Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Scrooge

I can honestly say that I do NOT like Valentine's Day.  If it weren't for my sons, who thoroughly enjoy this celebration, I would want to tune out and curse all the red hearts, pink balloons, flowers and even the chocolate.  The long lines of men waiting to buy last minute roses at the grocery store as a pitiful after-thought "present" disgust me.  But tonight, as I wallow in my discontent, I think of You, Lord, and You give me a ray of hope, a ray of love.  

You led my thoughts to the way You have loved me even since before I was formed in my Mother's womb, and I realize that I am not a mistake.  You actually knitted me together carefully and intentionally for the express purpose of lavishing Your love on me.  

I breathe in the air that You so generously provide and Your peace begins to run through my veins.  I can't help but melt in the sweetness of the thought..

For God so loved ME that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3: 16

I trust You even in my frustration.
I wait on You even in my impatience.
I know You are with me even in my loneliness.
I know You love me even in my heartache.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair." 
2 Corinthians 4:8

“Wow…how funny…the four who remain…” said my niece Nicole as she lovingly held in her hands a picture from long ago. On it, Nicole herself was perhaps only about 2-3 years old. Sporting the fashions of the late seventies, my pensive sister Ileana, a very young Rosa and a beautifully tanned me sit at my parents’ living room with a royal flair.

Rosa surprised us back in December when she presented my sister and I with copies of this cherished picture so we would each have our own. She gave me Nicole’s copy so I could hand it to her when I went to visit her in Phoenix last January. It was an emotional moment and yes, I agreed with Nicole’s assessment of the scene…after going through the loss of my Mother and the recent passing of my Father, we are, indeed, the four who remain.

Rosa, Nicole, Ileana and I did our best to make sure our beloved Dad was well taken care of during his hour of great need. I know I should have done much more, but I pray what I did was enough for him to find comfort in the knowledge that he was very much loved. Back then we were the four who stood by him, and now, we are the four who remain.

Despite conflict, tension, struggles and discrepancies, we remain, like four pillars that stand side by side giving each other support and lending each other a hand. Regardless of distance, we find strength and encouragement in the knowledge that we walk next to each other. When one is down, the other one is right beside to help us up and go on even when we don’t feel like taking one more step. We are the four who seek guidance from above to live a life pointing to eternity until it’s time to come home and be together again.

‘Till then, we are the four who still remain.