Why BB4TheLord2

Why BB4TheLord2: My first blog, bb4thelord.blogspot.com was began a couple years after I became a young widow. After ten years on that journey of widowhood, I took a break from blogging. Now the time has come to begin again. Writing is a gift God has given me and I must get back into using the gifts God has given me.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Worship His Holy Name

Life verse I picked out after I got saved:
Psalm 28:7  "The LORD is my strength and my shield: My heart trusted in Him and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him."

Verse that spoke to my heart this morning:
Psalm 103:1 " Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name."

Made me instantly think of song that some young ladies sang in church a little while back. Just the piano and their strong voices praising the LORD. Was very powerful! Here is the chorus and the 2nd verse that I like best:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find"

Song by Matt Redman

Amen!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

My Valentine

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Red and pink are everywhere! Flowers, chocolate, cards, and candy overflow the store aisles. As with many other holidays, this one for me is different this year. I smile and linger at the frenzy of the approaching lover's holiday. I don't feel like half of me this year. I am well aware of being single in a couple's world, of course. But I don't feel alone. I look at the cards and candy. I pick out some cards for my boys and get them a tasty treat, praying they will do the same for their wives someday. 

In the book Every Young Woman's Battle, the author's have a chapter titled "Falling in Love with Jesus." Three sections of that chapter are called:
  • Making Jesus Your First Love
  • Giving God Every Chance
  • Seek Him and Find Him
Very powerful truths!!

I have blogged many times how God is enough. His word promises us so. Ps 23:1 says, "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want." Faith in Christ is not a religion! It is all about a relationship! A relationship between my heart and the heart of Christ. The Bible is His love letter to me and He gives me gifts every day. He sends flowers each spring and peaceful snow-globey snow in the winter. Every time someone gives me chocolate, I know it was Him prompting their heart to do so. I have felt the comfort of His hugs in my soul and His gentle hands wiping the sadness off my heart. He has held my hand through countless storms, but also as we've scampered forward into a new adventure.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lover of my soul, my ultimate valentine. He pursues me. He knows me. He loves me for me.  And what person doesn't want that?!

I will admit, it has taken me years to recognize and appreciate HOW He loves me. It is so NOT physical. It can not be felt by the skin or seen with the physical eyes. It's heart and soul communication and closeness. He takes the initiative and I respond. I seek His face and He reveals Himself to me.

This is why I say you will never find contentment and fulfillment in a love relationship until you find it in Christ. No spouse will ultimately fill you and tend to all your needs. It is humanly impossible! But Christ can do what man cannot. The Bible states in 1 John that God is love. Who better to love you? Who better to lead you to still waters to satisfy your thirst? Who better to fulfill the longings of your heart?

And like any relationship, it takes effort. You must care and tend to the relationship with trust and communication. There will be times you feel distant and you must work at drawing nearer to God. The book of James tells us to draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to us.  But no matter what we do or say that isn't right, the LORD always loves you. Always waiting with outstretched arms, ready to forgive, ready to love.......

Christ is the Ultimate Valentine! 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Grandpa

Snurr and I were relaxing on the couch chatting the other day and he made this statement,
"My kids won't have a grandpa."

I sighed deeply. Once again his brain is processing the absence of his father, this time thinking forward into his future. This is the part of widowhood that is most difficult, watching my children grieve. There is nothing I can do to shield them from the pain. I will say I do feel privileged at the same time. I am thankful they feel safe enough they can share their heart and hurts with me. So very thankful.

I waited for Snurr to share more.
I could see the gears turning in his head.
"I have two grandpas."
"Yes, you are very blessed."

I explained to him that if his wife's father is alive that his children would for sure have one grandpa.
Then I explained I actually had three grandpas, but I only knew two. My father's first dad died when he was eight. So his stepdad was my grandpa also. Then I had my mom's father as a grandpa also.

So I told him that if the Lord sees fit, and someday I remarry that his children could very likely be like I was. Have three grandpas, one in heaven and two on earth.

As he quietly processed this, I thought about how unpredictable grief is. We never know when it will pop up or what will trigger it. Most often when grieving, we think backwards in time. We also grieve that our loved ones can't be with us currently. But grieving forward also occurs. It is all apart of our hearts trying to process our loss.

One thing is certain. The Lord is there. He is there where ever we are grieving.
And He has great grace for whatever the future holds.


Monday, February 6, 2017

An Acquaintance Visits

I stood on the porch. It's 5:55 p.m. Eleven years ago there was a horrible, life-altering accident. I look down the sidewalk and recall the policeman and my neighbors walking up it. Tears flow at the memory. The mind flashes thoughts of metal crashing and tearing, of tires on the pavement, of my beloved mortally wounded and bleeding, then silence with just a cold winter breeze.

Back on the porch, I pull up my hood and step down one step.
Hot, salty tears flow down my cheeks. I take a deep breath and head down the sidewalk to meet an old acquaintance, Grief. We have traveled many miles together. We've never been friends. Grief can be demanding, bossy, rude, exhausting, and overwhelming.  Though Grief has been very painful, knocking the wind out of me, pouncing on me, and wounding me to the ground, I don't think of Grief as an enemy either. A bully at times maybe, but whose power has diminished over the years. Two things are constant about Grief: it is unpredictable and the Lord has always sent comfort.

It has been quite a long while since we last spoke. There has been such healing in my heart, I had hoped we'd not ever have to meet again. But the tell-tale scar on my heart and soul give it a passport to come, though its stay won't be long.

Grief and I walk down the driveway together. Then I force my feet to face the cemetery. Tears continue to fall with each rhythmic step of my feet crunching in the snow. I head to go into the cemetery one way. I stop. Another flash from the past. A tent. Chairs. A casket. Family. Cold wind blowing through the huge hole in my heart.

I turn and walk along the edge of the cemetery. Three trees. A garden stone. A dream remembered. A touch to the cheek. Understanding eyes. Permission to move forward. Crunch, crunch. The snow beckons me on.

I turn again and walk forward uncertainly, not knowing what Grief will do. I reach the graveside. And the tears come more forcefully and sobs escape my lips. Time stops.
Grief swirls around me like an icy blizzard.
Blinding my eyes,
stinging my cheeks,
making my lungs gasp for warm air...

"I love you so much....." I whisper into the night as I stare at a picture of a married couple, so happy, so in love, sharing the secret of a third child within. It seems like a lifetime ago I posed for that picture with my Jim alive beside me.

The icy blizzard calms, and the blessed warmth of comfort of the Lord comes.
Time begins ticking again. Grief backs away into the shadows of the trees, but doesn't yet leave.
I breathe in the grace of God.
I fill my lungs with the warmth of His love and faithfulness as the tears continue to flow.
But the sobs are silent. Like birds released from prison, they have flown away.

I stoop down. With my finger, I write in the snow. After five words, my finger throbs with pain from the cold. But it is the only pain I feel. I breathe a sigh of relief. Through the tears, I read in the moonlight, "I will always love you."

The mind jumps to a beach in Michigan and the waves flowing in. Two honeymooners write in the sand. The waves threaten to erase their creation. Quickly the bride writes "T.I.D." which means True If Destroyed. They turn their backs on the water and the good man plucks an enormous red maple leaf and hands it to his soulmate.

The cool breeze tussles my hair and I turn towards the path in the woods. I feel Grief lingering behind me, following, yet staying in the shadows. Tears continue to fall as I meander through the woods to the field drive. My back is to the life in the house, my back is to the grave. I walk on and on until I feel Grief has given up following me and the tears cease. Then I just stop and stand.
Alone, I just stand and Be.
"Be still and know," God said.
My eyes contrast the crumbled down old barn and the home beyond full of life.

The nightly breeze has begun to dry my cheeks. I lick my lips and taste the remnant of salt. The mind flashes to a memory, but it is blurry and fading. The mind quickly tries to jump to the future, but it is halted and captured. I turn around and retrace my steps.

Suddenly the night is pierced by a holler from the boys, "Mom?" It is repeated, then the door bangs shut. I turn towards the house as I tramp through the woods. Instinctively, I follow the path to the cemetery. Without even thinking I write "T.I.D." Then smile at my Jim's picture and use my boot to snowplow my words of love into forever. Into eternity.

Using my sleeve, I remove the tears from my lashes and finish drying my cheeks. I walk back towards reality and the boys who need me. I glance at the time. 6:11 p.m. Sixteen minutes have passed; it seemed like hours. Where will we be in five years? Who or what is in my future? I round the corner of the house and light from within streams out across the snow. Home awaits.

I open the door to reality, to continued healing, to the possibilities of the future, and shut the door behind me. And Grief remains in the cold, waiting for permission from the Almighty to visit me again.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

"God doesn't waste pain."

Back in 2009, my homeschool mentor had asked me to pray for a fellow homeschool mom who was battling cancer. I never met this brave woman who went to be with her Lord several months later. But something my homeschool mentor quoted from her has stuck with me.

"God doesn't waste pain."  -Barb Gorman

Go back and read that again.

Pain comes in many forms from emotional to physical. It ranges from dull aches to sharp excruciating throbbing that makes it hard to think...hard to breathe. It can makes silent tears fall or grief wails escape from the throat and swirl around a person like chains. It can make a person walk with a limp or be curled up in a fetal position writhing in agony.

What good does pain do? Does it do anything good?

God created us to feel pain. For a good reason, just feeling it gives us an adversion to what ever caused it. Pain also alerts us to problems emotionally and physically. Pain alerts our body to a problem as well. As healing begins, continued pain helps us to not over use the healing muscles.
Pain  isn't any fun. Some pain can be endured knowing the reward that is coming, like a mother giving birth. Or crying about an emotional hurt can physically hurt but a calmness comes afterward.

Lately I have had to deal with some physical pain. I used to think I had a high pain tolerance. I homebirthed three boys with no painkillers. I have battled migraines and sprains without using pain killers. Even broke a toe, I think, and though I almost passed out, I never even thought about taking ibuprofen. But lately, I haven't dealt too well with physical pain. Either it has been very intense like a level 8 or I am getting wimpy in my old age.

But as I deal with it, Barb's words from years ago come to me again. "God doesn't waste pain." There is purpose to the pain I feel, emotional or physical. Purpose? I looked it up and most people can come up with ten reasons pain is a good thing. Really?

Easy to say but hard to remember at 3 a.m. when your shoulder is killing you and you are desperate for relief as well as sleep.
Pain is humbling. It makes us vunerable, weak, and needing assistance. It can make us irriatated easily with others which reveals our true heart condition. Pain makes us prioritize, choosing which activities are most necessary and which ones to let go for now. Pain gives others the opportunity to serve us and makes us realize how interdependent we really are. Pain makes us appreciate our good health more. Pain tests us to see how quickly we will let us use it as an excuse to be lazy or manipulate others. Pain challenges us to not be controlled by it. Pain is a tool in the hand of God. He alone is sovereign. It makes us seek His face and examine ourselves. Pain gives us an adversion for sin and disobedience, for straying and reaping negative consequences. Pain is not necessarily a friend, but it isn't always the enemy. It can be our school teacher.

At our church's midweek service, our pastor talked about how the disciples rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer.   Counted worthy.....not quite the attitude I have had as I recall painful events of my life. In fact, that the Lord counted me worthy to suffer never entered my mind until my pastor mentioned it. I pretty much equated that verse with being persecuted. Never thought of it as I struggled through emotional or physical pain. I wish I was there yet. I am not. Knowing the correct attitude to have and having it are miles apart.

But I can start the journey. I can choose to look to my Lord and let His presence be enough. I can look to the cross and remember what He bore for me. I can put on a smile and praise the Lord that though, I physically hurt, I am not alone. I am not forgotten. Quite the opposite, I am counted worthy. And my Lord has great grace sufficient for the pain, for the trial, for the struggle.

Once again He reminds me, He is enough.