Monday, February 22, 2010

The End of Trouble

Fourteen months ago, I lost my Grandpa Charlie. I didn't know that I'd be losing my Grandma - on the other side of the family - almost exactly three months after that. This past week, I lost my other Grandfather...

 Alexis & Grandpa CGHS Graduation 1991

Somewhere in my mind is that annoying voice that announces loudly, "Three down, one to go". Um - NO... I'm so not ready for that. But let me tell ya, I'm not the one in charge. Never have been, never will be.

It feels as though I've been sitting on the edge of my seat ever since those back to back funerals last year, dreading to see what would happen next. Somewhere in a recent post, I mentioned something about losing a dear cousin, as well as an Aunt this past year, and for a fleeting moment, I was hoping that would be the end of sad things, and missing people for a good long while. 

At times, I want so desperately to see an end in sight, not necessarily for myself, but for what this must be putting my parents through. I am smart enough to know that the only end to troubles in life IS death. I also know that if you have the Lord as the head of your life, then death is not something to be mourned, but celebrated. It makes grief easier to bear when those you love are with the Lord, but it also makes grief more difficult to cope with when you know they didn't have that focus on Christ.

My last remaining Grandparent, Grandma Alice, is still hanging in there. Her mind doesn't know us anymore, and her body spends most all of its time resting between visits from the attendants at her care facility and my Mom. Right now she's sick with a virus that someone unknowingly shared with her and it has caused Pneumonia. We don't even know if she'll make it through this coming weekend, but I'm sure that when she goes on to meet our Savior, which I have no doubts about, that we will be all rejoice that she is finally HOME and in a place that she can be free from the confinements of a human body.

On the topic of grief, a wonderful woman I know, a friend from my High School days, lost her younger sister in December. I had considered this friend and her two sisters to all be friends of mine at one time in my past, and when I heard of this death, it shook me up quite a bit. But to watch this woman go through her grief process, to see her reach out to others in her time of need has really amazed me. She never once lost faith.

Just yesterday, this friend from my past shared the shocking news that her older sister had just passed away as well. Completely unbelievable - that this precious woman of God would be dealt another astounding blow in such a short time. Yet again, within hours she was showing her faith. She was sharing the unwavering belief that God is holding her, and the family, through these dark hours. I'm not sure where she got it from, but here's what she posted this just this morning:

Faith is exactly what it takes to get through uncertainty. Faith is not necessary when you know how things are going to work out, - that's knowledge. It's in the time of unknowing that having faith is what sees you through to the other side. Faith is what gives you strength. Faith is that light in your heart that keeps on shining even when it's all darkness outside. Now is the time to keep that faith alive!

I do declare that I'm going to adopt this attitude, and start remembering just what it is that gets each and every one of us from one side of our day to the other. Thank you Lord, for using one person's grief to reach out and help heal mine. Amen.

Now it's time to get my rear in gear for our little road trip to California. Services are on Thursday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Learning as I Go

This past October, I got to meet Lisa Whelchel. Remember her? From the Facts of Life? She was that obnoxious blonde character who was always better than everyone else at everything. Ok, I should probably come out and tell you the truth. I didn't actually "meet" her, but I got to hear her speak. 

Lisa talked in such a way that I felt as if I'd actually had a conversation with her, and so today when I got an email from her, I was pretty quick to read it. Alright, so it wasn't just to me from her, but it was from the mailing list I get as a past attender of Women of Faith Conferences, which is where I met her where I listened to her speak.

She talked about focusing on discovering each others strengths and then and ministering to each other with those strengths. What a novel idea! I'd like to share a link with you that she included to help give you a rough idea of what your strengths may be. It's through Marcus Buckingham's website where you can also pick up his book: Find Your Strongest Life What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently 

Want to know another cool thing? I get to meet him this coming October. *grin*

Go take the short test here:
 (And if you're an iPhone user - there's an app for that!) I'd love to hear what you learned about yourself!

My results are as follows... a little surprising to me, though I'm not sure why because I can really relate.

Lead Role

You begin by asking:
'How can I raise the energy?'

You are acutely aware of the energy in the room, and you feel compelled to do what you can to elevate it. You do this with your outlook—you are an instinctively optimistic person.
Your best quality:
Your infectious energy
You Always:
Step in and take responsibility for the group
Be careful you:
Don’t get sucked dry by emotional vampires
Your smartest career move:
Any job where you’re paid to keep a group of people excited.

Supporting Role

You begin by asking:
'Who can I connect?'

You see the world as a web of relationships, and you are always excited by the prospect of connecting two new people within your web.
Your best quality:
Your genuine curiosity
You Always:
Trust in your web of relationships
Be careful you:
Don’t push people together who shouldn’t be
Your smartest career move:
Any job where you’re paid to speed up the connection between people.