Friday, May 30, 2014

Sleepless nights have become the ordinary...The other side of the bed screams EMPTY! I no longer fight the night; I embrace it. 
Many override the ticking clock... I take the night watch... not so much for me, but for the growing list of friends with debilitating disease... 
I open the Psalms and whisper my Hallel along with the moon and shining stars.  That's what the brokenhearted need to illuminate the dark hours.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Portland Rhododendron Garden   Photo credit: R. Moore
Due to a few mishaps, I'm down to one lens that is designed to shoot close-ups of busy toddlers. Capturing the big picture is challenging, if not impossible.  Kind of like my life right limited view of life without Rob looks pretty small.  But I'm choosing to trust in God's photograph, knowing his master plan will prove loftier, more refined and undeniably, more beautiful.
"Increase my borders, use my story, give this tragedy purpose!" I pray.
I think He whispers, "In my time, Child. Abide and I will make my plan known."
But this I know; He is not finished with me.

The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible].
Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.[Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].
[They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.                                                 Psalm 92: 12-15 Amplified Bible

I look to You

I remember several nights of deep despair during Rob's cancer when I was sure I could not plow through any longer. During one of those difficult nights, I stumbled onto Selah's recording of I Look to You.  I drank in those powerful lyrics like they were my last prayer.
It's not my preferred genre, but for some reason it continues to be one of my songs in the night. 

As I lay me down, 
Heaven hear me now.
I'm lost without a cause
After giving it my all.

Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun.
After all that I've been through
Who on earth can I turn to?

I look to you.
I look to you.
After all my strength is gone, 
In you I can be strong
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone, 
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.

About to lose my breath, 
There's no more fighting left, 
Sinking to rise no more, 
Searching for that open door.

And every road that I've taken
Lead to my regret.
And I don't know if I'm going to make it.
Nothing to do but lift my head

I look to you.
I look to you.
After all my strength is gone, 
In you I can be strong
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone, 
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.

My levees are broken
My walls have come
Tumbling down on me

The rain is falling.
Defeat is calling.
I need you to set me free.

Take me far away from the battle.
I need you.
Shine on me.

I look to you.
I look to you.
After all my strength is gone, 
In you I can be strong
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone, 
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.
In Him I hear my song...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lighthouse Philosophy

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Rob and I traveled America in search of lighthouses; we were never disappointed.
A few years ago, we spent some quiet days in Cannon Beach, Oregon and we could see Tillamook Rock Lighthouse from our balcony. 

Today, I found an old email from Rob, sent on the one year anniversary of our trip.

-----Original Message-----
From: Moore, Rob 
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2012 6:55 PM
To: Moore, Robin
Subject: Lighthouse philosophy

We can't all be shining lights--but we can twinkle a little and make a

Rob rarely hid his light under a bushel, but in his quiet, unassuming manner, he would have described his Matthew 5:16 lifestyle as just a twinkle.
If still living, Rob would have challenged his "young men" and the rest of our beloved 2014 graduates to go humbly into the world, make a difference and give God the glory.
His "So What!"...
 It's not about you, but all about Him!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Photo credit: Robin Moore
Life is but a mist, a breath, a fleeting shadow, a passing breeze.
  I know this first hand, don't I? 
I am learning to make each day count, realizing our days are numbered. 
A decade ago,  that term "making each day count" would have looked a lot different than it does today. Making the most of every hour, my day would have been defined by a weighty schedule of appointments and tasks.  But today, it looks more like a long slow drink. A cancer diagnosis does that to you. Rob's day grew to a slow crawl early in his illness; he could no longer expend energy on anything outside himself and even that took everything he had. I found myself counting days and even hours, anticipating that his strength would fail him; I began to soak in every sacred moment, collecting a lifetime of memories. As a result, my rhythm dramatically changed. I learned to sit, to pray, to listen, ignoring the clock.
I look around me in this new season, very mindful of the daily race. Albeit, sometimes unavoidable, I see the toll the fast and furious takes.
I'm still crawling, but God is teaching me that I don't need to catch up with everyone else. 
A long slow drink...
His creation looks more vibrant, His Truth more powerful, His people more precious...
A deeper joy.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Granddaddy absent from our youngest's church dedication. Wrong! So wrong!
Rob's name missing from the list of elders for youth camp. Gut wrenching!
Grandparenting alone... passing on the torch of ministry... searching for a new identity
Realized loss...overwhelming.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Today was hard...very hard! The headstone arrived once again and the placement was completely wrong. "Haven't we been through this scenario time and time again? Does no one listen to me?  Rob, help me!" 
This was one of those times I desperately needed my man to fix this mess with his calm authoritarian style. But of course, if he was here, none of this would be necessary!
 I fell apart. "No more conflict, no more decisions, no more!" 
It was not a pretty sight in that cemetery office. Through a sea of tears, I announced that I was taking my husband and leaving! Oh, my! They must have taken me seriously; within seconds, the general manager was gently leading me to a "quiet" place and offering an array of drinks along with tissues and solutions. 
After another circuitous trek around this debacle, we've landed on a new plan at his cost. So now I wait once again. 
It was the first time since Rob's death that I felt like I'd hit a dead end: no one to call, very alone.  The scary part was I was unable to call out to God. Oh, I knew He was with me and in control of my small crisis. I just couldn't talk to Him...anger gripping me, a new place that frightens me.
At this point I feel as I need to tidy up this post. It's ugly and raw.  Should I add a lesson learned?  I know the world is falling apart and my loose threads are pretty insignificant...
But the truth is life without my love is ugly and raw, lonely and unraveled. And I'm tired...tired of putting on a good front...tired of learning new skills even if they are "good for me"....tired of this roller coaster ride of emotion.  I want to go back to life as I knew it before cancer reared its heinous head. 
Tonight, lessons are over-rated!

Sometimes the hidden leads to unexpected treasure.  A note to a daughter away at college reveals the true heart of a daddy and causes a wife to fall in love all over again.  Joy words, they are and two women remember and hold on tight.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mother's Day is approaching.
Hallmark paints it all lovely and for many it is a wonderful day of celebration. But, some of my friends will greet the day with bittersweet emotion. They can no longer mail greetings to the women who poured their entire lives into them and frankly, some are still searching for a thread of relationship with the female who bore them.
I greatly miss the two women who shaped Rob and me.

 I, like Kevin Durant, would love to tell both of these women that they are the real MVP's.
Thankfully, I can express that to the moms of my grandchildren this Sunday.
They give their "all" to Sam, Stephen, Matthew and Jill. (Are there any more I don't know about?)

I wish every child had a mother she could cherish and honor; my heart won't let me forget the young Cambodian girls of Home of Hope who were sold to older men by their own mothers.  Innocent children, who were forced to grow up much too quickly, introduced into the heinous world of human trafficking by someone they completely  trusted.  Some are the lucky ones; they are rescued and hopefully before their immature bodies are ravaged with disease and irreversible trauma.  This Sunday, I will also thank God for the house moms that share the love of Christ with these precious children who live in a home of hope.  These women are my heroes! They are the less than 2% who follow Jesus and through employment made possible by Little Changes International, make an amazing difference in the shattered lives of young Cambodian girls.
Would you join me in praying for these young girls and their house moms, the real MVP's, this Sunday?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Frequent flyer miles about to expire... "Rob, you choose the destination this time." After exploring a few travel sites, he paused. "Let's just go back to the beach." Destin, a place with history, family vacations in the sand that sparkles like sugar... Romantic getaways, just the two of us..
"Let's go back to the place where it all started." The blue Cape Cod with white picket fence...Memories of sun-kissed, blonde children splashing in the waves, Sea Blaster dolphin tours, a family of five squeezed in a maroon Geo Prism still fill my heart.

Looking back, Rob was tired.  Work had been stressful and navigating new territory just seemed too much. A week of rest, lazy strolls, and hours stretched out under an umbrella staring out into the deep blue sea... That's what he needed to recharge.
We missed our adult children on Mother's Day, but they made their presence known with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Rob seemed amused at my endless set of photos to remember our surprise delivery. 

We treasured every moment of that beautiful week. Perfect weather, near empty beaches, hours talking, strolling, remembering. Little did we know that this was our final farewell to our little corner of paradise, our calm before the storm, our last dance in the sand. But our God knew and He rolled out perfection!

I captured many photos that week, but my favorite will always be the only one of the two of us, shot by a sweet beach employee.  Another amazing gift from a God who knew.

My beautiful best friend!
He looked healthy and happy that day.
We made footprints in the sand and on each other's heart those precious May days. 

Each day is a gift to be treasured.
Embrace them well.

Photo credits...Robin Moore


Sunday, May 4, 2014

God said "No." You all prayed with me; you know. We prayed hard and long. We asked with persistence and passion, but in the end, He still answered "No."
We can dodge the reality of unanswered prayer with lovely platitudes, but my reality of an empty home remains.
I highlight Rob's life verse in the pages of Bibles, hoping his students will hide it in their hearts. 
Would it not make more sense for them to carry his weekly lessons, the "so whats" in their lives? 
God answered, "No." 
I record memories for the babies.
Would it not be better for them to make memories with a living, breathing grandfather?
God answered, "No."
And I can't stop asking, "Why?" 
And I can't fill my empty heart!
None of it makes sense and I'm rubbing my soul raw trying to find answers.
When will I bury entitlement and just seek Him for all He is?
When will I place brokenness in his hands and let Him create in me something better?
When will I wage no more war and fill the empty places with Peace?