Saturday, March 8, 2014

Real Life, Real Death, and Everything In Between

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psalm 116:15. We said goodbye this week to a beloved member of our congregation who lost his battle with cancer, dying "before his time." Dave's example and testimony will live on. My children watched with open eyes and observant minds as Dave was diagnosed and as he lived out before all of us a beautiful example of how to "die in the Lord." Those of us on the sidelines stand in awe of the grief his family must bear and the faith with which they are doing so.

Daffodils have been on my mind this week in connection with Dave. Last Saturday was St. David's day -- which is a sort of patriotic day for the country of Wales, David being their patron saint. And, daffodils are the flower of Wales so they all go together. Our own saint David has passed into glory this week with the daffodils just now becoming available for us to enjoy at home.

Rachel is in online public school at home this year. That meant she had to take ISTEP tests. We turned it into a fun few days with a few other friends who were also testing coming to spend two nights. Each morning we had a large brunch so the girls were ready for testing. And, we killed two birds with one stone by enjoying pancakes for brunch on Pancake Day!

Thursday found us back at homeschool group and my class with the girls. This week we made tissue paper flowers. Lots of good fun and everyone managed to make a bouquet before time was up.

A definite highlight of the week was my rescheduled Book Club Dinner Party discussion of "Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes ". You know I love having people around the table and we had eleven women around the table for three hours -- enjoying recipes from the book and discussing all manner of things related to food -- from new ingredients (we got out dates for several women who had never tried them and heard reports about first escapades with fresh ginger recently), to keeping the table a "safe zone", to the shame we feel in regards to our bodies or our homes, to our favorite foods, to memorable hospitality, to heaven and the feast references all through Scripture that give our hearts a table to long for in the midst of the pain of earth.

We even got out for our first walk in Eagle Creek Park!!! yay!!! Spring is on the move.....

Unexpected extra time is always welcome and reading is one of the best ways I find I can relax and refuel for life.

And this little Polly keeps us happy all the time. She's a good little companion and happily follows me about and is easily busied with something while I do my work.

One of the biggest thanksgivings I had this week was thyroid test results that show that my thyroid is back to normal after five very long, difficult months. What a relief! I haven't been this bad physically in seven years and I was beginning to accept the fact that I might be returning to a season of chronic fatigue. My heart is singing with joy again after the mild depression that comes with low thyroid. It's funny that so much of the growth and learning that takes place in my life though comes during times when I am unwell. I pray I will remember the lessons of the past few months. And my heart aches too for so many friends whose health issues are so much more involved than just a thyroid number. Dear friends, keep persevering with patience. There are treasures to be found in the darkness and even if they are few and far, far between sometimes the best treasures wait until the next life to be revealed. And, as we all know, life is never free from trials.

Well, it's back to real life now and I hope you all have a good weekend.

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Pom Pom said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Heather.
A Circle of Quiet is one of my all time favorites. I have lots of Gladys Taber books, too. Good reads.
The tissue flowers are lovely. I remember making them when I was about their age!

elizabeth said...

God bless the newly grieving family! What a blessing it is to know he died in Christ but so hard for those left behind... May God comfort them!

So glad you are feeling better; I know that when I had 6 months of mono last feb-august it was really HARD! fatigue is a real hard one...

I love M. L'Engle too!

So neat about your ladies book club! I would so love that! and such a pretty table setting!!

Karen Reyburn said...

Thank you, in pictures and in words, as always.

Heather said...

Beautiful post Heather - thank you for sharing so many of life's ups and down in such a sweet manner! God is good - no matter what struggle we face! I'm glad you are feeling better!

Anonymous said...

"Treasures in the darkness" - yes indeed. I'm really glad about your thyroid number, and very sorry about your friend. Loss is part of life, and as you say, there is treasure in that for us as well.