Black Sheep Bass-ic Training

Doing The Christian Walk With A Funky Strut

Pride check

Learning the hard way that we need God EVERY day, for EVERYthing.

We are weak beings.  Even when we have something “figured out”, we really don’t…we’re only operating under His grace on that given day.  We cannot take that grace for granted.  What we may have no issues with today may rear its ugly head tomorrow…

Two (related) cases in point: my depression issues, and my shopping habits.

The depression.  Major depression runs through my dad’s side of the family, going back at least 3 generations that I am personally aware of, probably further back than that.  I have been diagnosed and, in the past, medicated for it.  I gave up the medication after a time because the work God did in me to release old baggage of unforgiveness and bitterness seemed to negate the need for it.  Plus, having the masters’ in psychology, I’ve had to study these drugs at length, and I have concerns about long-term effects on the rest of the body.  So I’ve sought more natural remedies for my “blue” days.  Which, as I’ve gone on in my Christian walk, seemed to be coming with less and less frequency.  By last fall, I thought I truly had this beat.

Then winter showed up.

And it hasn’t even been that bad of a winter by Chicago standards.

But.

Ever since about mid-December or so, I’ve felt what I call the “lead beanie”.  When your brain chemistry is off-kilter, it can literally be felt physically.  I never knew this until going on the meds, and having them alter my brain’s depressed state.  During a bout of depression, there’s this heaviness that sits on the top of your brain, feels like a lead weight covering the whole top of your head.  Meds take that weight off and you feel a lightness there instead.  Being in a happy state also produces that light, free feeling.

I’ve felt the weigh-down.  And for no good reason.  I am intensely, richly blessed and I know that.  This didn’t start with bad thought life.  It started with the physical manifestation…which itself wears on you…

…THEN some circumstances happen that take your thoughts the wrong direction.  I fought this during all of January, but by this last weekend, I ran out of fight.  I just wallowed.  Did nothing fruitful.  Just did mindless things and hibernated.  And slipped up in…

The shopping habits.  Another lovely bit of brain chemistry I’ve picked up from my wonderful family is, propensity to addiction.  I’ve never smoked, never done any drugs, am not a habitual drinker.  But I like nice things.  I like brightly colored things and nice sounding things and funny things and…yeah.  I like the “whoopee” of getting a package in the mail and unveiling things from packaging.  I like scoring a bargain or getting a unique or limited edition thing.  I like these things to the point where I could potentially be an addict with it.

After getting my custom bass, I had a bit of buyer’s remorse.  Not in the usual sense-I don’t regret the purchase one iota and I’ve been having more fun with her in church than should be legal.  But the bills came in and presented me with reality.  She cost me the price of a used car.  And I don’t have used car money laying around.  Timing was not the wisest.  But it is what it is, what’s done is done.  I took a good look around my place not long after taking delivery, and realized how blessed I am, how many things I have…knowing deep down I don’t need anything else.  Seriously.  I have abundant abundance.  I felt like I was truly done with the shopping.  I felt content with my lot in life, even a bit of “I don’t deserve all this”.  Had resolve to not touch my credit cards until paid off, and to not even buy any non-essentials until debt gone, even if I could afford them.

Until I hit that funk this last weekend.

It was an item I first wanted when it came out 9 years ago.  I’ve successfully talked myself out of getting it for 9 years because it serves no practical purpose whatsoever.  Its sole purpose is to sit there and look cute.  I was a rabid collector of such things in the past and thought I was “over” that, since I had to sell a lot of them off in 2007 just to keep a roof over my head while I was unemployed.

But I got surfing the ‘Net in my murky brain state, and saw the item, and saw that similar items were no longer available for purchase, and thought “if I don’t get this now I’ll never be able to”…so I bought it.

I am happy to have it.  Seller shipped quickly, it’s already in hand.  It makes me smile, as I knew it would.  I will enjoy it for many years to come.

But I come out of this knowing that I can’t say I’ve beaten anything.  I can’t say I’ve beaten depression.  I can’t say I’ve beaten the shopping bug.  I can only ask God to help me come against it every single day, and thank Him profusely when He lifts the burdens and rebuffs the temptations.  I need to thank Him when I have a day of clear mind and sound, wise thought.  I need to keep thanking Him for what I do have so I don’t get off into thinking about what I don’t have.

I need to thank Him for a job that allows me time off so I can get in the Word long enough to be able to see things more clearly.  I knew after last weekend that I needed some extended time with Him to get back on track.  He has been faithful to revive my spirit and renew my mind.

Thank You, Father, for…everything.  For Who You are, what You do, what I have spiritually and physically.  For the wisdom I’ve gained these last few days about emotions, ministry, proper worship and attitude.  Thank You for revealing how much I need you, every day.

Thank You especially for lifting the lead beanie off my head today…and for the little blue weirdo sitting on the futon behind my shoulder.  🙂

 

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Over what hill? An inventory

I turned 40 this week.

While cleaning out my parents’ house in December after the passing of my mother, I came across a mug I’d given Dad when he was my age, that he still faithfully drinks out of.  Says “way, WAY, WAY OVER THE HILL”.  I felt bad for giving it to him.  Because, here I am, at the traditional “over the hill” age…and I don’t feel old.  Hill?  If there is one, I’m still climbing it.  I said when I turned 30 that life began then.  I’d like to think that 40 is beginning an era of living well.  So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Neener.  😛

Given that this is a milestone birthday, I naturally took some time to reflect on where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going.  Thoughts:

–I can truthfully say that I am happier than I’ve been at any point in my life.  It’s a God thing.  Even on my “throw-this-stinky-fish-back” days, I am more at peace than I’ve ever been, because I draw on the strength of Jesus to get past the problems.  It is so freeing, not having to have all the answers…a hangup I had for yeeeeeeaaaaaarrrrsssss…still have to fight to not go there…

–I am still wearing a loud orange “under construction” sign.  I still, all too easily, slip into relating to Father God like I relate to my earthly father.  Knock myself out trying to please Him, getting off into works trip after works trip…always worried I’m not doing enough, not doing things right, underlying fear of criticism.  I’ve read the “faith vs. works” Scriptures plenty.  I’ve read how much God loves us and that His love is not based on what we do or don’t do.  But still having a hard time receiving that unconditional love and having revelation of it within my heart.  I know He’ll get through to me one of these days.  🙂

–Ultimate irony, given that I’m works-driven–I’m rather lousy at seeing things through to completion in my personal life.  I made a list the other day of every partially-finished project in this dwelling.  It took up an entire page.  And two of the items referenced separate page-long lists.  So, an upcoming goal is to finish all of these “stragglers” before undertaking anything new.  I’m giving myself 5 years to knock it all out.  Yeah, it’s that involved.  🙂

–I think it was Joyce Meyer who once said in one of her teachings, “there are no padded crosses”.  Well…I get what she was trying to say…but some reflection is causing me to respectfully disagree.  We as Christians usually use ‘the cross’ metaphorically when applying it to our own lives, to symbolize a great struggle that we must bear with good courage.  So it is in this metaphoric sense that I present my case.

I see my place of employment as a “padded cross” for me.

It is a daily source of struggle to act in a Christ-like manner there.  It is way too easy to get off into talebearing, gossip, anger, complaining, cursing, on and on and on.  Even in my new position, which on the whole is a lot less stress and drama to deal with, there’s definitely moments of testing.  On a broader level, I struggle with just being there, doing work that is NOT my passion, giving up time I could be spending on music, which IS my passion.  But then reality always stuffs me back in the trench–a whole lot of bad decisions have culminated in the need to pull down this paycheck to keep the household running.

Struggles, yes.  But in the grand scheme of things, minor struggles.  I don’t have to worry about getting sick from drinking the water.  I don’t have to worry about a bomb getting dropped on my head.  I’m not even dealing with any major illness, like certain co-workers are.  What on earth would I do with any real trial in my life?  I think, on some level, God knows I don’t have the strength of character to deal with any extremely difficult issue.  The Scripture does say that He does not put more on us than what we can bear, right?  I look at my “problems”…and apparently I can’t bear much.  I sheepishly grin as I write that.  I’m not feeling condemned…just a nice healthy dose of conviction.  I am soooooo thankful that God is as merciful as He is.

I mean, come on.  This job I’ve railed about for so long.  I’ve survived countless layoffs there.  I won Chicago Symphony Orchestra tickets there.  I recently won an NFL jersey in another contest there.  My co-workers are easy enough to get along with.  Benefits package is out of this world.  New boss is da bomb.  I could have it so, so, so much worse.  I have HAD it worse in the past, job-wise.

Is everything there ideal?  Far from it.  But there’s plenty of “padding” on this cross I bear.  God’s using the place to refine me, no doubt.  But He’s not allowing it to be too rough.  So I need to be thankful for that, and pass along the mercy I’m receiving.

–Last but not least, I can look back and see the growth I’ve experienced since becoming a Christian.  Too much to go into at this late hour, but I am thankful for all of it.  Here’s to continued growth in the time to come.

Off to continue climbing the hill.  🙂

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Gratitude check

Been meaning to post this for a bit but just now getting around to it.

Quote heard on the radio one morning:

“What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things that you thanked God for today?”

 

Checkmate.

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Lame sacrifices

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master.  If I am a father, where is the honor due me?  If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.  “It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.  But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’  You place defiled food on my altar.  But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’  By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible.  When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong?  When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong?  Try offering them to your governor!  Would he be pleased with you?  Would he accept you?”  says the Lord Almighty.

“When you bring injured, crippled, or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord.  “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord.  For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.”

Malachi 1: 6-8, 13b-14

These verses hit me like a suckerpunch recently.  In context, it’s God going in on the Temple priests who had gotten considerably lax in their practices, and it was affecting the worship of all the Jews under their care.  As the shepherds go, so go the flocks.

But as all Scripture, this can speak to us today as well.  We are all called to be living sacrifices (Romans 12:1), and we have to ask ourselves, what sacrifice are we presenting to Him?  Are we giving our best (our ‘firstborn male’), or are we giving a poor substitute (the ‘blind, crippled, or diseased animals’)?

For an example (the example which this Scripture convicted me on), let’s go with Worship Team service.  Fitting example as it is a very public ministry that can influence many (just as the priesthood was).

If we don’t spend regular time in prayer and the Word before going in front of the congregation on Sunday, we’re offering a lame sacrifice.

If we don’t settle heart issues (unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment) before showing up for church, we’re offering a lame sacrifice.

If we don’t treat our service as a commitment and a priority, we’re offering a lame sacrifice.

If we don’t make time to prepare our parts for the music (listen to recordings, practice, etc), we’re offering a lame sacrifice.

If we routinely show up late for rehearsal, we’re offering a lame sacrifice.

If we don’t approach rehearsal with a humble heart and willingness to learn and serve, we’re offering a lame sacrifice.

If we allow our focus to be on anything but Him during worship, we’re offering a lame sacrifice.

Seems strict, yes.  But God is worthy of and deserves the absolute best that we can give, especially when He has placed us in such a visible role.  Anything less, is a lame sacrifice.

I know I need to raise my game.

I challenge others to do the same, in whatever ministry they’re serving in.  Bring God the best that you have to offer.  Let Him show you where you might be shortchanging Him, ask forgiveness for that, and give Him the effort He’s due.

God has been so good to us.  Let’s show our gratitude in what we give of ourselves.

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Walking wool

A recent stumble in the Christian walk:

The paycheck provision has been driving me crazy for months.  There are certain people there that work my last nerve just by showing up, there’s been that many not-pleasant interactions with them.  And I’ve been praying to get my mind right about that, because Jesus did not go about His business with perma-scowl, which is what I’ve been reduced to on an average workday.  I’m grumpy enough that I can’t even stand to be around me.  Follow?

So I get the mail a few days ago.  I’m a monthly partner with Joyce Meyer Ministries and they send a teaching CD every month.  This month’s shows up.  Title:

“Developing A Merciful Attitude”

BAHAHAHAhaha hahaha haha ha ha     haha   heh   hrm

 

ouch

 

Can you say God’s timing is perfect.

Listened to it of course.  It promptly whipped my spiritual bottom.  I have been an unmerciful so-and-so and with God’s help I will extend my co-workers the mercy that I use up in spades every day.

 

Taking a musical walk:

Bass line to “Moondance” by Van Morrison.  I had fun this evening working on this.  (For those familiar with the recording but not necessarily musical terms, that is a “walking bass line” you hear bouncing all over the place)  Working on a transcription of the line to aid in memorizing the changes.

 

So, learning how to walk more fluidly in more than one arena at the moment.  Hoping for less faceplants in the coming days.

 

 

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And the bleat goes on…

…the bleat goes on…life keeps pounding rhythms in my brain…

(think Sonny and Cher…yeah…start bobbing your head to that groovy bass line, y’all.)

It’s 2015.  I’m still here.  That’s a blessing.

Usually around New Year’s, most folks look back on the year past and make plans for the future.  I’m no different….or am I?

I don’t know how to “rate” 2014.  Had 2 deaths in the family, got seriously burned trying to purchase real estate, undid 5 years’ worth of debt repayment effort in a few short months, am at my wits’ end with my employer.  But good things happened too.  I became closer friends with one of my FCC sisters, I seem to have cut out some nasty habits (surfing ‘Net til 2 am on a weeknight, anyone?), I wound up with an awesome apartment in a cool neighborhood and a God-fearing, on-fire Christian for a landlady, and my dad is seeking a personal relationship with God.

Call it a wash, I guess?  It just…was?  Life happened?

Onward to 2015.  Milestone year for me, turning 40 in October.  I was quite embarrassed at one point, while visiting Dad to take care of Mom’s estate stuff…he was drinking his coffee out of a mug I remember giving him when he was the age I’m about to turn.  It says, “way, way, WAY OVER THE HILL”.  Wow.  I was harsh.  We’ve always had that kind of relationship, sledgehammer humor and gag gifts..but dang.  I sure don’t feel “over the hill” at my age and I’m sure he didn’t when he was this age either.  I thank God he took it in the humorous spirit it was meant.  (‘Cause hey, to a teenager, 40 years IS over the hill!!!!)

So, anyway, made it this far.  But where to from here?  I don’t honestly know.  I did have an insight the other day that I need to seriously dig into and pray about.

I’ve always been a dreamer.  Big dreams.  Grand scale.  The daydreaming frequently got me in trouble in school.  But as I grew, 1) I began to seriously doubt ever being able to make any of those dreams come true because I couldn’t see past my relatively narrow existence, and as a result 2) I stopped dreaming so much.

I know my lack of hope growing up can be traced back to depression, low-self esteem, and unresolved relationship conflicts.  But I wondered to myself just last week why I’m lacking hope now.  Not operating under major depression, thought I put the self-esteem issues to bed for good, and I’ve forgiven a whole boatload of people and can name on one hand (with fingers left over) who I currently have active relational conflict with that needs resolving.

So what gives?

I can’t honestly say that I have a dream or vision I feel passionate enough to pursue.  Why is that?

I think it kind of ties back to the whole real estate mess.  I thought I had a vision from God for what to pursue and how to go about it.  It turned out I was very wrong.  And my pastor was kind enough to point out that maybe I was trying to put God into some box, that thing A was going to happen in B manner.  He’s probably right.  Because if thing A happening in B manner was really a God-inspired vision, it would have happened.  God is a big God and He can do whatever He wants however He wants.

And that’s not the first time in life that I’ve been so sure that certain things were supposed to happen, only to have them not happen.  I’m not angry or bitter that they didn’t happen…usually it’s been for the best that things didn’t work out and I can recognize that.

But I think I am now second-guessing myself to the point where I’m not allowing myself to dream anymore….to seek a vision…because I’m afraid I’ll “see wrong” and sink more effort and time into another failed venture.  Having dealt with 5 deaths in the space of less than 2 years, I’m very keenly aware that our time here is brief and I’m getting less and less inclined to waste any of it.

The problem is, now I’m in a rut where I’m not taking any risks either.  I’m not allowing any passion to fuel me toward some purpose.  What are my goals for 2015?  Don’t really have any.

I’m letting fear drag me down into laziness and complacency.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of failure.  Fear of being wrong.  Fear of disappointment.

I can spit 2 Timothy 1:7, Amplified Version, in my sleep.  Why am I not living that reality?

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

God did not give me all these fears.  He gave me all those other things.  But I don’t find myself operating in them much.  I don’t like that.  I want to be using what God’s given me.  He gave it to me for a reason…so I could use it, for His glory.  He’s not in the business of giving gifts we can’t use.

So maybe a good goal for 2015 is: pursue a 2 Timothy 1:7 life.  Find out why I’m not using what God’s given and start breaking down the barriers.  Reject the fear that God did not give, but that I’ve been accepting willingly.

To the “closet” for prayer…

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Emergence from the solitude

So I did something weird this last week.  Put myself on a week-long solitary retreat from EVERYTHING.  Even church.  Had someone kindly sub for me on Worship Team.

My days consisted of nothing but getting in the Word and spending time with God, and stewarding the musical gift He’s given me.  And taking good care of my physical body–decent diet, sleep, bit o’ exercise.  Did not leave the house.  Kept contact with people to absolute bare minimum via text message and e-mail.  No phone calls.

Like I said, weird.  People just don’t do this.  But.  I felt led to do it and I am oh so glad I obeyed.

Takeaways:

–Newfound appreciation for God as a loving Father who always wants the best for His children.  Gained through reading in the Old Testament of account after account where, even after He’d allowed His people’s enemies to overrun them because of their disloyalty and disobedience to Him, He still would go after those very same enemies if/when they got an attitude about it.  Like, “Oh, no, you’re not going to sit here and mock My kids now because I’ve got them on punishment.  I only LET you do what you did.  Keep up the ego trip and I’ll give you what I gave them.”  And He would give it to them good.  And no matter HOW bad Israel/Judah were, He always sought a way to bring them back around, He wanted fellowship with them so much.  We all know, of course what He ultimately did to this end–gave us His Son Jesus.  But.  To go back and see how many times He kept trying before that…how many times He was merciful…how many times He gave them a free pass…the depth to His love for us is truly unsearchable.

–Reworking of priorities.  Time to stop just SAYING God is #1 priority and to start backing it up with meaningful action, CONSISTENTLY.

–I need to do less to keep the household ticking smoothly than I think I do.  Need to be aware of when I’m creating ‘busywork’, and I also need to be diligent about routine scheduling, so as not to interfere with time set aside for the pursuits that matter.

–Much-needed perspective shift regarding my job.  Praying I can carry through this peace to actual time on the company’s premises, and be the light I’m supposed to be.

–Increased proficiency on both bass and trombone.  Bass…I might yet be able to slap, got down to brass tacks with a workbook and had some success with the exercises so far.   Increasing my fingerstyle speed in the meantime.  Etc etc etc.  (logged crazy hours spanking plank and have the calluses to prove it)  Trombone–had borrowed a friend’s horn about 2 months back in hopes of recapturing glory of 20 years past.  *laugh*  Was shocked at how quickly the embouchre started to come back with just 15 minutes blowing a day.  Praying I get that house I’m waiting for soon, so horn practice doesn’t entice a call to Chicago’s finest.  🙂

–Experiential awareness that as long as you stay busy doing/thinking right things, you don’t have time to mess with the bad.  Did not crave junk food once, didn’t even THINK about it…didn’t get off into negative thinking or brooding…didn’t indulge ANY of my bad habits.  Didn’t have time.  I either had a Bible or a bass in my hand for the majority of my waking hours.  Hard to wallow about the injustices at work when you’re busy picking apart Jeremiah or trying to memorize chord changes for worship tunes, for example.

–Got practice leaning on God to get past my #1 excuse: “I don’t feel like it.”  I called on Him a number of times to press me past my feelings and into something fruitful.  And He faithfully gave me the fortitude I needed, every single time I asked.   I need to remember this.

–I did come out with what I prayed for…a deeper hunger for more of God, and a deeper desire to develop the gifts He’s given me and be a better steward of His provision.

There were many smaller side things as well.  Bottom line:  This was a good thing.  And I think I need to make it an annual thing.  More emphasis on prayer and meditation next time.

Father, help me to carry out everything You’ve taught me in these days, so people can see what a difference having You in one’s life makes.

 

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Motive check

Sign of good teaching at your church: when you walk away from Sunday seeing an area you need to step up in.

This week’s theme: ‘Purposed for Ministry’.

I’ve been part of the Worship Team for 2 years now.  This, by all accounts, would likely be considered my primary area of ministry/service.

The primary thrust behind the message seemed to be to encourage everyone to get involved in ministry of some type…lots of verbage indicating action.  No problem, I’ve got that covered.  In addition to the weekly service, I’ll jump in on various other things as needed.

But the secondary thrust behind the message, and perhaps the more important one, was: for our service to be fruitful in bringing our brothers and sisters, and others, to Christ-likeness.  To encourage and edify others to step up their game, if you will.

One of the reflection questions aimed at this specifically:

“What are some specific ministries or actions that you are currently engaged in that are helping others think, behave, and relate to others more like Jesus?”

Gulp.

If I’m having that kind of impact, I sure don’t know it.  My gut tells me I’m not.

I do get comments all the time on my playing.  More than a few in the congregation find me entertaining.  (I tend to be quite squirrelly when I play and pull all manner of “bass-face”.)

A few of the little girls in the congregation have been inspired to take up instruments of their own after watching me play.

All that is well and good…nice ego strokes and all…

…but that’s not what I’m up there for.

I’m part of a team that is supposed to engage the congregation in worshipping God.  And, per this week’s message, encourage others toward Christ-likeness.

I’m not convinced either thing is happening.  So what to do about it?

One thing that might help is getting my head straight.  I’ve not been in complete “worship mode” on Sundays for a while now.  Been practicing just enough to not lay sonic eggs, but not enough to concentrate on worship.  Been concentrating too much on sounding decent so as not to be a distraction.   My focus needs to be on Him and Him alone; if I’m looking in the right direction, it will draw others along for the ride….right?

Will start there and see what happens.  Increase woodshedding and season with lots of prayer.  Hopefully that will have a more fruitful impact than I’m currently having.

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Freshly squeezed fruit

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year.  I did a Weird thing.  Per Craig Groeschel’s book, I set up “One Thing” to focus on for the year.

Since it’s clearly my weakest fruit of the Spirit, the “One Thing” is: SELF-CONTROL.

Naturally I’ve been getting tested 10 times worse than usual.

But after several weeks of less-than-stellar results, I did actually mark a success this evening.

I said “NO” to a purchase and stopped myself from making the trek across town to do it.

Started with figuring out when to get over to Guitar Center to pick up a tuner pedal.  My current tuner only works off the onboard mic and it’s a bit of a pistol grabbing enough quiet space on Sunday mornings to use it.  Did some research, settled on picking up a Korg Pitchblack pedal tuner, should solve the problem.

But for reasons I know not, got a bug in my bum all day today wanting to also throw in a Zoom B3 multi-effects pedal with the purchase.  Been wanting one for some time but they are not. cheap.

Well, let’s just say a battle raged on in my mind for a while…and wisdom finally prevailed after getting a good whoopin’ from my stubborn will.  Picture a prizefighter at the end of the bout standing over his opponent…sweaty, bloody, stooped over…fist in the air and a delirious grin on the face.  Wisdom, for the championship!!

The B3 will wait.  I came home instead of raiding GC.

Seems petty, trivial…but every “no” I tell myself is a step toward Christ-likeness.  This whole year is gonna be all about “NO”.  😛

 

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Dying.

“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.  For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.  Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.  The wind blows, and we are gone–as though we had never been here.  But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him.  His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!”       –Psalm 103: 13-18 NLT

The sad, pleading eyes.

The short, labored breaths.

The few words uttered with every ounce of strength left.

The dry lips and tongue lovingly sponged and balmed by family caregivers.

The slow cooling of the extremities.

The mottled skin.

The racing heart refusing to quit.

More labored breaths.

The eyes closing.

The limbs becoming limp.

The head twitching ever so slightly at the touch of kissing lips and hand massaging the hair.

What, Lord, is going through her still-active mind?

Then…

…at last…

…the final breath…

…the final rest.

My grandma’s pastor shared a quote from a home visit he’d done with her.  “I don’t know why I’m still here…I guess God still has more work for me to do.”

Her work is now complete.  She is home with the Lord who she served faithfully her whole life.

I am thankful that she instilled the seed of faith in her children, who then passed it on to their children.  Some have nurtured that seed, others haven’t; some started long ago, others only recently.  But she laid the groundwork.

Thank you, Grandma, for your faithfulness to God and for pointing us to our Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you, Father God, for blessing me with Grandma’s life.  Help me to carry on her legacy in a way that truly gives You glory.

 

 

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