Archive for February 2017

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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Greet Me Moon   1 comment

I returned last night from a conference in Long Beach.  As tired as I was, as anxious to get home as I was, as excited to see my kitties — I just had to stop and take a picture of this moon over San Francisco Bay.

full-moon-1

Posted February 11, 2017 by Maureen in Randomness

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Daniel’s Parents   Leave a comment

The church I attend is starting “The Daniel Plan”, based on the Rick Warren book.  As part of that, we are studying the book of Daniel and talking about it.

My mind many times goes to ‘the story behind the story’ when reading the Bible.  And I was struck by how Daniel’s parents must have influenced him.  His friends also, but I’ll focus on Daniel.

As near as we can guess, he and the other young men that were taken to Babylon with the first invasion of Jerusalem were probably around 15 years old.  Daniel was born during King Josiah’s reign, so there was a great revival in Israel during that time which much have influenced his parents and him in his early years.

I like to think of Daniel’s parents being friends and even perhaps business associates of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah’s parents.  I picture all the boys as being friends, perhaps living in the same district in Jerusalem.  Playing together, going to temple together, being taught by their parents.  Celebrating Passover together, and the other feasts.  Living a good, carefree (one would hope) life.  Until the years before the first invasion by the Babylonians, when it must have been difficult to continue to live as an orthodox Jew.  The people were falling away from their worship of God and following other gods.  They must have seen shrines, and idols.  They probably saw and heard rituals and practices of those who worshiped the other gods.  Maybe some of their friends stopped coming to temple with them, stopped talking to them, because their parents started following these other gods.

I can’t imagine how difficult it was to hear of and then see the Babylonian army come against Jerusalem.  How frightening that must have been!  And yet, I think that Daniel’s parents had started planning for this.  Instilling in their son the teachings of the Torah, and helping him to learn as much as he could.  I think they knew what an exceptional son they had.  And I think they knew it was a good chance this son of theirs would be taken from them and be brought to Babylon.

I’m imagining that Daniel’s parents, his father especially, had talked to traders and anyone else he could.  Asking them about the Babylonians.  Asking about what happened to people taken to Babylon.  And so he prepared his son.  I think he exhorted his son in the strongest terms to hold tight to his faith and belief in Yahweh, and no matter what, to  continue to pray and live as he should as a follower of God.  As the army came against Jerusalem and there was no more hope that God would save them as He had done before, I imagine that Daniel’s father, as well as the fathers of his three friends, took the boys and talked with them about what was to come.

They would make a long journey.  They would be taken care of, since they were to go into service for the King of Babylon.  They would be brought to the palace grounds, into the service of the chief of the eunuchs.  I am sure they explained to these boys they would never father children.  The King would want them to be eunuchs so they would devote all their time and energy to his kingdom and its business.  Can you imagine a teenage boy hearing that?  What must have gone through their minds?  What they must have been thinking?

I think the fathers encouraged the boys and told them to use the gifts Yahweh had given them to bring glory to Him.  To do the best they could.  To stand firm.  And these boys, being intelligent and quick to learn, used to following their parents and obeying, probably drew strength from their fathers.

There must have been tears.  Everyone must have been frightened. But the Babylonians did take the boys, just as the fathers said they would.  And everything happened as they had been told.  They made a long trip, but they were taken care of.  I imagine on the trip the four boys continued to pray and worship Yahweh, talking among themselves and helping each other to stay positive.

When they arrived and were made eunuchs, Daniel became their spokesperson.  He knew they should not be eating the food or drinking the wine that had been offered to idols and were unclean.  I’m sure he sent up prayers to God for help, and then he boldly spoke up, and was granted favor.  While the other young men ate the unclean food and drank the wine, Daniel and his friends stayed strong.  And they flourished.

If you notice, Daniel and his three friends are talked about during the book of Daniel, but all the other young men “without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand” – they were never heard about again.

 

Hold tight to God!

Posted February 3, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings, Stories

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