BLUES   Leave a comment

Have you ever attended a church camp or retreat, and the leader(s) warned you about the “let down” after you went home?  You get all pumped up and fired up and hopefully Holy Spirit-filled and inspired while away, and then you come back home and you don’t sustain that same feeling.

I get the Sunday blues.  So many years I’ve battled the Sunday blues.  When Randy was alive I didn’t have to worry – I had him as company and we often did something or talked after church.  Now that he’s gone, the Sunday Blues are back.

The whole afternoon and evening seem to stretch before me, without anything to keep me busy and take my mind away from how much I miss him and my grief.  I had forgotten to make plans, to make a list of things to do.  So I came home today and all I want to do is crawl back into bed.

I’m not going to.  I will continue to struggle the rest of today.  There is always something to do around the apartment.  I am blessed that I have a church that I can go to in freedom and be lifted up, spiritually, and taught and grow in my relationship with God.  Just, the blues are hard.

Posted May 28, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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LIKE A LITTLE KID   Leave a comment

I have been volunteering as a teacher or assistant in Children’s Ministry at churches I attend for…. wow – 16 years.  I didn’t quite realize how long it had been until I wrote that.  One of the things I have always heard was that to be successful in children’s ministry you have to be kind of a big kid yourself. And I have never really thought of myself as a big kid.

So this week was kind of a chuckling eye opener for me.  On Wednesday nights I trade off teaching the Grade School kids with another teacher.  We finished our curriculum last week and the new one has not come in, so we had a party.   Since she’s the Children’s Minister for the church she did all the work, bless her heart.  She bought snacks and drinks and set up games for us.

I came into the Kids area and a big grin spread across my face.  Ping Pong!  I LOVE ping pong!  Corn Hole!  I LOVE corn hole!  A carpet bowling game!  I LOVE carpet bowling!  Tiny cupcakes!  Pretzels!  YEAH!!!

I wrote her the next day how much I enjoyed it.  I was just being honest and letting her know her hard work and planning had not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.  She wrote back, “One of the things I love about you is that you are truly a kid at heart.”  It made me smile.  ‘Cause, I guess I did sound like a little kid in my email.  And I guess I really am a kid at heart when you get right down to it.  And since Jesus said we should all have the heart of a child, that is okay with me that I am that way.

Posted May 26, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings, Uncategorized

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PRAYER   Leave a comment

I gave my heart and life to God in September, 1986.  Or it might have been 1987.  At any rate — a long time ago.  One thing I heard right away from God was “pray”.  Which I have done all these years.  I have read books on prayer, heard sermons on prayer, attended numerous prayer meetings, and been on prayer chains.

Isn’t it great that God always has something new for us to learn?  At the beginning of each year it is the practice at the church I attend to start off the first full week with early morning prayer, and then about the middle of the month to the end of the month, our Pastor calls us to fast.  He teaches about both these things before we do them, and encourages us to participate during January.

This year he decided to have the early morning prayer hour each month, during the first full week of each month.  And I have attended each one.  It works out well with my work schedule and I have enjoyed it very much.  God has given me visions for myself and the church and my theme has been “Further Up and Further In”, meaning strive towards the goal, the prize.  Try to know God better and deeper here on Earth and share that with others.

Through all this my prayer life has gotten deeper and… has had more clarity. I feel better, through and through.  I didn’t think I needed it, but God has shown me that I only thought I was praying before.  My prayer life has gone further up and further in towards God and my relationship with Him.

Go Further UP. Go Further In to God.  And with God.

 

 

Posted May 13, 2017 by Maureen in Uncategorized

REMEMBER   Leave a comment

We remember, Jesus, what you did for us.

We remember, Jesus, the beatings and disrespect and the blood you shed for us.

We remember, Jesus, that you took our sins upon yourself.

We remember, Jesus, that you loved us so much you did that for us.  The wretched, cracked, broken, and leaky clay vessels that we are.

Thank you, Jesus.   I remember today.

Posted April 14, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Uncategorized

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OLD and NEW   Leave a comment

Easter is coming soon!  I love this time of year, though for now and forever it will always be linked with my dear husband’s death.

But life goes on and time continues to march on.  I have a niece getting married on what would have been Randy’s 60th birthday.  I love this niece and would have dearly loved to be there on her day, but this is the first birthday without Randy and I just can’t do it.  I only have so much emotional reserves, and I can’t paste on a happy face that day.

I got out my Easter things.  I don’t do a lot of decorating at Easter – not like Christmas.  I do have some favorite things I put out, and this is a picture of one of them:

I absolutely adore ceramic things.  And I never buy them.  I am very careful not to fill my house with too many “things”, and all the beautiful things made out ceramic I could buy definitely fit that!  But, I found this basket on sale years ago and so I bought it.  The cardboard painted eggs nestled inside it were from my mother.  She may have had them when she first got married — I am not sure, but they are least 60 years old and may be older.  I love combining old and new like this.  And for the next few weeks I’ll enjoy looking at my beautiful ceramic Easter basket.

 

Posted March 26, 2017 by Maureen in Musings

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NOTES FROM LENT REFLECTIONS   Leave a comment

I may have mentioned this before, but a few years ago I signed up for Lent and Advent daily devotional/reflections from Goshen College.  I so enjoy it!  I recommend signing up — you can get a gem in your email inbox during Lent and/or Advent.  I have been super busy at work and have met myself coming and going and have not had time to write blog posts like I want to.  But I did pull from the Lent devotionals a few things from just this week alone that I’d like to share with you.  Think about it, reflect on it.  Make it personal for your life.

“Remember how you were sustained before.  Remember”
Exodus 17

“No one party ever has a monopoly on Truth.  It is with this sense of wonder that I accept neither a sedating grace, nor a self-bestowed grace, but a “costly grace” that simultaneously comforts, discomforts, and calls us to follow the Incarnate God.”
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17

“Brokenness happens in life.  It is not what we desire or hope for, but challenges and fractures befall us.  Looking at restorative processes in nature is a helpful reminder that renewal in the midst of brokenness does happen.  Jesus is the orchardist who is committed to acting in our lives.  Christ is the one who brings salve to our wounds. We are made right by the loving, Creator God.”
Romans 5:1-11

“This Lent, may we be able to see the strangeness of Jesus, the ways in which he pushes cultural boundaries.  May we be able to look beyond the surface of the familiar stories and be drawn in by Jesus, who confuses our expectations.  May we be so compelled that our lives speak of this Jesus.”
John 4:5-42

Posted March 17, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings, Uncategorized

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IT’S SAD, REALLY   Leave a comment

One thing that has been made plain to me is that people generally don’t like someone to be grieving or mourning more than, say, a few months. Six, at the most.

People want you to be over it.  Like you could possibly be over losing part of your very heart.  As if it was a football game where your team lost, or the cancelling of a TV show you really like.

I have had two people in the past two weeks ask me how I was.  I hate being asked that when I’m grieving.  I almost always say “Fine”, or “Okay” even when I’m not.  It is what they want to hear and anything else makes them uncomfortable.  I’ve learned this through painful experience.

With both people, who I thought I knew well enough to share with, I said something other than “Fine”.  And both of them suggested counseling.  One person mailed me a list of therapists and grief groups in my area, the other (who is a Counselor in her day job) suggested I talk to someone, or join a grief group.

What they said was not wrong, and I know it was meant well.  But – why suggest counseling?  Just because I am still grieving and in mourning 10 months after my dear husband passed away, they are thinking I should be over it?  Or I need help getting over it?  Why is that the first thing they want me to do?

Do you know what I would have much preferred they say?  I would have much preferred if they would have said, “Why don’t we make a date to go walking on the beach this weekend?”  Or, “There is a new Chinese place I’d like to try.  Would you like to go to dinner next week?”  Or, “Why don’t you come over for dinner tomorrow?” Or even, “Why don’t we go to lunch after church?”

That is what would help.  That is, actually, what I need.  That is what would make a difference to me, in my life.  It is sad, really.  Grief makes so many people so uncomfortable.  They don’t know how to deal with it.  They don’t want you to start to cry when you talk about the person who is gone.  They squirm and change the subject or make excuses to get away.  If I do that when talking to you – you don’t have to do anything.  You don’t have to say anything.  Just listen.

It is sad, really.  I wish people in my life could understand grief and mourning.

Posted February 15, 2017 by Maureen in Married Musings

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