ANTICIPATION OR EXPECTATIONS

For me, with spring around the corner, there is always the anticipation of warmer weather coming soon.  There are many other things we tend to anticipate the first of each year.   But, how do we do this in a positive manner when we have lost someone close to us. 

According to Webster Dictionary, there are several meanings for anticipation.  

  • A prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action
  • The act of looking forward
  • visualization of a future event or state
  • An object or form that anticipates a later type
  • The early sounding of one or more tones of a succeeding chord to form a temporary dissonance.

How may times have we anticipated where we will be in each stage of grief??!!  I remember thinking:

  • In three months, I will have all my paperwork done.
  • In six months, the holidays for me will be done.  Oh, how I dreaded those days.
  • In a year, I will be done with all the ‘firsts’.

I was fortunate at the time that Dan passed away, my two oldest brothers really walked beside me.  Gary at one point had lost his wife from a car accident so he had gone down that path.  My brother Bob always had good solid advise, but allowed me to make my own decisions without me feeling bad or guilty.  By the time the first year was done, I was ready to make major decisions and for that I am thankful.  Does that mean all my decisions were good ones?  No, but I was able to figure it out and knowing I had a lot of people praying for me certainly did help. 

One thing that says a lot to me is found in Jude 1:21. It reads – Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  But when one is going through something, it is difficult to wait for the mercy of Christ.  But persistency and prayer sure will help us along the way. 

I think this quote by Anna Grace Taylor says so much:  

It seems many times we need to look back to move forward, doesn’t it?  With God’s help you can do this!  However, if you need someone to talk with, don’t be afraid to ask.   These verses are such a great promise to us.  They are found in Romans 8:37-39 which reads:  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we are down emotionally and things just don’t seem to be going our way, remember God is always with us!  He has promised us this in Deuteronomy 31:8 which says:   The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

So, with the new year upon us, may we look forward to God’s help with what we are going through.   I have faith in you that you can do this!  Just remember, there are many people to help you each step of the way.  Don’t hesitate to send me a note on my blog site:  https://encounteringwidowhood.com/.

One of the best anticipations is seeing our loved ones once again in heaven.  Blessing, hugs and prayers to each of you!!!!

Peace During the Tough Things in Life

Oh, what a year it is already and its barely started.  Just when I thought 2020 was just one of those years and I believe we all were hoping 2021 would be better.  In trying to decide on how I would write this blog, I really had to pray about it and pray for peace within me.  Then there is just life which we go through as a widow!  Many of us have been walking this path for a long time and others are fairly new to this journey.   How do we find peace when we are lonely?  Especially when there seems to be so much turmoil going on with us and around us!

 

How do we handle this when life is unsettling and we’re not sure if it is ever going to calm down?  Will we get to the point that we will be able to sit back and feel God’s presence around us?  God promises to be with us during these difficult times.   One scripture that sums up God’s blessings is from Numbers 6:24 – 26:  The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD makes His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lifts up His countenance on you, and give you peace.’  The difficult part is believing it isn’t it?

Perhaps we really need to just look at the things we have gone through where we have found peace – God’s peace.   Often times it’s just the simple things that give us peace.

But then, there are huge things that happen that we cannot control.   How do we find handle this?   Luke 10:6 reads: If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not it will return to you.   I suggest you seek out another widow who has walked down this path.  Perhaps some things you may learn from them are:

 

  • Look for ways for self-approval.
  • Learn to love yourself unconditionally.
  • Work on self-confidence.
  • Learn to please yourself and not others.

 

 

 

There is one song that says it all to me.  It’s called the ‘God on the Mountain’.  My favorite rendition of this song is sung by Lynda Randle.  If you would like to listen to it, you can find it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZKZoM109n4.

The lyrics are:

 

[Verse 1]
Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain
And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known
But when things change and you’re down in the valley
Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone
[Chorus]
And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times
The God of the day is still God in the night
[Verse 2]
We talk of faith when we’re up on the mountain
But talk comes so easy when life’s at its best
But in the valley of trials and temptations
That’s when faith is really put to the test
[Chorus]
And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times
The God of the day is still God in the night
The God of the day, is still God in the night

Who do we seek to help us go through this journey?  I urge you to contact another widow who has walked this path.  They are very instrumental in listening to what you have to say.  In Matthew 5:9 it reads:   Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  Someone who has walked your journey, may help you find peace with what you are going through.

There are also several books that are great to read.  Such as:

  • From One Widow to Another written by Miriam Neff
  • The God of All Comfort written by Dee Brestin
  • Finding Norm written by Jana Berndt
  • Words to Live By written by Sarah Kroenke

What are some other things we can do to find peace?   Perhaps reaching out to your pastor, Rabbi or Priest.   You may contact me, or go to the website for the Widow Might Organization at:  https://www.widowmight.org/contact/.  Once Covid-19 is downsized and we can get together, we will do that.   Or at least here in Minnesota, once the weather warms up, we can get together to social distance outside.  Oh, how I miss that!   How do we find peace?  For sure our peace comes from God

A church I attended years ago, always ended each service with this blessing.  It is found in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 and it reads:  Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

My prayer is that you feal God’s peace and presence around you.

Blessings to each of you!

A Year of What If’s!

 

Christmas 2020 – A Year of What If’s!

Oh, what a year it has been!  It seems like I have brought that up several times this year.  However, if you are someone who lost a spouse it has been even more difficult.  Many of you were only able to have small groups at the burial.   Many of you are waiting for this pandemic to pass and have a memorial service down the road.

There are others that have made it past the first and second year and are beginning to feel as though they are coming to terms with their new normal without their spouse.  Do we ever forget?   Absolutely not!  Do we stumble along the way – absolutely!   As we grow and learn how to handle this – we are there to help others along the way. 

Perhaps we learn how to come up with new traditions.  One promise I have relied on is from Psalms 147:3 which reads:   He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Keeping some of the old traditions are almost a must.  However, we can add new ones along the way

For me, I needed to make new ones the first year as it was difficult to keep all the old ones.  Some options may be:

  • If you have been the host to holiday’s in the past, suggest to one of you children or other family member host these first few holidays.
  • Invite another person to your holiday who is also alone.
  • Perhaps this year is just too difficult to be with others, give yourself permission to spend it alone.

There are options to share memories with others or just keep for yourself.   Many of these ideas I received from other widows.  Here are some options to keep your husband’s memory alive:

  • Put together a memory book of your spouse.  You may also invite others to add memories to this book.  This doesn’t need to be just for the holidays but can be for all year long.
  • Make or purchase decorations in honor of you loved one.
  • Continue to hang the stocking of your loved one.  Let your guests know ahead of time to bring a written note of your loved one and put it in their stocking.  Take turns pulling the memories out of the stocking and read them.  Hopefully, you will have some happy memories that will make you laugh and sometimes cry.
  • Donate to a charity of your choice in honor of your loved one.

Please remember to take care of yourself!  As many of us are mom’s or just being women, we often feel like we need to do it all.  But we do not!   Take care of you!   You may have to sort through your feelings about the holidays.   Take time for a massage,  pedicure or manicure or even read a book.

It took me a long time to understand this verse Jeremiah 29:11 which reads 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.  I often thought if another person quotes me this scripture I was going to scream!   But as time went on, and I reflected on what has/had happened in my life, I realized that God does have plans for me!  He is going to be there for me during tough times and also the good times.

I often get sentimental over the holidays.  I found a picture of my family at Christmas time in 1992.  My kids always made a big deal of how I always wanted a family picture taken.   Amazing as time goes by, they love the old pictures.

Blessings to each of you.  I so look forward to the time we can meet together as a group to laugh and cry together.  And to enjoy each other’s company!

Thankfulness

                       

         

                                             – Thankfulness –

What are you thankful for?   During tough times can we be thankful?   With the loss of our spouse, how are we to be thankful?   How often have we asked God – “What are you thinking?”

As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, let’s reflect about what we may have had.   These may be tough for you to read, as you may still may be hurting.   A few things such:

  • The memories the two of you shared.
  • The love the two of you had for each other.
  • The trips or vacations you took together.
  • Perhaps you had children together and now you have grandchildren.
  • With the loss of a loved one, during the holiday season, it is difficult to be thankful.  If this is your first season, please be patient with yourself! 

With the changes in your life, you may just want to hibernate. Be careful if you find yourself hibernating for more than a few days.  Perhaps some of you may not have had a loving marriage.  Or you are heartbroken for not being financially taken care of.  There is nothing that can totally prepare us of being alone.  This year may be interesting with the Covid virus and the restrictions that have been put on us.

We certainly cannot change what has happened in our life, but we can rely on God to help us through it.  I know it is difficult, but God has promised to be there for us each step of the way. Philippians 4:6 reads:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  You may be thinking, it seems we get anxious just trying not to be anxious.   With that being said, if we truly rely on God, He will take away our anxiety. 

I do understand when we are going through tough times in our lives, it isn’t easy to believe this is it?   But in talking someone who has walked this journey with you, it certainly helps us think things through.  We also realize if others have gotten through tough times,  so can we.

This may be a long shot for some of you, but being joyful will also help you be thankful.   However, another of God’s promises is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 which states:  Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Again, this may be difficult to handle during these times.  In looking back on my past and see how God has carried me through losses and trials, it helps me remember how He has been there for me.  Perhaps keeping a journal of tough times in your life.  Upon looking back, it is a reminder of how God has helped you through many things in your life.  God’s promise is found in Philippians 4:5 which states: The Lord is Near.  From life’s experiences and reading back on my journaling, I certainly have found that to be true!

One of the sweet memories I have of my mother was her reading the bible.  One of her favorite verses was Psalms 106:1. This verse states:  Praise the Lord.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. She loved this verse and after her passing, I realized important it was to her.  She relied on God and knew His love did endure forever.

May you be thankful this season even though it may be a tough time of year.   Here are some things to consider to help you through this time:

  • Think of the sweet memories you have had.  
  • Remember the silly stories you share with others that love you and your spouse.
  • Perhaps burn a candle during this season in honor of them. 
  • Make a scrapbook of memories for yourself or your children.

Things have changed a lot for many people this year.  Not just because of a loss, but because of a pandemic, many will not be celebrating the holidays with their families which makes things more difficult.  Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to call your friends or loved ones to help pass the time.

Blessings to each of you during this time of year.  Remember, God is with you each minute of the day.   Hugs and prayers to you!!!

Faith and Assurance

 

Faith and Assurance

Do you struggle with your faith when going through a difficult time?  That may seem like an easy question as many of us do.   When we are really hurting, and wondering if God really cares, where is He?   Where does our faith come in?

If you are searching for scripture on faith and assurance, Hebrews is a great book in the New Testament of the Bible to read.  Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) reads:  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

It seems like even the smallest thing can throw us for a loop doesn’t it?  When we are down and out, it doesn’t take much.  However, with God’s help we can get through these tough times.   Hebrews 10:22 (NIV) reads:  Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

I know I often suggest that you/we reflect on our life in the past to focus on today and the future.  Several years ago I attended a coaching seminar.   One of the assignments towards the end of the seminar.   We were to share with our self as an 18 year old on what we have learned today and what was most important.  This was probable the most meaningful assignment I have done! 

One of the great things about reflecting back on our lives, is seeing where we have been, what we went through and how we can focus on the future.  Life is full of ups and downs.   Some of these are more difficult to go through than others.  Psalms 46:10 (NIV) reads:   Be still and know that I am God.  This promise is so great!   Just trusting God to help us get through the bad and the good.  

I love Rick Warren’s quote on faith.  He says:   Faith doesn’t always take you out of the problem, Faith takes you through the problem.  Faith doesn’t always take away the pain, Faith gives you the ability to handle the pain.  Faith doesn’t always take you out of the storm, Faith calms you in the midst of the storm.

While you are going through these tough times in our lives, remember to take note of a few things such as:

  • Pay attention to what pulls you down and what energizes you.
  • Take care of your health.
  • Exercise is always beneficial and relieves stress.
  • Due to lack of touch in your life, consider having a massage, a pedicure or a manicure.
  • Perhaps keeping a journal to help you express and understand what you are going through.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.   Remind yourself that those who love you really want to help.

Thank goodness for the promise we have in Christ.  I trust you believe in the promise and hope we have in Him.   Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) reads: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s blessing to each of you as you grow from your grief to where God would have you be.  

Encouragement During Difficult Times

 

ENCOURAGEMENT DURING DIFFICULT TIMES

In talking to many people, listening to the radio and TV, it is so easy to be lonely, discouraged or afraid.   We also tend to worry more about older friends, parents or the stress our children are going through especially if they have children they are helping with schooling at home.  Many are working from home and expected to help with the education of their children they normally do not have to do.

 It has been heavy on my heart that many are sad and lonely.  It’s not a big secret that the pandemic has had a lot to do with it.  What a year 2020 has been, not just here in the United Sates but around the world.   Then to top it off with it being an election year here in the United States which can add more stress typically along with a virus going on. 

What actually surprises me is, those who I have thought have had a lot of people in their lives, are just as lonely as those who have few.  Many people live alone and their phones rarely ring.    Those with lots of people in their lives, everyone thinks the ‘other’ person will call them.  I have to admit, that sometimes has been me.  However, as I am calling others, I’m truly listening to what they are saying.  With the pandemic and so many things being closed down or open as long as the weather is nice, effects how often they get together.  

Many of us have been in a place where we feel there is no hope.   Many of the great leaders of the Bible felt this way.   David cries out to God in Psalms 25 verses 16 – 21 (ESV Version) which reads:  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.  The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.  Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.  Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!  Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.  May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

May I suggest you make a list of those who you know who live alone, are in a nursing home or assisted living or are just normally very quiet and do not reach out to others.  It doesn’t mean they are not lonely, but may just want someone to talk to.  This doesn’t mean any of us have to be on the phone all the time.  Perhaps just call one person a day or every other day.  Or check with others who know the same people you do and divide the list.   Perhaps drop a card in the mail.

God is always on our side no matter what we are going through.  Part of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:20 (ESV Version) reads:  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  What an amazing promise even when we are going through times of loneliness!   Even though there have been changes in how we handle events at our places of worship, God is still with us and encourages us to help one another.

Even though things are tough and we get sad, remember God does provide.  Romans 8:28 (NIV Version) reads:  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  I understand we get worried on how we will handle things, but God promises us He is there for us.  

Probably one of my favorite passages in the scripture comes from the Old Testament and is well known by a lot of us.  It has such a promise of God being there for us each step of the way.  We just need to believe!  It is from Psalms 23 and is written by the profit David.  It reads:  1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  2He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  3He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.   6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Let me encourage you if you are feeling sad and lonely to reach out for help.   Give a friend a call or talk to your pastor, priest or rabbi. 

 

Blessings to each of you…

Acceptance of Changes

 

Acceptance of Changes

So many times in life, we find ourselves in a place where we need to accept what we cannot change.  Many times we all go through tough times, and need to think about how we handle these or accept the decisions we have made.  Each of us have made choices we are not necessarily proud of.   But what about the choices that are out of our control?

There are so many emotions that we go through when something happens in our life that we have no control over.   When we were first married, our hopes and dreams were so priceless and exciting.  Not everything was perfect by any means, but we enjoyed the good times and worked through those times that were not as we had planned……

The day came when everything changed….  We were no longer a couple….  How easy it was to be down and out and wonder how we were going to get through this new stage of life.  It was something we would have to accept.  But how were we going to do that?  One of the scriptures that stood out to me was Ecclesiastes 3:1 which reads:  For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.  Accepting that I could not change my ‘new’ life. 

So many questions, so many emotions, so many things to accept.  How does one get through this stage of life whether it is a loss of someone close, a disease, and loss of a job or a sick child?  One of my mother’s favorite scriptures was Psalms 103.  I particularly like the first few verses which reads:  Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

There are many things we need to accept in our new life no matter what they are…  Have you given any thought to how you may handle this?  What changes will you be making or have you made?  The acceptance of new friends or of old friends that have moved on?  The acceptance of perhaps selling your home and moving to a new community or state?  Relationships with family or in-laws?  Many of these are so real and difficult to accept.  However, remember God is always with you.   Psalms 46: 10-11 reminds us:  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, Iwill be exalted in the earth.”   The Lord Almighty is with us.

Life offers us lots of challenges.  How we accept these challenges makes a difference on how we heal and learn to enjoy life again.  Go easy on yourself!  I pray that God will help you through the changes you make in life.             

Blessings to each of you!

Perservance – Not always easy!

Oh to persevere……   I always think of it as accomplishing what I want to finish no matter what.   The Merriam Webster dictionary says perseverance means: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition:the action or condition or an instance of persevering :  STEADFASTNESS

What does perservance mean to you?  Can you look back and remember when you have preserved?  What were the circumstances?  Did you succeed or were you able to let go of what had happened and leave it go?   Was there a time when you had to get someone else involved to help you out?

Perhaps sometimes the hardest thing to do is ask for help…….  When we are first widowed, there are many things we need to learn how to do as they were things our husband did.  We often had to except the fact there were some things we just could not do.

Ironically in looking into what the Bible had to say about perseverance, the parable that kept coming up was the Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-8.   It reads:  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ”And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

How many times have we heard a sermon on this passage?  In scriptures, Jesus often talks about the widows and children. As widows, we are very important to Him and there are many scriptures on helping the widows. With that being said, while we are grieving, discouragement often sets in and we wonder how we are going to make it through life. How often have we felt as time goes on that no one cares, unless they have gone through what we have gone through!

There are injustices in life, but how do we overcome them?  We truly need to persevere and to rely on God to help us through these injustices.   We may also need to get counsel for some things.  The judge whom this widow had gone to time and again did not seem to care.  What about God?  What had he promised?   And would He fulfill His promise! Isaiah 54:4-5 reads: “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
God of all the earth. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.  You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.  For your Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth
.”

What a fabulous promise!  Sometimes reading this is almost too good to be true.  But if He says it, He will do it. God granted the widow at the well justice against her adversary.   He will do the same for you!  The widow was persistent enough to provoke the judge to grant her request.  Her persistence reflected faith, that her request would be granted. 

Do we have this kind of faith?  Are we able to persist with this kind of faith with God?  So often it is do difficult to truly believe that God is with us each step of the way.  My prayer is that you do or you have someone to help guide you along the way.

God has promised us in Philippians 4:6:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  If you are going through a tough time, this scripture may be difficult to accept.  On the flip side, if you have seen God work with you during those tough times, you know He is there for you.

My prayer for each of you reading this, is that you will allow God to help you persevere!

Becoming Independent

Becoming Independent…..

It seems with each of the major holidays, it causes me to reflect on what they are all about and what they mean.  Is there really any significance?  Am I reading too much into the holidays?   A lot has to do on how we were raised.  Many holidays have great meaning and others may not.
 
By nature, some of us are independent and some are not.  We are either followers or leaders.  It seems it is just who we are – neither is good or bad.   Some of it is a learned behavior based on our upbringing.  Some is based on events that have happened in our lives.   We all seem to go through highs and lows in our lives.  Many times we become who we are by the way we react to these events. 

However, it does seem if we have a lot of things going on in our lives that are negative. It is easy to fall into the category of being let down with no idea of how to crawl out of the lows of our life.   Many people do not have someone in their life to help them through the bad times.  Others believe that God will take care of all the bad and turn it into good.  Often times He does, but it isn’t necessarily in our timing.  I think of Mary and Martha who were so sad that their brother Lazarus had died.  Martha said to Jesus if He had been there, Lazarus wouldn’t have died.  John 11:35 reads: Jesus wept.  Jesus also loved Lazarus as did Mary and Martha.  However, Jesus was able to raise up Lazarus.   Jesus has the ability to heal all, but not all will be healed here on earth.  Our faith in Christ is that one day we will all be whole again – it may happen on earth or in heaven.  Jesus morns with us as we are hurting.  He understands us, but he sees the whole picture.

How have you reacted to your new independence?    We were so used to doing things as a couple and now we are making all of the decisions.   Has that been an easy thing for you?   If you have always been independent, it probably has been pretty easy. If it has been something you have had to work at, you may be finding that you are struggling making that decision.  It takes a while to get used to it.  When it comes to a big decision, often you will need to get a second opinion and that is a good thing. 

Please remember, there will always be times for a second opinion.  As you begin comfortable with your decision, you will become more comfortable with yourself and more independent. 

We will never forget our loves ones who have gone before us.  However, our hope is in Christ.   Our hope reads:  1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 19:  13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

So often it is easy to question others on their journey even if our journeys are similar.  If we are compassionate towards someone who is going through something we have, we understand what they are going through and feel their pain.  If we have pity on them, it’s not the same.  Pity is often a negative emotion and often empowers us to feel better than the other person.

Jesus had compassion on Mary and Martha and that is why he cried.  He had the ability to heal Lazarus,  but He knew this would be a teaching moment for them.  We need to remember God is always in charge.  Many times these teaching moments are lessons which cause us to learn to become independent and lean on Him. 

I trust as you learn to become more independent, you become more secure with who you are and your relationship with God.   Allow God to lead you to help others on their journey in life no matter what it is. 

May God’s blessings become real to you in your life!   May we all become confident in our lives to help others.   I also pray if things are tough for you, God will put someone in your path to help you along the way.

Blessings to each of you my friends…….

Ever changing Life

Ever Changing Life


When life throws you a curve, how do you handle it?  Or does it depend on how big the curve is?  We all go through many highs and lows in our lives.  However, some are higher and some are lower.  Many times we go through long stretches of life being pretty even which is great. 

So often our lives goes rather smoothly.   We grow up, attend college, get married or move away.  We find our job we want or think we want, and continue on with life as we have had planned.  We may have a few bumps in the road along the way.  Those little bumps seem to help us grow to make better choices along the way. 

Isn’t it amazing on how many things affect us along the way?  We try to figure out what is right for us and not just right for those who we are close to.  So many times family or close friends think we need to live our lives the way they do.   Often times they are correct but often times we need to decide what is best for us as individuals. 

It truly seems like we get blindsided when things are going along as planed and – boom – something crazy happens that we never dreamed would happen.   We bury someone we love, some may get divorced, and jobs may take us away from family.   We may lose our jobs due to the economy or cutbacks with our employer.  Our children may choose to become part of the military which takes them to scary places or we are unable to see them for a few years.  There are probably a lot more I could come up with.  Isaiah 41:10 reads:  Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Some things that affected since my teen years are:  When I was 16 when one of my sister-in-law’s was killed in a car accident.  Her husband (my brother) and their two daughters moved in with my parents and my younger sister and I.  I was 22 when my mom passed away and 26 when my dad died.  At the age of 46, my husband passed away from heart attack and died.   One of my sons was in the Army and spent four tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.  My daughter and her husband had a full term son that was still born.  This sounds like a lot – and I’m not denying it isn’t, but it was over 54 years so there was time to digest each event.  Perhaps you have gone through deep issues with an illness, surgery or a lengthy recovery from an illness.

With the ‘normal’ ups and downs of life, along with issues going on in the world such as unrest, disease, famine, the economy, war and unrest.  Many of these do not affect us personally but many do.   Life doesn’t seem fair sometimes does it?

There are a couple of scriptures that are dear to my heart during troubling times.  They are:  Psalm 50:15: Call to me in times of trouble.  I will save you, and you will honor me.  The other is:  Romans 15:4:  Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope.

The time in between each event, I was able to heal from that wound.  Even though each of these events were traumatic, some were more difficult to deal with than others.   Each of us processes things differently even though many parts of our journey are similar.  As you have gone through difficulties in your life, how have you reflected on what did or did not help you?  Some options of hope may be:
  • Meet with someone who has walked down your journey to see how they handled different situations.
  • What is your belief in God?  Do you have a faith that would help you sustain what you are going through?  
  • Talk with your clergy where you attend church.
  • If it is medical, speak with the hospital on who you can talk with.
  • What about your trusted friend?
  • Perhaps join a support group that helps with what you are going through.
  • I also recommend a counselor to help you through this difficult time.

Knowing when I trust that God is in control, it helps me get through many of these hurdles.  I love how He puts people in my life to help me through each stage I go through.  Does it seem less difficult, sometimes yes and sometimes no.  I know I have to rely on Him to figure it out.  Sometimes my choices are good and sometimes they are not.   But this I do know, when I rely on God and am patient, it always turns out better.

Please remember to be patient with yourself and take one step at a time!   Nothing seems to happen overnight! 

Blessings to you as you walk through each journey.  Remember it’s what we learn from both the good and sad times.

Appreciate what you have……..