When He is All You Have

My beloved is the best . . . but he is asleep as I bemoan my sorry lot.

He holds me close . . . until I react to some scent on his manly body.

It should have a wonderful effect . . . but it does not anymore, sadly.

Such are the ravages of severe illness . . . the kind that makes everything hay-wired.

If I could explain it to you . . . then it would be from understanding myself,

And I cannot dear friend . . . so woe are my words, this night, once again.

But not forever, all night, or after a little while . . .

For He speaks into my heart song . . .

And makes all kinda nice.

My Jesus understands for he hung on a wooden cross . . .

With nails in his hands and feet, a spear thrust in his side.

I could never endure imagine that kind of pain, even if my head banged all night . . .

Let’s just say my Lord knows suffering so His tears comfort me alright.

Even if this Doc or that hath not have the medication right for me . . .

My beloved says healing will still come and my own fasting indicates so.

I shall do what I gotta do to manage this chaos . . . even if I never leave the table by the window at the café of the health food store

Because I can’t think straight and seizures are pushing up from within:  unsafe to make my way home until I stabilize.

“Cmon my Jesus, drive me home

It’s dark already and you are all that I have tonight.”

And so He did when He was all I had.

Goodnight again.

JJ

 

 

 

The Night Watch

Psalm, Psalm 42:8, fear at night, comfort at night, God is with me, in the night, joy comes in the morning, getting through the night, blog at nightAnd so the night watch begins

As my beloved tucks himself part way under the covers, the cool air circulates around him and our home.

He looks so peaceful as he collapses into bed,

Having worked the day long and again this evening to make things right with our world.

The pup slumbers on the floor behind me

With her own watchful eye as the big storm rumbles outside in the darkness;

Another night begins and I am hungry

The wretched episode and weathering inside my own body now behind me once again.

It’s a strange life, that is clear:

The promise of new treatments,
my meager attempts to go on . . .

Let me pretend I am doing something worthwhile

When my world stops shaking and I find you here, Gentle Reader, ready to make sense of it all.

Sometimes there is no sense to be made

We simply endure, do our due diligence to survive:

Touching something meaningful when the opportunity comes our way

Then letting it all go to the escape of sleep whether by night or by the dawn cometh soon.

Perhaps this night will bring fruitfulness

Maybe I’ll be able to write something of worth?

There is certainly much to do alone here with you as the keys light up and my mind slowly turns on;

My Lord is here with me so something good, something meaningful might happen yet this evening!

Since I cannot be sure but the time will pass anyways,

I better get something to eat before “dinner” slides into breakfast, hunger into weakness

Then maybe my brain will come back online too.  If this is to be my shift I better get to my assigned duties of late —

If I am to be awake, the most of it I shall make again and again.  Who knows, maybe something good may be too?

Yes, something good may be too.  JJ

When I look up

From my truck I see kayak racks:  looks like it’s time for a road trip South.

From our flagstone patio I see the bluest hue of sky that comes with the chill of this season.

From my jewelry studio comes the reflections of many table lamps bouncing off the walls as I strain to create, to sew, to knot into the night.

From our bed I ponder this life as the hours pass in the dark, in the light since the popcorn ceiling never made any sense when I tried to connect the dots up there anyways.

From lying on the kitchen floor I cover my eyes and cradle my head to minimize the brightness of the nickel light fixture, the damage from the internal unrest tossing me about, and the discomfort from not making it to the bed in time.  The pup sniffing my hair is sweet indeed.

And when I look up from my heart to my mind’s eye I see my Lord who whispers His words of comfort that this strife too shall pass.  He makes all things new don’t you know and this happens whether we can see it, feel it, find it in this fleeting moment of a day.  This is where I must persevere as I never cease to look beyond today to a better tomorrow.  It must come.  It will come!  Oh yes, it does.

Psalm 121 (NIV)

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

puffy clouds

 

Wide-eyed and bushy tailed: Part 1 of 2

This pup can sleep no matter where she is or what time of day it is.  I’ll bet she is not alone in this.  Most dogs can sleep all day long if they like.  I guess it helps to have 2 layers of eyelids with one covered in heavy fur!  And in my experience, many of the male homo sapiens genre can sleep at will too!  🙂

Squinting early Spring 2014crop

 

Not so for me.  After a rough night, rough afternoon, and low grade episode in the middle of the night it’s as if I have toothpicks holding my eye lids open.  In about an hour my alarm will go off in anticipation of a birthday surprise outing for my beloved husband.  It has been re-scheduled or re-configured six times over the past week with the location, State, and parties involved changing many times due to various extraneous factors.  He only knows about the date changes.  Steve has been a champ through it all!  I kept him guessing with clues and silly gifts.  The changes of date, time, etc. has actually helped keep everything a secret.  I just hope I hold out too!

Sometimes sheer adrenaline gets you through that which you could never do on your own.  I know my Jesus is out front so please:  take the helm!

Seeya later with all of the details and pictures.  I’m headed for a puppy pillow.

:J

Parking Lot Poem #1

Sure was a tough time in my life when transitioning from married life to single life.  The refining fire was intense, laden with more trauma than I ever thought I would endure in such a short period of time.  Separation, divorce, 5 moves, 4 jobs, 2 injuries, a condo fire, death of 3 family members, and my mother’s cancer story contributed to over-the-top stress.  I have so much to be grateful for these days, that’s for sure!

So how did I cope?  First my faith in the Lord grew stronger.  Second, I needed counsel and found it through a few remaining close friends and a professional or two.  Three different support groups related to grief and divorce convinced me that it was not me who was going crazy:  my life circumstances were crazy!  I began journaling more regularly too.  Perhaps if blogging was in vogue in 2004 I would have started mine back then as well.  But one of the most useful tools was the smallest:  a little spiral notebook in the console of my car . . .

I’m not quite sure where the idea came from to journal in my car.  I found a small pocket-sized steno book called the “fat lil’ notebook” and kept it with me for making notes to myself.  One day it hit me when I felt completely lost that maybe I needed to write a little something more to clear my head, right there in the parking lot on June 10, 2004.  The first entry that I can find went like this:

It’s another parking lot poem this noon

Alas a month later in the rainy part of June.

My new job must end to save my integrity

And the work ethic I’ve carried with me for decades.

So now which way to turn, oh Lord

The great authority and provider of my life?

This makes no sense and yet it does:

To trust you no matter the chaos my days do bring.

For in the end or looking back when down the road,

I’ll see this day as one leaned on faith

And be glad I knew you when and where

I napped in the parking lot before a great swim once again.

 Years later it all made sense to me why the parking lot poems were so meaningful to me.  When we take a drive somewhere, we park our cars and go into a business or residence of some sort and leave our vehicle for a time.  We return later, put our belongings somewhere near us, turn the key in the ignition, and take off for our next destination.  The time in the parking lot or driveway is a point of transition from one destination to another.  We have completed one activity, gathered our things, and prepared to make our way to the next location.  During the short time when we are sitting and stationary, we might have a quick thought about what has transpired (did we accomplish something or did we encounter difficulties?) and think about where we are headed next (how do I get there and who will I see/what will I do there?).  The brief moment allows us to re-group, re-gather, re-launch until it’s time to go back home again.  This time goes quickly for most folks, I reckon.

That time did not go quickly for me at all.  I often got stuck in the parking lot when I was trying to move from one activity to the next.  I cannot explain it exactly.  I just know that the overwhelming burden of my life at that time made it nearly impossible at times to make transitions, change activities, or gear up for the next item on my “to do” list.  Have you ever experienced this Gentle Reader?  I just could not move on.  I couldn’t even tolerate music or news on my radio as it became like noise in a crowded bus terminal laden with diesel fumes.  I would often sit there in my little black race car (aka Honda Civic) in silence for what felt like a long time before I organized my thoughts and initiated the steps to get going again.  This is where the Parking Lot Poems changed everything.

Poetry is a looser form of communication than prose.  There aren’t as many rules in free form poetry, you can stop and start at any point, and emotions can blurt themselves onto the page in incomplete sentences.  It gets the words out quicker, eh?  Do you want to hear something else crazy?  After that 3-year period of time when writing poetry was such an instrumental tool in coping and healing, I stopped writing poetry.  I guess I didn’t need it anymore.  Oh I tried a few times but the words simply did not flow freely.  No more parking lot poems for me!  My favorite poem that was initially written in a parking lot became part of a 9-foot mural on a wall in my home, the one with the custom window treatments I wrote about earlier this past week.  I’ll save the story about “The Wall” for another time.

For this early morning writing, I’m just using my newer friend of blogging instead.  I am having trouble sleeping this day due to some noxious events.  Sure got some good thinking done tonight though and for that I am grateful.  Better go park myself back in bed before the sun comes up and try to make a go of sleeping again.

Thank you Lord for your gift of words.  Your Word is how we know you and fall in love with you.  Hmmmm.  Reminds me of a song.  May I sing it in my heart to you Lord?

Words