The Biggest Battle

(Finally finished this thought from our trip to Gettysburg last April 2, 2018)

Walking through the grounds of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on a cold day in April, I read inscriptions on monuments about blood-puddled ground, rocks slippery with blood, and bodies of men and horses everywhere, dead or wounded.  Like at Little Round Top, where about 330 men were told “to hold at all hazards”–and they did, even after they ran out of bullets; and the 1st Minnesota, 262 men, fighting until only 47 remained when help arrived; and of course, Pickett’s regiment was wiped out.  I cried often, walking among all the graves.

Beyond this very real history, though, I kept thinking that this horrible battle was nothing compared to Satan’s forces against me and you, right now.  He uses all the canons (government, wars, invaders); snipers from the hills and trees (luxuries, hobbies, laziness), and the screaming hordes with all their rifles and bayonets (TV, News, work, school, tragedies, health).  I sometimes see the fallen around me among spiritual blood and gore, splattered everywhere, and think…do I run?  General Jesus says, “No, stand firm and defend your soul and your right to go to Heaven at all hazards!”  I sigh.  This is where real bravery, commitment, and trust come into play.

But Not Here

A conglomerate of wild flowers desperately guards the normally exciting, noisy stream

Large and small flowers, bushy, grassy, single stemmed, all drown the senses with amazing colors, all lean over the stream, embracing it for themselves, choking, slowing down the lively gush

Streams must pass and that is life

Desperately hoarding the lively, babbling water or a life’s running course only creates dammed up, silent, stagnate pools fit only for unwanted things

Streams must pass and that is life

The selfish plant life must be trimmed back, allowing the happy creek to bubble and babble on its way to God knows where…but not here

The selfish refusal to let go must be trimmed back to allow an aged father, who used to be a lively, bubbly human life, to flow on to God knows where…

but not here

From a beautiful but sad morning walk August 31st, 2017… I can’t stop my loved ones from flowing around the next bend and the next, any more than they can stop me.  That’s what makes streams and creeks so beautiful to us.  Enjoy the music of life while you’re in the presence of the magnificent rush…

My Year Twenty-Fourteen

Found out sometime between February and March that Dad had liver cancer, with only six months to live (he’s still alive and kicking in December!)

Retired from working as a Para for the Special ED department, at Meade High School in May

Started a spiritual blog at www.soulercise.wordpress.com

Traveled to see Dad, the first of June, and two days into the visit was forced to return home because my husband, Chris, was in Dodge City’s hospital with blood clots in the lungs; he survived, but started dealing with diabetes and blood thinners

Sometime in the summer, Mom had congestive heart failure, survived, and then started dealing with borderline diabetes and high blood pressure

My sister fell and damaged a rib badly, taking several months to heal

The middle of August, they found pre-cancer spots on my face and I had them burned off, two different times

The end of August, I had to rush Chris to the hospital with heart arrhythmia; again he survived, but started dealing with high blood pressure, too; so now, diabetes, blood thinners, arrhythmia, and high blood pressure

Chris started looking for a new preaching position in April, knowing it would take some time

  • First interview (May) in West Virginia; left Chris’ suit at home and had to buy a new get-up in Kansas City; visited the Louisville Slugger Factory—Second: (June) in Alabama; visited with cousins in Montgomery, on the way home—Third: (mid-July) Central Texas; visited Ft. Worth, on the way home—Fourth: (late July) in Louisville, Kentucky area; visited Lincoln’s boyhood home—Fifth: (September) in Hanoverton, Ohio—Sixth: (October) in Stratford, Texas—Hired the end of October in Hanoverton, Ohio

Moved to Hanoverton, the week before Thanksgiving and spent Thanksgiving with the Noland Family

Getting used to Ohio, helping the Noland’s as Bob Noland finds he has a pancreatic cancer tumor and gets put in the hospital in E. Liverpool, then Pittsburgh

Traveled around Ohio, visiting Canton, Akron, E. Liverpool, Boardman, and Salem—Traveled through West Virginia to Pennsylvania and into Pittsburgh

Watched the movie The Mockingjay 1

Celebrate 23 years of marriage, having lunch at the historic Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton

Created, finished, and published several books: Discovering Ezekiel, Wind Dancers, They, Search the Word Puzzles 3: Revelation

Created Kindle version books of Dove on a Barb’d Wire, They, Wind Dancers, Mzungu Expressions, Africa Seen, and A Cross Examination

Donated most of my African artwork to the Meade HS library

Started having my hair permed this year

Received a guitar for my birthday in May (Fender) since my last guitar was stolen years ago

Received a small amplifier for the guitar at Christmas

Learned how to play the Lego Wii Harry Potter games, years 1-4 and years 5-7

Started teaching 5th and 6th grade Bible class in Hanoverton in December

Lost weight/gained weight; exercised/didn’t exercise; stopped eating gluten

Lost my Aunt Ruby Hunt this month; lost several elderly friends this year

Continued writing prose for my blog, four or more a month

TR

Sunrise on Wednesday Morning

Glanced out the back window before eating breakfast

Freshly surprised by the morning sun shedding and dappling its radiance across the backyard as a quilt of large and small bright golden patches stitched next to large and small dark shadowy patches

Simply put together, yet stunning

Much like my life

Long bright cheerful triumphant times spotted with small losses and discomforts

Small patches of joy and sun almost smothered by huge damages and pains

Such deep reflections on Hump Day Morning

Smiled ruefully, and turned to eat breakfast

TR