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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 406 - Precious Surrender {FMF}

I never thought I would be writing a post called Precious Surrender (to go along with the previous two posts, Precious Moments and Precious Words), but time and circumstance oes have a way of changing one's outlook.

So, of course, does realizing that you're interpreting a word completely wrong.

I had thought of surrender in terms of 'giving up', but I've learned that in the Christian sense, it's not that at all.

What Christian surrender is, is really subordination, the acknowledgement that God's will trumps ours.

It doesn't mean that we can't have our own wants, our own set of desires; indeed, being made in the image of God, we're supposed to have these.

We're supposed to want happy lives ("I am come that you may have joy, and that your joy will be full."), and health, and even prosperity. Nothing wrong with these; Jesus raised lazarus from the dead, which is kind of the ultimate expression of health, and Solomon was reputed to be the richest man in history (but even he didn't have an iPhone X, and at $1200 a pop, I can see why).

And we're supposed to work toward these. We're supposed to do out best.

There's a Japanese expression that fits here, ganbatte. It means, "Please continue to do your best."

We have a clue in ganbatte. The implicit meaning (and it's explicit in Samurai culture) is that doing your best is not an option. It's expected. There's no excuse for not giving a maximum effort. (Excuse is the Five Minute Friday prompt this week.)

But winning is not. Winning is secondary.

The Samurai have given us another glue, in the banner carried by the near-legendary Kusunoki Masashige, who famously - and willingly - met his end, honourably, at Minatogawa.

His banner carried the kanji characters, Hirihotenten.


The literal translation is "Thinking about debt is important; thinking about death is unimportant."

Debt, you see, is something we can control, and it's something God expects us to control.

But death is in God's hands, and thus the alternate translation of Hirihokenten:

"God's will."

We're expected to fight hard, to do our best. When the katana is broken, we draw the tanto, the dagger, and fight on...and when it's knocked from our hands, well, it's fists and fingernails and teeth.

But our end is God's will.

We do our best, and fight to the last, and ultimately put our fate in His hands.

And that's what surrender is all about.

A quick aside - when Masashige left his home for his rendezvous with destiny at Minatogawa, he left a letter for his wife, in which he wished that his life might be a spool of thread...and, unspooled, that he could live his time with her again. If that doesn't make you flat-out cry, you've got real problems.

Musical accompaniment comes from Needtobreathe (an all-time great Christian band), with Keep Your Eyes Open.


Please pardon my slow response to comments. I'm doing my best, and your comments are really precious to me.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.



Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.









Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 405- Precious Words

We think we're going to live forever, until we realize we won't.

We think there will be time to do all of the things we wanted to, until time starts running out.

We think that there will come the right time to say the things we need to say, until the chance is lost.

We think we'll have the chance to make amends to those we've wronged, but amends take time, and the hourglass is emptying faster than we can move.

The legacy we leave is not what we've done; no one will remember the excellent golf game or the diligent professionalism we displayed at work. Our monuments will not be the patios we've built, or the rooms we've reconfigured and repainted for a more graceful life.

Our legacy is what we've said to the people who matter most, the words sincerely spoken that surround a wife with love and buoy up a friend whose hope is failing, and give heart to a stranger we've only kown through blogging.

So, while you have breath and voice, say the words.

"I'm proud of you."

"You're going a great job."

"I really appreciate what you've done."

"You can do it1"

And perhaps most important...

"I'm so sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me."

Grace is your real legacy, and the highest grace you can offer is the one that humbles you the most.

Musical theme if from the late, great Jim Croce, with Time In A Bottle.


Please pardon my slow response to comments. I'm doing my best, and your comments are really precious to me.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.



Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.







Monday, November 13, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 404 - Precious Moments

When you see your physical situation deteriorating, you get the message - each moment is precious.

This was brought home to me the other day, when I knocked over a stack of boxes...a stack that I'd knocked over before,and before that. I simply had not had the energy to put them away properly.

I became irritated, and used language, that, were I to reproduce it here, would doubtless fry the hard drive. Can't afford that, so I shall spare your sensibilities...and my ego.

But the question arose...was it really worth it, getting angry over something like that? Was the negative input to the day justified for something that took less than a minute to set right?

Obviously not. Yes, it could be excused as an OW-I-hit-my-thumb-with-a-hammer! moment, but really, when time and life is limited, that's cold comfort.

So I have to practice. When something goes pear-shaped, I can use it as an opportunity to take a breath and say, "It's OK. These things happen. Clean up and move on."

Too ill to write more, but I would love to hear your thoughts; I may not be able to respond to every comment now but I read and treasure them all.

Musical accompaniment, just for fun, is from Lillix, with It's About Time.




Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.





















Thursday, November 9, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 403 - The End Of Despair {FMF}

This worked out to be a kind of impromptu three part series...The Face of Despair, The Pit Of Despair, and now this post.

Guess I was kind of missing the thematic nature of #write31days!

It's easy to fall into despair in the face of a crushing illness. The future becomes truncated, and shuddered about with the scary-face things that presage the onset of death...being stuck in a hospital, tied to the machines that merely prolong life while shredding its quality.

I've spent long nights in hospitals. I never want to go there again.

And the past becomes painful, because then, seemingly just barely out of reach, was a time when your body and dreams were intact. If I could just...reach...back..!

But yesterday never comes again. We try to tune in on the oldies, but there's only a static-filled silence. Life has moved on, and only the quiet pictures are left. (Silence is the FMF prompt this week.}

Yeah, despair comes easy.

But the end of despair comes easier, if you just let go of what you thought you owned.

Not possessions, but life.

We are conditioned to think that the world owes us a life, that God somehow is constrained to meet our 'deal', that if we do it right, He's got to come through for us.

But that's not the way it works at all; look at what happened to His Son, and to the dudes who followed Him.

"Stephen stoned" had nothing to do with funny cigarettes, and everything to do with God forming a Faith, His faith, that would grow strong enough, watered by blood, to win back His creation from the pit of hell.

It's got nothing to do with what we have...and when we loose our grip, we can step back and see that what we tried to hold was not ours, but it was for us, a gift of God's own heart.

We can't lose what we never had, but when we give it back to God, we get it all back.

Because we are His.

Our musical theme comes from Sister hazel, with All For You. Hope you enjoy it!



I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.
















Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 402 - The Pit Of Despair

When Barb came home this afternoon, she too one look at me and said, "How can I help?"

I thought for a minute, and then said, "Well, surgery, radiation and chemo would be good...but you can have dinner first."

And that, dear readers, is how you cope with a day in the lowest circle of pain-and-nausea hell. With a bad joke that makes your dear wife wince.

I mean, a day that begins with an urgent laundry-run, and continues through puking on poor Humphrey the Pit Bull...it ind of went downhill from there to here, as I type this.

Humphrey took it in stride. When my knees buckled, he sat next to me and ept me propped up.

It was a day when one wanted nothing more than to curl up on a sofa in a foetal position, and half-listen to a funny movie.

But that's not the way to handle the lowest circle of hell. You've got to get up and do.

You've got to stay focused on the next task, and however long it takes, accomplish it. Then move on to the one after that

It begs the question of Why, when all really does feel lost...and the answer's simple.

My life was worth living yesterday, and it's worth living today. I may not accomplish much, but I can do one small thing, or two...and the important thing, for climbing out of that pit, is not the quantity of accomplishment.

It's the intention, that bright center of which hope is made.

Music today from Joe Jackson, with Steppin' Out. I mean, why not?


I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.