I can honestly say it has been a good weekend even though for me lots of tears have been cried, esp today. Inge was most concerned to see tears in Oma's eyes and cheeks and gently wiped them away for me. She is a sweet caring wee girl who I love dearly. I don't think she feels sad at all that Opa isn't here anymore, she tells you very matter of factly that Opa is in Heaven with Jesus, almost as if to say there is nothing to be sad about - the innocence and simple faith of a little child is beautiful. Noah too has been a great comfort over this weekend with his ready smile for Oma and his slobbery (he's teething) cuddles. I have 2 beautiful grandchildren and am very blessed.
This weekend has been filled with fun, laughter, games and lots of talking, but also with some sadness, and for me tears and loneliness. On Saturday we celebrated my Mum's birthday and it was bittersweet as in the past we have always celebrated the 2 birthdays together - Mum's and Roy's. The children played lots of board games over the weekend and it is so good to see this party of Roy (his love for playing games) live on in our children.
The grieving process really is a funny thing (not funny haha!). You feel like you have made great strides in your grieving, that you are moving forward, getting on with your life, doing ok on your own and then you have to face a 'major' first which almost stops you dead in your tracks. The gut wrenching, heartbroken tears fall again, the feeling of loneliness that you thought you had conquered again threatens to overwhelm and life seems so hard, so uncertain and so very unfair. And then when you feel your lowest God sends you words of encouragement via a fellow believer:
"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" 1 Peter 1:6-7
What a blessing and what a joy that amidst the sorrow and tears the Lord is faithful and He will see me through, so that my faith which is more precious than gold may be strengthen for His glory. When we give our lives to the Lord we need to consider the cost of that commitment. As His children we not exempt from sorrow, hardship, trials and in some cases even persecution and death. It is how we react to these situations that show whether we are truly committed to our Saviour. Hardship will do one of two things - either cause us to turn our backs on the Lord (much to Satan's glee) or cause us to seek the Lord more and more. My prayer is that when you find yourself in times of sorrow and hardship that you will seek the Lord, for only in Him will you find true comfort, strength and peace.
So even though this weekend has at times been hard and has sort of loomed over this past week, it has still been a good week in which a lot has happened.
On Monday I had a sister-chicks day with two of my very good friends from Wellington. We try to get together at least every 4 months if possible. I feel very blessed by these 2 beautiful ladies, they are both wonderful at listening and very good at encouraging me. Our friendship goes back a long way and we have a developed a strong sisterly bond over the years. We spend our day chatting (sorting out the world's worries), knitting, drinking coffee/tea, doing lunch and/or dinner and sometimes we watch a movie. Thanks ladies for an awesome day on Monday, it was just what I needed - I always miss you when you've gone, but this time it was worse. I found this wee saying which I think is just great: "True friends help you find important things when you have lost them........your smile, your hope and your courage" Doe Zantamata
Interestingly our 3 daughters are also friends and they each now have a child and have decided that they need to start doing what their Mum's do and get together occasionally. I say go for it girls :-)
On Tuesday I applied for a job - yip you read that right - a job. A HUGE thank you to my sister-chick Jackie who helped me get my CV up to date and looking very, very good - I think it's so impressive I'd employ me! It has actually been a very good process to go through, esp with getting my CV sorted, but to be honest I don't want the job - I think that it is really still too early and emotionally I am not sure I'm 'stable' enough. I am still finding my feet in all aspects of my life, I think I have to concentrate on my plan to do some study first and not have too many irons in the fire. So why apply I hear you ask - well firstly nothing ventured nothing gained I guess, also Roy was always the one who saw the potential in me and encouraged me to give things a go, so I guess I did it to prove to myself that I am capable of doing things without him there to 'push' me along. Again it's about standing on my own two feet and being brave enough to make choices for myself. And I can do it!! Anyway time will tell - it is in the Lord's hands and He know my heart in this matter. So far no news is good news - in this case anyway :-)
The rest of the week flew by with lots needing to be done before the weekend. Most days we still did our trip to the dog park, in-fact the minute I close the door down stairs Jack is sitting at the front door waiting. He is really enjoying going to the dog park at the moment as his friend Stella (my brother and sister-in-law's dog) is staying with my Mum and Dad and we meet up there, the dogs have a great time chasing each other all over the park - I am always amazed at how much energy Jack has even after a good 20+ min run.
On Thursday I did the first proper grocery shop since Roy's death - up until now I have had so much in the freezer and cupboards and because I'm eating much smaller meals I have had plenty to get by on. It was really strange buying meat for one - a 6 pack of sausages now does 3 meals. I have also purchased a bench top oven as I decided it was a waste of electricity to be heating the big oven for 1 potato/kumera and a chicken leg. I am loving my new appliance very much.
The other new thing I got this week is a lawn mower. Tomorrow weather permitting I plan to give all my lawns a haircut, I also need to plant my parsley plants and make the fence for around my veggie garden to keep Jack out. Plenty to keep me busy.
I have noticed that my blog gets read all around the world - it's really amazing (I'll post some stats next time). My prayer is that the Lord will use what I write to touch the lives of those of you who need His comfort. If you'd like to send me a private message rather than leaving a comment on my blog then please feel free and email me, I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for all those who sent messages of encouragement and cards this weekend. Your thoughts and prayers have been very much appreciated.
Till next time.