Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter week blessings

Good morning Folks ~ I hope your week before Easter is filled with God’s goodness.  I am going to be putting orchid  photos shot yesterday  in between thoughts in this post today.  The orchids have nothing to do with my thoughts, they are just part of God’s beautiful creation, which are gifts to all of us.

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This is my favorite holiday because of what it stands for. What a glorious celebration of the life of God incarnate, who died and then rose again so that we all might have eternal life forever and ever. ‘He gave every drop of His blood, and died on the cross, so that we’d be free’ ~ Carlos Santana. “Somewhere In Heaven”.  The words to this are beautiful and the singer has a fantastic voice and way of singing. (Play this all the way through as the singer and words are beautiful for the ending. It is joyous! You can turn down the middle instrumental part if it is too much for you.) This song is one of our favorites by Santana. We grew up with rock ‘n roll, and it’s been a big part of our lives.  My husband enjoyed playing the guitar and  Santana was one of his favorites along with Eric Clapton, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Arlo West, Arlen Roth, Gary Moore and many, many others. My husband looked forward to a gigantic ‘jam session’ in heaven and it WILL happen. I can’t wait to join in the music, dancing and singing before our Great King, Jesus.

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Sunday started out with a visit from my husband’s brother and his wife.  It was really good to see them, more tears of course, but lots of healing too.  I am thankful!  We went out to a wonderful Mexican restaurant called Rosalita’s. My BIL is going to help me with some of the projects around here and I am grateful.  We will work together and I am looking forward to that. He’s going to show me how to use a tool or too also.

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I have been getting a devotional from Grief Share every morning in my email. This has been a big help to me.  They have groups also, that meet all over.  You can plug in your zip code and they will tell you if there are any happening in your area. I have done this before, in hopes of finding a widows’ support group. This particular group is for anyone though who has lost a loved one. The last time I checked, they had meetings happening at the north end of the county and at night, too far, and I’m not comfortable driving at night.

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Last week when I got a devotional about loneliness and telling about finding a group to share and grow with, they had their link again, and I felt this nudge to try yet again and I am so glad I did.  It was God working it all out. (I have been praying to meet Christian widow ladies and just haven’t had success). There was a meeting happening at a church near me. I had been there for a Christmas program a few years back and it was great. The meeting was already going, so I decided to see what else this church might have in the way of groups.  Well . . . . they had a group called ‘Friends Needing Friends’ for widows only.  I emailed the contact lady, and she wrote right back saying they meet once a month and the meeting for this month was the 25th. I wrote back and said I would be there, and she told me to ask for her when I got there.

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I was a tad nervous about meeting people for the first time, going as a total stranger by myself and  I’m rather reclusive. I said a prayer for calmness, and when I got there I up to the sign in table in the breezeway where this was being held, I asked for her and she was across the room.  Before she even got to me, I was already being  enveloped in love, with hugs, kisses and words of encouragement. These ladies were all survivors, with smiles on their faces and twinkles in their eyes. God has been taking care of them in ways they couldn’t even imagine.  They’ve been drawn closer to God and it showed.

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I was asked to make a name tag, which I did, then I was handed a little form to fill out which I took in hand. I was told I didn’t have to pay for the lunch today as it was my first time, and that was nice. One of the sweet ladies said to come sit with her at a table and as I was putting my purse down by my chair, she introduced me to the lady sitting next to me. She said “This is Lois”. I looked over at the lady and just couldn’t believe my eyes. I said, “Lois!?!”. She looked up at me, I said “Rainey”. She got up out of her chair, hugged me and said she was so sorry. She had heard about my husband’s passing but didn’t know how to get a hold of me. Of course that started me bawling. She was a friend of my late MIL. She had known my husband since he was young. We all went to the same church back then. I just couldn’t get over it.  We’ve not seen each other in years and years. She told me it was good to cry and that it would get easier. She’s been without her husband for about 7 years I think.  I met the other ladies at the table, and filled out my form in a daze. I then took the form back to the entry table, and lo and behold, there is another friend from that same era, and she is my age, she lost her husband about 3 1/2 years ago. More hugs and tears and she was going to be sitting at our table too.  There is also another lady that I know who goes, but she wasn’t there yesterday. I look forward to seeing her next time.

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Some of the new ladies I met I bonded with instantly, you know how that is, and it’s amazing.  I’ve never met them before but something just clicked. I can’t wait to go back next month. These ladies all have a story to tell of God’s love and how He has worked in their lives. We had a really nice time, with scripture, an Easter bonnet parade, singing that touched my heart and had  more tears streaming at God’s goodness. Lunch was delicious and then more getting to know ladies before I left. My two friends from before and I exchanged phone numbers and email addresses to keep in touch.  I still can’t get over it all. A nudge to do something I’d already done, led to this wonderful passel of widows for me to get to know, to learn from and to grow with.

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I was smiling all afternoon and into the night, woke up this morning thankful for what God had done. It gives me hope to carry on, to live my life with joy and thankfulness in the fact that He cares deeply for us.  He supplies all of our needs.

Have a wonderful Easter week.

I’ve been invited to church and Easter dinner with my friend Julie. I am looking forward to that. I’ve known her family for years, and I will be meeting another ‘hippie’ who will be coming to dinner also and that’s great. I had just said to Jesus yesterday after I got home that I couldn’t help being who I am, I’m just a hippie, then got the dinner invitation to meet another ‘hippie’ lady. Smile

I will be fixing Easter lamb in the crockpot Thursday while I am at work.  That evening I will raise my glass of wine in a toast to Jesus for His wonderful gift of salvation, free to anyone, it is a ‘gift’. I will enjoy the lamb dinner and toast my husband too for all of the spiritual insights he shared through our 43 years of marriage. He was my mentor, is the love of my life. I miss him but I know where he is and I am celebrating that too. We will be reunited one day.

Have a blessed Easter.

FlowerLady

******

The sorrows of death compassed me,
and the pains of hell gat hold upon me:
I found trouble and sorrow.

Then called I upon the name of the LORD;
O LORD, I beseech thee,
deliver my soul.

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
yea, our God is merciful.
 
The LORD preserveth the simple:
I was brought low, and he helped me.
 
Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.

Psalms 116:3-7 KJV

35 comments:

Annie said...

wonderful news to have met this special group...doors are opening. LOVE your orchids!

Leslie said...

I'm so glad you found this group. What good news! I hope you have a lovely Easter! Your plans for the day sound so nice.

Lona said...

Your orchids are looking so beautiful Lorraine.
Many Easter Blessings to you my friend.A season of hope and new beginnings.

Nancy J said...

lorraine, a lovely post, wonderful you went along, and I so like the way you have your beautiful flowers spread throughout your story. Easter Greetings, take care, new friends( and older ones too) to share grief, sorrow and joy with, so special. Fond greetings from Jean

Karen said...

I am SO happy for you and finding this group! This is wonderful. I know the power of support groups and they are amazingly healing and helpful. Thank God for leading you there.

Linda said...

Yes, that is good news. God is so good. I'm proud of you for going, I know it can be scary to visit a new group, but God provided friends there for you. The orchids are so beautiful. Hugs.

Lynn said...

The orchids were a lovely compliment to your message today, Lorraine. Peace to you also during this pre Easter Day week.

Rebecca said...

Sounds like a most encouraging group of women! I'll bet there will be many, many more shared experiences that will bring you much support & joy.

(As usual, your floral photos are SO beautiful....)

Happy Easter, Lorraine.

Friko said...

This is such an uplifting post. I am so glad for you that you have found a group of ladies who will be friends and whose goodwill will embrace you.

Have a calm and peaceful Easter.

Sallysmom said...

Although I am not a widow, your posts mean so much to me. I am lifted up and inspired by your words. Have a really great Easter.

Jane said...

How wonderful for you to meet such a nice group of ladies, Rainey! Have a blessed Easter!

lemonverbenalady said...

Great to know you are finding old friends and making new ones, FL! Happy Easter with love from LVL and The Herbal Husband to you.

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

[Hug] What a wonderful day for you. All those friends you hadn't seen in years and the new ones you're making. Sounds like they are a great group! Enjoy the friendship. The orchids are beautiful and perfect for this post! Have a Blessed Easter week.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

WOW,God has been leading you in wonderful ways. i am so happy that you found this group of ladies to connect with. Have a Blessed Easter.

Julie said...

My friend, Carolyn, runs a Grief Share support group at a Baptist church near Gainesville if you are ever up there!!! I am so glad you found this group! Wonderful. Have a blessed Easter!
Julie

Heather said...

Rainey, I am so so happy for you and your "newly" found friends, this is indeed a blessing for you and meant to be! Happy Easter to you too... beautiful orchid pictures! Cheers~

Bernie H said...

Lorraine, I just loved your choice of song. What a fabulous way to remind us exactly what Easter is all about. I listened to the whole thing!

I think your love and mine would have be great buddies because they certainly have the same music loves, although my darling husband is only now learning how to play the guitar.

Your Orchids are lovely, even the brown speckled white one! It's fabulous to hear how you've had a wonderful experience joining your church group, and meeting up with an old friend with lots of memories about your dear love. Meant to be!

Rose ~ from Oz said...

A Happy and Blessed Easter Lorraine, wonderful news about this amazing support group and these beautiful ladies.
The orchids are gorgeous!
Indeed God works in mysterious ways.

sharon said...

Oh Lorraine,this has been what Ive been praying for.I worried about you...It's all in Gods good time and it seems exactly as he planned for he has given you the support you need and a way to help others just when you were ready.Clearly not an accident or coincidence but all part of the pieces that hook us together.thank you for sharing with us...

Sue said...

The pics are just beautiful of your flowers and it was nice to see them on Sunday in person! How encouraging you are to us all in your faith and trust in the Lord. And God is truly blessing you for it. Love you!

His Sparrow said...

What a wonderful story of how God arranged these meetings for you. He is so faithful in caring for us!

Betsy Adams said...

Lorraine, This post made me cry too. I'm so proud of you for searching for friends and groups... That is truly awesome... I am so glad that you made that step--which I know is hard... God is leading you in the right direction. Praise be to God.

Love your orchids (as you know)--but your words today were TERRIFIC.... God Bless you, my 'hippie' friend... Hope you find another like-minded friend who loves to dig in the dirt also!!!!!

Happy Easter, Lorraine.
HUGS to you,
Betsy

Sandra said...

I am so very glad you found this group Lorraine, what a wonderful way that God is working in your heart, sweet friend :)

Easter leaves me heartbroken, it's so tough to get through this week.

I hope you have a blessed Easter.
Love,
Sandra

Pam ;) said...

Great news- God has smiled upon you. Thanks for sharing the beauty of your garden orchids.
Happy Easter Lorraine.

Morning's Minion said...

A beautiful and encouraging post. I am delighted that you have reunited with old friends and are in the process of making new ones. This kind of sharing has to be a balm of healing.
Your photos, as always, are exquisite.
Wishing you the blessings of Easter.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

What a wonderful post.
I am smiling
So great you have found a group of ladies that you find love and help one another with your sharing.
This is a gift from God.
Wish there was something like this in my area. Not for widows but for woman to fellowship together.

It's Just Dottie said...

Beautiful!1 I am a widow like you . I am so glad you are making friends. I so miss my husband, but I know where he is at and who he is with! Heaven is a wonderful place.
Hugs, Dottie

Georgianna said...

This is so beautiful, Lorraine. I am very, very happy you have connected up with a group that will give you love and support. And to meet up with old friends is such a comfort, I am sure. I feel better knowing you have this group and admire your courage in seeking them out.

Wishing you a beautiful Easter.

Barbara said...

Happy Easter Lorraine. So happy you have found this wonderful group of women. Barbara

Jeri Landers said...

I am happy that you have found this group of women that can share your pain and loneliness. How wonderful! I raise my glass along with you for the gift of salvation.

flowerlady said...

Where to start?,a beautiful post and beautiful pictures.You put a tear in my eye and a smile on my face.The more I read your post the more I find we have in common as I too love orchids,like life they are also delicate.I am so pleased you are finding support and old friends,life can be so cruel sometimes but can lead you in ways you would never expect.ps I also loved Santana in my youth managed to see them in London.

Balisha said...

Thankyou for your sweet message this morning. Nothing like waking up to a lot of wonderful comments to make me feel better. Blessings to you this Easter.
Balisha

Kit said...

I am so happy for you and your new group! Have a most wonderful Easter! Love, Kit

NellJean said...

So glad you are renewing old friendships and gathering new friends, too. This is a lovely post, both your words and the orchids and the Scripture.

Shirley said...

I am so happy for you to have found this group of women who befriended you and understand what you are going through. How wonderful to find again this lady who knew your husband as a child and who welcomed you with open arms. God does take care of us, we just need to seek Him.

Happy Easter.