Monday, September 4, 2017 last

Well, the posts are over. Readers who've had enough of them have long since finished reading. For ones that haven't, I offer them complete here, in the book they've become.

Taken one at the time, or in small bunches, they are a rollercoaster of changes in mind and mood, but taken together, their landscape smooths into a cohesive, intentional whole. The best part of the book comes at the end, then, when retrospect has distilled them down to lessons in trust and care.

I am so grateful.

The Last Thread is available on as ebook and in print.
Here's the link

#53, September 4, 2015, Dry Husk

Read this morning about a couple married 75 years who died within hours in each others’ arms. Of course, if this were normal, it wouldn’t make the news, but I am feeling so completely different, like I have no idea how to love.

I am obedient, trying to keep the promise of my marriage vows (for a change), but sinking deeper with each day, or feeling like it.

The other day, it came to me that no wonder Dave says so often that he’s happy—he finally has the wife he always wanted, one who stays at home with no other job and spends all her days centered on him. And I resent it. I do. But then I listen to him cough and groan and witness again the grace with which he endures.

Is it a privilege to serve him? In the abstract, yes. But I feel stuck at the same time, not wanting to go forward, not wanting to go back, not wanting to stay here. And knowing it doesn’t matter what I want.

I need to focus somewhere else at least part of the time. If I let it, Dave’s illness will take over both our lives and take us down together. I am not sick, though, and I have to figure out how to help him without living his life. I’m not doing very well.

Gospel for today: New wine does not go in old wineskins.
So, God, is this how you make me new?
I am small and you are big.
Is this what it’s like to learn love and compassion? I have been a barren rock, a dry husk. Is this how I am renewed?

Image: A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll

Thursday, August 31, 2017

#52, August 31, 2015, The Dark

Have not been sleeping well—I fall into bed deeply tired, but too soon wake up dull and not rested. It’s hard to go back to sleep. Feel heavy from thick, troubling dreams I can’t specifically remember but whose dark mood lingers.

I look for God to lift me, but keep finding the urge to repent instead. That, and a reminder to recall His prior blessings. He is the same God now as He was before, after all. These days just feel dark.

Image: Shutterstock

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

#51, August 29, 2015, The Look of the Future

Restless and tense two nights running. Afraid of the future. 

Dave starting another round of physical rehab next week, and talking to Zach and Jeremy about remodeling the bathroom in five or six months. Will he be alive in 6 months? Will he be able to use the downstairs bathroom at all during the construction? Even listening to Bryan’s fitful sleep, his snoring, scares me. Anyone visiting, even family, outside our accustomed circle unnerves me. 

I want it to be over. I don’t want it to be over.

Dave’s sister Audrey, after having lost her own husband, looks so worn. Tired of coping. What wore her out? What came before or today’s grief? Probably both. And I’ve started planning for what comes after already. Is that wrong? I hope not. I do know that it sometimes settles me a little. I just don’t want to have to face it all later, afterward. 

But I don’t have to figure it all out today. I can have a short term plan too—like making breakfast, painting the new pantry door, and watching the Packers tonight. It’s doable. Maybe I’ll try to nap.
And I have to trust God for everything else. 


Saturday, August 26, 2017

#50, August 26, 2015, Holding all the Threads

Yesterday, Dave ate two protein shakes and three bites from a hamburger all day—and he coughed and coughed. We met Dave and Gayle in Madison and she took one look at him and started to cry.

Today, I read a psalm pleading with God to help, but I do not find myself asking for help. I ask for faith to get through this. Faith and strength in You, God. I feel afraid today.

Dave’s best friend is coming for breakfast today, and his sister comes in town tomorrow for three days. An echocardiogram tomorrow, then I told someone I’d go shopping for a car with them on Sunday or Monday. After that, Dave’s other sister comes at the end of the week. 

Trying to keep all the threads in my hands without letting go and wondering whether Dave will live to another birthday. 

Image: Hobbycraft blog

Friday, August 25, 2017

#49, August 25, 2015, The Promise of Heaven

Long term thinking does more than help me make better decisions. It helps me remember the promises of God for heaven. It helps me recall the perfection of what God has promised and that the best days this life can offer can never approach the bliss of what is coming. I have lost some of this hope and I must get it back.

I am wondering today whether the injustice at our old church has worn on Dave enough to contribute to his weariness—whether he is sicker now because that happened then. It’s possible. I know it still weights heavily on him. There’s nothing to be done about it now, of course, but it does make me think about all of those times in a different way.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

#48, August 23, 2015, Perching on a Candle

I’ve lapsed into a pattern that isn’t helping at all. In watching Dave decline, I’ve clung to my own life in a way I haven’t done in a long time. It’s almost like being in a desert out of the midst of which I’m trying to find some life. And while I do this, I’m letting go of God.

I have to start from the beginning again. I have to repent. I have to see my fault and face it. I have to stop doing the same thing over and over. It’s not longer life I need, but more life, eternal life, and I can only find it in an eternal God.

I try to figure out how I got here sometimes and it always comes back to the same thing—short term thinking. Trying to relieve the present discomfort or unhappiness with the most obvious outlet. I have to stop. I have to live for the longer view, and certainly at this point, physical life is not the long view. I’m perching on an ever-burning candle, trying to keep cool while the stub I’m sitting on gets hotter and hotter every day. More candle is not the answer. A safe place to land is.

There is no answer, no solution, to my situation. It can’t be fixed. When I was unhappy at home, I didn’t equip myself for an independent future, but married a man I didn’t love. When I was unhappy with him, I didn’t learn anything from my situation. Instead, I moved in with someone exciting. I never once in all of these changes did an honorable thing. When I got tired of being possessed but not celebrated, I looked again to yet another man, and finally then had the wit to see that no man had the answer I was looking for. Same thing happened with money. I loved making a lot of it, but what I had to do to get it stripped my spirit bare.

You gave me more than life, God. In some ways, You gave me the first life I’d known. But almost immediately afterward, You dismantled its architecture to show me that You could make it stand anyway—stand still if I have no church, no job, no marriage. This is why I cry to you, because although I have friends and family to love me, there is no one but You to help.

 Image: Pinterest