Monday, April 8, 2013
Posted by jesnicole at 7:25 PM
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
"For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me."
"So I am allotted months of vanity, and nights of trouble are appointed me."
"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul."
"I loathe my own life; I will give full vent to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul."
"If I speak, my pain is not lessened, and if I hold back, what has left me?"
"My eye has also grown dim because of grief, and all my members are as a shadow."
"My days are past, my plans are torn apart, even the wishes of my heart."
"It is God who has made my heart faint, and the Almighty who has dismayed me, but I am not silenced by the darkness, nor deep gloom which covers me."
"I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me."
"When I expected good, then evil came; when I waited for light, then darkness came. I am seething within and cannot relax; days of affliction confront me. I go about mourning without comfort; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help."
"Therefore my harp is turned to mourning, and my flute to the sound of those who weep."
"Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my groaning. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray.
"Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayed. And my soul is greatly dismayed; but You, O LORD--how long? Return, O LORD, rescue my soul, save me because of Your lovingkindness."
"I am weary with sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears. My eye has wasted away with grief; it has become old because of my adversaries."
"The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble"
"He does not forget the cry of the afflicted"
For the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever."
"How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?"
"Hear a just cause, O LORD, give heed to my cry; Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips."
"In my distress, I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears."
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest."
"Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help."
"I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me."
"But You, O LORD, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance."
"Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me."
"Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary."
"Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart throbs, my strength fails me; and the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me."
"For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me."
"Since I am afflicted and needy, let the Lord be mindful of me."
"How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble."
"Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted."
"Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice."
"You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?"
"Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by."
"Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
"For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins."
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation. Selah."
"Save me, O God, for the waters have threatened my life. I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me. I am weary with crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail while I wait for my God."
"And do not hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress; answer my quickly."
"But I am afflicted and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay."
"You who have shown me many troubles and distresses will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth."
"Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, and the years we have seen evil."
"My heart has been smitten like grass and has withered away, indeed, I forget to eat my bread. Because of the loudness of my groaning my bones cling to my flesh."
"I lie awake, I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop."
"For I am afflicted and needy, and my heart is wounded within me."
"My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word."
"I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me."
"My eyes fail with longing for Your word, while I say, 'When will You comfort me?'"
"I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words."
"Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."
"I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him."
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
"The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
"Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad a heart may be happy."
"My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, 'Where is your god?'"
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."
"For if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness."
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
There are times in life when all we have to offer is sadness, grief, and a broken heart.
For the mother who has lost a child.
For the family who won't have food to give their child dinner tonight.
To the couple longing for a child, struggling with infertility.
For the spouse grieving over the infidelity of their lover.
For the person who continues to be met with burden after burden, regardless of how hard they try.
To the lonely heart.
For the daughter who misses her Mother.
For the wife mourning her husband's death.
For the family left homeless, believing they have nowhere to turn.
To the child mourning her Father.
For the person living with a terminal illness.
You are not alone.
Be kind to those you know who are in pain, even yourself.
Instead of telling someone how they ought to be glad, ought to stop thinking about the pain, ought to be content or thankful, ought to get over it...having the humanity and compassion to be there for them could be life changing.
Who knows, feeling someone else's grief may help us deal with our own.
Posted by jesnicole at 1:05 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2012
The soft, hopeful, lit up days of Christmas are heavy upon us.
Yet so many moments are hard, hopeless, and dim for one living with grief.
Five years is nothing.
How can this be? That seems like such a long time. I had a toddler when she took her last breath. Now I have a sweet, independent, amazing, beautiful, intelligent, adorable, eight-year-old boy. Still, somehow, it seems like only five days. Five moments. Five hours.
I have learned to navigate through the darkness. I have learned to own up to all the grief I will always carry in missing my Momma, yet still make it through the days I have been given. How could I not? It pushed me into a quick reality check of how precious our days are. It jolted me into realizing how precious my family is, and beckons me all the more to pour myself into them with every day I am given.
I have learned to walk through the despair. I can’t tell my story without telling about her, and losing her. It is now a part of who I am. How could it not be? I am from her. Her blood flows through my veins. I am her daughter. And like her, I am a mother.
I have learned that time doesn’t heal the pain of losing a loved one. How could it? To say that about a living, breathing, loved one, cheapens life. Time doesn’t heal this kind of pain. I’ve only learned to walk through each day carrying the darkness. With His mercies, His comfort, and the comfort from those who love me, I hang on to the breaths I am still given. I have realized they are a gift.
It will always be heavy. There will always be this dark cloud of grief surrounding me. That doesn’t mean I stop living, it means I live all the more. That is one way I honour her.
Yes, we are wounded, heavy-hearted, sorrowful, often lonely, and tears flow in abundance on some days. And those tears don’t even do the heart justice!
But He also said we are blessed.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Though I shake my fist at Him still, He holds me just the same.
This hopelessness I carry is born of hope.
This sorrow I carry is born of joy.
This grief I carry is born of love.
And though this may be hard enough for others to read…trust me, it’s even harder to write. But I know I’m not alone. And I write about this hard, indescribable thing called "grief" because it is, indeed, too heavy to carry alone.
For those of you living with grief, I write.
If Christmas does anything, it reminds me of the darkness He was born into.
“After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew 2:9-10
*Without the darkness, they would have been lost.*
Posted by jesnicole at 1:58 PM
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
My birthday is approaching, can I ask for something? : )
In nine days, I’ll have been alive for 384 months. That’s a lot of months!
Whether it’s needing a hug, needing someone to cry with us, needing a babysitter, needing financial help, needing attention…we are all in need of something. That’s why we have one another.
This year, I am going to be super greedy, and ask for something from you (yup, you!) for my birthday.
Between now and my birthday, October 11th, would you please, pretty please, with sugar on top, fill someone’s need???
My husband and I believe wholeheartedly that if we have more of something, that means we were given that “something” to help someone. Of course, we are only human. Of course we don’t always notice. Of course, we fail miserably so many times. So then, we lean on the grace of Him and one another....because we all need grace.
But here’s your chance. I’m asking you to give. Your time, your money, your attention, your tears, your laughter, your forgiveness, your grace, your comfort, your hope, your faith, etc…..just give it away. Without expecting anything in return. At least one time. To somebody that is truly in need of what you have to offer. And if you still have more of that something to give after that, then heckfire, find a second, third….and give again!
If you’re always looking for an excuse to help someone, to make a difference, here it is.
There’s a little ol’ gal in Missouri who is having a birthday soon, and I’m asking you to go and help somebody.
Just one person.
You don’t have to share your experience with me, or anybody for that matter.
But, if you do decide to let someone know, I would love to hear about what you do. So feel free to message me privately.
Thank you for reading, I am hoping to hear about many needs filled between now and my birthday, October 11th! I’m so excited!!
I want to mention one more thing. There are always extremely hard times in life, sometimes the seasons last so long. And we may never have answers for the hard times. Sometimes, we don't have anything to offer besides our grief, tears, and broken hearts. I want to suggest that if that is you, if all you have is brokenness, grief, frustration, anger, or tears......that is also a gift! Offer it. When we offer ourselves, just as we are, to Him and to those who are closest to us, it is STILL a gift. It is never easy being vulnerable. Sometimes grief and tears shared with our spouse, or our close friends, may help them deal with their own. But it will definitely deepen the bond. Those who love us most will always be accepting of our broken hearts. Vulnerability, grief, tears, sadness, frustration, and doubts are also gifts that need to be shared.
"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
**“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.” Proverbs 3:27-28**
Posted by jesnicole at 10:20 AM
Friday, September 21, 2012
Posted by jesnicole at 2:50 PM
Friday, August 24, 2012
I'm so weary from all the talking about who needs to do what, how we should all live, what the best line of thinking is.....and so on. Whether it is pertaining to God, politics, education, marriage, families, etc....I'm just tired of all the vast knowledge people feel they need to pass on to those around them, to enlighten them.
Talking is good, and needed. We need to talk about life. But after a time, all the thoughts, opinions, and philosophies need to be actually lived out. Because if they are not, they are useless.
Yes, education is needed. Yes, we need to listen and learn from one another. But when I look around at the Church, politics, the academy, social media, etc.....all I've seen for years is people picking sides and trying to convince the other side how wrong they are on countless issues. Instead of extending a hand (or even better, a heart!) of comfort to people experiencing any type of hurt...they are just told what they need to do to "fix" themselves.
*Ever notice that the assumption is always that the other person needs fixin'? When in reality, the other person needs lovin'!*
"Well, if you would just *fill in the blank*, then you'd *fill in the blank*!"
(Translation...."Well, if you would just do what I think you need to do, then you'd get the result I think you need to get!")
Want to know one of the reasons I'm so drawn to this Jesus? From what I know about His story and His life, He was compassionate. He cared for those who were hurting.
He let those who were busy telling everyone else how they ought to be living continue to argue amongst themselves.....and He just kept doing His thing. He lived. Even for the ones who "knew better" than He did. (Yes, he still did have MANY conversations with them....I often wonder if He knew most of them wouldn't budge on their beliefs...)
I'm tired of the talks. I'm tired of all the over-analyzing of every issue over and over again. There IS a time to talk.....and there is also a time to LIVE. I just want to live. I want to do what it is I've been given. I want to live out these priceless days that are numbered, with this husband and son I've been given. I want to breathe in every beautiful moment with them. I want to do the work we get to do, together. To get through the days we are given together.....
My Love often says, "Let's just start a new conversation...."
Yeah. I think that's a good way to do an old thing....L O V E one another.
I'm just tired of listening to all the arguments. I'm not joining in anymore.
**There are better things to do.**
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." John 13:34
"Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." Colossians 3:14
"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
Posted by jesnicole at 2:25 PM
Monday, July 9, 2012
If it’s not make-up, vitamins, or medicine, it’s camera tricks that so many are wanting to make themselves believe they are younger. We try to look younger, feel younger, act younger….and the media spends millions feeding our distorted fantasies. In turn, we feed that machine. Silver hair? Color it! Wrinkles? Make-up! Or better yet, go ahead and just get a facelift! Parts of your body drooping? Get the surgical enhancements that will make you look 21! Dress to look younger! Buy the latest cream and apply liberally to wherever you’re wanting to tighten right up!
In my case, the irony is that most Hispanic people look younger. It’s true. My Daddy is 60, but looks much younger. My sister is eight years older than I am, the woman is beautiful. Could pass for ten years younger than she really is. Admittedly, I’m often told I look way younger than I am.
But as I looked in the mirror today, I spotted a silver hair. Then a second one. Most people I know would cringe.
I love them.
Let me tell you why.
My Momma unexpectedly, tragically, passed away in 2007. (seems like a a day ago….yet 20 years….such a paradox)
My sweet, amazing, wonderful, loving husband took me down south to OK/TX to visit my Daddy, his wife, and my Grandma. She’s my only living grandparent. It was so much fun. I am always missing them, wishing they lived closer. I adore taking our sweet Babylove to see his PawPaw and Nonna, and his MiMi. He’s always asking about them. I love telling him stories about them, telling him stories about my hometown, and his Daddy’s hometown. I love showing him the places we often went to, the cotton fields that wreaked havoc on my allergies.
Yet every time we go, I can’t help but feel those same daunting, overwhelming emotions…the bitterness, the anger, the sadness, the frustration. I’m “supposed” to be taking him to see Her, his Nana. And all there is to see is a tombstone with her name on it. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
It never was. We weren’t created for death.
I miss her. We won’t be able to see her grow old. We won’t be able to see those precious wrinkles appear on her beautiful face. All we have are pictures, memories….stories to tell.
Grief is a heavy load…one that we’re never able to put down. Nor are we expected to!! Love is just *that* way. Love lasts. So naturally, grief lasts.
For all the time that many spend wanting to turn back the clocks of their bodies…..I want to spend my time embracing this body’s clock.
I want to L I V E these days with this amazing husband, this wonderful son. I want to embrace this time we have, to live out our story together. I want to be able to tell our sweet son stories about his Momma and Daddy. Our love story. Our family. I want to be able to tell him about when we were little. I yearn to hear Her tell me the same things about herself. Often, I just want to call her and ask questions about myself when I was a little girl.
We learn to find ourselves when we’re told these stories from those who love us most. There’s so much emptiness when we’re not able to do that anymore.
As time keeps passing, I’ll live in the moments. Of grief, of sadness, of despair and tears…..of happiness, joy, of dreams and laughter.
I want to keep seeing these wrinkles arrive on my face. Sure, I only have a few now. I only have a couple of silver hairs. But I want so much more time with these humans!
They are precious. I am so in love with them. I love Us. I want to keep aging with them. Because it’s more than many people are given.
With each wrinkle, every silver hair….we have more time to live our story together.
Don’t buy into the lies of turning back the clock. Rather, just turn with it. The age old cliché is true; time is precious.
Posted by jesnicole at 1:01 PM
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Happy, happy, happy 9th anniversary, My Beloved, My Best Friend!!!!!!!
I would like to say, "I love you!"-
But that won't really do.
I can't seem to find language rich enough
To describe what I feel for you.
I've seen the sickness of innocence shattered,
I've felt the loss of death's cold door.
I've been without a place of my own,
I've been broken, depressed, and poor.
I've stared my best friend in the face
as she laid there taking her last breath
I've held the hands of the maternal
As she crossed over to another land.
I've felt hurt from close friends
Who've betrayed and turned away,
I've seen loved ones scar you deeply
So much more than words can say.
I've felt life inside my womb,
The beating heart of a fragile child.
I've seen his spirit so full of life,
One that is hopeful, free, and wild.
I remember saying our vows,
Through cracked voice and eyes full of tears.
I remember the feeling of knowing
We would have each other through all fear.
I look back and don't see how I
Would have made it through some days.
You being here and loving me
Has kept so much more hurt away.
You've always been so loving,
Always faithful, comforting, true-
Never because you felt it a duty,
Simply because you have wanted to.
Each time life takes another twist,
And brings another change our way,
I'll hold onto you, my husband...
The love we share will grow each day.
So, "I love you, you're the greatest,
My soul lights up when you are near!"-
Those words don't come close to describe
The love I have in here!!!
Jessica Nicole Schafer
I look forward to the rest of our lives together.
I love Us.
I love you, My Beloved.
Posted by jesnicole at 1:17 PM
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Life can often hurl (jackhammers? chainsaws? shuriken? silver bullets?) curve balls our way. Usually, we do not anticipate them coming.
If you're breathing, I'd be a bettin' woman that you've experienced them once or twice.
Lord knows I've had so many dreams and goals. Some of the biggest ones I've had were laid to rest with The Deep Sadness. Others, I cling to....even though life seems to keep winning, time seems to strip away the dreams that linger in my very spirit. Still, I hang onto them--many days, barely able to keep them in my grasp. Even when loved ones may try to prevent the dreams that hold us....we have to remember they were placed within us for a reason. We have to hang on, even when EVERYTHING and EVERYONE around us say they can never happen.
There is something to be said for pushing through, and making your dreams happen. There is something to be said for changing the way we see things, getting out there and altering our circumstances. For taking control of life, and getting out of it what we want.
BUT… here's the exception to that school of thought;
There are countless things in this life that we canNOT control.
There are some things we can't conquer, because try as we may, what is happening is NOT in our hands.
…But in His.
So, some of us wrestle.
I have wrestled with this God for countless nights. I have shaken my fist at Him. I have cried bitterly--asking, begging, pleading for Him to JUST DO SOMETHING!!!
Regarding most of my prayers, the biggest ones, the dreams....the very ones He placed within me......I am STILL WAITING. I'll even be transparent enough to say there are moments I look in the mirror and ask with tears streaming down my cheeks, "What are you doing, Jes? Why are you still holding onto this dream?".....
Foolish? So I’ve been told.
Faith can be foolish. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Hope can be hellish. "…for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it." Romans 8:24-25
God help us, we NEED faith and hope.
I would much rather err on having faith and hope that this Divine, Loving, Comforting, God will reach down, wrap his arms around me, and answer the prayers I've been incessantly crying out to Him for years...
Than to let go of Him in defeat…
I would much rather have moments that are so full of darkness, full of His absence, laden with fear, drenched in my tears of frustration....asking that brown eyed girl in the mirror why she's foolishly clinging to a dream that seems to never be realized----than to look at the reflection of my smiling lips....
But empty eyes.
Wrestling with Him has been the theme of the past five years. That’s quite a long time. And I believe it was Him who started this…….
But I believe we will continue together.
I need faith and hope.
I need that foolishness.
The foolishness of faith and hope keep me waking up every day.
They keep me pushing on, in spite of life clawing its way towards the inside of my very soul.
They keep me from passing down a legacy of callousness, numbness, unfeeling, and shallow living to our son and future children.
The craziness of faith and hope keep me sane!!!
I love that irony.
(Or maybe they keep me crazy....you’ll need to ask my husband about that one.)
Either way, I'll continue on this frightening, chilling, sorrowful, tear fallin', faith-filled and hopeful journey.......
I can't help BUT do it.
I’d much rather be crazy in my faith and hope that He will answer my cries, than to never cry again. Because when I’ve stopped crying out to Him, I’ve stopped wrestling with Him…and I’ve stopped dreaming. To ignore the dreams He put in me would be to ignore Him, and I can't bring myself to do that.
I’ll continue to cry out to Him how all around me makes it clear these dreams will never happen, until He answers with, “But now, my daughter…”
I’m either that hopeful, or that crazy.
Time will tell…
Posted by jesnicole at 11:02 AM
Thursday, May 10, 2012
There are days I want to (ring someone’s neck? toss a brick at someone’s head?...) scream when I hear some of the heartless words tossed about when a person doesn’t dare want to walk a moment of grief with me (or anyone else, for that matter)…. “Move on, get over it, time heals all wounds, find something to keep you busy, focus on the positive and ignore the negative”…blah, blah, blah.
It’s such an empty notion, right? “Hey, your Mom’s dead. She is no longer living. You will never see her again. You will finish your days here without her. She will never see the rest of her grandbabies that you have.”
No big deal, just get over it. (Translation: “Or simply quit mentioning it….it’s too hard for anyone to explain, so quieting you is an easier alternative!”)
It will always baffle me. I, a griever, am expected to move on as if unchanged by the absence of the one who carried me in her womb.
It’s such a toxic, lifeless, heartless thought to tell someone who will forever live with the great amputation of their loved one.
Still, while the fifth Momma’s Day without her creeps up…I weep. I weep for her. I weep for that ear to hear my heart, as only a Momma can. I cry out for that voice that will tell me I’m doing great at this thing called “life”….that voice to soothe my aching spirit on those days I really don’t think I can bear anymore with a simple , “Everything will be okay”…
Still, my heart is broken….because I know it will only be mended from this hurt when we are reunited.
Naturally, I ponder being a Momma to our sweet, sweet, brilliant, crazily awesome, Babylove. I think of the wonderful, loyal, brilliant, amazingly HOT husband I have been given.
And all this hurt, all this grief, all this brokenness, all this LOVE…..it makes me all the more milk every delicious, beautiful, blessed moment I am given with this husband and son I get to live for.
It makes me remember when my husband told me just after the Deep Sadness, “You have every right to grieve for her, you both had a relationship so filled with love that it only makes sense to hurt this much…”
So I will spend all my energy, every bit of it, loving on this Loving Husband of mine, and our Offspring. I will love them with a love that can’t be tamed. I will remind them of how valuable, amazing, and adored they are by me.
Don’t you see??
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about being a momma, daddy, husband, wife, son, daughter, or friend…….
It doesn’t matter if we live in a box on the side of the highway, or a mansion by the beach…
It doesn’t matter what language we speak.
It doesn’t matter what job we hold, what titles we have, or do not have.
It doesn’t matter if we bring home six figures a year, or have to depend on others to feed, house, and clothe us…
What matters is how we spend our days, how we invest our time in our loved ones, our closest ones, those relationships that will never be replaced.
Do we get it yet?....We are all born with this same skin, and we all have days that are numbered.
HOW we spend those days, how we love our spouses, children, parents, friends…….
THAT is what will always matter.
THAT is what will echo love to the world.
THAT love…..that love is what will remind our loved ones, as well as those around us, of a God that wildly desires to pursue us, pouring out His love on each and every one of us.
THAT is the LOVE we should be giving.
THAT is how we live out this vision of the Body of Christ.
Husbands and wives, marriage has a huge part in that.
And for whatever reason we are not…….use your time now to fix it.
LOVE your spouse. LOVE your children. LOVE your family.
Because for now, as long as we have breath…it’s NOT too late to pour yourself into them.
“The rich and the poor have a common bond, the LORD is the maker of them all.” Proverbs 22:2
“Marriage is to be held in honour among all…” Hebrews 13:4
“FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:31-33
“Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35
Posted by jesnicole at 1:45 PM
Saturday, May 5, 2012
My Love, My Best Friend, My Husband…
It’s your birthday in a few hours.
I just want to remind you of your awesomeness.
I can’t help but spend time with you, I love you.
I can’t help but always invest my days in you, I love you.
I can't help but kiss you, I love you.
I can’t help but share myself with you forever, I love you.
I can’t help but talk about how wonderful you are, I love you.
I’ve told you before. I’ll say it again. I’ll always remind you.
I love you.
I’m beyond grateful that you decided to let it be me who spends the rest of your life with you… I’ll always do all I can to remind you how much I love you, and how special you are.
Happy birthday to my always loving, always caring, always loyal, always witty, always brilliant, always HOT, always very tall Husband.
I love Us.
I love being One with you.
Posted by jesnicole at 1:22 PM
Saturday, March 31, 2012
“Easter is all about the wiping away of tears. In our fear of terror and joy, we have forgotten the purpose of tears. We have become embarrassed by them…..We have deemed tears to be childish, whereas in fact they are childlike; and Jesus told us to be childlike. We have allowed our proper dislike of emotionalism to deceive us into trying to ignore our emotions. But if Good Friday and Easter don’t stir our emotions, then the tyrant has indeed enslaved us. We have become like a garden paved over with stone slabs. Many people live like that; God help us, many of us even choose it, rather than face the terror and the joy of our own hearts, let alone of Calvary and Easter.” N.T. Wright in “Following Jesus; Biblical Reflections on Discipleship”
Time is such a precious thing. It can be such a blessing, and yet so cruel. Whether it is living through glorious days, or grief-filled days, time simply ‘has’ us. We usually remember the most extreme times…..the happiest and saddest moments.
Though I never read the books, (please don’t hate me, they’re on my list!) the Harry Potter movies are very dear to me. Harry is one of my favorite characters. I can empathize with him, regarding not having his Mother, and the emptiness it left in his life. Glimpses of the movie come to mind….particularly the “Mirror of Erised”, and Dumbledore’s Pensieve. These parts fascinate me, because they are exactly what so many people would love to be able to have; the opportunity to re-visit those exact moments that are so divinely precious to us, or to live out what we so crave to happen in our lives. (Often, they are the same thing.)
I remember so many people, (with good intentions, mostly) saying things like, “Well, at least you have great memories with your Momma, those will always be there”. And that’s just it….they will always be *there*. Not here, not now…not in the future, but *there*…in the past. That’s what we all do, after all…..live out our moments as best we can, making memories with those we love. But the caveat in all that is memories are not meant to be re-lived. The very definition of it is something in the past.
Yet, what an amazing opportunity to go back in time, right? To go back, to live again those amazing, fulfilling moments that are so dear to our hearts. Or, what an amazing opportunity to jump forward! To live out the dreams we hang onto….the dreams that keep us going, that give us great determination in achieving these goals we’ve set up for ourselves. Noble goals, noble dreams. And some of them, we may just live out. In the future.
But we can’t do that today. It’s impossible. Today is today. I can’t hop back and re-do yesterday any easier than I can skip today.
For all our ways of minimalizing grief, brokenness, sorrow and tears….Easter draws us all to the fact that we cannot ignore death.
Easter reminds us that pushing aside our pain and ignoring the Oh! So many days that may give us heartache after heartache will NEVER do.
Easter reminds us that doing the Good work now, His will being done here in our “todays”, as it is in Heaven….is something we get to take part in.
Easter reminds me of Momma.
Easter reminds us that memories will not suffice.
Easter reminds us of a Hope that is bigger than death.
Easter reminds us that there is no Resurrection without a Dark Day.
Easter reminds us that one day, time won’t have us anymore. It will “catch up” to the Resurrection…….
But for today, all we can do is the best with our time.
I’m convinced how we do that is to live these moments, exhausting them with our whole selves….whether we need to laugh, cry, hug, hurt, grieve, travel, run, plan, or just rest…..we need to be all we are, which is totally present in the moment we find ourselves.
Easter does away with our empty, callous, futile efforts of re-living a memory.
Easter replaces the Mirror of Erised and the Pensieve with something far better…something that cannot be held in mere words, images, wishes, or mirrors.
It will replace memories with LIFE again.
We can’t celebrate this thunderous, joyous, indescribable event of Easter without the reality smacking us in the face that it all started with a Man dying on a cross.
“Without Easter, there is no reason to suppose that good will triumph over evil, that love will win over hatred, that life will win over death. But with Easter, we have hope; because hope depends on love; and love has become human and has died, and is now alive for evermore, and holds the keys of Death and Hades. It is because of him that we know---we don’t just hope, we know---that God will wipe away all tears from all eyes. And in that knowledge we find ourselves to be Sunday people, called to live in a world of Fridays. In that knowledge we know ourselves to be Easter people, called to minister to a world full of Calvarys. In that knowledge we find that the hand that dries our tears passes the cloth on to us, and bids us follow him, to go to dry one another’s tears. The Lamb calls us to follow him wherever he goes; into the dark places of the world, the dark places of our own hearts…..and share his ministry of wiping away the tears.” N.T. Wright in “Following Jesus; “Biblical Reflections on Discipleship”
Easter reminds me of a Hope that is FAR better than any memory re-lived.
Easter unravels our broken hearts, all the while piecing them back together.
Posted by jesnicole at 4:01 PM
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I see you in the distance
Though you're just beyond my grasp.
There's so much I wish I knew,
So many questions I long to ask.
As moments turn to months,
And I so often think of letting go...
I try to cling to tiny flashes,
The smallest glimmerings of hope.
Time turns into years, and often
Even loved ones tell me to just give in.
But then this God who loves me
Whispers to my soul within.
I see you again, even farther away,
All around me doubt abounds,
And some days I listen to the emptiness,
Because hope seems to have no ground.
Still you keep shining through, yet small
Though all logic says you're dead,
Hope is hanging on dearly to me,
Trying to find a home in my head.
Through countless tears, I'm swimming,
Broken inside and ripping at the seams,
Yet somehow He keeps me hanging on to you,
My hope, my reason, my dream.
Posted by jesnicole at 8:21 PM
Saturday, March 24, 2012
This is my 300th post!! Woo-hoo!! Not that big of a deal to many, but to me, it is. There was a time (amidst the Deep Sadness) that I didn't think I'd ever have the ability to feel, laugh, sing, create, or write again. But here I am. Evidence of the Grace-giver. Evidence that taking the long route of living through grief, rather than avoiding it, can indeed happen. Were it not for my husband, who has loyally, lovingly, patiently, stood beside me and carried the daily burden of tears my heart bleeds....I'm not sure if I'd have a care to take part in creating anymore. Thank you, My Love. The way you always love me is indescribable. I only hope I am able to spend the rest of our days together reminding you of your worth, and how much I love you.
For the big 300, I wanted to talk about something that is very dear to me.
And loving one another.
For all the things out there that we can fight about, whether it's gender wars, religion, motherhood, or whatever else we constantly choose to bicker over.....
I would hope that we choose to have a hand in building up the Image Bearers. I would hope that we always choose acting, speaking, doing things out of love.
For all the reasons, all the causes, all the different doctrines we've made for ourselves, and even the Bible verses we can quote that support our reasons to hate, tear down, and oppress any other person(s).......the common theme I've seen throughout the story of this God I know is one of LOVE.
There's always a reason for love, the question is whether we'll believe it enough to live it out or not.
Because we all know how we speak, act, live, and love is a mirror from within our very souls.
I hope we all choose to mirror LOVE. It's always the answer. Always.
"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, 'Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,'
When you have it with you."
"See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people."
*I Thessalonians 5:15*
"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." I John 3:18
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Posted by jesnicole at 11:46 AM
Thursday, March 22, 2012
I often find myself saying, "Hold on, Momma's busy...give me a minute....one second..."
And it's so true, there's so much to do!! With just everyday life, taking care of everyone else, cleaning, laundry, Bible studies, church, meals, ministries, homeschooling, and somewhere in there, time to rest.
But the days, the months....the years. They can FLY. Before I realize it, I look around and see my SEVEN year old son. 7. Not only that, but this summer my amazing husband and I will be celebrating our 9 year anniversary! Wow! How did it happen? I am in awe at how much love is experienced in our family....I wish I could bottle all the time up, to live in the moments forever. Over the years, I've heard so many Mommas say things about time flying---and I knew it to be true. But it goes even quicker when we're not really taking the time to invest it in our loved ones.
There is ALWAYS plenty of work to do.
There will always be deadlines to meet.
There is always another job that needs doing, another meeting to attend, another event to plan, another sink full of dirty dishes, another load of laundry to wash, another box to check.....
But there will NOT always be today.
For Lent this year, I didn't have a definitive thing to fast from. I told myself I would try to be much more intentional and attentive in taking care of my family and myself. Lord, how I fail! Every day, time after time. I am reminded of how human I am. How I am not perfect.
Then I remember the reason for Lent....to be reminded of Him, and how He is the Perfect One. He offers grace. He offers love. And He is faithful in helping me keep my eyes open to the OH, so valuable people in my life. The job I have the highest privilege of doing everyday is SO much more than a job. I find such pride in pouring myself into these precious people I get to share the same home with. They are my home. They have kept me awake through many seasons of grief. They have reminded me of the God who loves us always, and I only hope to always remind them of the same.
So not only for this season of Lent, but everyday, I am just trying as best as I know how to love, love, love on these precious guys. If I learned anything at all from the days we got to share with my Momma, it's that life is MUCH too short. It truly is a gift.....and I am trying to see each day as such. Someone once said, "Life is short, and death is long".....so very true.
Whatever season we are in....whether it be summer, spring, laughter, or mourning.....
I hope we are living the HECKFIRE out of it, with and for those who love us most.
I came across this poem today, the author is anonymous. Get a tissue.....
"My hands were busy through the day.
I didn’t have much time to play.
The little games you asked to do,
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes. I’d sew and cook.
You’d ask and I’d read from your book.
I’d tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers; turn out the light.
Then tiptoe softly by your door,
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life was short, the years rushed past,
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at my side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away.
There are no longer games to play.
No Teddy Bears or misplaced toys
No sleepovers with lots of boys.
No goodnight kiss,
no prayers to hear.
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to do"
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2
Posted by jesnicole at 1:05 PM