How in the world has it been 2 weeks since I last wrote here?
With all that has gone on, surely it has been longer than that?
And yet, where did these 2 weeks go?
Life is a very wicked see-saw! Just saying.
Not a smooth ride at all.
One moment we are up soaring with the eagles, and the very next heartbeat we come crashing down so hard that we are jarred to the very core of our beings.
Life. It just IS.
We have a new to us lady here at the resident home.
Sweet lady, but at the present time, quite a handful.
I wonder if she will calm down and settle into a routine of sorts, or if this is just her standard of living?
Only time will tell.
For now, my responsibility is to love her, care for her, and do what I can to help her - even when she doesn't want my help.
Just to be there for her, but even in that, not to be "there" too much - because she does need to learn a measure of independence that she is lacking in.
So, there's that see-saw.
I have prayed harder in the last few days than I have prayed in a very long time.
And cried more tears than I could have imagined.
My oldest grandson is our Marine.
Since February when he left port, we have been able to hear from him - not all the time, but with a little regularity. Just to hear that he's ok, that things are good. To tell him that we love him, and miss him. To hear and read his words that he loves us and misses us, too.
And then, this administration decided to withdraw from Afghanistan. And deployed almost 7,000 troops to help in that withdrawal.
Yes, my grandson was one of those.
And while I have prayed every day for him since he left for basic training a little over a year ago, the prayers intensified with this news.
Prayers and tears were sent heavenward.
And as Moses got tired in the battle of holding his arms up, so he called for those beside him to hold them up for the victory - I have called many times on my friends and families to help me pray. Not only for the safety and welfare of my grandson, but of all those who are deployed, the almost 7,000 with anxious waiting family and friends.
Then, the nightmare began in earnest on this past Thursday. Suicide bombings, and 13 of our babies were lost. 13 knocks on the doors came within 8 hours. 13 lives gone. 13 heart beats stilled. 13 families whose tomorrows are forever altered.
While I thanked God that my grandson was not among that number, and thanked God that there were no knocks on the doors for our family ... there was the gut-wrenching ache and grief for those who were having to answer the doors, see the men in uniform, and knowing what it all meant.
And the fear.
Such fear as I have not known in years. Fear for my grandson, because he is still there. And we have no idea what the day will bring. Each day it is like I hold my breath for every news cast, for every written report coming out of that area. And each night when I lay down to sleep, I am held awake with the darkness of not knowing. Fear for my daughter, his precious Momma. As she waits anxiously for a message from him. As she fights back her fears, and holds in check her tears. Fear for my granddaughter, his sister. As the missing him mingles with pride for his service. As she sees the same newscasts that I see. Fear for my son, his wife, and my grandchildren there.
I know the Bible says 365 times "Do not be afraid" or "Fear not" ... but the one verse that is flashing neon to me, a beacon in all of this darkness - "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." Psalm 56:3
When. What a treasured word to me right now.
When. No judgment. No criticism. No fault at being afraid.
And here's the see-saw.
So, here I sit on a still and quiet Sunday afternoon, hot as blazes outside, an oppressive heat.
But no hotter outside than in my soul.
So hot within me that I swear there must be blisters on my heart.
I wrote in my journal this morning that I am on overload.
I know no other word that so aptly describes how I feel on this afternoon.
The wildfires that rage across our nation.
All this that is Covid related.
The conspiracy theories that make me think of someone snatching out of the thin air something that somehow sounds plausible to them in that moment, and they run with it. People that at any other time would be rational and filled with common sense being sucked into a vacuum of thoughts, ideas, and far-fetched imaginations. All fueled by the media in one way or another.
Hurricane Ida coming ashore even as I write these words. Thousands of people unable to get out of the path of this Cat 4 hurricane.
Afghanistan. Almost 7,000 troops stationed there. 2 days left to the time given to get our people out.
The truckers are threatening a strike beginning on Tuesday in protest of Covid related mandates.
And the list goes on.
But then, there are the restaurants that are setting aside a table with 13 drinks, a folded flag, and other objects in honor of the 13 who will never sit at a table again.
People who are reaching out in love and in kindness to those in need around them.
Teachers who are loving on their students because we are living in such a turmoil filled world.
Strangers reaching out with a helping hand to put gas in an elderly woman's car, and then help her get back in the car.
Strangers paying for meals of those in cars behind them at the drive-thru's.
And again, the see-saw shows up.
I find these days there are things that I once deemed too important to live without, can be lived without.
And there are those things which used to irritate me that no longer do.
So many things, I just don't care anymore.
I don't care.
However, things that I once was able to overlook and simply look away from?
I can't anymore. Such as rude behavior.
I no longer care if you tell me that 1+1 = 5 ... I will say, "you go you!"
I don't care.
It's more urgent now to tell someone "job well done", or "you are so loved".
I absolutely crave the voices of my children and grandchildren.
But the noises of the world hold so much less than they ever have for me.
So one more time, the see-saw rears it's ugly head.
These are a few of the truths that I am living these days.
Some go deeper.
A few are surface only.
I pray more, but they are gut wrenching prayers.
When I laugh, I realize now that I actually mean those laughs, it's not nervous laughter any more.
I weigh my words more carefully.
Not because I am afraid of what anyone thinks of me -
but I know all too well how easy it is for words to be taken wrong and out of context ... and to hurt like hell when they are.
I'm enjoying my coffee more ... savoring the sips -
I listen more intently to the birds singing -
I watch the sunlight filtering thru the trees -
I truly try to pay attention to where I am, and to the things my eyes see.
I seldom listen to music that has lyrics, opting for piano worship music softly playing.
Rarely do I watch TV or movies, unless they are the old ones, like "I Love Lucy", "Andy Griffith", a John Wayne western, something that if I go to sleep on I don't have to worry about language and subject content seeping into my subconscious.
And yes, if I go to sleep while watching something? I sleep! It's usually the only real sleep and rest I get.
See-saws are not so fun as an adult.
I sit here with only about 13 hours before starting a 48 hour straight shift, and I wonder if these things will ever change?
Or has this become the new normal for my life?
Is there "normal" any more?
I will end this day with a hot shower, probably a margarita, and some tears as I pray over our children and our grandchildren, and say an extra prayer of pleading for our Marine.
Life on the see-saws.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here