Monday, October 17, 2005


October 4, 2005

From reflections on camping trip to Calaveras Big Trees

Mine…is there really much we can call “mine?” (“Yours”) Does it come down to the issue of control or perspective or ‘world view?’ I’m frustrated, angry somewhat…and stuck on this one. I had a nice impromptu camping time with some friends this past week. One of my kids was “stuck” on calling something “his.” My mind was racing… "Is this thing worth living/dying over???” IS IT??? Is there much of anything worth living or dying over? What is really important in life? And then we get into the discussion of, “Do we mean life here…as we know it as humans…or are we looking at the bigger picture which is about ETERNAL life?”

For the moments at camp that I was contemplating these questions…loudly and furiously as I ran up the hill through the trees…I fell onto a picture that stirred my soul. “Mine, mine, mine.” These are MY moments. No one can take them from me. I can listen and hear in the moment. What can I call MINE? Memories. They are mine. Relationships. They are mine…some chosen, some just are…by birth…marriage, where one works, etc.

Back to memories. We were all packed up and there was a child issue. I had to get away from it. Michael would have loved this camping trip…playing catch, hiking, making s’mores…talking with friends away from the rat-race of life…

I ran up the hill…crying out to God...eventually stopping to sit on a log. Actually the truth was I was out of breath from running uphill in high (higher than sea level) altitude while crying my guts out. Death and destruction was all around me in this little area. Dead trees still standing…stumps rotted out and burned out…some chewed on and lived in. Lots of sticks…branches sluffed off…bark. I was barking alright. Barking about what couldn’t be MINE any more. I DON’T WANT TO BE A SINGLE MOM. I threw a lot of sticks and big pieces of bark. I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS. I DON'T WANT TO SAY THIS IS MY WALK NOW...breathe...I also don’t want to get in a trap of running to look for someone to fill the emptiness. No one can fill this Michael-shaped hole in my heart.

A couple of Sundays ago I had a difficult time. Song Blessed be His Name. It says near the end, “He gives and takes away.” I was beside myself with the tidal wave of heart understanding of what was taken away…but wanting to grasp for the understanding of what God GIVES….it has to, no it MUST be better than what He takes away. You might think this is like comparing apples and oranges…but it must be like trying to comprehend Romans 8:18…"for the suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared to the glory we will one day receive.” Then WHAT do we do? Laugh it off? Be flippant? (that IS easy to do sometimes…) Or, is there a way THROUGH this that drives us to a deeper place…a soul-searching place of looking/listening for the things “He gives?”

We long for heaven…do we?

He gives…I know He gives. He gives greater grace than I can give…I was so frustrated at the disrespect and deception of my child…and yet this is the child who comes to ask forgiveness…with sincerity and humility. WHAT DO I SAY WHEN I WANT TO CAMP (no pun intended, so maybe DWELL is a better word) ON WHO WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME? …WHEN I AM TRYING TO ANSWER THIS CHILD AND I SEE EVERY DAY WHO WAS TAKEN FROM HIM. He wants to say something is “his” because he wants to be in control of something in his world. For a few moments other people don’t matter. What matters most in his mind and emotions is that he can say, “mine.” And it is…the little card…it is his, no matter if there aren’t enough to go around, and, in his mind, it is worth fighting for.

I don’t know where I was headed with this.

“Mine.” He has been taken away. Now I mine for understanding…for a way THROUGH this time...a way to see the Son poking through the trees. There are still many trees alive up here on the hill. There is still this life to be lived. How will I mine my way through it? This choice I do have.

Ps.119…plea to TEACH ME
….for wisdom and judgement….
…..for compassion

Mining takes patience and persistence…(does God give these things??? :) ) Like working with children…and biking up hills without ‘bonking’…learning to spin cycle (at 5:30a.m.)…and working with wood. Thank you, God, for the gifts of Michael’s stories, wood toys, laughter, and love…He was mine and I was his…and we are forever….Yours.

Somehow, someway…with the community here…I will mine my way and, Lord willing, make a difference in this world for You.

Thank you for your tender words of encouragement...especially in this last week. There have been many raw emotions. I lift your journies up to God...knowing He will teach you in yours...just as He is teaching me in mine. We have 2 family birthdays left...both this weekend. One is an 18th. Sigh. Joy. I think I'll take my new "Sisterhood..." DVD and go watch it somewhere...I don't know that I can handle 10+ hours of Lord of the Rings...extended editions...but then again, I wasn't made with that much testosterone!

For those in a season of grief:

Do you wrestle and ponder at times with the juxtapositions of so many feelings? The sun...the moon. The joy in a newly created memory...the scrounging for those old, sacred memories. His presence...the profound absence. The easy question...the cloudy mind.

Be encouraged to journal all your thoughts. I truly believe that over time...the dreaded word...they will get sorted out...maybe not answered...but perhaps in God's gentleness He will untangle the web of thoughts and emotions and continue to reveal Himself to us in our new path. He really does want us to know Him more. (Thanks Dave!)

This is some scratch stuff from a day I was waiting and pondering the polar opposite feelings.

Present Absence
Just as sure as the moon
hangs in the sky each night
So is the surity of God's
constant presence
Sometimes by the light of the moon
the way seems doable
Dark nights can be scary
but the moon IS there
or we would not be!
How distant does God feel sometimes?

Moon far away, but it's presence
affects our world and environment
right here, right now.
Even in the desert there is continual life...
yet the dryness and heat can be overbearing at times.
And rain,
rain can be brutal in those times.

Even in this present absence...
I know
spring will come.

***It just dawned on me...God is pretty technologically astute: He's been "IMing" since the beginning...since... forever. Is He on your IM Buddy list? His name is always lit up.

Randomly pondering, randomly hurting
Constantly knowing...
I M His.
Annie B.


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