August 17, 2013
Well I don’t remember the last time Akila was home for her birthday, traditionally she has been overseas at this time of year. We picked her and Laura up late last night as they flew in from Holland. As I sit here in my chair early morning and read of the the two British girls caught smuggling drugs in Peru and one of them celebrating their 20th birthday in a police jail, I can only have a grateful heart that God has kept Akila from making lifestyle choices that lead to calamity. It’s so nice to know both Akila and Laura are fast asleep in their rooms. I will be getting lots of cuddles today from both and just quietly watching them interact with friends as they “execute” their busy plans for the day…. 9:30 going to the animal refuge, 11:00 brunch with friends 2pm paint balling 18:30 BBQ 20:30 out for an evening with friends and probably lots between!
And so we celebrate, not taking the opportunities for granted and finding ways to make the ordinary extra-ordinary, squeezing all the goodness out of the day we can…….I feel a cigar coming on!
August 13, 2013
We went yesterday to visit Mike’s grave. I noticed that a little hand held windmill has missing from the pot of flowers. Amazingly I found emotion rising to the surface at this loss. On our first visit to Australia after Mike’s death, we brought that windmill at a fair in Toowomba knowing that he would smile at that. The girls were involved and I seem to remember us all going to the grave to ceremonially add the windmill to the pot of flowers.
“That windmill” cannot be replaced, it represents memories and purpose of purchase. It highlights again to me that some loss can simply be replaced. More often than not that is purely practical items that hold little emotional memory. Other items or people hold very deep rooted association and with the loss we experience the loss of attachment to those memories.
So we can become hard to protect ourselves from such pain or we continue to experience and express love knowing that we will be hurt by loss. “Better to love and loose than not love at all”, I remember hearing somewhere. I love my boy and I will buy him a whopper windmill and create some cement block to set it in, he would chuckle at that. So “that windmill” cannot be replaced but a little humor can help to ease the sadness!
August 12, 2013
Either I am getting old or becoming a man of habit, but after a busy month of travel and activity, I am back in the chair! Its amazing how life can run over our desires, plans and thoughts. Due to “good” stuff, I have had “no mental space” to process and think about life these past weeks. Kath and I had a mad drive back from Germany on Thursday, arriving close to mid-night and then up early Friday to baby sit our friends holiday cottages for the weekend.
Time around Mike’s death is not any more or less difficult than other periods but I do like to honor Mike and set physical and emotional space aside to think about him. Having a packed schedule in Brazil and then off to a Logos Survivors Reunion, again gave no time to process.
And so we are back home, with my mind empty of dead line requirements and I am free to sit in my chair in “Mike’s Room”, to be out of the traffic of life, to say “this is my space and time”. Time to say, “Father I have been running on the power stored up, the little top ups kept me going but I am empty. I long for the intimacy and connection we have in this spot. I feel very dusty and dirty from the journey, I have fallen and stumbled on the road, I have known your forgiveness with ample grace and mercy, I want to fight the natural desires that are a strong current against the direction I want to go. I want to hear your voice again, I am not satisfied with yesterdays mercies, yesterdays revelation and so I thank you for “My spot” where you came 4 years ago and took Mike home.”
Mike, I will visit “your spot” today with your mum as we mark the day we lowered your body in the ground, but it will be with thanks that we know your spirit had already gone with Father God. You stepped out of the traffic permanently, I try to do it for a couple of hours!
August 3, 2013
This weekend, around 65 of the Logos survivors have come together in Mosbach, Germany to reunite and celebrate 25 years on. As I think about this weekend and also what happened 4 years ago in our own family I can truly say “Logos Rocks”! The word ‘Logos’ is the greek for “Word” from John 1 ” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Jesus said in Matthew 7 that if we hear His words and act on them then we are like the wise man who built his house on the rock not like the foolish man who built his house on the sand.
Friends, bad things happen to both good and bad people! The question is whether the storm is going to consume us, whether we will survive or whether we will thrive and alow the storm to define and make us a better person. Kathy and I have talked long and often that it is only because we built our individual and family lives on “Jesus the Rock”, that we are still standing. Its nothing to do with us and all to do with Him. Its another one of those paradoxes because there is nothing we can do, its all grace, but we do have to do something and thats build our lives on the rock!
So as I go into today, guiding our program with Dale Rhoton sharing some thoughts of “Jesus is the Rock”, I can testify that God is good, life is mixed, but I celebrate today Mike’s life on this earth and Mike’s life after death. I will not focus on the shock of walking in on that shocking scene 4 years ago this saturday morning.
August 2, 2013
Our shirt Mike!
We planned to get up, have breakfast with Akila and then go to the grave to see Mike. We ended up driving 850 miles, from Carlisle to Mosbach, Germany! Mike I wore our special shirt the whole way!
This weekend is “Logos Rocks”, a reunion of over 65 of us that were on the Logos when she ran on the rock 25 years ago at our German office. I have been working with a small group on the program for many months. Kathy wanted to change the travel days around that so that we could meet up with Laura for a couple of days as she too will be here. In my mind somewhere along the way I thought Thursday and 31st were the same, but in fact Thursday was the 1st. Typical of me, I looked several times at the airline ticket to confirm time but did not register that it should be Wednesday.
With airlines not willing to change the ticket and prices through the roof for last minute, with me overseeing the program side of this event, there was only one solution, jump in the car, get on the Euro Tunnel train and drive. So with two hours sleep, it’s a quick blog and off to get the program logistics finalised before people register at 1pm.
God is so good. I don’t very often come out of my sleep with a verse or song in my mind but yesterday I did. “This is the day that the LORD has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” Psm 118:24 God gives us every day and nothing comes to those who follow Him that He is not aware of. This is the paradox, God’s will and man’s free will. Kathy and I actually had an awesome drive over with the most spectacular weather. 32 degrees in the south of England and an amazing sun set in Belgium.
A very strange way to remember Mike but actually I cannot relate to a Thursday anyway, for me Mike died on a Saturday and so this Saturday is more poignant for me.
Awesome sunset in Belgium