Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | January 1, 2015

2014, A Very Different Year

Merry CHRISTmas 2014 and Happy New Year 2015

Merry CHRISTmas 2014 and Happy New Year 2015

The CHRISTmas card I haven’t sent out yet, tells the tale of 2014.

It was a very different year indeed.

It was a very different year indeed.

It was a year of grieving and beauty.  Deep grieving and remarkable, breath-taking beauty.

My 61 blogposts reflect much of the grieving and beauty – and a glimpse of interests, hopes, concerns and commitment to life beyond my small sphere.  And, always throughout another year, bond servant relationship and worship of Lord Jesus Christ.

Grieving my late wife, Nellie Katherine Kyle Bowden, is about honoring her, our deep desire, our marriage and family – the whole of our adult lives –  to grieve in as great a measure as we loved.  The many tears I mentioned were a cleansing expression of love, not a wallowing self-pity.  As much as I wrote about crying for her, I actually wept far more.

2014 was way station by signpost by mile marker of life without her.  The long, long hard path was expected.  Lived and endured.  So it was for all of her family, friends and loved ones who knew her.  Yet, as oft noted from her Bible, in her hand, “God never wastes our sufferings.”   He didn’t.  He gave Grace.  He provided strength and purpose.

There were new, different family hardships and challenges.  This is called life.

He surrounded me with unspeakable beauty.

He gave me Sanctuary.  Just a house – a material thing – I know.  But a place to live where beauty of God’s created world, Nature alive on The Bay, is around me day and night.  Here, too, he placed my oldest daughter and 3 grandchildren – the living beauty of God’s love.

This beauty seen by the eye and held in the heart is greater than grief.  The beloved living are life itself.  Life is about love, because life is about relationships.  First, Unconditional Love – Grace – from God to self.  Then, from self to spouse.  From self to family.  On to friends, neighbors, and all – in agape love.

The year may have been sad, missing and hurt upon sad, missing and hurt for me – and death sucks – as I wrote often.  But, I also wrote that love is more powerful than death.  I lived it in 2014.  Far more powerful.

Look at this stunning picture of my youngest Grandchild.

Granddaughter Bonnie Kyle Buchanan - for 2015 and beyond

Granddaughter Bonnie Kyle Buchanan – for 2015 and beyond

Bonnie is 2 years old.  When she is 80, people will look at this picture and exclaim, “Bonnie, this is so you!”

She is the picture of the power of love in life, past death, and for the promise of Heaven.  Look at her eyes, her gentle smile, her posture.  This is Bonnie Kyle Buchanan showing herself to the camera’s eye.  This baby girl will become quite a woman.

I could wax on and on about my love for this angel baby.  Her beauty symbolizes the beauty of life in 2014 and promise of more to come in 2015 and beyond.

God’s promises are always kept.  Every single one.  Forever.

As I shared in the invocation at my USMA Class mini-reunion, one fulfilled promise is that the young lions become old bulls.  This old bull still cares deeply about my Clan, community, Commonwealth, and Country – as well as all the world for Christ.

2014 was a year of hope for America for a good election result.

2014 was a year of shame for Western Civilization for failing to rise as one to defeat and utterly destroy – to kill to the last man – every Muslim jihadist soldier of ISIS.  The bombing and advising half-measures are a shameful witness to the lack of courage, moral resolve, and vision which all the West should have – to save every suffering Christian within striking distance of the ISIS devils.

We should all be ashamed.  I am.

2015 is a new year.  God will provide.

Grieving will continue, but it’s different.  I struggle with creating a new identity.  I still feel married.  Companionship brings new relationship – with healing and growing.

I’m much more healthy.  Bound and determined to be more healthy indeed.

Ready for God’s Will.   Up for doing my duties better.

Blessed to be face to face, daily, by such beauty with my beloveds and The Bay.

Grateful for God’s Word – like II Corinthians 1:3-4 and Psalm 30.

Life is short.  "I ain't dead yet."

Life is short. “I ain’t dead yet.”

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