Saturday, November 4, 2017
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
1. Self-admiration – “Look at me!”a. Natural - my abilities, talents, assets.
b. Spiritual - my spiritual gifts, my ministry.
2. Self-aggrandizement – “Don’t I look good/great?”
a. Natural - my looks, my importance.
b. Spiritual - my position in the church.
3. Self-attention – “Listen to me!”
a. Natural - my understanding and viewpoint.
b. Spiritual - my Biblical and theological knowledge.
4. Self-justification – “I am right!”
a. Natural - my way is the right way.
b. Spiritual - our doctrine and polity is right.
5. Self-sufficiency – “I can do it!”
a. Natural - my abilities, my leadership.
b. Spiritual - our programs will make it happen.
6. Self-aspiration – “Let me win!”
a. Natural - competitive spirit; one-up-manship.
b. Spiritual - our statistics will prove us successful.
7. Self-seeking – “Give me mine!”
a. Natural - my rights; what I deserve.
b. Spiritual - our political rights and physical edifice.
8. Self-exaltation – “Praise me!”
a. Natural - my credit, glory, commendation.
b. Spiritual - our procedures and success.
Posted by Denise Shannon at 9:37 AM
Saturday, October 7, 2017
|My dad (19) and my mom (16) on their wedding day, October 5, 1967|
It is a helpless feeling watching my father be so heartsick without his love, partner, comrade, and sweetheart. I've never seen my father cry and now that's all he does. It's heart wrenching.
The morning of my parents' anniversary, I had a vivid dream about them. I was behind my father as he was coming in their house and my mother met him at the door with kisses. Later they were in the kitchen, like I have seen many times throughout my life, hugging. I was in complete bliss watching them and that's when I realized I was dreaming. I woke in hallow anguish when reality set in. She's still gone.
I've learned so much about others and myself, good and bad. I've learned that I'm not as winsome as I hoped to be in mourning. It was a window in my heart without all the embellished covering.
I've learned that I love my family more that I thought. Losing my mom suddenly this year was a revelation of what is important, what battles are worth fighting, and unconditional love.
I learned after my mother's death which people in my life would support and who would abandon me. It's been a time of soul searching of what kind of people I'm initially attracted to and who I've ignored.
I learned the meaning of friendship, keeping them few and focused. I learned to align with genuine empathetic people and show Christ-like compassion in a time of crisis. I probably failed at these things unknowingly in the past. Marching through the trenches makes me keenly aware.
I'm also learning that forgiveness is the absence of bitterness and trusting God's sovereignty He will bring all things to fruition.
To tie this to my dream about my parents is that I need to take each day as it were my last with the people I love. I will hug, share, laugh, and even cry with those who authentically care because they are a gift that may not be within reach hereafter. "Life is a vapor..."
Posted by Denise Shannon at 10:39 PM
Sunday, September 24, 2017
I read other people's account of losing a loved one and I found them oddly comforting. There's something isolating about grief. Nobody wants to talk about it. The world still goes on with its affairs while my heart is shattered and I'm suppose to get on with life. I tried.
After running a couple of red lights, as far as I know, I decided not to drive for a couple of weeks. Come to find out being a treacherous driver, temporarily, is a normal part of grief. Who knew that I would be a danger to society? I struggled cognitively. I was in a fog.
People can even grow impatient with a person in mourning. I wish we can go back to wearing a black ribbon for a year, not for the attention but a sign that I'm not myself. I need something that says I'm still hurting so please, have mercy.
One of the most healing moments was about a month after my mother's death. There was a lunch at a pizza place with my homeschool group after an event. I was so tempted to go home. I was too raw emotionally, too tired physically, and it was raining; a perfect day to hunker down in my cozy home. I haven't been in a social function since before my mom's passing.
I felt the Lord pressing on my heart to go, so I did. Being at a table full of women was the best thing for me. It felt good to hear about other things and laugh. That was a huge. I felt so light afterwards.
All that to say is it was so tempting to isolate myself but I desperately needed loving Christian women around me. I think that was the first time I laughed in a month. Thank you Lord.
Posted by Denise Shannon at 2:41 PM
Saturday, September 23, 2017
|My mom, dad and sister at our favorite beach.|
The night my mom died we got a call that her heart was at 10% capacity. We rushed in torrential rain through three states overnight to say goodbye. By the time we got there she was hooked up to clangorous machines, completely unconscious, and a mask pushing in her every breath. In spite of all that, she looked beautiful. I put my face in her hair and took in her familiar clean scent. I kissed her face a hundred times and told her how much I love her. Shortly after, we prayed over her, and then the doctor was ordered to turn off the cumbrous apparatus. As the room was suddenly silent, I held her hand and when it began to cool, I let go. I then watched the body that brought me life take its last gasp.
I walked out of the room with everyone else. All my siblings were clutching their children and spouses in tears. I was in shock. I didn't feel anything. I remember hugging my boys and asking them if they were all right. I don't remember much after that. I didn't feel anything until a few days later.
The first two weeks were a blur. I do remember struggling to do the simplest tasks. I took some pans out to make oven quesadillas and I just stared at the them in confusion. My husband came in the kitchen and I put my face in his chest and cried, "I just can't do it! What am I going to do?"
That's just the beginning. I'm eight mouths out and it seems like yesterday when we lost our sweet mom, and years at the same time. So much has happened...including healing, learning, and growing.
Grief Part 2
Posted by Denise Shannon at 9:08 PM