Here’s My Heart Lord

I stated early in this process that my cousin said to me, “Lindsey… these are the times that your faith either grows unimaginably stronger, or you loose it all together”. She was so right. I suppose you could continue on in your faith as usual, but I am a person of deep feeling, and emotion. Maybe its because of that genetic makeup of my being, or because I have been inviting the Holy Spirit into my life in such a deep and powerful way, but the blinders have been lifted off my eyes.

Of course I’ve always always believed in Christ as my savior, but now its not just believing, its seeing, and feeling.

When everything else is taken away from me, I am reminded that God is more than enough, He’s all I have, He’s everything.

He’s the life link between me and my dad, who I know is standing beside him. I can’t imagine if my dad was not a follower of Christ – and I would be unsure if he is in heaven, but I know with all of my being that he is.

In all of this – my heart has been so fully surrendered to God. I trust so deep to my core that he is sovereign in all things. How couldn’t I?

One area in my life I have been shoving down more privately however is the subject of my birthday – a birthday whom I share[d] with my dad. Even when I was in the Navy I shared my birthday with our physician/LT so I’ve never really really had my birthday be my own… Anytime I allow my self to think about it too much I feel a full blown panic attack approaching. My mom, bless her, asked what I wanted for my birthday dinner and cake since it would be all up to me now…

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Frankly I guess I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to pick a cake by myself or a meal for dinner. Initially I think that maybe I just don’t want my birthday at all anymore, I don’t care. The thought of it is inconceivable to me… but a thought crossed my mind – that maybe picking my own cake, or my own birthday dinner feels like I’m taking advantage of the situation. My dad and I are supposed to battle it out. I don’t want swiss and cranberry pork tenderloin and he doesn’t want chipped beef… I want 7 up Bunt Cake, and he wants Keys House Cake. Of course I have the options to myself now… but I don’t want to. It feels all so wrong, and stings.

Its also a blinding reminder that it is true that my dad is gone, and maybe that’s the hardest part, or maybe a combination of the three.

Several years ago my prayer for my life were the lyrics of the song Oceans. Oh how I prayed for those lyrics to come true. God has faithfully lead me to this place of deep wonderment. Of course it was NOT the way I supposed it would happen, but nonetheless I am here trusting God without boarders.

I heard this song during worship a few weeks back and have been listening to it nearly every day since. It is my new prayer.

Father I am ready and here upon the waters as you’ve called me – the great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery In oceans deep My faith will stand.
And I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves When oceans rise My soul will rest in Your embrace For I AM Yours and You ARE mine.

Father I have felt your beautiful presence in my life so strongly these past four months that I see you Lord. You have shown me your mercy, and love, and holiness in a way I never would have seen otherwise. Though my feet feel like they are FAILING ME whenever I think about my birthday – the moment in time when you created me, created my father, and joined us together with You – I know that you will be with me through this. Though this marks strongly reality for me that my father is with you Father let me be in prayer that I am comforted by you and your grace once more.

I’m here Lord. I’m in the waters, and they are a scary place to be. I feel myself sinking, but then I see that you are with me. While I am here Lord – speak what you need to, and want to. The blinders are off, my ears are listening and tear filled eyes are pointed and focused towards you. Through this season I am found, I am Yours I am loved, I’m made pure. I have life, I can breathe I am healed, I am free. You are strong, You are sure, You are life, You endure. You are good, always true You are light breaking through. You are more than enough, You are here, You are love. You are hope, You are grace YOU’RE ALL I HAVE, YOU’RE EVERYTHING!

– Here’s my heart Lord – Here’s my life Lord – Speak what is true.

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Camptober!

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October is truly one of my favorite months! The smells – OH the smells and what better way to experience them and all that October has to offer by tent camping!

We headed up over this MEA weekend on Friday to one of our favorite destinations, Savannah Lake. Savannah Lake is within the Savannah Portage State Park and is a simple 2.5 hour drive basically right up the road for us. We ditched our motor boat for the canoe and used the logic of – can we take it to the BWCAW next Spring? No? Then we don’t need to pack it now.

Of course we took a few luxuries such as our camp stove, camping chairs, the dutch oven and our gynormous camping tent!

It was just us, plus our two friends Pam & Phil on this trip. While we waited for their arrival, miss K, Jason and I played Tic-Tac-Toe on the ground using rocks and pine needles as our x’s and o’s, and little miss was entertained for hours. I’m kind of ashamed to admit she beat badly about half the time, even when I was actually trying!

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As stated previously we brought the canoe, for the sole purpose of testing it out with the dogs. We took my friends suggestion of leashing the dogs, with Sadie (our JRT) in the front, and then me, then Kiki, then Niko (our Mastiff) and lastly Jason.

All it took was about 50 feet of paddling to decide that Niko was officially uninvited to the BWCAW trip! He would lean one way or another to try and lick the water as Jason paddled, or watch the water, and I would then with all of my might have to try and counter the weight. Kiki was terrified that we were going to tip over, and truthfully so was I. We were all very motivated NOT to tip over since it was a brisk 42 degrees air temp at launch time.

With his massive size already at over 80lbs, and with him going to be likely around 120lbs by the time we take the trip, we decided its just not worth it right now. We will probably still bring Sadie with, but she is much more manageable.

It was a really enjoyable trip though all and all. We ended up going on a three mile hike, ate amazing meals, fished, canoed, and shared great stories around the fire! We were even visited by 19 Trumpeter Swans and were awoken Saturday morning with their symphonic band practice at 6:30 a.m.

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All and all I really enjoyed this rather fairly minimalistic version of camping vs. glamping!

We even decided on night two to ditch the cot and sleep on the ground, because after all we’re not hauling our cot to the BWCA with us, and you know what? It was actually quite pleasant.

The next time we’re going camping we will officially be in the BWCAW. I’m hoping that my high dreams do not disappoint, but its quite easy to get carried away with the planning, but so far its been half the fun!

Waiting for my eggs!

Since late April I’ve been waiting for eggs. I got an itch to raise my own chickens after my good friend Pam promised me how easy they were to raise. Research was poured into breeds of chickens for this harsh Minnesota climate and hours were spent on Pinterest finding the perfect chicken coop plan for my husband to build.

Last June I got my chicks and after a fateful attempt with round one after Sadie killed the first batch, I have been waiting patiently with batch number two since then. (Two red stars/Isa Browns and two Black Australops).

Like a human mother in her ninth month of pregnancy I wait and wait and wait. Any day now we could see eggs in their nesting boxes, so each morning like a kid on Christmas I run out to the chicken coop before work to see if my girls have given me any eggs.

So far they’ve been keeping their legs closed pretty tight, but are always happy to see me and are getting quite friendly with me even allowing me to pet them and pick them up. Each time I approach the Coop I hear a bak bak bak and I bak bak back.

They are incredibly easy to take care of and love being let out to nibble on all of the greenery my October yard has left to offer.

I have lost track of who’s name is who’s especially after we had to get rid of Henry who used to be Beatrice who then turned into Babs and is now Henry the rooster residing in elk River Minnesota… The problem with naming them is that you get attached, and before you know it they turn into roosters and you have to get rid of them! At least I can still visit Henry….But clearly I digress!

So now they’re just my girls… And I’m their shepherd waiting for them to lay eggs, or am I considered a farmer? These are the musings I contemplate laying in bed while trying to fall asleep.

Which I must do because I have nesting boxes to check in the morning!

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Training Grief

Growing up I was the youngest of three children. I grew up in a typical household and the typical order of the siblings. Because I was the younger one I usually followed my brother and sister around.

Grief is like that. Like an annoying little brother or sister that just follows you around and won’t leave you alone. Its always there. Some days it allows me to have very good days where I am cheerful, and not a painful memory crosses my mind, but its always there. There is always a nagging sense even on my good days that it is still close by.

Recently on a social media post about grief I read, “Some days all I want to do is stay in bed, holding my grief close. But I have trained it now so it follows me out into the world, staying a respectable distance behind, allowing me to laugh and live as well as cry and die”. I just love that. It shows the ebbing and flowing and reality of grief. 

I’m not broken though. As the statement below says, but I’m trying to discover my life after death. What it all means now living without my father, and the reality that I cannot call him anymore, or see him, and that he will not show up to life events. Though he will always be close to me in spirit I have to learn to find the beauty in this ugly reality.

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God never promised a care free life free from pain on this side of heaven, but with him by my side I can start making that second stitch.