When the Lines Are Blurred ðŸ§ 

Sometimes it’s not just the physical that needs healing.

I follow several high-profile stories of miraculous improvements following apparently hopeless brain injuries. One of these cases has a connection to our family. The other was linked from that original Instagram account. The first involves a seven year-old girl falling a few feet from a golf cart. The other involves a thirty-six year-old man in a serious car accident.

There exists a universe beyond the concrete. Whether it’s dubbed mental, emotional, or spiritual, it’s known to be there. What I’m finding is that wounds behind those blurred, invisible lines are serious and potentially debilitating, too. For the Christian, this presents a unique challenge.

(I am a Christian.)

What I’m noticing is physically heathy people who claim the name of Jesus Christ, but do not walk in the place of God’s love, and other freeing fruit that He guarantees for His children. The first person like this I met was myself. Now, I see others, where I didn’t, before.

The lovely universe of God’s joy and peace is where I want to live, so there’s the rub. I am not an island. My focus is slowly shifting and merging in ways I struggle to describe.

Still, what I try to take away from any story is personal application. If I see good, I emulate. If not, I don’t. Sometimes, figuring out the difference is difficult. Whatever my progress at the moment, I want more. The benefit is for me, and by extension, hopefully, for others. Trusting and holding to God for dear life is my only hope.

The caretakers in the brain injury stories I follow inspire, because they appear to be successful at living in that fruitful place. Wisdom dictates finding people who are outstanding at what I want to achieve, and taking my cues from them.

One thing I’m learning is that doing the work of healing in hidden areas symbolically parallels the procedures and therapy I see in hospitals and homes from those accounts. These invisible actions count, and can produce astounding results. Unseen effort is worthy, and deserves applause, and recognition. 👏🏻

For a long time, I’ve realized that authentic love does what a person needs, and not necessarily what a person wants. But knowing and doing are two different things.

In the end, life’s hard. Love’s painful. Both are worth the effort. I carry on.

That’s my tidbit for today. Although not called Christian, I enjoyed this song Sunday night in a spiritual way. As is usually the case for me with music meant for other purposes, when I sing along, I’m speaking to the Lover of my soul, my living God.

  • You, You found me.
  • Made into something new
  • Led me through the deepest waters
  • I promise loud to carry on for You.

The official version of Carry On, by Kygo, featuring Rita Ora, is shared below.

If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!

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Let It Matter

The lesson seems to be that I matter, at least as much as the people around me. Although this idea might seem rather basic, it was news to me. I don’t know how I missed that memo, but the fact that I did is troubling. Apparently, the God of Christianity had to shake my world right down to its bedrock to get me to glance at the headlines.

What I’m hearing these days is that come what may, I matter to God. And when I do not matter in a balanced way, whether in my own mind, or in the eyes of others, it displeases Him. In my world, He’s the most important Person. So, although I struggle to process these new thoughts, I’m listening. I’m adjusting.

Thank You, Quiet Spirit, for connecting dots, in my heart, from all over the place.

And Creator God, thanks for the dots. ❤️

But today’s post, or this new lesson, for that matter, is not about me. It’s universal. Everywhere, people experience terrible challenges, and suffering. All around me, humans cower in fear, whether openly, or in private. It’s part of living in our broken world, I believe, but that doesn’t make anything easy, or right. What I hope readers hear me say today is that if you’re one that doesn’t value yourself properly, come what may, you honestly, truly matter to God. This notion is difficult to drag beyond cliche’, but it needs doing. And with God, comfort is available, in His palpable arms, at any time. I’ve learned this part experientially, but don’t trust me. Read all about it in the pages of the Bible, if so inclined. And then, test it. I believe truth withstands anything humans put it through.

Of course, I doubt and struggle in my journey, just like everyone else. I blow it, regularly. And as always, I don’t wish to pressure. I fully support the idea of others making their own decisions.

So, that’s my update for today. Thanks to Joanna Gaines for the tip about this song. It beautifully illustrates my lesson, and it’s been on repeat, lately. I found it on her Spotify playlist back in January, and I noticed JOHNNYSWIM performs live at some of their events at Magnolia in Waco. “Let It Matter,” shared here, is making my 2019 highlight playlist as soon as I hit the publish button.

The best way over is through, my friends. 🙇‍♀️

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

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Classic 💛

Recently, I was reminded of the goodness of this song by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Helplessly hoping, I feel I am, at times, but of course, that’s not true.

Our hearts get tired, but love is worth the risk. Our bodies ache, but pain is part of what makes life authentic. It’s all worth it, I believe, in the end.

And I’m not giving up. I draw breath, so I have hello, on this side of eternity. And that means there is opportunity for all the good things to happen, right here.

🌅

https://www.crosbystillsnash.com

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The Fall 🍂

My brother’s death kicked me in the chest, and freeze-framed me in the beginnings of the season we call fall.

Teresa, my sister-in-law, understands how unsafe it is for me to be real right now, because I told her so. She was gracious, admitting that none of us are. I’m working through that danger.

The leaves are starting to swirl downward for my favorite time of year. My husband says the feel of autumn is already in the air, but I don’t know how to agree. My senses aren’t getting that signal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

One thing I do know how to experience is God’s love. I’m just living in that place, in His arms. Could it be that simple? I hope so.

Once again, thanks to my College Guy for the music tip. I deem it good. I’m enjoying all the things under this artist’s heading right now.

https://halfalive.co

Happy Birthday, Tim. ❤️

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Life 🌅

It took a drive alone through peaceful, remote countryside to get to the place where I could make a full exhale and ugly-sob. My four hundred-song playlist has everything from hip-hop to boys choirs on it, and all sorts of in-between. The cows, the hay bales, the crops, the sunrise and I enjoyed rocking the music library, and feeling all the things, in the safety of solitude. It was perfect therapy, after a week of holding it all together.

I don’t share my stories, ever, to elicit sympathy, because I don’t want or need any. Besides, everyone has their challenges, and their tales of death, loss and pain, many far worse than mine. Life hurts for us all at times. I care about that.

I share my stories because it helps me process, and in case it helps any of you, the tiniest little bit. I speak to bring glory to God, and to build and/or maintain something positive.

As much as I hate to say this, death is part of the life cycle. But I believe it should never come at one’s own hand. It’s the snuffing of a light, and the ending of one of the greatest gifts ever given, by pure love. Suicide ends in darkness for many, including friends and family of the one lost.

So, in honor of my sister Allison today, and in case any readers struggle with the will to live at times, as many humans do, I share another song by Justin Bieber. It speaks to me right now, on the heels of loss.

My greatest wish is that you join me, fellow travelers, in rising again, and living another day. One day at a time, one step at a time, one heartbeat at a time. Until our heavenly Father calls us home.

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Purpose 🕊

Yesterday morning, as I rose slowly, this song said it better for me than anything else. Just when I think I can’t get up off the floor to sweep up another shard from another thing shattered, God, the Lover of my soul, gives me purpose. I turn around, and He’s there.

Why am I surprised?

My journey doesn’t end, even when it feels like everything is over. I get something new, just when I need it, even if it is a tiny, secret-treasure, a green shoot pushing up through ashes. Thank You, Father. Thank you, Jesus. And oh, sweet, gentle, quiet Spirit, thank You.

To all of my readers, family, friends, and enemies, I thank you, also. We are fellow sojourners, and I love you. I look forward, along with the Biebs, to finding new light in every sunrise, and hope in every dirty corner.

Let’s not give up. Mercy is new, every morning Please. Rise with me to meet it.

https://www.justinbiebermusic.com

18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18, ESV

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Death and Taxes ðŸ’”

Earlier today, standing in my driveway, I watched a shower of golden-yellow pecan leaves falling in a lovely, slow circle. It was my first moment home since my brother Dave died. We buried him yesterday.

Autumn is coming, and usually, I love it. But it brings with it, this next October, both Dave’s birthday and within a few days, mine. I’ll miss him especially, then.

I’m told that in the late summer, when things are hottest, and water is scarce, trees pull back from their leaves to conserve moisture. This causes the foliage on deciduous trees to die, and tumble to the ground. It’s a process.

Healing after loss is also a process that my big, blended family understands all too well. We came from three different roots, and as Dave said at our last funeral gathering, not yet two years ago, all of the six children in our family were orphans of one sort or another. That coming together and growing out of difficult circumstances is part of what makes us beautiful, to me. There’s more to that thought, but I’ll stop there.

What I will say is a few, brief things about Dave. He’s not my biological brother, but we’ve been siblings since he was five years-old, and I was two. He was always kind to me, and I loved him. We rode motorcycles together as kids, and he jokingly pulled my pigtails until my head jerked from side to side when he asked me to go with him. I always went.

Dave’s smile is what I remember, even in the hard times. He was witty, and he made me laugh. He famously loved music, statistics, sports, travel, wine, and life, among other things. He adored his wife, Teresa, and his children. He was intelligent and beat all sorts of odds. He was well-educated, in spite of school struggles.

For decades, Dave dreamed of moving to the hill country, specifically to Wimberly, Texas. This past January, he and Teresa did just that. They were living the dream, literally. His Facebook page is strewn with photos of happy memories in their new home, with his family, some just a few short days before he died.

A peek at Dave’s Facebook profile’s will also tell even the casual observer that Dave was passionate about politics, and that is why my title today mentions taxes. Some of us agreed with him, some of us are apolitical, and some of us hid his posts. But we all loved him, no matter what. Our diversity, and our respect towards one another in those differences, is another thing I like about our mingled family.

When my sister Allison died suddenly nearly twenty years ago, I learned rather dramatically that humans are never guaranteed the next conversation, let alone the next breath. When Dave died suddenly this past Tuesday, due to apparent heart issues, that same lesson was underlined. For that reason, and others, and with Teresa’s hearty endorsement, I’m loading up her plant babies from the funeral, I’m throwing the same bag I packed to stay with my dad into my car, and I’m leaving in the morning to drive these newly-acquired, leafy gifts to their mama. She didn’t have room to take them when she left today, and they certainly need her green thumb more than they need me to water them until she gets back. I’m leaving at first light, and I’m excited. Teresa is incredibly kind to me, also, and I’m grateful for her friendship.

So Dave, here’s to you. We meant to come to see your new place sooner, but we didn’t get the chance. I’m making time now. We’ll talk of you tomorrow, and we’ll miss you like crazy.

But for now, dear brother, goodnight. May you rest in peace. ❤️

Lake Tahoe, July 27, 2011 – Barry, Stephanie, Sheila, Tim, Dwayne, Dee Dee, Kelly, Teresa, Dave. Allison was gone by this time.
https://messagetobears.com

I was calling

For the last time

We’ve been here before

They found pictures in the snow

I can tell your eyes

Looked beneath the blue

I walk underneath the trees for the first time

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