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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 342 - "Here's The Deal," Said God {FMF}

I hate saying, "Well, it's getting worse" every week. It feels like a request for pity, and kinda weak...but it is the unfortunate truth. And talking about it is the only way to accurately bear witness to the process. So here we are.

Again.

If you dropped by the last post, you'll know that along with everything else I've got a really painful rash that's tracing the lines of my lymph nodes, which can mean some very ugly things. As it is, I can't keep my arms by my sides, so I guess I'm helping Moses keep the Amalekytes at bay. Nice, feeling like I'm a part of Exodus 17:22.

(This is being written ahead of time for Five Minute Friday, and when the keyword is revealed I will try to work it in.)

(The word is INSPIRE.)

As things are going, to put it in Star Trek vernacular, my matrix is destabilizing and I will likely soon go offline.

Not where I wanted to be at this point in my life at all.

But to be honest, when I look back at my life, wherever I was, professionally or personally, I wanted to be somewhere else, as well.

And in that Neverland of Somewhere Else, when I caught the brass ring, everything would be groovy.

After I finished this project, after I got that grant, after I was accepted into these elite circles.

After I got a literary agent. (Hasn't happened yet.)

After I got that big publishing contract. (Hasn't happened yet, either, though I did get published...yeah!)

After I got married. (That did work out well, though it took a divorce from and remarriage to my magnificent wife before I kinda sorta figured it out...'it' being How Not To Be A Selfish Jerk.)

Everything had to inspire something else. I was like the famous Malaysian Concentric Bird, flying in eer-tightening circles until one day I would disappear up my own...uh, never mind.

I think it was Paul Theroux who wrote in The Old Patagonian Express that it's better to journey in hope than to arrive.

Yes...but here's the key...the hope has to be built into and for every step of the journey.

It can't be for the arrival.

The Hope is for and in God.

Not that He'll make your reams come true, but that He makes every moment you have into a dream come true.

Give Him everything you have, in every moment you have, and you'll receive more in return than you ever dreamed possible.

That's the deal He offers. He'll celebrate your victories in a dance that shakes Heaven, and when your heart is broken, it will become kintsugi, repaired with the lacquer of your tears and the gold-dust of His Love.

Think I'll take it.

How about you?

And for an appropriate musical theme, let's hand it over to the Electric Light Orchestra with Mr. Blue Sky.


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.













63 comments:

  1. Your neighbor at number 2, from FMFParty!

    I love this! And don't we all want to be somewhere further along our journeys?!!!

    Peggy

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    1. Peggy, thank you so much...and you're so right that we all want to be further along...or, in some cases, further back, that we might do it all again.

      So glad you're here!

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  2. Andrew your post brought tears to my eyes. The beauty and depth of your words, how you're choosing to live out their truths by embracing the One who loves you most . . . inspires me and challenges me to live more that way.

    As I read your post, I thought about those "When I_____, then ____" in my own life. Sometimes, we have to learn the lesson that really the NOW is what matters most. Living each moment with hope in God, with the knowledge that He is with us, even when things don't turn out the way I'd "hoped."

    Pondering your words tonight, my friend. And always, always praying for you.

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    1. Jeanne, wow...thank you so much for this. I'm so honoured.

      Learning that now matters most can be a really, really tough lesson. But I think the harder it is, the more it's needed.

      I so appreciate the prayers.

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  3. You inspire ME, Andrew! To live each day to its fullest and to seek God all the time--not just when I think I need him.

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    1. Anita, thank you so much for this. I'm truly touched, honoured...and yours made my day.

      Thank you so much for being here.

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  4. I'm with Anita! You inspire ME too! Praying for you and Barbara each and every day! I'm in the 7 spot this week.

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    1. Tara, thank you so much, and we truly appreciate the prayers...and your post is terrific!

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  5. So much truth to this: "it's better to journey in hope than to arrive." Much friendship and support to you, Andrew.

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    1. Paula, I'm deeply appreciative of your kind words, and your presence here.

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  6. I agree with the others, you inspire me too, and you still have the ability to make me laugh and cry all at once! So true, our hope has to be in God every step of the way. And I loved learning about kintsugi earlier this year- it's such a great illustration of how he makes something beautiful from our brokenness.

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    1. Lesley, gosh...all I can say is thank you, so very much!

      I have a kind-of kintsugi story, only I used ceramic glue.

      Years ago, Barb and I were in a Pier One store when a child knocked over a large decorative plat, and really smashed it. We felt sorry for the kid's parents, so we bought the remains, and I started putting it back together. It is 2-ft in diameter, there are pieces missing that were smashed to powder, but it's on a shelf here, a reminder that broken can be beautiful.

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  7. Andrew, I loved this. Your words are beautiful and filled with joy and hope.

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    1. Debbie, thank you! With God so near, even in the pain and other 'stuff', I do feel hope, joy, and very often., sheer delight.

      I'm so glad you're here.

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  8. Dude! If you've truly figured out the secret to not being a selfish jerk please share before it's too late! ;)

    Reading your words these last 2+ years (WOW, could it be that long?) have definitely been inspiring and your legacy will live on in my heart and the heart of many others my friend!

    If you can, would you pray for my friend and her family (hubby and 4 nearly grown kids). She's stopped the chemo. This is her 2nd battle. God gave her 10 years she didn't expect to have. Her name is Traci and she's the sweetest woman ever. We've known her since college.
    <3, hugs and prayers!
    Christy
    http://mywritingplayground.com

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    1. Christy, first and foremost, Traci is on my prayer list, and I will hold her up to the Lord.

      I'm so honoured by your kind words...and it's a surprise to everyone here - especially my doc - that I'm still living. But God has His reasons, and I won't quit.

      How not to be a selfish jerk...you've got to be faced with the loss of something that you simply can't afford to lose, and bury your own aspirations, letting them become the fertilizer for compassion and love.

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  9. Thanks for reminding me of this great deal, Andrew! Haven't been around in a while and sorry to hear you're getting worse. Thank you for being so faithful and keeping us updated!

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    1. Katha, it's so nice to see you here! I always look forward to your blog, and your comments.

      Getting worse, but I'm thinking 'circling the drain' is more ;being drawn into the tornado', and I'll be going UP one day soon with a lightness I can never imagine.

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  10. Insightful post! "Give Him everything you have, in every moment you have, and you'll receive more in return than you ever dreamed possible." So true. We have hope in Him and that is above and beyond what we can ask for.

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    1. Alice, yes! The Hope in Him overarches everything. Thank you so much for stopping by; I truly appreciate your company here.

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  11. Your willingness to keep pushing forward is inspiring! Thank you for these words! Praying for you friend! Happy Friday to you!

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    1. Rachel, thank you so much...pushing forward is what my wife says I do best, though sometimes I push to hard and she has to keep me from falling.

      I'm so grateful for the prayers!

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    1. Van, thank YOU. I appreciate your being here.

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  13. He'll celebrate your victories in a dance that shakes Heaven - He does that every day Zephaniah 3.17. Andrew, YOU inspire ME.

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    1. Susan, YES! Zephaniah 3:17 says it all.

      And, thank you, my friend. Truly.

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  14. This: "Give Him everything you have, in every moment you have, and you'll receive more in return than you ever dreamed possible." YES and AMEN!!! So good, brother! Praying for you and oh so thankful for you, too!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Karrilee, thank you so much for your affirming words, and especially for your prayers! Please know you are in mine.

      (And the 'removed comment' was full of typos...hit 'Publish' too fast. Fingers faster than brain.)

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  15. Andrew, i loved your post today:) especially, "The Hope is for and in God...

    Give Him everything you have, in every moment you have, and you'll receive more in return than you ever dreamed possible.

    That's the deal He offers. He'll celebrate your victories in a dance that shakes Heaven..."

    hang in there brother. we'll miss you when you have to go offline...whenever it happens.

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    1. Martha, thank you so much for this lovely comment...and I'll miss you, too, when I have to go.

      But somehow I think that when we all meet up again, the 'time of sorrow' will be quickly forgotten amidst the joy of an ever-renewed reunion. Do you think so?

      Thanks so much for being here.

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  16. You hit at 2 things - 1) that we never "arrive" on earth and just have to sit on a cushion watching everyone else try to "arrive." You write: "He makes every moment you have into a dream come true" - and, I'm right there saying, "Yes!!!" Except we all have to teach ourselves to see the blessing in each moment! Then, you talk about how one thing leads to another which leads to another - I call them in my post Soul Spurs which lead us to God from where our inspiration comes!!! Sounds like you are being spurred - and God is indeed inspiring! Blessings and Comfort to you in this journey you are on.

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    1. Maryleigh, you're so right...we have to learn to see the blessing in each moment. It can be very hard, and some moments...well, it's just hard to see ANYTHING 'blessing' in them!

      But they are there, and the harder to find, the more vital to our soul...and the more effective these oul Spurs are.

      I LOVE that term!

      Blessings back, from everyone here.

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  17. The fact that you included "Mr. Blue Sky" just makes me smile so big.

    I'm with you in struggling to enjoy the moment. There's always something ELSE, something that I'm convinced will make me feel better. But the truth is, as you share with us here, that the only thing we truly need, the only thing that will satisfy, is the Lord Himself.

    Someday, in the face-to-face meeting, all will indeed be blue skies. - Marie (mlsgregg.com)

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    1. Marie, I am SO glad you enjoyed Mr. Blue Sky!!!!

      Enjoying the moment is hard, but for me the turning point came when I realized that God is not IN the moment...

      ...He IS the moment.

      And yes, we will ALL be Blue Skies!

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    1. Jan, thank you so very, very much. Truly.

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    1. Elizabeth, I'm honoured. Thank you for this.

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  20. "journey in hope" is my new favorite phrase.

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    1. Stephanie, I am so glad! I love that phrase, too. Thank you so much for being here; I appreciate your company.

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  21. I love the image of kintsugi -- the broken pot, made more beautiful because of the lacquer used to repair it. Beauty in the broken -- and we're all broken and beautiful. Thank you, Andrew.

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    1. Jeannie, long ago I rescued a Pit Bull from the fighting life. He was broken, with a huge scar on his head, and one eye gone.

      He looked like Mike Tyson on a very bad day, but he was beautiful, and had a special love for little children. I lived on a cul-de-sac, and the neighbourhood mothers would drop off their kids for Kareem's Day Care. They could ride him, pull his tail, and bury him in a reverse dogpile...and they would all end up with nap time together, Kareem being the (very large) pillow.

      They were the safest children on the planet. He would have died to protect them.

      Broken is beautiful, indeed.

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  22. No matter what, Andrew, you have done what God requires of us... you have shared the Truth with people who may have never heard otherwise, you have shown what God's love and grace look like in the face of the most difficult times, you have been a testimony to Jesus Christ as your Savior. That is all He requires of us. You placed God first and we have seen that through your words. Whatever happens now, we place you in His hands. I'm honored to have found you at this spot in time... thank you for blessing me with your presence here. Jerry and I will continue to pray for you, and Barbara, and the dogs... even long after. Whenever the time comes, just take His hand and go home. And rest. Thank you, Andrew.

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    1. Diana, words fail me. I cannot tell you much this comment has moved me, has strengthened me, and has bolstered my hope and faith.

      We're so very honoured by the prayers you and Jerry send up...all of us. Thank you so much for that.

      One day God will take my hand to lead me home, but before I rest, I will tell Him of you.

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  23. Andrew,
    This sounds like a good-bye, or a so-long, which I hope it isn't, but either way know that your words are inspiration for me, and I know, for so many others. "Give Him everything you have, in every moment you have, and you'll receive more in return than you ever dreamed possible". These words are priceless, for so often we don't know where our inspirations are taking us, and we sometimes live in the should haves, could haves and what ifs, and miss the whole point of the present. Life must be lived in the "now" for it's all we are sure of. Tomorrow is an illusion. There really is no tomorrow. I've never lived there, have you? And the past is gone. Here and now is all we have. Know that you have gotten me through some of my worst moments. I so look forward to meeting you, and I know I will. I will, of course, be looking always for the next post, and the next Grace for the Day. God Bless, and my prayers are for you. FMF #72 this week. A poem.

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  24. Mary, not a goodbye yet, but the lights may be going down. We'll see. I won't be quitting.

    That I have been able to help you means the world to me, and makes everything - literally EVERY thing - worthwhile.

    We'll meet, one day, when there will be no more need for tears. I look forward to that, an in the meantime, I thank you, sincerely, for your prayers.

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  25. So much food for thought in this post, Andrew...

    Kintsugi is a new term for me although I'm familiar with the concept. Ours is such a "disposable" culture that I marvel at how "everyday" objects warrant such careful repair. It's a beautiful reminder that nothing (and no one) is truly ordinary but should be valued and shown respect.

    Also, your words are an eloquent statement of the importance of LIVING in hope, not simply waiting to arrive at a blessed destination. Allowing Hope to fill us daily, regardless of our circumstances, is sometimes a tall order, but with God it is possible. Obviously you have learned that lesson well! Your and your family are in my prayers tonight.

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    1. Susan, thank you so much...I'm truly honoured by your words, and by the fact that you found something of value in mine.

      You're so right, that just living is a tall order...and I find that it has to be constantly renewed by leaning into God's presence, His immanence in my life.

      We truly appreciate your prayers...the power of prayer is so vital!

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  26. You inspire others, because you choose to life in the moment, no matter how hard, how painful. You continually pour out wisdom and inspiration. Thank you. Saying a prayer for you my friend.

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    1. Barbie, thank you so much for this, and most especially for the prayers!

      They are needed. Hard days now.

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  27. I've been thinking a lot over the past couple of years about being present where I am, no matter what my circumstances are, and how much time I've spent thinking "when this happens or changes." I enjoy visiting and reading your thoughts here Andrew.

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    1. Laura, staying in the now is such a hard thing to do (for me!); practice makes it easier, but I still tend to drift.

      Thanks so much for being here! I really appreciate your stopping by and commenting.

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  28. "Yes...but here's the key...the hope has to be built into and for every step of the journey.

    It can't be for the arrival.

    The Hope is for and in God."

    So beautiful Andrew. Your wisdom never ceases to bless me.

    PS Also jazzed that you shared my favorite ELO song.
    God bless you.

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    1. Kelly, thank you so much for this gracious, uplifting comment...I am truly grateful, and delighted that you and I have the same favourite ELO song!

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  29. "Give Him everything you have, in every moment you have, and you'll receive more in return than you ever dreamed possible." Andrew, you amaze me the way you are able to use your words to inspire and encourage even when you are in so much pain. But maybe I shouldn't be all that amazed. Maybe this is part of God using your brokenness and making something beautiful! Many blessings to you and Barbara and may God comfort and heal. {{HUGS}}

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    1. Gayl, I really do owe all to God, and the Love He sends through His people...people like you, without whom I would have given up long ago.

      Blessings and hugs back, from both of us.

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  30. "Give Him everything you have, in every moment you have, and you'll receive more in return than you ever dreamed possible." So very true. Thank you for reminding me to live in the now and not in the when I reach that next goal.

    Praying for you.

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    1. Cathy, it's a very hard thing to maintain, living in the now.I always had trouble with it; less trouble these days, because the future is on kind of a short horizon. Not the way I would have chosen to learn, but I am glad I did.

      Thank you so much for the prayers!

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  31. I continue to include you in my prayers. May you find comfort in God's love through community and family. Stay strong (I bet you're tired of hearing that, but I sincerely say it).

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  32. "...the hope has to be built into and for every step of the journey." Yes, that is such a profound statement. One of my favourite scriptures is Isaiah 40:31, that our hope in the Lord renews our strength. I think that hope is about understanding we are made from love, in His image, and our bodies are just 'avatars' (as a teacher described once). To soar, run, and walk is doing so within, with the Spirit within us.

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  33. "Give Him everything you have, in every moment you have, and you'll receive more in return than you ever dreamed possible."

    No matter what situation anyone finds themselves, these words ring true. Thank you for your words of truth.

    Praying for you.

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  34. Awesome post of "Your Dying Spouse 342 - "Here's The Deal," Said God {FMF}"

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