"Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits

Ever had a day where you just smile on the inside?
Where...you can't quite say why, but it is just a good-good day?

That's been the case round' here lately.

This afternoon, windows down and radio on high, hair blowin' through the breeze, I looked up at the pale blue sky and fluffy white clouds and smiled at God.  Gratitude for the simpleness, the good, the joy, for no reason other than it was here and I was glad.

I love days like that.  When you've had your share of rainy days, sunshine soothes the soul!

And I'm not talking the yellow ball in the sky here, folks, although it has been amazingly nice for July.
Like uncommonly mild temps for this time of year.  In fact, last night as we were lingering outside on the deck, I had to pull a blanket over my legs.  Crazy to be cold in the middle of summer!

All the worries of the world just melt away here!
It was just so nice to sit outside on a July night and not be dripping in sweat.  Most of the summer, you'll usually find me retreating indoors.  I'm a wimp, I admit it.  My hubby knows I'm usually only interested in fishing at the start and end of the season.  Because this chick just doesn't do sweaty.  It doesn't agree with my personality.  So to find autumn-like weather in what should be sweltering summer puts this girl in a pretty good mood.

But it's not the weather that has me smiling.

It's the plateau.

Life is full of valleys and mountains.  Peaks and lows.  Although I do rather enjoy the highs, I'm even more content when there is a lull.  No excitement, no flash.  I'll take good ole' routine any day.

Here's a few of my favorite simple moments this month that have brought me joy...

Black Cherry and Chocolate snow cones.  Yum!

Austin's memorial tree has bloomed beautifully for his birthday month.

The kids have actually been requesting "tech free" and asked to play games instead.  Love!

And we welcomed a new fur baby into our home.
Meet Dewey "Roscoe" Blair.  He's so happy he smiles!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Faithful Friday: When Life is Hard

Sometimes in life things happen that can't be explained.
Sometimes, life just isn't fair.

We live this reality every. single. day. in the loss of our first son.

Throughout our somewhat still-young life, we've had more than our share of heartaches.  At many points, we've felt like we were being tested.  Sometimes, you can't help but ask why?

And I know many of you, who come each week, have your share of burdens and brokenness.  For those, my heart goes out to you.  I lift up prayers for my readers and share in your hurt.

But we can't dwell and linger on past pains.  Even in our situation, it is a delicate line we walk - in remembering our son but still moving forward.

Moving past the pain and into the next phase is sometimes among the most difficult parts of healing. For when you move forward, guilt arrives.

Sadly, for some, they never transition beyond the crisis.  Whatever happened in life that slammed on the cruel brakes has forever suspended them.  They can't imagine anything else so they just stay - locked inside the darkness and pain.

For the "Why did this happen?" questions in life, I want you to know I don't have those answers. Sometimes, truly, there is no answer.  And often, even if we had one, it wouldn't take the pain away.

Yet, I want you to know there IS an answer to whatever trial you're facing.
But it is one I can't easily explain.

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said, "I don't know how you do it/You're so strong/I could never survive something like that," I'd be writing this post from some fancy beach resort.

Do you know what I say to them, every time?

I didn't do anything.  God did.  I'm weak, God is strong.

As I've shared so many times on this blog, He is the only answer I can give you for how I'm not just surviving but thriving through this journey.  With each and every blow life has handed me through the years, He has been the constant.  Though I'm rarely at a loss for words, with this - it is just difficult to share the how and why.

The short answer, I guess, is that I have faith.  Faith is something that has grown in me because of those difficult moments.  Faith is something that has always existed within me but comes more and more with time.

Faith is the substance of hope, the conviction of things not seen, 
and accepts even that which appears unreasonable.

The hurts we've experienced have, at times, been unimaginable pain.  There were points we felt like there was no way out.  No hope.  No future.  No joy that would ever come from it.

But blessings have come, from every situation, every painful moment, every loss.  

Sure, sometimes they may not seem to equal out.  A small moment of joy or the gift of a blessing may not stand up against the mountain you are facing.  And you may still feel like it isn't fair, or that you've been shorted in this life.

Again, all I can say is that there is more.  Some day.  On the horizon.  There is hope.  

One day, you won't even look back because the view looking forward is one you never even imagined.

Keeping the faith until that One Day is here for us all.....
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