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The Road Where Steven Died May 23, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Counseling, Family, Feelings, Grief, Thoughts.
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I grew up going up and down Highway 38 to the coast. So many times I’ve traveled that road, and it has always been Highway 38.

Today I realized it is not Highway 38 anymore.

Today was the first day I have traveled that road in over 2 years. I haven’t been on it since before my son Steven was in his accident. I did not go and see where it happened. I did not want to. I didn’t want to memorialize where he lost his life, to see the awful sight. I wanted to remember him in my heart.

Today on the spur of the moment we went to the coast. A few miles outside of town it dawned on me that we were on ‘the road where Steven died’. Then the turmoil in my heart and mind began. Did I want to know where, did I not want to know where?

Did I search all the way to the coast the areas where I thought it could have been from the remembered description? Yes. And on the way back did I search again? Yes. All the while not sure if I really wanted to know or not.

When Steven died my daughter in law Shyla and I requested that no flowers be put there. No markers. I feel it is so morbid. Why do that when all it brings is more grief. Then going back again and again to relive it. No thank you.

Today is a day of so many mixed emotions. Do I bust out crying or hold it in. If you know me, you know I am a master at holding it in. For over 30 years I thought that I couldn’t cry…once is enough and the mourning is over. Thankfully I did go to counseling about 6 months after Steven died and learn that is not the case. It is okay and good. I do feel a little off now, I think that is why. It’s a weird almost sick feeling, and yes I’m going to cry. Again, mourning my children; Steven and Karen who he has now joined in heaven with Jesus. I cannot say that they were taken before their time, or taken too early.  I cannot say no parent should lose a child. I cannot say no one should lose a spouse. I cannot say my children should not lose a brother. I cannot say my grandchildren should not have lost their father. Who am I to say that? Only the Lord knows if it is 1 day, 1 year or 29 years.  Psalm 139.15 All the days ordained for me  were written in your book before one of them came to be. HE knows every moment, every breath we will take. HE knows the lives we will touch, in our living and in our dying. And in that, I will trust the LORD.

The road…one of these days perhaps I’ll ask one of the people who knows where it happened and have them show me. There are only 3 in my family that know. I’m not sure yet. I’m almost afraid to know. Afraid that will become a focus when I drive down the road and I don’t want it to be. I didn’t go see the pickup either for the same reason. Why have that in my head to replay the picture.   From the descriptions at the time I already have a picture, but not so graphic and one that will fade more as time goes on.

Highway 38 is now ‘the road where Steven died’.

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Regret or Repentance May 21, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, God, Thoughts.
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It took a couple of days, okay 4 to get this post up I referred to here. We had a good message in April and I am going to shamelessly use some of the bullet points from that teaching.

  • God will allow us to temporarily suffer and struggle, because of our own choices. But, when He does, it is to lead us to true repentance.

When I am in the midst of suffering and I ask God for help. “Lord please help me, get me out of this.” Why am I asking?

Is it because I’m desperate? I’m regretting the choices that led me to where I am now? When the Lord helps me and it seems all is well, will I turn and do the same thing again?

or

Is it because I am truly repentant? Am I going to make different choices, better choices? Am I going to change?

  • Repentance = a changed life / behavior
  • Regret = no change in my life / behavior … it is still all about ‘what’s in it for me?’

I’ve heard it before but for some reason it really struck a chord. If I’m truly living for Christ I must not take ownership of my life, I must let God have control.
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? NIV

  • We are to live by and for the promises of Christ, not by the pretense of our own power.

The Holy Spirit lives in me, I have Christ, I have all I need in Him. When I am regretful I am living in the pretense of my own power. And pretense it is! When I am repentant, then the promises of Christ and His power rules my life. I will live to please Him.

I don’t want to regret – I want to repent. I want to truly live! And for me that means Christ. How about you?


A Promise Made May 16, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Friends, Random, Thoughts.
1 comment so far

Well, here I am posting. Can you believe it? I was so excited – oh my land – it was April 26! A wonderful teaching at church and I was going to run home and blog about it. Didn’t.

So today I tweeted that I was going to make some popcorn and write a post. A dear blog friend was so excited and encouraging to me, I picked up my phone and surprised her with a call. (Good thing you were in a PARKED car Theresa ). LOL And so I promised her I would blog. I do not say the word ‘promise’ lightly. So for you today my friend, I am keeping my word.

I miss blogging. I miss writing, I miss reading. I miss all of the inspiration, friends, the fun. All of it. For awhile twitter took over. Then I toned it waaay down. I just haven’t gotten back into blogland. I must find a middle ground.

I do believe I will have to think through what I was going to write about before I post it. I want to write it well. A taste of it though perhaps? Okay…

Regret or Repentance

There you have it. Perhaps you will ponder on this as I do, then we can have a nice discussion soon.

Color February 20, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Faith, God, Thoughts.
4 comments

Yep, I finally have a little color going on for the blog.  Not quite as bright as I’d like it to be but what a change! I have always (I think) had my blog be mostly white. I’m ready for some color. It’s quite likely before the weekend is out I will have changed to the bright pink! I’ll just have to have the narrow columns, oh well.

Which brings me to:

My life. Is my life all it could be for the the Kingdom? What kind of color am I? Bright and vibrant or pale and dull? A color that draws people – lifting their spirits? Or a color that puts people off? Was I bright at one point and now fading?

How am I to change? Paint? Is that even possible? Ahhhh, now ‘variety’ could be considered paint. So also could ‘change’. Do I need to throw some color in there by the way of variety and/or change? Getting out of the ‘comfortable’ or should I say ‘rut’.

Variety and/or change:
In what I read.
In who I see.
In what I say.
In where I go.
In what I think.
In what I see.
In what I listen to.

It does take courage to step out, to go where I feel the Lord leading me. Just before the new year I made a change. And when I didn’t have the courage, in my weakness – the Lord was strong.
2 Cor. 12:9 (NIV) Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.

And faithful – oh my yes. He is so very faithful. My small step has turned into 3 steps. I have seen and felt the Lords blessing on my life in being obedient to Him. I am excited and looking forward to what He is doing. Big things. I serve a BIG GOD who does BIG things. He WILL be exalted, He WILL be glorified, it is all for HIM.

Seasons change, colors change. Regardless of the season the colors can be bright and vibrant. The colors come from the inside, reflecting on the outside. No matter the circumstance we find ourselves in, we can be a bright and vibrant light.  Every breath, every beat of heart, for you my King.

What thorn? November 14, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, God, Prayer, Thoughts.
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2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (NIV)

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. 5I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.

7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What do thorns look like today? High IQ? Beautiful singing voice? Gifted writer? Gifted speaker? Looks? Car? House? Job? These things in and of themselves are not bad. Only when we get so prideful that they consume our time, our thoughts. When we place them above our Lord. When it becomes about us and our abilities.

Do you believe we all have thorns? Do you know what yours is? Are you (me) thanking the Lord for it instead of complaining about it? Is your (my) attitude the same as Paul’s?

Two great gifts November 5, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Thoughts.
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Here is a quote that sits on my desk at work. It was here when I got here, were they trying to tell me something?

Life offers two great gifts – time, and the ability to choose how we spend it.
Richard I. Winwood