Friday, September 28, 2012

Nothing left unsaid

One of the comforts I have and thank God for is that Richard and I lived in such a way we left nothing unsaid between the two of us.  We talked about everything. I used to call him my best girlfriend because of that…lol.  Even a few weeks before he went home to Jesus we were talking about what we would do if the other went before us. And also what we would want for each other if we were the one that goes first. That conversation gives me strength now …I can hear his voice telling me to hold on to Jesus and to never give up and be happy and that he would be cheering me on every step of the way with the cloud of witness the bible talks about.  I realize it was a gift God gave us to share ever bit of our hearts with one another.  The other day I was looking for something and came across a letter I wrote Richard in his personal stuff.  Even thought I know I said these things to him often it made me smile that he treasured this letter and kept it.  There is such comfort in knowing the ones you loved knew they were loved. 

What you mean to me.
My Beloved,
There is no one else I’d rather spend time with. You’re the most interesting person I know and also the smartest. I love your smile and you still melt me with your touch.
I love giggling with you and having our own inside jokes. (Leviticus) 
You’re the most awesome man of God I know and that is the biggest turn on to me.
You’re the kindest person I know and I love how you show that. You put other people first to your own hurt.  You work harder than any man I know.  I love all the little things you remember to do for me it makes me feel like I’m always on your mind. I love sitting around in the yard together and just thanking God for how blessed our lives are. A perfect day is being with you no matter what we do.
I love how giving you are and how you have such a big heart to bless people in the name of Jesus. I love when you call me just because. I really love when you call me because you have something exciting to share and I’m the first person you want to share it with.
I love how we can tell each other secrets that no one will ever know about.
I like that you protect me when life gets to stressful. You’re my prince charming that is always coming to my rescue.
You’re the funniest, warmest, caring, loving, sexist, silliest, boldest, sensitive, giving man of integrity I know!
And I am head over heels, giggly school girl, madly, crazy over the moon in love with you!
And always will be.       

                                                               Love Lightning,
                                                                   Anna     

P.S. I’m not telling anyone what Leviticus means either....so don't ask. LOL


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Closer than we think to timelessness

I believe heaven touches earth a lot more then we know….or maybe I’m just looking for it now.

At 5:15 PM today it will be one month.  Time, it’s a funny thing. It feels like it stopped for me as I watch the rest of the world go by. So a month doesn’t seem to mean anything right now other then “I can’t believe it’s been a month”. There was a movie out years ago called Groundhogs Day… the plot was about a man who was stuck in a time loop and kept living the same day over and over again. That’s kind of what my life feels like right now. Not that I do the same things every day but every morning as I come out of that twilight state and wake up the first thought that hits my mind is the reality that Richard’s not here… and all the unbelievable heart wrenching pain comes flooding back. It’s anything I do now that we did together….(which was almost everything) that makes me feel like I’m living the same painful moments over and over again. I guess this is why it feels like time has stopped. But in reality I know it hasn’t and I’m so glad it hasn’t. Because every day I’m closer to seeing my husband’s amazing smile again and feeling him wrap his arms around me again…and when the real timelessness comes… I will never have to be separated from him again. In heaven the bible says there is no time. I like the thought of spending timelessness with my Jesus and my Richard. Time is for this earth. Time so often just makes us long for things…like…can’t wait till this day is over or the weekend to get here or for vacation to start. We spend so much of our life waiting for another time…or longing for a time that has past and we can never get back.  Although this time we have on earth may feel long it really is nothing compared to the timelessness of eternity….it is really like a vapor.
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent 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

Monday, September 24, 2012

Vicariously living through the lens

Shannon was here this weekend. Just watching her live is healing to my soul. I know she is hurting also and together we love each other through the painful moments. She has her ways of coping and some are just amazing to me. She started the sweetest thing when we say our prayers at night. She holds on to Richard’s thumb print necklace and says “I’m holding Poppy’s hand Grammy because he’s right here with us.”  
I know... I choked up on that one also.
Photographing her has always been a great joy for me but now I love it more than ever because she is so full of life and so full of joy and it makes me want to be more child like… her faith is simple and pure… and her Innocence is the most beautiful gift. 
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 18:3


Saturday, September 22, 2012

HOMESICK

Well this song pretty much sums it up for me today…In fact it’s now the ringtone on my phone. Some days I just don't have words. But Jesus knows exactly how to read my heart.

                          
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

Friday, September 21, 2012

Glimpses of Life

I walked out of the post office yesterday and was overwhelmed by the beautiful landscape. I don’t have very many of these moments yet…where I feel completely alive again. In fact they are so few at this point I can recall every one of them.  The first one I had I was driving down the road listening to the radio announcer tell a funny story and I laughed out loud.  Not that it was the first time I laughed since Richard went home...but it was the first time I was by myself and laughed.  When you’re alone in this kind of pain you’re stuck in your own thoughts or you do mindless things so you can get relief from the pain.  So when I laughed out loud I startled myself because it was the first time I felt alive again. I know I’m still here,  I know I’m still alive, I know I still have to function. But you just do it because you know you have to... not because it feels like there is any life in it. So when I have these burst of life they take away my breath but in a good way.  And I know one day I won’t be able to count them because they will be plentiful again. But until then I am savoring these glimpses of life.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Love Lightning

I still remember how it felt the first time Richard touched me. He reached across a table to touch my hand and it was like lightning went through me. In fact it actually scared me because I never felt anything like that from someone's touch.  

Soon after that touch we had our first date. We went to see a movie called Meet Joe Black. There is a scene in the movie where Anthony Hopkins is talking to his daughter about what falling in love should be like. He sums it up with “Who knows lightning could strike”.
            

So for the rest of our life and our love…every letter or card we gave one another we always signed "Love Lightning”.


Richard’s touches always remained that to me... so when I was given an opportunity to get a necklace made from his thumb print when I was making the funeral arrangements I thought how perfect would that be to have.
Richard always gave me the most awesome, thoughtful gifts. Once he had a Raggedy Ann doll made for me and over her heart he had them stitch "Love Lightning". So I know this necklace was something he would have picked if he could have.
Well yesterday it came in and oh did I cry and I can’t stop running my fingers over it!  I’m such a sentimental person…so this is just such a treasure to me. Oh and guess what’s inscribed on the back?….yep…“Love Lightning”.
 That is Richard’s wedding band…like mine it says…
”I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”

Thank you my beloved
Until we touch again
Love Lightning!
Anna



         

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gotta have a WAWA (Family)

My husband worked for an amazing company.  Something we always felt but not until he went home did I really see how amazing. His friends and coworkers have walked this journey with me every step of the way.  But yesterday was the icing on the cake!  It was one of the hardest days yet.  I cried out to the Lord from the depth of my being.  I’ve heard it said “He interprets our moans and groans”…. because some pain is so deep that’s all we have. God really hears our inexpressible cries. Well he used my husband’s coworker to answer.  I received a call from the florist they had flowers to deliver. Only the Lord Jesus and my husband know what flowers mean to me and how perfect the moment was to get them. It was to me the Lord saying I hear your cries my daughter.
And they even came with balloons! Well that brought the little girl in my right out. Something my husband could always do…he could make me feel like the most audacious woman and a little girl all at the same time…so I wrote a note to Richard and tied it to them and was sending them up, up and away to my beloved!
Well they didn’t get far…LOL. But they landed in the perfect spot!
Right in the tree above the gazebo… right where we loved to sit the most and talk and pray for hours… right where we often sat and enjoyed the remains of the day with our granddaughter and the pack this summer... right in the tree he was trimming six years ago when he had a horrible chainsaw accident that should have taken his life then but God was gracious enough to give me six more years.  And right outside my favorite place to sit in the house so I can see them when I look out the window.
To remind me he has not really left me J

So this blog I’m dedicating to my Wawa family who sent the flowers and allowed God to use them to answer my inexpressible cry.
You could honor my husband in no greater way then to love on his Anna. Thank you from the depth of my heart... I love you 270!
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It used to be...

It used to be your face I saw across the table.
Now it’s just this…

It used to be your hand caressing my cheek...
Now it’s my own wiping away my tears.
It used to be you who came to my rescue...
Now it’s a random neighbor or friend God puts in my path.
It used to be you who always reassured me when life became too overwhelming...
Now it’s overwhelming because you’re gone.
It used to be you I poured my heart out to...
Now I write it on a blog.
 

 

 


Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Therapy


I have been spending time up at my friends stable photographing her horses, cleaning stalls and today I even started riding again. I haven’t since I was a young girl. I can’t tell you what therapy this is for me. I think this quote actually says it best. 
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”   ~Winston Churchill


I Feel like this horse read my soul

He is a bit of a wild child...

I’m always draw to the wild ones. The ones that are just socially not always correct. I can so relate to that...lol
 The rest are just some of my favorite shots I want to post for my Jewel J Thank you for just letting me invade your world my dear friend.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Not my bad


I love days when it feels like the Lord kissed you. Today was one of them for me.  I said to the Lord after Richard went home. “I’m not going to ask you way”. I truly trust God so I don’t feel like I need an answer to that question. But this morning I did have a question and it was …”Did I do something to deserve this…did I open a door to the enemy somewhere?” He answered this a few hours later in a word I was reading from a ministry I enjoy. 
Word For Those Who Have Suffered
I received this prophetic word specifically for people who have felt that God is calling them to something more, but have experienced a great deal of hardships and setbacks:
"The attack of the enemy has really been greater than you deserve. As a result of this God is going to give you a greater amount of favor and advancement – it is because you did not deserve all the pain you had to walk through to get it!"
God is healing "hope deferred" and disappointment in people who have nearly given up hope.

 Now that’s what I mean by being kissed by God. Like a Father scooping up a hurting child and kissing their boo boo away….is what that word felt like to me.
There is no one like our God!  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thank you don't seem like enough sometimes

Yesterday I went to get a bible for a young lady that received Jesus at Richard’s "going home celebration"… as he wanted his funeral called.  He said "I will be more alive than any of you so just celebrate that and Jesus most of all"…so we did!  I also have wanted to get a pocket bible for awhile and because of everyone’s generous gifts I was able to do that.  I found the perfect one….what do you think?
So to everyone who has honored my beloved Richard and blessed me… please know every time I use this bible I will not only think of Richard but remember the kindness and love that has been shown to me…not just in monetary gifts but in your kind words, in your sincere tears and your willingness to take this journey with me.

BIG HUGS!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beauty for ashes


I know there is light at the end of this dark tunnel
In my prayer time this morning I was reading Isaiah 54. It’s one of my favorite passages in the bible. Today something the Lord showed me has made it even more meaningful.  In verse 4 it says… “you will remember no more the reproach of your widowhood”.  I looked up the word reproach and one of the definitions is “disappointment”. Only the Lord knew that’s exactly how I feel right now. On top of just missing Richard with every ounce of my being….the disappointment of all the dreams we had together no longer being possible aches my heart. But now I hang on to this promise that... somehow …. someday and in only the way that God can… I will not have this ache from unfulfilled dreams.  I think of it this way… Years ago I had a miscarriage….that was such a painful time. However very soon after that I was pregnant again with my beautiful daughter. Even though I still think of that baby and know someday I will see that child in heaven.  The disappointment of the unfilled dream is not there.  Speaking of baby’s... I found out the day we put my beloved Richard to rest our daughter is having her first baby!  He/She is due a few days before Richards’s birthday.  And anyone who has read my blog for even a short time…you know I can do Grammy! LOL  
Thank you Jesus for giving us beauty for ashes!

Monday, September 10, 2012

We all miss his touch

My husband was a very affectionate man….to me, to our Grandbaby even to our animals. He was a very touchy, tender person.  Something that makes his going home even harder. One thing he did every night when we went to bed was rub my hand. He would even do it in his sleep. The first night I laid in bed after he passed I stretched out my hand across the bed to his side and just wept.  Something amazing started to happen soon after that and every night since…his dog started licking my hand till I fall asleep. Again I truly believe animals were created for our comfort and joy.
In Matthew it says Jesus just touched a womans hand and she was healed. (But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Matthew 8:15)
Thank you Lord because I know you have brought much healing to my soul through the touch of my beloved husband…and even though I long for those touches and feel like I can’t live without them …you know me best. So now your touch is the one I long for... to carry me through this next season in life. ~ Your beloved Anna

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Silent Sunday

“Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10
I’m going to start something new on my blog that I am calling …
“Silent Sunday”
All I’m going to do is just post a picture…but no words. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I thought this was the most fitting to start with.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back in time

Because of Richard’s sudden home going I never posted my last post …which was celebrating Shannon’s going off to school and our summer together.  This weekend is her first visit back since Poppy went home to Jesus. She surprised me with many question. Some very hard ones….but she had one that made me LOL.  She said…”OH no Grammy who is going to help Reverend Angel dunk people under the water for the baptisms?” That still makes me LOL. I’m so glad she will always have the memory of Poppy baptizing her and the wonderful summer the three of us had together.



To go learn all the things we need for life...like...
Ok I think we got this one down...hehehehe
and...
Have a wonderful year sweet princess!
We are so proud of you :)

It’s been a wonderful summer with our granddaughter. I pray we gave her memories she will carry all her life…ones that will be part of molding her to become all we know she will be. We are all going to miss seeing her beautiful face everyday.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A new normal


Getting up
Going to bed
Sitting down to eat
Going out
Coming  home…
Nothing in my life is the same.  I find the simplest things so bizarre. Like I fill the top rack of the dishwasher and run out of cups but can’t run it because the bottom only has two plates in it. I don’t think I ever used the small cycle on the washing machine …now that’s all I use.  My refrigerator looks so empty …if I’m talking when I open the door I hear an echo. 
(Wow did I just admit I talk to myself...lol)    
(The flowers are from one of the bouquets I want to press in a book. )
   I feel like I have been plopped down into someone else world.
But that's not so… this is my life now.  
I guess these things I find so bizarre are now the 
 beginning of my new normal.
In actual fact the only thing any of us have to hang on to that is never changing...Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8....so I do...with all my might.

                            

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dirty laundry

I was so worried about Richard’s dog Jasper that he would go into a terrible mourning. I prayed God please don’t let this be the case. One because I didn’t want him to suffer and two I just couldn’t bear my grief and his at the same time. The first night was HARD!  He kept getting up to the edge of the bed and barking every time he heard the slightest sound... which got everyone else going. After hours of this I finally stood up looked at all the dogs and said very loud. “Listen, Daddy went home to be with Jesus and we need to accept that and move forward …now shut up in the name of Jesus!”   Then I took Richard dirty red sweatshirt and wrapped Jazzy in it…after that I didn’t hear a peep out of any of them again.  So the next day I went through the laundry and took all my husband’s dirty tee-shirts out for the dog. Every day I have been giving him one.  But yesterday something happened that amazed me. I went to give Jasper one of Daddy’s dirty articles of clothing to cuddle up with....but this time he sniffed it and walked away... not wanted anything to do with Daddy’s clothing since.  Again animals amaze me.  They know we can’t stay stuck in any stage of grief. We have to keep moving through the valley of the shadow of death. Because that’s just what it is a “shadow” and shadows can’t hurt you.   

This is Daddy and Jasper enjoying a cup of coffee.
Daddy just could not say no to Jazzy...lol

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Only a dream away

I don’t know who I said this to yesterday but I said “I just want to dream about Richard”.  God who I have always said is the kindness person I know answered my prayer last night.  He was standing in a field of the most amazing powdered blue and yellow colors….colors I can’t even explain...they were like vibrant and see through at the same time. He was waving his arm with every ounce of his being.  Like you would trying to get someone’s attention in a crowd. When we locked eyes he just mouthed “I LOVE YOU “very slowly. And I woke up.  I can’t tell you what that did for my soul. The Lord says he will restore our soul….He knows what that means for each of us. For me He knew I needed that dream.  Thank you Jesus…. tell Richard “I LOVE YOU TOO”

Monday, September 3, 2012

The saddest day of my life

That morning Richard was so happy because he had off for the first time in 8 days and we had nothing to do. He said we are going to watch movies and have a nice dinner and just enjoy our day. We had our prayer time and our normal enjoyable chit chat over our morning coffee with dogs weaving in and out of our feet under the table vying for a spot on our laps.  He got up at one point and said he needed to get some aspirin. I teased him and said “what’s wrong baby did I give you a headache already?”  He said “No wifey I have a back ache” and we both chuckled.  He went outside to say hi to the neighbor and while he was gone the phone rang. It was a dear friend of ours and she needed to know if we knew of a good plumber because she had no water. I told her I would have Richard call when he came back in the house.  Of course knowing my man who was very handy he called her back and said he would come take care of it.  When he got off the phone he just smiled and said at least I’m off and can help her.  He was gone for about an hour and I got a phone call from him he was coming home... I was surprised and said “wow you're done already?” He said “no she needed a new water tank” so he sent her and her husband to go get it and because it was going to take them a few hours he wanted to come home to hang with me. We played Frisbee with Jebediah and I took a bunch of pictures of them…we just had a really nice time.  We kissed goodbye a few hours later and out the door he went.  I was sitting at my computer playing a praise song and worshiping the Lord.  The dogs decided they wanted to go out so I got up and took them. I was standing  by the back fence gate, looking into the field and this feeling of unbelievable sadness came over me and I just felt something go through me…I don’t really know how to explain this part.  I started to cry and said to God “what is this? I don’t like this season you are bringing me into”…and a second later my phone rang in my hand. It was my girlfriend’s husband and he said Richard had collapsed on the ground and was not breathing.  I don’t really remember much after that everything is patchy. I remember not being able to dial the phone because I was trying to call my Mom….I don’t know how long it took me to remember it just seemed like forever. I kept saying to myself “Anna you can do this, you can dial a phone” over and over again but I just couldn’t remember.  He died instantly… I know now what I felt was him leaving.  We were one…he couldn’t leave without me knowing…because a piece of my soul went with him. So now I embark on a journey I would have never chosen for myself but I serve a God whom I trust completely and I’m hiding under His wing till the storm calms and the sun comes out again.