Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Revisiting the Year by the Pond

I first wrote this post many years ago and it has long been in the Favorite Posts list in the side bar.  I think because many can relate to it.  So today when I do not have a lot of computer time available, it is good to repeat.

The circumstances I was going through when I first wrote this were challenging as life was busy, burdens were heavy, and my much beloved elderly Sasha kitty had to be put to sleep.   This was before our Miss Victoria had taken over as the reigning feline Queen of the House.

Join me as I remembered “the days by the pond", first posted in 2009...

I lit a candle and stretched out on the sofa (for the first time without Sasha Kitty) with a cold glass of water. I was too tired to brew tea. I shut my eyes and listened to the sound of crickets outside the window, which brought remembrances of my year by the pond with nostalgia, forgetting the hard times... remembering the peace.

We rented the house by the pond when we were going through a difficult time, one of the "years with no income", and one of those time periods I have written about when life was so difficult I had to remind myself to breath. I knew why poets wrote about hearts breaking from sadness.

The front steps to the house were only fifteen or twenty yards from the pond. I spent hours upon hours sitting on those cement stairs with my Bible open, a mug of coffee or cup of tea at my side... taking pen to paper as I pondered and prayed.

I would often pack an inexpensive picnic and take Christopher to nearby Lake Michigan where we would place an old quilt on the sand and watch the boats sailing nearby and great vessels in the far distance on their way to Chicago, wondering what important cargo they carried and what port they originated from. 

We would enjoy a sandwich and perhaps an apple or freshly baked cookies and then walked the various trails in the forest that hugged the Lake.  It was good for boys to be in the woods and I often found God's fingerprints there.

There were days and days and days of nothing but quiet and nature... nature and quiet. Well, kind of... for anyone who has gone to sleep on a summer night with the window open to catch a welcome breeze also knows the sound of rowdy neighbors... the hundreds of crickets and frogs singing their evening serenade.

Their song continued on this autumn evening in another place and another time... but the song brought the memories as songs often do.

I find it interesting that the year by the pond was in many ways the most difficult year of my life. It was the year it all changed.  It was the year the fire of affliction... along with the hours watching the life in and around the pond with my Bible on my knees... holding on to the Rock of my salvation... brought me closer to God.

Like Job, I had thought I knew God before this time.  But after that year, I knew Him better.  I was forced to put all my longings, hopes, and dreams on the altar and tell Him I was willing to live the life He wanted.  I became broken in the right places.

I can look back and know this present feeling of pain and loss shall pass. The days of multiple appointments are now behind me. This isn't Heaven, yet. Like Abraham in the book of Hebrews...  I search for a City whose architect and builder is God.

In the meantime, I may visit the pond in the park where my mother and I would take days old bread to feed the ducks... as I did with my own children so many years later. Perhaps I'll pack a sandwich and my Bible... and rest.

Picture: Ducks Unlimited, As Good As Home;


Nana said...

Oh Brenda, what a beautiful, beautiful post! Your pain comes thru and so does Gods presence. So my dear friend, I applaud your courage and your longsuffering. You are such an inspiration to so many and we are all blessed by knowing you thru your blog! With hugs, love and prayers, Nana.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

This is such a hope filled post!

God uses all these hard things to bring us to Himself, to help us to grow, to direct us, etc…

So glad that He is with us during these times.


Keri said...

I had never read this post before. I simply loved it! And since God has prompted me to study the book of Job, it was a nice tie-in to where my heart is right now. Thank you for re-posting it today.

Unknown said...

That was beautiful. I felt like I was reading a book. I'm sorry you had to go through those trials. You seemed to have lemonade out of lemons as well as you could. I don't know your whole story, but I know you writing is full of hope.

Anonymous said...

A true Christian woman who's faith stood strong. You knew he was your rock at all times. All things are possible for those who love thr Lord.

rebecca said...

Except for the circumstances that must have been very painful, a cabin situated in such a peaceful place actually sounds quite inviting to me right now...

The perspective that you gained there is a valuable one. It makes me think of these words that I just moved into my blog under the "Quotes" tab:

I am strong, because I’ve been weak.
I am fearless, because I’ve been afraid.
I am wise, because I’ve been foolish.

Thanks for passing on lessons learned, Brenda.