Do you get so busy in your life that you barely notice your surroundings? I do! Busy is a funny word. . . busy with mundane chores? Busy with enjoyable tasks? Busy with TV watching? Busy with watching birds? I think we can really make time for the things we love. . . but are you too busy to notice your community? How can you help? What can you do to improve your little area? . . . small little things can mount up for a big change–get busy about changing the world. . . one small random act of kindness every day. . . be a BUSY world changer!!
May 23, 1947. . . Today would have been Rich’s seventieth birthday! Amazing! It just wasn’t in God’s plan. I posted several pictures. . . many commented how Brock and AJ resembled him
. . . I thought so, but thought it was just me. I think about going to the cemetery. . . I know he isn’t there. Where and what do I do to feel closer to him? Lunch at Red Lobster? Mow and care for our church that he loved dearly? A walk through Christy Woods, our “Owen County,” get away during college? Resting in the courtyard that he loved. . . a shaded, peaceful, escape from the world. This evening will be a ballgame watching Brock.
I know I don’t need to go anywhere to be with him. He is with me always, because his love is in my heart. That was the biggest surprise in his death. I thought I would have to stop loving him when he died—SO NOT TRUE. . . my love continues every day! We said for ALWAYS!
In his last days, he wanted me to promise three things. . . . 1. Mow the weeds under his red Chevy! :), 2, No flowers on his grave, but always put an American Flag, and 3. Be Happy! I have kept all three promises. My family, friends, students, have brought me much happiness and joy in these twelve years since Rich left.
This travel of grief is a personal journey. . . you can’t avoid it, go around it, or try and skip it. . . . You just have to muddle through the best you can. No one can do it for you. BUT know that the love you felt will last . . . ALWAYS!!!
Corin II 12: 9-10 , , , And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
During our Cancer crisis, I tried to be the rock. . . God was with me of course, or I would have crumbled like sand. I would alternate nights with Rich at the hospital and home with the girls, days at the hospital or days at school. I was on autopilot.
I remember clearly months later (when everything seemed to be sailing along smoothly) I walked into my principal’s office and said, “I am losing my mind!” I felt cold, weak, and completely empty. He wanted me to take time off to regroup. I felt I needed my class to find normalcy again. Angels were around me. . . I woke up one morning feeling this way. I know I was MIA for my sweet girls and Rich.) I prayed, I cried. Rich just put his arms around me saying, “I love you- we’re going to be okay!” . . . and about a month later, I woke up feeling strong, confident. The fog had lifted! Blessings abound!
Years later when the effects of Rich’s illness were taking a toll on his health again . . . my “Mr. Atlas” husband was discouraged–standing and walking across the livingroom was impossible. He needed much help for the simplest of tasks. He said, “The thing about this disease is that I feel so weak. . . like a newborn kitten! I need to be strong for you, for our girls, for my brothers! I put my arms around him and said, “I love you—we’re going to be okay!” Of course, Rich was made strong again as he lost his life here on earth.
Months later, I told Elder Dan the story and he said, “Oh Rich was one of the strongest men I ever knew. . . when you are weak in the flesh, you are made strong in faith!!” That he was! He ran the race of life with patience! . . . so be thankful for each day, for the good and the trials. . . you will be made stronger!
Where Is Your Mountain?
Marilyn King wrote about a mountain behind her house where she would go to find peace and calmness. . . “Whatsoever things are lovely. . . think on these things”
Every home has a “mountain” — a place around or near your home. We don’t have to go miles, but we need the calming, mind resting, pressure escaping place. . . just to sit quietly, reflecting, hoping, praying, believing. . . where is your mountain? When I was younger and at home. . . I would go upstairs in my room and get lost in a book and read for hours, or in the basement at Grandma’s house behind the furnace with a book. In college I would go and sit in Christy Woods, the college campus wooded area. I could sit and be whisked away. . . and for a few minutes I would be sitting with my love in Owen County. . . even if he was miles away, in Vietnam. Now I sit in my gazebo and enjoy the calmness and peace.
Zac Brown Band is playing . . . (perfect timing) . . “I’ve got everything I need and nothing I don’t. . .?” Peace and contentment are worth more than all the money in the world. . . I am blessed. . . I am RICH!
Reading Survivors Club by Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat.
Heart wrenching story about survival of a young prisoner of Auschwitz. How could anyone question the reality of these death camps? How could anyone so young survive? Prayers, hope, and belief that “this too shall pass!” I’ve finished the first third of the book and plan to nestle down on this rainy day to read more. . .
I am thinking of two of my favorite hymns. . .
Thus far the Lord has led me on;
Thus far His power prolongs my days;
And every evening shall make known,
Some fresh memorials of His grace.
Much of my time has run to waste,
And I, perhaps am near my home;
But He forgives my follies past;
He gives me strength for days to come.
I lay my body down to sleep
Peace is the pillow for my head,
While well appointed angels
Keep their watchful stations round my bed.
In vain the sons of earth or hell,
Tell me a thousand frightful things,
But God in safety makes me dwell
Beneath the shadow of His wings.. . .
. . . while blessed with a sense of His love,
A palace a toy would appear;
And prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.
Jesus will always be with us! He promised! We can rest in peace knowing, believing that!