I'm reading three books right now plus my Bible.
I finished the Inductive Study Bible last year and as I had purchased another one I was eager to get started on it. I decided to start in Genesis and work my way through. When Amy got sick I was in Leviticus. I haven't had the strength or desire to keep studying and I knew I needed to draw from God's Word for healing. I tried time and again and only managed a few chapters. I knew it was time for something different. MY plan was to work from the beginning. This was not God's plan. I started in Matthew Tuesday and once again God is speaking to me as His Word comes alive in every word I read. This has been the method of study that I have used for 15 years and I really enjoy it.
Wednesday I picked up "One thousand gifts devotional" journal by Ann Voskamp. I read her book, One Thousand Gifts, a few years ago and starting following her blog and it really made a difference in my life. I started my own 1000 gifts journal in February of 2011 and was up to #1411. That was entered on February 2nd. Nothing since then. Had I not recignized any gifts that God had given me in the last 3 and a half months? I picked up her devotional book and thought,why not try again, to count the gifts in my life. She says, "He who is grateful for little is given much laughter...and it's counting the ways He loves, this is what multiplies joy. The life that counts blessings discovers its yielding more than it seems." I prayed that God would help me to know afresh that counting my blessings would help me lead a more joyful life. That yielding to Him would help me overcome my sorrow. In the back of the journal is a place to record 1000 gifts. I was able to write down.....I am thankful for the thirty-one years that You gave me with Amy.
I also enjoy reading fiction. It is an escape for me, like a good movie, but it lasts much longer! Last evening I started the newest book by Bodie and Brock Thoene. "When Jesus Wept" It is a fictional story based on Lazarus. The book opens with Lazarus going to the temple for cleansing after his wife and baby died. It had been a month and he was to be done grieving according to the Jewish law. Thirty days was not enough time for him to finish his grieving. How I can relate with this!
About a week ago I started reading "A Grief Observed," by C.S. Lewis. It is the notes he wrote after his wife passed away. I just read a little at a time, to let it soak in. This is a part of what I read today: "Aren't all these notes the senseless writhings of a man who won't accept the fact that there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it? Who still thinks there is some device which will make pain not to be pain. It doesn't really matter whether you grip the arms of the dentist's chair or let your hands lie in your lap. The drill drills on. And grief still feels like fear. Perhaps, more strictly, waiting for something to happen. It gives life a permanently provisional feeling. It doesn't seem worth starting anything. I can't settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much. Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness."
Wow! This has been how I have been feeling. I have so much to do, but don't want or feel like doing it. It is like I'm waiting for something to happen. And I think what I have been waiting for is Amy to come back. Not that I truly thought this would happen. It is like I am waiting for life to be the way it was and not to have to face the way it is. I didn't want to do anything because that meant that life was continuing without Amy.
I stopped at the cemetery again today. It was bright and sunny and a breeze was blowing. Amy's flowers are still blooming and her pinwheels that her sister put there were whirling around so fast. I had put a butterfly on a stake that has springs in the wings and the butterfly was flying in the wind. I was smiling.
Yes, I realized I was smiling! I am so thankful that we have a beautiful hilltop where Amy's body can rest. If Amy can look down from heaven and see us, I know she is loving the butterflies and the pinwheels and the flowers that we have put on her grave. But more importantly I know she is so very, very happy that her Mama is not as sad anymore. That I am looking for God's gifts everyday and that I am counting His gifts again.
Yes, I am counting His gifts and one of the best gifts He ever gave me was my sweet Amy.