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Musical Monday…Seasons and Waves

 Ecclesiastes is not necessarily one of my fave books of the Bible. It is said to have been written by King Solomon towards the end of his life…and it leans a tad cynical with a twinge of regret. I usually gravitate towards the creation in Genesis, the love of 1st John, or the smack down truth of Romans.  But there are times when Ecclesiastes is exactly where I am at.

This past weekend was one of those times.

I wanted to know when it would stop making me sad to go to Aldi, when I could see strawberries and not well up, when sunshiny spring days wouldn’t make my heart hurt, and when Friday night would not seem so empty.

Sounds weird…yeah. But Nana used to call me and ask me to run her to Aldi. Sunshiny spring days we’d play Scrabble on the deck. Whenever strawberries were on sale at Kroger or Meijer I’d pick them up for Papa. Friday night for a really long time was Papa date night. 

Saturday was the anniversary of Nana’s departure to heaven. Papa’s birthday is this Friday. And Papa left to join Nana in heaven on the 30th. March was rough last year…and even harder this year.

I’ve heard grief comes in waves. Well it’s quite the swell today.

When I was asking when those memories would make me smile instead of well up…I heard this…

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal.A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT
Today I’m sad…but thinking of her also made me smile. Same for Papa.

Nana started me on my family tree researching. I loved calling her with breakthroughs and showing her printouts of documents. I miss that. 

I miss being called “Missy.”

I miss her dancing with us in the basement to the 8-Track of silly songs.

I miss Papa date night. 

I miss mall walking with him and him tattling on me to Nana if I bought something while we were there.

I miss looking at the “fake” art, and leaning my head on his shoulder watching Gunsmoke and Bonanza.

 I will always miss them. 

 Point to ponder while you wander… Enjoy today with your people! Embrace the ups and downs, and use them to cultivate a deeper relationship. It’s worth it.

PS..this is a musical Monday so…here’s The Byrds version of the scripture above…it’s a groovy tune.  “Turn Turn Turn

I Wanna Go Back

I’ve been walking around singing the chorus to an Eddie Money Song, “I Wanna Go Back.

You know the song right?

I wanna go back
And do it all over again
But I can’t go back I know
I wanna go back
Cause I’m feeling so much older
But I can’t go back I know

How many times in life do we wax poetic about the past?  How often to we think that a previous season was just so much better than the one we are in?  Especially when we’re in a stretching time, waiting on the Lord, or being required to step out in faith.

That’s when we begin to practice the art of selective memory.  “Welllll…I may not have been appreciated at my old job, and I had to work unpaid overtime, but at least it paid well.”  “I know my dream is to live in the BIG CITY but I’ve lived here my whole life.  I am comfortable here.”  “I know God is calling me to step out and do __(fill in dream here)___ but I just __(fill in excuse here)__.”

It’s so easy to just remember the good and filter out all the rough stuff.  Or vice versa to remember only the bad and filter out the good.

The truth is usually somewhere in between.

Every season has positives and benefits and also opportunities to learn patience and grow.

My current season is all about letting go of the past and completely embracing all the new things.  I’ve given away, sold, and donated most of what I owed.  Couch. Bed.  TV and DVD Player.  All gone.  I reduced my library to the bare minimum.  I pared down my DVDs to the essential favorites.  I’ve pretty much got a car, clothes, shoes, an inherited storage bench, jewelry, and a whole lot of artwork.  And it’s all chilling in an 8 X 10 area of my Mama’s basement.

I’ve been working out of state on a work engagement.  And I felt like the last time I went home, that I had to let go of home.  I know that I need to be open to what is coming next.  So I moved out of my comfortable home that I shared with my roommates with the affordable rent.  And got rid of the above mentioned stuff and moved the remaining into la basement a la mama. (Thanks Mom!  You’re the best!!)

Where am I going to live after my work engagement is over?

I literally have no idea.  But God does.  And I need to just trust that He wouldn’t tell me to let go of something, if He didn’t have something better for me.

Is that scary?

Yes.  Yes it is!

Is this easy?

No.  No it is not!

And I’m singing…I wanna go back go back and do it all over but I can’t go back I know. 

But I really don’t want to go back.  I want to move forward.

I know in my gut that God’s doing something amazing.  And I have peace that I am right where He wants me to be.

I’ll be honest though…there’s a part of me seeking to hold onto the comfy security of the season I was just in.  It was a relatively calm, peaceful season after the 2 tumultuous years of suck I lived through.  I could wax poetic about how good that season was.  And it did have some really great benefits!  But I’d be lying if I said it was an easy season.  Because it wasn’t.  It was a season of the greatest losses I’ve ever experienced in my life.  In 5 months lost my Papa, my Nana, and my Dad.

Like I said…every season has its perks and its drawbacks.  Perk-great roommates and cheap rent.  Drawback-loss of my people.

A part of me would even love to go back to the two years of suck…because I had my people.  I spent so much time with my grandparents during that time.  They needed help, and because of continual unemployment I was available to help them and just be there.  But I can’t go back.  I can’t go play scrabble or dance with Nana on her deck.  I can’t go watch tv with Papa or take him out to a movie or a museum.  I can’t call my Dad, and tell him about the stupid thing I did that day, so we could laugh together about it.

I’m really learning to appreciate that each season is a mixed bag.  Some wonderful moments.  Some challenging events.  Always an opportunity to grow and change.  And reasons to be grateful abound.

So even though we cannot go back and do it all over again, we can take the lessons and the memories with us as we go forward as a reminder to enjoy the current season.

Point to ponder while you wander…

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!’” Numbers 11:4-6 NIV

This is the epitome of selective memory.  The Israelites were poorly treated slaves, that their male babies were slaughtered by the Egyptians.  They were on their way to the Promised Land, and yet they wanted to go back to being slaves again so that they can eat some cukes and garlic.  Really?

Don’t despise the journey.  Learn from it.  Grow from it.  And trust God.

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:  Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord.  Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope.  Yes, keep on waiting- for He will never disappoint you!”  Psalm 27:14 TPT

Seasons

One of my favorite verses on seasons is this one: “The season has changed, the bondage of your barren winter has ended, and the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers.” Song of Songs 2:11-12 TPT

It is full of hope that the long believed for promises of God will come to pass soon. I have some of those promises. I know it’s the season for some of them to come to pass with all that I am. But I can’t see them, YET.

So I was thinking about this verse because today is April 10th, and this is what it looks like in my yard right now…

image

Seasons. Sigh. Just when you think winter has passed and you have moved forward into spring…it snows. For days. And the wind blows. And the temperature stays at a frosty 29 degrees….rather than the 60 degrees it should be in the beginning of April.

What’s my point? Well it’s certainly not to complain about the weather!

When we get close to a promise being fulfilled or achieving a goal, that’s sometimes the hardest time of the waiting period. Many people give up right before their breakthroughs simply because it snows in April.

When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on, the delay can be depressing. But when at last your dream comes true, life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.” Proverbs 13:12 TPT

Point to ponder while you wander…”The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT

The very snow causing you to want to quit, may very well be the snow sent to water the seed. In other words, that irritating circumstance, sad event, trouble, job loss, etc, may be the very thing that positions you for promotions, increase and promises fulfilled.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” Romans 5:5-6 NLY