Monthly Archives: November 2015

It’s OK…

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…if you’re not OK…

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I understand how hard your year has been, truly.  Mine has had its moments of sadness, frustration, pain and doubts too.  While most people seem to be overjoyed at the prospect of having a long weekend, pigging out on turkey and dressing, ham and mac & cheese, eating, drinking and being merry, you might not be feeling so festive right now.  Neither am I.

And that’s OK.

We can be thankful and still feel sad sometimes.  We can appreciate our blessings while mourning our losses.  In fact, I think the losses sometimes make our blessings seem more precious, because we realize how quickly those blessings can be taken from us.

I had friends die this year, people I loved while they were here and continue to love now that they are in Heaven.  I know people you love have died this year too, and this will be the first Thanksgiving that a loved one’s place at the table will be empty.  You might cry.  I might cry.

And that’s OK too.

I hope that your tears are softened by laughter as you remember your loved one, the good times you shared together and the many Thanksgiving meals you put away.  I hope the hole left in your family circle is closed up a little bit as the rest of you draw closer together to try and fill in that space.  I hope you can take a few minutes to be alone, if you need to…to breathe deeply, to pray and to give thanks even in the midst of sadness.

And I hope you know that no one is expecting you to be perfect, to put out a flawless meal or to re-create that Norman Rockwell fantasy holiday.  Be real with your loved ones.  Tell them if you’re having a hard time.  Share your heart with them.

It’s OK.

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(Me and Aunt Ruby, Thanksgiving 2012.  We had no way of knowing it would be her last Thanksgiving with us.  Now she sits at Jesus’s table, feasting on His goodness and waiting for the rest of us to arrive.)

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Flight

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There are many ways to fly…

Last week Jeff and I were in Orlando for our nephew’s wedding.  Usually when we take trips we drive, but since Orlando is a longer distance than we often travel, we opted to fly this time.  We are not the most seasoned travelers, and the process of flying in a plane is still something of an adventure, to me at least.  An adventure…and a mystery.

Our whole week there became for me a metaphor about the ways we travel through life, and the ways life travels around us.  Time really does fly.  The nephew who got married, Aaron, was about 3 years old when Jeff and I got married, and now he is a grown man, a doctor, marrying a wife of his own and well-established in his chosen field.

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His older brother and best man, Clark, is Nephew Number One, older by about 3 and 1/2 years than Aaron, successful in his career and life, with a beautiful wife and 2 adorable little boys of his own.  When Jeff and I got married, Clark was told that he could go on our honeymoon with us.  He was a little peeved when he found out he was not going to the beach after all!

How is it possible that these little squirts are all grown up?!  But they are.  And next June, Lord willing and knock wood, Jeff and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  Time flies.

While we were in Orlando, we took a little drive over to see Kennedy Space Center.  Talk about the mystery and wonders of flight!  Jeff and I marveled at the sights, exhibits and history there.  He said it may be his favorite day ever as a grown-up.  It was awe-inspiring to see and learn about the history of space travel, and humbling to imagine the courage of the pioneers who took those first brave flights into the unknown reaches of space.

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Back down to Earth, we enjoyed lovely views of lake and sky from our resort condo balcony.  It struck me every day, sometimes from hour to hour, how big and puffy the clouds were there.  I suppose it has something to do with the location and proximity to water, but the cloud formations were unusually beautiful, varying throughout the day.  I spent a good deal of time on our balcony reading one of my favorite little books, “Intra Muros” by Rebecca Ruter Springer.  It describes the author’s vision of Heaven during an extended illness.  The fluffy clouds and Springer’s words made me think of Heaven and the reunions we will enjoy there, in the presence of God and those we love who have gone before us.

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Anyone who knows me (or follows this blog!) knows that I collect feathers.  On our way into the visitor complex at Kennedy Space Center, I found one and tucked it safely inside my purse.  What a treat to remember our trip by.  On our way out of the complex, I found a second one, white and fluffy, much like the clouds I so enjoyed watching during our time away.  How poignant that, after flying on a jet to Aaron’s wedding where he and his new wife will take wing into the future, on our way to see the history of mankind’s efforts to fly into space, God should send me feathers to remind me that He created the birds of the air, giving them the ability to fly, before He ever created Man in His own image.

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Gracious Lord, thank You for your many gifts of Flight—flight of birds and humans to places far away, the flight of time, our flight through life and into the future, and eventually into Heaven.