Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Four years and still going ....

It is the anniversary of when I started trying to see where a blog might lead me. And four years later, I still have no clue.

I guess it doesn't help that I haven't evolved beyond my original "simple goals":

-- Post at least one thing each week.

-- Feel free to go back in and edit.

-- See where it leads.

-- Give the glory to God.

That self-criticism ("I guess it doesn't help ...") echoes one that has emerged at work. I'm feeling a need to add some skills or set higher goals to increase my job security. But I also have reasons to believe that just not falling behind will be a major challenge between now and the end of the year and possibly the first few months of 2014.

In recent years, with my Dad's illness and then his death, November and December stir deeper thoughts, feelings and emotions -- including some grief, depression and confusion, but also gratitude, hope, love and joy.

For instance, Central Oklahoma has been having a bunch of earthquakes lately. I haven't felt any of them, but they make me think of the one two years ago tonight, when I was with Mom at home on the family farm, the Saturday after my Dad's death and funeral. That still seems more surreal than eerie, but definitely some of both. You just don't think of houses rattling and shaking without a strong wind or a storm going on in these parts. But I guess that is just one more thing that keeps changing.

Recent days have provided some good lessons to me about how life goes on. My Mom headed out on a trip with two of her brothers to see their sister last Wednesday -- the anniversary of my Dad's death. What a powerful message to me. She saw a precious opportunity to spend time with her siblings and she made the most of it, even as it meant missing three of her out-of-state children being at her house while she was gone. Again, this was so instructional for me. Before she returned home, she and her sister would go to visit their sister-in-law, whose husband, their brother, died a year ago today. Driving with Mom to his funeral in far west Texas last year was a rich experience for me, bringing more memories and blessings that are with me today. I know she, too, will feel enriched, even as it has to be emotionally draining at times.

Which brings me around to an excerpt from today's devotional from the Bible Gateway, drawn from 1 Kings 17:8-24, that I wanted to end with.

"Faith is the step between promise and assurance. Miracles seem so out of reach for our feeble faith. But every miracle, large or small, begins with an act of obedience based on faith. We may not see the solution until we take the first step of faith because God offers help where we least expect it. God provides 'a pathway no one knew was there!' (Psalm 77:19). When we put our faith in God for small things like a meal, we will be more ready next time to put our faith in him for big things—like life."

I can only experience the richness of life if I step out in faith to trust God with whatever comes. And He never forsakes me. His Spirit stays with me. That's the Spirit I want to keep embracing and sharing.

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