Saturday, February 28, 2009
I just recently reconnected with a college friend who informed me within the past year she'd given birth to a stillborn little boy. When I read her news on FB I sat in front of my computer shaking and crying for over an hour. It's hard to describe the amount of sadness I had in my heart for her. Having given birth to three children and experienced my own struggles with having children I could empathize, but what I felt was beyond that. It made me sensitive to her that I could relate on some level, but what mattered more was my response.
I believe we all have a unique responsibility to comfort one another in meaningful ways. I also think it can be something of a learned behavior on how to do this tenderly and not annoyingly or harmfully. I'm still shocked by some of the things that were spoken to me during my trials of sadness. How quick we are to fill the room and space with words.
How quick we are to try to fix, heal or avoid the ache of the heart of the hurting. Let's face it, we are not born knowing how to come alongside someone. Yet, I do think we have an innate sense of how to be there but for some reason we are convinced it's not sophisticated enough, caring enough or it doesn't do enough to help. Sometimes I am most drawn to the Jewish way of helping others grieve. They sit shivah. Essentially, for seven days of mourning loved ones gather around the grieving, cooking for them, taking care of their needs and well, they sit.
If you've ever been hurting and had someone come sit down beside you when you're folded like crumpled paper on the floor you know there is something to it. Someone to wipe your tears, to rock you, to pull your hair away from your tears. There is such beauty in those initial acts of coming near to the grieving person. There is something to be said for just being there.
While my friend lives on the opposite coast and I couldn't sit shivah with her (completely willing to take on this beautiful Jewish act in my Christian faith) I wrote her about it. I let her know I wasn't going to throw verses at her or empty words. I made it clear I'd be there as someone who would hear her/read her words any time she wanted to write about her son. Because that is who he is and who he will always be.
On her facebook page she has a cartoon picture of her, her husband, her dog and a little picture of her son with wings. I don't know how her son looks in heaven. I believe she'll know when she sees him. Just this past week I learned she's pregnant again. She's nervous and excited. I know the twins she'll be having won't take away from or replace the sweetness she had with her son for the brief moments she saw him here on earth. I know this because he was still born and held in the arms of his mother.
Next time someone is grieving in front of you...think of how you can love them without feeling the frustration of finding words. Sometimes there are no words.
Loving all that's been given and taken away.
Posted by Wendy Paine Miller at 6:07 AM
Friday, February 27, 2009
I don't subscribe to magazines often because I'm usually immersed in a good novel. When I do decide to subscribe it has to be a magazine I get a lot out of. I created a short list of some of my favorites and why I like them.
Writer's Digest: Includes a wealth of resources on how to strengthen writing and learn publishing/agent business.
Christianity Today: I appreciate the honest and probing articles.
Real Simple: So many tips and ideas of how to create things. I like how the magazine is practical in its presentation and it is all so classy.
Coastal Living: I love to dream that I live in one of the homes by the water.
- My ear finally popped.
- Some days I wonder if all the sandwich-making, nose-wiping and homework-reviewing is making any kind of a difference. I can only hope so, more as a result of the love I try to put into the doing than the doing itself.
Posted by Wendy Paine Miller at 9:11 AM
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I'm not sure there's ever been a show I've liked more than LOST (also a good song by Coldplay and a state of being). I love the string of questions it invites in my mind. Thought I'd write some of those questions here:
1. What is that black wispy thing?
2. Who is Jacob?
3. What is Christian's (Jack's father) role?
4. When did the feud between Ben and Charles begin?
5. Who does Kate love, Jack or Sawyer -- or both in different ways?
6. What's up with people having been on the island unknowingly before?
7. Why do Richard Alpert and John Locke seemingly not age through time?
8. What does the island represent (many symbolic themes here...just can't seem to narrow it down nor am I really sure I want to)?
9. What happened to Aaron (Claire's son and Kate's "adopted" son)?
10. Why was Ben beaten and bruised on the plane?
11. How will the interaction go between Ben and Locke when they see each other on the island?
12. Who do the others represent? Is Sun one of them?
13. What's the oncoming war Charles told Locke about in the hospital?
14. What is Faraday's role and what's up with the women he loves fading/dying?
15. Should the Oceanic six have gone back?
That's it for now. I'm hooked. My husband watches with me and wants more answers. I don't mind the questions and actually appreciate the twists in plot and character changes. It makes it all the more interesting.
Can't wait to see what happens next.
Posted by Wendy Paine Miller at 6:29 AM
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
My sisters Ashley (left) and Stephanie (right)
Today is Ash Wednesday. When I think of those words I think of me and my older sister Ashley. I call her Ash and she calls me Wends. Saying our nicknames together sort of sounds like Ash Wends Day. It sounds like our day, which is quite a distraction from who I believe we are to reflect on today; Jesus.
However, I want to share a little about my sister. She was born to be a nurse. She's a regular Florence Nightingale. While I struggle to find correct bandages for my children and have difficulty taking a simple temperature, Ashley is a natural. She's been thrown into situations where she's performed CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, and has checked vital signs of strangers on the street. She gravitated towards sports marketing jobs after earning her masters in that field, but never felt completely fulfilled. It was thrilling when she realized that nursing was for her. Last May I attended her graduation from nursing school and she's loved her job since.
I have three older sisters. Ashley is closest to me in age. She has an enormous heart and she constantly pours out. To meet Ashley is to be immediately drawn in. You feel instantly loved in her presence, well I know I do. I am a strong believer in speaking kind words about others. Thought I'd take the chance to do that today. (And thanks to my sister Stephanie who has already read through this blog taking the time to write down my songs).
Meanwhile, I'm contemplating if I am going to participate in lent this year. It's not something I've done each year probably because I don't adhere to a denomination of faith as much as I adhere to Jesus in my faith.
Blessings and strength to those who've chosen to give something up.
- I'm wondering when it was that I began to be comfortable with the bus driver seeing me in my pajamas.
- I'm ready for my right ear to pop so I can hear again (I love it when all of a sudden that happens and it sounds like someone just turned the volume up in the world around). We've all been getting over colds.
Posted by Wendy Paine Miller at 6:26 AM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Posted by Wendy Paine Miller at 8:36 AM
It all started as I was trying to sleep last night. This is why I've learned to keep a pen and piece of paper by my bed. I began to jot down all the random questions that I have. Now I plan to amuse you with my list (or at the very least convince you there is a lot in my brain that is better off coming out).
What is the web dings font really used for? Does anyone ever use it?
While on a long car trip to Florida who doesn't play (with a carload of children) who can find the first palm tree?
Why was Caillou created to be such a fusspot?
Couldn't anyone think of a better way to get people to slow down for children than posting those Slow Children signs?
Who believes in UFO's...and who still believes after the "recent spotting" turned out to be sprites (flashes of light onset by thunderstorms)? Wish I had seen a sprite.
Why does drinking alcohol change some people and not others? I know alcoholism...but why are some people born w/ that gene while others aren't?
Who are the people in your neighborhood? In this technological age can any of us really answer this question as well as people from generations before ours? Thanks for this one Mr. Rogers.
I like to think about what my name in heaven might be.
Okay, so now you are getting a feel for what happens when I have a thought attack. You may be scared off and decide to abandon blog or if you're anything like me and you "get it" when thoughts run out of you as if they're pants are on fire, I hope at the very least you were entertained and inspired to think a little. Now, on to my day.
Home Life: Last night I made pancakes from scratch. I liked them, but my oldest daughter (age 7) informed me her "taste bugs" have changed and she no longer likes my homemade pancakes. I am guessing that these "taste bugs" have quite an influence on what she eats.
One last question...just what do these "taste bugs" look like in her mind?
Thanks for playing along.
Posted by Wendy Paine Miller at 5:17 AM
Monday, February 23, 2009
A word about my site URL...thoughts that move. I have always been drawn and taken by things that move, birds in flight, butterflies, the ocean, fireflies, even a balloon drifting skyward. The most pure form of movement I can think of is movement of the Spirit. In the Bible the Spirit is described in the form of a dove, a stream and as fire. As I was processing these verses in the Bible it clicked with me that each of these descriptions of the Spirit MOVE.
I am a firm believer in growing. Obviously we all physically grow each year, but how many of us can actually claim to have grown spiritually or even emotionally or mentally for that matter within the past year? That leads me to a whole other thought I may write about soon...what forces us (believers and non-believers) to grow?
There is a wonderful Chinese proverb that says, "Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still." I do value time and stillness with God, time of meditation, rejuvenation and contemplation in his light/will/word, however I can appreciate this Chinese proverb in its push. We are not meant to remain stagnant and still forever. We are here for a reason. And whether our growth/movement comes in the form of growing pains or whether it feels more beautiful like a butterfly ascending into the sky, we are meant for it. We are meant for movement.
For you, for myself, and for the sake of movement (growth) and proof of it, I plan to record my thoughts on here, my interpretations of the goings on in this world, my reflections on relationships and life as it happens. Some days the blogs may read fluid and succinct. Other days I may just jot things I'm thinking on. I am committing to no rules for myself on here other than the challenge to grow and move with the help of my God and Savior.
Thank you for the honor it is to share All in a Day's Thought.
Posted by Wendy Paine Miller at 10:44 AM