Saturday, May 26, 2012

How Do You Walk Away from a Mountain of Grief?

Dear brothers & sisters,

We are in the mountains of grief, mountains that fit the size of the one we mourn; Greg was larger than life. 

It's so cold, it's dark and we can see no way out. We scream at God for allowing us here; we scream and we scream. Towering trees of guilt, pain, and anger seem to surround us and block any heat from nearing us. We are lost and don't know how to find light, how to find home, we aren't sure what it can possibly look like any more. We are confused and curl up in tears, in silence, feeling the hell wind blow around us. Shadows haunt, fear of the future grips us. 

How do you ever move away from the mountains? There seems no way out, they are all consuming.  How do you know when you've walked away from a mountain?

You open your eyes and see the face of your sister, your brother, and realize you aren't the only one here. For a split moment you panic that they are here too, you don't want them to be, but you realize you were meant to be here together. You grasp hands and the pain splits through your arms into your gut, leaving  you breathless. You start to move together. It is slow, it is terrifying, and it's nothing  short of body gripping suffering. One screams for the Sun, and one is silent. One step at a time and our feet crashes into the cold river of guilt and we are swept up, we can't breathe and we are drowning in it, this is when someone reaches in and gathers us in His arms and carries us. 

We keep moving. In the earliest break of day, when we are stuck between sleep and wakefulness the weight of our circumstance crushes down. We question how day and night can still come & go, the possibility of a world outside of the mountains exists and functions. 

We are picked up again by sister friends, brother friends and we slowly move. Moments we get lost, and end up deeper in the trees, where it feels like ice. 

Time passes and somehow a shred of sun peaks through the leaves, we are given a glimpse of light. We remember how Greg did all things with passion and drive, and we push our steps forward.  The split second of comfort of community, of family, and the rejoicing in a life well lived makes us continue. Somehow through the swirling wind we can hear the laughter of a child, a child Greg would have knelt down to speak with and something pushes us. It's all we needed, a small piece of Hope. 

Our legs ache and the journey seems like it's getting larger, looming, instead of getting closer to where we can see the ball of fire clearly again. 

Then One whispers, I am your encourager, I am your provider, I am here. Fixate on me, don't look at the mountains around you, I will carry you out. 

How do you know when you have ever really left the mountains? They will always be there, they will have changed who we are, but I'm hoping someday they will be further away. Well still feel their shadows, but when we feel the sun shine down again, it will feel somehow fill us in a different way. 

Greg you were so loved, you are mourned and your life we will learn from.

How is a life of greatness written?

A book of everything, black & white, clear, evident, and in bold.

It starts with a momma with a child on her lap, storybook in hand, to shape the mind, and a daddy to exemplify hard work, not just merely talk about it.

It is formed by the love of siblings, not just brothers and sisters, but best friends, and cousins

family meals

playing catch

watching movies.

It's recognized in dusty boots after a branding and an old red hat, punctuated with a shiny blue truck and country music.

It is nurtured by gravel roads, big skies and love of a farm.

It changes people by being solid, dependable & full of passion.

When you see a life like this, you want to be better. Not just in times like this when you reflect, but in the moments spent with eyes listening to only you in a crowd, with that big grin.

Evidence of priorities of community and family are so strong & the strength of these actions start to shape your own heart. The nephew on his back, the quiet will to dig in and help in any circumstance and willingness to show up and be there makes you study your own ways.

Greatness that follows a passion in all things, academics, business, agriculture, family, and sport start to make you want to be greater.

Community is the rubbing of shoulders, helping form one another's lives. It's the hand reaching out when you need it, it's caring about the children who are growing up, it is investing in those around you. Greg epitomized community, he loved his family, he loved his friends and he humbly was in the middle of things--helping write our own lives, helping us to be greater.

And so we grieve together and trust that

"God is our protection and source of strength.
    He is always ready to help us in times of trouble.

So we are not afraid when the earth quakes
    and the mountains fall into the sea.

We are not afraid when the seas become rough and dark
    and the mountains tremble.

There is a river whose streams bring happiness to God’s city,
    to the holy city of God Most High.

God is in that city, so it will never be destroyed.
    He is there to help even before sunrise.

The LORD All-Powerful is with us.
    The God of Jacob is our place of safety.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The LORD All-Powerful is with us.
    The God of Jacob is our place of safety."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Barnboard Tea Box

I was just about reduced to posting about my hound dog, but could feel it in my bones that there were better things in store. Then the moment hit, I remembered Mother's Day! That blissful day when the babies bring you breakfast in bed and you can idly spend your time eating bon bons, while the house is magically cleaned and everyone's fed. The day where mother's all over are lifted above their daily chores and can prance around like the queen's they are. There is no fussing, no whining, no spills and definitely no runny noses. Hmmm..Is this what Mother's Day is like in the US of A? North of the border, we celebrate with barn wood, ladies, you heard it here first.

My two year old is a craftsman, y'all. She made me a tea box for Mother's Day-out of ancient barn board to boot. She might have had a little help from Papa, but I'm pretty sure it was just her bossing him around in the shop. The child made a few phone calls to discuss some rustic love, and came up with a plan. A simple plan, a solution for the eighty odd thousand, tacky boxes of tea I haul out when company stops in. She told me that my excitement over actually getting company doesn't mean that we need to pull out every. single. tea box in the house. I replied, "you're two, what do you know?" Now, now, all sass aside. 
Thanks to Papa for allowing Taylin to hang out in the shop and set up a sweeties shop in there, a big fat thanks for the endless sugar hearts, lolli's and chocolate you always pretend to buy. 

If you pull up to my table I can just yank this perty lil thing out and let you snoop around to see what sort of tea you'd like for yourself. I'd like you to take note of photo A, do you see that Tazo tea that I probably ripped off from a hotel, labelled CALM? Do you think if I drank this by the bucket load it would help? Better yet, do you think if I started to shove it down the children, it would help them? 

My love for barn board is increasing by the second. It's in the budget, it's goy-geous, and it might just hold a sweet story or two. I started talking about planking parts of the house tonight and I could see this frightened look in my husband's eyes. I'm notorious for starting projects that are just a little over my head. Really now, what woman isn't? 

Now if you'll excuse me, I hear a little cowpoke a hollerin' and I'm thinking I might just put the kettle on. 

'Nighty night!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mother Nature Shouts Yeehaw!

I had the wise idea to allow the wild lions to play on drums and I use the term drums loosely. It's a chorus of pure, ear aching noise crashing off the ceiling in the living room. I thought pots and wooden spoons were standard baby toys? The two year old is turning it into a game of, "look for the shooting muffs so our ears don't explode!"

I'm breaking my rule of being on the computer while the kidlets are awake, but I realize as the noise is increasing, I'm pulling the chubby legged babes out of the plant and my sort of clean house is losing the 'sort of' quickly-this might be a bad idea.

There's a new chunk of technology in this house and it seriously inhibited my blogging abilities. I have no clue how to run this here computer, but finally decided I needed to suck it up and figure it out. I had lofty ambitions to linking up with Wrangler & Ribbons and answering some of her questions about what's happening around these parts, but my self diagnosed, adult onset CRAZINESS has been taking over.

This lady's first point to expand on: "I know it's spring because..."

With a hefty dose of belly laugh I would like to point out to you that I made a comment in a previous post that it's springtime in Alberta, and who really knows what that means? Mother Nature belongs in the nuthouse and all of us Albertans should follow along for residing in this land. Now, don't get me wrong, my roots dig deep & I'm as proud as can be to be from this mixed up place. Seriously, we can burn in the sun one day, blow away in the wind the next, and have snow pour down as the moon fades away. We are in the wild west and I do feel pretty wild about it. Wild in a nutty way.

I try not to make promises of playing outside or going to see the calves, because the next minute we will be holed up and hunkered down because of the blessed weather.

I do know the gophers are out, crocuses are blooming to bring a bit of hope, and the meadowlark is singing in all her glory. Calves are on the ground,  my two year old is digging in the dirt outside and grown men are seeding. The Mucks have been whipped out, walls are being washed, and laundry can now blow off the line in the wind. Signs of new life are exploding all over the place, just sometimes we have to dig them out of the snow. 

We all hold our heads a little higher, laugh a little harder, and are pleased to see our neighbors didn't freeze through winter. Life just feels good.

Here's to Spring, whatever that may mean, and here's to figuring out how to run the blasted computer.
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