Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

I have been watching my counter and realize I'm getting about 100 visits a day on this post. I try to imagine why anyone would find the most recent posts worth pursuing. I had a friend tell me she read this blog because it was like taking a look "behind the veil" into how someone faces everyone's worst fear, but survives, and (hopefully) continues to thrive. I appreciated her encouragement. 

I went to church this morning thinking of her words. Married Daughter has kidded me that I will  be sitting much closer to the front in early service now. (D loved the back row.) As I walked in, a precious couple invited me to sit with them, and I followed them to the third row from the front. I guess I am capable of change!

I kept looking around during the service and thinking, "How do people make it without God?" If I did not have Him as my anchor for hope, healing and  promise of heaven, I do not know how I would make it through this time.

I continue to have sweet people ask how I am doing. 

Well, I'm fine when I wake up. I've made it a habit for the past 14 years, when I suddenly became a single mom living at the Children's Home, to have my first thought be "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and I will be glad in it." 

I'm fine when I go to sleep: I always fall asleep quickly and sleep hard.

It's just that pesky time in between waking and falling asleep that gives me the problems.

Today, I just decided to "go for it" after church and spend a day out on my own. To my delight, I can be good company to myself. I revisited the restaurant D and I always went to for Sunday brunch. The hostess tried to sit me in the "usual" booth, and when I told her why I'd rather have the single table by the window she teared up and returned with the manager, a dear friend. She and our usual waiter were so sweet that I think I can do lunch there often. (The extra scones were also appreciated.) I went to my favorite antique store and found a child-sized  chair that matches a Stickley chair we already own for just $20. Score! I went to Walmart to take advantage of the huge sale they are having on school supplies because I always buy extra for students who won't have them. The couple behind me asked if I was a teacher buying supplies for my room with my own money. When I replied yes, they handed me $10 to help out students they will never know. How sweet is that? On a total whim I decided to go to the Palace theater for the matinee performance of the musical "Big River" and I got the last ticket in the house. It was a little long for me at this point, but I'm proud of myself for going for it.

So, today was a better day. Jury is still out on tomorrow. But I have to share the most precious thing yet.

I finally decided to go through one of D's drawers in our room. It was filled with the cards I have given him over the years. I sat on the bed with the entire drawer and pulled them out one by one and thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. I'm glad that  memories make me happy and not sad. When I'd pulled out the last card, I saw a leather folder that looked like  a checkbook holder. Inside it was a note that said, " For D and R's Trip to Italy" and underneath it there was a heart with DO + RO drawn inside. There was a catalog of Italy tours, a DVD of the tours, and enough money to make the trip. Left for me by D. And found on the day when I really needed it the most.

This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice, rejoice, rejoice and be glad, glad, glad in it.


Sister Beta said...

I love reading your blog. It makes me cry sometimes (most times) but I read it anyway. I went to church today becuase of you. I wanted to stay home because well meaning people make me cry...I figure if you do it, I can do it. So thanks for being strong and sharing it with others. You are in my prayers!

k and c's mom said...

Thank you, Bethany. Hang in there: some day your prince will America!

Locketts said...

Your rose-colored glasses inspire me to don my own. How blessed I am to have you in my life. Enjoy Maine and Italy soon!

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

I found this to be oh so true....

"I kept looking around during the service and thinking, "How do people make it without God?" If I did not have Him as my anchor for hope, healing and promise of heaven, I do not know how I would make it through this time."

I admire you so much for your strength and am thankful that He will provide you strength and grace for each need.

And I realize that I need to be more grateful.

Kim said...

I am not sure how I came across your Blog recently, but I have added it to my daily blog reads. Thanks for sharing your thoughts because it had made me more aware of people that are suffering around me in my dad to day life. I loved the idea of giving cash to someone purchasing school supplies. It makes me want to stop by Target or Wallmart on the way home from work and find someone to do that to.

Bacardi Mama said...

It's my first time to your blog. I am so sorry for your loss. As hard as it must be, it should comfort you to know that you now have your own personal guardian angel who is free of pain and suffering. You are in my prayers.

at His feet said...

rejoicing with you over the trip to italy... i'm sure Jesus was loving watching your reaction to that one.

you are precious and keep writing. the smiths keep praying and are so blessed to know you.

Lynn said...

I came to your blog today through the LPM blog post on how God takes care of the little things. I am a widow as well, it will be 6 years at the end of Novemeber. I know something of the path you are walking. We are all different and we grieve differently but I can understand the pain of losing your life partner and the unexpected path it puts us on. God has been so faithful in providing for me, it amazes me at times. Our God is an amazing God!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog last week, and I am so sorry for your loss. You write beautifully and with such sincerity. I am also a teacher and know that it will be a blessing when you get back to school. It was wonderful that you discovered the Italy folder. Take care.

Anonymous said...

I linked to your blog via LPM tonight. I'm asking the Lord to fill every part of you that is empty as you face this loss.

He is your shepherd....and you will have everything you need as long as you stay connected to Him.