"I will strengthen you, I will help you"
A day that I love because it is the "break" in my week. A day to sleep in (though I usually can't). A day to get "caught up" on laundry and house work. A day to work on projects. A day without as many demands as Monday - Friday.
As much as I crave Saturday during the week, once it is here, the counting begins . . . early in the morning, it's . . . 5 weeks ago today Rick got up to go finish up the roof. Mid-morning it's . . . 5 weeks ago, I called Rick and we finalized our plans for the rest of the day, and on and on - through the hours until sometime after noon. Then my spirit calms again, because it was then, that even though my world as I knew it came to a SCREECHING halt, I can become calm again because I KNOW that by that point, 5 weeks ago . . . Rick met JESUS.
So, I simultaneously crave and dread Saturday. It is a day that I think forever will be marked with sorrow and rejoicing - strange how the two can mix.
Today dawned earlier than I wanted. I woke up a little after 7:00 a.m., wishing for HOURS more sleep, but knowing I had things that needed to get done, so I did not give in to the temptation to crawl back under the covers and hide from the day, rather, I got up and got going. The cleaning and the laundry were completed. The township work that needed to be done got done. The bills got paid and some were hand delivered, others done online and others put in the mail. Though I am SO THANKFUL that the LORD has provided, and the bills are being paid, I'd rather be struggling to pay them and to have Rick with me. Some days more than others I wrestle with the understanding of my "new normal". I guess today was one of them.
Some days, more than others, I doubt. I doubt my abilities. I doubt that I can be both mommy and daddy to my girls. I doubt that I can take care of all the responsibilities of a home. I doubt that I'm being what my girls need me to be. I doubt that the dread I have for those few hours on a Saturday will ever go away. . . . I doubt many things at many times on many days. I do not, however, doubt that God LOVES me (and the kids). I do not doubt that God in His WISDOM sees the BIG picture while I only see a TINY piece of the puzzle. I do not doubt that He WILL CARRY US THROUGH. I do not doubt that He will strengthen and uphold us. I do not doubt that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. I do not doubt that I am not parenting the girls alone. I do not doubt that He will provide - "if he cares so wonderfully for the wildflowers . . . . He will certainly care for me" (Matthew 6:28). I do not doubt that He, Himself will calm my dread "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives. Let not your hearts be troubled. (John 14:27). . . . I read a GREAT quote today ... "I'm not asking God to move this mountain, I'm just asking for the strength to get over it" (stolen from a friend's Facebook page).
As I go through my day at home, cleaning, straightening, arranging, I am continually thankful. Though many homes, on the inside seem to reflect the "lady" of the house, I'm THANKFUL that our home SCREAMS Rick! :) There is not a room that I can go into that does not contain a "touch" of him. The deer heads, bear heads and rugs, the wildlife "motif" of our living room, dining room and hallway. The pictures and pictures and pictures . . . most of them with Rick with the girls, the big kids or the grandbabies, or displaying one of the "trophies" he bagged while hunting, most often wearing his Green Bay Packers gear - those reminders that after God and his family, hunting & the Packers were his worldly passions! Things he went after with GUSTO! I'm thankful for all these reminders, for they do not bring me pain, but great comfort, a feeling of Rick still with us. I'm thankful that Daddy comes into daily conversations that we have. Sometimes those conversations are serious, but most often they are light-hearted - because it's hard not to talk about him without feeling "good" because when you were with him, YOU felt special! (I'm not putting him on a pedestal, I fully understand he was a sinful human being. I lived with him for almost 20 years, remember? But, he was a unique person - one of the few I have ever met who I can honestly say didn't have an enemy! Rick walked with the Lord and he really did "walk the walk"). I'm thankful that those mentions of his name don't send us into a tailspin, but most often end with a laugh, or at least a smile :) or spin off into yet another memory!
So ... after a busy afternoon of decorating at church, Sunday School program practice, supper at church, Christmas gifts and a movie with the teens, we were all home. Tired. All of us. Tired. Still mentally exhausted. A tiredness that is hard to explain. Everyone in bed by 8:30. The girls already sleeping. Me needing to sleep. Me praying that the Lord will continue to be the strength and portion for my girls. Me needing to just hear a "special" message from HIM. Me, not doubting, still trusting, but needing that little "nudge", so before coming on here to write, I opened up my devo's (maybe I should have learned by now that it's the way to START the day, as well as end the day!) If I have doubts, if my faith falters, if doing life in this new normal seems overwhelming, that's when I should KNOW that GOD will show up - BIG TIME! :)
My devo tonight read in part, "Make me the focal point of your search for security. In your private thoughts, you are still trying to order your world so that it is predictable and feels safe. Not only is this an impossible goal, but it is also counterproductive to spiritual growth. When your private world feels unsteady and you grip My hand for support, you are living in conscious dependence on Me. . . . In the darkness of adversity, you are able to see more clearly the radiance of My Face. Accept the value of problems in this life, considering them pure joy." (bold and underlines added by me for emphasis)
So, if you don't think God ordains EVERY SINGLE LITTLE detail of our lives, think again! The PERFECT words to speak to my fragile heart tonight! The perfect words to address my doubts and insecurities. The perfect scripture passages to follow it up:
"Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
"...Even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me." Psalm 139:10
(one of my ABSOLUTELY favorite passages of scripture is Psalm 139)!
"Consider it pure you, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, . . . the testing of your faith produces perserverence." James 1:2 & 3
Good night, Sweet Jesus, thank you for ALL of the wonderful promises contained in Your Word. Thank you for quieting my heart tonight. Thank you for whispering "peace be still". Thank You for loving me, even more than I know Rick loved me. Thank you for giving us Peace in this storm on our journey to this "new normal" that You have ordained for us.
I LOVE YOU LORD ♥
(several people told me that they could not leave comments, I have changed the settings for comments, so I THINK you can leave one now, if you want!)