Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Scrabble: A Saving Grace




The Scrabble game never left our dining room table the winter of 2017.   It was not that other things did not get accomplished, but Scrabble was the saving grace we turned to as winter blanketed not only our neighborhood, but our souls.  Scrabble was provided by our Papa God out of love,  to distract and even teach us while we spent 1-3 hours a day focused on creating words from little wood tiles.

With the first snow storm we took out the game and began to play.  Our skills were a bit rusty, but over time we improved at making words and adding up points.  Then sickness came to visit, what we called The Coughing Crud....first I went down and ten days later when I was coming back from the dead Joel got hit hard.  Unusual for my "walking in health" hubby.  We were napping, coughing, groaning, and eating a lot of chicken soup.  A. lot.  That sickness from hell forced us to cancel a trip to our oldest and her family's.  Again.  And to add to it all, I broke my little toe. Really??  Then there was the world, which seemed to be in chaos and still is, our country at the center of it all.  We slowly sank into a funk, missing Arizona weather, weary of politics, conflict, and coughing.  Enough said.

The corner of our dining table became a place of retreat.  A place we gathered when the world made us weary.  It was where, I believe, God called us to play Scrabble........letting us know He had other things, important things, covered.  It became almost sacred to us and a daily ritual we are still practicing right along side our devotions, prayers and praise, and writing.

It is not the first time God has brought our focus onto the simplest of things.  In the early 80's when Joel's life was threatened, involving police, courtrooms, and several years of trusting God with the outcome, a bright orange half-grown kitten showed up in our yard one day and decided to stay. We named him Garfield and he provided great comic relief with his antics.  Soon after we brought home a pup named Jake who gave us even more enjoyment during a tough season for our family.
Looking into your own mirror reflections, I imagine you, too, can find times when God intervened with distractions of His own making.

So, during this time, Scrabble gave us a place to focus as we put effort into winning at a board game, even when it did not feel like we were winning at life. Scrabble also opened our eyes to the lens we were seeing through, the emotions that rose to the surface. The game began to reveal how we were responding to this season of our lives, and it came forth in how we played.  God was using Scrabble to peel back the layers and uncover a few things we needed to adjust.  Like our attitudes.  

Scrabble has become so much a part of our routine, that when we were taking care of our three treasures recently we purchased them the game, so we could all play together. Home now, we again returned to the ritual, not yet ready to let go of the board and tiles.  Eager for Spring, but holding on to winter's distraction.  Scrabble.

Isn't it funny how God can use something as simple as a game of Scrabble to bring grace into our lives.  God used a board game, made sacred by Him, to care for us in a season when winter blanketed the ground and our souls.  He loves us so much and cares deeply about the details of our lives, He weaves His goodness into all we do...including a game or two....or twenty...of Scrabble.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Good Age


As I sit tonight and ponder tomorrow's birthday, I find myself in a place of reflection.  I feel the need, once again, to put pen to paper.  Tomorrow I will turn 69........my last year in a decade we thought I would never see.  It was 10 years ago I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease after 23 years of battling a mysterious illness.  Our Lyme practitioners revealed my body was dying.....working at only 22 per cent when I first walked in the office.  They could help me live, but could not heal me. Only God could do that.  I remember I was so ill I laid on the floor of the van to get to the Dr.'s office.  Joel told me after my health returned, that he really did not think I would reach age 60.  But, God.  But God had other plans.

In the past decade I have battled cancer twice when healthy cells went rogue and developed into uterine cancer and then a few years later, breast cancer.  It is gone now.  Lyme is dead and gone also, through a healing released in my body by Jesus, our Healer.  I have a new and better life with all the freedoms I experience now.   I. am. still. here.

Sixty-nine is a good age.  An age I find myself grateful to be.  I. am. still. here.  I also find myself deeply desiring 20 more years of life on this earth.  I look forward to great-grandchildren while treasuring each morning I open my eyes.  I still can battle fear of sickness or death, but I counter it with praise for the day I have.  I can name too many friends who did not reach the age of 69, but I can name more who arrived.

Isn't life amazing?  Aren't our bodies amazing?  And our God?  More amazing still!  Tomorrow the sun comes up on a new year and I will rejoice.  Reaching 69 is a gift I will unwrap and enjoy.  I will walk into it with praise, grateful for every wrinkle, gray hair, cellulite bump, and more.  I. am. still. here.