mourning and laughing...

thus is the pattern of my days, tears, laughter, food, doing what needs to be done, and then some more tears followed by the laughter.

yet, i feel that i am seeing things in a different light, not a light of gloom and doom, but appreciating and being awed by such vibrant colors to my life... reminds me of some photography advice i once read....

“The colors here of the leaves, the trunks, the grass, the table, are all rich and vibrant. I doubt you can guess exactly why. Well, this shot was taken in a light rain. You’ll find you will capture some of your best photographs on a grey, wet day. Want glowing, deep colors? Wait for rain.”

“My eyes is wasted away from grief,
my soul and my body also.
My life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing…
great is Your goodness…
Blessed be the Lord, for Has has made marvelous
His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city”
(Ps. 31:9-10, 19, 21).

through the tears, the colors of my life become brighter, more intense, more beautifully saturated with the colors of gratefulness that i feel to the One who has given all gifts...

i see all as a gift from His hands, every friend, every visitor to the hospital who shows up JUST at the moment we need them, even those who don’t call, but email and say “don’t email back, i KNOW you are so busy”... everyone obedient to the call that Jesus puts on their hearts to come or to just stay and pray. it is ALL gift....

every dinner that comes at just the right time, and all the people that come in to eat that dinner. my table, my kitchen, my heart has never been so full...

When we see how much it hurts to lose, when we come to the stark realization of how much there is to actually lose, we begin to see how much that is good and filling beyond measure. pressed down, spilling over, life lived to the fullest...

i cannot tell you how strong my daddy is. those of you who know him, this is no surprise. he comes over for dinner and laughs with us and then heads back to the hospital to hold mama’s hand for a while before going home to his empty bedroom. he does his laundry for the first time in a long time. he is a rock. he is my mama’s rock, he is my rock.

i do not know what it is like to not be proud of your family. i grew up always proud of my parents, always trusting in the “good name” they gave to me. i have never been prouder of my heritage as i am now. as i see my daddy’s tender care for my mother, his tender care of his children, his faithfulness in a Savior who will not leave him forsaken. i am proud of my sister and my brothers, my sister-in-laws, my brither-in-law, my entire family. they are good people, solid people and they follow in my parent’s footsteps. i hope that i do also.

my friend, jennifer canady, sent me the words to this hymn to remind me of my firm foundation. i love that girl, she knows all the good hymns.

the words reminded me of seeing an episode of that t.v. show “wonder years” once where the young boy’s parents were fighting and he said that when your parents are fighting it is like you wake up in the morning and put your feet down on the floor only to find it is shifting and unstable, your parent’s marriage should be as solid and trustworthy as putting your feet down on the floor in the morning. 

and i have that joy. my feet have never touched unsteady ground. my parents built a firm foundation of love for my life and then they pointed me to the One who gives that love, the ultimate Firm Foundation. 

tears may come in the night, but when my feet touch the floor in the morning, it is steady and solid... a firm foundation.

How firm a foundation you saints of the Lord,

is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!

What more can he say than to you he has said,

to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed;

for I am your God and will still give you aid;

I'’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,

upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call you to go,

the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;

for I will be with you, your troubles to bless,

and sanctify to you your deepest distress.

When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,

my grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply;

the flame shall not hurt you; I only design

your dross to consume and your gold to refine.

Even down to old age all my people shall prove

my sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;

and when gray hairs shall their temples adorn,

like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,

I will not, I will not desert to his foes;

that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,

I’'ll never, no never, no never forsake.”