Tag Archive | Relationships

Sunday evening

After getting off work at 3:00 yesterday, I took a short nap.  I was down at 3:40, and up again by 4:30.  I headed out to the grocery store to buy the monthly groceries.  I was a determined woman, clearly on a mission.  Thankfully, it wasn’t busy in the store, or I might have needed a sign like this:

I was back home, groceries unloaded, put away, and supper in the oven by 5:30!!!

I spent the rest of the evening hanging out with my daughter while watching Sherlock.  What a nice end to a busy weekend!

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Just call me Scrooge!

So I had to work today.  Once I got home, there was a message on the phone that dh and dd had just headed out to the ER since dd has had a really bad cough that doesn’t seem to be getting any better.  (I tried to get them to come out there while I was still working so I could just leave my dept. and meet them in the ER after my shift.)  Turns out dd has an acute URI (upper respiratory infection).  I thought for sure it was going to be bronchitis.

The only thing I really wanted for Christmas this year after losing my brother was to spend time with family.  The large, extended-family-gathering (aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids/grandkids), was today after I got off work.  After that, we were planning to meet at Mom and Dad’s for an intimate gathering with just my two siblings and our families.

My younger brother is also sick and skipping the festivities.  I feel really bad for my parents because this is their first Christmas after losing my brother.  I knew it was important to them for all of us to be together.  However, with dd being sick (and likely contagious), we opted to stay home from the festivities.  So this Christmas was a bust for us.  What a bummer!

Once I got home from work and realized they were gone, I tore into the house and took down all of the Christmas decorations.  Everything was down and put away in less than an hour.  And that, my friend, is why I give you permission to call me Scrooge!

Hubby, Super Heroes, and More

After church, I stopped by the car wash because the car was looking rather dirty.  Later this afternoon, hubby comes in to get my keys.  The neighbor was out on his riding mower, stirring up lots of dirt/dust.  Hubby didn’t want my clean car to get all dirty.  Aww…now that’s love!  It’s those little things that mean the most!

So dd’s youth group is doing Super Heroes night.

 

I wrote a note for her youth pastor’s wife letting her know that she just needed to dress like herself.  She is already a Super Hero because she is a pastor’s wife, the mother of two very energetic little boys, and the leader of a small group.  (Love you, Addy!)

 

And as for why I am still often MIA where this blog is concerned, here is an image of how I feel most days:

This photo reflects how I am when I feel my normal self: 

So feeling so depressed for such a long spell is very, very hard on me.  Honestly, it is exhausting.  Here are some steps I’m taking to try to “get my head in a better place.”

  • Got out Saturday in the warmer, sunny weather and cleaned all of my windows.  And yes, it did help immensely.  I was my normal self the rest of the day.
  • Refreshing myself in the Lord — I’ve been watching David Jeremiah’s series on Revelation.  I’ve listened to some of the recent messages by Watchman’s Cry, but have to limit my exposure to some of the end-time stuff because it can weigh me down.
  • Taking time to play worship music online while I’m home and allowing myself the awesome pleasure of worshiping my loving Savior.  (I have worship music playing all day in my office.)
  • Limiting how much news I expose myself to since I have seen what the constant negative exposure has done to me emotionally.
  • Limit how much I try to accomplish on my days off so that I make sure I am taking extra time on those days to refresh myself.
  • Being honest with myself, my hubby, and my Lord about how I really feel.
  • Realizing that I need to daily put on the armor of God because I’m not the only Christian I know who is going through a struggle like this right now.  The enemy knows his time is short, so he is trying his best to discourage God’s children so we become ineffective in our witness.

Three things for which I am thankful

I have refrained from blogging for several months.  After suddenly losing my brother to a massive heart attack in March, my priorities greatly changed.  As you have likely noticed, blogging was one thing I dropped rather quickly.  As we have watched world events unfold in the last five months, my desire to blog has waned.  Other things seem so much more important……Things such as sending cards to those who are facing trials.  Things like making phone calls to let others know how much I care about them.  Time with family.  Checking in on my parents as they continue to deal with the daily grief of having lost a child.  And the list goes on…..

However, today I felt the need to share three things for which I am very thankful on this holiday weekend.

Most of all, I am thankful for the cross.

In these trying days in which we live, I am reminded daily that God alone is my fortress and my refuge.  If it wasn’t for the cross, I wouldn’t be able to have peace in the midst of the chaos taking place in this world.
I am also thankful for my marriage.
Daily, my hubby and I discuss world events, Bible prophecy, and the reality of our Lord’s imminent return.  We are becoming closer to each other as we watch the world face incredible times of tribulation.  He is truly my best friend and I am so thankful for him.  I cannot imagine facing the issues of the day if I did not have him here beside me.  We find comfort in each other’s embrace in this world of constant chaos.
I am also thankful for the American Flag and what it means.
As I walked into Sunday school this morning, I noticed one of the men had on a shirt with the American Flag.  I sadly expressed my thoughts, “Enjoy wearing that flag while we still have that freedom.”  There were several people standing around at that moment, and none of them blew off my comment.  Rather, they sadly concurred that we are in a time where we do have to wonder how much longer our beautiful flag will be able to fly freely….how much longer we will still be called The United States of America.

Running the Race

Running the Race

 

Have you ever had one of those moments where God speaks a word to you and it becomes an epiphany to you that changes your entire outlook? I had one of those moments. Of all things, it happened two minutes before I was to speak at my brother’s memorial service. It was such a powerful insight and has brought much comfort and a sense of peace to us as we mourn Matt’s passing.

 

I was reminded of how my brother was a runner. He ran cross country in high school as well as a few marathons. I remembered the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 4. He had run his race and finished his course. Suddenly, a flash of insight hit me! My brother, who was the runner in the family, was also the first one of our immediate family to finish his earthly race! How fitting that was! Yes, we would still miss him immensely, but what a comfort this realization gave us!

 

As I shared this awesome insight, I carefully watched the expressions on everyone’s faces. It was absolutely beautiful to see the transformation on their mournful faces as they “got it.”

 

I have had an immense sense of peace since that epiphany. Whereas, prior to that moment, I would sob nearly every day, I no longer do that. Yes, I still cry, but not the heart-wrenching sobs of a heart that is breaking. Deep within my spirit, I know Matt is EXACTLY where Matt is supposed to be. That has helped me tremendously.

 

As we are trying to move forward, there are several questions that keep resonating through my head:

 

What kind of race am I running?

 

How do I want to be remembered when my earthly race is over?

 

What kind of changes do I need to make to get my priorities in better order?

One thing that was an immediate change is that when I visit my parents, I no longer leave without giving hugs and saying, “I love you.” That has become incredibly important to me. It is also important to me to check in on them even more than I did previously, for losing a child is something none of us can fully understand unless we’ve gone through that experience ourselves.

 

I’m also giving a lot more hugs to extended family members and friends. The power of touch is huge, and the touch of a hug can help to heal broken hearts.

While I frequently speak of my job and often say, “I love my job,” I don’t want that to be the first thing said of me. Rather, I want to be remembered for loving my God first and foremost, then for loving my family and friends.

 

What kind of race are you running? Do you need to make changes?

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

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God’s Mercy in Our Pain

God’s Mercy in Our Pain

 

Eat, sleep, work, and pay bills….That is a phrase my husband will often recite when it feels like we are doing the same thing over and over. However, there are times when “life happens,” and in that moment, you know your life will never be the same. We had one of those moments on March 14. I was working the switchboard, looking forward to going home and having the weekend off work, when I got the call that changed our lives. My cousin called to tell me my brother had died unexpectedly, just one day before his 53rd birthday.

 

He called because he didn’t want to deliver that kind of news over the phone to my parents. I quickly left work, sobbing all the way home, praying for the Lord to help me. After all, no child should EVER have to deliver that kind of news to their parents. Parents are supposed to die before their children – not the other way around. Having to deliver that news was the worst thing I have ever had to do.

 

My weekend off work became a whirlwind of activity. My brother lived in Arizona, so we had to drop my parents off at the airport the next day so they could be there to help my sister-in-law with the arrangements.

 

Two days after his passing, I dropped my daughter off for youth group. As I left the parking lot, I was playing a CD by Shannon Wexelberg. The song “Faithful God” came on. The Lord immediately began to speak to my aching heart. I want to share what He spoke so tenderly to me in hopes that it will help you when “Life Happens” to you.

 

We will all go through different, heart-wrenching trials during our journey on earth. Whether it is the gut-wrenching loss of a loved one, the herculean burden of finding yourself without a job, the formidable news that you or a loved one has a debilitating illness, or even the shock of receiving divorce papers, God’s mercy is there for you. His mercy is new EVERY morning. This means that the mercy He gave you yesterday won’t be the same today. It will be different, but it will also be new. And it will be just what you need.

 

To those of you who are dealing with the painful reality of losing a child, I will tell you the same words the Lord had me speak to my parents at my brother’s memorial service. His mercy will be there each and every day. That compassionate mercy will greet you as you face all of the “firsts” – the first Mother’s Day, the first Father’s Day, the first birthday, the first Thanksgiving, and even the first Christmas. He lovingly cares for you, and He will not let you walk the valley of grief by yourself. Reach out, take His hand, and let Him extend His mercy to carry you through.

 

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

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