Love at a Table for One

“It Is Well With My Soul”

“When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll, 

Whatever thy lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul..” Horatio G. Spafford

In my browsing through past articles of my not so memorable prior life, I came across an article I saved for when I was ready to learn how to deal with what I thought I lost… in the death of my marriage. It was written by PH. D and posted in The St. Augustine Record found at St.Augustine.com, the story is told of the detailed events in a life that led to the lyrics of the well-known hymnal mentioned above. In my daily reading there are occasions where the written word will jump of the page and leap into my heart, but none quite like this one did. The words revisited made me dive down deep to my own well to check what they, when read out loud, mean to me… “It is Well with my Soul”

It was a gut check…

When I heard of the life he lost. I could feel it in my gut. All that I lost. If anyone out there is listening…. REAL LOVE HURTS and I know I am not the first to say so… but, when loss in love has reduced the fighting force behind the beat of the drum you march to, from any other number, to an army of one, the resulting pain can be devastating… gut wrenching so to speak.  I used to say (to myself); whoever said “it is better to have loved and loss than to never have loved at all”… must not have known what it really felt like to experience true love that was truly lost. It’s like that blow to stomach that you can’t quite recover from, the one that knocks the breath right out of you. The breath of life.

More than Love Lost

When you’re suddenly empty because everything that once fueled your spirit and drive to keep going has been removed from the table, you’re at risk of losing more than you think. The truth is, what’s really at stake is your appetite for life as you know it. Most can identify with knowing something major is lacking in life but can you identify with being satisfied with starvation? When you have succumbed to the fact that you’re no longer getting what you need (that is what’s going on)… you’re starving yourself and that can be a dangerous place to be.

“Done waiting on life? I don’t blame you.”

“I’m done.” That’s what they say. I’ve said it too. We’re all at a loss. It’s a toxic view to have on life… and what’s worse, is that according to you and everyone else, the view isn’t changing. When you’re at a loss and nobody has anything to offer to meet your need… the biggest problem is… no-one will blame you. Everyone tiptoes around the table and dares not to ask if you’d be interested in anything further on the menu because they know what you’ve been served. So with a pain in the pit of your belly, you just continue to sit.

Getting the Guts to Let Go!

Why is it so hard to let go of something that causes pain? The most common response I have heard myself and others say to that question is “I just want to understand why.” We all want to know why everything happens to us, because if we can learn the reason then maybe we can make sure it doesn’t happen again or at the very least we can be better prepared the next time, but we’ll be waiting at a table for one forever for the answer to arrive because everything is not about “us”. The painful truth is… the reason for your loss may have nothing to do with “Y-O-U” but the pain you’re continuing to experience over it is due to nothing but you. I’m not saying you asked for it but you can’t ask for anything else because it’s taking up all the real estate on your plate.

Go on and help yourself! Life after loss.

Looking back at when I was living with all that  I lost… the “self-help” I sought, when I was at a loss is laughable to say the least. If you’re trying to help yourself… can I just say… you can’t give what you have not received. If you’re running on empty… you have to go to another source. Who better than the one Horatio G. Spafford turned to when he sought to be well… when all was lost.

You’re invited!

I know this may be hard to believe but once upon a time… I was at a loss for words. I felt like I was losing it all, including my mind… until someone gave me an invitation like no other. There is a table I sit at now… with one that can truly meet every need. His name is Jesus. He found me when all was lost and I was left alone.

From one more single Christian soul to another… I repeat, as Anna Spafford said in two telegraphed words. I am “saved alone.”

Won’t you join me and come open…

He continues to stand and knock at

THE DOOR!

The Season a Caged Bird Sings

What first seems hard can set you free… confessions and expressions of me.

beautiful girl

Dwelling in the desert can be a miserable state, until you come to the well.

Well, well, well… here we meet again. Just in time for dinner and a show!

As this season nears its end, there is something I think you should know

From time to time, I reason in rhyme…I don’t know why, it’s just how it goes

Time to change the tune of my song… it’ll be a bit different, to make you smile for a while, from this point on.

My Heart’s Song

As it was so delicately worded, when first I heard it;

The love song you placed in my heart

Like lyrical lemonade, once bitter now sweetly swayed

What you’ve spoken has set me apart

In time separated, my own thoughts negated

The dash, I perceived as a dart

For what’s in between, you hold what’s unseen

In the end… I will sing

O’ say can I see….. that you’ve truly been there from the start

black and white bird birdcage cage
Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

 

In a word…  in case you hadn’t heard, this bird has been set free.

#BELOVED

“Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow. that I shall say good night, til it be morrow.” William Shakespeare

Seasoned for a Reason… I am

The ME in the Mirror

sunset beach night reflection
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

I AM in the Mirror…

Standing in the sand on the edge of the shore,

looking with hope for something more

Been diving deep but coming up dry,

to my reflection I can only ask why

God, can you help me see beyond what’s in me?

He responds… “Who are you questioning? You or me?

The heat of the day brings an unquenchable thirst;

you see what’s on the horizon and need to expect more than the worst.

You limit what is seen by what can be expected from you

But if you’re asking me… I have much more in store for you to do.

Where you are now, at the edge of the shore

is not as important as what you are now, a vessel on which I AM aboard.”

I AM in the mirror.

 

 

 

 

The Season to Surrender to

lunch table salad
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Okay… let me pause before saying grace for a moment.

I was in the stores the other day and I somehow found myself surrounded  by the things of a different season. I really try not to get ahead of myself because  I have already learned the hard lesson that to all things there is an order. But what in the world is a girl to do when she finds herself suddenly surrounded by pumpkins, gourds and cornucopia upon bales of hay in the middle of July?

I mean… I am not trying to be a complainer. My mother taught me “If you don’t got anything good to say then don’t say anything at all”. I just honestly lack the desire for the time of giving thanks to be upon us already. If I can be real for a moment, I am just not there yet. I am still trying to maintain through the rest of the summer, as I struggle to straggle into church every Sunday morning looking like I just got done sweating’ to the oldies!

To be honest, what upset me most about my sudden leap into Fall was that it caused me to be confronted with a question that made me dig a little deeper than I would have liked. The question: what are you doing to prepare to give thanks?

The impossible thought: a harvest in the desert

Here’s the deal. In my mind there is a season for everything. Those of you that know me personally, know that I can be a tad-bit overzealous about keeping things in order. I don’t like to put the cart before the horse, so to speak and when I am in a dry season, I realize where I am and I am prepared to weather it. However, I am not investing in any land there or expecting to see the harvest when I turn the corner.

I have read in many a good book about preparing to reap abundant fruit and I know it doesn’t start with planting, it starts with breaking ground. In order to break ground, one must purchase a plot of land to be worked first. Now, I’m no girly girl… I don’t mind breaking a sweat, especially for the things of God, and I am pretty used to hard work; I just don’t like to get my hands dirty or in this case, sandy. The root of my issue is my fear of digging deep in my faith. When it comes to what I expect God to do, I hesitate to go all in and risk failing. I play it safe and tend to take a step back and let somebody else start to plow the way first.

Plowing where I’m planted

I just have been thinking backwards. I’m looking ahead at me failing but it’s Him that can never fail me… that I fail to see. Now you find me here, in the desert. Have I been planted where I am for a purpose? In my search for heavenly love… is it possible we will get to see (cough-cough) manna fall from heaven or something even better? As I dig deeper to find true love… perhaps we should both prepare for what’s to come in this unexpected season. Who knows, by doing so, we may end up with an overflowing bucket full of gratitude for all the fruitful things coming. God gives in measures according to his own scale. I am getting back on good grounds here, and I am preparing to give thanks for what lies ahead.

orange pumpkin near white ceramic mug with seeds
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

A Second Opinion

“Health is not valued until sickness comes.” Thomas Fuller

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For all of you Web MD “what’s wrong with me” google search hounds out there… here’s a pill for you to swallow…. you need to stop writing your own scripts. Perhaps you don’t feel the pain quite enough to entertain the thought of surrendering to an authority on the subject of love just yet. I am really trying to make your search for love less of a pain, not the opposite, but some of us can be real gluttons for punishment. It seems the gloves will have to go back on. Don’t worry, if you’re allergic to latex, I have vinyl.

My friend that suffered with the loss of her father came to a point where she realized death was standing on her doorstep. Not a physical death but the pain of what she lost was causing her to take herself out of the race, so to speak. “I literally felt like I lost a part of my life.” is how she describes it. Ironically, when we suddenly find ourselves without, the very pain we have or are experiencing from our loss in love or life is exactly what keeps us from getting it checked out. It’s a sick thought but we’d rather keep the pain we have to prevent the pain we fear is coming.

The diagnosis: You’re Love-sick

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick….” Proverbs 13:12

Where hope for love without pain seems lost we can become ill-mannered. You are love-sick when you are so in love, or missing the one you love so much that you forget how to act normally. Who is this person I speak of… the one you are so in love with? It’s yourself. Rather, the former version of yourself, prior to the loss you suffered. To put it lightly, in the words of Roy Orbison, “You’ve lost that loving feeling” for yourself and you want it back so bad you forget how to act appropriately in response to the pain.

When we refuse to surrender and let go of what hurts…there are three unhealthy ways we respond to our self-diagnosed condition:

  1. Preservation – Self-preservation or the “survival of the fittest” mentality causes us to keep everything to ourselves. No bueno! It means your just stacking pain pills in your mental medicine cabinet to give yourself another dose later. Crazy much?
  2. Pride – Being too proud to seek or take help or advice from another means you think you know better. Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction”. That sounds pretty dangerous to me.
  3. Pleasure – Pleasing yourself to appease the pain means you’re just pushing the issue of your heart to the side for later. Pleasure dulls the pain just enough for you function temporarily… but the high wears off. When what pleases you ceases, that’s when you reach back into the mental medicine cabinet for that self-preservation script. That’s painfully crazy.

The pain of letting go

Going through the motions of the first year after the loss of her father, my friend struggled to find a healthy outcome to her hurt. She was used to being the one there for others but with the one she longed to be there gone, she battled daily over letting it go. There were a lot of days where she threw in the towel emotionally and the ups and downs brought on bouts of illness. So how do you bounce back and get your healthy love of life to return while dealing with the pain of loss? What she did was surrender it.

To most of us surrender means we lose the control, which is scary for pretty much every one I know.  We would all rather stick to what is familiar, even if it hurts us. Letting go means you might lose it all and it’s natural for us to fight to preserve what little we have. However, when you are at a loss, believing in yourself only goes so far. My friend was familiar with the only one that is the authority on all of life and love. It hurt to let go but…. because of Him…

she_believed_NEW-01_1400x

Take a Second

Take a few to enjoy the view as we step back in time to the beginning. Like movie clips I see the moments of love past, at least the ones worthy of remembering.

 

“In all the world there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world there is no love for you like mine.”  Maya Angelou

As I take a sip of my morning tea and think about what comes next, I can’t help but be reminded of all that has already occurred. In one weeks time we have made progress by leaps and bounds and we are off to a great start but I recognize there is still so much more to take in. I am taken back by where to begin.

Let me start with the cup from which I choose to drink.

 

In Remembrance of Me

What do I remember in this time of you?
All you did for me and do for them too.
Examining myself, am I worthy of this?
You give everything for me and still I am amidst
a world full of troubles, trial and strife.
My focus is diverted by the pull on my life.
You prayed in the garden for the cup to be passed
but His will transpired, for you remained steadfast.
A willing sacrifice made so I could continue to stand,
forgiven of the trespasses done by my own hands.
I eat of this bread and drink of this cup…
but will I open the door and allow Him to interrupt?
blur caffeine cappuccino close up
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com
I look forward to the next time you join me to sup!

 

First tell me… What is Love?

white balloons
Photo by spemone on Pexels.com

“Love is… actually”

Listening contently to the laughter of the one that you let go

The open door and offered hand to someone you don’t know

A free ride to the mountain-top view from the valley you’re stuck in

…. at the lowest of the low

It’s for everything and everyone, everywhere raindrops and rivers flow

 

First things first… not looking to burst your bubble this morning but talking about the business of love is no one liner. It takes quite some time for our  thoughts and ideas on love to mature. So this is a topic that will need to be broken down into bite-size pieces.

topless toddler with pants sitting on white surface while looking up
Photo by Henley Design Studio on Pexels.com

So, looking at it from its beginning stages is where we’ll start. If there was ever a good place to start… it’s at the beginning.

“In the beginning….”

Do you know where it is? I think that’s the basic building block to establishing a foundation of a good conversation about a never-ending topic.

Seeking out the meaning of love starts with really looking at how we define it. If we hope to ever find it; we have to be on the same page. Before hesitation really sets in about what I am cooking up here, let me first remind you of the invitation to join me in what I hope to be a sweet success.

The journey to discovering what true love really is, is not a trip I recommend taking alone. I am going to take the first step and ask you to join me in learning about love as it was always meant to be. So get to bed early and we can start the journey where all things begin… when we first see the light!

baby in black pants holding white balloon while standing
Photo by Henley Design Studio on Pexels.com

This is my morning fruit. I hope it’s appealing enough for you to come again.

Now that you’ve found me… feel free to let me know where I can find you.