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

Friday, May 22, 2015

Lead Me

Tears brimming.  Voice shaky and cracked when words escape.  The stress from the past few days overwhelmed me as I broke down in front of my husband.  

"What do we do?!" 

Heavy uncertainty lingered in the room.  My husband's hand on the door, waiting.

I whispered, "I guess we just keep praying."

"You're right," he said, as his hands left the door, clasped with mine, and he led us in prayer.

My worries melted and, despite the pain of the moment, I found myself lifting up prayers of gratitude to God.  Forgetting the current struggle and celebrating, as my soul pondered what a beautiful gift this husband is.  Oh, what a change He has made in him!  And us.

Most nights, now, I drift asleep to the sound of my husband reading the Bible.  

Tears falling at the magnitude of this single sentence.
How many years...the number of prayers whispered. 

For so long I prayed for my husband's relationship with God to grow.  After we lost our oldest son, I feared those prayers would never be answered.

Not only did I hope for him to be stronger in the Lord, I yearned for my husband to become the spiritual leader of our home.  To be the man I knew God had planned for him to be.

Most of our marriage, I took the reigns when it came to our Christian walk.  My constant prayer was that Tim wouldn't just join me at church but lead us.  To not just attend but be present, engaged.  And there were many years I doubted.  Wondered if God heard my pleas.

Austin's been gone nearly seven years.

Unimaginable pain we've endured.  Unspeakable loss.  A broken that isn't easily mended.  My husband's shattered heart was visible, even from the outside.  The spark had left him, as well as his trust in the Lord.  He was angry, uncertain, hurt.

To fast forward to where we are now.  The progress and change that has evolved the past few years.  It can't be summed up in a few lines for this post.  But what I can say, simply, is that God can move mountains!  In all things He works for the good.

As I write this, my soul connects to other women I know facing this prayer.  I join them, knees bent.

If this is you today, my sister, please know God hears you.  He knows.  It has already been planned.  In the midst of your storm, He has already formed your rainbow.  Just cling onto Him.  Trust in His timing.  And have faith that He only wants the very best for you - and the man you love.

Don't lose heart!  Never cease praying.  

For when the answer arrives and you witness the powerful change that only comes from the hand of God, oh, what a blessing it will be.  How wonderful His mercy and grace!

In gratitude for the leader God's gifted to our home.

Linking up today with:
Dance With Jesus

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

My fingers have been itching to get dirty as of late.

Empty window boxes beckon me.  And my deck, with the not yet planted spots calls to me each afternoon.

I'm in serious need of dirt therapy.

To be one with the earth.  Fingers stretching into the deep dark soil.  A tiny seed with the promise of something beautiful.

Though I do not have a green thumb and long to take after any number of "old" southern gardeners in my family, I do enjoy the yearly planting of flowers and a few vegetables.

A few veggies, being mostly tomatoes.  Yes, I'm aware they aren't really a vegetable but I categorize them that way and always will.  Unlike Ouiser, I actually do love tomatoes.  I could eat them every single day.

Last night, hubby came home with a few cherry tomato plants I scored free off of Facebook.  My weekend goal is to plant them and anything else I can get my hands on.

The hope is that the veggies will at least supplement my weekly trips to the farmers market.  And the flowers, hanging from boxes along my dining room, bring a smile to me every morning, as hubby and I enjoy coffee.  And are a sunny hello as I pull into the drive each afternoon.

This year we also plan to plant a butterfly garden, from a kit I received in the mail.  I was surprised to learn that butterflies, specifically monarchs, are struggling to survive.  Their population has decreased by almost 90%.

After losing Austin, butterflies became very symbolic for us, as this is often the way he'll send us a sign.

There have been several goose-bump moments, like in the middle of winter when it seemed impossible, that we would see a butterfly.  But when it was needed most, a single yellow butterfly would make its appearance.

Seems a fitting time to start the garden Memorial day weekend, as a way to remember our sweet boy.

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