Overgrown

In my neck of the woods, if you look close you can see tell-tale signs of old home places as you ride down country roads.

A few daffodils in rows emerge each spring to show where some housewife marked her path from front porch to mailbox.  A crepe myrtle looks out of place in the woods but often has a twin if you know where to direct your gaze.

People always leave a trace…

 

Overgrown

The ground disturbed deep down

Grains of sand and clumps of clay long buried brought to the surface.

Topsy-turvy.

Bottom-side-up.

Days,

months,

years go by-

Rain and wind and sun and patient Nature smooth it out

Until only the most observant see the damage done.

Barely noticeable-the penetrating wound.

A mother’s heart.

Time does not erase the place.

How can it when it hides her child?

Image result for image overgrown cemetery

Is it okay for Christians to seek mediums or spiritualists?

It may be hard to hear, but my heart is not the final nor best guide. I have to depend on Scripture and the Truth of Jesus Christ. As a sweet friend noted: As believers in Chist we are not free to do what we know is wrong even in the depths of great grief. “This is not who we are”.

kathleenbduncan

Is it okay to seek mediums or spiritualists? Do our loved ones send us messages from the other side?

This subject had come up in a couple of Christian Bereavement groups over the past few months.I believe strongly about this so I am posting my thoughts.

For me, this is not a matter of fear of the unknown but a fear of the One who has made Himself Known.

I am not afraid of something I don’t understand. This is not a matter of ignorance on my part. I am aware of truth regarding such things.

I have studied Truth – Truth that comes not from a TV show, conventional wisdom, pop culture, or the supposed experiences of others, but Truth that comes from the only source of true wisdom and real Truth: the Word of God.

God makes His view of this very clear.

I do fear God, as…

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A Question of Trust: What About Signs?

It comes up often in bereavement groups:

What about signs from loved ones who have gone on to Heaven?  

What about books that tell stories of people who have been to Heaven yet “allowed to return”? 

What about cardinals and butterflies and feathers and dreams?  

It would be so very easy to allow my feelings to rule my heart and to reject the truth of Scripture. It would be less of a struggle to walk this Valley of the Shadow of Death if I could “talk” to Dominic while waiting to join him.

But the Bible is plain:  I cannot trust in anything or anyone but Jesus Christ. Every thing and every one else is fallible and will eventually lead me astray. 

I wrote this a few months ago and hope it’s helpful to other grieving parents:

Signs

A Few of My Favorite Things

When I had a child, suddenly I cared about everything. When I lost a child, suddenly I cared about nothing.

~ a bereaved mother

When I read this comment, I thought about it for a moment to see if it was true for me.

And I realized that, yes, it WAS true at the very beginning.

Mind-numbing pain and soul-crushing agony pressed down so heavily that I couldn’t care about anything other than reminding myself to

Image result for image breath

In. 

Out.

Repeat.

A bit over twenty-eight months have passed and my body, mind and spirit are stronger.

The pain is still great, but I am better able to bear it now.  

My heart is bigger because I suffer and it is softer toward those who also suffer.

heart and wood

Trials make great room for consolation. There is nothing that makes man have a big heart like a great trial. I have found that those people who have no sympathy for their fellows, who never weep for the sorrows of others very seldom have any of their own. Great hearts could be made only by great troubles.

Charles Spurgeon

Now I care much more deeply about a few, select “things”.

The ones I can take with me into eternity:

People

And love

And grace

Forever in heaven with Jesus.

Image result for image heaven and jesus

 

When Routine Wears You Down: Encouragement for the Worn Out Heart

It may not be this way around the country or around the world, but here in Alabama school has been in session for several weeks and the hot weather along with added commitments makes life a little harder.  

After the excitement of posting “first day” photos wears off, routine sets in.

Carpools, music lessons, homework, getting everyone ready to rush out the door...it’s enough to wear anyone down.  

That’s when it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.  That’s when the enemy whispers, “You don’t make a difference.”

He’s wrong.  

You are shepherding eternal souls. 

Don’t give up!

The tyranny of the urgent can push what’s important past the fringes of our attention.

Our vision can be so consumed with the day-to-day until there’s no space for long-term goals or ambitions.

But God has ordained that our children, eternal beings, be set in families.

 Read the rest:

Sowing in Tears, Reaping in Joy

Set it Aside

Good is something you do, not something you talk about.
Some medals are pinned to your soul, not to your jacket.
Gino Bartali

Set aside the tweets and the memes

Set aside the scores and the football predictions

Set aside the latest greatest whatever.

Move it off the table of your heart 

And create space for the truly important:

The drowning people fleeing war torn countries where children are starving or being buried alive in bombed out rubble;

The families displaced-many forever-from homes that were nowhere near a flood plain and who never imagined they would watch a lifetime of memories float downstream;

The frightened ones trafficked for men’s pleasure-praying that someone, anyone, notices and steps in to save them;

The lonely teen unsure of where to turn until his thoughts become so unendurable that only one way out seems reasonable;

The old man or old woman, forgotten and alone, breathing stale air in a home that isn’t home-no one speaking his name, her name-as if they had already passed from this life to the next.

You think it doesn’t matter much.

You think someone else will take care of it

Until it’s you

Waiting for light in the darkness

Looking for hope to hold onto

Begging for help as you’re drowning in despair.

As it is, you boast in your proud intentions.  All such boasting is evil. Therefore whoever knows the right thing to do, yet fails to do it, is guilty of sin.

James 4:17 The Berean Study Bible