Getting To a Place Where It is Well With My Soul

 

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Recently, while doing a bible study, I came across the story of how Horatio Spafford came to write the powerful hymn, It is Well With My Soul. His story was horrific and I couldn’t believe I had never heard the story behind this hymn. If you’re not familiar with the story, you can read it here.

During the month of August, I read Timothy Keller’s book, Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering.

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I’ll just tell you, this book was powerful and made me contemplate very deep things. It was not an easy book to read and in all honesty, it took me to places I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to go. Rest assured I’ll be thinking about this book for a very LONG time to come. It’s hard to explain, but after I finished the book, I was left feeling that Timothy Keller had picked me up and shook me hard…. shook me to my core and left me all rattled to where I’m not quite sure I’ll ever be the same. Yet, at the same time, the book has helped me in tremendous ways with the losses I’ve experienced in my life.

In one of the final chapters of the book, Tim Keller talks in-depth about the biblical figure, Job, and his trials and suffering. When I heard Horatio Spafford’s story, I immediately thought of Job. The tragedies both these men suffered are just to me unimaginable.

This beautiful video tells the story of how Horatio Spafford came to write this well-known hymn and then you hear the hymn performed by Jeremy Riddle. I only hope my faith will one day be as strong as Horatio Spafford’s faith was when he wrote this hymn.

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With that, I wanted to let you know that I’ll be taking a break from blogging. It seems lately I have absolutely nothing to say and when I try to write, the words just don’t want to come. There’s an uneasiness I feel in writing right now, like something is pulling me away from it. I started blogging in August of 2010 and have enjoyed it immensely but I’ve decided it’s time to take a break.

So I’ll be silent here in this little corner. For how long I just don’t know. I will be back IF and WHEN it feels right to do so. I have some profound soul-searching to do and in all honesty, that requires stillness and silence, a reaching deep within myself and a turning inward for some serious introspection.

I still plan to write, but this fall I’m going to try my hand at journaling again. I’ve got a stack of books lined up to read (and a lot of them just happen to be books about writing). I tend to read more non-fiction than fiction, but I think I want to delve into some fiction this fall and winter.

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Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

I plan to spend this fall (my favorite time of the year) taking long hikes in the woods with my husband, making all things pumpkin, going to a few high school football games and plan a trip to our beautiful Smoky Mountains. I need to work on coming to terms with my empty nest that came WAY too soon to suit me (is it really possible to fail at being an empty nester)? Because I feel like I have. Regardless, it’s here whether I like it or not and so there’s work to do there (I  have a couple of books lined up to read on that topic too)! But most of all I want to continue on with Bible reading and studying. I feel a strong passion (desire?) for that.

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book-1209805_960_720There are projects to complete around the house too – two more bedrooms that need carpet torn out and hardwood flooring put down. And oh man, that’s a job. There’s much-needed painting to do and house repairs to schedule and a giant hole in the backyard that still needs “fixing.” And there’s a basement that’s in bad need of decluttering and cleaning and I’ve ignored its calling out to me for too many years now. So, dear friends, all of these things I feel are calling me away for a while.

I wanted to thank you for coming here to read in my tiny, tiny corner of the blogosphere. This has always been a place where I come to think out loud – a place where I try to figure out what this thing called life is all about. Thank you for allowing me to do that and for the kindness you’ve always shown to me. I’ve always been truly grateful for the friends I’ve met through blogging. It’s funny, I started blogging over 7 years ago with a hope to learn a little about writing but I think what I ended up learning more about is people. And maybe that’s just how God wanted it.

Always, I pray for your life to be enriched with blessings and peace.

Gail

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Remembering 9/11

Remembering….. A post from 2010

Moonlight Reflections

I have vivid memories of 9/11/01 as do most people who lived through it.  I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing.  I remember feeling like I was in a daze after hearing the news.  I didn’t want to believe it was really true.  How could this happen?  Why did it happen?  I remember experiencing a type of fear that was unknown to me.  I remember wanting to get back to my husband, who I had just said goodbye to.  I remember wanting to run to my kids’ schools and snatch them out of their classrooms and bring them home.  I remember praying to God and asking him “WHY?”
 
I was taking a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd course at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Nashville.  It was to be the first day of our class.   My husband, who was on his way back home from downtown, decided he would meet me…

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Sunday Glory

 

 

What A Beautiful Name

Hillsong Worship

You were the Word at the beginning
One With God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus, You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

How sweet is your name, Lord, how good You are
Love to sing in the name of the Lord, love to sing for you all?
Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast, of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Gail 

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Bath-time Talks

I still love watching old episodes of the 1980s sitcom show The Golden Girls. I have the entire collection and I think I’ve watched them all straight through about three times (and that’s not counting the times I’ve watched them on TV). These funny ladies never fail to make me laugh (or cry).

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Recently I was watching an episode from Season One entitled “Rose the Prude.” The B- plot story was about Dorothy and Sophia playing Gin Rummy. For 30 years, the two had played Gin Rummy and Dorothy had never beat Sophia once.

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Dorothy gets mad after one of her losing games and tells Sophia that she’s not playing anymore. Sophia tells her she’ll be back because she’s too competitive.

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Sophia keeps trying to coax Dorothy into playing but Dorothy sulks and Dorothy asks Sophia why she should play when Sophia is the only one to get any enjoyment out of playing cards.

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Sophia responds by telling Dorothy that actually the cards bore her to tears. Dorothy acts surprised and then asks, “Well, then why do you play?” Sophia then tells Dorothy that she likes the talking that takes place during the games—that she and Dorothy had some of their best talks over a game of Gin Rummy and that it seemed that it was easier for them both to open up over a game of Gin Rummy.  So Sophia in the end wasn’t really that into playing cards, she just enjoyed her time with Dorothy, her daughter.  Kinda sweet when you think about it.

That whole little plot reminded me so much of when my boys were little. I would pick them up from pre-school or elementary school and ask them how their day went. “Fine” was usually the only answer I would get. Then I would ask, “What did you learn today?” “Nothing” was usually the answer I would get.

But after dinner, I would start their bath water, and it was then that all the details would emerge. They would get in that warm bath water with bubbles and bath toys and the talking would begin. My kids never minded baths and in fact seemed to WANT to get in the bathtub at night.  During bath time, they relaxed and opened up about their day. Something about the warm water made them talkative. While playing with the floating bath boats or foam bath sponges, they would tell me all about their day, what they had learned, what happened at recess, on the playground, and in the lunchroom, etc.

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I always found it amazing how the warm bath always made them eager to share their day with me. I would sit on the bath mat in front of the tub and listen as they told me everything. They told me funny things their friends said, relayed to me conversations with their teachers, classroom shenanigans, school subjects they had found easy that day and work that had been hard. I’ve told my husband that we had some of our best talks at bath-time.

 

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I cherish those bath time talks. I also miss them.

Gail ♥

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Sunday Glory

Today’s WordPress one-word daily prompt: Priceless

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Let us thank God for his priceless gift!

2 Corinthians 9:15 (GNT)

Gail 

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The Night My Teenage Self Wanted to Protect My Father

I remember this night in my head so vividly, like it was yesterday. I think I was about 14 or 15 years old at the time.

My mother usually made us go to bed around 9 pm on school nights. My father was an early riser so he often went to bed early. I shared a bedroom with my oldest sister and our parents’ bedroom was right next to our room.

On this particular night, the loudly ringing rotary phones jarred my family from a deep sleep. It was unnerving because when the phone rings late at night, it’s never good news.

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A phone just like this sat on my parents’ dresser.  Photo credit:  http://www.paul-f.com/weproto.html

In my grogginess, I could hear the rustling of bed sheets and my parents talking in concerned voices a few minutes after the phone call. I heard my father go into the bathroom right off their bedroom. I heard shoes hit the floor and I could tell he was getting dressed and preparing to go somewhere.

I climbed out of my bed and rubbing my heavily laden eyelids, I shuffled my way in my bare feet and long flannel gown to my parents’ bedroom. I asked my father where he was going. I thought perhaps there was some sort of emergency at a neighbor’s house. He replied that he had to go to the airport and probably wouldn’t be gone too long. He patted my arm and told me to go on back to bed.

The airport?  In the middle of the night? My father was a pilot but this was highly unusual for him to be called to the airport in the middle of the night.

I could tell by the look on my mother’s face, that something wasn’t right. I pressed my parents as to why my father was having to hurriedly dress and rush out into the night to go to the airport.

And then they told me.

cessna-caravan-aircraft-2481537_960_720The police were summoning my father to come to the airport to see if he could identify a dead man. A dead man found in an airplane. Apparently, this man had attempted to steal a plane that night. The story I remember was that he had broken into a plane (a Cessna I believe), hot-wired it, and started taxiing towards the runway. When some of the airport employees took off running after him, the man pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head. He committed suicide right there in that stolen plane.

My father was a flight instructor, had an office, and ran a ground school at this municipal airport. He was well-known there and he knew a lot of people in his world of aviation. The police wondered if  the man who had attempted to steal the plane could possibly be one of my father’s students. They thought my father might be able to identify the body of this John Doe airplane thief.

I did not want my father to go alone to the airport that night.  I didn’t want him to have to face alone what he was about to face. How would he react if indeed it was one of his students? Even if it wasn’t his student? How gruesome was this crime scene going to be? How would this affect my father?

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I begged my parents to let me go to the airport too. My mother was adamant that I would be staying home. I looked to my dad and said, “Please, please let me go with you.” He told me no, that this was not going to be any place for a teenage girl and then told me to go on back to bed. I pleaded again for him to take me, told him that he didn’t need to go alone and that I could handle it, and if necessary, I would even stay in the car, but to please let me ride along. My parents weren’t budging and they didn’t let me go that night.

I was a daddy’s girl, the youngest of three girls, and I felt a strong urge to protect my father that night. I just simply wanted to be with him, support him, comfort him, and be there for him. Be there for this kind, caring and compassionate man who lived his life very quietly and honorably and who only wanted to see good in others, not bad.

We lived 10 minutes from the airport. I had fallen back asleep by the time my father got home. The next day, he wouldn’t talk about any of it and it was clear he didn’t want to talk about it. My mother told me the man who had stolen the plane had not been one of my father’s students and my father had not been able to identify the man. That’s all I ever knew.

I don’t remember that night ever being mentioned again in our home. I don’t remember ever seeing it on the news, and I don’t remember ever hearing the identity of the man who shot himself in the plane.

I still wish I could have gone to the airport that night and been there for my dad.

Gail 

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Things I’m Loving These Days

SO Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer

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I love all things coconut and so when I saw this at Publix the other day, I had to try it. At first I thought coconut flavor in my coffee would be a little icky, but I was wrong. I. Loved. It. This product is rich, sweet and creamier than milk. I’ll be honest and tell you I could turn the carton up and gulp this stuff down straight. It’s THAT good.

OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo

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Are you starting to see a theme here? Like I said, I love all things coconut and apparently shampoo is no exception. This stuff smells so good!

Recent Antique Mall finds

The antique mall that sits right at the entrance to our subdivision that my hubby and I like to check out every now and then had a huge sale recently. All their costume jewelry was 75% off. I could have gone wild but restrained myself. I got these two peacock pins for my sweet mother-in-law because she loves things like this and ever since I’ve known her she’s worn sparkly brooches. I told her when my eye spotted these, they had her name written all over them. She likes peacocks. No, they’re not particularly old but they sure are colorful and pretty.

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My mother-in-law also loves butterflies and so when I asked the lady at the antique store if she had any butterfly pins, she actually told me that she has a man who routinely comes in and wipes her out of all her butterflies. His wife collects them and pins them on, of all things, shower curtains. Now that’s unusual and something I would have never thought to do.  She also told me the teenage girls are coming in to buy the brooches and that they like to pin them on their backpacks.

I bought this little blue pin just because the color kept jumping out at me. I’m sure I’ll find a place for it on a winter sweater.

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Glen Campbell CDs

My sister was so thoughtful in showing her love to her baby sister. She ordered these for me right after Glen Campbell’s death. And how could I not love them!IMG_6336

All Saints movie

I saw this movie two days ago at a private showing for the Episcopal diocese of Tennessee, (made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor). I can’t stop thinking about it and its real life characters. It’s based on a true story and was filmed right here in Smyrna TN (about 20 miles southeast of Nashville) at the actual church where the story takes place. It’s an endearing story about refugees and saving a dying church that will warm your heart. It will make you laugh and make you cry. It’s not about religion but all about love, hope and faith. There’s also a book and I can’t wait to read it!

http://www.allsaintsmovie.com/

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Gail 

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