Suicide Or Trust?

I just heard that a man I know of whose wife died a few years ago just committed suicide. My wife’s father and little brother both took their own lives. My son suffers severe depression. But not me.

I have been through some pretty tough times in the past few years. Financial collapse, the death of my wife after a long illness, and currently a shift in my status from full time work to retired and part time work. But no matter what, when the outlook is bad the uplook is always bright.

God is not in Heaven losing sleep or getting ulcers or worrying over my situation, so I won’t either. Suicide is a desperate act by someone who has lost all hope and faith. I haven’t lost either.

Thank God that His word is true and He keeps His promises.

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Thoughts On Funerals

When Kathy died it was easy to decide to have her cremated. We had talked about this over the years and so it was just a matter of picking a funeral home to do the deed. I chose simple cremation, no fancy urns, no cemetery, just her ashes returned to me.  I kept Kathy’s ashes for a short time until it became clear to me what I needed to do. I found a spot on our church’s property that would never be disturbed, and we dug a hole and buried her ashes. Friends helped me with this. I marked the spot with a marker and I marked the GPS coordinates just in case. I have asked that my body be cremated and my ashes spread in the same spot where Kathy’s remains were buried.

For some people the decision on what do to when someone dies is not so clear and simple. They may have family pressure or cultural pressure to buy a casket and a spot in a cemetery, (which no one ever visits). They may have religious constraints. Or any one of many reasons why they do what they do.

As a Christian I had no qualms about cremation. From dust you came and to dust you will return. No casket will prevent that from happening. Millions of people over the centuries have died in ways that no funeral can be held and no body remains to be buried. Anyway, you have to make your own decision about this. But there is nothing in the Bible to prohibit cremation.

I hope this isn’t a morbid subject on this day. We all die one day. And someone will have to deal with our remains. I have a will and spell out my desires. That way my children only have to do this one last thing for me once I’m dead.

Better To Be Happy Than Fit

Do you work out? Either at the gym or at home? Honestly, if you do, do you see any real improvement in your physical well-being?

I used to walk almost every day. For months. Until one day that I finally had to admit that I was not getting thinner or stronger no matter how much I walked.  In 2016 I decided to join a gym. Not for weight lifting, but for aerobics. I did it for a year, it seemed to be a good aerobic workout. But nothing seemed to change or improve. I have a treadmill at home but it isn’t a challenge anymore. I have dumbbells at home but can’t really say they make me stronger.

My point is, does working out really do anything other than the adrenalin rush? I will never look like the men on the posters. I will never be cut or ripped. I could work out strenuously for years and never see those kind of results. Neither will you.

I agree that what we eat and do is important to a point. But improving my life by being more disciplined or working harder will never happen. I like hiking because I enjoy being outdoors and I love the sound of the wind in the pines. I push myself by hiking up hill. But I am not getting thinner, though I am getting stronger from the waist down.

So go to the gym if you feel it helps, or don’t.  Do what feels good and don’t expect miracles. Better to be happy than to be fit. If you have a slim and trim figure, great. If you are normal, that’s even better. Better still to be healthy in mind and body and spirit than to be addicted to the workout fantasy.

Why Are You Still Single?

Last Sunday night in church my friend asked me, in a joking way, why are you still single? It was January 21 of 2014 that my dear wife Kathy died. So it has been nearly 4 years that I have been single.

I have written much about grieving and how to hurt and not help someone in my situation. One thing that escapes so many good Christian people is that they are in a hurry for me to be like I was before Kathy died. The trouble is that I will never be the same as I was. And I don’t want to be the same.

Why am I still single? Why are you still married? Either question is absurd to ask.

End Of The Week Blues

Have you ever had days when you just want to quit? To simply give up, tune out, and disappear? I go through times when I just want to clean my slate, get rid of everything, and fade away. No memories, no mementos, no communication, nothing.

Maybe it’s just end of the week tired out blues that has hit me. I wanted to kill this blog, kill my social media, and sit around feeling sorry for myself.

The good news is that some food and some rest and by tomorrow I will be as good as new.

Dreams For A New Year

What are your dreams for the new year? What above all else would you love to see happen in 2018? Isn’t is interesting that we take time at the beginning of the new year to think about the future, or things we would like to change, or new things we would love to experience.

My goals for 2018 are really very modest. As I enjoy day hiking I want to expand that into overnight camping. There are many camp sites around here and lots of opportunities for hiking around those camp sites, so I intend at least once a month to spend a weekend camping and hiking. My job is fine so no changes there. I’m not looking for romance so no changes there either.

I’ve noticed that it is easier for me to tell what I don’t want then to articulate what I do want. I did everything I wanted to do through the holidays this year and haven’t really thought much about what I want to do beyond what I already stated. So that will have to be my big goal for 2018.

Home Where I Belong

I am back home after a pleasant week visiting my family over Christmas. The weather did not cooperate too well but we had a nice time catching up and visiting and hanging out.

Even though they are my children and grandchildren, they are their own people and they have raised their own families. A few times I heard my grandchildren reminiscing about experiences they had growing up, but which meant nothing to me. And that is how it should be, living their lives, not mine.

So I am back home where I belong. Nothing has changed. Same ugly neighborhood, same sunny skies. But it is home nonetheless. So be it.

Merry Christmas!

Isn’t Christmas time a busy time of year? Even if, like me, you are not cooking or baking. So I haven’t had time to write much. Perhaps after the first of the year I will get re-inspired. So for now Merry Christmas!

Why Worry?

Facing our fears is something we never out grow. There seems to always be something that threatens to derail us or knock us out. Often the best thing to do is to think of the worst case outcomes, and then see what options remain. Sometimes knowledge gives us light on our conundrums.

My trip to spend Christmas with my children in Texas seemed to be ruined. But now while all the factors did not play out as I wanted them to, enough factors did fall my way so that I will be spending Christmas with my children in Texas very soon.

I’m very glad that I decided to purchase my plane tickets when I did. Otherwise I would not be going. But that’s done and I am happy to be going.

If we worry we die, and if we don’t worry we die, so why worry?

Shattered Dreams

I got a letter from Social Security today saying not only should I not have gotten any retirement benefits I will have to pay back some of it. The issue will be addressed next week. But in the mean time I have airline tickets and may not be able to use them. My tickets are paid for (with SS retirement dollars) but time off is not. I needed that SS money to cover my time off work.

So once again I am left with nothing but shattered dreams and broken promises. And no trip to Texas this Christmas.