Not Fatherless

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“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” -Psalm 68:5

This is the first Father’s Day that I won’t be wishing my dad a Happy Father’s Day. I won’t be buying him a sentimental card that brings him to tears, or bringing him gifts to unwrap excitedly. I won’t be listening to the stories of what’s going on in his world, or the latest music he has been into. I won’t be seeing him wave hello or good-bye to me through the blinds of his studio as I pull in, or pull away. But it’s okay.

I haven’t cried today, which surprises me, but I know that although my earthly father has passed from this life, I am not Fatherless. No, I have a heavenly Father that loves me more than I could fathom, and He will never leave me. What a dad!

Perhaps you are in the same boat as me today, missing your earthly father. Don’t despair! We truly have the BEST Dad! 🙂

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Reliquished Control

My honey this morning before dropping him off at the vet.

My honey this morning before dropping him off at the vet.

I have this strong urge to write today. Perhaps it’s due to the revelation of just how much is out of my control.

This morning I dropped my “son,” Dallas, off at the veterinary hospital to have his teeth cleaned for the first time at the age of 6. The fact that he had to go under anesthesia made me really nervous, especially since I am trying to treat him holistically for fleas and heart worm prevention.

But two weeks ago he had an eye infection.

Two days later he strained his back somehow.

Meds. Meds. MEDS.

Day after day I visit mom in the hospital, staring into tear-filled tired eyes and holding her fragile hand. She had only been out of the hospital for a week after her collapsed lung, and now she is back due to a blockage of the bowels.

This morning she writhed in her bed moaning, trying anything to get comfortable, get relief, but she found none. She was flush and sweaty, yet didn’t have a fever. No one knew the cause, and because of it, her small bowel series test needed to be postponed. They suspect it was because she had just received pain meds as well as three different breathing treatment medications.

It’s the same thing.

Meds. Meds. MEDS.

I tried to encourage her, sing to her, pray with her, read Bible verses to her, but nothing helped. She is tired of fighting.

And quite frankly, I am tired too.

No sooner do I get home from the hospital and the vet calls. Dallas is under anesthesia and everything is going well, BUT . . .

I really loathe that word. It leaves a lingering that dashes hope and stirs worry. Yet sometimes it can do just the opposite, ushering in hope and healing.

“He has three loose teeth which I couldn’t see until I got in here. It will be $250 for pain meds and to extract the teeth.”

Her words echo from the week before, “I really doubt he will need extractions since he is ‘only’ 6.” I don’t care about the money. I care about my son, my furbaby, my blessing from above. It dawned on me that he is aging. And where has the time gone?

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I never thought I could love a dog so much . . .

I am tired of tear-stained face and hurting heart. I am tired of not having the answers to life’s unending, over complicated questions. I am tired of clenched fist to sky asking, “Why does it keep getting harder to say thanks?”

BUT thanksgiving proceeds the miracle. I know that well. Even when tears fall, chest tightens and heaves, and fists clench tightly toward sky, I can thank Him. I NEED to thank Him, because that’s the only way to make it out of here alive.

The heaviness that looms about like a raincloud pregnant with grief need not stay. No, it comes down to opening my hands to the heavens and relinquishing control of that which I thought I had control of. It’s trusting the Lord with all my heart, leaning not on my own understanding, and acknowledging Him in all my ways, so He will make my paths straight (Psalm 3: 5-6). After all, only He can do it.

Finding Joy

Pass-a-Grille beach

Pass-a-Grille beach

Ahhhhh, the beach. There’s nothing like the sound of waves lapping the shore, sand between your toes, and sunshine on your shoulders. To me anyway. I understand some people have a love/hate relationship with the beach, but for me, it’s nothing but love.

My hubby and I had planned a short weekend trip to Lido Key in Sarasota, Florida for our two year anniversary May 17th. We had reserved a motel with a private beach, and planned to soak in the sun for the first time this year. When I made the reservations months beforehand, I had planned on being a lot further in my recovery from my ankle fusion than I was, but I had braved many a summers at the beach on crutches before. Unfortunately, about a week before our trip, my hubby was involved in a car accident while away for work in Jacksonville, Florida. It was his first accident ever. So, there we were, myself on crutches, and him with a cast on his right arm. We were a pair. But we made the most of it, and had a great time. Even when the rain threatened us. Even when the sun wouldn’t shine.

Last weekend we visited our favorite beach at Pass-a-Grille Historic District in Saint Petersburg, Florida where we were wed. By this time he had a removable cast, so he was able to get in the water. I crutched along as usual, but once I hit the water I was free. I no longer had any limitations, although a fused ankle does make it a bit difficult to swim. It wasn’t long before I saw the school of sting rays. I’m slow moving, and can’t exactly shuffle my feet, so I admit to a bit of panic. However, I have swum among them many a times and remained unscathed, so watched in wonder as the black mass moved throughout the water.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

There are many times that trials come our way in the form of rain, disability, or sting rays, but it’s our perspective that changes everything. I need that reminder from my hubby every time we go to the beach and the sun hides behind the clouds. “I wish the sun would come out,” I say. “The sun doesn’t have to be shining to enjoy the beach,” he’d counter. And he’s right. I realized this even more so later that day when I saw the sun burn I had acquired!

I want to encourage you to look for the joy in the mundane. It may be difficult to find, but if you dig deep enough, you’ll see it. And when you do, offer up thanks and praise to the One who created it.

Hubby and I on our anniversary in Lido Key. A woman at a shop in St. Armand's gave me two roses for our two year anniversary. :-)

Hubby and I on our anniversary in Lido Key. A woman at a shop in St. Armand’s gave me two roses for our two year anniversary. 🙂