Monday morning meanderings. Vol.25

December 31, 2007 at 10:34 am 5 comments

South Jordan, Utah

I am sitting in Traci and Brandon’s living room with four little boys and their parents, with the TV on, kids screaming, people eating fresh cinnamon twists and Brad checking his blood sugar.  Sloan is not feeling well and the other three are playing with the dog.  Who knows how this Monday morning meanderings will turn out.

Item one.  Today is the 13th anniversary of our son Paul’s death.  Life for us has changed so much since that New Years Eve Day 13 years ago; we no longer live in the area, we have two new “children” and 4 grandsons and we are spending the day in Utah.  In fact almost nothing is the same, 13 years later, except we are all together, as we always are on this day.  This day is really no different than any other day, Paul is missed every day, but there is something about this day that brings a greater sense of loss and remembering than any other day.  I try to think of Paul as a 29 year old man, with a wife and children but I still end up with pictures in my head of a 16 year old boy with a twinkle in his eye and a “happy go lucky attitude.”

Item two. This is the time of year for lists so here are 3 from Sports Illustrated.  HERE

Item three. I recently read an excerpt from a book by Carol Kent called A New Kind of Normal (Thomas Nelson, 2007).  She includes eight choices we can think about as we ponder what 2008 might be.

When despair tries to take me under … I choose life

When I wonder what God could possibly be thinking … I choose trust

When I desperately want relief from unrelenting reality … I choose perseverance

When I feel oppressed by my disappointment and sorrow … I choose gratitude

When I want to keep my feelings to myself … I choose vulnerability

When nothing goes according to my plan … I choose relinquishment

When I want to point the finger … I choose forgiveness

When I want to give up … I choose purposeful action.

Item four. I have been thinking a lot about forgiveness as 2007 comes to an end.  For two years now, I have been trying to put some things behind me and as this year comes to an end I have been having some good success.  There is something about New Years Eve that seems a natural time to put things behind you, to move on.  In some ways it’s easier to say, harder to do.  Over a couple of years time, so much baggage gets accumulated. too many memories, too many episodes.

I guess that is why forgiveness is the hardest part of life.

I am hopeful that in 2008 we can all learn more about forgiveness. I am hoping I can. I hope some people can finally let me go, you know who you are. I hope a few can forgive me for things I’ve done, and for things they think I’ve done. I hope I can move on in life.

Welcome to 2008. There are bridges to build. A few to mend, and even a few to burn. I hope this year I will also come to peace with where I am in life, and finally begin again to dream about what the future might be. I am thankful I have a future. I forgive you. Please forgive me.

There has been a lot of forgiveness in 2007, and it feels good.  Who might you need to forgive?

Happy New Year! 

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Entry filed under: Belief, Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Family, Friendship, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Kingdom, Monday meanderings, The Father, Thoughts, Travel.

Boxing Day, eh? Monday morning meanderings. Vol.26

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Eric Schmitt  |  January 3, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Greg,

    I am not sure if you remember me…you almost hired me to be a youth or family pastor years ago. I am glad that I discovered your blog. I have wondered for quite sometime how your heart was doing. You left a significant imprint on my life during that interview process & my respect for you has only grown more as I have read portions of your blog. You speak of “real life”, something the church of today tends to avoid. God surely isn’t finished with you! I will also be praying for your heart with the remembrance of your son. I still remember being at Cispus at a ski retreat that I brought youth to & the shelton kids getting the news of Paul. Take care my friend & if you are ever in Oregon, lets get a cup of coffee! Eric Schmitt

  • 2. Michelle  |  January 3, 2008 at 3:36 am

    That was a really great list from that book. But very hard to actually put in to practice a sad smile. I’m gonna put it in my blog though. It’ll serve as a great reminder of how I should be thinking.

  • 3. leslee  |  December 31, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    God bless you and God bless me…..praises be for family and friends and the love that binds us all together. In the midst of a loss to great to bear, i am thankful that in this world you and linda and your family are mine…mine to love and to cherish……this year I thank God for you and your family, that you have enfolded us in your arms and made us part of your family….that we do not bear this grief alone and likewise, your grief i bear also…..my heart, my love is with you. We can stand together knowing our sons are in the arms of our savior, the same place we will stand one day, never to part.

  • 4. Mike S  |  December 31, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Before I read your post today, Paul had come to mind. Seems there have been several people with whom I have associated this Christmas season that have experienced the loss of a child. The pastor who spoke this weekend mentioned that he had lost a child. I spent some time with friends who lost their son in 2003.

    But for me losing Paul changed my life. I was so angry. I quit going to church for some time. I didn’t pay attention when I went back. However, that did not get me anywhere at all. My suffering cannot compare to yours and you moved on in pain without ever forgetting Paul. After I realized that I moved on; not forgettting. Realizing that God wanted me to get back to Him.

    Each year as we remember Paul, we must remember how it impacted us and pray that as we continue in life we will have memories of Paul and can look forward to seeing him when God choses to take us home to be with Him.

  • 5. kaylee  |  December 31, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    I really needed that “list” from “A New Kind of Normal”. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my actions…or reactions…are a choice and are not just to be blamed on circumstances. Something good to think about all the time I suppose. Thanks for that.
    I’m thinking about you all today….and crying with you.
    -K

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