Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Merry making....very late (yet again!)

Well thank you, Ryan Gosling!  I appreciate your patience with my lack of getting my act together.  But how about February?  Hopefully, my sisters, nephew and brother-in-law didn't mind getting their Christmas gifts a couple of weeks ago.  

I do this to myself every year.  I have plenty of time to put something great together for everyone on my list.  But then my mind overflows with these amazing ideas that I can never pull off in time, and end up making only part of the gift that would have been great in itself if I had just put it together like that in the first place.  That totally makes sense, right?

For instance, I wanted to give my sisters little trees with ornaments that they could change with the seasons.  I found these adorable metal jewelry trees at Marshalls.  Then, my initial plan included 8 sets of 10 ornaments for each season (felted and/or sewn).  And for those of you who are still reading this and counting, that's 8 sets x 10 ornaments x 2 sisters = 160 ornaments.  Yeah.  I'm crazy.  So, what I ended up doing is 4 sets x 5 ornaments x 2 sisters = 4 ornaments (a much more manageable project).  And here are the ornaments I made for Robin.... 

Yo-yos for Spring and Summer, Acorns for Fall, Snowflakes for Winter, and....
Hearts for Valentine's Day!

I just love how the candy matches the yo-yos!  (Such a cute idea, Robin!!!)
I hope this sparked some ideas for you, and that you have more sense than I do to start a lot earlier in the year if you want to have something for your loved ones to open at Christmas.  I have much more to post, but that will have to wait until tomorrow!  :o)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Heaviness and Hope

I know I haven't written in a while.  I've started at least a dozen blog posts since my last entry, but everything I write seems extremely insignificant compared to the heaviness I feel on my heart.  My brother passed away suddenly a couple of weeks ago, and I feel such sadness for the loss of his life.  My sister put it best, though, that there was cause to morn for his life when he was still alive.  We knew he had his struggles.  He made his own decisions.  He never listened to reason.  Yet, he really loved his family as much as he could.

It's been so interesting to see how differently everyone in my family grieves.  They're so different from me.  I know they're protecting their hearts...like they've had to do for years when it comes to Gregg.  He hurt a lot of people.

On the day we found out that Gregg had died, I was reading the Psalms when this verse jumped out at me:    
"But as for me, I will sing about your power.  Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.  For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress." Psalm 59:16 NLT

What a blessing to know that I don't have to mourn alone.  I am comforted at the thought that God is a refuge when my heart is troubled, and that God LOVES Gregg so much.  God's love is perfect for Gregg, even when my love for him wasn't.  

Every day gets a little easier.  I still feel like the wind's been knocked out of me...it's hard to catch my breath sometimes.  I'm anxious to hug my boys a little tighter, to really let my loved ones know how much I love them, and to cling to the happier memories I have of Gregg... his crazy laugh... the way he used to gush about my niece, Molly... his forgiveness when my husband backed into his car...how he'd sit back and just watch and laugh as the craziness ensued around him as he watched his 5 nieces and nephews fight, play, and cry... This is the Gregg I want to remember.   

If nothing else, I feel like my capacity for grace has grown.  My hope expanded.  A desire to really love people where they are has been ignited.

Rest in peace, Gregg!