"Falling in love is the easy part.
It is quite different from being in love.
If you are blessed,
you fall in love with your spouse again a little bit every day.
Love is a choice,
a decision to love no matter what the day brings.
You are in love because you choose to be in love.
You made a promise, a commitment, to love each other."
Author Unknown


Monday, December 9, 2013

1st Anniversary

 

Hello Friends,

One year ago today, at 10:12 a.m., my dear husband and best friend Mark when home to be with Jesus.

This time last year I was very despondent as you can well imagine, but I was not without hope and my strength to get through each day was and still is the strength of Jesus.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Grief was so overwhelming those first few months, and even a month or two ago I had the worst bout of grieving ever.  Sobbing so much I hurt physically. I just cried out to God to heal my broken heart and to get me through the pain. He has, He did and He is.

Grief still has a way of sneaking up on me, when I least expect it. The tears can be triggered by anything, and I just let them flow.  They are healing, they are precious to God. Remember, everyone of us grieves differently, don’t let anyone tell you how to do it.

I shed some tears yesterday as I decorated the trees as I miss Mark very much. His birthday is the 20th so we had much to celebrate this time of year.

I feel his love all around me.  I see it in so many things he did here in our little haven . My love for him continues to grow and I am thankful for the love we shared those 43 years of marriage. We grew up together and grew through lessons learned in our life and I am still learning and growing.

Through all the pain of this great loss, God has shown me so much love, He has drawn me closer to Him and He has given me a greater love and compassion for others.

I was led to a wonderful Christian group of widowed ladies and a church I enjoy very much. I was asked to be part of the staff of this group of widows, as photographer after I created a blog for them, Friends Needing Friends. This group was started by a lovely and fun lady, Dotti Ackerman.  She first started a group in NJ about 25 years ago, then came to FL and started our group a couple of years ago. She is much loved by both groups.

Meeting these ladies and becoming a part of their lives has been a blessing to me.

I am thankful for the widow friends I have made online. For the blogs of widows, and for my followers who have helped me so much during this past year. You all are a blessing in my life. I am thankful for family who have also blessed me with their love and support, and physical labor too.

Love and encouragement are so needed by widows. To be listened to, to be able to talk about their loved ones helps tremendously with their grieving.  Hugs are much appreciated too.

Nothing and no one can ever take the place of our dear husbands, they were the other half of ourselves.  We learn to live a new life, one of trust in God more than ever before.

I have read a LOT during this past year and have been blessed and encouraged and uplifted so much. The Bible has been the greatest source of comfort as well as books for widows and writings online and blogs.

I just read something in a book this past week or so and it is this ~ "We reproach ourselves when those we love are taken.  But, if we meditate, we can see how they can inspire our lives, make our years more significant by their lessons."

One of the last things dear Mark said to me was "Be kind." Not that long ago I came across a piece on you tube that really touched my heart along these same lines.

A young photographer went around NYC photographing thousands of real people and asked them what piece of advice they would have for a large audience.  One lady he came up to in pouring down rain was a widow in her 80’s, standing under a colorful umbrella. Her piece of advice was this. “I’ll tell you what my dying husband told me when I asked him what will I do without you in my life.  He told her, “Take that love you would have given me and spread it around.”

That still gets to me as I write and read the words again.  I loved my husband deeply, he was my life, and seeing this story was a gift from him and from God for me to carry on and ‘spread the love’.

I feel joy and peace on this first anniversary of Mark’s  leaving this planet. I know where he is and one day we will be reunited and live with Jesus forever. It will all be more wonderful than we can even imagine.

For all of those just coming into this new life of being a widow or widower, know that it will get easier.  You don't think so right now, and I didn't think so either, but God has been my strength, He has blessed me in many ways. I am trusting Him as my husband now to work all things out. I look to Him for guidance, help, love and healing. You can too. His love, grace, peace and healing are yours for the asking. Trust Him, He will never leave or forsake you.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

~ Remember Philippians 4:13 ~

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you,

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

******

07-05-from-nanci-john

The photo above was taken by friends of mine and Mark’s who I had told about his telling me ‘be kind’. They were up north and the husband saw the sign and told the wife to stop, back up.  You should take a picture of this sign for Rainey.  When she went to take the picture and saw the name of the church she said something like,  ‘you’re not going to believe this’.  The name of the church.

A coincidence , I hardly think so.

God works in mysterious ways,

His wonders to perform.

This was yet another gift of love from God to me,

and from Mark to me.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Still moving forward

 

Each new day is a gift! We can either wallow in self-pity, or be thankful to God for his many blessings in our life. It’s been eight months now since my dear husband went to be with his Maker and while I still miss him every single day, I am not as distraught as I was at first.

Jesus has been my strength, seeing me through every step of my journey. He is filling my life with his love, peace and strength. I still have times of tears, but I also have times of thankfulness and joy for the 43 years of marriage we had.

I am going through things, doing some rearranging and making forward progress in this new life I’m living. I ask Jesus for help and he gives it. I am excited about an indoor project I am working on and while doing this have found some real treasures in artwork done by my husband. I’ve come across other things too and my love for him continues to grow even though he’s no longer here. God blessed me by answering my prayer as a young girl when I prayed for Him to send me someone who loved me and someone for me to love as well.

On the 8th of next month is the anniversary of our marriage, it would have been our 44th.  I still plan to fix a nice dinner, as I always did, to celebrate the love and our life that God blessed us with.  I am thankful.

I am also thankful for this time in my life of drawing closer to Jesus. He brought me to where I am, he knows all that I am going through and he knows what he as in store for me.

MKJV ~ Jer 29:11 ~ For I know the purposes which I am purposing for you, says Jehovah; purposes of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I want to rest daily in God’s tender loving care, to grow in his grace.

May you do the same.

FlowerLady Lorraine

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Moving along, one step at a time

 

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I posted in this blog.  I post regularly in my main blog FlowerLady’s Musings, as I have followers there who have become friends and like family to me since I started blogging in 2008. They have been following our projects, etc. and have been a tremendous source of support, love, encouragement since losing my dear husband. They want to hear about how I am doing day to day.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss my husband, and the tears flow whenever they feel like it.   But, I am settling into my new groove, continuing to trust God to work all things out. It’s a moment to moment trusting God, one step at a time.

Being a part of the widow’s group, FNF ~ Friends Needing Friends ~ has really been a blessing to me. God led me to them for His purpose, His honor and glory. My prayer is to be able to help other widows in this journey that we are on.

Every day is a new day, in this adventure, where we can trust in God or wallow in our despair. He is not done with us yet, we have much to live for, and much living to do. He works through our grief to bring others to Him. He will give us joy once again, I see glimpses of it, and knowing my husband is with Him, fills my heart with joy.

Let us all remember to:

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;

and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Proverbs 3:5

***

FlowerLady

Friday, June 21, 2013

Serenity

What is serenity? I did a Google search and here is what I came up with.

Definition: The state or quality of being serene

the absence of mental stress or anxiety

Thesaurus:
peace of mind, peacefulness, repose, peace, heartsease
quietude, quietness, tranquility - a state of peace and quiet

Most of us have heard of the Serenity Prayer. We are very familiar with the first part. I cross-stitched it for my late MIL when I was a newlywed living in Spain. My husband framed it in the base hobby shop, and we mailed it to her and it hung in her kitchen until the estate was settled after my late FIL passed away.  It is now hanging in my kitchen.

I looked at it this morning as I was pouring my coffee, and sighed. “Serenity”, That is definitely something I need in my life. I have moments of it throughout my days, but I wish to have it continually.

06-21-serenity

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Reinhold Niebuhr

***

I can only have this serenity

by trusting in God all day long

in everything that comes my way.

***

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart,
and lean not upon thine own understanding:
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.
Pro 3:5-6

***

Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  
For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.

Mat 11:29-30

I am into my 6th month in this journey of widowhood. I am learning as I go along.  Every day is a gift. I am ‘puttering’ in my home and gardens, in my husbands workshop, getting into different routines, living without my ‘love’ of 43 years.  I am being drawn closer to God, and that is priceless. He is with me every step of the way. He blesses me and teaches me.  He loves me. My husband is in His presence, rejoicing in God’s greatness. He knows that all is working out, while in my earthly existence I am still trusting and hoping. 

And we know that to them that love God
all things work together for good,
even to them that are called
according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

***

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,
saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace,
and not of evil,
to give you hope in your latter end.
Jer 29:11

***

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning;
for in thee do I trust:
cause me to know the way wherein I should walk;
for I lift up my soul unto thee.
Psa 143:8

 

In your name dear Jesus I pray,

FlowerLady

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stand by me

 

Sunday morning the sermon at church was on fear.  It is a choice. Fear is in our imagination. Yes, there are things out there that can harm us, but most of what we fear never happens.

Do we choose to live in fear, or live by faith and trust in God to continually take care of us in all situations?

As God’s dear little ones, we need to focus on Him. He is God Almighty. We are very precious to Him, so much so that He knows how many hairs each of us has on our heads.

He also thinks of us.

08-15-how-precious_thumb[3]

Yesterday morning the song Stand by Me was running through my head, a favorite of mine and my husband.  It has to do with being a couple, but to me now it has to do with my trusting in God.

Here is a portion of the song that touches me.

When the night has come and the land is dark

And the moon is the only light we'll see

No, I won't be afraid,

oh, I won't be afraid

Just as long as you stand, stand by me

(I changed the words to this next part to say this)

So Jesus, Jesus,
stand by me,
oh, stand by me
Oh, stand, stand by me,
stand by me

 

 

Let us not be afraid, but keep our hearts and minds on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith

***

Be strong and of a good courage,
fear not,
nor be afraid of them:
for the LORD thy God,
he it is that doth go with thee;
he will not fail thee,
nor forsake thee.

And the LORD,
he it is that doth go before thee;
he will be with thee,
he will not fail thee,
neither forsake thee:
fear not,
neither be dismayed.
Deu_31:6 & 8

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power,
and of love,
and of a sound mind. 
2Ti_1:7

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro_3:5

***

Dear Jesus ~ Thank you for loving us, for caring for us with your tender mercies. May we not be afraid but trust in you always.

Love one of your little ones ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Six months

It will be six months tomorrow since my dear husband went to be with God his Creator and the Lover of his soul. How wonderful it must be to be ‘with’ God with no more cares about this world, no more pain, no more sorrow, no sin.

One day I will also be ‘with’ God in the same way, with no more pain, no more sorrow , no more sin.  Right now, God is with me as I walk this life’s road, missing my best friend, my mentor, my love. God comforts me through prayer, His word, through music, through people. He is with me every step of the way.  He has promised to never leave or forsake me.

In spite of the sadness of missing my husband, there is joy to be found in every day too. Seeing butterflies as they flit and drift about, landing on flowers for nectar. The sweet songs of birds that fill the air. The scents of freshly mown grass, of flowers, of delicious foods. Blue skies, rain to water gardens.  There are new friends, and old relationships being renewed.

I have much to be thankful for on this continuing journey.  The journey isn’t the same as it was in the past 43 years, it’s different. God is leading me, showing me new ways to trust in Him.

My prayer for each and every day is:

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning;
for in thee do I trust:
cause me to know the way wherein I should walk;
for I lift up my soul unto thee.
Psa 143:8

May you feel God’s love presence flowing through and surrounding you as you walk your own journey.

FlowerLady Lorraine

 

06-02-zebra

Monday, June 3, 2013

A song, more tears, projects

 

A song has run through my mind for many, many years.  I first heard and sang it as a 10th grader in high school. I boarded at Toccoa Falls Academy in Georgia that year, a Christian Missionary Alliance school and college.  I lived in an old 2 story house with other high school girls. We had house parents and we had a college-age monitor or two.  Each evening before bed we all would gather together, in the main room, and lined up on the stair case in our night clothes, for devotions and songs. 

This song has blessed me so much through the years, but most especially while my dear husband was so ill and since he has gone to be with Jesus.  I got up the nerve to sing it to my husband while he was laying in bed near the end.  He didn’t know the words and he sang along outloud with his own words thanking Jesus for me.  That gets to me every time I think about it.

The song is “Thank you Jesus for all You’ve done” by Ruth G. Hallett. I have tried to find this sung or played by anyone on you tube, but so far haven’t done so.  The melody is sweet. It is a regular song on my heart as I go about my daily business of caring for home, gardens and myself.

Here are the lyrics:

Thank You, Jesus, for all You've done.
Thank You, Lord.
Thank You, Jesus, for vict'ries won,
O thank You, Lord.

For Thy love and tender care,
For Thy Word and answered prayer.
Thank You, Jesus, for all You've done.
Thank You, Lord.

Thank You, Jesus, for love like Thine.
Thank You, Lord.
Thank You, Jesus, for grace divine.
O thank You, Lord.

For Thy cross of Calvary,
For Thy blood that cleanseth me,
Thank You, Jesus, that Thou art mine.
Thank You, Lord.

******

Sunday will make 6 months since my soul mate and best friend, the love of my life, went to be with his Maker. Today I was standing at the window in the bank and the tears just started flowing and I couldn’t stop them.  The lady asked if I was ok, and I told her I had lost my husband in December and that sometimes the grief just sneaks up on me.  She was sorry for my loss, we finished our business and I went on my way.

I didn’t even feel like finishing my errands as it looked like it was going to rain, and after that episode at the bank, I lost all momentum to continue on, so came back home. I’ve cried a couple more times as it just seems to be one of those kinds of days.  Of course, the rainy weather isn’t helping any. We’ve had rain off and on for two weeks and rain is expected every day this week too.  I’m not complaining as we’ve needed the rain after being in drought conditions for several years now.  The grayness just doesn’t help with my sadness, if you know what I mean.

The projects that have come my way are through the wonderful widow’s group I found online, Friends Needing Friends.  Dotti, the founder, called me the other morning to see how I was doing and we chit-chatted awhile, then she asked me if I’d be interested in doing interviews of the ladies in our ‘sisterhood’, for a page of the newsletter that goes out once a month.  That way, we’d all get to know something about each other and it would be beneficial to each of us.  I was thrilled for this opportunity and hope I can do it well, and to the honor and glory of God, and for uplifting each of the ladies as we walk through this journey.

So, I came up with a template for a 3-column page, sent it to Dotti and we’re good to go, I will start interviewing ladies at the next meeting. Another lady will take pictures, so that we will have a face to go with the interview.  This is a wonderful way for us all to get to know each other better.

On Saturday I decided to start a blog for FNF and got it up and played around with it, and emailed Dotti about what I had done and sent her the link.  Sunday morning I was in the vestibule at church (I’ve only been there twice now) she came up to me and is thrilled about the blog.  She said she has been praying about one.  I think that is amazing and look forward to working with her on this blog.  I will keep you all posted and ask that you pray for me, for Dotti and for this group of lovely ladies.

At church Sunday morning, I sat on a back row on the right end, a favorite spot at gatherings for DH and myself through the years.  Dotti came over to me and asked if I would like to sit with she and some other ladies of our group so I said yes and joined them.  It felt good, the service, music and message, were uplifting. I look forward to going again.

God led me to this group and I am so thankful for it. For three ‘old’ friends found here and new friends being made. 

Romans 8:28 ~ A favorite verse since my youth, says this:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Tears come and flow and Jesus is saving them all. One day He will wipe all of our tears away from our faces, replacing them with joy unspeakable and full of glory, in our hearts and souls.

I wish to walk gracefully and tenderly with much love, thankfulness and anticipation as to what God has in store for me until I am reunited with my dear husband once again. Each day is a gift, many lessons to be learned, much to be thankful for.

May you all be drawn closer to Jesus as you continue in this life.

Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A rough day ~ uplifting devotional via email

 

Today has been rough. Things are piling up that are wearing me down. My faith in God has not lessened, it’s just that some days everything seems to beat you down, trying to destroy what faith and hope you do have, and to suck what little joy you find in your days down the drain of despair.

My husband and I did everything together, now I have to handle things on my own.  We lived on a budget, we did things ourselves and enjoyed that immensely. Now that he’s gone, I have to think about spending $ to do things that we used to do. We saved a lot of money through the years because my husband could do just about anything.  He enjoyed creating, repurposing, etc. I enjoyed being his helper.

I’ve had to buy new tires, a rebuilt transmission, two new wheel bearings, raccoons are ruining the screened roof of our little screened room and one fell through last night, so that I had to go out and open the screen door to let it out, with my heart pounding, a skimpy flashlight in one hand and a rake and broom, in the other. Smile  It just seems like one thing after another is happening since my dear husband went to be with Jesus.

I cried today while at work, then cried a little while ago here at home, sobbing my heart out.  I then decided to check my email and there was the latest devotional from Grace Gems.  My husband had told me about their devotionals online a year or so ago because he thought they would be something I would like.  He was right and they have helped me a lot over the almost 6 months since he’s been gone.

This one today was just what I needed and I will copy it here. They are free to post, email, etc.  You can go to Grace Gems yourself to get these devotionals.

I thank you again for your love, encouragement and support.    May this piece help you or maybe help someone you know.

*******************

 

Love photographs them in the heart!

(William Thoseby, "Foot-prints on the Sands of Time" 1869)

"The righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death!" Isaiah 57:1-2

It is true there are strong consolations and compensations in Divine providence, but even the Christian consolations cannot drink up all the heart's sorrow in the hour of separating death. We cry with truth, but yet in tears, "O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" "Yes in all these things we are more than conquerors," but we are conquerors with bleeding wounds and scars of the conflict upon us.

When a dear life is taken from the near presence of our own life, no antidote of reasoning, nor cordial of promise even, can make us oblivious of the loss. In the moment of most entire submission and most exultant faith--we feel the pang of separation. Our affections grope and wander uneasily in the vacancy that has been made, and we return home companionless and sorrowing. We are awed by the voiceless room, and the vacant chair affects us with sadness. Every relic and memorial of the life that is ended, tells us that it is ended indeed. The dearly departed live in the chambers of our soul. We see their lovely forms, hear their sweet voices, feel their tender touch, and almost grasp their hands. Love photographs them in the heart!

When therefore a dear life is taken, the person who is left must suffer. And since so it is, we come, through "many a winding maze" to conclude that thus it ought to be. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" "Now we see through a glass darkly."

But in our ignorance and blind unbelief, we are too apt to arraign the rectitude of the Divine procedure, exclaiming:
How bewildering is this afflictive dealing!
How baffling is this mystery!
Where is now my God?
This sickness--why prolonged?
This thorn in the flesh--why still buffeting?
This family blank--why permitted?
Why the most treasured and useful life taken--the blow aimed where it cut most severely?

Hush the secret atheism!--for the day is coming when every dark hieroglyphic in the Roll of Divine Providence, will be made plain and clear. When what are called . . .
"dark providences"
"harmful calamities"
"strokes of misfortune"
"unmitigated evils"
trials, sorrows, crosses, losses, adversities, sicknesses--
  the emptied cup,
  the withered gourd,
  the lingering illness,
  the early grave,
  the useful lives taken,
  blossoms prematurely plucked,
  spiritual props removed,
  benevolent schemes blown upon
--over all these, will not this grand motto be written as in characters of living light--which may be read on anguished pillows and aching hearts, yes, on the very portals of the tomb itself, "This also comes from the LORD almighty; He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom!" Isaiah 28:29

Let us "be still and know that He is God." "We know" says the apostle, "that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!" Romans 8:28

We do not always see the bright light in the clouds, but it "shall come to pass that at evening time, it shall be light!"

Child of sorrow! Mourning over the withdrawal of some beloved object of earthly affection--dry your tears! An early death has been an early crown! The tie sundered here, links you to the throne of God. You have a Christian parent, a brother, a sister, in Heaven! You are the relative of a redeemed saint. "He shall enter" (he has entered) "into peace"--the "rest which remains for the people of God!"

We can only see one side of a Christian's death--the setting side, the expiring breath, the vanishing life, the cold clay corpse. We cannot see the risings on the other side--the angel convoy, Heaven's open gate, the Savior's welcome of the enraptured departed one. Yet it is none the less real.

Death to the Christian, is a birth into heavenly life--a life more real, more sweet, more calm, more pure than could be enjoyed on earth.

"Beloved! think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, but rejoice!" Soon you shall hear the sweet chimes wafted from the towers of the heavenly Jerusalem, "Enter into the joy of your Lord!" "The Lord God shall wipe away all tears from off all faces!"

Christian Mourner! Do not go to the grave to weep there. The devourer shall be devoured! The resurrection shall restore to you, all that death snatches away. And then, Oh! joyous hope, "death shall be swallowed up of life!" Glorious day! "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection!"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Give Thanks

 

This journey is certainly not one I would have chosen, but it is the journey God my Sovereign Lord, has called me to take, with Him faithfully by my side, taking my dear husband’s place at this time, becoming my husband, taking care of me with great love and kindness. He knows all I need, He knows what each day is going to bring me, and He is with me every step of the way, comforting me and strengthening me.

It’s just a few days past the five month mark and sometimes it just doesn’t seem possible. Slowly but surely I am learning to live my life in a new way.  There are still many tears shed as I miss my dear husband something fierce, but I am being drawn closer to God with the gift of each new day.  I talk to Him more now than ever before, any time night or day. Christian songs that I hear on the radio come to mind at all times, and sometimes just the right one when I need it. It amazes me and delights me.

Today I found out I need a rebuilt transmission for my van, on top of needing two wheel bearings. I will get it back either Thursday or Friday. Today as I was waiting to hear the verdict, I started working on another Give Thanks journal. It kept my mind and heart focused on God and His goodness, and that He is taking care of me in all areas of my life.

In my morning devotions the past few days, they have been about casting all my cares onto the Lord.  It isn’t always easy, as doubts do creep in, but in the end my hope is in Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.

*************

In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1Th_5:18

O give thanks unto the LORD;
for he is good;
for his mercy endureth for ever.
1Ch_16:34

Be careful for nothing;
but in every thing by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God,
which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4:6-7

05-13-journal

 

Dear Jesus ~ May we be ever mindful of how much you care for us.  May we give thanks for situations as they arise, knowing that you do work all things out for good and your honor and glory.

Thank you ~ Amen

FlowerLady Lorraine

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My strength

 

Grieving takes a lot out of you, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

The past few days I have really felt drained. Days come and go, life goes on, but it’s not the same life I shared with my dear husband for 43 years. The other day I went to Home Depot, to check on some prices of materials for projects, when the tears started flowing and I called out to Jesus to help me so that I could continue on without totally breaking down and He did.

I told my husband many times through the years that I love walking into Home Depot and that it was one of my favorite places to shop.  Smelling the wood and just all of the inspiration that comes from the place as you look at everything.  We enjoyed shopping there for so many projects.

There are so many days where I have felt what’s the use. I can hardly get motivated, I feel helpless. But, this little widows might, any that I have, is from God.  He is my strength when I am weak.

This morning I did a search on might and then on strength in my E-Sword program.

May these verses uplift and encourage you, they most certainly did me this morning. They were just what I needed.

******

be strong in the Lord,
and in the power of his might.
Ephesians 6:10

Strengthened with all might,
according to his glorious power,
unto all patience and longsuffering
with joyfulness;
Col_1:11

The LORD is my rock,
and my fortress,
and my deliverer;
my God, my strength,
in whom I will trust;
my buckler,
and the horn of my salvation,
and my high tower
Psa_18:2 

The LORD is my strength and song,
and he is become my salvation:
he is my God
Exo_15:2

My flesh and my heart faileth:
but God is the strength of my heart,
and my portion for ever.
Psa_73:26

O LORD,
my strength,
and my fortress,
and my refuge
in the day of affliction
Jer_16:19 
 

Trust ye in the LORD for ever:
for in the LORD JEHOVAH
is everlasting strength:
Isa_26:4 

He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might
he increaseth strength.
Isa_40:29 

But they that wait upon the LORD
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isa_40:31

Seek the LORD and his strength,
seek his face continually
1Ch_16:11 

   The LORD God is my strength
Hab_3:19

******

Dear Jesus,

Bless all who need your strength.

Touch their hearts and minds

filling them with peace.

Amen

Friday, April 19, 2013

Give thanks and confide in the widow’s God

 

04-15-newest-member

The sweet little bear holding the pillow is from my ‘Friends Needing Friends’ widow’s group.  I got it because I am new to this special sisterhood of widows, and for comfort.

Even as I am now, without my best friend and love, my dear husband and soulmate, I am to ‘give thanks in all things’.

With God my Saviour, I can do all things.

***

In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you
.
1Th_5:18

O give thanks unto the LORD;
for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa_136:1

***

It is well! All that he does, who speaks these touching words, is well. It is well with you, for he who gave in love, in love has taken away the mercy that he gave. The companion of your youth, the friend of your bosom, the treasure of your heart, the staff of your riper and the solace of your declining years, is removed, but since God has done it—it is, it must be well. Look now above the circumstances of your deep and dark sorrow, the second causes of your bereavement, the probable consequences of your loss,—God has done it; and that very God who has smitten, who has bereaved, and who has removed your all of earthly good, now invites you to trust in him. Chance has not brought you into this state; accident has not bereft you of your treasure; God has made you a widow, that you may confide in the widow’s God.

Octavius Winslow

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Projects

 

These past 4 months have been rough without my dear husband.  The missing him is awful.  Half of me is gone, the half that was courageous, who could do just about anything he set his mind to. He enjoyed figuring things out, drawing up plans or having creative ideas and then making them come to be. I enjoyed helping him with everything.  We were a team, a team that worked well together. I’m not saying we were perfect by any stretch of the imagination, we bickered, apologized, forgave and moved on.  Love covers a multitude of sins.

I need and want to do things, to get things accomplished that we started. I now have to make the decisions myself, have to motivate myself and that comes hard.  I can work in the gardens, or with my needlework, or cooking, no problem there, but all of this other stuff that we did together, is much harder.

I keep telling myself that there are plenty of women living alone that do all kinds of things and I can too.  I can hear my husband saying, “Come on Rainey, you can do it, you’re a ‘mountainy woman’, a very good and hard worker. You have ideas, talents, and you can accomplish much, even though I’m not there to help you physically.”  (A ‘mountainy woman’ is one who is not afraid of hard work, who gets out there and helps where she is needed, our definition.)

I’m making a list of things I need and want to do and look forward to doing them.  I just need to start with one project and keep going, until my list is just filled with new projects I want to try or do.

My husband loved working with his hands and I watched and helped him do all kinds of building projects in our 43 years and I know some of that is lodged in my brain.

Grief has a way of deadening your senses at first, so much so that all you can do is basically what you have to do. Yesterday afternoon a peaceful, excited feeling came over me, I can’t really explain it, and for all I know it will come and go, but it was there and I still feel it today.

I am going to start taking care of things that I’ve let slide and go from there.  Jesus will be with me all the way. He is my strength, my motivation, I can do all things through Him.

Life is to be lived every day as best we can.  It is to be enjoyed and be thankful for. Life is not over, it is different, it is continuing. I do not want to lose faith I want to be more faithful and thankful for all of the blessings I’m being given and for the lessons I am learning. God is Almighty and He is working all things out in my life.

Here are some verses for me today, maybe they will be a blessing in your life too. These are taken from the KJV of the Bible.

And whatsoever ye do,
do it heartily,
as to the Lord
Col 3:23 

Every wise woman buildeth her house:
Pro 14:1 

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;
Ecc 9:10 

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 
Phillipians 4:13

And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves
to think any thing as of ourselves;
but our sufficiency is of God;  
2Corinthians 3:4-5

******

Dear Jesus ~ May I continually seek you and your guidance through your word.  Thank you and Amen.

FlowerLady

Friday, April 5, 2013

A letter from your spouse

 

I found the following this morning and it was very comforting to me.

It was taken from the website below.

http://widowwidowers.com/a-letter-from-your-spouse

***************************

My Love,

Don’t grieve for me. Bodies die but love does not. We all must live in an earthly body for a time, but this part of my life is over and real life is opening before me. I know that you miss my earthly presence, but be comforted by the knowledge that you are still part of my life because our spirits are still joined. I am not gone, but continue to dwell with you.

We are both being tenderly held by God, who understands our pain and will use our suffering as well as our achievements in marvelous ways that will contribute to our heavenly happiness.

The difficulties surrounding my leaving the natural world are now of no concern to me as I understand the bigger picture. Forgive me for my imperfections and mistakes. We both have regrets, but here things that once seemed important are put into perspective. As I see life more clearly in the light of eternity, my memory of upsets of life in the world dim and disappear while the true essence of our relationship grows stronger.

When you come over to the real world we will be reunited completely. Our love will then be unencumbered by earthly illness or concerns. Bodies suffer from aging and illness, but the spirit endures. You are not your body, nor was I. I am now in a world where my body is a true reflection of my spirit. The body I now live in is strong and young, free from afflictions and limitations of the natural body I left behind. Though we can’t touch physically, I continue to be touched by your love and the beauty of your soul.

Time on earth seems to go slowly, but in reality it is only a short time until you will join me. The beauty of the world I now live is beyond what you can imagine. Your tears of  sadness will instead be tears of joy when I welcome you here.

Peace be with you until then.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

After winter/death, comes spring/resurrection

On this early Easter morning, I was truly blessed by God in reading from a little book called, Song of Songs by Watchman Nee.

This little book is about God’s love for those who believe in Him and drawing them closer to Him. It is inspired by the book Song of Songs in the Bible.

Last night before sleep I read the following.

“ In whatsoever circumstances you may be you can trust and believe in the ever-abiding presence of the Lord.

~ “The winter is past”. ~ Winter is gloomy and cold and not conducive to growth.  It represents a time of testing in which there is little to cheer.

~ “Those many testings and trials are now all behind you because of your living sense of My abiding presence.” ~ 

******

This morning I read this:

“The reference to flowers, birds, turtle-doves, and so on are an appeal by the Lord to His loved one to stand on resurrection ground. Verses 12-13 of chapter 2 speak of the abundant resurrection life which, like the spring, follows winter. The Lord desires this loved one of His to realize that she must not repeatedly focus her attention on the death, gloominess and witheredness of winter in the soul.

~ “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come”. ~ Flowers are adornments of beauty.  Birds represent the voice of happy song.  Flowers are on the ground, while birds sing their song in the sky.  Flowers express art; birds give forth music.  According to Matthew 6, flowers and birds are objects of God’s special care, and they express a heavenly message.  They manifest heavenly beauty and set forth very sweet praise – the true elements of resurrection life.”

******

Reading this above was gift to me this Easter morning from Jesus, my God. Last night was kind of rough. I prayed, cried, went to bed to read, prayed some more then slept really good. I read about winter/death last night and spring/resurrection this morning. This is another one of those times where God was working all things out as today is the celebration of His resurrection.  This was thrilling to me and I just had to write this out in hopes that it will help others in a ‘winter’ period in their lives.

Trust in God, be of good courage, wait on Him and you will not be disappointed.  He is drawing you closer to Him.

Happy Easter ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A confession

 

I have a confession to make. This journey is rough, harder than you can even think imaginable. Tomorrow morning will make 16 weeks since my dear husband went to be with Jesus.

I have good days and not so good days. My faith in Jesus has not wavered, but the other day after walking around in a pretty bad ‘fog’ for a couple of days, and feeling overwhelmed, I told Jesus “Sometimes I just want to die.  This is so ‘hard’ Jesus. You know what I am going through and I’m sorry for feeling this way, forgive me.”

Each morning when I wake I am hit again by the ‘blast’ of realization of, he’s not here, then I ask Jesus to bless my day, and to lead me in the way I should go.

I heard another good song the other day, ‘Good to be Alive’ by Jason Gray.  God has a plan for me, and I need to relax in His tender loving care, watching what unfolds with each new day.

 

He has already lead me to a wonderful Christian widow’s group called ‘Friends Needing Friends’ this past week. I found out about it online, and when I got there I met up with two ladies I’ve known in the past, and have not seen for many years.  My husband knew both of them before he and I even met. The older lady was a friend of his mother’s.  The other lady is my age.  Besides being sisters in Christ, we are now sisters in widowhood, growing in God’s grace. 

This group meets once a month and I can hardly wait to see all of these ladies again. You can read more in my main blog here, Easter Week Blessings.

Searching for the tune above this morning I came across another song by this young man and it also touched my heart.

A Way to See in the Dark - Jason Gray

 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalms 119:105

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

Psalms 36:9

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying,
I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life.

John 8:12

************


The only way through to the end of this earthly journey,
is to trust and hope in Jesus.
He continually strengthens me by reading His word. 
He hears my every prayer,
knows my every thought,
forgives all my sins.

***

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;
therefore will I hope in him.
The LORD is good unto them that wait for him,
to the soul that seeketh him.
It is good
that a man should both hope and quietly wait
for the salvation of the LORD.

Lamentations 3:22-26

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psa 103:2-5

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning;
for in thee do I trust:
cause me to know the way wherein I should walk;
for I lift up my soul unto thee.
Psalms 143:8

***********

Thank you Jesus for loving me
in spite of my failings each and every day. 
Thank you for drawing me closer to you.
Amen

FlowerLady

Friday, March 22, 2013

Triggers

What is it that triggers you to break down sobbing or crying softly? You never know what these might be. The other day it was a piece in the mail that called me the beneficiary. The tears flowed and I talked to myself out loud, “Beneficiary? How am I a beneficiary, (one that receives a benefit), losing my husband and best friend? "

Things were already in both of our names, but my husband’s leaving this life, makes me sole beneficiary of what was ours. Nothing being put solely into my name can replace him and what he meant to me.

The only way I feel that I am a beneficiary, is in what I am receiving from God at this time.  He is The Great Benefactor. He supplies my every need, and everything He does is for my good and His ultimate glory. He knows much better than I do as to what I need. To me, the main thing I need in my life is Him. Without Him I would be in the depths of despair. With Him I have hope.

These ‘triggers’ of tears can happen at any time, sometimes you don’t even know why, the tears just flow, or the sobs burst forth from your very soul. They can be caused by words, a scent, a song, pictures, colors, seeing older couples together, seeing young couples together,  sometimes there is no rhyme or reason.

Dear Jesus let me rest in your tender loving care, 24/7. Let me realize that ‘triggers’ release this pent up, deep grief through my tears, which you then bottle up, as they are precious to you.

Thank you for my growing through grief, may I do so graciously. It is not always easy, and it is lonely. Thank you for not leaving me alone as you have promised to all who believe in you. You are with us every step of the way.  Thank you.

FlowerLady

Monday, March 18, 2013

Verse for today.

 

This was given to me in two different devotional readings this morning. I would say Jesus is trying to impress this in my heart and mind.

***

Take therefore no thought for the morrow:

for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

Mat 6:34

How Precious…

I was working on a project last year but didn’t finish it, hopefully I will this year.

I love working with needles and thread, or hooks and thread. Fine threads I really like to use in crocheting. My dear husband called me Crochet Lady and Bead Lady, besides Flower Lady. He took a photo of me as I was embroidering in my little space.  He told me he loved to hear me in here humming as I worked, because I sounded happy.

Times have changed. He went away, to a different home with God his Maker. He’s no longer here to show my projects to. He no longer gives me verbal encouragement, or ideas.  It’s not quite the same creating now as it was when he was here. Nothing is the same.

I know though that he would want me to continue doing things I enjoy doing, like gardening, cooking and needleworking. So, I have been and it is comforting to me. Oh how I miss him though, more than words can say.

This is the photo he took of me and some of my creations.

header

My work space.

03-18-workspace

He would have liked these beaded edgings. I ordered a wonderful book of patterns for part of my Christmas and just got around to making  these.

03-08-cro-bead-edge

This is a work in progress.  I’m going to use the bottom edging in photo above on this piece.

03-18-wip

More edgings made in the last week or so.

03-18-bd-edgings

Below is the piece that I was working on last year. Little did I know that this scripture would become more meaningful to me before last year’s end. It’s been a favorite of ours for years.

I’ve still more sand/beads to add, and maybe a few more little shells too. 

03-18-how-precious

We must never forget just how much God loves us. More than we can fathom.

We lost our dear husbands, but we didn’t lose the talents God gave us. Whatever you enjoyed doing before your husband left this life, try to ease back into it. It will be soothing and you will be creating. We were created in the Great Creators image, He loved to create and is still creating. Let us joyfully use the gifts God has blessed us with and be thankful.

Happy creating and happy living a life filled with God’s love, strength, peace and hope in Him for our futures, whatever may be in them.

FlowerLady Lorraine

Friday, March 15, 2013

Never alone

Recently I awoke at 3 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. I turned on the light, put on my glasses and picked up my Bible and randomly opened it and it opened to the the two following verses, which were underlined in my Bible.

Two are better than one;
because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:
but woe to him that is alone when he falleth;
for he hath not another to help him up.
Ecc 4:9-10

I thought to myself, ‘Oh this is just great! Now I’m all alone, how is this supposed to work now that my dear husband and best friend is gone?’ (Somewhat sarcastically I might add.) Then immediately it came to me that I am NOT alone, Jesus, my God, is with me 100% of the time. He has promised to never leave or forsake me.  I asked Jesus to forgive me and took in His words and felt calmed.

God has ways of speaking His truths to us, through our grieving. Even when what we read brings to mind what we are missing now that our husbands are gone.

God loves us dearly, we widows are very special to Him. Let us remember His promises, tucking them away into our hearts.

******

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deu_31:6

I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Joshua 1:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5

Sincerely ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Three months ago today …

my dear husband went to be with Jesus, His Lord and Maker. How wonderful is that? To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, instantly.

I still have times of tears, gentle sometimes and heart wrenching sobs other times. But, my faith and heart have been strengthened in my weaknesses by Jesus, God Almighty Himself.

I’ve been reading my little devotional ‘Jesus Calling’ and from God’s own word and I am being fed much that keeps me filled with His love and peace.

Other books have been a great source of help too. I am reading “Postcards from the Widows’ Path” by Ferree Hardy, “The Widow Directed to the Widow’s God” by John Angell James, writings by Octavius Winslow and J.R. Miller.  All spiritually uplifting to me.

I continue to ‘putter’ (to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual manner), in my gardens, in our little cottage and with projects. While I putter I can talk with Jesus, as He is beside me, whether I’m washing dishes, hanging up the laundry, pulling weeds, being creative with needles, hooks, threads and beads. He is my constant, loving companion.  He is with me when I get in my van and head out into the traffic of the world as I go about errands or on my way to and from work.

Three months ago today, I was in a real daze, losing my best and dearest friend, the love of my life. I had already been grieving for four months as our life drastically changed that night in August when my husband had those horrific cramps in his neck.  That was only the beginning of the end of his life here on earth. As he steadily grew weaker, our life as it had been was put on hold, and as it turns out, it was over. We were unable to work on any more projects together, he became bedridden. But, during those last 4 months together, we prayed, talked, laughed some, cried and  I read the Bible out loud. We grew spiritually and we also grew more in love than we had ever been.  That was a gift from our heavenly Father, and for that I am ever thankful.

Heaven is more wonderful than we can even imagine, and that’s is where my dear husband is. I can just see him there, all excited and joyous to be with Jesus, his eyes twinkling and that is reason for me to celebrate and get up and go about my daily business each and every day.  One day we will be reunited, and until then, I want to live and grow older gracefully in the love and healing presence of Jesus.

 

May your feel God’s love, peace and strength flowing through and surrounding you in all things.

FlowerLady Lorraine

******

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not…

for the LORD thy God,

He it is that doth go with thee;

He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 

Deu_31:6

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Even if …

God works in mysterious ways.

This morning I was going to do all errands, as I didn’t do them yesterday. At the last minute I decided to just go to the bank and come back home.

On the way home a song came on that I’d not heard before, as I’m new to listening to the Christian radio station. The name of the song is ‘Even if’ by Kutlass. The words spoke deeply to this broken heart of mine that is slowly being healed.

When I got home I looked it up on You-tube so that I could share it. When I previewed it in Windows Live Writer, the date at the top of the preview said Sunday 9 Dec. 2012. Oh my goodness, I broke into sobs as this was the day that my dear husband went to be with Jesus, His maker, Lord and King.

Hearing this song today was no coincidence. My husband and I prayed, hoped and trusted in Jesus for healing those 4 months he was ill, but God had other plans. In the end my husband was ready to go and I had to let him go, even though I didn’t want to.

I truly believe that God does work all things out for good. We will know all when we see Jesus. Until then, may we continually believe in Him for all things, even when we can’t stand the heartache and pain.

I am thankful to God for working it out so that I heard this song today.

FlowerLady Lorraine

 

Monday, March 4, 2013

One minute up, the next down

It is amazing to me, this grieving. One minute you can feel so positive, feel ready to do something then after you do it with joy and thanksgiving you come crashing down into a bit of depression.

The tears are like a never ending fountain that turns on whenever it feels like it. They can sometimes be gentle and at other times you sob your heart out all over again. The good thing though is this, Jesus bottles up all of our tears, and they are in his safe keeping. And once you’ve cried out for the moment, you feel more normal again, at least I do.

There are so many dreams, memories, laughs, conversations, etc. surrounding me from our 43 years of marriage. I am glad I have them, but to not be making more of them with my dear husband really gets to me at times and seems so overwhelming.  It will be three months since he went home to be with Jesus.  That seems short sometimes and like an eternity at other times.

Everyday has it’s anxieties, it’s happy moments. Times of faith and times of doubt. Going to God in prayer and reading his word will lift us up continually. He is the author and finisher of our faith.

I will close today’s post with the following scripture. May we let God speak to us through them and calm our anxious hearts.

FlowerLady Lorraine

******

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  ~ Mat 6:6

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
 
Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
 
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
 
Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
 
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
 
The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
 
Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.

Psalms 116:1-7


Therefore I say unto you,
Take no thought for your life,
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Mat 6:25

Take therefore no thought for the morrow:
for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  Mat 6:34

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  Php_4:6

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2Ti 1:7

I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.  2Ti 1:12

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Not Alone

 

On the way home from work yesterday, this song blasted right into my heart and tears flowed once again.

Not Alone ~ by Red

 

for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  Hebrews 13:5

Friday, March 1, 2013

Strong Tower

 

On my way to work this morning I heard this song.  It was just what I needed, as I’d already had a crying jag at home before leaving for work, not sure what caused it, but I just let the tears flow and called on Jesus.

The words, especially this part below really spoke to my heart:.

You are my strong tower
Shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty
Everlasting King

 

 

For thou hast been a shelter for me,

and a strong tower from the enemy. 

Psalms 61:3

 
The name of the LORD is a strong tower:

the righteous runneth into it,

and is safe.

Proverbs 18:10

***

With God as our strong tower we always have a place to feel safe, loved and cherished.

Grief sneaks up on you, for me there is nowhere to turn but to Jesus.

***

Jesus =

Wonderful,

Counsellor,

The mighty God,

The everlasting Father,

The Prince of Peace

King of Kings

Husband

***

FlowerLady Lorraine

Routines and Whatever you do…

 

do it heartily as unto the Lord. Col. 3:23

I just heard the young husbands’ truck start up across the street as he heads off to work. He leaves at the same time each work day morning. This morning I heard it and felt sad, as there is no more routine for my husband or routine as an ‘us’. I have to find my own routine and I really haven’t yet.

Although, I do get up and read from ‘Jesus Calling’ and my Bible and write some in my journal first thing.  It is a good way to fill me up with God’s love, peace and strength for the day. Other than that, I go with the flow.

On days I work at my part time job, I do a few things before leaving for work then head off out into the hectic world that we live in. I would love to make money from home. I have my little Etsy shop but closed it down right after my husband went to be with Jesus as I just couldn’t handle it right then.

It is hard for me to get back into a creative mode, when so many things are rumbling around in my head about things to take care of around here. One verse of scripture that I must keep close to my heart is  ~ Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1Pe_5:7

As I go about my day, sometimes in a semi-fog, may I learn to ask for his guidance  for  even the smallest thing as I grope my way here in the beginning of this new stage of this journey of life without my dear husband and best friend.

God has helped me in little things and I have been filled with joy and thanksgiving with each one. I know he will help me in bigger things also.

I want to do ‘everything heartily as unto the Lord.’

I will close with the following:

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed,

because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning:

great is thy faithfulness.

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;

therefore will I hope in him.
 
The LORD is good unto them that wait for him,

to the soul that seeketh him.
 
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait

for the salvation of the LORD.

Lam 3:22-26

***

Continue to wait on and hope in the Lord.

FlowerLady Lorraine

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Lord my husband

 

I found another lovely writing for widows by Octavius Winslow, 1870

THE LORD MY HUSBAND

"The Lord is my portion, says my soul"

"For your Maker is your husband--the Lord Almighty is his name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth." Isaiah 54:5

How many--appropriate to our circumstances, and endearing to our hearts--are the titles and relations of God! Is there one more sacred or precious to the Christian widow than this--"Your Maker is your HUSBAND." The Lord brings us into a gracious and experimental acquaintance with Himself by the circumstances in which He places us. Just as we learn certain lessons in certain schools, so we learn the relationships which the Lord sustains to us in the positions in life to which those divine relations are the most appropriate. Thus, He may have written you a widow, a "widow indeed," that He might stand to you in a new and more endeared relation--even as you stand to Him in a new and more dependent character--the relation of a HUSBAND--the character of a widow. As such He is your portion. Your bereavement is so crushing, your grief so profound, your desolation so vast, your loss so irreparable, the pen shrinks from even the attempt to describe it. The strong and beautiful staff is broken, the earthly counselor is perished, the tongue is mute that blessed you, the bosom cold that pillowed you, the eye dim that smiled upon you, and the whole landscape of life is draped in wintry coldness and gloom.

But the Lord is your Portion. "For your Maker is your husband--the Lord Almighty is his name." Divorced by death from an earthly husband, you are united more especially and closely to a Divine and heavenly Husband--even to God in Christ, who stands now in a new and more endeared relation to you, as you have now a new and more sacred claim upon Him. The widow is an object of His especial regard. No being has He more closely fenced, none for whom He has discovered more tender care. Listen to some of His touching injunctions respecting you. "You shall not afflict the WIDOW." "Plead for the WIDOW." "He will establish the border of the WIDOW." "He relieves the fatherless and the WIDOW." Such is the divine Portion, under whose sheltering wing you have now come to rest. "Your Maker is your HUSBAND." All, and infinitely more, that the fondest, most powerful, and faithful husband ever was, the Lord is to you. Let Him, as none other can, fill the vacant place. He can make even your solitary and desolate heart sing for joy. Espouse Christ afresh. Renew your 'first love' to Him, the love of your earliest union.

Trace nothing but love in the removal of a human object so dear; and know that love--divine, tender, unchangeable love--will guard, guide, and comfort you until wedded hearts, sundered by death, shall meet to renew a fellowship of love in the glorified presence of Jesus never to be sundered more.

Blessed Jesus! heavenly Husband! let me now be united only and forever to You! Give me Your Spirit to seal the sacred union. Enable me, as enjoined in the word, "to trust in God, and to continue in supplication and prayer night and day, to lodge strangers, to wash the saints' feet, to relieve the afflicted, and diligently to follow every good work" (1 Tim. 5:5, 10). And thus striving by Your grace to glorify You in the solemn character of a God-fearing, God-trusting widow, enable me to rejoice in You as my portion--my Husband--believing that You will shield me in temptation, supply me in need, comfort me in sorrow, be with me in death, and give me a place at the marriage-supper of the Lamb.

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I’ve ordered two more books, one is Widow Directed to the Widows’ God by John Angell James, written in the 1800’s. The other is Postcards from the Widows’ Path by Ferree Hardy.

I read today that we are to look at widowhood as a ‘gift’ from God.

My heart has been lightened by things I’ve read in the past couple of days, after going through two days of breaking down into sobbing several times.

The Lord is my strength, He is my shield, He is my protector, He is my Savior. With Him I can do all things.

FlowerLady