Friday, January 12, 2024

Stormy Contemplations

 


Cloudy Day water color

The caption that goes with this artwork I found on the Internet is this: "'Cloudy Day' at the beach. Good day for a sweatshirt and a book..."

This would be a good day for that around here. Currently this afternoon our outdoor temperature is about 72 degrees, it is definitely cloudy, there's a breeze, but perhaps a rain jacket would be the better choice over a sweatshirt because we've had some of that.

As I considered the theme for this week's blog post, the realization came that this has been a sort of bleak few days. Adding to it that I have not taken many snapshots at all, it looked like I might need to acknowledge there are times when the somber things outnumber the chuckles. 

But don't worry, I'll not let my typing here get too dark. Just now the sun peeked out for about 45 seconds to shed glorious light on the lanai where I am sitting. Even with the darkest of weather, there is sunshine above it all and an occasional break in the clouds to allow some light.

local TV weather forecast on January 9th

Early in the week local media was very busy preparing us for a strong storm with a possibility for tornadoes. Our house is in the orange area, so Gary brought in the yard birds, disassembled some of the statuary, and tucked the potted Poinsettia and Plumeria inside the garage. We once again agreed on our "safe place," that location in our house where, if at all possible, we would seek for protection from impending disaster. 

For those who are nosey (or might later need to know if searching for us), that location is our master bedroom closet, which is the safest place in the center of our home with lots of padding (the hanging clothes), away from glass and really close to a toilet (assuming the disaster does not impede its operation, of course). 🙄 

Blessedly, we were spared all harm in every form, although parts of Florida's panhandle took some bad hits. 

On the heels of that, a text informed me of the passing to Heaven of a friend living out West. Not unexpected, and fully confident of his good relationship with Jesus, the news was still a blow to read on my phone. 

Earlier today I had lunch with a dear friend I met in GriefShare a couple of years ago when we both were working through the loss of a husband. Since then she and I have re-married, but now similar loss has come to her again. We had a sweet visit of sharing. I got to see first-hand how the Lord is caring for and sustaining her, even comforting her, in this tough time.

Then one of our own blogging friends that many of you know and love, Martha Jane, wrote to say that the death of a precious pet had occurred on Christmas, a keen loss, especially to the primary caretaker, a young person. You'll need to read the story at this link: Meditations of my Heart

All of these passings were relatively peaceful, which is what we all would want. Years ago my friend in Tempe told me that her own father went to bed one night and "woke up dead." He passed in his sleep. What a blessing to slip away like that!

Youtube "Lead Me Gently Home, Father"
by the Gaithers

If you click on the link underneath the above photo, you'll hear the desire and prayer of my heart whenever I know someone is nearing death's door.

Then there are those who seem to linger at the gate, so to speak, waiting for the Lord's perfect timing to usher them into Heaven. My mother is one of them. Nearing 99 years old, she has an extremely quiet life with great disabilities and sleeps more than anything. Yet she remains with us. 

Since I live about a thousand miles from her nursing home and she is incapable of phone conversations or email, etc, I've been writing a letter to her every week for years, keeping the content to one page with typed words in a large font. At first she read them on her own, then it became necessary for Sister or a nurse to read them to her. Now I'm told the unopened letters tend to stack on her tray table until a visitor or staff initiates the reading. Can she even hear them? 

Should I even bother to write? OF COURSE! I'll continue as long as someone will read my words to her. None of us really knows how much she can mentally grasp underneath that head of pretty silver hair. It may be more than we realize but she just can't communicate that to us.

Life is perplexing right now in so many ways. There is no doubt we live in a time of "wars and rumors of wars." (see Matthew 24:6) Much of our culture is not kind, nor forgiving, let alone forbearing or patient. There are times when I hold my bowed head in my hands, my eyes leak tears, and I wonder what to make of it all. 

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness

A song from church youth choir days often comes to mind. If you remember it and want to sing along, click on the link with the above photo. Truly, this is the time to trust the Lord to get us through this wilderness.

And He will. He often gives me some mirth, so to speak, when my thoughts get too dark. Over Christmas I was describing to Gary a Christmas decoration I no longer have; then this week FaceBook popped this photo into my computer from 2016. It was taken in the entry hall of the last home I had in Colorado:

the hiding elf

For those who sometimes get trapped in too much serious thought (raising my hand here), I'm sure the Lord gives us these chuckles to lighten the mood. 

Then there is this to ponder when times seem impossible:


But perhaps the best is this one, from one of my Colorado quilting friends, Robbie, who is the most-traveled person I have ever known (and that includes one of my family members who travels for a living). Can you guess where she is right now?


If you said, "Antarctica," you're right! This is only one of the many astounding snapshots she has sent over the years from her globe-trotting. I did not ask prior permission to post her photo, but she reads my blog all the time and always has such kind things to say.

This scene tells me that even when we might find ourselves at the very bottom of the world, there is light to show us the way! 

Quoting the Lord here, this is a verse that says God can and will show us possibilities we never dreamed of:

Call unto me
and I will answer thee
and will show you great and mighty things
which thou knowest not.
Jeremiah 33:3

Until next time, grace and peace.


7 comments:

  1. The wind has really been blowing here the past couple of days and the temps are headed downward and looks like Mon and Tues are going to be frigid. Wishing you God's richest blessings this new year.

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  2. That's a very pretty water color. We've also been searching for sun, it's been cloudy all week, but we caught occasional glimpses. Now we are under a winter storm warning, everything is closed and we will be staying inside. But there is so much to be thankful for in the middle of it.
    I've just finished a study on Habakkuk who wrote asking God why these things happened, during a terrible time in Israels history. Such a good study as I look at our world.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts today.

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  3. Ahhh, the weather. I feel like I talk about it all the time. Winter is not my favorite and I am sincerely hoping the real cold they are predicting doesn't make it this far south. We know HE holds all things together though. Sometimes it is hard to understand things like your mom lying there at almost 99. Heaven awaits and we don't know why He tarries, but strength on our part is hard sometimes. I know so many people going through the same thing. We know we aren't alone in that. I do know He has met me all the time when I want to get down. Hymns and things I read or a phone call from a friend. Stay warm this next week.

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  4. Thank you so much, sweet Barbara, for mentioning my blog here and the details of what the family is going through. You are so thoughtful and kind.
    Again, I'm sorry for the passing of a dear friend, but as we both agreed, it was a peaceful passing.
    I loved your photos and the watercolor you featured here; the elf made me chuckle! Yes, we need to laugh more often even in the face of adversity. God's got this!
    Blessings!

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  5. We've sure had all kinds of weather this winter. But I would still rather be in FL than places that have snow and bitter cold. It's sad to lose loved ones and friends. The older we get...the more it affects us. Take care and enjoy your weekend!

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  6. Praise the Lord we did not have any harm our way due to the storm. We did get some heavy rain but oh it was so needed at my house. I pray that your New Year is going good and thank you from the depths of my heart for your prayers for me. Happy New Year. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  7. The weather has been crazy this week but I'm baking brownies today and the sun is shining....should be nice! Enjoy your weekend!

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Proceeding to Father's Day

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