Category Archives: Hope

The Day I Made A Word: Cele-dread

Reposted from 4 years ago…

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Cele-dreaded this day!

This is the day – you know –
the one you CELEBRATE  because it acknowledged a great accomplishment by people you care about.
But also the day you DREAD because it reminded you that something is not right about this day.
I’ve worked hard to ‘prepare’ myself for this day
I didn’t know how having it all happen just before Mother’s Day might affect me!
I’ve cried- or needed to cry- often
I couldn’t figure out why-
Why do I feel so very sad
Why do I feel so full of grief
Why can’t I stop thinking about her
Why…does…it…hurt…so…bad…???
This is the day when
her close friends are graduating,
I’ve known that Jameson & Kelsey & Abby were all graduating this May. I’ve been excited for them and watched closely as they posted pictures and updates of all that is happening and all the plans to come.
This is the day when her sisters, Caitlin & Brielle,
are getting engaged,
and hunting for the right dresses
And choosing bridesmaids,  and colors, and flowers
and planning showers, and weddings and receptions
But this also the day I remember- that she isn’t here!
The day I ponder in so many ways what could have been, if only…!
This could have been her year to graduate from some college
To have a boyfriend
Maybe even to be getting married too.
I can see it happen.
I celebrate these dear people and the steps they are taking
But I dread the emotion because it reminds me that it will never, ever be ‘right’.
No matter how hard I/we all try.
She will always be gone- the bold, boisterous, life of the party, troublemaker that she was
We will always miss her presence with us
I always miss her
Cele-dread!
But today Tim read 1 Cor 13- 3 times he read it during Shalom
Each time the words I heard were
‘if we do not love, we are nothing.’
I loved!
I still love!
Just because she is in heaven doesn’t mean I have quit loving her!
It’s because I love that this day hurts so very deep.
It’s my love that causes my heart to break
On this day
On all of these days of celebration.
As I look as these precious people- men and women that she loved too!
Some that she never got to meet
I rejoice for what God is doing in them- through them- around them
I celebrate the love I feel for them- and they for me
I cherish it!
I could NOT not love them.
That would be far worse to me
To have never have loved at all
It might mean that it would not hurt so much now
But what would make life worth living without that love.
I could fear losing and therefore not love so that I would not get hurt
But truly to ‘not have love, means I have nothing’
I have a heart that is full- of emotion, of sadness yes, but also of joy, and gratitude,
For the life I knew
For the sense that I am loved
And that I love still!
That’s something!
I celebrate!

I Don’t Feel Safe

As I have listened in on conversations or processed life with clients or friends, a theme I hear often is “if God is good, why is life so hard?”

And when the challenges and losses of life threaten us, it is hard to feel safe.

And when we don’t feel safe it is hard to trust that God is present, let alone in control, let alone good.

Oh we might night say it, but our behaviors often reveal that we are not sure we believe God is who he says he is.

I’m not immune to the struggle.  A few days ago Continue reading I Don’t Feel Safe

So. Much. Pain.

I’m in the people business
Know people
Care for people
Feel for people

Because of this I have to be very aware of how I take in the emotions & pain of others. It can effect me not only emotionally, but physically as well.

Over the last few days a series of losses took my breathe away.

Death of a 26 year old friend of Leisha’s
Death of a 16 year old friend of a friend
Our friend’s 17 year old fighting for his life

Watching our parents process letting go of strength, while mourning each week the death of another friend or loved one.

Watching the girls navigate life and wondering what’s ahead for them and any future generations.

I’m not trying to take on all this pain but I’m struggling about what to do with my own emotions as I create a bigger picture for ministry I know I am part of
That involves more people
More stories
More pain.

Ah!
There it is!
The truth!

I fear feeling more.
Hurting more.

Then I reflected on the other messages
Continue reading So. Much. Pain.

Plans to Give You Hope!

I’ve read this passage so many times.
I memorized it as a child.
It was given to me in cards and notes over and over again after Leisha died.

God has plans to prosper me- not harm me

God has plans to give me hope and a future.

But I today I read the verse in context of chapter 29.

This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

First thing I notice is to be in exile is the condition of someone being sent or kept away from their own country, village, home, etc.  CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH DICTIONARY

The Lord tells them through Jeremiah to:

Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

Hmmm?  Sounds like God is saying make the most of the situation you are in – whether it is good or not, whether it is where you want to be or not.

Then in verse 10 the Lord says; ”

When seventy years are completed in Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 

And that is where Jeremiah 29:11 comes in.

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. 

SEVENTY YEARS????

Continue reading Plans to Give You Hope!

New WORD for a New Year

My Word for the year is EnJoy!

I am quite excited about this word.  Over the last 10 years my words have been  Hope- Hope & More HOPE!  I had that word for several years. It’s a great word, but it was a desperate time for me.

One year the word was TRUST, another year it was BE STILL. (I know technically two words, right?) Last year my word was FINISH which was appropriate since my goal was to complete the Lovely Traces of Hope book.

These were all great words and they were significant to me at the time, but they all had a urgency to them, desperation is still the better word.  Even being still was a challenge word at the time.

But this year, the word that keeps coming to me Continue reading New WORD for a New Year

The Beauty of Signing a Book!

OK! It’s official! I’m an author!  I held my first book signing thanks to the gracious and persistent Tanya Augsburger of the Bluffton Public Library, Bluffton, OH.

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Months ago- before there was an actual book, Tanya engaged me to consider hosting an author event at the library.  I thought she was jumping the gun, but I appreciated her thinking ahead for me. It was a delight for me to work with Tanya to put together this book signing event. I am so grateful for her and the Library for hosting this opportunity.

I knew that book signings were often part of an author’s next steps.  I knew that it was valuable to connect with interested and potential new readers.

But I witnessed so much BEAUTY in this moment and in the people who attended. Continue reading The Beauty of Signing a Book!

Influence Like a Dandelion

Ten years ago next weekend, we gathered to remember a spunky little gal named Leisha.

We celebrated her life And mourned our loss of her.

We remembered the things she didTo make us laugh

To make us cry,

To make us crazy!

She touched our lives and she taught us,

She changed us in the living and the dying.

Would she have made such a difference in our lives if she had just lived?  I know I’m her momma, but I think so.

The day she died, I met her on our country road. I was teasing her because she was so eager to get her driver’s permit. I said,” you just want power. ”

I could see the wheels spinning in her head and her eyes were sparkling.

She spoke,  “I don’t need power. I want to influence. I want to say, I’m going come with me.”

“Honey you were made to influence,” I replied as I stroked her nose like I had so many days since she was born.

10 minutes later,  she was gone.

I want to influence. I want to say, I'm going come with me. Click To Tweet

my first bookSeveral have asked why, out of all the pictures I have of Leisha,  I chose a black and white one of her blowing a dandelion for the cover.

Well, dandelions have long been important at the Burrus house.

For one thing, Continue reading Influence Like a Dandelion

Thank you Professor Sittser

This past week, I have been working intently to finish up details for publishing the Lovely Traces of Hope book.  I had one of those moments  as I sat late into the night reading/ editing/ proofing yet again through my own story.  

For the umpteenth time, I was reading through Chapter 14, Turning East, which I have sent to many of you already. (Click here if you haven’t read it yet.) In that chapter, I share excerpts of Jerry Sittser’s book called A Grace Disguised. Jerry literally led me through much of my grief through the sharing of his own story.

Several months ago as I was reworking that chapter for the book, I sent Jerry a letter to thank him for being bold enough to share his story because of the influence it has had in mine. 

Here was his reply…

Continue reading Thank you Professor Sittser