Make It Happen

Make a START

even if it’s a

small start

it’s a START

because THAT sometimes

is the hardest part

then the rest will start to happen

little by little

baby steps

until you are up and flying

SO

clean off that desk

join a weight loss support group

purchase those art supplies

order that book

register for that exercise class

call that travel agent

make that invite list

get that business license

fill out that application

start that savings account

talk to God about it

Do the whatever that first step is for you and

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Because life is short

and you don’t want to get to the end of it

and regret

that you failed to

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

“Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.” 

Charles E. Hummel, Tyranny of the Urgent

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

 

 

“I’m okay, but I’m not okay, and that’s okay”

“I’m okay, but I’m not okay, and that’s okay”moved

Nothing can really prepare us for a death of a loved one.   Whether it be a sudden unexpected death like my son Drew’s at the age of 24 or at the end of a very long illness.   With every death, there is a loss.  And with every loss there is grief.   Grief is an untidy and unpredictable process.  The culture we live in tells us that we need to move through the grieving period quickly.  Our grief can make those around us uncomfortable.  And this causes us to sometimes hide our grief and pretend that all is okay. To put on the ” I’m okay mask”. Grieving is actually a good thing — it is what God uses to bring us back to wholeness.  So don’t be afraid to grieve and don’t be afraid to tell others what you are feeling , even if it makes them feel uncomfortable.

People ask me

How I am doing?

And then I have to think

Do they really want to know?

Do they want the

short answer

or

the long answer?

I really think most people

want the short answer

“fine”

“good”

“okay”

If they were able to see into

my heart

to actually see

the HOLE

that will always be there

the HOLE that is a result

of a tremendous loss

the loss of my son Drew

a little over 3 years ago

then they would see how I am doing

I know it is okay not to be okay

It is okay to feel sadness

It is okay to feel a loss

God knows it too

And it is He

that is the

ONLY ONE

 who can heal a HEART

But is it okay to say I’m not okay

to say I will never be okay

not until I get to heaven

and receive a big “Drew hug”?

Some people think

it is not okay to be not okay

especially after a couple years have passed

since a loss

But I know the reality

The reality

of the HEART

The HEART

of a mom

who yearns

to be with her son

again

So many of us are

part of the

WALKING WOUNDED

the ones who are waiting

waiting for

THAT DAY.

 

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”.    Psalm 147:3

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion

forever.”   Psalm 73:26

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”.   Matthew 5:4

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4

“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”    2 Corinthians 4:18

“The Lord cares deeply
when His loved ones die.”
– Psalm 116:15 (NLT)

“Short-sighted here on earth, bound by time, we mourn deeply the loss of those we love. We long to see into the eternal, the perfect, the home where our loves now live. Seeing clearly, not grounded to this earth and it’s tethering, our loved ones wait for us and cannot help but feel endless joy. In the meantime, here in time, the Lord sets His eyes on the mourning, promising to comfort. After all, even Almighty God knows what deep mourning feels like. He holds our precious ones living in heaven and He holds the grieving earth-dweller, never to forget either one.”   – Susie Stewart

“It hurts when they’re gone. And it doesn’t matter if it’s slow or fast, whether it’s a long drawn-out disease or an unexpected accident. When they’re gone the world turns upside down and you’re left holding on, trying not to fall off.”
Walter Mosley, Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore

“I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they’ll ‘say something about it’ or not. I hate if they do, and if they don’t.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
“The death of a beloved is an amputation.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
“Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he’s had his leg off is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently he’ll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has ‘got over it.’ But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

 

 

 

 

 

Getting through the HARD

IMG_3015

When I reflect back on all the hard places God has helped me get through, I am reminded what a good God I have.  A God that knows me from the inside out. A God that has always loved me and always will.  A God that provides for all my needs in such amazing ways.  A God that I can trust even on the days that are hard to make it out of bed. A God that is the master of helping me in the hard places. A God that knows all about the hard.

God get us THROUGH 

the HARD:

the hard places

the hard times

the hard stuff that happens to us

He gets us through

In fact

“Through”  is his 

favorite word

But it won’t  be

painless

and it won’t be

quick

But one thing is for certain

He will use your hard

for good

He has promised that

and 

He never breaks a promise

So go to Jesus in 

that hard place you are in

Lean hard

on HIM

because

He wrote the book on

 hard

and He understands exactly what

you are going through

when no one else can

and when you feel far from God

ask yourself

WHO MOVED?

He is there

HE ALWAYS has been

and He always will be

He is there

patiently waiting 

for you

to 

come

for comfort

for peace

for guidance

for healing

for understanding

Twenty four seven

His line

is never busy

He will never

put you on hold

or tell you to come back

at a more convenient time

SO GO

He is waiting.

“When you pass THROUGH the waters, I will be with you;  and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor the flames scorch you.”  Isaiah 43:2

“Even though I walk THROUGH the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” Psalm 23:14

“Have you wept your last tear or received your last round of chemotherapy? Not necessarily. Will your unhappy marriage become happy in a heartbeat? Not likely. Are you exempt from any trip to the cemetery?  Does God guarantee the absence of struggle and the abundance of strength? Not in this life. But he does promise to reweave your pain for a higher purpose.”  

“Yet, God will make good out of this mess. That’s his job”

 from the book: You’ll Get Through This,  by Max Lucado.

 

 

 

 

Susie – A Shiny Penny

No life is too short

especially when that life gave 

so much

to so many

And that describes my friend

SUSIE STEWART

She packed so much into life

She was a  bright light

in this dark world we live in

She loved God and his WORD and 

she held out his WORD for all to see

I believe

it was her purpose on this planet

to display God and His glory

and she did it well

exceedingly well

She was that

SHINY PENNY

in that pile of dull coins

She left a powerful legacy

of love and strength and hope

And all who were priviledged enough

to have experienced her

were trully blessed

and still are.

 

Matthew 25:21

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Deuteronomy 6:5

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

1 Corinthians 2:9

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”

Psalm 86:12

I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever.

Proverbs 31:25

Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 

Isaiah 40:3

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.

 

http://www.susiestewart.me

 

 

Flipping the Switch

switch
Yes, so today is Mother’s Day. I knew when I woke up and my feet hit the floor, I had the power to make it a sorrowful day or a joyful day. It was up to me to flip the switch. I often pretend there is a tiny switch in my brain that I can switch onto positive when I need to. Today I needed to. Grieving is hard work. Sometimes I need a grief break. My youngest son Drew went to heaven three months ago. He was walking across Colfax in downtown Denver with his brother and was hit and killed by a hit-and-run driver. He is 24 years old. I don’t like to say was 24. He is still 24. I miss him so much! Today I needed a break from my “grief work”.

I soon began to mentally make a list of positives to focus on while I showered and dressed and picked up the place in preparation for my oldest son Jon and his wife Jenn bringing over food for brunch and watching a movie together. Then, I sat down on the recliner and looked at some key pictures on facebook — some of my mother Stella — and began to think of what a wonderful blessing it is that I can still call her on the phone today and wish her a Happy Mothers Day, many I know cannot. I looked at another picture — this one of my mother-in-law June who is no longer on this earth but I still have sweet memories of her and I know she is in heaven and I will see her again. Another picture was a five generation picture — my mom, my sister, my niece, my great niece and my great great niece — taken 3 years ago at my mom’s 90th birthday celebration. What a grand celebration that was. And how wonderful to have all five generations of women all living in the same town in California. All healthy and happy!

My heart smiles…

The last picture I look at is of my son Drew. It is of him giving my mom one of his knitted creations for her birthday. He is the one who won’t be coming over on Mother’s Day this year. I could stay in this sad place all day — focusing on who won’t be here or I could flip the switch and began to focus on all my incredible blessings. I began to list them in my head: our beautiful low-maintanance remodeled condo with no garage or basement or yard — how cool is that? ,the clubhouse where there is so much to offer as far as fun activities, my sweet husband who is such a support to me and rarely complains, will be getting a hip replacement next month which will hopefully change his quality of life dramatically , my good health and the fact that I am now retired and can focus on doing the things that give me joy. My many friends and family members who have supported and encouraged me and loved on me so very much — what would I do without them; and my son Jon who will be coming over soon. I can remember the first time I was talking to someone on the phone in the hospital on the day of his birth and how wonderful the sound of the word “son” felt coming out of my mouth. I thought of all these years I have had with him and have had the priviledge of being his mom. THe privilege of watching him grow into the beautiful man he is. I thought of the wonderful times we have shared. And then there is Jenn his wife — who has added such a new dimension to our family! A FEMALE —some one I can go to tea with, shop with, chat a lot with, get a pedicure with , go to the ballet with— all those girly things! I watch how she loves my son and

my heart smiles…

It is ten a.m. and here they are! Knock on the door. Right on time as always — another blessing! I open the door and am greeted by a mass of velvety red roses — my favorite flower of all time — the love color. The color of the heart. Much more than a dozen. Maybe two dozen. I am overwhelmed. Love has poured in my door — smiles, hugs, roses, food, a homemade scented oil spray, and of course a musical Mother’s Day card with actual writing on it — since I don’t like cards without actual writing on them — too impersonal. They remember this. They care. They want to make my day special. They know I am missing Drew. They are too. They love me . They want so much to make me feel good. They want my mother’s day to be happy.

My heart smiles…

It is not that we exclude Drew. Jon wears his knitted hat that was Drew’s favorite hat plus the pastel colored Easter shirt I got him last month. I wear my necklace with the angel wing and of course my bright yellow that reminds me of Drew’s new address. and then there is the lighted Drew candle. The roses are put in a vase and placed next to the candle. He is here. In spirit. In our hearts. He is loving that we are remembering him. He can’t wait to see us someday in heaven — what a grand celebration that will be! And we can’t wait to see him again! Because there is this hope,

My heart smiles…

Yes, I have flipped the switch today. I have lots of blessings to dwell on. The bible talks a lot about the power of the mind. I have two wonderful sons and a beautiful daughter-in-law. One lives in Aurora and the other in heaven. And they are both doing well! And I am doing well! Today has been a joyful day full of remembering what mother’s day means to me. It has been a good day. I was called “Mom” and that word will always be music to my ears.

Jon has written on the card “I know this Mother’s Day is hard, but I wanted to tell you that you have always been a great mom, and if Drew were here, he would tell you the same thing”. These words bring me much joy even if there are tears in my eyes as I type. I am indeed blessed among women, and

My heart smiles…

Psalm 103:2 “O my Soul, Bless God, and don’t forget a single blessing”.

 

My Irreplaceable Mom

Only some of us get the rare privilege of having our moms in our lives for a very long time. I am one of them. My mom is ninety six  years old this year. And she is happy and healthy!  Her name is Stella and the name fits her.  Stella means star and she is the bright shining star in our family and we all know it.

Stella

Star

Mom

Grandma, Great Grandma, and Great Great Grandma

you are first my mom 

but forever my friend

but not just any friend

You are

IRREPLACEABLE

I loved you since I first opened my eyes

as you held me in your arms

and now

all these years later

I still love you with that same 

“love at first sight”  kind of love

I  still love it when your eyes light up

and you say my name, “Sandra”

when you first see me when I come to visit

I love it when you don’t complain

even though you have things to complain about

I love it that you never criticize me

or point out what is wrong

I love it when you smile and remember old times

I love it when you listen to me with those caring eyes

I hate to think of the day when I won’t be able

to visit you

but then I remember that even though 

there are no visiting hours in heaven

there will be a time

when we can be together 

there in heaven

for all eternity

But for now

I won’t think about that 

I will think about the time I can have

with you

right now

on this planet

and what a blessing that is to me

and even though we are miles apart 

we are never truly apart 

maybe in distance

but never in heart.

 

“For you (GOD) formed my inward parts;  you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

“As is the mother, so is the daughter. ”  Ezekiel 16:44

“One of the most important relationships we have is the relationship we have with our mothers”.   Ivanla Vanzant

“No matter how old she may be, sometimes a girl just needs her mom.”    Cardinal Mermillod.

“My Mother – she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel.  I want to grow old and be like her”   Jodi Picoult.