As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
Matthew 4:18-20 (NIV)
The Message translation puts it this way:
They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
They did what they were asked.
At once and with no questions.
I wonder what would happen if I did what Jesus asked me to and without questions. What if I didn’t say, “but, why, Lord.” Or…”yes, Lord, but what if…”
There is little in life I do without asking a question. Even in a simple conversation I will ask, “and then what?” Sometimes before the person has a chance to tell me. Can’t I just be patient and wait for them to finish?
I know that Jesus is the way and the truth. I know he is the ONLY way. John 14:6
Since he is the way, I wonder what would happen in my life and to my life if I followed without question? If I carefully and prayerfully followed his leading and guiding, what would happen? What would be different?
I hope you Monday is blessed and your week is great!
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In what seems like the blink of an eye, it is 31 years later. Not a day goes by that I do not think of her.
My heart still hurts.
I cry at random times.
And I miss her. Still. 31 years later.
I grieve all the things that didn`t happen.
The life events.
Strangely though there are fewer tears today. Sometimes I think my tears are all gone. The well is dry.
Lack of tears does not mean lack of grief. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. So I accept my emotions today-whatever they may be.
If you know someone that has experienced a loss, don`t be afraid to tell them you remember. Let them know you care. Take a meal, send a text, write and snail mail a card. We want to know our loss is not forgotten.
I cried in church. Not because I was thinking about the events leading up to the crucifixion but because there was a little girl of about 5 or so sitting in front of me. She had the most gorgeous dark hair. With streaks of gold running through it. Natural streaks. Not the artificial colored streaks I pay more than I`m willing to share to get every few months.
As I observed her I thought about my own daughter. The one that died at 4 days old.
I thought of how she might be standing next to me this morning or next Sunday on Easter. Maybe she would have travelled to Charlotte to spend some time with her dad and me.
Grief is something that robs us of so much. It robs me of not just my daughter but it robs me of being the mom of a daughter.
I look at some of my closest friends, all mothers of daughters and I envy, yes ENVY!, the relationships they all have with their daughters. They may not agree with them on all things or see eye-to-eye with them but the daughters lead the charge to throw surprise 60th birthday parties for their parents or make sure that mom gets a Mother`s Day card, a birthday card, etc.
I think daughters are different than sons. Daughters are more sensitive than sons based on my observations as an outsider. I do not experience that sensitivity. And I grieve the fact that I am not the mother of a daughter.
The version of me before Amy`s death is totally different than the me that is here now.
If you want to read more about about my daughter, Amy, you can go to https://marybonner.net/?s=Amy and read more about my journey through infant loss and moving forward.
Adam McHugh`s book Blood From a Stone is a beautiful piece of writing about returning from the dead. I encourage you to check it out. You can find the book on Amazon or wherever books are sold. Find and follow him @adammchughwine You won`t be sorry.
"Grief is so agonizing not only because you have lost something, but you have lost someone, and that someone is the version of you that was alive before your loss." Blood From a Stone Adam McHugh Page 102
Every June I think I`m going to handle this better. Whatever better looks like - I don`t know. 30 years and I still cry at random times. And every June I fall apart.
She would have been 30 next week. Instead of whisking her off for a 30th birthday trip to Key West like we did for her brother @coach_andy_bonner or Niagara Falls like we did for his wife we will make another kind of trip.
There will be a mass next Saturday and we will stand at a grave site as we move her body from the small town where she was buried to a final resting place by her paternal grandparents on the beautiful grounds of St Emma Monastery in Greensburg, PA.
I look forward to the weekend and I dread it all at the same time.
Today I broke down and sobbed. Just like yesterday. And probably will tomorrow. But I remember that He catches my tears in a bottle Psalm 56:8
If I learned anything from this life experience, it is this: I can do hard things. But not of my own strength. Philippians 4:13
When I tell people that I am a VA (Virtual Assistant) often they want to know what I DO. And I tell them that I mostly deal with details. Managing the things (details) that creative people do not see themselves as “good at.” Budgets, remembering dates, creating schedules and timelines, gathering data and information, making sure they get paid, etc. A few years ago, I took on my first social media influencer client. And after working for 5 years with only faith-based clients, social media was a different world! I learned how to navigate that world and now my social media clients are among my favorites. In fact, I let go of most of my other clients to allow more time to work with the influencers. One of the faith-based clients I kept is @kriscamealy of @refineretreat
I have known Kris for 10 years and worked with her on Refine for, I don’t know…maybe 6. Kris recognizes the importance of rest and soul-care that enables us to create better and more meaningful content. Allows us to be more present for our families, clients, and our businesses.
Whether we are writing in our journal, painting on a canvas, creating paid content for a social media outlet, sitting at a pottery wheel, whatever the creative outlet we must tend to our souls. We must rest. We must learn to pause.
#Soulcare is not optional in this world in which we live. We must learn to stop so that we are able to go. We can run at a break-neck, full-tilt speed for a while but at some point, we will crash.
If you are looking for a way to slow down and take a weekend to care for yourself and your soul, check out @refineretreat. Maybe Refine isn’t for you. That is ok. But if you think this only applies to faith-based work, check out @lindsaynead ‘s post from April 19. Lindsay is an amazing businesswoman and she recognizes the power of slowing down. Of stopping. Of resting. She took a break and found herself better for it.
Leroy left us today. He was diagnosed with Lymphoma 4 weeks ago tomorrow. I miss him so much. Some early photos are in my stories. He was THE BEST DOG! And he had a good life. He was SPOILED rotten. At times I think @coach_andy_bonner thought Leroy was treated better than Andy when he was home.
"There is little in life I do without asking a question."
Oops. Me, too. I've been known to also interrupt with a question before someone finishes with the instruction. "Just let me finish first"–I get that sometimes. ha. Maybe that's what God is saying to me, too…. Thanks for this, Mary!
How often are we on the same page, saying we do the same things? I would SO love to meet you in real life!! Thank you for being such an encouragement to me, Lisa!
"I am going to go at once to the tasks
laid before me without complaining,"
Oh, just this. A wise challenge to my questioning soul.
Thank you, Angie…it is a challenge to me too!
Truth! That is how we should be with the Lord. But…yes, "but" always seems to get in the way! Great point of view!
You make my heart smile friend…
I love your prayer at the end when you say, "it might not last all day." THAT is the story of my life. I start with such good intentions and then….
Great post, Mary. One of my favorites.
Thanks, Kathleen…I think it is the story of many lives.
I loved your prayer, Mary. I've heard it said that anything besides 'instant obedience' is not obedience at all–something to ponder…..
Instant obedience…something to ponder for sure!
You are so wise and lovely, my friend. We were studying the same verses Sunday, and your words here have enriched my learning.
You have no idea how much you comment warms my heart, Jennifer. Thank you.
I ask God questions all the time…but I think it is okay as long as I eventually go, although I'm sure it would be better if I just went….He is gracious…love your heart 🙂
I think it is probably OK too…I just think that it might be a smoother ride if I just went w/o questioning. Love your heart too!
It sure it hard not to question. I work at that everyday! Lovely prayer.
Bless you, Susan.
That is so me, Mary: "Yes, Lord, but…" Such a wise lesson here. Love you, lovely!
WOW…this is the second comment to use the word "wise" in connection with me. I am humbled and honored that you stopped by Michelle. thank you!!