one week...

it has been one week today since mama went Home. and almost three weeks since i last talked to her. 

at first we counted days since her stroke, now i count weeks, soon months and years. until the one day we will be in a place when time is no more.

as you may remember from earlier blog entries, mom and i were in a beth moore Bible study together, “stepping up”. she made a HUGE step last week and skipped all the little ones that now i am taking. i find it amazing that she had completed the first three of 15 psalms (steps) and then waited 12 more days to go home. i envision her climbing a step a day (there are 15 steps from the court of women to the holiest place of the temple and the psalms of ascent that we are studying are the 15 psalms from psalms 120-135 that the jewish people associate with a journey and those 15 temple steps). so she had done 3 with me and then stepped up one a day until Jesus met her at the top and took her to the ultimate Holy of Holies, His very Presence. kind of gives me chills.

of course, i don’t get to step up that quickly. i am laboring (and it is pleasant labor indeed) through the psalms here on earth still. this was the psalm that i was studying yesterday (i am a bit behind on my homework, but i know that God is giving me exactly what i need on each exact day and so in His plan, i am not behind. hmm wonder if that excuse would work for millie when she is behind on her homework for school?)

PSALM 126: 5-6
Those who sow in tears 
       will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping, 
       carrying seed to sow, 
       will return with songs of joy, 
       carrying sheaves with him.

OK i totally had to look up what the word “sheaves” meant... see, i bet you don’t know either (or just play along and make me feel better). i just have been singing that “bringing in the sheaves” song for years and not really understanding it...

literally it is the bundle of plants after reaping the harvest, a picture of returning with your arms full of life. the seed has grown and you reap a harvest and you tie it up and carry this huge harvest home.

it also means “the thing that bound you, or something that made you silent”. 

isn’t that great? i can return with songs of joy , my arms FULL of life, AND carrying the very thing that once bound me and made me silent (i know that now you are asking “did anything ever make you silent?”) 

there is this strange and wonderful freedom now to say NO to things because i am still tender and healing from the past few weeks. there is this freedom to speak of the hope i have in Christ and countless opportunities to do so. in the grocery store, as teachers at the schools the children go to hear of mom’s passing, in the carpool line, and responding to the countless cards we have received. i have been able to tell so many people how God has met our every need, how we know beyond a shadow of a doubt where mom is today and where we will be one day. who knows how God will water and use these seeds i have sown in places that i don’t usually have a chance to speak so boldly. so i think it is safe to say that i have carried the sheaves that made me dumb and have spoken freely of the faith i have in Christ alone.

i am also carrying the very cords that bound me to the busyness of this world and freeing myself of those stressful bindings as well. i am learning to say NO to things “just because” (can i get an AMEN here sistahs!), not to feel guilty that i can’t do it, but to leave it for someone else to have that opportunity to serve. i am treasuring time with my family right now and trying to spend time in God’s Word and finding rest for my body and soul as i know He would want me to do during these days fresh with sorrow and joy.

i have seed to sow and sheaves to carry as a reminder of the time i was bound, as a reminder of the One who freed me, as a reminder to not be bound again by silence and busyness. my mother would be so proud of my sheaves (certainly she knows what that means too, for she has returned Home carrying her freedom in Christ, no more earthly bounds and singing all the way Home) .