Monday, April 27, 2015

I love pottery! My den is dotted with pieces I've collected from friends and travels. Some are treasured gifts from my sister-in-law, Nancy, and young artist friend, Jen. Whenever possible, I inquire about the potter's story; my favorites have been thrown by broken people, artists limping through life with great adversity.
I'm still searching for a piece repaired by kintsukuroi, the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver.  
Often these repaired pieces are more beautiful and valuable than the originals.
Rob's absence has left me in a heap of brokenness, but I'm convinced that the Master Potter is not only picking up the fragile shards, but forming something better with my life. 
This second year might possibly be my kintsukuroi  year, the season He holds this marred, uprooted life in his merciful hands and forms a vessel full of strength and compassion and usefulness.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  Psalm 147:3
Behold, I am making all things new.  Rev. 21:5

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My journal is bloodied with pain; nothing in it is suitable for public perusal.  My second year of this journey proves crushingly hard...more difficult than the slow wade through the foggy first.  I'm much collateral loss.
Few write about this difficult year of grief, but the survivors seem to agree it is the loneliest and strikingly painful. 
" I wish someone would have warned me," a common theme among the spouses still standing.  
I agree.
"Time's up! Turn in your grief."  The mantra of the inexperienced and the cowardly...I, too, would like to rip this whole stinking test into little pieces, but this flicker of hope in me thinks this year is necessary. These might be the months He binds up my wounds.  
Like a novice backpacker, I keep discarding things that weigh me down, discovering what I truly need to walk out this arduous journey of grief.  I need God; this I know! day at a time.  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tammy Rene Pierce

How I remember that Sunday after church when a darling teenager, beautiful dressed, ran across the parking lot and straight into my heart.  
Tammy Rene Pierce, my confident, wise, forever friend.   My treasure…
Tammy's frame may have been small, but her heart was huge. It had to be; Tammy's super-sized God lived there and she never missed an opportunity to teach me about his great love.
Tammy taught me equally big lessons about living well.

Acts of kindness really do matter. 

When I lost my four-legged friend, Tammy sensed my hurt and immediately placed me on her permanent mailing list.   I could look forward to cut-out dogs and hand-printed love.  I’ll miss my “Tammy Mail.”

Pray, pray, and pray some more!   

When life weighed heavy with struggles and grief, I knew Tammy's faithful prayers were the first to reach God.  Simple, persistent prayers offered with great love and firm belief.

Some days you have to tell it like it is!

Tammy rarely beat around the bush.  We called it the "Gospel according to Tammy" at the Moore house…  All were treated equally and very few escaped her matter -of- fact opinion and you know;  she was usually right.

Life's little pleasures should be treasured.

Diet Coke breaks are best with a friend, life is well spent  in a sewing circle, bath products in duplicate ease the mind,  and family never grows old.

Tammy Rene Pierce, you've taught all of us how to live with big faith and a kind smile, to soar above great obstacles and now, how to run with courage straight into the arms of Jesus.

Sweet Tam, if I might borrow your own words.  I love you very, VERY much, my special friend.

Monday, April 6, 2015

...and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name. Isaiah 54:4-5 ESV
God, our Maker, becomes our Other Half,  a sweet devotional carved from Isaiah's words addressing captive Israel, widowed far away in Babylon.  I can see why the writer offers these verses to present-day widows, but Other Half just sits uncomfortably with me.  
Better described as My All, no divide, because Jesus fills. Other Half reminds me of Legos, plastic fitting snugly together and completed pie charts.  
Jesus, oh the Air I Breathe, finds his way into every needy air sac, every messy cell, when I invite Him.
When I invite Him...I must not forget that Jesus is a gentleman groom.  I'm a slow learner it seems; this "all" takes time for me to breathe in deeply. 
I wonder if this divine relationship is similar to our earthly marriages. We begin as two strong identities tethered, but at some point the divide blurs.  I began as nurse, artist, baby Christian (in that order,)but through miles of for better for worse, in sickness and health, I crept into Rob's DNA and he, mine. 
I want even more blur with Jesus...less of me, so more of Him. I need Him to become my DNA!
Jesus promises to fill, not fit...promises to invade, not just complete. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

They slip in gently and hold my hand, my sisters with their huge hearts and beautiful embraces.  The pew can easily be the loneliest of dwelling places, but these women sense my heartache and faithfully fill the empty spot that once was Rob's. They come from different aisles on different Sundays with  common purpose: to love me through this season. Joyce Landorf Heatherley calls them Balcony People, cheerleaders even in the darkest of times.    I keep coming because they keep coming.