Wednesday, August 5, 2015

On the Ebb and Flow of Life

Dear friends, I hope you are well and enjoying what’s left of summer. Except for a few breezy days spent at the ocean, the heat has mostly kept me indoors, almost unbearable it is. Outside, the grass crunches beneath my shoes, begging for rain, while inside, the air-conditioner plugs away, trying hard to keep up with the heat and humidity that is Southeast Texas.

Mornings are the most tolerable, and I find sweet pleasure in watching summer's sun linger in unexpected places around my home.

In the last few months, from deep inside, I have been both happy and sad. Life has a way of giving and taking, like the ebb and flow of the tide. Sometimes it brings unexpected treasures, filling us to the brim with joy. Other times, it takes treasures from us, leaving us empty and spent. It’s not a new thing. Life is made up of seasons, always a melody of mixed notes.

I sometimes ask my heart to switch tunes, to give me happy whenever I’m sad, but it pays me no mind. In times of grief, loneliness, confusion, hurt, longing, or despair, we can walk around with a smile, but there’s no fooling the heart. The heart beats out the notes. The heart knows the truth.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t joyful notes mixed in with the bleak ones, and thank God for them. But there are seasons when, despite our wishes, the dark chords ring the loudest and the longest.

Last year, friends of ours lost their 19-year-old son in a tragic accident. And while they have discovered happy notes since that horrific event, at the end of the day, it is the dark chords that are played over and over, because, as heavy and woeful as it may be, grief can’t be rushed through; it must be lived out, its timing unique and personal. Eventually, I’m told, the chords will change to lighter notes, making way for happier days and space for joy to enter the grief, light overtaking the darkness, one small step at a time.

Yesterday, I sat at my dining room table in the familiar place where I enjoy quiet moments of prayer and devotion, the afternoon light pouring in. As I held my darling granddaughter close, her face pressed soft against mine, we gazed out the window and I thought of the blessings in my life, the bounty of treasures that God has so graciously given. And although there are still somber chords that must be sung out, played out, lived through, I’ve discovered the sad notes of life have a way of making the sweet ones that much sweeter.

Until next time, dear friends, I trust the days of August are especially kind to you.



  1. Oh, that little hand and tiny tootsies was whipped cream on top today. Mmm. Loved this post about ebb and flow.... I needed it today.

    Hugs from Newark-- Nova Scotia-bound,

  2. Hi Dayle, life does bring sadness at times, but hopefully the happy moments out weigh the sad! Keeping positive as you did with your sweet grandbaby is the trick. We have not had hot weather at all. In fact June was hotter than July. It's been a rainy July with wonderful temps. We'll see what Aug. brings. Hope it cools down for you soon!

  3. The ebb and flow...I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father. He has and always will be there through it all. Such a beautiful reminder...thank you.

  4. Thank you for this sweet, and heartfelt post.
    Life is hills and valleys.
    I am so grateful for the love that I feel from our Heavenly Father, and the knowledge that he never leaves us alone in our trials.
    I hope that August is a month of sweet life notes for you :)


  5. A perfect post for me today, Dayle. You are so right- grief has to be lived through and sometimes I fight against that. And it is not always the grief that comes from the loss of a life-it comes sometimes for the loss of innocence and belief in what was once a "sure thing". Great post! Love to you- Diana

  6. Beautiful post. Today is the nine month anniversary of my dear John's passing and yes, the ebbs and tides are almost unbearable at times. But, I know the Lord won't give me more than I can bear and my sweet grands always come at just the perfect time. God is so good!


  7. Yes, Dayle, life is a series of ups and downs. That's for sure. That sweet cupcake of a granddaughter must make the bad moments melt like sugar in boiling water. She's a keeper. Susan

  8. Your thought echo mine this morning. Getting older is an eye-opener!...some days we need to search out the joy notes. I love that first picture. You have the eye for finding beauty in unexpected places:)

    Wow, Texas summer's boast temps that we in southern Ont. have not seen in a while. Perhaps the inspiration for a summer poem would come out much differently if i wrote it there. We have had an exceptionally comfortable summer this year.

    Thank-you for sharing more pics/peeks of Precious.
    My condolences to your friends!

  9. No. You're so right. There's no rushing through grief... My heart breaks for your friends who have lost their son. I can only imagine. I will keep them in my prayers Dayle.

  10. There is that mix of bitter and sweet in so much of our lives. I am grateful for the joyful notes that sounds so often. It would be a bleak, bleak life otherwise.

    That sweet picture of your little grandbaby is certainly one of the high joy notes. Even for those of us who don't know her. I just want to pick up that little hand in my own, and those tiny fingers and just smooch them and hold them close to my cheek.

    Wishing you grace for the days ahead. And lots of granddaughter time. And hugs too, Dayle!

  11. Lots of *ebbing* in my life lately. It's been a dry and difficult season. But, refreshment always comes when the Lord leads me by the still streams of His Living Water. May the somber chords never drown out the melody of Hope...



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