Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Perspectives from the Pause

Sit in reverie and watch the changing color
of the waves that break upon the idle
seashore of the mind.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For nearly 40 days I have disengaged myself from much of my social underpinnings.  I shut & locked the front door of my blog, then put a hold on Facebook.  It wasn't so much a Lenten thing as it was a pause.  I need them every so often.  As it turns out, my pauses are often a means of experiencing life in fresh, new ways.

This pause was multi-faceted, and strange.

It began with our decision to bid farewell to the Irish Wake, our seaworthy boat.  After many fun & joy-filled excursions, we decided it's season had passed, and the money (can anybody say "gas prices"?) best spent elsewhere. 

We then had the great, good pleasure of spending a few days with our Arizona Pastor (surrogate son & best of friends), Greg, and his wife Lori.  They were in Seattle for a speaking engagement, but we managed to carve out time to catch up.  As some of you know, Greg was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (a lethal illness that combines Parkinson's symptoms with something akin to Lou Gehrig's) last March, and given a not-so-lovely prognosis.  We are always blessed by his attitude.  Lori's too.  As you can well imagine, it's a tough, cruel battle they're waging, with 4 children (14, 12, 10 & 6) battling alongside them.  Their faith AND humor is nothing short of amazing.  We treasure the time we have with them.

That same weekend we got a call that Terry's older brother (by one year), Tim, was gravely ill; that we probably ought to come to the care facility to see him if we hoped to connect before he passed away.  Seems he had pneumonia-like symptoms and was being treated for that.  When there was no progress, the docs performed further tests only to discover he had an acutely advanced case of lung cancer.  Before we could change our clothes and make the hour long drive to see him, he slipped away ... the first of my husband's 6 siblings to leave, and only 65. 

On a lighter note I began facilitating a women's mentoring group.  There are 7 of us, and our weeks together have been a rare blend of digging into God's word and sharing life's challenges.  I remind them I am but their Tour Guide, which leaves much room for God to move; and move He does!

Spring has been an elusive element here this year.  The pause has seen torrents or rain, then sunny skies, then SNOW, then more rain, and now days of glorious sunshine.  Our weather forecasters are false prophets, that's all I can say!  What joy it is to watch the trees cloaking themselves in new layers of green, and the shrubs & flowers unfurling in splendid array. 

My youngest son's wife, Katrina, has decided to work part time in order to help with their finances so I am doing the Nanny Granny thing two days a week.  It means I'm drawing upon energy stores I didn't know I had.  The older boys - 17 & 13 - are typically in school while I'm there, so it's young Kole that is my primary focus.  He's a busy little guy, but so good.  On Tuesdays we go to the YMCA for Toddler Gym.  His workout is MY workout.  Need I say more? 

In the midst of the pause we have continued to forge new bonds with friends from church ...  Mike & Sue, John & Karri, Carolyn & Mike, Jim & Kazziah to name a few.  Home Group is a highlight of my week, especially when Terry's in town to join me/us.  Last week we had a potluck fellowship at our home, complete with stories, games & much laughter.  Doing life with others makes for some rich experiences.

Wednesdays are dear to me because I spend them with my older sister, Dolores.  At 79, she has the outlook & energy of a much younger woman; and we share a common love of the Lord.  In recent weeks we've been working our way through the Book of Revelation - marveling at the promises and the glory to come.  Hours lapse as we talk & share, laugh & pray ...  The world is a much better place when we're through.

It's amazing how much has been crammed into my pause - - some of it planned, some of it serendipitous (is that a word?), some of lovely, and some of it not-so-lovely.  What I'm aware of most is that I am much more alert, more in the moment.  I am also grateful for the freedom to press pause any time.

"And the work of righteousness will be peace,
and the service of righteousness,
quietness and confidence forever."
Isaiah 32:17


Glenda said...

In music, it takes the notes and the pauses or rests to make a beautiful melody!

Denise said...

Enjoyed this.

a woman who is said...

Thinking about you and your family. Prayers going up for all of you during this wedge.

Debbie said...

I was saddened to read the news on your Facebook about Tim. Much too young! And Pastor Greg's diagnosis is so sad too. But what a testimony in the midst of trials. He will never forget how he prayed for me when I visited your church.

I think it's good to take a break from social media at times. I've not been as active lately with our move. But I so enjoy writing and it is so cathartic too. Btw, I love the two column look of your blog. It gives more room for photos and writing.

Will email you privately but know I'm thinking of you and praying for you. It seems like you're settling into life in Seattle and must be such a help to your family.

Love you,

Thoughts for the day said...

A pause is good. It let's us know many things if we are teachable.
welcome back.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You are planting lots of good seed, Sassy. I know the earth feels good inside your hands. Never underestimate the worthiness of this pause. This is life, real life, and it works.

I know it's working for you. Love you, sweet, dear friend.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

I missed you, but I'm thankful your "pause" brought much refreshment.

Susan :)

Maryann said...

Sounds like you had much "living" going on during your "pause"
Glad you are back and like the changes you have made to the blog

Peggy said...

Sounds like you are having a marvelous pause. We all need a good pause in our lives from time to time. I think I am needing one soon.

Jackie said...


Having recently returned from a much needed long pause from social media, blogging and such, I can certainly relate. My spirit has been refreshed and I have a more peaceful and purposeful approach to life's challenges now. He knows when we need to press the pause button and press into Him.

Glad to hear that you're settled in Seattle and enjoying your Wednesday's with your sis...what rich times you must have.

Sorry to learn of your pastors illness and the passing of your brother in law. Life seems so fleeting, doesn't it.

Lastly, I thought of you earlier this week. My hubs and I drove out near Vistancia. It's beautiful out there. We bought at 67th ave and Happy Valley and loving it out here!

Have a great weekend!


Dear Kathleen, I love meeting a fellow believer and wanted to say I am now following you.

Your love for God and others definitely shines through your writing.

I'm sorry to hear about Greg's battle with Multiple System Atrophy. I will pray for the family.

What a blessing it is to forge new friendships. Reading about your Home Group made me smile, it's always nice to have something to look forward to.

Spending time with LORD is the best! How wonderful it is that both you and your sister are able to spend precious time with each other harvesting so much love.

I look forward to getting to know you and reading your posts.

Kingdom Blessings!

Kerrie (aka KC)

Just a little something from Judy said...

Lfe demands pauses. Pauses refresh and pauses give time to think and reflect. God certainly has taken you through different pathways in your pause. I appreciate that you shared it all and I can't tell you how much I glean from your sharing.

I take my little ones to the YMCA on Wednesdays, so I could relate to your workouts during that time:) Kole is blessed to have a grandma like you.