Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Fall...

                                    Photo by Sherrel Mattison


The Fall...

We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present” Marianne Williamson

Fall. I step out of the safe cocoon of my warm home to take my blue Merle Aussie, Miss Sadie, on her afternoon stroll. I watch the leaves swirl around me in the cold, damp air.  I ponder the color; the meaning of life, of death and the cycle that pushes us forward again…to begin again, to continue to walk, to breathe and draw in the cool air.

As I walk, I think. I see progress in my path and my personal, spiritual journey as well.  I’m starting to “Reclaim” myself; I’m finding myself; my new self. I’m organizing “my” house and taking possession of “my choices”. I’m painting walls, moving furniture, decorating a nursery for my new grandson, Andrew and all those who will follow him someday.  I’m beginning to feel the warmth of  love again in my heart and soul for the first time in a long time…it is growing inside me and I’m terrified!  I’m not sure what to do with all the jumbled up feelings, like the pile of leaves as I walk through my forest of thoughts full of life and all my fears…Death, Life, Love, love lost, love found…all so intermingled, touching, crossing, connecting us to help me see the pattern; read the history and move ahead towards a new life of love and happiness.

Does a new love take away from the old love? My mind races in the wind…I try to understand my feelings, to sort them, like the leaves below my feet, into categories, like colors, red, orange yellow and brown; but it is hard and they get intertwined and mingled and the pile of messiness in my mind grows…

A sudden sharp wind causes me to pull my jacket up around me and tuck my hands into my coat to keep warm… I redirect my path and hurry towards home, Miss Sadie in tow…She loves the cold and is not affected by it. She quickens her step and sniffs all the new scents the wind has blown in to her delight.  She loves unconditionally. She doesn't have any questions or issues. I admire her!  I don’t want to lose what I have found, but I don’t want the new love to take away from my old love. Does it? I don’t know… I question the order of the universe and I question God. I don’t mean to, but sometimes I can’t help it.  I know our steps are ordered. He told me. Nothing comes to me, except by Him, though Him, to me. I trust him; but I’m scared. I feel so alone and I’m cold and lonely…I need to start a new fire to within my fireplace, as well as my heart!

Suddenly, the night comes…fast and hard, and the tears begin.  I miss him so…how do I move forward –from fall to spring—to new life, new purpose, new meaning, new me!? I've met someone new and he loves me, but I don’t know how to manage that. What to do with all the feelings and emotions?  How to accept it and let it in?! How do I incorporate the new life in with the old one?  I feel like I have a stone wall covering my heart; holding me captive of my own feelings. It is not fair; not to him and not to me. Loving him doesn't take away my love for my husband, but if feels out of place, new, strange, uncomfortable. I don’t know how to assimilate it into the new me.

Soon, I see the moon emerge, the stars begin to twinkle, and clouds are racing across a beautiful night sky…going to some undisclosed location in a hurry! Somehow, I feel a part of the universe again. United. Held. Loved and accepted again. I’m a child of God!  While I struggle to find my mission, I know he has a His vision for my life. How do I get there from here?! How can I learn to move forward, to love again, to float across the sky like the clouds do? I don’t know…Finally, my heart answers me: one step at a time! I promise to take one step at a time; one step towards the warm fire in my home, one step towards the love that warms me within, and one step towards the bright, promising future before me. One step at a time… Peacefully, I trust in God to guide me, to lead me, to take me from this fall into my new spring; in my life and in my love, I will trust Him. I believe God!




The Fall...



We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present”  Marianne Williamson

Fall. I step out of the safe cocoon of my warm home to take my blue Merle Aussie, Miss Sadie, on her afternoon stroll. I watch the leaves swirl around me in the cold, damp air. I ponder the color; the meaning of life, of death and the cycle that pushes us forward again…to begin again, to continue to walk, to breathe and draw in the cool air.

As I walk, I think. I see progress in my path and my personal, spiritual journey as well. I’m starting to “Reclaim” myself; I’m finding myself; my new self. I’m organizing “my” house and taking possession of “my choices”. I’m painting walls, moving furniture, decorating a nursery for my new grandson, Andrew and all those who will follow him someday. I’m beginning to feel the warmth of love again in my heart and soul for the first time in a long time…it is growing inside me and I’m terrified! I’m not sure what to do with all the jumbled up feelings, like the pile of leaves as I walk through my forest of thoughts full of life and all my fears…Death, Life, Love, love lost, love found…all so intermingled, touching, crossing, connecting us to help me see the pattern; read the history and move ahead towards a new life of love and happiness.

Does a new love take away from the old love? My mind races in the wind…I try to understand my feelings, to sort them, like the leaves below my feet, into categories, like colors, red, orange yellow and brown; but it is hard and they get intertwined and mingled and the pile of messiness in my mind grows…

A sudden sharp wind causes me to pull my jacket up around me and tuck my hands into my coat to keep warm… I redirect my path and hurry towards home, Miss Sadie in tow…She loves the cold and is not affected by it. She quickens her step and sniffs all the new scents the wind has blown in to her delight. She loves unconditionally. She doesn't have any questions or issues. I admire her! I don’t want to lose what I have found, but I don’t want the new love to take away from my old love. Does it? I don’t know… I question the order of the universe and I question God. I don’t mean to, but sometimes I can’t help it. I know our steps are ordered. He told me. Nothing comes to me, except by Him, though Him, to me. I trust him; but I’m scared. I feel so alone and I’m cold and lonely…I need to start a new fire to within my fireplace, as well as my heart!

Suddenly, the night comes…fast and hard, and the tears begin. I miss him so…how do I move forward –from fall to spring—to new life, new purpose, new meaning, new me!? I've met someone new and he loves me, but I don’t know how to manage that. What to do with all the feelings and emotions? How to accept it and let it in?! How do I incorporate the new life in with the old one? I feel like I have a stone wall covering my heart; holding me captive of my own feelings. It is not fair; not to him and not to me. Loving him doesn't take away my love for my husband, but if feels out of place, new, strange, uncomfortable. I don’t know how to assimilate it into the new me.

Soon, I see the moon emerge, the stars begin to twinkle, and clouds are racing across a beautiful night sky…going to some undisclosed location in a hurry! Somehow, I feel a part of the universe again. United. Held. Loved and accepted again. I’m a child of God! While I struggle to find my mission, I know he has a His vision for my life. How do I get there from here?! How can I learn to move forward, to love again, to float across the sky like the clouds do? I don’t know…Finally, my heart answers me: one step at a time! I promise to take one step at a time; one step towards the warm fire in my home, one step towards the love that warms me within, and one step towards the bright, promising future before me. One step at a time… Peacefully, I trust in God to guide me, to lead me, to take me from this fall into my new spring; in my life and in my love, I will trust Him. I believe God!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Widowed...


Widowed.
Am I:
Single?
Married?
I live alone without him…
He’s never coming back…
How do I move forward?
Where do I go?
What do I do?
Where do I belong?
WHO AM I? Without him…
I don’t know
I have to breathe
I have to take a step
Forward
Backwards backwards backwards
Forward again
Another breath
Sunlight
Moonlight
Hope
A rose
A cloud
A laugh
A sigh
A tear
A cry
A wail
A smile
We move forward
Walking
Hoping
Believing
Praying
Praying
Peace
Be still my love
Breathe
Hope
Pray
Live
Begin again
Love again
Laugh again
Hope again…
Live again
Move forward
Keep going
You can do this…
You must do this…
It is your life, your new life
A new beginning
A new hope
Freedom…
Peace, hope, trust,
New life begin again in me
Please, help me move forward
Guide me, lead me, pray for me
Give me hope,
Give me peace
Give me love…
Am I reborn?
New in You?
Still in me?
Hope, peace, love…
I feel it coming alive again in me
I’m alive again, reborn again
I can hope again for new life, new love
Some peace, some hope
Trusting in You to save me.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bittersweet!


My purpose, my mission, my hope, is that by bringing the MWC to Houston, I will give you hope, and peace and a bit of grace to enjoy every second of the rest or your life. I can’t make it easier for you, and I don’t hold all the answers to your questions, but I can be here with you and hold your hand, and carry you in my heart and pray for you. I can do that. And I promise to do that.

New life as a widow is Bittersweet… but out of the pain, comes love and grace all for offering back to God.  Soon, we will be launching the Houston Chapter of the Modern Widows Club. I’m so excited to serve with Jana Laird Phillips as co-leaders!
My husband, Kevin, passed away three years ago. After a long hard struggle with cancer, we beat twice, the third time, it won over us. It is such a journey of love and spiritual growth for us and for all our family. While we had a wonderful marriage that lasted just over 32 years, we would have never been as strong in our love as we are because of his illness, and we all knew it.

My new life – the life I would have never chosen- is a good life, actually it is a GREAT life full of wonder and fulfillment and joy – great joy.  At a certain point in his illness, Kevin realized that he wasn't going to live. Almost immediately, he completely transformed his focus from survival to dying. He said, “OK, now it’s time to start working on dying” in his usual upbeat manner. Even more amazing to me, is that he told all his visitors... “I’m going to serve Christ in a new place”. Who can say that?? I was so amazed by his enthusiasm and faith. He never complained, despite all the pain and suffering. He had a smile for me every single day, told us he loved us and made every good effort to be pleasant and oh so loving.  I held him in my arms every single night till he died, lying right beside him in our converted dining room.  I knew some day, someday soon, I would never ever be able to hold him in my arms again.  I also know I could not be on this road, this journey, this new place in Christ for me, without surrendering Kevin to God in his ultimate will for our lives.

Now, I understand that Kevin is with me always in spirit. His light still shines in me, and through me. It’s a combination of God’s grace and Kevin’s legacy of love that survives and carries us forward. I felt his presence with me as we baptized our first grandson... as I said, Bittersweet.... It was bittersweet to stand at the baptismal font, in the back of the church where I walked down the aisle at 21,  to marry my soul mate, the man of my dreams, the father of our children, 35 years ago this month.
Near the aisle we walked down together to baptize our twin girls on our 6th wedding anniversary… 
Near the aisle we walked down just over three years ago, leading Nicole and Brian to their marriage vows. 
Standing in the church were we wed, our twin girls were baptized, where Nicole and Brain were married, and now seeing Father Ted, Brian’s uncle, hold our new baby, Andrew, over the baptismal font and cup his hand with water to cover his head with new life new hope, and grace… I stood next to our son Christopher, and could watch Nicole, Andrew’s new mother, and Claire becoming Andrew’s Godmother… and the tears just streamed down my cheeks, returning back into the baptismal font… where I found new life, new hope and grace for me too… Bittersweet.


Standing in front of that baptismal font, I could only be reminded of the legacy of love we started some 40 years ago. I met Kevin when my friend, Tricia, our photographer for this magnificent day, told me to chain my bicycle to his motorcycle.  Later, when I first met Kevin that day -- to this moment, when the holy spirit arrived and looked down on me, with our three children, our son in law, with all his family, and our new little prince, Andrew being baptized in the spirit in His love, in Kevin’s legacy of love, to a lifetime of hope, of peace, of grace…Bittersweet.

So today, I stand before you, a new creation in Christ made from God’s love; and transformed by Kevin’s legacy of love and ready to serve you. I want to lead you to a new place. Let me take you there...Make a choice, to take a chance and make a change. I will help you; I will hold you; and I will pray for you. 

Second changes are wonderful. You know how things turned out the first time and you took that chance… and now, with all that we have been through on this long, weary road you have taken, where will it lead you? 

We know we must make a choice to take a chance to make a change that will lead us to a new place where we can enjoy every second of the rest of our lives!