Sometimes It Hurts

It is a sad day at our house. The two babies, (the two kittens) my husband rescued, were taken to the Helping Hands shelter in Topeka, Kansas, where we pray they find good and loving homes. They were only with us for almost three weeks, but they became a part of our lives very quickly. I must be getting old, but the emotional upheaval is more than I can stand. 20205746_10207245748420537_865269655_o

I sincerely pray that loving families adopt them, and that they have a good life. At least we know that three weeks of their lives were better than what they would have been if my husband hadn’t found them.

Last Friday night, our older cat came to the back door to eat. Cassie was to be an indoor cat, and for the most part for much of her life she was. But she really enjoyed the outdoors, and she was a very savvy cat. She would jump to the garage roof when it was not safe in the yard, and observe whatever dog, skunk, or intruder from her perch. When I left for work at 5:30 am, if Cassie was outside, and on the roof, I woke my husband to walk me to the car. Something was not right outside. Cassie would greet us each time we arrived home, running to our car and waiting for us to open the doors, greeting us with a “meow!”.

The arrival of the kittens didn’t make her happy. At one time, she rarely stayed outside after we went to bed. She would obediently come in when called, sleep with our youngest daughter, usually under the covers, and then head out again in the morning. During the cold months, her time outside didn’t last long, and on really frigid days, her nose was all that peeked out. But with the kittens here, she preferred to eat outside, or quickly in the kitchen, and then she left.

Last Friday night was the last evening she came for supper. We have called and searched, and Cassie has not answered. She was born the November of 2006, and became part of our family around Christmas time. She was a good cat.

So, we lost not one, but three cats over the past couple of days. Our hearts are heavy, and sadness meets us each time we enter a room where they once played, or snuggled on the sofa. And for now, I don’t want to hurt like this again for any family pet. I’ve lost too many over the years.

Our youngest daughter is devastated of course. I can’t blame her, but it’s the reality of life. One that I don’t understand, one that I don’t want to live through again. At times like these, you think it best to not care for anything, not let your heart melt at the touch of a kitten on your toes, or the soft feel of their fur against your cheek. For if you care for no one, or about nothing, you have little to lose. Right?

This life is painful at times. Your heart is ripped from your chest, and wounds are tore open, left to bleed. The loss of a loved one or a family pet is never forgotten. But it does ease in time. Time softens the sharp edges of pain, and blurs the memory just a bit. And I’m thankful for that. Maybe someday another cat will share our home, maybe Cassie will still return. But for now, that sharp pain is there. And I don’t like it. This is Cassie, taken last autumn.14536809_10155389110863009_1992044396_o

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Your Soul Lives On

You Live until you Die

You live until you die…well duh! Such a simple statement. Just five little words, that we should all take a little more seriously.

As we were singing in church yesterday morning, the words to the old hymn, I Am Resolved, really spoke to me, as they hushed my own voice.

For the past almost four years, we have struggled. Our family attended diligently, and was actively a part of a church since April of 1999. (We did go back to upstate New York for a couple years.) My husband was the pastor of this church the last two years we were there. Our son and two of our son-in-laws taught classes there and were on the board. For almost two years, we have not been a part of that ministry. Almost two years ago, my husband’s mother passed away. This was a woman that loved her children and grandchildren dearly, and she has left a hole in their lives.

To say that my husband has been struck-down is an understatement. To say that I have been there for him is not true. When I am hurt, I go into survival mode…and survive. And I want others to do the same. Sometimes, that just doesn’t work. Compassion is a trait I am working on.

The hymn yesterday morning caused me to think, and put things in better perspective, at least for a little while. Here are the words, and if you like, you may listen to it played on the piano. http://www.hymnpod.com/2009/12/31/i-am-resolved/

Our family no longer worships together. Because there are so many of us, we have felt it best to disperse. Our family doubles the congregation of a small church, and that is not always wanted. That is hurtful, but we humans wear our feelings on our sleeves, and just because you know Christ as your Savior, it doesn’t mean you have it all together. It means you are willing to let Christ into your life and guide you…or at least it should.

God has given us the local church to edify the saints…teach Believers the Bible, first and foremost. Then we are to use our spiritual gifts to build up fellow Believers, support that local assembly, and be a light in the community and the world around us. People need one another. We are to bear one another’s burdens. We are to love one another.

Not judge, bicker over items that really don’t matter, or get caught up in the world’s system of doing things. (I am not talking about government or laws here.) We are not to hurt one another in the local church or be a stumbling block. For more information on this, you may read Paul’s letters in the Bible. Some of these are I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians and Romans. And we are to have compassion and be a good, Godly testimony to the world.

Yes, it’s been a rough few years. We’ve had our feelings hurt, it’s caused us to stumble, wondering what we should do next, and where we should be. So those words in the hymn spoke to me. But it’s not about me…it’s about Christ and the price He has paid for us all. In the light of eternity, the hurts, the anger, and the stumbling do not matter.

You live until you die…and we will all physically die one day. As the old cliche goes, none of us are getting out of here alive. If you are saved, you have eternity in Heaven. As a Believer, the health issues, financial instability, housing, and our feelings, are not the issue. Our relationship with God and learning His Word is the issue. When we apply His Word in our lives, not just let it sit there, it changes us and the way we react and interact with others. All people. So you can have cancer, and still take joy in your world around you, and the people and things in it. You can lose a loved one, and feel that pain, but still go on. You can sacrifice all that you have for others, and still have more to give.

Life is not easy, but we are here for a time. Why not make the most of it? Greet the day with a smile, shrug off the little hurts, have confidence that God will take care of you. But it will be His way, His best plans for you out of the love He has.

And that is a love like no other. Be resolved to live your life for God and be Christ-like. Then you will be living until you die…that physical death. Your soul lives on.

Boldness to Speak

When I sit down to read a book, especially in the summer, I want a light, happy read. I don’t know why this is more important to me in the warmer months, but it is. I desire to read stories about beaches, and warm days on the sand, children playing outside with the fireflies. The long days of summer were always a happy time for me. Hours of swim lessons, and neighborhood friends, riding bikes up and down the sidewalk. Times I thought would go on forever.

But as we all know, they do not.

As far as I can recall, I have not done a book review on here. I review almost everything I can. If I purchase something, I review it. This is important to me because I rely so heavily on reviews of a product before I make a purchase. Sometimes I watch reviews and investigate for months before I buy. I want to know what I’m getting for my money. And usually, the reviews are pretty right-on. Most of the reviews I write are on TripAdvisor and Amazon, and those two places are where I read the most reviews.

So when I read a book, I review it. If I was less-than thrilled with it, I will only give it a star rating. If it was really terrible, I will write my humble opinion, and if I enjoyed it, I will give the reasons why. Today, I read a collection of poems written by a woman that I have come to know through her blog, https://rhythminlife.net

This little book, which you may purchase or read for free if you have kindle unlimited right here: https://www.amazon.com/Audacity-Her-Making-Sense-What-ebook/dp/B07256W1Z3/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1498058670&sr=1-1&keywords=the+audacity+of+her was an emotional read. As someone that encountered abuse in my early teens, it really spoke to me. The author lets us into her soul, and that’s difficult to do. Only after much healing, physically as well as emotionally, can a person write with such pain and truth, but not bitterness. This book is a must-read for those that have dealt with abuse as children, or are trying to understand a person that has been abused.

No, this book is not a light, beach-read. But it is an excellent, easy read. Because even through the author’s pain as a child, you sense hope in what she has become today. And that makes me happy.

Thank you, Susan for your poems. For letting us see a glimpse of what has made you the strong woman you are today. Someday, I look forward to a collection of poems on the process of healing, because I know those words are there to share.