With light snowflakes outside, and the fireplace turned on, it seemed like a good time to update you all on life and ministry things.
Probably the first question any of you would ask me is "How are you doing with the grief process?" That's a very difficult question for anyone to answer, as grief is such an unpredictable thing. Most days are just fine...more good ones than bad ones....but then you're just going along fine, and out of the blue comes a day that the fog comes swirling back in, and the loss seems overwhelming. I really can't explain why one day is good and the next one is hard. There isn't really any difference that one can pinpoint....only that it is. It has been a season of coming to terms with both mortality and the sovereignty of God. I've had lots of time for reflection, and at the same time have been involved in a number of things that I want to share with you. All in all, I'm feeling like the fog has begun lifting, new things are emerging, and life is returning. Hope that answers that question for you!
Over the summer months I finished the move. Yup! There was a whole storage unit of stuff that needed to find a home...other than mine! Everything has been sorted and relocated now, and things are finally nearly settled in my new place. The past several weeks, I've been doing a lot of "fine tuning"...cleaning and organizing closets, storage areas, office, etc. It feels so great to know what I have and where to find it! A few things are still finding permanent homes, but I'm working my way through room by room deep cleaning and organizing. A few things remain in the garage, but it's nearly gone now. I love my new place and have plenty of room should any of you decide to come for a visit! Louie has been a great "old people magnet" as we walk around the neighborhood. About half of the neighborhood has their own little dogs, so it's really easy to get acquainted when people are out walking or in their yards. I actually was nominated to serve the next 3 years on the board for the Homeowner's Association. It's a bit of a strange platform, but gives me opportunity to relate to the neighborhood. I should hear something on that sometime in the next week or so. The flock of turkeys who were haunting the backyard seem to have disappeared. I think maybe they realized that Thanksgiving is coming and my grandson hunts turkeys!!
I've been gradually stepping back into more ministry things over the past few months. I'm still doing a bit of strengths coaching and am starting to get all those files updated to see who I need to be in touch with. I've picked back up with several individuals that I've mentored in years past. I'm presently meeting individually with a number of widows, and I find that my heart is stirring in that area. I've come across several good ministries online that are geared towards widows, but haven't yet found anything locally. I've been giving some thought to starting something but am not sure yet at this point what that will look like. I'm considering starting a new blog that will address issues that are specific to widows, and have thought maybe to gather a group of widows that I know to act as a focus group to identify what issues they think I should write about. For instance, did you know that approximately 700,000 people lose their spouse every year, and that in the first two years they are likely to lose 3/4 of their support network/friends? There are many reasons for this, but each of us thinks we're alone in wondering where our friends have gone. Please pray with me as I think about this and explore both the need and how to address it.
Another exciting thing is beginning to open. When I moved, I had 21 file boxes of sermon notes and research that belonged to Dave. I've gone through all of them one page at a time and sorted them down to one two-drawer file. Last week I met with a friend who prints and distributes hundreds of thousands of Bibles, tracts, CDs, and other religious materials every year. He's very interested in having me reformat Dave's prayerwalking materials into a single-fold tract format, as well as to create a series of prayer tracts on the basics of how to pray for various things....designed to target brand new Believers who have never had any teaching regarding prayer. We've been talking to some contacts in Mexico, and there's a very real possibility of sending an initial printing of 50,000 prayerwalking guides into 400+ churches in Mexico. I have a lot of sorting and condensing and rewriting to do in order for this to become a reality, so please pray into that?
These new glimpses into what could be possible have served to give me a breath of fresh purpose. People keep telling me to slow down, and take time to rest, and not move too fast, and don't take on too much. Honestly, I'm not sure what that even looks like. Dave has been gone for a year and a half now, and I've had plenty of time to reflect and think, and to grieve and cry. I've always been pretty high capacity, so I've had just about enough sitting on the bench! These are uncertain days for all of us, but I've been reading some things in John 8-10 this week where Jesus keeps saying, "I'm telling you an eternal truth....." Some things are eternal, and those are the ones we need to fix our focus on. Whether or not any of our plans actually come to pass is not the real issue. The real question is "Are we listening, and ready to obey?" The prayer of my heart is that I will hear clearly what this next season should bring. I'm convinced that God has called me to this season of being a widow, and now He has given me everything I need to live it to His glory!
Thank-you so much for staying with me in prayer and financially during this time. The bills are all paid, and I'm definitely not starving! If we move ahead with printing and distribution of some of Dave's materials, there will be some costs associated with that. Please pray if God would have you be a part of that endeavor.
Looking forward to the season ahead with much prayer,