griievinggumdrops.com

Stagnant Faith-When It’s Time To Stop Running

(Sharing this post from the past. It’s still so relevant and a great reminder.)

I turned on Joyce Meyer a few days ago, my late night battery re-charger. It was all in the message, STOP RUNNING FROM GOD. Really? I felt like it was without a doubt tailored exclusively just for me.  I wanted to pull the blanket over my head and hide, so no one would notice. But I noticed. I was alone. And she was talking to me.

Today matters. Stop running.

This totally resonated with me.  It caught up with me and smacked me in the face. I have been running, in a non-stop, purely chaotic way of life. Bouncing from one thing to another.-work, sports, animals, meetings, cleaning up flooded basements, tending to bruises and whines,  raising wild chickens and children for that matter, which keeps me endlessly circling on this roller coaster of life, forcing me to put off my writing while trying make sense of my scrambled thoughts.  (Totally normal, mind you, when you have a grief-stricken mind, over commit yourself and have four kids going in different directions!)

Totally consumed with children and their activities, I had reached a stagnant point in my life, losing sight of the big picture (Now that I think about it, seems like I’ve been here for nearly a year now.) Time to get moving.

“Running away never sets us free,” said Joyce.   What was I searching for?  Waiting for or running from?  Tired of the mundane and disconnect, I began praying daily for God to speak to me, to show me my path and whatever I was to be doing and to revive me, because I just was not able to focus or find my spot in life and had absolutely no clue what to do with my disheveled self, wondering where God was. Was I too wrapped up with myself and too busy to hear him? Was my faith stagnant?

Absolutely.

And then I remembered.

This is the day that the lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it, I kept telling myself. 

Fix what you can today.  Appreciate the moment. Live in the present. Everyday is a gift, not to be wasted. Yes, a reminder I desperately needed.

Matthew 4:4    Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

I think at some point, we all go through phases like this in life, where our focus leaves our faith, and we inadvertently refuse to allow time for God, which pulls us away and fogs our mind, creating seasons of anxiety, stress, and confusion.  When you’re busy madly taking care of others and tending to tedious daily tasks, overwhelmed with distractions, you unintentionally put your own self on hold, unaware of your needs until you reach the point of a complete meltdown and realize it’s time to regroup.

What have I been missing out on? So much for sure.  Let us not forget, we can’t do this alone. We don’t have to carry all our worries or burdens.  His word is like medicine.  Time to submerge myself in His word and remember His truths.  Let God be your guide and everything else will fall into place.

In what ways do you need to regroup or refocus?

May you all see the light unto your path.

griievinggumdrops.com

P.S.  Check out my new logo (below) from my friend Shiela at Strubel Studios. She’s amazing. Look for more exciting updates to come as I get ready for my book launch and new ventures.

With love-

Daphne

LogoNEW

Advertisements

Independence Day Pastimes-Riding the Grief Waves

Sharing again, a post I wrote two years ago….

July.

It’s here. Bittersweet. It’s a sweet month for our nation, one in which we should all give thanks.  Yet on the other hand, for me, its sharpness once again caught me by surprise, saturating my soul and wetting my face with the painful sting of how life used to be.

We had always engaged in Independence Day activities in our old town, barbeques and picnics, fun for the entire family. As the children’s parade began, hundreds of little ones dressed in their patriotic colors as they walked and rode their bikes, waving and smiling in sheer delight.  My mind flashed back to Independence Day 8 years ago, as Lydia rode in the same parade, eager to throw candy and take in the festivities. She rode in a toy jeep with her best friend, dressed in her white and red star covered shirt strawberry blonde pigtails blowing in the wind, grinning from ear to ear. It was so real.  I could see her innocent, happy smile and hear her contagious laughter.  Clearly, she was enjoying every minute of it and so was I.

Just then, the swarm of children came fast and forceful. Lots of giggles, shouts and squeals of delight filled the air.   Upon first sight of this chaotic and beautiful display, I swallowed the lump in my throat as I looked around. I saw families making memories, parents tending to unruly children, people laughing taking candid photos, and smiling faces covered in colorful snow cones.

I wiped the tears…

And then I saw one little girl who was in Lydia’s dance class, who suddenly wasn’t so little anymore.  Had it really been that long ago? The petite little girl who used to dress in leotards and twirl in pink tutus was now a grown teenager.  Shortly behind her, a lady I hadn’t seen in years. Her mother. The compassionate woman who came to my house to sit with me days after Lydia died.

Hot tears fell down my cheeks.

So much remains cloudy about that time, but the vivid memory of her coming to see my husband and I, is one I will never forget. She didn’t come with traditional gifts or cards or casseroles, she came to just BE with us. She sat close to me, one arm stretched out on the back of the couch behind my head for what seemed like hours, gently rubbing my shoulders and rarely saying a word.  She was there. Present in that moment which meant more to me than she will ever know.

Seeing her daughter so beautiful, tall and grown up was tremendously difficult.  My mind told me how it wasn’t fair.  My heart broke for what would never be.  Secretly, I sobbed, desperately longing to see my daughter grown and experiencing the joys of this annual event.

I attempted to conceal my sadness, wiping away the tears underneath my eyes, before someone could see me, quickly readjusting my sun glasses hoping no one would notice.

And just like that, the moment was gone.

The memories remained and I embraced the craziness and incomprehensible thoughts of how my life was forever now divided into the before and after of July 16, 2008.  My mind scrambled to make sense of millions of racing thoughts about my journey past and present.

Wondering how I got to where I am today, I put on my best face and pressed on, one moment at a time.  I looked at my children there that day. Seeing their excitement and happiness brought me to a place of peace and contentment.   Out of my tragedy came three new vivacious little lives, to nurture, love and raise.  Incredible. It’s never an easy road to tow, having a giant void deep in my heart. Although I may not have all the answers or understand why things happen, it’s the hand I have been dealt. So I press on. I am thankful for God’s grace, strength and ability to find gratitude in each new day. Gratitude. One secret to living life after loss.

Wishing you all a blessed day!

www.grievinggumdrops.com

A Glimpse Into Sibling Grief- 9 Years Later

This boy.

Up to my elbows in warm bubbly water, I let out a sigh as I loaded the dishwasher. Seems like the vicious cycle never ends.

I looked out the window hoping these dishes would miraculous disappear, when he walked in behind me, grabbed a piece of pizza and leaned against the counter as he took a bite.

“I wish Lydia was here.”    The first words out of his mouth.

Ahhh. Gulp. I felt a sudden tugging in my heart.  This came as a surprise as he hasn’t said much about her in a few months.  Remaining quiet, I continued with the dishes and waited to see where this would go.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could tell his mind was deep in thought, chewing and thinking, remembering and wondering, as demonstrated by his calm yet serious demeanor.

Hunter Pizza

“She should be here instead of me.” He continued on.  Grabbing a piece of pizza, I leaned beside him, reaching my around his shoulders, seizing the moment.

“Oh honey no, you don’t mean that.”    I took a deep breath and tried to fight back the tears, bit into the Hawaiian dish and wondered where this spontaneous empathetic comment elicited from.

We leaned on each other against counter, slowly munching on our pizza and continued our moving conversation.

“You know, God knew what was going to happen that day. He had a plan. He knew we were going to have an accident and knew the outcome. You are here because you were meant to be here. He knew you would be a fantastic big brother and these little brothers and sister you have now need you, and you need them. If it weren’t for Lydia, they wouldn’t be here. “

After I said it, it didn’t sound so attractive.  But it was the truth.  A bittersweet ending. She departed to heaven which opened the door for the three other siblings that came after her-none of which was in our plans.

“I wouldn’t trade any of you,” I said as I wiped my eyes, “and wish all of you could be here now together, but that just wasn’t how it was going to be.  What a blessing that God gave you more siblings.”

“But I wish she was here. I really miss her, “he stated softly.

“I know, I do too,” I said as we shared a loving big bear hug amongst our sniffles.

God knew. He knows.

And there I was, having this adult filled conversation with my twelve-year-old in the kitchen. My son, who now stands as tall as me, will surpass me any minute. He was so big on the outside, yet so vulnerable on the inside.

As I looked at his innocent face, instantly I was reminded of that frightened little boy I cradled in the rocks and weeds on the shoulder of the highway nearly nine years ago while life as I knew it came to a painful end.

How did this happen?  My thoughts raced trying to untangle the intricate web of what ifs.

My mind had no problem reminding me of how excruciating and horrific those early years were.  Amazing how those memories lay just beneath the surface, waiting to be revealed again at a moment’s notice.

My son can be challenging at times like when complaining about his lack of technology or when he tests the boundaries of his emerging independence and entrance into his teens. However, I always remember that underneath his sometimes rough and abrasive exterior, is a little boy.  A little boy who was robbed of a normal childhood and the stable and attentive parents he deserved.

A little boy whose heart remains as big as the ocean.  A little boy who loves his family with all his soul, a little boy who has had to grow up long before his time.

They said he wouldn’t remember, however, to the surprise of many, there is nothing he can’t recall.  From how his sister bossed him around, made him play dress up and wear make up, to every tiny detail about the accident.  He remembers.

She was his, and he was hers.

Each day he grows more- intellectually, spiritually, and physically, touching my heart deeply. Yet emerging now, I see a strong young man who possesses amazing strength and perseverance, a young man who is courageous and beholds a heart of compassion and I couldn’t be more proud.

Through it all, I remain tremendously thankful because losing his sister has brought him closer to Jesus.

And with that, he knows that despite our sorrow, God will make beauty out of our pain and give us the hope and faith to be reunited with his sister and other loved ones someday.  Yet for now, we treasure our memories and rest assured that Lydia will remain forever in all of our hearts.

 

www.grievinggumdrops.com