Thoughts from a Box of Tissue

My nose is raw. I’ve used half of a box of tissue since I got the news this morning.

 

Times like this really put life in perspective. It’s amazing what we take for granted and how God reminds us that this life is SO not about what we think is right or wrong; good for us or bad for us; too young and not too young. It doesn’t have to make sense to us, we can’t see the big picture that God sees.

 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:8-11 (ESV)
I know He weaves good into our bad times and that He can use us where we are for whatever purpose He needs. It sure gives a new focus and shows that there is a God, who created the universe and that He controls our every breath. He doesn’t have to have my permission for anything. I am here for His purpose which I’m promised is good (Romans 8:28…..the whole chapter is good stuff, though). Most of the time we can look backward and see the reason in hindsight. Sometimes it takes a while, but usually He shows me what the reason was.
2 years ago this week, my friend Katy handed me a gift. As my going away present, she had knitted me a scarf and told me, “it’s not finished yet. You have to crochet the rest of it. I just didn’t have time.“ It included the rest of the skein of yarn she had used. She knew I would need it: I was moving to icy North Carolina to live with Hubby again after my son turned 18. We had lived in separate states for a year and a half with me going back and forth between NC and NM every couple months. I never got around to finishing the scarf that winter.
Katy helped me through that hard year and a half of living in a different state than Hubby. My son had run away from home on top of everything. She taught me gardening that summer so I could plant a garden for my mom. She even helped me work on my mom’s house (I was trying to do what I could to fix my mom’s quickly aging house). We spent hours on end playing the guitar and singing together. We even rerouted her horse’s coral in the snow. She was my spiritual mentor. I will miss her. My heart goes out to her son and boyfriend. I loved her much.
To answer my BFF’s question when she called me this morning, “Are we really at the age that our friends are starting to die?” No, God can call us home whenever He wants to. This is really God’s story, we’re just the players in it. Of course, she’s sorta right also. There does come a time in life, that we hear that phrase more frequently.
I want to remember that we are here for one main purpose…….love. First to love God, next to love others. The greatest commands of the bible. Katy knew that. She lived that. She had the biggest, most sincere heart. She was generous with everything and she made great tamales and refried beans. I knew her for about 20 years altogether. That’s nearly half of my life. I wish I’d gone and seen her even though she wasn’t really feeling up to company, when I was there in NM last week and over thanksgiving. She and her boyfriend had missed thanksgiving dinner for her not feeling well. I missed my chance.
I didn’t get the scarf finished last year because I hurt my hand and was waiting for it to heal. Now I don’t crochet any more, since it never healed. So, I pulled my scarf out last month and cut off and tossed the excess yarn. It’s perfect the way it is. Exactly how it was made.
Katy is in heaven riding horses, playing her golden guitar and praising her Abba. She’s having a blast right now. I know she’s there too, because she loved Jesus and believed He died to take away her sins. Which is all any of us have to do. It’s a good feeling knowing she’s gonna be there when I go home.
See you there my dear friend. You will be missed.

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Thoughts from the Albuquerque Sunport Airport

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It’s always bittersweet leaving my family and heading back to my hubby. I’m so thankful for the time God gives me with each and every one of them. Even though my “Arizona” family is currently living just outside of Cleveland, not in Tucson where my 2nd house had always been until 2 years ago, the people still make it “home” for me.
I had an amazing time with them celebrating my 2nd mom’s birthday. It was lovely spending a week with her, my siblings and 3 of my nephews. Although I do wish my oldest brother, sister-in-law and other 2 nephews could’ve been there, it was the perfect visit. I adore both of my sisters-in-law. They are definitely blessings from God!! My 3 aunts were able to be there too. One lives there, but the other 2 were surprise visitors like me. Was wonderful seeing my cousins who just had a 2nd baby, too. I had individual time with each person. It was so refreshing and uplifting. The birthday dinner cruise was so much fun. My sister pulled it off as a surprise as well. She did so good arranging everything!!
After the week was up, I headed to my other “home” (where I went to school) in the Albuquerque area to see my mom, kids, granddaughter, granddog and best friend of 25 years, for 2 weeks. I had so much fun playing with my 7 month old bundle of joy! She is the perfect baby! I am completely enamored by her. She and Grammy (that’s me) had so much fun together. She looked so cute on Thanksgiving with her autumn colored tutu, her “I’m stuffed” onesie with a picture of a turkey, and her autumn colored headband bow (her mommy is a genius when it comes to baby headbands. She really could sell them).
It was so nice to wake up to the sounds of a giggling baby. There is no sound more pure than the sound of an excited or happy baby. What an amazing blessing!! I was so happy to have the honor of babysitting my little gremlin while mommy went to work (she stuffs everything into her mouth pretty fiercely, she tried to eat my chin on multiple occasions…….gotta love the teething stage). I had such an amazing time playing and singing and snuggling my sweet little baby girl. I had a wonderful time with my daughter-in-law too. She is the neatest! So creative!
I loved having coffee with my mom every morning, going shopping and just hanging out with each other. I especially loved watching the Macy’s Parade on thanksgiving with her. She was the one that started that tradition in our family. I still love it and watch every year. It was so neat putting up the Christmas tree with her after so many years, too. I got her to go geocaching also.
I always enjoy the tastes of home. A big part of any trip is stuffing myself with as much green chile as possible. Wecks with it’s infamous “Bowl of Papas” (eggs over-medium with Christmas….aka red and green chile), Stuffy’s with enormous stuffed sopaipillas (refried bean and green chile), Blake’s Lotoburger for breakfast burritos, Twisters for an Indian Taco, Costco for 2 containers of Sadie’s salsa to bring home, and some green chile to make green chile stew (that I made for last night’s dinner). Oh yeah!!! I always return a bit more plump.
I didn’t get as much time with my BFF as I would’ve liked, but I understand the reason. It’s too hard for me to drive far with my dizziness, too (I hate driving now). I’m so happy that she was able to come see me when she could and Thanksgiving dinner was at her house as well.
I’m also grateful to God that I got to spend my baby’s 20th birthday with him. It seems like just the other day he was the size of his daughter and I was loving on and playing with him. It all goes so fast……too fast. It’s unbelievably easy to take those times for granted. I miss him terribly and am always excited to spend as much time as possible with him.
My visit went fast and it was time to return home. So, last Saturday I found myself at the airport in Albuquerque, in line to buy a cup of pinon coffee and some to take home at the Black Mesa stand in the terminal. And it hit me….the promise God made me last year.
I had a surgery (that didn’t help) on my right hand last December 15th . In January, when I came off the continuous pain meds, I realized I’d missed Christmas….I bawled my eyes out for about 30 minutes. I have vague blurbs of memory that include getting the stomach flu on Christmas Eve. I don’t remember much else. In the midst of throwing myself a pity party, God spoke to my heart. He said, “Dry your eyes, I’ll make it up to you next holiday season “.
And boy did He!! I got to put up 2 houses worth of decorations with 2 trees…….I love decorating! I got to spend time with Aunt S, whom I haven’t seen in YEARS and my Aunt J whom I haven’t seen in almost 3 years. I love seeing my Aunt M too who just became grandma again x2 (now she has 3). I always enjoy being with my sister…..taught her how to geocache. I adore my baby brother and his amazing boys. Such a great time with my sister-in-law. Good talk with my nearly 18 year old nephew. Love seeing Chico my furry brother, my dad’s best friend. Got to go to the cemetery to see dad a few times. Had a wonderful time with both moms. Had a great conversation with my BFF one night. Got to see my son as a dad, and had great time with my daughter-in-law and my little ladybug.
I’d say that God more than kept His promise to me!! My heart is full….my cup runneth over!
You are so good Lord!! Thank You for ALWAYS keeping Your promises and Word!!! You never let me down. I love that You already know how things will turn out before they even happen. Help me to always rely on You, because You know me well….what I need and when I need it.

 

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you. (Psalm 139:13-18, ESV)

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