Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saying Goodbye. Also? Blackberries. And Teapots.

I was at a funeral on Friday morning for a friend-from-work's mom.
Twas amazing.

So many stories.
So much love.
So many people.

Such a great, well-lived life.
So many lives touched and impacted by her time on earth.

She left behind a family and group of friends who loved her dearly.
She ended well.

So many thoughts.

What will my funeral be like?
My kids would plan it, right?
(That concerns me a little bit.)
(No seriously. It does.)

What will my parent's funerals be like?
Who would talk/share?
Who would officiate?
(Is that a thing? Officiate? Or is that just for weddings? I guess I'm wondering who The Pastor would be.)
(Special music? Other than Val, we are so not a talented bunch. Not one little bit.)
(So, maybe, much music by Val on the piano? That would be nice. Awesome even.)
And when I say 'much music' by Val, I don't mean:

I mean she would play ALL the music.)

What is the purpose of a funeral/celebration-of-life service?
To say goodbye?
To share the stories?
An occasion to pause... and remind us where we've come from?
To share the hope of where we're going? Where they've gone?
To give people a chance to gather and talk and remember?

Funerals are not for the ones who have passed; (they're gone, after all...) they're for the family left behind, correct?
In that case, it's not so much about what the deceased wants, is it?
It's more about those who are grieving.

Funerals always spur me on to live my life intentionally.
To be purposeful about how I spend my days.
And who I spend them with.
And the attitude I carry with me as I enter into each new day.

Thanks, Melanie for honoring your mom with such a respectful, joy-filled, hope-giving, loving service. I never knew her but she sounds like she was an amazing woman.
Well done.


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Brisk, long, wonderful walk along the Vedder on Friday night...

...where we ate blackberries...

and more blackberries ....

and still more blackberries.

They were plump and juicy and sweet. And sweet. Like, really sweet. Like, dipped in sugar sweet. And then we went to the lake where we at corn-on-the-cob for a late dinner.

2. I am thankful for lazy Saturdays. And the ability to open windows. (No open windows at work/ my mom's house because of air conditioning. Which is nice for temperature control, don't get me wrong. But I do love a breeze. And fresh air. So I love staying at the lake for that.) And while it's not necessarily my favoritist thing in the world to do, (mountain hiking is SO exhausting) (Teapot is SO a mountain...) we hiked Teapot this afternoon. It took forever not because we couldn't get enough air in our lungs, but because we had to admire all the teapots hidden along the way.

3. And I'm thankful for cell phones.

Dear God,

Thanks for deciding that I should live here.
I'm grateful.

Thank you for thinking I'd be a OK as a mom, and for trusting me to raise Clint, Max and Drew. I'm pretty sure I screwed that up, but I'm trusting You've stepped in where I've fallen short. They are awesome humans, thanks for allowing me to be a part of their lives.

God, I pray that You would give, abundantly, Your wisdom to my kids. Guide them as they navigate their way into adulthood. Close doors they shouldn't enter. Open doors they should. Push them when they've stopped moving. Give them courage to do the right thing. (And when they're confused, show them what the right thing is.)

Remove from their lives people with evil intentions. Fill their lives with friends, mentors, role models and companions that bring joy, acceptance, love and balance.

There are folks that need to hear from you.
Could you speak to them clearly? In ways they understand?
If they call on You, could you respond in an unmistakably personal way that shocks them?
Go crazy.
Show off.
Get their attention.
Be up in their business.
And let them know, above all else, that you love them.

Robin Williams committed suicide this week.
He was depressed. And had addiction issues and I'm just so sad.
There are people I love who are struggling with these exact same demons.
Please, please, please, direct/push/shove/pull them towards someone who can help.
God, please whisper their name. And let them know You created them for a purpose.
The world needs them to shine their light, even if that light is only a small 20 watt bulb.

God I pray that we would be bold enough to offer help and friendship to those who are suffering.
God I pray that we would be sensitive enough to walk alongside.
God I pray that we would be courageous enough to make suggestions.

God, I pray that those who need help, would be strong enough to ask for it.
God, I pray that you equip the rehab houses and psych wards so they can handle the folks who show up needing help.

Thank you for NA and AA communities around the world that are providing safe places for addicts to share their stories and be filled with hope. I pray you would protect these meetings from evil. I pray you would enable those who attend to reach out and connect to others who understand.

God? Gaza? Syria? Palestine? Iraq? Refugee Camps? Brutality in the middle east. Oy. So much suffering and pain and bloodshed. Are you on it?
I don't understand.
Why it started. Or why it can't be stopped.
Your will be done.
Do some miracles.
Protect the innocent.

Punish the wicked.

I pray You would give wisdom to our leaders.
So. Much. Wisdom.

Equip them to rule justly.

I pray for those I love who are looking for meaningful work.
Jobs that they have trained for in industries that they have experience in,

God I pray you would provide them with opportunities to use their gifts and talents.
I pray you would provide them with opportunities to stretch and grow their abilities.

I pray they would feel fulfilled and at peace with the work you set before them.
I pray you would fill their workplace with companions of your choosing, so that their work day is fun and full.

Thank you for summer and seasons and weekends and day and night and the rhythm of life. It is good.

Thank you for friends.
Thank you for my friends.
Can you protect their marriages?
Give them eyes to see each other as You see them.
Give them extra doses of patience.
And understanding.

And fill their homes with laughter.
Inspire them to do something outrageous for each other.

Thank you for making things so beautiful.
Please remind us to take care it all.

Thank you for churches.
Good idea.
Help us not suck at being church-people.

Thank you for dreams and longings.
Remove the ones that don't come from you.

Thank you for songwriters and bookwriters and moviewriters.
Thank you for filling them with words to songs, books and movies.

God, I've got the entertainment industry on my mind.
Could you bless it? Raise up more actors, directors, cinematographers, musicians, directors, producers and so on?
Could you show up on every set? And could Your will be done?
What would that even look like?

... that funeral on Friday -
Thank you for lives well lived.
Thank you for lives lived with no regrets.
Thank you for lives filled with love.
Thank you for lives lived with no fear of dying.

Thank you for this season in my life.
Feels weird. You know that.
Help me not to waste this time.

Thank you for blackberries.
And raspberries.
And watermelon.
And corn-on-the-cob.
And butter.
And strawberries.
And flavors.

Thank you for places.
So. Many. Places.
Thanks for the opportunity to see some of them.
I have this theory that the ones I don't get around to seeing during my lifetime, I'll be able to see in heaven.
Just a theory. But maybe?

God? I pray for your blessing and protection on my Compassion Kids. Hold them close, and provide them with all that they need.

Thank you for being so creative when you made the earth.

Well done.

I'm making some plans for the fall.
And I'm praying for Your involvement in those plans.
Are they good ones?
Please intercede. Prevent me from doing things that don't have your blessing.
And swing those doors open wide for places I should be going.
And if I come across a closed door, help me not to bang and barge my way in. And remind me not to sit outside it and feel sorry for myself.

Seeing we're talking about me, I'll just carry on with that.
Y'know these longings I have?
Can I just hand them over to you?
Wouldja mind just handling them for me?
I pray your will be done.
You know what's best. You know everyone involved. You know the future. And you have a plan.
Give me peace about that, OK?
And then give me more peace about it again tomorrow.

Help me to forgive.
Over and over.
Just when I think I'm good. That it's all laid to rest, I get an email that sets me off again.
Why can't I just forgive and forget once and let it last forever?
How come I have to deal with the same shit every couple months?
You could probably say the same about us.
Sigh again.
Help me to forgive. Every day.

Also, since we're still on the topic of me?
I have a list.
Could you help me be more fun?
Show me how.
When I'm not, and I should be, inspire me.
Could you give me a spark of love for exercising?

Thank you for my job and the creative people I work with.
I am in awe daily of the work that goes on in our building. Thanks for allowing me to work there.
Show me how to contribute in a meaningful way.

Please be with those who are travelling this weekend.
Protect them.
Open their eyes to things you want them to see.
Bring them home safely.

That's it fer now.
Thanks for loving me.


Shalom friends,

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