How Well We Know the Ones We Love

20140221-221522.jpg

About a week ago I bought a little app for jigsaw puzzles. The neat thing about it is that you can use your own photos to make any puzzle you want. You can make them as complicated (550 pieces) or as simple (42 pieces) as you want.

I started out with some of the puzzles the app offered and then started on some art work I had saved before moving on to family photos like this one. Of the five people in this photo, only two of us remain on this earth, my sister Judy on the far left and myself on the far right. The other three people, from the left, are Mother, Daddy, and my oldest sister Betty.

I have to admit, it felt a little odd putting this particular puzzle together. I thought, “piece of cake, right?” I know these people. I’ve looked at this picture many times.

I started with the edges as is my usual habit. Then I started the middle. I came to a point where I had a woman’s mouth. Was it Betty’s? Was it Mother’s…or even mine? I looked closer at the tiny piece on the screen and suddenly knew, without a doubt, it was Mother. Tears sprang to my eyes as I remembered the last time I heard her speak and breathe, moments before she passed away in my arms. Hers was the first voice I ever heard, the voice who could yell me home a block away, and the voice I remembered singing hymns in church. Those lips kissed away booboos and heartbreaks.

Next came a set of twinkly, mischievous blue eyes. Well! Those could belong to any of us, but that particular twinkle was all Betty when she laughed. We were all happy in this moment. It was Daddy and Mother’s 65th wedding anniversary and Daddy was joking and teasing as only he could. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but we all laughed just as the camera snapped our picture.

What’s my point? It is this. Even when those we love pass to heaven before us, we still love them, still know them well, and they are and always will be part of us. We may not be able to ring them up on the phone or feel their loving arms around us, but they are just as much with us as our beating hearts within us.

Close your eyes and picture your spouse’s eyes, your father’s hands, or hear your children’s screams of laughter. That’s how well we know the ones we love and it’s forever.

Waking Up Early

Do you ever wake up early
And forget what day it is?

Trying to shake dream dust
Out of my mind and eyes,
I think it is Saturday.

Then, as I stumble to
The restroom,
I suddenly know
It’s Thursday instead.

As I make my coffee,
My little dog happily,
Sleepily goes outside.

I don’t think he ever
Cares what day it is.
To him,
Every day is…
A good one.

Perhaps I should
Follow his philosophy,
Erase confusion,
And only know
Or care that,

Every day,
With God by my side,
Is a good one.

Elaine W. Lane, 1/9/14

20140109-053005.jpg

Let us begin…

Long before the new year began, I was thinking and praying about 2014.  I felt like God was calling me to come closer to him and I was curious about why.  Why would he want me to come closer?  Was I in trouble?  Was I dying and didn’t know it yet?  Why in the world would God, creator of the universe and eternal, omnipotent one want me to come closer to him?  It made no sense, but one thing I have learned about God over the years is that when something seems utter nonsense to us, that is when God swoops in, puts all the pieces together and creates a masterpiece at just the exact right time.

After much prayer, meditation, study, and more prayer I’ve been led to the following conclusions:

  1.  I am crazy.  Or God is.  At this point I’m not sure which, but one of us is not quite right. (My bet is that it’s me who is crazy.  I mean, seriously, I don’t think it’s even polite to come to any other conclusion.)
  2. Each year I ask God to give me a word, verse or both to focus on, watch for, and learn from.  This year he made it very clear that his word for me is “quiet.”  He gave me three verses this year instead of just one, which is rather enlightening too.  They are, in no particular order:
    A.  This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!  Psalm 118:24
    B.   Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. I Peter 3:3-4
    C.   Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!  Psalm 7:13-14
  3. Although I’ve been told to focus on “quiet,” I think I am supposed to write more.  My take on that is write more, say less out loud. We’ll see if I can be quieter or write more! Ha!
  4. Await further instructions and God’s leading rather than jumping into things on my own. This one is hard!  I’m passionate and excitable. I’m an impetuous woman at times.  So. Waiting will be difficult.
  5. Last, but not least, I’m to make and do things for others.  As I heard a wise man say a long time ago, “Find a need and fill it! Don’t wait for somebody else to come along to do it!”

Anyway, the upshot is, I’m going to be writing my blog much more often.  I’ll try to be quieter in spirit and voice.  I’ll also try to be less impetuous.  I’m going to be doing a lot of knitting and crocheting.  I will wait on the Lord, day by day, and rejoice in each day given to me this year in 2014.  I can’t wait to see what God has planned!  Let us begin….

Do you feel like God has been talking to you about 2014?  What has he said?  I’d love to hear from you!