gone with the wind

 

 

 

memories…
people…
faces…
names…
identity…
what she ate for (any given meal)…
family…
likes…
dislikes…
favorites…
sisters…
mother…
father…

all
gone…
like a falling leaf
blown away by the wind.

are they in there somewhere?
does she understand the question?
does she know the answer but can’t get it out?

does she really know who she is?

does she even know me?

the fascinating
horrible
sad
heartbreaking
disease
of
dementia.

my aunt Betty has been suffering from this disease
for the past 2 years
(that we know about)

where is Betty?
who is the lady staring a hole through me?
what is going on in her head?

is she confused
frustrated
happy
sad
irritated
really hurting
having conversations with us
remembering moments
aging backwards???

while visiting her yesterday,
as she was eating her ice cream
(oh my, she loves ice cream!!),
she thought I was my mom
she didn’t know my dad
and she really didn’t seem to comprehend much…
but
she was bright-eyed
and smiling
and looked happy.

is that enough?
is that enough for me?

could it be that I looked just like my mom (Ruth)
at the age she is in her head…
that she wouldn’t know me, or my dad – to her, we didn’t exist yet

the memories she had of us were gone with the wind…

the disease has a strangle hold on her mind…
everything seems to be dust in the wind.

today
what happened yesterday –
the ice cream
the visit
the conversation
the smiles
the pondering
the recognizing (or lack thereof)
is gone…

dust in the wind…

all
gone with the wind.

and so…
as our lives continue
our losses, our loves, our triumphs, our heartaches…
does life go anywhere for those with dementia?

lots of what ifs
and I wonder whys…
unanswerable questions…

Life is fleeting; it just slips through your fingers. All vanishes like mist. – Ecclesiastes 12:8 (the Voice)

on the winds of grace…

 

 

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pick a choice

 

choices

this way
that way
this or that

choice

coffee or tea
paper or plastic
true or false

choice

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

 
flip-flops or bare foot
burger or hotdog
chocolate or vanilla

choice

“We are our choices.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

Italian, Mexican, or Chinese
fast-food or slow-food

choice

faithfulness and commitment
or
recklessness and indifference

love
or
hate

choice

 

“All your life, you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love or hate…I choose love.” — Johnny Cash

 

everyday
every moment
we have to make choices.

some are as simple as what to wear
or which route to take to work
or what to eat

some are more difficult
like choosing to stay or to go
to follow or turn and run
to love
or to hate

how many times do we try to live 2 choices at once?
how many times do we not make a choice because we feel paralyzed?
how many times does the choice seem impossible??

 

“One Choice

One Choice, decided your friends.

One Choice, defines your beliefs.

One Choice, determines your loyalties – Forever.

ONCE CHOICE CAN TRANSFORM YOU”   — Veronica Roth

Think very carefully about your choices.  – Haggai 1:5 (the Voice)

there is power in choosing.
there is freedom in choosing.
there is heartache (often) in choosing.
there is joy in choosing.
there is pain in choosing (sometimes).
there is honesty is choosing.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real.
The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” — Brené Brown

pick a choice.

God
or
not God

forgiveness
or
grace

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
— Robert Frost

pick a choice.
pick wisely.
pick prayerfully.

one choice will make all the difference.

choosing grace…

doing well

thrive

 

His breath filled all things
    with a living, breathing light—
A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
    blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot and will not be quenched. – John 1:4-5 (the Voice)

how many times are you (we) asked….how are you?

and your (our) response…I’m doing well, thanks.

what does that mean??
“doing well”

not sick
not in the hospital
able to function
living…

is that all there is?
just living?
just surviving?

sometimes, a lot of times, it feels like I am just merely surviving.
I am doing well.

but…

is that all there is?

in the midst of the living, the surviving
is it not still possible

to truly “do well”?
to blossom
to flourish
to bloom
to thrive?

but…

my life is dark
I don’t see much hope
I can’t seem to find a way out
I am barely living as it is…

I get that, I truly do.
our lives are filled with things that cloud the Light
that get in the way
things that keep our feet from moving
that paralyze us
things that jumble our thoughts
that cause disorder

we live in darkness
almost afraid of the Light
we become content to stay
in the dark
we give up on discerning
the right

the thick, sticky mess
of the entanglements of living…
we hide…
we run…
we settle with the dark…
we live in the security, the familiarity.

then…
a new day dawns…
and the Light seeps in to the dark crevices…
into the sticky mess…
into the familiar…
into the dark.

the “light bulb” goes on…
in the midst of the dark
the lonely
the depths
a Light shines….

change starts…
some things look different
taste different
smell different
sound different
feel different…

“No more dark.
No more hiding.
No more caves.
What is the point of all of this?
To follow the Light”. – Grug, Croods, the movie

“If you walk with Me, you will thrive in the nourishing light that gives life and will not know darkness”. – John 8:12 (the Voice)

to thrive in the nourishing light that gives life
to not know darkness…
to truly ‘do well’

no more dark
no more hiding

thrive.

Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive – Thrive, Casting Crowns
all because of grace…

 

impact

impact

 

“Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.”
— George Eliot

impact
to have an effect
to influence
to have significance
to make an impression

have you ever wondered if you are truly making a difference?

oh, I sure have.
when I started this blog over 2 years ago, my intent was not to become this great blogger
with thousands of followers
and too many comments to count

I started this blog to process my thoughts and ideas
to have a space for that
to get the things in my head onto a surface where
I could read it
and maybe someone else would be blessed by it

“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” — Zig Ziglar

over 2 years…
196 (197 if you count this one) posts…
1246 views…
28 countries…

United States
South Africa
United Kingdom
Canada
France
Netherlands
Australia
Namibia
Botswana
United Arab Emirates
Switzerland
Dominican Republic
Philippines
Thailand
Indonesia
Czech Republic
Germany
Brazil
Norway
Israel
Venezuela
Belgium
New Zealand
Colombia
Republic of Korea
Uganda
Chile
Bangladesh

impact.

influence.

ripple effect.

His command ripples across the earth;
    His word runs out on swift feet. – Psalm 147:15 (the Voice)

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
Circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center,
flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling
where the end is going to be. – James W. Foley

I certainly had no idea
that when I said
fasten your seatbelts
it would mean a trip around the globe.

who knew?
that one small idea
a place to process
could make such an impact on the world?

we impact our world everyday
with the words we say
with the kindness
or the hatred
the smile
or the scowl
the love
or the disdain

the ripple effect.
it goes on and on…

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
— Jane Goodall

maybe you are like me…
wondering if what you do, who are you
makes a difference to the world around you
maybe you’ve been following Jesus…
wondering that same thing
maybe you are just trying to figure this whole ‘being a Christian’ thing out
wondering the very same thing…

I am convinced that we do make a difference…every moment of every day

He (Jesus) has impacted their lives in a way that changed them forever. They can’t go back. And He knows they don’t know how to go forward. – taken from commentary on John 21:3 (the Voice)

so where do we go from here?
follow
Him.
do what He says
do what He did
live like Him.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior – Oceans, by Hillsong United

the impact will change your life forever.

the impact of grace…

long overdue

jen and babies2

needed or expected for some time
behind schedule
delinquent
late.

my friend is expecting
and the arrival
of the little one
is
long
overdue

ok
a week…
but, I can only imagine that
that is 1 day too long!

having never been ‘expecting’
I don’t know what it feels like
to be due
or overdue

but,
there are some things
that I have expected…with anticipation

a thanks
an acknowledgment
an apology
a word of praise
a glimpse of forgiveness
reconciliation
restoration
a raise
a break
sleep
an answer to prayer
sometimes just an answer

an often
their arrival
is
long
overdue.

and long-awaited.

we wait
we wait
we pace
we cry out
we feel tied up
hopeless
helpless
hurt
angry
disappointed
discouraged
lonely

When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm;
        you will not be engulfed in raging rivers.
    If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs,
        keep going; you won’t be burned.
    Because I, the Eternal One, am your God. – Isaiah 43:2(the Voice)

 

and we know this…
we believe this…

even still…
peace
joy
love
patience
gentleness
seem to be distant and aloof.

but
there within reach
just beyond the fog
just past the static
close enough to touch
is Jesus

His house is my shelter and secret retreat.
    It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil.
Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God.
    He will set me on a rock, high above the fray – Psalm 27:5 (the Voice)

 

From the corners of creation
Comes the Father’s holy breath
Ridin’ on a storm with tender fierceness
Stirring my soul to holiness

And like a mighty wind blows with a force I cannot see
I will open wide my wings, I will open wide my wings
I will open wide my wings and let the Spirit carry me – Chris Rice (Wind and Spirit)

 

there
I can see it
I can feel it
new life is there…
so close, you can hear it breathing. (Sarah Bessey)

in the midst of expectation
and longing
in the pain
in the waiting
in the disappointment
and discouragement
and loneliness

and all of the long overdue
things

is new life…
fresh breath…
soaring on Spirit wings…

But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.
    They will soar on wings as eagles.
They will run—never winded, never weary.
    They will walk—never tired, never faint – Isaiah 40:31 (the Voice)

long-awaited grace.

 

earlier bits

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