Sometimes the noise in life gets so loud that we cannot hear God calling to us. The “busyness” of life gets so busy that we cannot feel him tugging on our heart. The things that cause us to worry and be anxious, get in the way. The things that bother me are probably no different than the things that bother you in your life…children, work, finances, too much to do in a day, weight that won’t go away – no matter how much I exercise and change my eating. Again, I am concerned about the same things that you are concerned about, so if you are kind enough to read this, I won’t go into detail, but I will tell you this…Psalm 46:1 is a favorite verse of mine. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” But I had never looked at the The Message translation
God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
the tremors that shift mountains.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
Psalm 46:1-3 (The Message)
“…ready to help when we need him.” I am so glad that He is ready to help me, when I need him, ready to guide me, when I need him, ready to hold me, when I need him. The truth is…I ALWAYS need him and He is ALWAYS there. Pretty awesome! I am so glad that the Lord did not say, I will be there for you as long as you do…blah, blah, blah. As a human being, I will mess up and sometimes my mess up is a BIG mess up. Fortunately, He is always there. There is nothing He will not help me with, there is nothing He cannot or will not forgive. Once I am his child, there is nothing I can do separate myself from him. Thank you, Lord!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38 & 39
Who am I that He would care? Who am I that he would do that for me? I am His. And He is mine!
Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
He is there for me and I am so glad that I am His…
Lord, thank you for always being there for me. For always caring, always guiding, always leading…at least when I let you. Thank you for this time that I have had to step back and take a deep breath…this time that, while painful, is an opportunity to grow, an opportunity to reflect on the fact that You will not leave me, nor forsake me…You will always care for me. Thank you Lord.
I hope this makes sense to you, dear friend. If not, I apologize, but it is what I needed to share today. It has been a rough week, the storms are not over, but now I can see that I must weather the storm to find the rainbow. Peace and blessings I wish for you…anything you want to share with me?
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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.
Great post! I've been praying through the psalms recently and I think it's finally makings some sense! I'm quite thickheaded sometimes. In response to your question about where I am stationed, I try not to put that out on the blog..but you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love chat with ya via email.
I continue to pray for you, Mary. How wonderful to read of your taking refuge in the truths of His Word. May God continue to pour out His peace as only He can this coming week. 🙂