Two Years

Two years have passed without my mom here. During the days and weeks after her death I had a hard time recalling good memories with her. I don’t know why that was exactly, but it was. I would think hard and try to make my brain think of the good times or laughs I had with her. Maybe it was the trauma and shock of her sudden, unexpected death that caused a block in my brain. Maybe I was sort of mad at her for what she did. But when the memories would come to me, I would write them down or speak them outloud to Josh and the kids. Like the time she put together a surpise party for my 10th birthday. Or the days I spent with her in the RV on the beach that summer. Or the memory I have of her reaching out to hold my hand when I was about 8 years old in a parking lot of Roses…or was it a movie theatre?

One thing I have found to be true is that there are some things only your mom wants to hear about from you. I have wanted to pick up the phone and call her to tell her something or shoot her a text of a photo or ask her a question, but she is not here. So here are some thoughts that came to me out of frustration when I wanted to share something that only my mom would care about but couldn’t.

You know who wants to see a pic of your new dress? Your mom.

You know who likes to see a pic via text of your new sandals? Your mom. 

You know who would smile to see how you got your toes done?  Your mom. 

You know who never tires of hearing how great your kids are? Your mom. 

You know who can handle the venting from the hardest parts of motherhood? Your mom. 

You know who wants to see your new haircut that you’re unsure of? Your mom. 

You know who cares about that new recipe you tried and loved? Your mom. 

You know who you can ask any question about hormones and growing older and other fun stuff like that? Your mom. 

You know who likes to see pictures of your dog sleeping so cutely on your lap? Your mom.

You know who you can share your politcal views with and even disagree with without severing the relationship? Your mom.

You know who tells the best stories about you from your childhood? Your mom.

So if you still have your mom here with you, be grateful and aware of the blessings of sharing life with her. Even if she’s a mom who doesn’t seem to care all that much. You can show her how to care by your loving actions.

Since the passing of my mom, my sisters and I have shared all these things with each other. I always want to hear about their kids or see their new dress or haircut. Our relationship was really good before, but there is something more there now, in the after. I am so grateful that I have had them to walk with through the past two years. So grateful.

My mom with all seven of her grandkids

Personal God

Old journals fill a basket in my office. Every now and then I will pick one up and open it to remind myself of the journey I’ve been on with The Lord and to recount His faithfulness through His Word and my consistency to open His Word—how this act of obedience, on many unglamorous mornings, has built my life and become my eyes to see the world around me.

A couple of weeks ago when I picked up a journal, an index card fell to the ground. I picked it up and read the verses I had written. I liked them and decided to set the card in my kitchen window at the sink where I stand many times throughout the day. That spot is like my home office. But honestly, I hadn’t really spent a ton of time looking at the card.

About a week later I had decided to get more disciplined in scripture memory and meditation, so I turned a tiny notebook into a Scripture Memory Journal. I sat in the living room and was thumbing through my Bible and praying for God to show me which verses I should focus on in this season of life. I even asked Josh for input. After thumbing through for a while I settled on these verses:

I felt certain these were the words I should memorize and rehearse over and over. And call me slow, but I didn’t realize until a couple of days later that THESE WERE THE SAME VERSES ON MY KITCHEN WINDOW SILL! And maybe that does not seem like a big deal to you, but I had a moment when I realized this and smiled knowing God sees me, God speaks to me, and God is so personal to me.

I hope I never forget the stunning truth that God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, wants to speak to me. He’s given us His Word! This is not a small deal. Are you spending time in it?

The Lord is my Shepherd

May is a rough month for me. There’s Mother’s Day. Then, my mom’s birthday on the 12th, then the day she took her last breath on this earth comes just days later. It’s a 1,2,3 punch I would rather not have to experience, but here we are. 

I’ve gotten a few texts this week from friends asking for prayer. These weren’t just “little” prayer requests—-not that there is anything too little to pray about. Praying about everything is where it’s at. BUT, my point is that hard things are being faced and walked through in my home and in the lives of my friends. I imagine whoever you are and wherever you are, you are also walking through something that is testing your faith and meant to strengthen your faith and trust in The Lord.

How are you doing with it?

Lemme show you how I feel these days, how I’m coping under some stress:

YEP, that sheep right there. That is me. Dissheveled, a mess, but trying to look like I am aware of what’s going on when in reality I just wanna lay down and stay down. I have felt overwhelmed with what is on my plate, thrown off course by circumstances I didn’t plan for, worried over many things. 

The end result was a huge reminder of my need for my Shepherd to carry me. 

I will catch this funny looking sheep out of the corner of my eye and be comforted in the fact that when the Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need. He knows perfectly where I am and what I need or what I don’t need. He protects me from my enemies. He feeds me, quenches my thirst, and makes sure I get rest when I need it. 

Psalm 124 says, “Had it not been the Lord who was on our side….” And I do shutter to think what my life would be like without the Lord’s presence, without my Shepherd. As I look back over my life—including these past couple of weeks—I see so much of God’s deliverance and help and care. His goodness and lovingkindness is surely pursuing me.

G. Campbell Morgan says about that verse: “To look back over life’s way is to realize how constantly we have been brought into cirucmstances which must have engulfed and destroyed us, had it not been that Jehovah was on our side.”

So this is my encouragement to you to look to your Shepherd. He cares for you. He does. He is on your side.

“The Lord is my Shepherd,” Psalm 23:1

“When this is said, all is said.” GC Morgan