Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Surprised by Loss

"...And here am I , budding among the ruins with only sorrow to bite on , as if weeping were a seed and I  the earth's  only furrow . " 

~Pablo Neruda , "Lifeless Suburb "

Life on planet earth can be hard at times . Very , very hard . And if we live long enough we will experience some form of loss . It may be a job loss . Or perhaps the loss of a marriage through divorce . And then there is the worst form of loss that comes through death . Death of a loved beloved pet or family member or friend .And it may be the hardest of all the losses we may endure for it is so final . So permanent . Set in stone so to speak . It is a great equalizer for it comes to us all no matter our"lot"in life . 

We may be rich or we may be poor . Young or old . Tall or short . Death is a part of living . Of life .And when it comes , our natural , God given response is to weep . Or we become numb . Or we simply go through the motions of living all the while feeling like we're dying inside . And depending on how close we were to the deceased , whether pet or person , our depths of feelings of loss will vary from person to person. We will all handle it differently . There is no proper way to grieve for it is as individual as the person or people dealing with the loss .

I share these things from experience for in the last year and a half my husband Steven and I have had several losses in our family . Our cat and his Mom , brother , sister and son and my longtime friend and former roommate have all gone to be with their Savior and creator . And the loss has been palpable . Tangible . As if it were a "thing" we could reach out and grab hold of . But we cannot . For they are gone and we are still here . And we feel the loss so deeply for that is how God made us . He made us human and humans feel things very deeply at times .

And we wonder if we'll ever feel normal again . And we get angry when we have to adjust to this new normal . This normal that is so  full of holes that once were full of the life and love of our now gone loved ones . And if the losses were catastrophic we may even wonder if we're next in line . I know my husband and I dealt with those types of feelings from time to time . It's as if that grim reaper was just counting down the moments until it was our time to depart . 

And yet , in the midst of all this loss something quite surprising has made it's presence known . And it's presence has changed everything . It's name is joy . And when it arrived it was a surprise for it was completely unexpected . But it came , with it's hope and optimism that shouted"This too shall pass. " And it showered us with a desire to live fully while still alive . To passionately and fully cast ourselves and our broken hearts upon our Savior and determine to live for Him fully and completely . And to pursue with our whole hearts that desire which He Himself has placed within us . we have stared death in the face and it's surprising result is to want to live , fully alive , so that God is glorified and we fulfill our destiny that was created by God long before we were ever born .

Blessings ~Sharon

Friday, September 15, 2017

Why I Write

I titled this post "Why I Write." It came to me after my prayer and journaling time with God this morning . I was speaking to God in it about my frustrations with writing as well as my desire to gain a college degree in creative writing . And then I began to share ,with God , what I wanted to accomplish with said degree should I ever obtain it . And a natural progression of thought from there was why do I write ? Why do I put thoughts to paper or musings to a blog post ? And here are just a few reasons why I write :

1.) I write to express the myriad thoughts that crowd my head . Self expression was not encouraged in the home I grew up in . Thus , I never had a place to reveal the inner workings of my heart and mind . My soul and spirit remained silent and overstuffed until I began to write .

2.) I write because it's therapeutic for me . I have endured many traumas in the 55 years I have lived on this earth . Writing these down in the pages of a journal help to get them out of my body and onto the pages of a private place where I can explore their impact in a safe and healthy manner .

3.) I write because God has made me a writer . I was in the first or second grade when a teacher noted on my report card"Sharon has a creative writing style." I was so young and yet an observant teacher noticed this natural "giftedness" and commented on it . Sadly it was not nurtured by the only parent I knew . But that's another story for another day . At 55 I now know that God has placed writing within me regardless of the fact that it was not nurtured and encouraged when I was 6 . 

4.) I write because I truly enjoy it . I love the feeling of putting pen to paper and expressing the inner workings of my heart and soul and mind and spirit . I have a journal , pen and paper addiction that will not be satiated any time soon . I can nearly swoon over a beautiful pen or lovely writing paper or a beautiful journal just waiting to be filled with musings on life, prayers or poems .

5.) And last but definitely not least I write because I believe, with all my heart, that this is what God has created me to do . I want to honor Him by using that gift to encourage people , to make them laugh or make them think or inspire them . I am not a talkative person but,when I write, words just flow on to the page so much easier than they flow from my mouth . I do not want to one day leave this earth with His song , His words , still tucked away inside me .

Blessings ~Sharon 

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Behind Closed Doors : This writer's need for solitude and quiet

Image courtesy of .

I'm afraid my closely guarded solitude causes some hurt feelings now and then .

But how to explain,  without wounding someone , that you want to be wholly in the

 world you are writing about , that it would take two days to get the visitor's voice out

 of  the house so that you could listen to your own characters again ?  

~Margaret Bourke - White ~

Just over a year ago, my husband  Steve , our 2 cats , Ninja and Smokey, and I made a 
major move . We left a large city's apartment and moved to a smaller town in Central

 Oregon and into a 55 +  building that is nowhere near a major interstate .

It was a really good opportunity and one we knew had come our way from God 

Himself  as big city life had left us weary and craving a slower , quieter pace .

This was our first experience in living in a 55 + building and we had not known what

 to expect from our much smaller building and it's occupants . I just just new that I 

wanted a better life for us and some more space for creative endeavors . And for me 

that main creative endeavor is writing .

I've been writing for quiet awhile now . Mostly poetry , but like many writers of poetry or writers in general ,  I have a

 few items that are not poetry but are songs and stories still awaiting my attention . 

Still awaiting completion . Still waiting to have life breathed into them from my pen .

But the constant cacophony of life next to a major interstate was slowly sucking the 

life out of me , bit by noisy bit .

So we made the move across the state . Away from people we loved . Away to a much

 smaller and quieter town . A place I had hoped to get more writing done . And I have 
gotten some more writing done but not as much as is possible  for various reasons . 

Some of it has been the neighbors fault . They often show up unannounced wanting 

to just visit . I don't have that kind of time most days. After caring for my husband

 and cats and our apartment , there is little precious time for  my writing so I closely

 guard my solitude and quiet time out of necessity . Many do not understand that 

and this saddens me  . 

Recently someone took offense that I was loathe to remove the note from our front 

door that indicated we were napping and wished to not be disturbed . This person 

was merely an acquaintance from another country and they were on my Face Book 

friends list . They said I was rude and selfish for not wanting to remove the note 

from our door immediately upon waking from our nap . This person is no longer on 

my list . They didn't understand the differences in personalities (I am an introvert 

who needs my quiet and solitude to recharge) nor did they know what we've walked 

through personally ;things that have left us exhausted . 

They just got hurt feelings over my closely guarded need for solitude . I think maybe

 that's something most writers have had to deal with from time to time unless they're

 the kind of writer who loves to write in crowded coffee shops . I'v never been that 

kind of writer . I think best when I have a quiet place to think and to write . But to 

many in this decidedly extroverted world , that comes across as rude and selfish . 

And it's really too bad  because I believe many great pieces of literature may have 

been written from behind closed doors , in a quiet sanctuary ,with a sign on the door

 , that may have said "Napping.Do not disturb." Or better yet , "Writer at work. Do 

not disturb. " In closing , let me ask , "What challenges do you face as a writer ?" 

Are you a "coffee shop" writer or a "closed door"writer ?

Until next time ~ Sharon 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Giving Thanks In All Things

In everything give thanks; 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you .
~I Thessalonians 5:18~

I have known this passage of scripture for many years .And for years I completely misunderstood what God was trying to say through the Apostle Paul .

And it's all because of that little 2 letter word "in." Two simple letters can change  everything 

.Notice that it says that we are to be thankful "in"everything . Not "for"everything .To be 

thankful"for"everything would just be weird.But to be thankful"in"everything is vastly different 

.Let me give you just one example from my own life . 

In 2002 , my husband had a mild stroke while undergoing triple bypass surgery . Now , to be 

thankful"for"the stroke would just be strange at the very least . Had I been thankful that he'd had 

stroke would have been completely odd !I am sure I would have ended up in a book on abnormal 

psychology somewhere !But I was thankful "in"it because he was surrounded by medical 

professionals who were able to do what they needed to do immediately to prevent it from 

becoming a major stroke ! 

What this passage of scripture says to me is that it's all about our heart attitude  when we face 

trying times in life .

Can we find the bright spot in the midst of all the darkness that hard times seem to surround us 

with ? Can we find the good midst the bad ? Can we trust God's heart of love for us and be 

thankful for it amidst devastating loss ?  Are we able to give thanks "in"whatever place we find ourselves ? 

I have found that this does not happen instantly . For me , it's been a long process learned through 

many losses in life . I had to learn to be thankful in the midst of life's storms and losses or I could 

have easily become a loss in the lives of the people God has placed in my life . May God bless you 

as you read this and may He grant you the strength and grace to find the good in whatever tries 

your soul at this time .