What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, June 13, 2014

I Know I Need to Write Something...

Okay, I know, I'm getting way behind in my writing AND my reading of other blog posts. I do apologize, but I think most of you know I've been going through some difficult days lately.  And somehow I can't seem to get back in the groove of writing.  I look at this blank page and my mind seems to be just as blank.  I've had plenty of things happening that I probably should write about, but the words just won't come.  I think grief does that to us.

The grieving process is not something I really want to go through. However, whether I like it or not, it is happening.   Rather than write a whole dissertation about the stages of grief, I thought perhaps I would look up some things that are already written and give some links for you (and me) to check out.  You may see yourself in this information...and I may see myself as well.  So here goes:

 1.  Click here for the "5 Stages of Loss Grief" from Psychcentral.com

 2.  http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html

 3.  http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/dealing-with-grief/5-stages-of-grief/

 4.  Wikipedia article on the Kubler-Ross Model of Grief

These are just a few of the articles I discovered when I googled "Stages of Grief".  I am sure there are many more, but these definitely hit the highlights.

One thing I am certain of, when we experience the loss of a loved one, whether it be through death, divorce, or other kinds of difficult separation...we will each one experience grief in one form or another.  What I am discovering is that it may be different for each individual, but regardless of the order in which it happens, or the severity of the grief itself, sooner or later every person suffering a loss will grieve.  It may take you by surprise.  You may not recognize that your behavior and thought process has changed in subtle ways.  You may deny that you are grieving at all.  You may think it is a sign of weakness or lack of faith that you are feeling the way you are.  Or you may become critical of others who show more outward signs of grieving and may think that they need to "get over it".  Just because you are not demonstrating your grief for others to notice does not mean that you are not grieving internally.  Actually, I believe the ones who open up and let it out will be healthier in the long run than those who try to stifle the grief and hold it inside.  Sooner or later it will catch up with you, possibly manifesting itself in physical illness, emotional breakdown, or depression.

I find writing to be good therapy for grief...and perhaps this article is meant to do just that...provide therapy for myself.  I also believe that we should try to turn our grief into some kind of positive action.  Some may not be able to do that for awhile, but the sooner we can reach out in some way to use our grief experience to encourage and help others going through a similar trial, the better we will feel.

One thing our family is doing has been very healing for us.  What started out as a simple little memorial to honor our loved one has become a family and friend project that has developed into a place of comfort and peace for anyone who wants to share the experience.

First my husband wanted a simple plaque that read, "In Loving Memory of Matthew E. Steiner", and he wanted it placed in our yard, just as a reminder to never forget our son and brother.

Then, I thought there needed to be more than just a plaque that really didn't identify exactly WHAT was in loving memory, so I said we needed to place the sign in a garden or some special location in our yard that would be designated as a place of remembrance.

Next, our sons thought we needed a place to actually sit and pray or meditate on God's Word, or read or just enjoy the peacefulness of the place. So the carpenter son went to work:
 And soon our grandson arrived from Maine and got right into the action.  This was also very therapeutic for him as the memorial was indeed being built in loving memory of his father, our son.

 It was determined that benches were needed so we could actually sit and enjoy this lovely space, so pretty soon benches were being added...

 And here we are testing them.

Next, flowers were added:

And then, thanks to a wonderfully talented and kind friend, a very special wind chime was created that actually represents our son in a unique way:

The Dove of Peace
A Maine Moose

A Fish

The Wind Chimes

A beautiful sunburst

Family coming together to hang the chimes

A place of peace and quiet and prayerful meditation
 I have already benefited from this little sanctuary. As often as I am able, I slip away from the noise and busyness of housework and people and simply sit there and relax.  I can hear the birds singing in the treetops surrounding me, the bees buzzing in the honeysuckle vines, and squirrels chattering back and forth, warning the others that a human has invaded their space for awhile. A gentle breeze stirs the leaves and causes the chimes to sing, reminding me of my precious son who just left this world for the heavens above.

Yes, I am still grieving for him. I am sure that I will be grieving for some time.
I don't expect I will EVER forget him...and I don't really need this space to remind me of him.
But it is a pleasant place, and it helps sooth my sorrowing heart.
I can talk to God here...and that makes me feel closer to Matthew as well.

This reminds me of an old hymn that I dearly love.  Why don't you sing along with me?

"In The Garden"
Written by C. Austin Miles, 1912

"I come to the garden alone,
while the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear,
Falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, 
and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody 
That He gave to me,
Within my heart is ringing.


I'd stay in the garden with Him
Tho' the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go;
Thro' the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.


And He walks with me, 
and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known."

I hope you have found this a balm for your heart today...I know it has done me a lot of good.  I knew I needed to write something...


  1. Pam: This is beautiful. I love the trellis and the benches. May I suggest a book to you? It's titled "Good Grief." It's written by Granger Westberg. I love that hymn. eveyone grieves differently. My dad died five years ago. My sister-in-law, four years ago. I found myself in a down mood this week and I wrote about it. And I cried. Your daughter-in-law will have to go through all the special days-anniversary,both birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and filing her taxes. (I heard this at a panel discussion at a women's retreat.)

    1. Yes, my daughter in law has the more difficult road to walk. I do pray that she will keep her eyes fixed on Jesus, the One Who will be there for her and her son through all the days ahead. We will always miss the presence of our dear son in our lives, but it has to be harder for the ones who depended on him and had him in their lives every single day. Thank you for your thoughts and for the suggestion of the book. I will check into it. Blessings to you today.

  2. Pam, I am thinking of you so often, and with each thought I send up a prayer. I love the way you guys have found a simple and authentic way to remember your loved one. it is beautiful and natural and organic. It's been inspiring to watch it grow. Do not worry about writing unless the writing is helpful. we all know what a difficult road you are on. God will show you so much in the months to come about this journey of yours, and we will all reap the benefit of your gentle and honest wisdom dear Pamela. Blessings. Susie

    1. Thank you Susie...for understanding and encouraging. This journey is not an easy one, but I am so thankful to know that I am not alone. Not only do I have the Lord walking with me (carrying me), but I have the faithful support of friends and loved ones near and far sending up prayers. It is all about that One Word for 2014: Strengthen. Not the way I would have chosen to be strengthened, but I know God knows what He's doing. Praying for YOU as well, as you prepare for a new adventure in your journey of life. So glad we can always communicate out here in cyberspace regardless of where we are on the planet! Thank you for stopping by to show some love today. :)

  3. A beautiful post, Pam. Thank you for sharing how you are feeling at this point in the grieving process. I love the whole idea of the remembrance garden! I've been praying, especially for Noah, as he begins life here on this earth without his earthly daddy here beside him. Your family has been a blessing through all of your trials...and I know many people have been praying for all of you. May you have a restful weekend.

    1. Thank you Dianna. Your prayers and loving thoughts mean so much to us. Yes, please continue to pray for Noah. He appears to be doing well,but we know the reality of losing his daddy at such a young age is going to have a lasting impact on his life. I know that God is holding him very close and that he will be fine, but prayers and words of encouragement will certainly help in the process. Thank you again. Blessings to you and yours this weekend as well.

  4. Beautiful Pamela, brought tears to my eyes. Such a pretty memorial to your son. God is merciful and your pain will ease, Matthew will always be in your heart. Each of us have lost a loved one at sometime in life, it's something everyone will experience but with the grace of God you can go on with life, soon you'll have smiles when the memories of the times spent with him come to mind.

    1. Yes, God is very merciful and kind. He is tenderly caring for us and giving us strength to move forward. He gives us peace and comfort each new day. Thank you for your kind words. You are also in my thoughts and prayers...and your sweet hubby too. Have a blessed weekend. Thank you for stopping by today. I always love to hear from you.

  5. Hi Pam,
    What a sweet memorial to your son! I'm sure it will bring comfort as you sit and talk with God about your son. My plan for Amy's garden was for a arbor, too. But could not get one built so will use what I have. I hope someday I can come and see your special garden in person. Praying for you everyday. Hugs, Nancy

    1. I thought I answered this, but I guess I didn't. I would SO love for you to come and visit us in person. What a wonderful time of just being together with someone who totally understands...for both of us. Thank you for this wonderful thought. Still praying for you and your family too.


Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.