago and years before--whats for supper, how am I going to get this kid here and that one there, I really need to run to TJ Maxx and get that shirt I saw last week, should I paint the kitchen, was Molly dressed cute enough today,  I wonder if Shane will be on time tonight so I can get a break, how am I ever going to get all that laundry done.  Then I started feeling really sorry for myself, thinking why am I the one sitting in the car knowing my husband is not coming home today, that he won't be walking in for my kids to scream, "Daddy's home." That Molly will never have her daddy surprise her for lunch at school or out of nowhere pick her up, that it will be me watching football this fall with the boys instead of Shane.  That fall break will be bringing back a flood of memories from last year.  Then I start thinking God has abandoned me, no matter how faithful I am.  I can't help but think that all of this is of Satan, that He knows that I am faithful and more in love with God than ever before so he is going to do what he can to distract me.  He is attacking through minor and major inconveniences.  He is attacking me through self-pity and envy, envy of everyone else's lives.  He is attacking through people that claim to be lovers of Christ but are not acting as such. Satan just will never let up, and frankly it scares me to death.  I've said myself that if you have a relationship with Christ that its not if a storm hits but when, and that statement scares me to death.  I don't know what I was thinking, I just assumed that my husband's cancer then passing just sort of took me out of Satan's loop, that maybe he would give me and my kids a break.  I was talking to Shane's mom about this and she reminded me that I am a metal that God is shaping and refining into precious gold.  I told her enough already, I'm ready to be refined into that precious gold.  I literally feel like this piece of metal is about to turn to mash potatoes.  I am continually reminded, in my spirit, that this, what I am going through, is nothing to compare to what Joy is up ahead.  I'm not the most patient of people so this is very hard for me.  Today, while I was home alone, cleaning out the fridge, one of the songs on my play list came on and it reminded me of something so important, I'm not alone, while Satan is attacking through big and little things, I'm not alone, while my thoughts yank me away from God's truths, I'm not alone, while frightening lightening and thunder are crashing all around-I'm not alone, while the world tries to take advantage of me-I'm not alone, nor are my babies. 

17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because it does not see him nor know him; you surely know him, for he abides with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you surely will see me; because I live, you also will surely live. 20 In that day you will indeed know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” John 14:17-20

No matter how Satan is attacking I  am still seeing Jesus.  I'm seeing Him through those relationships that Shane counted on and knew would be my support system.  I am seeing Him through little reassurances He continually sends me every day no matter what is crumbling around me, like a verse or a song.  I see Him through generosity of something being taken care of that I was worried about.  I see Him through friends and family who are taking the brunt of my fits of rage, of a pizza delivered from a friend, that has more on her plate than most, because she knew I was having a very bad day.  I see Him in a woman that is a rock to me that emptied my dishwasher, straightened my kitchen and lets me cry on her constantly and borrow her husband for odds and ends.  I see Him in my children, when they say things like, "I don't know how my mom has not lost it with all that's going on," and through one that quietly mentions daddy in the most tender ways in his sweet sweet voice, and a little girl that remembers the smallest things, when we worried if she would remember daddy at all.  Do you hear that Satan, no matter what you do, I'm not alone, my Father's got my back.  Take that evil one!! I will just wait (maybe not so patiently) on the Joy I know is coming.

Sorry this was lengthy, but I've got lots to say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Haven't blogged in a while.  Reason being, I was saving my "insightfulness" and energy for my women's retreat.  I would have loved to have backed out a while back, but so glad I had a friend pushing me telling me it wasn't about me, but what God wanted me to do.  Of course, I worried about leaving the kids, but went anyway.  Had a BLAST!!!!  Got to spend some great time with some great women.  Loved being roommates with one of my most favorite people in the world...TD.  We ate and worshipped on Friday, stayed up way to late for 40 somethings but was too overjoyed for sleep.  Ate again on Saturday morning then my roomy took the mic.  I have told her before that she has contagious JOY for our Lord.  She loves God and  the Word of God and you can so see it all over her.  I always learn something from her and don't think she will ever know what she has done for me, pushing me to dig deeper and deeper into His word.  We praised some more then were suppose to eat lunch.  My mom and sisters(LG included in this), Shane's mom, and sweet Haley and Hannah, and some more dear friends came for the day, which made me feel good.  I couldn't eat, nerves, so settled for crackers.  My new friend ED took the mic next and revealed what God has done and is doing in her life.  It takes guts to get up and reveal yourself to women, and some strangers and share how God has carried you through.  Then it was yours trulys turn to take the mic.   I was extremely nervous to where my heart was literally beating out of my chest.  I knew I was covered because in a phone conversation with Jake a few hours before he said, "Wait mom, Holy Spirit come in and give my mom the words."  I was taken aback and beaming that my 10 year old would say this to me.  I thought I may need to potty before speaking so hurried to do just that.  Luckily, with women, there is usually a wait for the potty.  Just so happened that TD was waiting too, and asked if she could pray for me.  She did just that while 2 sweet Godly women joined us.  She prayed and the Holy Spirit showed up as we asked and my nerves disappeared.  I was asked to share my story of the last few months and did just that.  There were tears, laughter and an awesome presence of the Holy Spirit.  I shared what was on my heart and what had been on my heart, from the anger and whys to knowing I could not have made it this far if it weren't for my Heavenly Father.  He truly has sustained me through this.  During my story I had shared that on Friday before Shane's deliverance that I had given him a bath and thought it was appropriate for me to wash his feet.  When I was washing his feet with tenderness and love I had no idea that I was preparing him to meet Jesus.  I knew that it was a very special moment between Shane, me and our Heavenly Father but that was it.  When I finished my story, the music started and I went to decompress.  A longtime friend came up to me with tears in her eyes and said something about washing feet, and God told her too, before I even mentioned washing Shane's.  I was still a little frazzled so didn't quite understand.  I went to sing Amazing Grace and a few minutes saw her walk up front with a large pail and towel.  She proceeded to grab my hand and sit me down.  She had said God had told her to wash my feet.  I sat and she took my left foot and placed it in the water, and all the while was praying and thanking God, she then took my right foot and placed in the water, still praying and praising.  At this time, family members and very close friends surrounded me with prayer.  Most importantly my Savior was surrounding me.  His presence was so real to me, I remember asking, "Do you feel Him, He is here and I love Him."  While my feet were being cleansed so was my soul and my heart.  God used this sweet anointed friend to help begin healing for my soul and my heart.  I have not let go like that since the day Shane met Jesus.  At that point, I fell head over heels in love with the very man that took His place on the cross for me.  I have always loved Him, but my love for Him multiplied for Him 10 fold.  Yes, my heart still aches for Shane, but I know God's love will sustain me and I have hope in Christ that I will see Shane again.  Hardly can put into words what I was feeling at that moment.  We ended singing one of my favorite songs, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" it has a whole new meaning since Shane's deliverance.  Since I have been focusing on Him more, this world just doesn't matter.  The sweet ladies that allowed this retreat presented me with a very special framed print.  It is a print of Jesus caressing, loving a sweet lamb.  The lamb is in His nail scarred hands.  That lamb, right now, is DeAnn.  He holds me close and is loving on me constantly.  He hasn't forgotten me, even on the days I feel He has.  He still loves me, even when I question what He is doing.  He has been head over heels in love with me for a long long time, and He has been waiting on me to fall as madly in love with Him. 
They treated me to a pedicure and I stayed for dinner.  I was asked to pray with a lady for her brother-in-law that has been diagnosed with stage IV cancer.  Before that I saw the young lady that I sat next to on Friday night.  I told her I enjoyed sitting with her and she said, "I have to tell you something.  I was the one that did Shane's xray and CT scan in October."  Chills went up my spine.  This sweet girl was the one that was with Shane when he saw that dreaded mass in his lung.  She told me she had been keeping up with Shane and I and had started praying that very day.  God is great, and know each meeting is not coincidental.  I didn't want to leave for fear I may never feel that close to God again.  However, I knew that this experience with Him would only make me seek Him more and, that, I intend to do.  I also had 3 sweet babies that were wanting their mom home for the night.  So I left, with a lighter heart.  I had 45 minutes alone with my Heavenly Father and praised Him all the way home. I have since messaged the sweet friend that washed my feet and she told me she was just as blessed as I was.  She said she now knows that when Jesus speaks to her that she will listen and do what He says, even if it means stepping out of her own comfort zone.  She said Saturday, she definitely stepped out of her comfort zone.  That's obedience.  So thankful that I, too, was obedient and went through with speaking and telling our story.  It was sooooo out of my comfort zone, but what a blessing I would have missed just for staying comfortable.  I've come to realize that loving Jesus does take you out of your comfort zone more than not.  For instance, your husband being diagnosed with cancer, going through treatments, then leaving for HOME will so take you out of your comfort zone.  But by stepping out Shane and I both experienced a comfort from God that we would have never seen before.  I found this verse concerning obedience, ironically it is in John 14.  "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me.  And because they love me, my Father will love them.  And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them." John 14:21 See, if we obey He will reveal Himself to us.  And boy, did He reveal Himself on Saturday afternoon.  Thank you God for allowing us to see you, thank you for your constant comfort and grace.  Thank you for showing what it means to be obedient and thank you for the those that are "behind the scenes" that allowed me to go to this retreat, and those that stepped out of their comfort zone, so that we all could see YOU!!  He truly Came and Made a WAY.  Thanks Marsha and Jane for hosting such an incredible weekend and for being obedient.