iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the tag “Mom”

Late Night Visitor – Left Behind


I haven’t been writing during Covid. With limited interaction with other people for a year, I did not want my blog to give voice to a pandemic that took away so much for so many. But I had to write today to let you in on a little secret.

Last weekend was Mother’s Day. I have no idea why, but nothing pushed my buttons to trigger the grief of childlessness or the reality of being an orphan. Sure I miss my mom immensely, but I have thanked God numerous times over for calling her home when he did in 2019 before all the pandemic craziness happened. I am not sure how caring for her the way my family did would have been possible. So once again, “Thank you, God!!”

The secret, then, and I feel like whispering, is that I looked around my house and realized grief is gone. Without thinking about it, I cleaned and rearranged the room he was in and I saw one of his favorite sweatshirts lying across the back of a chair. I have this weird intuition about this sweatshirt though.

Have you ever been in a relationship that just wasn’t working out? One person pines after the other and it gets to be annoying. The annoying one finds every excuse to return if only to get a glimpse of the one whom they so desperately want to spend their life. One excuse is to leave behind something important to them, like this sweatshirt, for example. My intuition tells me that grief may show up to get the sweatshirt.

Maybe it isn’t really intuition, but reality that reminds me grief could be back at any time. However, for now, I am enjoying the freedom from grief while I have the chance.

I started a new hobby; quilting. It keeps my mind occupied with creativity and learning something new. I would love to show my mom some of the things I have been creating, but have a feeling she has been around in my quiet times observing my creations and the gifts God gave me. As for the childlessness and quilting, I would love to give to my own kids or grandkids quilts sewn together, every fabric pull to match their personality and every stitch with them in mind, but instead I gift family and friends with the same intentions.

Giving may just be what turned grief away. I like this revelation.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
Song of Songs 2:12


My drive to work is a leisurely 25 mph around 7 a.m. through a residential neighborhood. Some houses along the route illumine against the dark winter morning sky. Families are waking at this hour and because they do not have window coverings, I am allowed a glimpse of their morning routine.

For example, I pass a house with a little child pushed up close to the table in a high chair sitting to the left of an adult at the head of the table. The adult is feeding the child, which to most of you reading this is no big deal. One of those, “been there, done that” moment in life. But to me, who was never blessed with a child, this is a moment I can only imagine taking place in my kitchen.

In the morning before work, I eat breakfast alone.

20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Revelation 3:20 NIV

My house illumines the dark winter mornings as I eat breakfast. If there was a knock at my door so early in the day, I would be hesitant to open it.

But from this verse in a literal sense, I would have to open the door in case it was Jesus standing there. I would invite Him in and be awestruct that He was there How would I know it was Jesus, though? this day and age, I think I would be afraid of someone knocking at my door early in the morning. However, the light illumining in the dark winter sky had attracted someone to knock.

I do not have window coverings on the window in front of my sink, but my kitchen is in the back of my house. Let’s assume this is you in the morning going about your routine with your child and suddenly there is a knock at your door.

You are in your pajamas, or robe, and your hair is a mess from sleeping. You breathe in the palm of your hand to check just how bad your morning breath resonates. Are you going to open the door to see who is calling at such an early hour? You really cannot hide from the visitor because you have no window coverings.

What if Jesus was riding through your neighborhood and stopped at your house because He saw you eating breakfast through an undressed window?

Jesus knocks at your door.

Late Night Visitor – Gone Fishin’


When I was a child, my family spent summer weekends at our cottage and fishing was a popular activity. At dusk on Friday night, dad held a shovel in one hand and my little hand in his other, and we made our way to a specific spot in the yard to dig up worms to use for bait in the morning. The worm-hunting excursion brought a song to my dad’s lips and to this day, makes me giggle.

“Nobody likes me, everybody hates me. Sitting in the garden eating worms. Big fat juicy ones, small little thin ones. Oh, how they wiggled and they’d squirm.”

Shovel in hand and me on the sideline, dad made his first plunge into the dirt. I remember he used his foot to stomp on the shovel to get deep into the the earth. With his brawn, he’d flip the dirt pile over and I would start to paw my way through looking for big, juicy nightcrawlers. Dad put some dirt in an empty coffee can and empty whipped cream plastic bowl and I would drop nightcrawlers in one at a time. The lids of the containers had holes poked for the sake of oxygen and they were placed near our fishing gear for the morning.

At dawn on Saturday, when the lake looked as smooth as glass, we packed the fishing boat with our safety cushions, nightcrawlers, and fishing poles and motored to a fishing spot dad felt would wield a good catch.

Even though I caught the worms, I was not able to put them on the hook as well as he could, so dad did it for me. I fished with a bobber on my line so I could learn what it felt like when a fish was interested in my bait. Nibbles would make the bobber wiggle in the water and a hooked fish pulled the bobber out of sight. Depending on the size of the catch, it could take some effort to reel in, but once in the boat, we’d size up the catch. Too small a fish, it gets released to the water, if large enough by state fishing regulations, it becomes dinner.

So it is with grief. The tug at my heartstrings when a memory of my parents comes out of nowhere is like the bobber wiggling in the water. Then the milestone moments knowing they will not be there for a special event or holiday makes that bobber disappear. As hard as it may be to face what is on the end of the line, I reel it in. At this point, whether a nibble of grief or a major catch, it is healthy to face it. Sit with it if I must; ride it out until it fades away.

I have a big catch on the end of my line. June 24 will be my first birthday without either parent. It is the hardest thing for me to reel in right now. My parents made birthdays fun and grief is showing me the slideshow of memories on the wall of my mind.

Thank you mom and dad for bringing me into this world and giving me such a good life that I have, yet another, reason to grieve your passing.

1 Thessalonians 3:6 (NIV)  Timothy’s Encouraging Report

But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.

 

Milestone – Haiku


Read more…

Late Night Visitor – The Phone Call


I heard of others doing this and told myself I would never do it. Read more…

Late Night Visitor – Grief Takes a Holiday


I feel like I have much to say, as well as nothing to say, because today is Mother’s Day. Read more…

Life Changes Course


March 2, 2019 became a pivotal day Read more…

Farewell 2018


Farewell 2018. Read more…

Airport Security


I just returned from a business trip in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is what I noticed as I traveled alone in the airport.

Her giggles caught my attention as I ate my lunch in the food court. A metal railing corralled patrons systematically through the food ordering process, but to a 4-year-old girl, the railing was a jungle gym. I watched as her older brother joined in the fun and tried to teach her some new daring moves. They were having so much fun being kids while their father stood nearby waiting for their food order.

At one point, someone behind the counter turned on a blender and the noise startled the little girl. She covered her delicate ears and ran behind her father for protection.

Sitting on a tiny plane for the last leg of my journey, the woman sitting next to me was traveling home with her husband and their 17-year-old son. The airline made an error in ticketing this family and the son was on a different flight heading to their hometown while the parents were on my flight and planned to drive 45 miles to get home.

The son sent a text to his father alerting him that the airport changed the departure gate for his flight. He became lost in the large airport and feared that he’d miss the flight that was nearing take-off; just as our plane was about to shut the door for take-off. The father rushed off the plane to find his lost son.

When life turns on “the blender” and we get scared, we can stand behind Jesus anytime and He will protect us. Jesus told a parable about the shepherd who was missing one sheep. The shepherd left the flock to rescue the lost one.

Being a witness to two Bible stories in real-time made my trip a complete success.

John 14:27 (NIV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Luke 15:4(NIV)
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

36 Years Ago When I Was 8


Being eight years old is not a milestone year by any means. My oldest sister was 20 and had been out of the house 2 years already and I was sharing a room with my other sister who was 18.

My mom and I had a ritual every Saturday. We’d go to five o’clock Mass and then she’d take me to our local Kmart and Meijer stores, respectively, to shop. I often came home with a toy or something to wear.

Many of the girls in my class were getting their ears pierced and I wanted to do the same. So I did what any kid would do; I begged. My mom did not give in quickly to my begging. I first had to hear the story of how my sisters got their ears pierced by my Uncle Hank when they were a bit older than 8. A piercing from my Uncle required 4 things:
1. Rubbing alcohol
2. An apple
3. A sharp needle
4. A victim

Uncle Hank would rub the victim’s earlobe with rubbing alcohol. He’d wipe down the needle so it was “Sterilized”. He’d set the apple behind the earlobe and jab the lobe with the needle. There you have it, pierced ears along with family fellowship. The highlight of the story was not how cute my sisters looked with bedazzled earlobes, it actually lies in the fact that a cousin picked up the apple and started to eat it.

I wore my mom down and she gave in to my begging. One Saturday evening after church, I found myself in the jewelry department at Meijer sitting on a rather tall chair. A woman placed little marker dots on each earlobe, making sure the placement was as symmetrical as humanly possible. The woman picked up an ear piercing gun and lined it up with the purple marker dot. I felt a fast-piercing-jolt, but I did not cry. However, at the second fast-piercing-jolt on the unsuspecting earlobe, I jumped. From that moment, my earrings would never be as symmetrical as humanly possible.

When all was said and done, and my earlobes were throbbing from the intruding starter earrings, I was allowed to pick out new earrings.

Being eight years old is not a milestone age by any means. My mom spared me from being Uncle Hank’s victim and let me do something at an earlier age than she allowed my sisters. Getting my ears pierced was my very own eight-year-old milestone.

Revelation 1:7
New International Version (NIV)
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.

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