Sunday, April 23

my life is like the morning fog ...

 “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? 
Your life is like the morning fog—
it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”   
James 4:14  New Living Translation (NLT)

In the past couple months, I have sat in the seats of three funerals. 
A cousin’s husband, a first cousin, and a friend from church.  
In each case death was sudden.  A diagnosis of cancer and passing 6 days later.  The next - she went to sleep and awoke in heaven!  Just like that.  And the last was sudden - heart failure.  No time for a last hug.  But like the morning fog, here and then gone.

Our lives are but a “vapor” ... a “mist” ... or the “morning fog”.
Death is all around us, and in each of these funerals, there was hope we have in Christ of one day being reunited again.  I sat in the chairs and my mind scrolled through many thoughts.  And, I don’t think I am unlike others who I assume also think of these things when at a funeral.

Thing is, I began thinking of my funeral when my mom passed away, which is almost 21 years ago (May 5).  Somehow, knowing my mom was in Heaven took the fear out of dying.   And then a year and a bit later when my dad died, it was then that I began to pen my own thoughts on my funeral.  Now, I have to say that my ideas have been changed a little.  I used to keep it in a file on my computer desk top.  Ashley (my daughter) told me it was a little weird to use my computer and see the file named “My funeral”.

I believe that as wonderful as it is this side of Heaven, that the best is yet to come.  Sure, I don’t want to hurry death in any way.  I love spending time with my husband, kids and grandkids, family and friends. However, I also know that one day I will be reunited with those who have gone on before - and especially looking to one day talking with my grandson Jay Benjamin, and other family like my Mom, Dad, Niece Keri, Granny, and other grandparents that I never got to meet yet.  

Our life is but a vapor ... in God’s time, I believe it.  One day to him is like a thousand and a thousand are like a day.   Psalm 139 tells me that God knew the number of my days before one of them came to be!  He knows.  Yes, I can do what I can to take care of myself, and live a healthy life, but the reality is, my life is like the morning fog!  

So, how am I living that vapor out?  Am I living my life fully and with intention?  Apparently my friend from church used to say “remember who you are representing” when a person left to go somewhere.  Does my life represent Jesus?  Is there a sweet fragrance of the LORD left lingering behind after I have been with someone?  Will my life leave a legacy of faith to my kids, my grandkids and my friends?  Will Jesus say “well done good an faithful servant” when I come into his presence?

Alvin and I have talked about death a bit.  Usually it is me telling him “I will never remarry, but you would have to!!”  Or joking that Ashley says “dad would be able to have toast and eggs, and could live with us and hang out with the kids”.  Not sure if everyone jokes that way.   Or does it just happen when the “vapor” or “morning fog” seems like it is lifting (as we age) and death seems eventually inevitable?  I remember my mom talking to me about if she were to go first ...   I hated talking about that with my mom.  In fact the thought of losing them made me cry.  However, I have had some conversations with my kids, and I think it is in a healthy place.  Who are we trying to kid?  Our life is but a morning fog!!

And the weird thing is, no matter how we talk, or write out plans.  No matter how much we wonder about the length of our lives - only God knows.  
He knows when the “morning fog will lift” and in the meantime, I know that HE is the one who holds the vapor/mist/fog of my life in his hands.  I believe HE is the one who has it all under control, amidst the unknown, and He will give whatever strength/grace is needed for the days/years ahead.

I realize I have NO CLUE what my life will be like tomorrow.  I think I may know, but that can change in an instant ... I have been at the celebration of life services which attest to that.  I can have all the best plans for tomorrow.  I can have the greatest insurance plan for my life.  But it is God who has determined it all.  

I have talked about living life full on - about “going big or going home” - about living fully for Him.  I can do that, because it is Jesus who gives me the full and abundant life.  He said, “I have come to give life and give it to the full.”   That life is not about fear of tomorrow, or about worry about how or when I die.  That life IS about giving him today, tonight and tomorrow and entrusting each breath to him.  

Fog is a little eerie.  Dense.  It can create a little anxiety when driving.  We experienced this a couple months ago while driving up a mountain trail.
I was a little anxious.  I could not see hardly in front of our car.  Thing is a mere mile before there was no fog.   But we were in the thick of things, not knowing when it would life, and when we could exhale again.  (Alvin was driving and he didn't seem as anxious as me, but he was glad when we were out of it.)    That is an object lesson of our lives.  Here and then gone.

NOT so that we worry.
NOT so that we weep unnecessarily because we are afraid.
NO, it is to help us understand the mystery of our lives that have been created by our Sovereign GOD.  And because of Him, and the “cloud of witnesses/saints that have gone on before” I am not afraid.   I know who holds my future - and He gives me peace.

Sorry, this is not profound or anything - just the ramblings of this “country mouse” as she runs through each day.  Living fully.  Living life all out.  Trusting.  Day in, day out, day in, day out - until my LORD calls me home.

These funerals have made me consider what would be said.  What would be sung?  What Scripture?  Would there be a lot of people. Would there be enough pictures for a slide show??  (this makes me laugh because truth be told, I take most of the pictures, so there may not be!! Joking)  Has my life had impact for Jesus?  It is all about HIM.  Every breath has to be all about my Jesus.  Here on earth, until the fog lifts, and I find myself with HIM and my loved ones gone on before, in Heaven.

 “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? 
Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”   
James 4:14  New Living Translation (NLT)

Tuesday, April 4


I sit here in the early part of the morning, breathing in, breathing out.  Thankful.  Feeling blessed amidst any of the anxiety that runs across my heart and in my mind.  And the blue sky, the sunshine and the creation on the other side of the window pane absolutely warms my heart.  God does that.  In the midst of it all.  "Your will be done, your kingdom come, here ~ the midst of my life, my world ~ as it is in Heaven."

I sit here, cozied up in the big white chair.  (Do any of your remember the friendly giant TV show, when his hand would come and arrange the miniature chairs in front of the fireplace and say "and here's a big chair to curl up in" ... well that is me this morning.  I am waiting for a retreater to come for a day retreat.  She has done this before several times.  She knows the ropes, and so I get to relax too.  My favourite gluten free scone recipe are baked and on a plate if she cares to enjoy.  And me - I have one too, along with my favorite tea.  It is a good morning and I am thankful that God does allow his will to be done, and his kingdom come here, in my life, as it is in Heaven.

Outside of my window, on the post of our deck is a square plate that was full of peanuts in the shell.  I heard this from my friend Gisele, who told me about her husband Ron feeding the Jays.  And so that year I began buying peanuts in the shell. Not just little bag but a HUGE SACK full, and have bought a few sack fulls since!  I love watching them - they come and sit on the plate, pick up a peanut, shake it, drop it, and to this over and over again until they select the one they want.  I have always wondered if they are checking to see the weight, or if they can tell if it has one or two or three peanuts inside.  And sometimes they put one in their mouth and tip their head back and try to get another one in.  I have read that they take them as far as two miles away.

Peanuts.  Who would have thought that a mere peanut.  Not roasted.  Not salted.  Not barbecued lol
Peanuts in the shell - would be the thing that would bring them to the feeder in a flurry - one after another - waiting in line at times.  Reminds me of how planes at a big airport sit in a holding pattern ready to take off, one after another after another.  This is the Blue Jays that are occupying my time this morning, as I sit in the big comfy chair.

But unlike any other day, one of the Jays is sitting on the hand railing doing down the steps to the walkway.  He has een sitting there for a long time.  Every so often he turns his heard as if he is gazing at me.  I notice how the white and blue markings on his wings that are tucked in, make a beautiful mosaic, like a stone glass mosaic.  And I marvel again at the way God has created all the bird species different and oh so beautiful.

He is sitting, watching.  Not clamouring at the dish for peanuts.  Perhaps he has already had his fill.  I am intrigued by this other than ordinary behaviour as usually they come, pick up and flit away.  But he is just sitting.  Retreating lol  only now to fly up, look around, pick a peanut treat and fly away.

Peanuts.  Simple.  Brown.  Unassuming. Peanuts in a shell.

I realize a lot by watching the Jays outside my window.  If you have read my blog posts since 2008 you will know that when we lost our grandson Jay Benjamin, we adopted the BlueJay as our family logo (for lack of a better word).  We named our business Blue Jay Family Works.  Alvin, Josh, Ashley and Michael had tattoos of blue jays done.  (my tattoo did not include a blue jay but it was Jay related).  At that time, I had not seen any Blue Jays in our yard in Anola, and they began coming - steadily.  Story after Story I could relate, and I began to call the Blue Jay sightings "kisses from God" to me.   Thus began our intrigue and love of the Blue Jay.  A raucous bird and somewhat aggressive - but oh I love them.  God has used them greatly in my life.

So here I sit, having just welcomed, talked with and prayed with my day retreater.  I am reminded over and over of God's presence in our lives, in the deep deep places.  And I see the peanuts that bring us joy along our day.  Simple yet profound JOY.
As I sit here, with each peanut that is scooped out of the feeder.  With each call of the birds, I am reminded that I am so greatly loved, carried and blessed by our LORD GOD.

So LORD today, may YOUR kingdom come, your will be done on earth (in my life, in my family, in my home) as it is in Heaven.  I love you LORD.