An open letter to my friends and family

Dear Friends and Family,

This letter or posting… whatever you would like to call it, is truly for you today. Time is whirling by, and can’t believe that it’s already mid September! Its been nearly 80 days since that fateful day in July. The day that my own heart stopped beating, and my new life took over.

My pastor just gave an AMAZING sermon on friendship last weekend, and if you have the time I encourage you all to listen here titled Maximize Your Friendships.

It reminded me that I have to thank you all. Not just a general thank you, though this probably does seem pretty general, but a real honest, bottom of my heart thank you!

You have all been absolutely amazing. Some of you dropped everything you were currently doing to help take care of Kiki, or transport her to us… you showed up to the hospital or services with a needed smile, a nod of understanding and a warm hug, and have continued to be there for me and my family with words of encouragement, and getting together to talk and have some wine on the deck.

You’ve known when to come close, and stay far from the subject when you sense it is too much for my emotions that day or moment. I swear I have bi-polar when it comes to what I want. I want to talk non-stop about my dad and choke on my words about how sad it makes me and let the tears fall from my face, and at the same time I don’t want to talk about it at all. Perhaps not talking about it helps me forget that it actually happened. Perhaps talking about it makes me feel so much closer to him so that it feels as though he’s not so far away.

Thank you all so much for meeting me where I am at the moment where our lives intersect at the moment they intersect. Some days I am miserably sad, and other days I’m the most joyful Lindsey you’ve seen. You seem to know and get what I need. I do still need all of you. Your presence makes me feel so loved, and I am so lucky to have you in my life. Every hug you give, or even your own thoughts and prayers on your own time are felt. Truly. Your words of encouragement to me be it on my blog post, in a text, on Facebook or even a call is not overlooked, but cherished deeply. I feel myself literally being lifted up by all of you.

As Paul states to the Thessalonians in 5:17, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” you are building me up. You are encouraging me, and building me up.

I can only hope that someday I can return the favor to you as well. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. It feels so good to be loved, and thought about, and cared after.

bw

Advertisements

A is for Attitude

I was going to originally title this post A is for Anger.

Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? I definitely did today.

I was having an incredible dream, though at my father’s funeral I kept seeing him crystal clear… He was talking to me and I felt a sense of calm wash over me… But each time I looked deeper at him it was not my father at all, but instead was my uncle Buck or my uncle Joe… I would push through the crowd looking for my dad but I couldn’t find him….

Our eight month old dog woke me up whining uncontrollably to be let out at 5:30 this morning… I was so angry that he woke me up that it put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Soon I was barking my own orders around the house to the dogs and to my daughter, and was slamming the doors and stomping around in the process.

After I dropped little Miss off at school, I experienced what seemed to be a never ending series of events that happened one after another. And incompetent cashier that declined a check that shouldn’t have been declined, a gift registry that kept flashing error and wouldn’t print and another cashier who couldn’t help me at all. I was feeling fully deflated and annoyed by the time I actually got to work.

Once I finally got to work fully annoyed at my morning I broke down after several envelopes got stuck together in the mail room. I thought to myself why is life pissing in my Cheerios? I stood there sobbing and hoping nobody would walk in on me. I pulled myself together and went back to work.

Later on I was affixing this letter “A” sticker on to something else and kept repeating to myself, “A is for anger” “A is for anger”, which was actually making me more angry and deflated. A few coworkers noticed I was quite taciturn today and asked if I was alright. I lied and said I’m fine…

But later on in the day when I was facing towards my wall coworker asked if I was okay and I silently shook my head “no”. I grabbed my purse and went to my “Secret Garden” to regroup. I cried out to the Lord, “Help me. I’m so sad today Lord. I have such a bad attitude of anger and I’m so sorry that I yelled at my daughter and my pets. I’m angry Father. I’m angry and so sad that my dad had to die so stupidly. Its STUPID God…. He wasn’t old, he wasn’t caught in the crossfires of a drunk driver, or diagnosed with cancer or heart disease…. its something that could happen to anyone, and I hate it. I feel so helpless, and so scared God that I could die any day… any moment… and oh life seems so muted. All the life has gone out of everything, and it all just looks so stupid. I haven’t given up hope Lord in life… no, but the wind has been let out of my sails…. I feel as though I have lost my navigation map and compass… where do I go from here Lord? Help me Lord. I have so much to do these next few weeks… help me. Restore my soul and lift me up Father. I need your help. Return in me a joyful and patient heart. Father I ask that nobody asks me when I go back why I left so abruptly… please let me re-enter as if nothing happened at all. Maybe nobody even noticed, but if they did Father I ask that they let it go… or wait for a better time. Please God… help me get through these next few hours, days, and weeks…. 

And He did.

God is so great in that way. Soon I felt a complete calm rush over me that is so unexplainable that my only explanation can point towards the God of all comfort. I retuned to work feeling happy and content, and ready to face whatever it threw at me. I was able to think more clearly, and was even cheery again.

This is such a hard road I am going down. I know that there are people in this world suffering far worse than I am right now, but this is my plight. It hurts and stings and on the eve of my grandfather’s (would be) 100th birthday. I cant help but think of my own birthday. I’m so scared and sad. I know it doesn’t have to be a scary or sad day…. but so far even the mention of it, or thought of it sends me into sheer anxiety.  I take a deep breath in, and push it all away.

I know I will have to confront it soon… but for now I am content… I still feel the sharp edge of sorrow waiting and the world feels completely out of balance, but my hope is in the Lord. I will lean on those who love me, and not be afraid to show emotion when the train of sadness and anxiety hits. I need people right now. Please pray for me…  I am absolutely NOT in a dark and scary place where anyone needs to feel concern… but I am absolutely sad and disappointed in how things turned out for my own selfish gain.

I know for fact that my dad is in a better place. He loved Jesus with all of his heart. I know he is absolutely in heaven rejoicing right now. I know that this time that we are separated is but a breath to him now that time doest not play a factor in his new life, but it plays such a huge factor in mine. I thought it would be YEARS upon YEARS before we would be separated…. and even that thought was unbearable…  The only thing that brings me comfort is to know that he is praising Jesus face to face and that he is experiencing a sense of joy right now that only I read about in the Bible.

I realize that this is a different kind of post tonight. More open and honest and raw than ever before. Truth be told my feet almost failed me today. I almost stood in those waters and just let the tide wash over me, and drown me. But Jesus was there the whole time, with his arm out saying, Lindsey… take my hand… take it… let me help you. This does suck…. but I am here… I am with you. I AM. I reached out to God, and am in his arms.

Love came down and rescued me today… Love came down and set me free from this anger that was siring up inside of me. I heard this song on the way home tonight, and it was so perfect, and so fitting that I just had to share it with you all.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I did tonight.

Caramelized Onion and Beet Soup

Fall is officially upon us here in Minnesota. The high today was a brisk 53 degrees, and soup definitely sounded like it was going to be the dinner entree of choice! I stopped by the Farmers Market on the way home and picked up my weekly haul from Minnesota Fresh Farm, grabbed a bottle of my favorite Tempranillo, and decided that for the first time I was going to ACTUALLY try the Caramelized Onion and Beet Soup I found on Pinterest several weeks ago. 

Here is the recipe.

This dish was incredibly easy to make. All I had to do was trim the stems and tails off my beets, and then peel them up. Next I sliced up an onion and the rest was “chuck in the pot and go”. I even had FRESH homemade chicken broth from the whole chicken I made up two days ago… in exactly 4 cups! I mean… how awesome is that! Nearly everything that went into the pot was grown within 15 miles of our home. (including the chicken!)

IMG_2770

The aromas that drenched our house were amazing! My husband did not think so, and since he hates onions he went to Burger King! (GASP!!) Instead I finished up this recipe, plucked some basil from my garden and put in several leafs when it came to blending. So I suppose mine fully integrated with basil. I toasted some walnuts for about 7-8 minutes and decorated with full basil leaves.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

IMG_2772

Thank you so much goboroot for posting this on pinterest, or thank you to whoever pinned it… and thank you Emi for creating such a delicious and GORGEOUS dish!!! It tastes very similar to Basil Tomato soup with the basil in it, and the earthiness of the very easy drinking, light tannin really Tempranillo brings out the beet root taste.

A time to heal

Its been two months to the day now since my dad has been gone. That seems strange, and it seems like its been at least a year. Time is funny that way.

Last year my family (my parents, husband , kiddo, siblings and their families) all took a trip to Voyagers National Park via a Houseboat expedition. It wast the most unreal trip of my life! And since then I’ve been excited for family trips, but nothing like how I was excited for that trip. The time spent as family and the deep conversations that were invoked, the beauty of scenery were par none.

Just about a month ago I’ve become completely obsessive over my first trip into the BWCAW. Its something I’ve wanted to do for several years, but just in the past month I’ve felt an irresistible urge to go,  and have gotten more excited over it so far, than perhaps I’ve gotten about anything…. ever. My husband daughter and I and maybe the dogs plan to go next summer, and if that goes well we will go each year. Hours have been poured into which route to take, what time of year would be best and what gear is critical for this trip. I’m so thankful that my husband is getting into it a bit as well.

My dad knew me… knows how much I enjoy nature and peace and adventure. I honestly feel like it is him and God that is leading me towards this trip. A trip for healing. Not only in the trip itself, but as my dad said when planning our trip to Voyagers last year, half the fun is in the planning and anticipation.  I’m going to take this present- as a time to heal.

The author of Ecclesiastes shares that there is a time for everything.

e318<source>

Let the planning begin!

MJS getaway26p_04.JPG
<source>