Healing – Part 8

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Develop relationships with people in their 90’s.

They have walked through great and irreparable loss.

A seasoned perspective.

My Aunt Virginia almost 94, and a friend Frances, who is  94 seem to have a quick way of pulling me to a feeling of ease.

A beautiful sheath of lilies unfolds in my mind and the scent wakes me, when encouragement or advice comes from these women of distinction .IMG_1005

Show respect to the aged; honor the presence of an elder; fear your God.

I am God.

Leviticus 19:32 The Message

Healing – Part 7

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A well dressed gentlemen walked past me in the library.

His perfectly polished cordovan dress shoes were in contrast to a strong alcohol odor passing by and nauseating me.

Liquor seeped out of his skin on a Sunday afternoon.

I was just relaxing catching up on the latest periodicals, but another story began to unfold in my mind.

Sadness so unbearable some turn to old vices.

My old vice was candy, especially black licorice.

Blue after visiting with a grieving dear friend, I bought a box.

A strange calm arrived as I bite into the chewy, salty, tart sweet.

Perhaps this well-groomed young man had suffered a loss of some kind.

When the dark angst hits go outside and read the psalms beginning at 100.

Read out loud till you hit 107 verse 20.SONY DSC

He saved them from their distress.

He sent His word and healed them;

He rescued them from the Pit.    Psalm 107 v. 20 HCSB

 

 

Healing – Part 6

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The dove is missing!

For two days it bounce around my backyard without flying.

I fed it corn,  left water for it, and set up a hay bale to offer shade and protection from my door.

And now it is gone.

My hope became horror after I saw the feathers…lots of feathers, signs of a struggle.

Later while walking our small dog, fecal evidence betrayed our toy predator.

Our Shitzu was more Sun Tzu, a warrior bird dog, not a palace pet.

Mourn, rest, stay away from the kind of chaos that can attack us when we are in a vulnerable state.

 

 

Healing – Part 5

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In line at the grocery store a young mom started setting items aside she could not pay for–

bananas, apples, and other veggies.  I handed the money to the cashier and she, with her many lovely long braids, and her sweet children were on their way.

I’ll never see this family again, but I assured her it was from God and He loves her.

Standing in line at the gas station one of our coaches from the high school was checking out.  It was less than $10.00 but it gave me the opportunity to thank him for all he does for the young people in our community and a simple God Bless you.

You are reading this and thinking I don’t have any extra.

Save a quarter a week till you have a dollar and give it away and bless another.

Perhaps one of my biggest adjustments to having an empty nest is the grocery store, mine is HEB.  Feeling blue grocery shopping alone one Saturday, two teen girls stood in front of me at the checkout counter with a giant bottle of chocolate syrup. The only thing I said as I slipped several dollars to the cashier on their behalf was “God Bless you” to the two smiling young faces. It ended up being on sale and just one dollar, but it was my small way of demonstrating God’s love toward others, and God lifted my spirits as I gave just a little away, my unexpected blessing from Him.

A young mom from our neighborhood texted me to see if she could pick up some food for her three small children from our churches pantry. I could not get there, but the owner of the preschool was there to help, and helped her carry the groceries to her car where she quietly handed the young mom an envelope with extra cash.  That mom called me later to say how she could not believe how God had met her need so quickly.  Sometimes our random acts of kindness are really divine appointments– God’s way of letting others know they are loved and not forgotten.

Feeling Sad?

Be the hand of God.

 

Healing – Part 4

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Yesterday I fell off my bike carrying too much on the way home from our mailbox. It was a pretty hard fall, contents of my basket flying everywhere, and blood dripping from scrapes on my wrist and leg as I rode home.

Photo by Trish Southard

Photo by Trish Southard

Share your load with others.

Todd would have been glad to swing by our box and pick up some of the bigger items on his way home from work.

Our family lost three loved ones in four years.

Multiple loved ones passing away or one is too much of a burden for anyone to bear alone.

Grief Group helped me lift my heavy heart.

Surrounded by people who have suffered the loss of a loved one, and a leader, the group gently persuades you to share your imperfect memories, portraits,  all while putting you at ease.

Our leader had us write letters to our loved ones sharing that we wished they would have remained alive longer, our anger that they missed an important event, regrets, anger and how lonely we feel without them. We then read those letters at the cemetery or somewhere significant to the two of us. We then burned or buried the letters.

Somehow I felt lighter and more at ease with each letter.

In the Jewish faith when a loved one dies, they sit Shiva for seven days.

They stay home and allow others to listen to them, care for them, and bring them food.

When others are in pain, you will find yourself more compassionate and confident to walk through it with them.

Sit beside them quietly.

No advice needed.

When others are happy, be happy with them.

If they are sad, share their sorrow.

Romans 12:15 TLB

Healing – Part 3

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A Holly Hobby stitching gently nudged my thoughts as I passed it each day.

Whenever you’re blue

Find something to do

For somebody else

Who is sadder than you

 

Blood Moon   Photo by Colleen Lienhard

Blood Moon
Photo by Colleen Lienhard

 

Fill your friends’ and families’ darkness with God’s spectacular paint brush.

Stopping off in Columbia to see Uncle Tom and Aunt Grace is always a powerful time of prayer.  Celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary they are blessed by God. Grace stayed up till 1 am with me, and we prayed big and bold and color-filled blessings and prayers on everyone in our families.

Praying the Word of God over each one individually.

At the beach we sunned and swam every day, just the three of us, and occasionally Rick and Laura after work at Corolla Chapel.

I missed the family that had sat beside me the 27 previous years –with our Lord, or off to college, college bound and others spending their vacation elsewhere.

North Carolina was our state.  My husband born in Chapel Hill, our daughter’s summers here at her grandparents’ beach house and my summers for 27 years.

Refreshed by salt air and my family’s laughter and constant teasing, God comforted me.

Fresh sun, vivid oranges and blue streaked memories.

We played new games and visited different spots rediscovering the Outer Banks.

I checked out of email, FB, text and all the rest.

The spaciousness of the ocean and expansion of my time with my family turned my attention upward Praising God and lifting everyone, many of you who are deeply hurting in intercession to our Lord.  I am certain He is going to change your situation or your struggle.

Have faith and believe.

Look up and enjoy His favor and blessing.

 

 

 

Healing – Part 2

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Doing the uncomfortable continually all day.

Remove sorrow from your heart, and put away pain from your flesh, because youth and the prime of life are fleeting.  Ecclesiastes 11:10 HCSB

Pain away from your flesh.

It hurts my fingers when I pull a burr from Daisy’s paw.

It hurts horribly when I pull jumping cholla off our daughter’s leg.

Remove or change to unburden your sorrow.

Teddy Bear Cholla

Teddy Bear Cholla

Change who you are, what you do and where you go.

One practical takeaway from grief group was to add a hobby or something we enjoy into our lives.

Running 3-4 times a week  began in November 2013.

I set my clothes out the night before and the decision is already made. Running has been an effective method to jump-start my morning and waken my mind to prayer and the study of God’s Word.

An almost new habit for me after a 25 year break from running.

I’ve stayed physically active biking, hiking, an occasional canoe trip on the river, and I really enjoy the stair climber at the gym.

Running forced me outside into the sunrise, singing birds and it was very uncomfortable.

The doing of the continually uncomfortable was the key to my healing.

 

Healing – Part 1

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Healing is like a flower blossom each petal needs to open in its own time.”

Anonymous

My healing came through blessing others.

How could I change and be a little miracle to others, like Peg did all the time.

Peg knew everyone’s birthday.

She probably knew her mail lady’s birthday.

A simple step, but it would mean writing down birthdays.

For me,  that often means a visit to my favorite florist, Lisa.

I love to hear her say, “So who is it for today!”

She listens and creates a visible expression of the friend I’m celebrating.

A single rose or wildflowers with a ribbon when someone doesn’t expect it.    IMG_5228 Showing the grandeur of God’s beauty and His expansive love through flowers.

Healing happens very slowly as the petals unfold.

I lift you into the prayer below.

Jesus loves you so much.

You are His beautiful masterpiece created in the image of Almighty God.

Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think- according to the power that works in you- to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen

Ephesians 3:20,21

 

Anonymous Quote from a recent interview on the Today Show with Sara Connell author of “Bringing In Finn” and inspiration for the upcoming movie “Return to Zero” starring Minnie Driver

Sara Connell author of Bringing in Finn

A Quiet Place With God – Part 12

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Sweeping
All over the world  women will pick up brooms to sweep crumbs from the kitchen, the front porch, the dining room and our entry’s, even though its Mothers Day.

Starter from Aunt Grace  Columbia, SC  in 2012

Starter from Aunt Grace
Columbia, SC in 2012

Seconds ago I relocated a large spider hanging out below my Christmas Cactus with my broom.

We all sweep.

Sweeping is a quiet place for me.

I visit with God about the messes moving about in my head and He sweeps them out.

When we  confess a struggle we have and your friend or friends come along side you, lifting you to the Lord, God sweeps you clean with His grace, His forgiveness.

He fills you with His strength.

He removes the cobwebs and the spiders.

Words That Heal – Part 12

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“What was healing to hear when your sister passed?” a good friend asked me recently.  Her son had just died tragically, her soul laid bare.  She knew I had lost a sister to cancer two years ago, and she was searching for hope and comfort.

For me, my deep sorrow had transitioned more into wondering about her in heaven in a positive way, than in my earliest months in a sea of sorrow.  Tears no longer rush uncontrollably to the forefront and stream down my face at every thought.   Grief is a journey, a very slow process of healing where the white water rapids eventually yield over time to  less swift currents that carry us to more peaceful and living waters.  It would be the same for her, and in her own unique way.  Everyone goes through the journey.

Without words, I just held her close.

Peg, my sister,  loved birds of all kinds, and every time I see a cardinal sit and eat the corn at my squirrel feeder,  I think of her and its as if we laugh together.

Cardinal by Kelly Bryant

Cardinal by Kelly Bryant Photography

She was St. Francis to the birds and squirrels who came to her bird feeder each and every day.   When she passed, my friend Heather Reimann said it best,

” I see how upset you are, do you want to talk about it?”

Heather was and remains a faithful and healing presence in my life.

We drank fresh strawberry smoothies and swam.

Tears turned to laughter.

Thirteen words were healing to me.

 

 

 

Cardinal by Kelly Bryant      fineartamerica.com/profiles/kelly-bryant.html