Tears are a good thing.
They make me stop and move my grief from my inside to my outside. That is good.
A friend told me about a couple she knew who always said goodbye to one another each morning by saying, “I’ll see you tonight, or I’ll see you in heaven.” Maybe it’s because I lost 2 girlfriends to cancer last year or because of all the weird natural disasters (like the Tuscaloosa tornado) that have been going on, but I’ve been saying that phrase a lot to people I love since she shared that with me.
For months now, when I’ve said goodbye to my daddy, I’ve often choked on the huge lump in my throat as I’ve told him, “I’ll see you next time, or I’ll see you in heaven.” It’s been hard to watch his Parkinson’s disease slowly but steadily overtake him over the past 28 years. Since January of this year, his dear life has included falls, hospitalizations, rehab, nursing homes (including a forced move due to a tornado that destroyed one facility he was in), etc. Heaven has drawn closer and closer.
When my mom called this weekend to tell me he’d been taken to hospice, I cried. Yet, from hospice experiences with my girlfriends last year, I knew this was the best thing for daddy at the moment.
Tonight, my sweet sister called to tell me the words I both dreaded and welcomed— “He’s with Jesus now.”
I feel peculiarly numb right now… but also extremely thankful.
I am so thankful his shaking has stopped and his body is at rest.
I am so thankful he went peacefully.
I am so thankful his faith rested firmly on Jesus.
I am so thankful he took me and our family to church.
I am so thankful he lived a life of faithful service to others.
I am so thankful I never heard him whine or complain about his circumstances.
I am so thankful he was my daddy.
As the clock struck midnight and “June 6th” popped up on my computer screen I was reminded that this is my first day on the planet without my daddy here. Although heaven got sweeter tonight, I already miss him terribly.
He will always be etched on my heart. I can’t wait for the day when I get to see him again. I KNOW I will— in heaven.
I just love it when my paintings are welcomed into a new home! This sunflower painting was created as I presented “Find Your Focal Point” in Austin. I see the sunflower as a picture in nature of an attitude of the heart that can sustain us through various life circumstances. Watch what sunflowers do…
This remarkable quality called “heliotropism” (turning to track the sun) is a picture of how our hearts can turn to face the LORD throughout the ups and downs of every day.
The sunflower always makes me think of Hebrews 12:2-3 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider HIM, who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
A question from the Pondering Palette: Has your heart been like a sunflower lately?
In darkness, before morning light, still wrapped in my cotton sheet cocoon, I welcomed this day.
No agenda. No schedule. A day just to breathe and be after two weeks of nonstop activity.
A cup of coffee. A long walk. A bike ride.
Lost in thoughtless things like trimming of branches and tasting dust and dirt from the leaf blower that swept clean my drive way. The gathering, loading, and folding of clothes.
As much as I like going and doing, they invariably wear on my soul, like fingernails on a chalkboard. So I thank you, LORD, for the blessing of days like today… days of just being.
The videotaping in Austin yesterday was such a blessing to me! The stories of the varied ways many of the attendees heard about the event was evidence of the Lord’s hand in orchestrating everything.
A “random” email. A last minute call from a friend. Two invitations arriving from opposite ends of Texas. These are just a few of the ways women learned about the event.
The impact our time together had on their lives was powerful as well as they shared things like: inspiration to paint again, encouragement to cling to Christ through difficult circumstances, a new perspective on their problems, and on and on.
The LORD is always good, but he was especially gracious yesterday morning as friends and family prayed (from places across the country), women in Austin were drawn to attend, and the LORD touched hearts in a way only HE can.
I stand amazed at His power but not surprised about His generous provision.
For a couple of months, we’ve been working toward the videotaping that is schedule to take place in Austin in the morning. All through the ups and downs of pulling together something like this from the other side of the state, one thing has been consistent– the LORD has proven once again how rock solid and dependable He is.
He has been reinforcing the power of the message I’ll be sharing of keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus through ALL THINGS. He has done this through resolving communication issues (that were all my fault) and smoothing technical glitches beyond my understanding (or control). He has gone before me every step of the way.
I can’t wait to see the 60+ women who responded to our invitation to attend. They will all be there by divine appointment.
I know I will too— because HE is faithful and has gone before me already.
The painting you see as the background of my blog is a fun, paisley design I created one day when I was playing with analagous colors. I think of these as “next door neighbors” on the color wheel. Neighboring colors almost always look good together because they have a common base color, in this case, it’s blue. (I threw in the little “pop” of chartreuse for contrast.)
It took me a long time to discover the power of simply painting with analagous colors. I LOVE colors, but I’ve ruined a lot of paintings over the years by trying to use too many of them at once. Too many colors can actually lead to chaos on my paper.
I’ve also ruined a lot of projects (and wasted a lot of time) in life by getting too many plates spinning at once. Too many projects lead to diluted energy and wasted time.
Next time you paint, consider limiting your palette to just a few analagous colors. It can make a big difference in the beauty and cohesiveness of your painting.
Next time you have a project to do, consider limiting your role, time, or resources to just a few essential ones. It can make a big difference in the strength of your work.
A wise person is intentionally selective with all things- including resources (even if that’s color selection), materials, and time…
Proverbs 21:20 In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
My prayer today: LORD, please help me to be wise in my choices today. I can get my energy so diluted with the “too much” of everything. Most of all, may I choose to cling to You in all things. Amen.