My First Year of Blogging – 2014 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. See what’s happened since Lisa started her blog on May 8, 2014.

Here’s an excerpt:

The busiest day of the year was October 16th with 81 views. The most popular post that day was 5 Controversial Statements about Race and Gender I’ve Really Wanted to Post on My Blog but Haven’t – Until Now.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sing Over Me


The first time I saw this painting (by dear Gwen Meharg), I immediately thought of my sister, Janell. This was before I even noticed the woman in the painting was pregnant. When I realized that, it was even more significant because I knew that Janell drew strength from a song by 2nd Chapter of Acts called “Sing Over Me” while she was going through a very rough patch of life – finding out the baby she carried in her womb had spina bifida and was not expected to live, let alone thrive, after birth. She made it through that difficult time with her Lord’s help and was blessed with our sweet Daniel.

Daniel far surpassed the doctor’s predictions. Though confined to a wheelchair, he participated in sports, stayed on grade level in school and brought joy to all who knew him. Janell cherished her role as his caregiver and was a wonderful mother to him and his older brother, Justin.

Unfortunately, Janell would experience other rough patches in life – the death of Daniel at age 15 in 2008, financial difficulties and the loss of her home, and then the break-up of her marriage which left her devastated. I always knew I could not fully comprehend the depths of her grief at the loss of her son, even though it was the most difficult loss in our family to that date. But it was only after Janell’s own death two years ago today that I began to see just how debilitating the loss of someone so significant to you can be.

When I was going through her things, I found the verse from Zephaniah 3:17 written on scraps of paper in several different places. I was comforted with the idea that she could envision God singing over her, even when life seemed the most bleak.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

We had someone sing the song “Sing Over Me” at her funeral. On that day, I was picturing the ultimate fulfillment of the song’s lyrics (see below) for my sister who took such great comfort in the image of God singing over her and being encompassed by His presence. Today, I am the one seeking that place of refuge.

Look out my heart the wind is blowing again
It´s time to batten down the broken parts
Look out my heart debris is flying around
Confusion wants to shake your solid ground

Storms may come along and winds may blow
Raging tempest will come and go
But I´ll hide in the shadow of Your wings

I´ll hide in the shadow of Your wings
And listen while You sing
I´ll hide in the shadow of Your wings
And listen while You sing over me

You can listen to the song here. I pray it will make you feel at peace no matter what storm you may be going through.

Note: The link to Gwen’s work above is for her watercolors. She also does some amazing multi-media work. You can find it here.

Jewish Prayer of Mourning

I found this prayer of mourning comforting today. It is my sister’s birthday. She would have been 48.

It is hard to speak of oneness when our world is not complete,
when those who once brought wholeness to our life have gone,
and naught but memory can fill the emptiness their passing leaves behind.

But memory can tell us only what we were, in company with those we loved;
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become.

Yet no person is really alone;
those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words,
and what they did has become woven into what we are.

We do best homage to our dead by living our lives fully
even in the shadow of our loss.
For each of our lives is worth the life of the whole world.
In each one is the breath of the Ultimate One.

In affirming the One, we affirm the worth of each one whose life, now ended,
brought us closer to the Source of Life, in whose union no person is alone and every life finds purpose.

Catharsis or Creativity?

Catharsis or Creativity?

So often since my sister, Janell’s death in September 2012, I’ve thought:

Sometimes I really miss the old me. Other times I wonder if I ever really knew who she was.

One part of myself, among many, which seemed to disappear along with Janell was my creative night owl self. I love being a night owl. I love the creative zone I get into during the wee hours of the night/morning. I really hit my stride at around 2:00 am – usually.

For over a year after her death, though, my quiet times at night were spent mostly crying or vegging out in front of the TV in an effort to keep from crying. Hating the lack of productivity and missing the joy of creativity, I’d try to sleep but that didn’t work either.

For about five months now, I’ve finally been able to recapture that part of me – until tonight. Janell’s birthday is tomorrow. I went to the cemetery today. I actually had a sweet time there. I pulled a blanket out of my car – one of her blankets – laid it on the ground and actually took in a bit of sun, something she and I had done together since our teen years. One of my last days with her was spent by the poolside soaking in some rays.

While I was at the cemetery, song lyrics to a song I couldn’t name kept coming to mind …

When you remember me                                                                                                                                                                                           If you remember me                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope you see                                                                                                                                                                                                           It’s not the way I want it to be                                                                                                                                    Oh I’d be with you now                                                                                                                                                                                                                 But wherever you go                                                                                                                                                                                          My love goes with you

When I got home, internet searching (and a “memory jog” by a Facebook friend) led me to the song “If You Remember Me” and its use in the movie The Champ. So, I looked up both and have been bawling off and on ever since. That’s okay; sometimes you just need a good cry. This time around in the anticipated all night crying session, though, I decided to go ahead and write this post about what I’m feeling.

I’m not sure if this is creativity kicking in or if it’s just catharsis. I’m just glad it got me through the night.