This month has been a rough one. More than once I’ve wished for a week’s do-over at a time.

Last Tuesday Hubby’s grandad passed away. It wasn’t *terribly* unexpected (he’s dealt with diabetes/heart disease/etc for YEARS but has always come through the bumps along the way), but did happen fairly suddenly.

It has been such a blend of good and not-so-good and I always struggle in dealing with that. His family came together so quickly, so solidly, it was wonderful. Sixteen of 17 grandkids made it to the memorial (there’s one serving life in prison somewhere). Some drove from out of state, others flew cross-country to make it. There were SO many tears, some laughter, lots of hugs. I had moments of precious connection with people who have meant the world to me in different times and seasons, but who have grown up to pursue their own lives and paths, as they should.

I also had moments of questioning, wondering if I was being appropriately supportive, whether my children were being wildly INappropriate, whether a response was required, or the person just wanted to jab at me (“these ‘grass-fed’ people…”). Trying to square some of the very-negative things of Grandad’s history with the fairly-positive influence (and tolerance) he had for Hubby in Hubby’s childhood years. Trying to decipher my always-silent Hubby…

The memorial service was great. Hubby’s uncle spoke, and I wondered what this former longtime pot-smoker [but now quite redeemed and on-fire for Jesus] would have to say about his father who held little tolerance (as far as I knew) for God. He began by saying that Grandad was not a religious man… and followed that up with what Grandad WAS – apparently he HAD been Saved at some point, though pulled away permanently from “church” and “preachers” when they tried to control his life. Uncle K. pointed out that life in Christ was a relationship and NOT a religion. He did a great job of speaking the gospel, and there were laughs all around when he noted that Grandad had little to do with preachers… but 3 of his 5 kids could be classified as such. 🙂 This from the front of the church, in his long beard and signature overalls (and sparkly-white T-shirt beneath).

We had been gone Saturday (the 15th) for a cousin’s birthday, TWICE that Sunday, for church and a Rosh Hashanah thing, Monday (me) for bible study, Tuesday afternoon-evening at Grandma & Grandad’s… Thursday we were told that everyone was gathering for dinner together daily, and while I planned to go, I ended up sending Hubby & the kids because being gone so much had definitely taken a toll on my home and life.

In the midst of it all, I had planned to have a birthday party for Organique – who turned FIVE! I had thought to do an evening bonfire party, but after Grandad passed, deliberated whether to put it off a week, or tone it down, or…? Having my mother-in-law in town seemed to suggest I should do it before she left, but I trying to celebrate a birthday in the midst of a family’s grief seemed bizarre too. But I didn’t want to let the loss completely wipe out her time either… In the end we just did cake and ice cream on her birthday (Friday), and I invited almost no one.  Our sweet neighbor was able to make it, and so Organiqe’s day was commemorated without interrupting the family’s processes, and I can focus on buying hay or something next weekend. Win-win, more or less.

I am holding on to the impression I got a month or two ago when we were planning our upcoming family vacation… that our family needs this. I have questioned and re-questioned it, have felt hopeless and so discouraged in some areas, and have wondered if the expense and effort is worth it in light of other things going on. I am asking God to “lift my eyes up,” to help me know that my hope is in HIM… because there is so little to be found elsewhere. I am praying that my fall to-do things will be done before we leave, so I don’t spend the whole time thinking I should be home taking care of xx, xxx, and xyz.

My life is in You, Lord
My strength is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord
In You, it’s in You…