Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Out on the Balcony


In the last month many have asked me "What are your plans?" And the most simplistic answer is that I do not have any. But the truth is a little more complex than that. What I am going to do is, not make any major changes, to learn how to live on my own, take time to heal physically, emotionally, and thru study of the word, prayer and seek his presence and will in my life.

I call it spending time out on the balcony. I got the call to do this last October at the Women's retreat. God clearly told me I needed to "Go back to the Balcony". This phrase has a particular meaning for me, let me explain.

When Bob first became sick with the Adrenal gland tumor we lived in a second story apartment that had the most wonderful balcony you could imagine. Our building was one of several that surrounded a huge open green space and we had so many trees growing around our balcony that you could just imagine that you were out in the wilderness. I spent a whole summer out there reading the word and seeking God.

Our whole life was changing and we didn't know what we should do. Bob was sick, My job was in limbo, all of my family had moved out of Spokane. What should we do? The most natural thing for us would have been to pack up and moved to Portland with the rest of the family. But through that summer of prayer and seeking We were told to stay.

Because of that summer on the balcony I learned to hear His voice and obey. Because I obeyed, all the mighty wonders that have been chronicled in this Blog occurred. So when I heard him say "Go back to the Balcony" I knew it was time to renew my study in the word and to seek His presence with the single mindedness of that summer.

I tried to start doing that right away, I sort of thought he was talking about getting prepared for loosing Bob. I have learned that there really is no getting prepared for that and Bob's needs made it almost impossible to have an extended daily quiet time with God. Thankfully through the years I have continued to study and pray and I believe those years sustained me as I tried to catch a moment with God every time I could. He carried me, I know this because that's what friends do when you need help. I have a relationship with Him that allowed me to lean on Him and let Him minister to me while I ministered to Bob.

The first week of life after Bob was taken up with getting ready for his memorial service and going down to California to bury him. During that week God's command became clear. Now was the time he was talking about. When I came back from California, He wanted me to "Go back to the Balcony." So with clarity I spoke to Mark the owner/ boss man  and we agreed that I would be staying on when I came back.

My family would love nothing more than to have packed me up and moved me to Portland. But that's not what God want's me to do. He wants me to stay put, spend time in His word and seek Him in prayer. He wants me to rest and heal and grow closer to Him so that when He speaks to me and tells me what His plans are for me, I'll be ready, I'll hear His voice clearly.

I know He has plans for me, during one of my bible study's He told me so and if I wasn't clear on that I could always refer to the scripture.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11
So If you want to know what my plans are. I am staying here in Spokane surrounded by an amazing community of friends and believers. I am staying on at the Mini-storage and I am "Going back to the Balcony" to wait on God.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Time to say Goodbye

I'm not saying goodbye to this blog. I believe that I still have a lot to say and share. However....

Robert Peter Pasini - Sept 20,1945 - May 5, 2014

Robert Peter Pasini passed away on Monday May 5th, 2014 and has been freed from the torment of a decaying body that had trapped the most amazing man and husband.

This notice was delayed due to all the chaos of the last two weeks. We had family arriving, a memorial in Spokane and then we traveled down to Calif to bury him. If I have not contacted you prior to this I appologize. There was a point where there was just too much to do or more than I could cope with and I just had to let go and catch up later. There are those here that read this blog and I want you to know you are no less precious to me, so please forgive me.

I am doing as well as can be expected. I have been surrounded by family. Sunday they released me to my new normal and watched me climb into my van with a trailer full of our original furniture to take back to Spokane with me. I was a little cautious. Even though I had pulled a 33 foot sailboat behind our truck years ago it was the first time I was on my own. This will be the first time I have ever lived on my own, I think I can do this and I have a trusty sidekick named Suzette to hug and lick my elbow when I get lonely or sad.

Suzette and I arrived home safely and we have gone about our business settling in to this new life shedding tears now and again. He was my best friend and partner in crime. He leaves a huge hole in my world,  but while he was here he filled it with Joy, Laughter, Adventure, Courage and Hope.

He made a date with me. He told me that when I arrive in Eternity that I was to find the Sheep Gate in the New Jerusalem, he would be waiting for me there. I believe that he will.

Through out all of this God has been amazing. As Bob was going to the hospital He told me I could trusted Him with Bob's life, both in the here and now and in his life to come in Eternity. As I crossed the border into Washington he greeted me with a rainbow - I sobbed buckets. Then when I was crossing the Spokane County line I was greeted with a double rainbow. My God has made a promise, he will always be with me and I can and will navigate this new path I am on.

For now it's time to say goodbye. Farewell my love - Fair winds and a following sea.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Clap your Hands!

Happy Resurrection Sunday! We were reminded all week what an amazing
God we have and what he did for us, starting with Palm Sunday. On Friday my Brother Flew in from Calif and went to Good Friday services with us. Had an absolutely wonderful time visiting with him. He and Bob had wonderful chats and he shared with Bob the impact he had on him when he was a young man in his twenties. He then flew to Portland to be with our folks.

 Then on to Sunday and celebrating that we serve a LIVING God! Our women's bible study was made whole when two of our members returned from being gone for a while. We were able to love them and hug them. One- Tina  has been battling cancer and the other- Kathy- her husband, Larry, went home to Jesus Saturday. While our hearts were heavy with the trials these two women have been enduring we could rejoice in their return to our class so that we could love, support and encourage them in person.

 So even though our Sunday afternoon was a matter of going home and taking long naps, we did have a meaningful and complete Easter celebration even though it looked different from other years filled with family, big dinners, Easter eggs and kids. This disease may have changed our lives drastically but we refuse to let it suck the Joy from our lives.

In our class we are working thru the Psalms and this week was Psalm 47.
It is an amazing joyful Psalm - "Clap your Hands and Shout!!!" kind of Psalm. It is believed that it was written during the reign of Hezekiah when the Israelites were being threatened by the King of Assyria. Up to this point the Assyrians were batting a 1000 with no losses. They are so sure of themselves they taunt the Hebrews saying "Who do you put your confidence in?"

So in the most devastating times of my life who do I put my trust, my confidence in? I know that this has been tested thoroughly this last year. Especially as Bob has been in the hospital at least four times since March 2013. I must confess that there have been times when I have hung onto my hope and trust in God by my fingernails as I dangled off the cliff.

He's always there, it's just that I can begin to panic and I'm hanging off the cliff for no other reason than I was running and not looking where I was going, so as I hang there I remember who my God is. He is alive! He is terrifyingly awesome and he has my back. As Beth Moore says He is HUGE! What are my problems compared to who my God is???

So when the Assyrians in my life ask me "Say to Hezekiah (read Susan), thus says the King of Assyria (read - my challenges and tribulations in my life): What reason for confidence is this in which you trust?" Isaiah 36:4

I reply - "O Clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph and sing songs of Joy! For the Lord Most High excites terror, awe and dread; He is a great king over all of the earth. He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet." Psalm 47:1-3

One more thing - Beth Moore writes this in her :Believing God" bible study

The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, David, John the Baptist, Mary of Magdala, Mary of Bethany, Peter, James, John and Paul Is Your God!
He is the Same- Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow and Forever!
A God so Holy, Powerful and Present that He revealed Himself to Ezekiel and John and they both dropped like dead men.
He is - The Magnificent One, Full of Splendor, Beautiful beyond comprehension. The I AM through out every generation.

Whenever you have no idea what to believeHim for, Believe Him to be HUGE!

Come Holy God and be Thy self!

So life has changed and it isn't always the Hallmark Special experience. But We will find Joy, Fulfillment and Contentment in all things. I find that my thanksgiving in the middle of terrible events is more sincere, heartfelt and satisfying than when I express gratitude when things are going great. But as always I am reminded to "...be content in whatever state I am."  Phil 4:11

So I hope that you all had a wonderful and meaningful Easter Weekend.

He is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Reality VS Superwoman (Reality wins)

I'm not superwoman, even though I think I am. 
I am becoming a wiser woman.

I thought that just because I was a resident manager and worked from home all day, that because the "Work" is really minimal, that I could take care of  the job, Bob, the home and in my spare time sew and quilt. And for a while this was how things went. Lots of quilting and sewing and reading, I even sometimes got bored.

But little by little it changed. Slowly Bob's care has started to take more and more time, and I have less and less time to do - oh say laundry until it becomes critical. 

So I think
 Well you just have to organize your time better

So I got up earlier

And he started needing me earlier

And the laundry still didn't get done

or the sewing

or the quilting.

I still read

There's always time to read (especially if you are addicted)

But then that made me feel guilty. If I had time to read and putz around on the internet then I had time to do laundry, study my bible, quilt or sew. So I gave myself a very good talking to. Buck up Chickie Babe, you have been known to start in the bathroom and work your way all the way down to the laundry room in one day (usually the day before the Mother in Love shows up). But it isn't working. Oh, I might get the upper floor done, or the office or the laundry room but never all of them at the same time, not even the same week. 

And Bob keeps asking me to do certain projects
Like start the Mustang
or fetch the batteries  from the scooter and bring them inside 
rebuild his Speakers
rewire his amp something
paint his toes
or manicure his fingers

The list goes on
and it doesn't get done

He did get his helicopter fixed, one of the respite guys (I should give them a name when I have time) helped him. One of them is going to help wire the amp thingy next time he comes to visit. I just have to remember where the parts are. 

One night I came home after a respite evening and the guy had wiped out my fridge. No, he left the food in it, but he took a sponge and cleaned it. I was so embarrassed. It wasn't that it was embarrassingly dirty, It just had the usual issues that most well loved fridges have between major clean outs. But- someone other than me did it, what must he have thought of me? Another one cleaned the microwave. AWWGGGHHHH! I am a total failure of a stay at home housewife, I'll have to turn in my badge.

So again I start to think

Why is this so hard?

It didn't used to be?

And as I thought about it I realized that more and more of my time and energy is spent on Bob. In the morning it takes about 2 hours to get him up for the day. And just when I get him settled in his chair he thinks that then is the time he can start going down the list of the things that are on his agenda. By that time I don't want to do anything else Bob related for 10mins, I say 10mins but I probably really mean for the rest of the morning if there is any left of it. By that time I am finding it hard to breathe and if I don't get a break I'm going to be a really nasty person. Let's face it 2 hours of constant tending to another person is like water dripping in your face, and if you don't do something you will drown.

So I have to own it

I am not Superwoman

I need to get over perfection

I need help

And then another one of the guys -  The Bob Guys (how's that sound?) starts coming before church to get him loaded up. When we got to church they (more Bob Guys) take my keys and shoo me off to worship, they take over my husband and my car. I don't even know where they parked it because after church they brought it around and loaded Bob up. And today one of them came, took the van, washed, cleaned and vacuumed it. As I was thanking him he said "It was a small thing and you have bigger things to worry about. Any time you need something just let us know."

Well there is one thing

It's aTradition

A Tradition that has had me worried

The Women in my family will laugh - they know

My mother is Scottish and they have a tradition that whatever state your home is in when the New Year rings in, that's it's highest potential the rest of the year. All my life from Christmas to New Year's we have spent scrubbing the house. I'm talking walls, ceilings, behind the fridge and stove EVERYTHING! This has filtered down to my sister and I and even my two nieces. That's right I am absolutely sure Tamara scrubbed her flat in London before she went to spend her holiday in Dublin with her sister, and right now they are probably cleaning Jocelyn's apartment. Or thinking about it, it's still early, at some point it will start happening and they won't realize what they are doing until they look at each other and start to laugh. It's the curse of having a Scottish grandmother.

So I ask

Do you know of a young woman who wouldn't mind cleaning a house during her vacation?

I tell him about the Tradition

Is that a Superstition?

No, a Tradition

A Tradition cloaked as a superstition handed down by our mother's to make sure we clean our houses at least once a year.

So Reality has won, I concede that I am no Superwoman (if I ever was) and I need to start arranging for help, to keep on top of the things that need to be done, to free myself up to be more available to Bob, to find time for me to quilt or sew or read. It's not a bad thing to let others in, to tell them what you need. It's just a hard thing. To accept it in yourself, that you can't do it all and THEN have to go and confess it to someone else, and THEN ask for help. But God is prompting me, changing my heart and mind.

 First I had to learn to rely on Him, now He is showing me how to rely on others. I am not a burden, I am being supported by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I am being used by God to bless these brothers and sisters. So many have told me how it blesses them to help us, to get to know Bob better. They listen to Bob talk about God and his faith, and now he is being blessed by them as they serve him and he opens up to them about the things he struggles with. They encourage him and support him in prayer. Today we are so used to the saying "It's a Viscous Circle" but we are experiencing the opposite "It's a Positive Circle".

So maybe it isn't Reality that has won, but God's people. We are winning, God is winning in our lives by transforming us into the people He wants us to be, to be reflections of Him and His love. 

If that's the case then

I Surrender