Monday, August 31, 2009

Time for a little honesty...

So...after an exchange of emails over the last couple of days with a friend (and you know who you are) and some (OK, a lot) of introspection, I think the time has come to not only be honest with myself but you, my blogging "family" as well.

And since it's Monday, I will begin with this video...

**Scroll down and pause my player before clicking the link**

Motions ~ Matthew West

Going through the motions. That's been my life for these past 9+ months.

As Christians, we speak of "transparency." Exposing our true selves - faults, warts and all. Letting others see the ugly parts of us that we normally keep tucked away so they won't think less of us. Deep breath...

People ask me how I'm doing. I say "fine." Or "hanging in there, thanks for asking." But that's not being honest. It's telling them what they want to hear, what they want to believe because after 9 months I should be OK, right? After all, I'm not the first woman to lose a husband...sigh.

The truth is:

I feel like my life ended when my Sweet Hubby's did. I have no interest in anything, I don't have any energy or motivation to do anything. I work when I feel up to it, but definitely can't even consider it part time. I am withdrawing from everyone and everything. And I just really don't care...I may smile on the outside but I feel dead on the inside. I guess feeling nothing is the same as feeling dead, isn't it?

Someone emailed me today that they check my blog if they don't hear from me knowing that if something were really wrong it would be on my blog. Nothing could be further from the truth!! Because the truth is ugly...see? Why would I want anyone to really know how (or how little, actually) I'm feeling? They might see that I (gasp!) don't have it all together. That I'm actually quite a big mess, in fact.

I'm a walking catastrophe mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I feel like in my present state of being, I let everyone down. My family, my friends, my husband and my God. I want to do better...but then again - I just don't care. I don't have the wherewithal to do anything about it. What a crossroads, huh?

I've always been a strong-willed person. Ask anyone who knows me - they'll tell you...this is not my normal state. I'm a "get in the trenches and do what you need to do" type of person. I've never been afraid to get dirty. And things got plenty dirty when my Sweet Hubby got sick.

But since I lost him, I feel like I've lost everything. We shared everything. Now, I share nothing...

I'm just going through the motions.

So like the song said...I don't care if I break - at least I'll be feeling something. And something's got to be better than nothing. Right?

I've been mulling over posting about all of this since receiving two specific emails from GriefShare:
Express your tears and your pain. In order to move on, you cannot push down and pocket your emotions; they must be fully communicated for you to heal.

"Everyone cries," says Dr. H. Norman Wright. "Everyone sheds tears. Some people do it on the outside, but some are only capable of doing it on the inside. From a health perspective, the shedding of tears is very beneficial to physical well-being.

"The people who are unable or haven't developed the capacity to cry are carrying a heavier load of emotion that can actually contribute to some physical difficulties. I don't think you should ever apologize for your tears because you never apologize for something that is a gift from God."

Pull out your emotions. Face the pain head-on. Mourn loudly. Weep bitterly. Be set free.

When Peter realized he had disowned Jesus three times, he "went outside and wept bitterly" (Luke 22:62). When Stephen, the first Christian martyr, died, devout men "made loud lamentation over him" (Acts 8:2 NASB).

Holy God, I'm so adept at pushing down my emotions that I don't know how to pull them up, but I know that I must. Give me the opportunity and the courage to let my emotions pour out freely. Amen.
"Don't imagine that you're gonna tough this out and make it all by yourself," says Dr. Jim Conway.

Do you have a person with whom you can share your innermost feelings about your loss? Take action to find someone. Often it is helpful to find someone who has experienced a loss similar to your own.

Pray first that God will direct you. Then make a list of family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers with whom you might share. Pick up the phone and plan a time to meet and talk. You might also call your local church and explain that you just need someone to talk to about your situation. Another idea is to find a grief support group where you can share, ventilate, talk, and find support from others who can truly relate.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

Lord, direct me to the person You want me to have as a friend and confidant during this time of grief. Amen.

So I've prayed about it...and prayed about it some more. Which leads me here, to today's post and sharing this with you. Because I don't want to go through the motions. And I don't want to pretend anymore.

There. Warts exposed.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How exciting!

Next Sunday, my church begins a new study during Sunday school based on this book. I'm just into the first chapter...but - how exciting!! Here are some tidbits:

Lie 1: God is whatever we want Him to be

This is the first reason why we have so many idolatrous ideas about God today: we are impatient with His silence in this confused age. Donald McCullough quotes newspaper columnist Russell Baxter, who lost his father to an early death, as saying, "After this I never cried again with any real conviction, nor expected much of anyone's God except indifference." We think that if God is all-powerful, He would put an end to the suffering of this world, so we construct a god who puts up with evil for the same reasons we do: he can do very little about it. Or else we turn away from reality and say that evil does not exist.

So a second motivation for idolatry is that we want a God who is more tolerant of us, less demanding, less "judgmental." When a friend of mine left his wife for another woman, he withdrew from his friends at the church and formed new friendships in bars and sports complexes. He felt better associating with people who could accept his choices without judging; he wanted to be affirmed, rather than rebuked, for the "courage" to leave his wife. Just so, we want a God who will not mess with the core of our lives.
(excerpted from 10 Lies about God by Erwin Lutzer)

What are the other 9 lies you ask? Well, here they are:

Lie 2: Many paths lead into God's presence (I can't wait to read this chapter!)
Lie 3: God is more tolerant than He used to be
Lie 4: God has never personally suffered (Oh wow -do some people really believe this??!)
Lie 5: God is obligated to save followers of other religions
Lie 6: God takes no responsibility for natural disasters
Lie 7: God does not know our decisions before we make them
Lie 8: The Fall ruined God's plan
Lie 9: We must choose between God's pleasures and our own
Lie 10: God helps those who help themselves
(excerpted from 10 Lies about God by Erwin Lutzer)

That's just a taste! What a study this is going to be!!

"Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them." Psalm 115:3-8

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Looking up

Today's thought from Beth Moore's Praying God's Word Day by Day:

"God will sometimes allow things to get bad enough that we will be forced to look up."

"But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life." Romans 6:22

Monday, August 24, 2009

He knew.

Well, it's Monday again. You know what that means by now here at In the Throne Room!

So, this song is pretty new...the artists are pretty new to the national scene as well. In fact, the CD that this song belongs to isn't even out yet...If you like what you hear, you can preorder their new CD - "Wonder" - here or here.

Every time I hear this song, I'm reminded again and again that nothing in my life is a surprise to my Maker. Not. One. Thing. At all. I find that the ultimate comfort in my life right now. How about you?

Why don't you just sit back, take a few cleansing breaths, close your eyes and prepare to worship with me...

**Scroll down and pause my player first!**

I'd Need a Savior ~ Among the Thirsty

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." Psalm 43:5


Thursday, August 20, 2009

GoD and DoG

Have you seen this? No? I hadn't either until yesterday...but I loved it and wanted to share.

Make sure you play the little video...

GoD and DoG

I have been blessed with many wonderful, loving canine companions in my life.

Right now I share my life with Lulu. She has come into my life at the perfect time. I am not surprised. God's timing is always perfect.

Has the Lord blessed your life with animals? I'd love to hear about them...maybe you could even post a picture on your blog so I could "meet" them...that would be wonderful. No blog? Send me a photo via email...with your permission I'll share your pet's photo here.

"And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps on the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Will you join me?

I would be so grateful if you would join me in prayer for my Mom...

As many of you know, she had a critical health event on December that the doctors did not believe she could or would survive. But she did. However, she came home with some wounds that needed addressing.

I don't want to go into detail here, but suffice it to say that the care she received was less than stellar, despite my best efforts.

Thankfully, 2 of the 3 wounds have now healed. But she is left with one on her left heel that is of great concern. Today she was seen by a friend and former coworker of mine who is a Nurse Practitioner and Certified Wound Specialist in the wound center of a local hospital. She is concerned because one of the pulses indicating blood flow to that foot is quite weak - in fact, it is undetectable without the use of Doppler. My Mom is experiencing pain as well which leads to concern of osteomyelitis, infection in the bone(s) of her foot.

Will you please stand with me in prayer that there is no osteomyelitis and that the wound - with proper care - will begin its healing path...

Thank you, my friends.

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24

Monday, August 17, 2009

So...I'm waiting

We had a fantastic guest speaker deliver our sermon yesterday. Very thought provoking and attention riveting! He spoke on "Knowing God's Will for You." Hey - aren't we all interested in that topic?!!

But before the sermon began, our wonderful choir delivered a powerful invitation to worship! How can you not want to meet with the Holy Spirit when your spirit is just singing, in every sense of the word!

Yet, as wonderful as the service was, it was also bittersweet. You see, the father and daughter that sang at My Sweet Hubby's funeral service sang a duet. They sang beautifully that day and they sang beautifully yesterday. And I knew that the song they sang would be today's Music Monday selection.

Because, really - aren't we all just...waiting?

**Scroll down and pause my player before listening**

Another Time, Another Place ~ Avalon

Here are some Scripture verses from the sermon...I hope they bless you as they did me.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
"In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:6

"As we seek God's Will, we not only discover His Will, we discover HIM."
quoted from Jamie Smith's sermon, LBBC, 8/16/09

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Passin' through...

I receive a daily email from GriefShare and today I thought I'd share the accompanying Scripture verses because, no matter what you're facing or going through, we have true hope in Jesus and we really are just "passin' through."

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary. But what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16, 18

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

He's not shaken

Another milestone passed by's been 9 months since my Sweet Hubby went to be with the Lord. And most days I'm still in disbelief. How can it be? We had so many plans...dreams...

So many days I just cry to the Lord, "I don't understand..."

And while losing my precious husband devastated my entire world - left it tilted and forever changed, HE'S not shaken. My God is still my Rock and my salvation. I know He has a plan for my life because His Word is clear.

Someone posted on my bereavement forum through CancerCare that, "it (living without our spouse) gets easier, but it never gets better." I haven't reached "easier" yet and I am pretty sure they're right and that I'll never reach "better." Until He calls me home. Then I'll be better. So until then, I just do the best I my trust and my life in my Father's Hands and remind myself that He's not shaken.

**Remember to scroll down and pause my player before listening**

You're Not Shaken ~ Phil Stacey

You're Not Shaken

I am sinking in a river that is raging
I am drowning, will I ever rise to breathe again
I want to know why I just want to understand
Will I ever know why

How could this be from Your hand
When every little thing that I have dreamed would be
Just slips away like water through my hand
And when it seems the walls of my belief are crashing down

Like they're all made of sand
I won't let go of You now, because I know You're not shaken
I'm trembling in the darkness of my own fear
All the questions with no answers still grip me while

I'm here And I may never know why I may not understand
But I will lift up my eyes And trust this is Your plan
When I am in the valley of the shadow of death
You're not shaken, You're not shaken

You're right here beside me and
You have never left
You're not shaken, You're not shaken

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6

Monday, August 3, 2009

Yeah, He loves us!!

Some days I feel an extra portion of God's love for me. It's usually delivered on the wings of angels I like to call "friends." I have been blessed with some very special ones. And this past year, I have needed them (more than ever). Oh. So. Very. Much.

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to spend the day with a wonderful friend, JJ. We've know each other for a long time, but we don't get to see each other very often. But I will tell you...this woman has been faithfully calling me every day. That's right...every day. For months and months and months and...well, you get the point. "How are you? Just calling to check in and see how things are going..." Now, I'll tell you something...I don't always answer my phone. Some days I just don't have it in me to talk to anyone. But you know what? She's OK with that...she knows that when I come up for air, I will call.

Oh, and did I mention that she has twin infants? And a 5 year old? Yet, she manages to find time in her craaaaazy life to reach out to me, her friend, every day. Did I mention that she calls every day?

So, Saturday, after more than a month of planning - we actually got to spend time, just the two of us (thanks T!!) shopping...lunching...laughing...spending...chatting. It was so much fun. And all that much sweeter because we don't get to do it often. Ahhhhhh. It was wonderful!

Yeah. He loves us!! And sometimes that love comes in the form of a hug (or a phone call!) from a friend.'s Music Monday selection is for you - thanks for the day!

**Remember to scroll down and pause my player before listening**

How He Loves ~ David Crowder Band

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:11