My Soldier Son is HOME safely from the front.

During most of his nine month deployment I was in pretty good shape. I knew he was called to be a soldier, and infantryman, and I knew he was safest in the center of God’s will, regardless of how dangerous that appeared to me or any one else.

Yes, I missed him! At one point I did not hear from him for months on end. (But he blessed me with a 4:30 AM phone call on my birthday! 4:30 because I was in California and he has about to head out on a mission for several days.) He routinely gave his men priority of computer and phone use. He could not talk about what he was doing anyway….. That was the hardest part. Not being connected to him.

When I lived in Africa, in the 80’s, pre-computer days, and I had no telephone access, my mom told me sometimes it felt was like I was dead. When I moved back to the USA to stay, she cried! Yes, she cried, as she used her hands to make finger counting motions showing me she was so joyful she would not have to count time zones any more! Now I understand what she felt.

I did not need to count fingers for Alex. I have an app on my phone that told me his timezone! But I did the same thing my mom did when my friend asked me the morning of Alex’s arrival to the house: “Are you ready for Alex to come home?” I thought honestly for a moment, then I cried. I released sobs from a place deep inside of me I did not know was there.

I did my best to do most of my crying before he arrived home. He is not a fan of his mother crying. I saw him drive around the bend toward the house from my kitchen window. I met him in the driveway after he pulled in. He happily received my momma bear hug, and graciously received my tears. I know he does not fully get it, but he knows I love him TONS!

He came in and took a look around at the changes I have made in his absence. There have been several. I followed him around like a puppy wagging her tail. We talked for hours. I fixed him his favorite meal and I heard a few of the tales I could not hear while he was there. For example, his vehicle rolled over and IED that exploded! I Thank God he was in a vehicle designed to take the blast! No one was hurt, though the vehicle needed some repairs….

I guess that is the sort of thing I was releasing when I knew I could hug him and look into his eyes again. Relief! Also, a release of emotions I did not deal with while he was in Afghanistan.

My son is home. He is safe. I can touch him to prove it. My tail is still wagging=}

In HIS grip,

Andrea

What might you be compartmentalizing? Or choosing to not face & process? Why? Is it too scary? Or maybe just not the right time? I pray you give yourself grace to listen to God’s tender leading.

Bird TV

I face another death. It has not happened yet, but it has become inevitable={.

I have a HUGE rhododendron at the front of the house. It may be as old as the house, which would make it nearly 40 years old. It has been trimmed back several times, but I have kept it large to obscure seeing into the downstairs and to be a roosting place for the myriad of birds that feed at the feeder I have suctioned to the bay window above the rhodo.

Because the birds & squirrels love to hang out in the rhodo directly in front of a large picture window my dear friend Karen, a frequent house sitter, has dubbed that view “Bird TV.” Most any time of year it is a wonderful place to sit and watch the birds and squirrels come and go.  In the winter it is a great treat to light a fire in the downstairs fireplace, curl up on the couch with a blanket and watch Bird TV.

A Cardinal posing on "Bird TV"

A Cardinal makes an appearance on “Bird TV”

Our frequent guests on the show are titmouses, nuthatches, gold and house finch, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, lots of chickadees and my favorites, the cardinals. The squirrels are a pain. When the rhodo grows too tall, they like to climb up and attempt to jump onto the bird feeder. Some years ago I even broke a small window pane by the feeder throwing something at the window upstairs attempting to scare a squirrel away who was thoroughly comfortable hogging the feeder as he stuffed his face.

The hours of delight others and I have enjoyed watching my low maintenance pets are immeasurable and unforgettable.

Today, I was discussing with landscapers how to improve the “curb appeal” of my yard. We began with the front walk way, the grass and wound our way around to the Rhododendron. It really is monstrous. It blocks the view of the house, quite unevenly and shades where grass might grow if it was not shaded…. You see, due to years of not caring properly for our lawn it now has become multiple shades of green and brown where various forms of moss have grown unimpeded for over 15 years choking out the last vestiges of grass. I believe I will be selling the house in a year or two, so I am hoping to increase the value of the house with some much-needed attention to its appearance.

My heart tugged as the landscapers pointed out how easy it would be to yank out the rhodo and replace it with little plants. After they left I cried. Yes, I outright bawled as I thought of the demise of Bird TV. It is another thing I have to lose. Well, I guess I don’t HAVE to take out the rhodo, but I know he is right. The house will bring more money if I pull it out with most of the rest of the plantings.

Since I have not been very good at letting myself feel, I mean allowing myself to feel pain in my life, I decided to FEEL. I texted Kathryn & Karen because I know they understand my love of Bird TV. Texting is not very satisfying when facing crossroads in life. I mean, I wanted a hug; I wanted to shout “WHY GOD? WHY Bird TV too???” But I knew it is just more of letting go of the life that was. The birds will adapt and so will I. The squirrels will finally be completely vanquished. I can take real solace in that!

I wondered if the birds will be gone after their spectacular stage is eliminated, but I know they are too greedy for the food in the feeder and too well-trained to leave for long. They will quickly adapt, perching below the lower window and still use the other trees farther away in the yard to rest and wait for their turn. And I cry.

So many of my hopes and dreams have been shattered over the last two and a half years. If I did not have my relationship with God and His faithful friends who have held me up and pulled me through, I might well have been pickled in alcohol or in a psych ward long ago. But I’m not pickled in alcohol or in a psych ward because Abba knows me. He knows what and whom I need. Mostly, I need Him. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me and he has proven Himself more than faithful over 38 years of walking this adventure with Him.

The rhodo is a miniscule thing in the grand scheme of my life, but it cries out “forget the former things, do you not perceive it? Behold, I am doing a new thing.” And when I think of my son in Afghanistan I really know how petty I can be.

And yet, it hurts. Letting go hurts. I feel as if I have been letting go so much. It is a wonder to me that I finally agonizingly released a marriage of nearly three decades to reach for freedom and begin to breathe, and then when faced with losing Bird TV I crumble in a way I have not crumbled in months… sobbing on and off all day.

It can be scary to go forward, not knowing where my promised land is, or letting go of such a simple delight as Bird TV. It is one more loss, but this life is lost. This is not what is real. God and His kingdom are real. So I release Bird TV. I want what God has for me. He has promised to give me Him, and I know that is enough…on many levels. He lets me feel the loss so I can long for Him, for His kingdom

Some will say I am over spiritualizing. I know the sadness I feel, and when I feel it, I do begin to long for more. I want significance and beauty and love and hope. I long to have every breath be deep and richly satisfying.

I come full round again. Thank you Abba for the years of Bird TV. Thank you for the authentic joy and peace it has helped to foster in me as I watched your beautiful and crafty creatures. Thank you for the longing you have placed in me that rises up at the thought of the loss. I choose you Abba. Thank you for choosing me.

4/5/2013

P.S. My Son returned safely from Afghanistan on 6/29/2013. Bird TV is still here, but it will likely be gone before Labor Day.

muhl-tee-fas-i-tid

OK It is now official! I have a blog site.

Multifacetedblog.net

As I prayed about the name I heard “Facets” and saw a many sided gem. So I looked it up to make sure I knew what I was possibly getting into.

Definition of facet:

1. One of the flat polished surfaces cut on a gemstone or occurring naturally on a crystal.

2. Anatomy A small, smooth, flat surface, as on a bone or tooth.

3. Biology One of the lens-like visual units of a compound eye, as of an insect.

4. One of numerous aspects, [Appearance to the eye, especially from a specific vantage point] as of a subject.

Multifaceted

I appreciate the first two definitions. I knew a facet was a side, but I did not connect that it had to be flat, hard and is also polished. That leads me to think of how I can see my reflection in that flat polished surface. Not my bathroom mirror, but in the honest feedback from the Creator who loves me, loves us. Not about my exterior appearance, but rather reflecting the condition of my eternal soul and spirit. He does not want to condemn, but to draw me into His mercy, grace and forgiveness to bring me/us into freedom. Real freedom.

The third definition makes me think of the four living creatures in Revelation 4:

v6 “and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!””

The eyes of worship! Our Creator is the only God who sees all. Worship is a/the key to His presence.

If this blog was about me, some who know me well might say calling it “multifaceted” is a cop-out on my part to not focus….=} Fortunately, it is not about me! It is about our truly multifaceted God. Granted, I will share photos and write from my perspective of seeking His face for decades. The fourth definition of facet is “One of numerous aspects, [Appearance to the eye, especially from a specific vantage point] as of a subject.” I will try to share from the mountain highs and the valley lows and the plains in between. My prayer is to let Abba touch you in ways that will draw you deeper into relationship with Him.

Multifaceted, does however, grant me the freedom to be me as I share what I have learned and what I am learning on this journey of salvation, sanctification, and maturity, being transformed into the image of Christ. (2Cor. 3:18)

I hope you come along for the ride. Not for me…but for the love of God.  I don’t know where we are going, exactly. I just know I am to write. I don’t know why. There are millions of bloggers of every stripe. Because of my own insecurities I am reluctant, however, I hope I am an obedient blogger. (Obedient is not synonymous with “not fun”) I wonder what I have to offer that other people out there are not already saying and doing, but He has made it clear to me I am to write.

To the Glory of God!=}

Let’s go discover what Abba has in store. (I feel a little like Buzz Light year of Toy Story…To Infinity and BEYOND!)

More soon.

In HIS Grip,

Andrea

PS Please pray I figure out the technologies surrounding blogging! Until then, they will not be as colorful as I would like.

The above graphic image of Gems: used by permission http://www.terryleemartin.com/