Living the Good Life

As provocative as it may sound, that suddenly took on new meaning over the past many hours. While I attempt to proceed in my life with some sort of understanding over the events of the past three weeks, the shock of realization brings to mind a commercial, where the strike phrase is… “I’ve looked over a lot of bodies and none of them have had an expiration date.”

Expiration, death, dark angels, end of life, all catch phrases for the same stupid awful change that comes after we’ve experienced the glory of God’s wonderful creation for a time, sometimes a short time… But for a time. With the beginning comes the end… I get that.

As my grandfather slipped away, those final years, I remember hearing him say, “I’m ready to meet Jesus.” The knowing that his days were numbered, and only God knew that number gave him a grace that is not totally uncommon. He never said he was comfortable with the process, just that he was ready for the end result. And, I know he wasn’t ready to leave Grandma. That was the catch 22 that left him holding on, those last few hours… The woman he’d loved for a lifetime, stood beside him, along with a daughter who had spent her life caring.

Those moments, on Christmas morning flew by in a flash. There were no long good byes. He’d had no warning. Life was there, then it was gone.

The next many years, Grandma missed him, but carried on without him. Her life filled up with times and places, people and things, but she never stopped longing for him. In those last weeks, I remember hearing her say, “I’m ready to meet Jesus. I miss Daddy (her nickname for Granddad), and it’s time to go home.” I knew she wasn’t talking about the rickety little house at 504 N. 11th. She had a better home, on a golden shore far away, where Granddad and Jesus were waiting for her. She was ready to go.

I heard the angels singing in that last sweet breath she took, as she drifted into the heavens and the arms of her true love. There was no greater joy or contentment on any woman’s face as she escaped the confines of earth and her tired body, and entered those Pearly Gates of Glory. Sweet blessed peace enveloped the room as the harps played out songs of welcome laced with the love of one of God’s children making her way into heaven.

Now, as an adult – I look back on those memories of childhood and young adulthood knowing that life has come full circle again. There may be no expiration date, but there’s a time to live…

The beating heart of another waits for that precious moment when she will see the face of God, hear heaven’s trumpet calling and witness the voice of angels singing and harps strumming out the delicate tremors of love’s embrace. Implications by Doctors are that they know when the time has come, but as one who has witnessed the passing of many – the realization that none here knows the time, nor the hour has become abundantly clear. The moment in time when each of us faces our maker isn’t set by a Doctor’s diagnosis, the rudimentary procedures of medicine, nor the educated guesses of those left behind.

As the treasures of earth part from the holdings, we begin to understand that life has no boundaries, there is no expiration date. Time does not draw nye unto the end of our road, but rather the passing of time becomes that of precious hours presumably living for the moment at which we will understand with great joy our passing into eternity.

Salvation and our walk with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit become the center of our existence and we understand that it’s not the hour, but rather the power that transforms us into His chosen. If we haven’t found His glory, in those final hours our search is bolder, more intense and stronger, but yet… also more sensitive to His voice and His calling. We hear Him, in those final hours – however long they may be.

We learn to love and forgive, understanding that we might not have another single moment in which to care, worry or share our feelings with others. We learn to live the good life, without further concern over the trials and struggles of life that have no longer any hold over us.

It means nothing, to know how much or how little is left of time or money. Only what’s held in our heart matters. The treasures we’ve laid up in heaven will be the only treasures that carry meaning in those last hours – hearts, lives and loved ones. The rest is left untended.

The search is on…

To know what is meant by living the good life. I don’t know how much I’ll be posting here, but it may be a lot of thoughts about the passing of time and the motion required to move from this life into the next. The joy of living the good life… .shared.


News Today – Life in an Uproar

I just opened my eyes. The dark and stormy night had me bewitched into thinking I was sleeping. I realized when I opened my eyes that I’d merely been working horizontal. My body feels like I was lumber-jacking. I may have sounded like it last night too. I don’t know where the truck is that hit me last night, but somebody ought to stop that guy from driving.

It isn’t that I had a bad night, it’s this head cold that showed up about the time I arrived home from the Constitution Meeting last night. Speaking of Constitution, I’m thrilled at the response to the Constitution Meetings that are rising up in our community. I was shocked that there are so few women involved in the meeting. Nita and I decided if they try to take away our right to vote, we’ll stop bringing cookies. That should solve the problem of women’s rights!

I’m listening to the radio this morning, Eric Stone chatters up the War in Iraq, while Ty Harmon chips in with comments on Afghanistan. And the talk turns to a plane crash in Amsterdam.

Foreclosures are down in Colorado, already this year. Glaciers in Antarctica are melting faster than previously thought… Could the Arkansas River rise?

The question of the day.

“Will Jaws be a few feet closer to shore?” Eric Stone is highly concerned about the effect of the rising ocean waters on Southeastern Colorado.

And the pillow won. I gave up my blanket and my nice cozy bed, and I’m in here working while the pillow sleeps to prepare for tonight’s wrestling match.

Obama has promised a land of milk and honey, I don’t think I’m following him through Egypt.

The poles are melting and they expect Denver to be beach front property within two years, perhaps I’ll keep that house instead of selling. It’ll be worth more in two years. The world is a snowball on a down hill run, we’re gathering flakes and speeding up.

Jan Verhoeff

(Currently reporting the news as it happened on “Anything Goes” in Lamar, Colorado.)

Pat Palmer invites all to the Pitstop for a Thursday Taco.

Honking Geese Encourage the Masses

Encouragement comes in many forms. For me, it’s often the sound of geese honking as they fly over in V formation, to their winter or spring destinations. I never cease to be amazed at the structure and resources God provided nature.

Geese are a True Source of Wealth when you realize their Secret to Prosperity.

Continue reading Honking Geese Encourage the Masses

Encourage me…

Those words have some heavy, life changing impact on me.

During my teen years, like many teenagers, I slipped deep into depression. I didn’t want to be in school forever. I didn’t want a career. I didn’t want what other kids wanted from life. I wanted to be a wife and a mom. I wasn’t set too firmly on the whose wife I wanted to be concept, but I did want the white dress and babies following not to far behind. It wasn’t happening. I suffered through school getting straight A’s on tests and messing up on the homework and other requirements, because (quite honestly) I didn’t care. I managed to get into college and found the man of my dreams, I thought… And settled for college. The man of my dreams had other dreams.

I drifted through college, work, and those next few years suffering every obstacle known to woman for messing up my dreams, then I met my first husband. My parents loved him. My sister thought he had possibilities. My friends adored him. I married him. Less than seven weeks into the marriage I knew why he hadn’t impressed me. I was pregnant. The divorce took five years and a toll on my life. The abuse of that first seven weeks lives on in me almost daily. I feel it every time I take a step. I see the damage, each time I look in the mirror.

My daughter is magnificent. She’s been a treasure for her whole life.

“Encourage Me” was the title of a book I was given way back in those early days after I left. While my tummy grew with the life inside, I needed encouragement. I needed to lean on my faith. My church tossed me out. I was pregnant, divorcing, and alone. My family had other issues. They were there for me, but not like I needed. How could they be, they weren’t the father of my child.

Encourage me… became my vivid plea to God. I knew He was there, looking down on me, listening. I knew He was. I had faith. I needed encouragement. I went back to college, worked full time, raised my baby girl alone. Life was okay, not good, but I survived.

I met a local man who appeared to love me and my daughter. I was beaten down, but he said he loved me, and I believed him. I tried to make the marriage that followed work. But, again, I’d failed. Whether it was God’s voice I wasn’t listening to or something else, regardless of the cause of failure, I failed. Three kids and several years later, my marriage was over. When he walked out of my life, abandonment was complete. He didn’t see me or the kids for several months, then years. Life crept on…

Again, I prayed for encouragement.

Through the years, I’d begun to see God’s encouragement as something different than I’d expected back there in high school. I began to recognize His encouragement in different ways. One of those ways was when I wrote, I’d see understanding, comprehension and peace in my writing. I recognized God’s hand in my work. The Source was feeding my soul and I knew it came from God. I knew God provided my gift of words.

Encouragement came in forms I didn’t fully understand to begin with, but as I lived life, I began to understand where His encouragement was coming from, and more importantly, where it was taking me. I gave God the lead in my life and allowed Him to take me down the paths that I’d dared not tread. A career, happiness, my children, and ultimately a home in the town I loved came together and I knew God had guided me there.

Encourage me… God’s courage works miracles!