Monday, June 25, 2012

pondering thankfulness and acceptance

I read a couple of statements on Facebook recently:

The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live...

Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives...

I guess I'm just not there yet... 

and truth be told, I don't know if I can get there from here.  At least not any time soon.  My heart is feeling pretty ransacked and broken and acceptance of what is or has been given seems an impossible aim since the God who was always the 'fixer' became a 'wrecker' and I don't quite know how to reconcile the two?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

one more step

towards closure...  It's not all over yet; I have a few more steps to take.

This past leg of the journey has been an endeavor to find a way to turn the functional into a something of beauty.  This was my aim this  past week.  I have been trying to put together the final pieces and stumbled upon something that caused me great anguish and grief. I have been feeling significantly chastised for not caring enough to spend more money. But, I don't think it would have been what he wanted. Thus, my endeavor to make something quite beautiful out of a very functional piece.

I have poured hours into trying to find a solution. My initial thoughts were to use my Cricut, creating a design that incorporated a Celtic cross with the wings of an eagle. But then I got stuck. What then? What would look best in transferring the design? a reverse image leaving the cross/eagle black and the rest of the container in color?  if so, what colour? Or would it look better to paint the image and leave the container black?

Not knowing how to proceed, I continued my search for the 'perfect solution'. I recalled some ideas from Pinterest, spray painting soap containers. I gave it a try. I took an old soap container and played with an idea. I liked the outcome - a rather marble-ish look.

I took a deep breath. It was time to take my idea and see what I could do. I had only one chance. I prayed that I wouldn't botch it. The result?  It is mostly pleasing and I have something that I mostly like, but above all, I think he would have been pleased with the result. So it is with deep gratitude and a special thank you to my daughter for her artistic finishing touch that I will take this urn to its final resting place later this summer.

I'm not sure when that will take place. I have begun the process for designing the memorial plaque. It will most likely be towards the end of summer before all these final bits are in place and then ...  I will take one more step.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Trusting the dark

The Dark. It has been a dark season - a dark season of the soul that St John of the Cross has called "the dark night of the soul". It's Cold. It's Very Cold. It's Silent. It's Very Silent. And it's Dark. Oh, so Very Dark. I am alone in the darkness. While my head may say that God is present, there is no evidence of that presence. His apparent absence makes the darkness seem even darker. The cold seems even colder. And it is disturbingly silent.

This photo doesn't really do justice to the dark - because in it you still get a glimpse of light. There is none of that in this season that I am in. Oh, occasionally I will experience a little glimmer - for a very very brief moment. A shaft of light penetrates the darkness, but it's gone in a flash. For the very briefest of moments it's there, but then just as quickly it's gone again. The darkness returns and I am enveloped once again in the dark - the cold - the silence - the absence of Presence.

Some have told me, "If it's dark and you feel God isn't present, then you have been the one to walk away from God. He is still where He always was." Reminds me a little of Job and his friends.

I read something a while back, and while I can't remember exactly where or what I read, essentially it said that it is precisely because presence was once experienced that absence is felt so deeply.

Trust. Running in parallel mode, there continues to be this idea of trusting God.  How can God, who has always been the 'fixer', and now has become also the 'wrecker', be trusted? While I am learning that there is much much more to this God than 'fixer' or 'wrecker' it's a long process of reconciling it all. I have come to understand, however, that more than taking steps to trust God, it's maybe enough to stop actively 'not trusting' Him. That seems to be a good place to start.

This matter of trust will not ensure that the darkness lifts; it's just a next step of my journey. God does give. God does take away. Job was able to say, "blessed be the name of the Lord" in spite of prosperity or great loss (Job 1:21). Should the darkness lift, may God be praised. Should the darkness continue, may I also find it within me to praise God.