Dealing With Loss During the Holidays

For some, you will experience your first Christmas without a loved one. Whether through death, divorce or distance you are dealing with loss. I want you to know that you are not alone.

I am reminded of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who on Christmas day, 1864, received word that his son, a soldier in the Civil War, had been wounded. Just two years before, Henry had lost his wife in a fire. As this devout Christian man sat alone with his grief, on the most joyful of Holy Days, he penned words of hope to challenge his own despair. He called his composition Christmas Bells. Little did he know that those words would someday be set to music and become a blessing to millions of people around the world.
If you are struggling to find peace in the midst of the holidays this song below and my dear friend Kelly’s story may comfort you.

Kelly lost her father at the tender age of 10. Following his loss she went through a long journey of pain, sadness and depression. None of us are immune from life’s tragedies and Kelly’s story of hope and strength in God – is a source of inspiration to me. Read it here!

Walk with the King!

Will You Choose Joy or Defeat?

Little eyes stare up at me, her head is hot and feverish and she’s thirsty. With her lamby lovie in one arm and her purple blanket in the other she heads to the couch to get some rest and drink from her sippie. I lay a cold wash cloth on her head and the dimple gleams for a moment “thank you mommy.” She chooses joy.

Little eyes stare up at me as he begs to play monopoly. Exhausted I answer, “Not tonight dear”. Son’s countenance falls…my heart feels heavy too – “go get the game.” We play, we laugh, we love. We choose joy.

Leader husband is weary…problems, troubles, burdens and cares bring hardship in his work. We cannot lift his burdens for him – he must carry them on his own. But he is not alone. Little hugs and kisses, cuddles and cards are made – he chooses joy.

How do we stand the hardships of life? How do we as weary moms and wives help those in our home as they face their own hardships? We have weary pilgrims in our house who need comfort, rest, love and a replenishing of spirits. We must role model defiant joy! We must choose joy and smile despite our feelings of defeat at times..

We have the power to bring joy to our entire family.

As I walked along outside in the cold last week – something beautiful caught my eye. My hydrangea was blooming – yes, it was nearly December in Ohio and one little bloom was fighting to survive. As a matter of fact it seemed defiant. In the midst of hardship, even snow – that bloom smiled and glistened in the November chill! Oh to be strong like this bloom. To be able to smile in the face of hardship.

We do have a choice – will you choose joy or defeat? On our own – we will be defeated. But when we walk with the King – Romans 8:37 tells us: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

As I grabbed my camera to capture this bloom with definat joy – it winked at me and whispered, “see me, I can rise up and sparkle in the sunshine despite the fact that I am surrounded by trouble and death. You can too!”

Walk with the King,

I Was a Recipient…

I was a recipient…of a random act of kindness!

Yesterday I was grocery shopping in Aldi with both kids. We were in the meat department and the children were buzzing around this poor woman like bees swarming a hive! I asked the children to please stand by the cart – so they did.

The woman smiled and said “it’s okay, I have 3 of my own, I know how hard it is.” I apologized and said “well, you are here without them so you deserve a moment of silence and not my kids bothering you. Enjoy your moment.” We both laughed and smiled and then I finished my grocery shopping.

When we got in line there was long row of poinsettas by the cash register being sold. This same woman happened to be in line in front of us and she continued to watch my interactions with the children and smile at me. And I watched her as she picked up one poinsetta after another. I admired them and said how beautiful they are.
She checked out. I checked out. And as I began to bag my groceries…she walked up to me with a poinsetta in hand and said “this poinsetta is for you. I can see that you sacrifice a lot for your children, you need to do more for yourself. You deserve this.”

I was floored, surprised and overwhelmed. A stranger is giving me this beautiful flower for no reason! I didn’t deserve it. I hadn’t done anything special to receive it. And there I stood holding a poinsetta – humbled by her words of praise.
I wanted to give her something in return – but I had nothing to give her (offering her some bagels or green beans didn’t seem appropriate! lol!) So I received her gift and out the door she went and the children began asking 100 questions: “Why did she give it? Do you know her? What did she say?…” I just smiled from ear to ear and said, “She’s a kind woman, we need to be like her.”
When Jesus sent his disciples out in Matthew 10:8 he commanded them “Freely you have received, now freely give.” This poinsetta whispers this verse to me. I did nothing to receive it. I received it freely.
This holiday season, you have received the love of Jesus freely. Now we must give it away. It starts with a smile, a kind word, a hug, maybe even a gift. Not just to those you truly do love in your family and friends – but even to strangers. Freely give the love of Jesus to everyone around you!
Hebrews 13:1,2 says “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Give a random act of kindness today! Who knows as Hebrews 13: 2 says, you may even bless an angel!

Walk with the King!

Video Blog: How To Deal With Difficult People

Don’t forget to pause the music on the sidebar!

“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.” – Saint Francis de Sales

Walk with the King!