For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Bubble Bath

You wake up and you know that the entire day is yours to do with whatever you want. I stretch and curl up. I roll over and pull the blankets back up over my head and think I'm going back to sleep but I can't. Okay, no problem. Get out of the bed lazy head! Today is a new day and time to start anew.

I love Saturdays for two reasons: I can stay up late on Friday night knowing I get to sleep in most Saturdays AND I take bubble baths. I love bubble baths and I love to just sit and soak.

As a child I didn't have the privilege of taking many bubble baths because my mother had the concern about little girls getting vaginal infections from the scented bubbles. However, a first grade teacher gave me a bubble bath package and I was allowed to enjoy them occasionally. As I got older I really began to pamper myself.

This is posted to all of my girlfriends who also love the fancy-schmancy bath stuff. Kaylen, Meri, and my little buddies Lizzie and Halie. For a young lady the experience of a bubble bath can still be just as pleasant and enjoyable as when you were a child. The only difference: Our products may be more lavish and expensive. Okay, so they don't come in cute cartoon character bottles with removable heads but the bubble bath is all the same--a very relaxing experience.

I get the bath water running while I am running around doing other things. I have a garden tub in my master bath so it takes a while to fill up. I pour not one but two capfuls of bubbles into my water and I swish it around some to make sure the bubbles are rising. If they don't look ample enough then I add another capful. I get a CD and program the songs that I want to hear into the stereo and put the selections on repeat mode. Yes, I plan on being in the tub for a while!

I step into a tub full of very warm water and I slide effortlessly from back to front. Remember as a child you slid all the way under the water and you came up with bubbles from head to toes? Well, I go all the way down until my hair touches the water. I sit and take it all in. A bubble bath is an exhilarating experience. If you use the right products it will awaken your senses. You take in the wonderful aromas and you feel as if something is breathing new life into you. I just sit and take it all in. Sometimes I will prop myself up on one those tub pillows and I will read a book. I wiggle my toes to the beat of the music and I begin to ponder the rest of my day. But nothing will rob me of this moment--this time of peace and tranquility. This is my time to relax and reflect.

Now you may say that I can do this because I am single and don't have a husband or children banging on the door or demanding my time. That might be right but I also know that we, as ladies, must take the time to pamper ourselves and we must demand the opportunity to do so. I often have my friends children at my house for overnighters. The girls range in age from 4-16. I have always made it known that my Saturday bath is just that--my time. I lock my bedroom door so that they can't even get to my bathroom door and I go about my routine. Generally the girls will be preoccupied with Saturday cartoons or the Disney channel and they know we will have a much better day if they leave me alone.

Back to my bubbles...I cannot afford to go to a spa and let someone pamper me. And even if I could I wouldn't because other than letting someone play with my hair I cannot stand for people to touch me; especially strangers. I love to soak in bubbles and wash my hair and shave my legs and just do it at a snail's pace. I use the more extravagant bubble baths from Bath and Body Works--love the Twilight Woods and I will get the fancier products from department stores. But every once in a while the lady in me taps into the child within and you got it--that inner child wants to take a stroll down memory lane. So, I pull out the Mr. Bubbles or the Barbie bubbles that smell so delicious. I have those items in my linen closet for the younger guests but hey, when the child within wants Mr. Bubbles, she gets Mr. Bubbles!

It's not what you use or how much time you take. The fact is that you are allowing yourself some time alone. A chance to regroup from a hectic week. A time to prepare for a very busy day or weekend. If you don't take that time then who is going to give it to you?

"We don't quit playing because we grow old. We grow old because we quit playing."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Facing Adversity

Adversity is the diamond dust that heaven polishes its jewels with. ~ Leighton

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner. ~ Anonymous

The storm also beats on the house that is built on the rock. ~Anonymous

Don't ask for a light load, but rather ask for a strong back. ~ Anonymous

The Anchor Holds
Performed by Ray Boltz

I have journeyed through the long, dark night
Out on the open sea,
By faith alone, sight unknown,
And yet His eyes were watching me.

The Anchor holds, though the ship is battered.
The Anchor holds, though the sails are torn.
Well I have fallen on my knees,
as I faced the raging sea,

But the Anchor holds, in spite of the storm.
I've had visions and I've had dreams;
Well I've even held them in my hands,
But I never knew those dreams could slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand.

Now I have been young, but I am older now.
O and there has been beauty these eyes have seen;
But it was in the night, when I faced the storms of my life.
Oh, that's where God proved His love to me.


"I can do all things through Christ which strentheneth me."
I Philippians 4:13

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Sweet Adonai

Last Saturday, January 24th, was the anniversary of the death of the love of my life. As in the Titanic, "my heart will go on" but there will forever be a void in my heart that only the memories of my sweet Adonai can fill. This poem is dedicated to him. Gone but not forgotten.

My Sweet Adonai 
(August 25, 1969 to January 24, 1989)

It’s been four days since that fateful night and yet I still remember it like it was yesterday. I guess to me it always will be.
Tears poured down as if they desperately needed to rid themselves of all moisture. If I could release them all then the memory might not linger. If the dark clouds of sadness could disappear then maybe my despair would too. Maybe I could disappear into oblivion too. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I have no desire to be with people. I want to be with John.

Tonight like that night I pray my world will end or at least the guilt will go away and then I can live and laugh again. To me that “end” seemed to come anyway. I lost the ability to love and to be loved. I lost the ability to trust in humanity as it was ripped away from me and no one could restore the broken pieces. 

She didn’t see the stop sign and he (the other driver) didn’t see us. Our car was spinning out of control but there was no time to react. In a moment life as we knew it had ended. He never had a chance to grow up and we never had another chance to say, “I love you.”

My sweet Adonai, gone at 19. My cheers for a soccer champ were silenced and replaced with tears, heavy and wet. Do they have soccer fields in Heaven? Maybe you kicked that final ball through Heaven’s portals. I shall lay my pompoms down at your grave and think they are more beautiful than a bouquet of roses. You will know I am with you when you look down and see them. A pompom that’s not waving is like a heart that’s not beating.

We were too young to experience life on our own. A marriage we dreamed of was only that—a dream. Now I was in a nightmare and he had been called into eternity. How can he be rejoicing around God’s throne when my heart is aching so badly?

We wanted to be together one last time. Just a quick trip to Burger King. They’ll never know we left the campus together. Now the whole world knows because death cannot be kept a secret.

“Ma’am you need to let go of his hand—we need to get him to an ambulance.”
“No, I can’t leave him! He needs me! Please!”
“She’s bleeding. Where is she bleeding from?”
“I’m not hurt—I’m just shaken up. Where is this blood coming from?”

Riding in a police car on the way to the hospital. You run down the corridors frantically searching, hoping and praying. “Adonai, I’m coming for you. You’re going to be okay.”
“Ma’am, we’re sorry. Your friend—he didn’t make it.”
“No! You don’t know what you are talking about! He just kissed me and told me he loved me. We were only going for a ride. This isn’t supposed to happen to me, to us! We’re only teenagers.”

My world came to a halting stop and yet the room still managed to continue to spin. “God, please take me with him. Let me spend eternity with him. How will I go on without him, my precious Adonai?”

Full of disbelief I acted as if I never heard the words. They don’t know what they are talking about. It’s not his time to die. They’re lying to me. Don’t they know what this is doing to me?

“In His Presence,” that is the song we sang at his memorial. John was with the Lord and I was left behind to grieve. I’m too young to grieve. I don’t know how to say good-bye. I don’t know how to tell people I’m hurting. I cannot reach out to anyone. I wish I could die too. Let the tears flow again and again. Yes, that is how I am coping—I just keep crying.

Gayla and I are at the funeral home. She tells me, “You need to see him one last time. You need closure. You need to tell him good-bye.” From a distance I can see him lying there. No movement, although I swear at any moment he is just going to rise up and bring peace to a room full of grief but he doesn’t—he can’t. The room begins to spin and I begin a downward spiral. I am fainting—maybe I too am dying. Perhaps I am falling into my sweet Adonai’s arms. John catch me! Leave me there near my sweet Adonai and let me stay with him forever, please! If this is a terrible dream then don’t wake me.

“God, we were just teenagers. How could a life so young, be stolen so quickly?” No reply! “Why did YOU have to take my best friend from me?” Still no reply!

“God, can you hear me? Where are you? Why are you letting this happen to me? How much more pain can I endure?”

Tomorrow they will lower my sweet Adonai’s body into the cold earth. His soul is already in Heaven and as the rain falls I think he is crying for me. My tears begin to fall AGAIN. They run down my cheeks like raindrops from Heaven. They don’t comfort me. They taste like salt, yuck! But then a peace comes over me and it’s as if the raindrops reassure me that Someone in Heaven does care and understands.

I think too much and now I begin to ask God, “Why didn’t my Adonai get to fulfill the perfect plan that we are all promised? He wanted to go to the mission field. He wanted to be a soul winner. He wanted…but that wasn’t what you wanted, right?”

Then in the silence of the rain and my tears I hear a soft reply, “My child, my plan was perfected through the life he lived and is now complete. I welcomed another child home and he is rejoicing around the throne. But you, child, still have more living to do. In time you will understand and there will be meaning to your tears.”

God’s plan was perfected and complete and my sweet Adonai’ death was a lesson to all that he left behind—life is fragile. There is no way that we can control who lives and dies nor at what point we take our final breath. I survived that terrible car crash but John didn’t. There is a time appointed for all men to die and January 24th was John’s appointed time. All we can do is have faith that we will get through it. 

Good and bad are obvious and sometimes not so obvious. Right and wrong choices can determine life or death. So it’s time for us to wake up! Mourn no more, for God in time will heal our broken hearts. I know this to be true but someone needs to tell that to my heart because it’s breaking into a million pieces.

And one day, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week or next year but someday there will be no more tears to cry. But today, I will cry and I will remember the love of my life and the life he loved. And I will be carried to Heaven on the wings of a prayer and rest safely in the arms of my Savior but only after I cry.

I love you Adonai. I will always love you and you will always have a special place in my heart. God, take care of him until we can be together again.

Gone but not forgotten—forever in my heart you shall stay!

Love always and forever,
Your one and only Gigi girl