tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-33826292641751271672019-09-13T06:14:46.881-04:00Widow’s Christian PlaceYou're not alone. Here's a safe place, a growing place, a way out of the shadows of grief . . . This blog provides resources and Biblical direction for helping you trust Jesus through one of life's most difficult challenges.Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.comBlogger1652125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-26944707328550932992019-08-19T08:00:00.000-04:002019-08-19T08:00:07.932-04:00You Are LovedI need this reminder today, how about you?&nbsp; Keep looking up! 💗<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8an85834jYs/XVn_WBi8PpI/AAAAAAAAHD8/F43yW_AG6O4Iiqq7DXEqoChvbbXxFY-PgCLcBGAs/s1600/68658861_10220150732299572_5485828518770114560_o.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="888" data-original-width="843" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8an85834jYs/XVn_WBi8PpI/AAAAAAAAHD8/F43yW_AG6O4Iiqq7DXEqoChvbbXxFY-PgCLcBGAs/s320/68658861_10220150732299572_5485828518770114560_o.jpg" width="303" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">photo courtesy of Brooke Christian&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-9396390046119671602019-08-05T08:00:00.000-04:002019-08-05T08:00:01.133-04:00Unexpected Blessing from an Unwanted EncounterFrom Nancy in Washington state:<br /><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Widow Blessings~</span><br style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">During Grief Share 2 years ago one of the assistant facilitators came up to me and said, "Nancy I want to be your friend." She hands me her number, and shockingly at the same time in private she "confessed" that when she first met me she DIDN'T LIKE ME!&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">I thought, that's COOL-- I didn't like me either when I entered the class! lol.</span><br /><br style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;" /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">She was a widow and has since remarried and we don't visit much as she is a newlywed. I reached out a couple weeks ago and thought I would a</span><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">sk her to lunch. We set a date for yesterday.&nbsp;</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">My confession, as the date came closer was&nbsp;&nbsp;<i>I SO DIDN'T WANT TO GO.</i>&nbsp;No real reason but I prayed "Lord, forgive my selfish heart," and in obedience I went.&nbsp;</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br />We greeted each other and ordered and chatted and even giggled a while. Then she gently touches my arm and confesses, "NANCY I told my husband I didn't want to come to lunch with you."&nbsp;</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">She just felt like staying home gardening. I put my hand over my mouth--literally--when she finished.</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">I said <i>NEITHER DID I&nbsp;</i>!!!!!!!!&nbsp;</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">WE LAUGHED SOOOOOOO HARD! And we both agreed AREN'T WE GLAD WE DID SOMETHING WE DIDN'T WANT TO DO!&nbsp;</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Confessions between Friends&nbsp;<span class="_5mfr" style="font-family: inherit; margin: 0px 1px;"><span class="_6qdm" style="background-image: url(&quot;https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/tf1/1.5/16/1f49e.png&quot;); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: contain; color: transparent; display: inline-block; font-family: inherit; font-size: 16px; height: 16px; text-shadow: none; vertical-align: text-bottom; width: 16px;">💞</span></span>&nbsp;continues to Bless. The Lord Blessed our visit in soooooo many beautiful ways. Even though she has remarried we will always be friends!</span><br /><span class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br />SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA DO WHAT YOU MAY NOT WANT TO DO!!!!!!!<span class="_5mfr" style="font-family: inherit; margin: 0px 1px;"><span class="_6qdm" style="background-image: url(&quot;https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/tf1/1.5/16/1f49e.png&quot;); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: contain; color: transparent; display: inline-block; font-family: inherit; font-size: 16px; height: 16px; text-shadow: none; vertical-align: text-bottom; width: 16px;">💞</span></span></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5ob6FEWtV34/TEC6_0GHKxI/AAAAAAAAA4Y/-RShRtazpjsfNuYQwCiR5u_Hci_YO23ggCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/bible%2Bverse.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="375" data-original-width="500" height="240" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5ob6FEWtV34/TEC6_0GHKxI/AAAAAAAAA4Y/-RShRtazpjsfNuYQwCiR5u_Hci_YO23ggCPcBGAYYCw/s320/bible%2Bverse.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-66062167477633659362019-07-04T08:36:00.001-04:002019-07-04T08:36:32.585-04:00 A Perfectly-Timed Reminder of God's Presence <div style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px;">A reminder of God's faithfulness ... My friend Becky posted this on Facebook yesterday, July 3rd.&nbsp;</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px;">Six years ago today...SIX YEARS and my God has not once left me wanting or alone.&nbsp;</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px;">How am I reminded of this? On the ground, once again this morning, I saw a feather (His constant, personal, perfectly-timed visual reminder just for ME).&nbsp;</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px;">Shortly after Walt passed, I was overcome with such sadness, overwhelmed at the thought of moving forward alone, without my helpmate and best friend. The emotional burden paled by the even more demanding physical burdens of the farm, the liv<span class="text_exposed_show" style="display: inline; font-family: inherit;">estock chores, our kids’ schedules, my teaching job, the new house we were in the midst of building, and the maintenance and upkeep of it all.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px;"><span class="text_exposed_show" style="display: inline; font-family: inherit;">Through my tears as I carried heavy buckets of feed and water to the livestock that morning, I saw it for the first time. A feather in my path. A needed and clear reminder that in my fear, I am loved and cared for by a God who didn’t want me to worry how I would possibly manage it all, but to never forget that if He chooses to feed and care for the birds of the air, wouldn’t He also take care of me?&nbsp;</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px;"><span class="text_exposed_show" style="display: inline; font-family: inherit;">Since that day nearly six years ago, I’ve collected numerous reminders; each feather highly significant and specific to the day’s burden. What a relief to find true refuge under His protective wings as I am reminded consistently of the magnitude and depth of His love!</span></div><div class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><div style="font-family: inherit; margin-bottom: 6px;">Matthew 6:25-27<br />Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8idDxdcc3So/XR3uKQQpuJI/AAAAAAAAHAM/WMyHLPK6jJoPeQTrNInCoDzQ56WciWRTQCLcBGAs/s1600/feather%2BBecky%2BCopas-Chitty%2Bon%2Bfacebook.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="720" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8idDxdcc3So/XR3uKQQpuJI/AAAAAAAAHAM/WMyHLPK6jJoPeQTrNInCoDzQ56WciWRTQCLcBGAs/s320/feather%2BBecky%2BCopas-Chitty%2Bon%2Bfacebook.jpg" width="240" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">copyright 2019 by Becky Copas-Chitty</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">PS. This would be a very good devotional reading for your widows group. Pick up a bag of feathers from a craft store for each lady to take home. She could place it in a vase, use it as bookmark, or add it to her own collection of the perfectly-timed and tailored-just-right for us reminders we receive from the Lord. 💓 ferree</div><div style="font-family: inherit; margin-bottom: 6px;"><br /></div></div>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-43290789199635644832019-06-17T08:00:00.000-04:002019-06-17T08:00:00.611-04:00Where's Life Going for You?<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-t8qbd_6p05I/THuumQ6GOLI/AAAAAAAAA9g/eVQpLEP9g5kdpnIkbOOF3CdPaecoojXuACPcBGAYYCw/s1600/PICT0001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="240" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-t8qbd_6p05I/THuumQ6GOLI/AAAAAAAAA9g/eVQpLEP9g5kdpnIkbOOF3CdPaecoojXuACPcBGAYYCw/s320/PICT0001.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Is a new day dawning,,, or is darkness descending....</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">A friend recently sent me this. It was so timely for me personally, and her italics helped me read it with meaning. I thought someone out there might be touched by it too...</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">C.H. Spurgeon was a well-known preacher of the 1800's.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">FROM SPURGEON'S "MORNING" June 1 <br /><i>"The evening and the morning were the first day."</i>—Genesis 1:5.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><br /></span></div><!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"/> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"/> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"/> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"/></v:shapetype><v:shape id="Picture_x0020_2" o:spid="_x0000_s1026" type="#_x0000_t75" alt="http://www.romans45.org/images/w.gif" style='position:absolute; margin-left:0;margin-top:0;width:1in;height:57pt;z-index:251659264; visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square;mso-width-percent:0; mso-height-percent:0;mso-wrap-distance-left:0;mso-wrap-distance-top:0; mso-wrap-distance-right:0;mso-wrap-distance-bottom:0; mso-position-horizontal:left;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical:absolute;mso-position-vertical-relative:line; mso-width-percent:0;mso-height-percent:0;mso-width-relative:page; mso-height-relative:page' o:allowoverlap="f"> <v:imagedata src="http://www.romans45.org/images/w.gif"/> <w:wrap type="square" anchory="line"/></v:shape><![endif]--><span style="font-size: 12.0pt;">Was it so even in the beginning? Did light and darkness divide the realm of time in the first day? Then little wonder is it if I have also changes in my circumstances from the sunshine of prosperity to the midnight of adversity. It will not always be the blaze of noon even in my soul concerns, I must expect at seasons to mourn the absence of my former joys, and seek my Beloved in the night. Nor am I alone in this, for all the Lord's beloved ones have had to sing the mingled song of judgment and of mercy, of trial and deliverance, of mourning and of delight. It is one of the arrangements of Divine providence that day and night shall not cease either in the spiritual or natural creation till we reach the land of which it is written, "there is no night there." What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good.</span><br /><span style="font-size: 12.0pt;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; mso-no-proof: yes;"><!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shape id="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" alt="http://www.romans45.org/images/indent.gif" style='width:22.8pt;height:.6pt;visibility:visible'> <v:imagedata src="http://www.romans45.org/images/indent.gif"/></v:shape><![endif]--></span><span style="font-size: 12.0pt;">What, then, my soul, is it best for thee to do? Learn first <i>to be content</i> with this divine order, and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good. Study next, to <i>make the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice.</i> Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset, sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth thy notes at all hours. <i>Believe that the night is as useful as the day.</i> The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise shine forth gloriously amid the darkness of grief. <i>Continue thy service</i> under all changes. If in the day thy watchword be <i>labour,</i> at night exchange it for <i>watch.</i> Every hour has its duty, do thou continue in thy calling as the Lord's servant until He shall suddenly appear in His glory. My soul, thine evening of old age and death is drawing near, dread it not, for it is part of the day; and the Lord has said, "I will cover him all the day long."<o:p></o:p></span><br /><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-80714882267490142932019-06-10T08:00:00.000-04:002019-06-10T08:00:00.268-04:00A Prayer for Boys Without Fathers on Father's Day<span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">Dear Lord,</span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">I'm not saying that daughters are easier to raise, but there's a certain heartache when I think about boys without fathers. There are way too many of them, for a variety of reasons, but today I bring the widows' sons to you, my own included, even though he's an adult now and I'm remarried.</span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">Help me cling to you, Lord. To put my hope in you for your mercy and grace on our sons. Whether they turn to you and draw close to you as their father God, or whether they&nbsp;turn to the world as prodigals, help us turn our burdens for them over to you, in full faith of your love and faithfulness. </span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; border-bottom-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-image-outset: 0; border-image-repeat: stretch; border-image-slice: 100%; border-image-source: none; border-image-width: 1; border-left-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-left-style: solid; border-left-width: 1px; border-right-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-right-style: solid; border-right-width: 1px; border-top-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-top-style: solid; border-top-width: 1px; color: #333333; float: right; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 12.93px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; padding-bottom: 4px; padding-left: 4px; padding-right: 4px; padding-top: 4px; text-align: right; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><tbody style="border-bottom-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-bottom-style: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-image-outset: 0; border-image-repeat: stretch; border-image-slice: 100%; border-image-source: none; border-image-width: 1; border-left-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-left-style: none; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-right-style: none; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-top-style: none; border-top-width: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><tr style="border-bottom-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-bottom-style: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-image-outset: 0; border-image-repeat: stretch; border-image-slice: 100%; border-image-source: none; border-image-width: 1; border-left-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-left-style: none; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-right-style: none; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-top-style: none; border-top-width: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sywHbrvL1SQ/UBPOyZ-GdeI/AAAAAAAAB0M/pow89JKIA54/s1600/Mother-and-Son-xx-Fritz-Zuber-Buhler.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="color: #225588; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sywHbrvL1SQ/UBPOyZ-GdeI/AAAAAAAAB0M/pow89JKIA54/s320/Mother-and-Son-xx-Fritz-Zuber-Buhler.jpg" style="border-bottom-color: rgb(34, 85, 136); border-bottom-style: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-image-outset: 0; border-image-repeat: stretch; border-image-slice: 100%; border-image-source: none; border-image-width: 1; border-left-color: rgb(34, 85, 136); border-left-style: none; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-color: rgb(34, 85, 136); border-right-style: none; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-color: rgb(34, 85, 136); border-top-style: none; border-top-width: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" width="262" /></a></td></tr><tr style="border-bottom-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-bottom-style: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-image-outset: 0; border-image-repeat: stretch; border-image-slice: 100%; border-image-source: none; border-image-width: 1; border-left-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-left-style: none; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-right-style: none; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-top-style: none; border-top-width: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><td class="tr-caption" style="font-size: 10.33px; text-align: center;">Fritz Zuber Buhler (1822-1896)</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">Let us know you as the one who promised, "my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30) </span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">Let us realize that you are aware of their situation and unwilling that any should perish. Quicken the inner man of our sons to make them alive in Christ. Draw them to yourself, strengthen them to desire you and to choose to obey you.</span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">Help us as mothers to walk in obedience to you, to model a growing love for you and a desire to serve you with delight rather than a list of demands. Help us know the difference between your commands which bring life, and Pharisee-like demands which drain life.</span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">Lord, too often the men who would be so helpful to our boys are either too blind or too busy to see how our sons need them. It hurts to see our sons so neglected by the church and our families. We ask, we suggest, and then give up; they don't understand what a painful effort it is to ask. Nor how discouraging it is when promises and good intentions aren't kept. We do notice, we are hurt, and our sons are very wounded by the disappointment and added grief of neglect and disinterest. Strengthen us and move on our behalf. If they still don't budge, help us forgive them, and cause your Holy Spirit to fill in this gap for our sons. </span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">Lord, you are my defender! You are a father to the fatherless! You daily bear my burdens! Give me faith to believe those promises! </span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">I cover this in Jesus name,</span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">Amen</span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #333333; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br /><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><em><strong><span style="color: #134f5c;">A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,<br /><span class="indent-1"><span class="indent-1-breaks"> </span><span class="text Ps-68-5">is God in his holy dwelling.</span></span><br />Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,<br /><span class="indent-1"><span class="indent-1-breaks"> </span><span class="text Ps-68-19">who daily bears our burdens</span></span></span></strong></em></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span class="indent-1"><span class="text Ps-68-19"><em><strong><span style="color: #134f5c;">Psalm 68:5, 19 (NIV)</span></strong></em></span></span></div><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-90913998226037399162019-06-03T08:00:00.000-04:002019-06-03T08:00:00.367-04:00For the Month of June: Father's Day Focus<div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">When Father’s Day rolls around every June it’s a secret struggle for most widows and for me too. For years I’ve tried to avoid thinking about it too much. My own father, my two fathers-in-law, my husband (I’m remarried), and my son who’s now a father will all receive their due. I love them all dearly and rejoice they are in my life! But there’s one person whose absence is always on the landscape of my heart. I don’t grieve anymore, but I still miss my first husband Bruce, the father of my children. My husband, Tom, understands. He was widowed too, and Mother’s Day holds the same for him.&nbsp;</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are two holidays that put a painful divide between the “haves” and the “have nots.” Those who don’t have parents, or spouses or the opportunity to be mothers and fathers buckle up and endure the day. The “haves” gather together, telephone, or send cards and gifts to their loved ones, and well they should. Life is precious and love expresses itself through these holidays. But for those who have lost loved ones it’s complicated. If you’re one of the “haves” and one of the “have nots” at the same time the turmoil isn’t easy to describe, explain, express or resolve.&nbsp;</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Father’s Day is hard enough for adults; how hard must it be for the children? I recently heard that many people who don’t believe in God happen to have a painful experience like the death of someone they loved in their past. My own children bear that out and my heart has broken innumerable times for them.&nbsp;</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">When I was widowed I had no guidance about my children and no widows my age to compare notes with. I didn’t know what my widow friend Myra wisely told me years later, “In saving your kids, you save yourself.” Her husband died of a massive heart attack on Christmas Eve when their two daughters were ages five and seven. Now, almost 20 years later, a close-knit family with added sons-in-law and good memories has emerged.&nbsp;</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">If you’re more like me than Myra, though, if you’ve had some parenting failures because of grief and the pressures of widowhood, remember it’s never too late to start doing right. Let’s use Father’s Day as a time to start over. Although it's a day that can really sting, ignoring it doesn’t do any good. It'll come again next year. What our children need more than two parents is one parent who loves them enough to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They don’t need a parent who holds back, passive, indecisive, or lets nature take its course. Consider parenting as a full time commitment to seeing that Christ is formed in our offspring.</span><span style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp; </span></span><span style="font-family: Calibri;">The apostle Paul shows us how to do this in I Thessalonians 2:7 – 12. He described himself as gentle as a mother caring for young children and as encouraging as a father. He had a goal that his “children” would learn to live “worthy of God.” I never thought to have a goal for my children when I was widowed. Have you?&nbsp;</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Even if your children are now adults, remember it’s not too late. Everyone needs someone watching out for them, someone who’s on their side, and has tangible and worthy goals for them. We all need to be treated gently and encouraged no matter what our age.&nbsp;</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3EhQGGZJFvc/WTr0hon1AHI/AAAAAAAAFwA/sdJjezTb7JQaxMj7a6Jyishh5pEE3ZhHgCLcB/s1600/swing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; color: #225588; float: right; margin-bottom: 12.93px; margin-left: 12.93px;"><img border="0" data-original-height="345" data-original-width="500" height="137" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3EhQGGZJFvc/WTr0hon1AHI/AAAAAAAAFwA/sdJjezTb7JQaxMj7a6Jyishh5pEE3ZhHgCLcB/s200/swing.jpg" style="border-bottom-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-image-outset: 0; border-image-repeat: stretch; border-image-slice: 100%; border-image-source: none; border-image-width: 1; border-left-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-left-style: solid; border-left-width: 1px; border-right-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-right-style: solid; border-right-width: 1px; border-top-color: rgb(187, 187, 187); border-top-style: solid; border-top-width: 1px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 4px; padding-left: 4px; padding-right: 4px; padding-top: 4px;" width="200" /></a><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Looking back, I wish I had made an annual event of Father's Day. Instead of ignoring it, I could have done something with my kids. It’s a natural opportunity to get the children to talk about how they’re doing and to learn more about their father and their heritage. Acknowledging the day with a prayer will help. A small gift or a treat like their father’s favorite dessert might be good. Share some memories and funny stories. A visit with other family members or an activity that will take up the whole day, create some fresh, fun memories, and wear everyone out enough for a good night's sleep is also a good option.&nbsp;</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Don’t try to be blind to the day or avoid talking about the person. Don’t try to compensate and make up for their absence with money or extravagant, unusual privileges. Don’t be so absorbed in your own pity that you’re unaware of how your children are feeling. Don’t think that a new husband will solve all your problems, only God can do that. Instead, make Father’s Day a time to bless your family with what would have pleased their father.</span><span style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;"> &nbsp;</span></span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Watch out for signs that your children are struggling. They should cry but it probably won’t be as often as you do. Younger ones might cry one minute and run out to play the next; I’ve been told that’s normal. Later on as they age they will need to talk and think about their father. Hospice or children’s services in your area might offer a “Grief Camp” day camp for children. Find out about it and consider using it. They will meet other kids whose parent has died and they’ll do helpful activities on a child’s level. It’s good for widows to know they’re not alone, and it’s good for children to meet other children and realize they’re not the only ones either.</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Older children and teens who refuse to talk or cry should meet with a wise, godly person or a professional counselor regularly. I recommend about six weeks at first, and then for a few follow-up visits every year for the next few years. Interview the counsellor before you send your child and make sure you agree with their methods. Family or group counselling might be an excellent option too.</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">If your child or teen’s behavior changes for the worse, if their school work slips, if they seem depressed, or if they take on an angry, rebellious, or hateful attitude (even a few years after the death) you will also need to find counsel. If they won’t cooperate, then you should seek help for yourself in how to handle them. This can be a frightening journey so make sure you are also seeking God’s help first and He will lead you to the right people.&nbsp;</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Cling to these truths: 1. Nothing is impossible with God, not even raising children alone. 2. In Christ we do not have to grieve as the world does; we have true hope, grief doesn’t have to last forever. 3. We will change even if we try not to, so let’s follow God and make it a change for the better.&nbsp;</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">Let’s make Father’s Day the day we get back to mothering.*</span></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><span style="color: #005500;"></span> <div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Brush Script MT&quot;; font-size: 22pt; line-height: 115%; margin: 0px;"><span style="color: black;">❤ferree</span></span></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><i><span style="color: #45818e;"> P.S. I'll be away from the Internet and&nbsp;won't be able reply to comments for the next few weeks. Please be sure to subscribe to this blog so it comes straight to your inbox and you never miss a post, OK? Also, please visit the friends in my blog roll and see what God is doing in their lives on this journey called widowhood.</span></i> <span style="color: red; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">♥</span></div></span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 13px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">* also printed in <i>Just Plain Values</i> magazine, June, 2017. Copyright 2017 Ferree Hardy.</div></span><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-69290725564881268572019-05-27T16:53:00.001-04:002019-05-27T16:53:55.887-04:00Some friends saw what I posted about Memorial Day and my being so far away from the cemetery. Look at what they went out and did!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Pl0NfVl3IAw/XOxN4-HS3PI/AAAAAAAAG78/jKoLy6BYEewQcvSLnXVYKAi9I8_NM6WewCLcBGAs/s1600/bruce%2527s%2Bgravestone%2Bwith%2Bflowers%2Bplanted%2Bby%2Bpam%2Band%2Btim.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="240" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Pl0NfVl3IAw/XOxN4-HS3PI/AAAAAAAAG78/jKoLy6BYEewQcvSLnXVYKAi9I8_NM6WewCLcBGAs/s320/bruce%2527s%2Bgravestone%2Bwith%2Bflowers%2Bplanted%2Bby%2Bpam%2Band%2Btim.png" width="320" /></a></div><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-89363070832866469422019-05-27T09:00:00.000-04:002019-05-27T09:00:06.274-04:00Memorial weekend...<span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Memorial weekend...</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">I wish I could plant flowers at my husband Bruce's grave.</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">I wish I could plant them at Marilyn Hardy's too. And my mom's and grandparents.&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">I wish we could visit their cemeteries often.&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">But I live a 10 hour drive (at least)-- away from them all.</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">And I'm so grateful for the military people who are honored on this weekend. That's the right thing to do.&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Yet, if you're like me, you have your own "fallen heroes" too and you have many wishes and sighs and that tightness in your throat...</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-i7CmBCULGHU/TdljGxBIAZI/AAAAAAAABSo/39AU4L7imtUVdzNSp_0k-EtIhNqy7BgsQCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/0420-0908-1811-5210_army_bugler_playing_taps_in_front_of_headstones_at_arlington_national_cemetery_m.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="426" data-original-width="640" height="213" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-i7CmBCULGHU/TdljGxBIAZI/AAAAAAAABSo/39AU4L7imtUVdzNSp_0k-EtIhNqy7BgsQCPcBGAYYCw/s320/0420-0908-1811-5210_army_bugler_playing_taps_in_front_of_headstones_at_arlington_national_cemetery_m.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><span style="background-color: white; color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-72919622721900751322019-05-20T09:00:00.000-04:002019-06-02T14:45:44.525-04:00Learning the Single LifeDear Ones, I just feel led to repost this today, maybe it's for you or someone you know...<br /><br />I know that no one wants to admit this about being single and lonely-- I sure didn't--the word is Vulnerable.<br /><div class="_6a" style="text-align: left;">I preferred to think I was strong and independent, and I was, but I was sort of blind-sided by how extremely vulnerable and sensitive I was when widowed and single.<br />What I found when I first started dating was best described as this: I was in the habit of loving a man for 22 years, so I attached myself emotionally to the first one who came along, and then the next one, and on and on.<br /><br />Finally I realized this, and you maybe you're like this too: <br /><br />I'd been a really good wife---<br />I knew how to love, help and be compatible---I'd make a great wife for just about any man.<br />But NOT just any man would be a good husband for me.&nbsp;</div><div class="_6a"><br />Widowhood is hard.<br />Being single is lonely, I totally understand.&nbsp;</div><div class="_6a"><div class="_6a _6b" style="height: 40px;">But jumping into a bad marriage is worse than being widowed.<br />Guard your heart and your children! Don't rush. Don't force God's timing. If God wants you to be remarried, you'll be remarried. The right man is worth the wait.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div></div></div>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-12090108061463754172019-05-06T08:00:00.000-04:002019-05-06T08:00:02.015-04:00What?'s the Difference Between Grieving and Self-PityI've been getting newsletters from Georgia Shaffer since I met her at A Widow's Journey Retreat in March. This article was recent and seemed so helpful I asked her if I could reprint it and she graciously agreed. If you'd like to get her newsletters too, plus many other helps she offers, please visit <a href="https://georgiashaffer.com/">her website</a>. Sign up for the "40 Questions to Clarify - What's Most Important to You" and that will put you on the email list.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Brush Script MT&quot;; line-height: 115%; margin: 0px;">❤<span style="font-size: large;">ferree</span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">What’s the Difference Between Grieving and Self-Pity?<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span></span></b></div><div style="text-align: center;">by <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">Georgia Shaffer</span></b></div><div style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><a href="http://www.georgiashaffer.com/">www.GeorgiaShaffer.com</a></span></b></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">Someone recently asked me, “How do I know if I’m stuck in self-pity or grieving?”</span></span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"></span><br /><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">It may appear as if you’re having a pity party after a devastating loss, but it’s normal to withdraw and lick your wounds. You want to curl up in a corner somewhere or go to bed and pull the covers over your head. You wrestle with God asking honest questions: “Why did this happen?” “Why now?” and “When will this end?” You might have moments of believing you’re the only one suffering. </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">Self-pity and grief can overlap, especially after the shock and numbness of loss wears off.</span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">Grieving is about protesting the pain, feeling all the emotions, and slowly working through your anger, sadness, guilt, shame or frustration. It takes time to recognize, name and own your feelings. It takes time to talk and journal about what you’re experiencing.<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span></span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">In contrast to grief, with self-pity you <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">excessively dwell</i> on yourself and your sorrows. There comes a point when you need to refocus on something or someone other than your own pain. A time when you realize other people have accidents, have lost a loved one or faced the loss of their home after a tornado or fire.<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">In unhealthy self-pity you keep seeing yourself as a victim and the only person genuinely suffering.&nbsp;As Rich Exley wrote, “We can hug our hurts and make a shrine out of our sorrows or we can offer them to God as a sacrifice of praise.&nbsp;The choice is ours.”&nbsp;<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span></span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">Self-pity is when you refuse to see the little things you can be grateful for, even in the midst of the pain. Self-pity is rejecting the idea that others face challenges and hurt deeply. Self-pity is resisting the thought that one day God can bring something good of what is terrible.<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span></span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">On the other hand, self-pity is not whitewashing your misfortune with comments like “It’s all good.” Or comparing your pain to someone else’s and deciding you should not grieve.<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span></span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 72px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">Your pain is your pain.<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span>Recognize it rather than pretend it does not exist. For example, Annie was waiting at a red light when someone behind her failed to stop and pushed her car into the car in front of her.<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span>Her car was totaled, and she ached all over. When I saw her five days later, she told me about the accident, but she also wanted me to know the blessings she’d received. She told me her husband was in town close by, which was unusual during the workweek, and he immediately came to the accident. “My friends have pampered me with their time and attention,” she said. “It’s a huge disappointment because I really liked my car. It’s also a real inconvenience, but I’m dealing with it as best I can.” Annie is honestly dealing with her feelings of loss.</span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">In contrast, Whitney is not. Three years after Whitney’s husband walked out on her and their two children, she continues to be bitter and self-focused. When one friend mentioned that a mutual friend’s husband was dying of cancer, Whitney barely acknowledged the news. Immediately she shared all that she and the children have faced and their latest challenges. Referring to their mutual friend, Whitney finally said, “Well, at least she wasn’t rejected by her husband and left financially destitute.”</span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">Recently I lamented to a friend about how upset I was about a difficult situation in my family. I did what I normally do. I beat myself up for feeling sad and said, “I realize I have so much to be grateful for. Besides things could be much worse.”<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span></span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="background: white; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="background: white; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">"Yes, it could be worse, but remember what you told me after my husband died? I was afraid I was complaining about my circumstances too much and stuck in self-pity. You reminded me that my pain was my pain. It was okay to feel bad.&nbsp;Acknowledging the hurt was the only way I could get to the place of accepting what had happened."&nbsp;</span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="background: white; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin: 0in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="background: white; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">Don’t you love it when someone throws your words back at you? But she was right. My pain was my pain, and it was real. I wasn't to wallow in it and dwell on it. Instead, I needed to acknowledge it, grieve what happened and come to terms with it.&nbsp;I’m still working through the sadness and anger, but one day I will reach a place of acceptance. Some people might think I’m focused only on my sorrows, but I know I’m grieving.<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span></span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;">Scripture: </span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; margin: 0px;"><span style="background: white; color: #001320; font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;sans-serif&quot;; margin: 0px;">“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 ESV).</span></span><br /><br /></div>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-69056201251050097412019-05-04T14:26:00.001-04:002019-05-04T14:32:09.671-04:00Dancing On My Ashes I The StoryMy friend Donna in Missouri got to meet Heather Gilion at a<br />LIVE FREE event last night.<br />I wish I'd been there!<br /><br /><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qr3bRtVB_RI" width="480"></iframe>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-10400631300535496112019-04-29T08:00:00.000-04:002019-04-29T08:00:02.361-04:00Carrying the crossGood morning, anniversaries can be really hard,&nbsp; can't they? My friend Carrie wrote the following last year on this anniversary of her husband's home-going day... and she carries her cross with joy, still today...<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">April 29, 2018</span></div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">Eight years has passed by with many tears and much grief, yet, God has sustained me with even more joy. When I think about how my life changed 8 years ago today...waking up on a beautiful spring morning having my day planned to go on a field trip with my daughter Quinci.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">I got the devastating phone call soon after, realizing I was a widow and would be raising my three little girls alone. My husband, their daddy was gone; in a blink of an eye, he was in heaven.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">Yet, God sustained me. Along side the Interstate crying and screaming, God sustained me.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">In my loneliness and darkest hour, God sustained me. He has never left my side one single time.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">God is still sustaining me. I woke up this morning in a much different way, next to my second husband. He's a loving and supportive man that has shared and loved me through the grief of my past.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">I am a different person than eight years ago. Life is so different now, full of much joy; yet grief is still there at times. I am loved well and because of Jesus and His healing power. I am healed and can face each day with joy.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">Joy is not simply a smile on the lips; it is peace in the heart as a result of our mind being continually kept on Christ.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: black; float: left; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-right: 1em; orphans: 2; padding: 6px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><tbody style="margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><tr style="margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><td style="text-align: center;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-T6hrVic5pZc/XMZU_m3HOiI/AAAAAAAAG4o/oV6YoKGgNjs3GKA-C0FR9sNBJhVIhjZUwCLcBGAs/s1600/carrie%2Bkistler%2Bcarrying%2Bcross.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="202" data-original-width="152" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-T6hrVic5pZc/XMZU_m3HOiI/AAAAAAAAG4o/oV6YoKGgNjs3GKA-C0FR9sNBJhVIhjZUwCLcBGAs/s1600/carrie%2Bkistler%2Bcarrying%2Bcross.jpg" /></a></div></td></tr><tr style="margin-bottom: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><td class="tr-caption" style="font-size: 12.8px; padding-top: 4px; text-align: center;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">April 2019</div></td></tr></tbody></table><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: black; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: Times New Roman; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">My friend Carrie had the unique privilege of being one of the people who carried this cross through the streets of her hometown. It reminds me to take up my cross too. And it reminds me of all my widow friends who each carry their own particular crosses. <br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Brush Script MT&quot;; line-height: 115%; margin: 0px;">❤ferree</span></div></span><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-58294774307695622802019-04-22T08:00:00.000-04:002019-04-22T08:00:02.454-04:00SAVE THE DATE: Fall 2019 events//Spring 2020 eventsOf course you can't go to all of these, but I love that we're getting some various locations! Midwest, South, and Northeast! These are all I know of so far, but please email me at WCplace@gmail.com if you know of others I should mention. Thanks!<br /><br />Oct. 18- 20&nbsp; A Life After Breath Experience - A Widow's Calling<br />Maranatha Conference Grounds, Oct. 18 - 20. More info will follow in May.<br /><br />Nov. 4 - 9 Widows Link Cruise:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PU2AM8Tfogo/XLH-ovL3_jI/AAAAAAAAG14/TxSMa4uHn9gFbsnbV5eFmsOBold-cumLgCLcBGAs/s1600/Widows%252BLink%252BCruise%252BFlyer%252B2018.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1294" data-original-width="1000" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PU2AM8Tfogo/XLH-ovL3_jI/AAAAAAAAG14/TxSMa4uHn9gFbsnbV5eFmsOBold-cumLgCLcBGAs/s320/Widows%252BLink%252BCruise%252BFlyer%252B2018.jpg" width="247" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Dec. 6-7, 2019 Florence, SC Weekend With the Author. (Tentative, more info will follow. <a href="/2015/12/a-weekend-to-remember.html">Click here </a>for more info)&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">March 6-8, 2020 Sandy Cove Ministry Center, North East, Maryland <a href="https://www.sandycove.org/events/widow-s-journey-march-6-8-2020/introduction/">Click here for the website.</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin: 0px;">March April 3 - 5, 2020&nbsp; Widows Link retreat in Springville, Alabama.</div>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-9781561980834195662019-04-17T17:08:00.001-04:002019-04-17T17:08:32.787-04:00This Easter...<span style="color: #38761d; font-size: large;"><b>How My Husband’s Death Changed <br />the Way I See Easter</b></span><br /><br /><div>My first spring after instant widowhood altered&nbsp;</div><div>my perspective on resurrection.</div><div class="article-featured-image" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #545454; font-family: Roboto; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin: auto; max-width: 1040px; orphans: 2; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: start; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><img alt="" class="attachment-full size-full wp-post-image" height="326" sizes="(max-width: 1040px) 100vw, 1040px" src="https://cdn2-www.familylife.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2018/03/how-my-husbands-death-changed-the-way-i-see-easter-1040x326.jpg" srcset="https://cdn2-www.familylife.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2018/03/how-my-husbands-death-changed-the-way-i-see-easter-1040x326.jpg 1040w, https://cdn2-www.familylife.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2018/03/how-my-husbands-death-changed-the-way-i-see-easter-1040x326-300x94.jpg 300w, https://cdn2-www.familylife.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2018/03/how-my-husbands-death-changed-the-way-i-see-easter-1040x326-768x241.jpg 768w, https://cdn1-www.familylife.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2018/03/how-my-husbands-death-changed-the-way-i-see-easter-1040x326-1024x321.jpg 1024w" style="border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; height: auto; margin: 0px; max-width: 100%; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;" width="1040" /></div><div class="article-author" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #545454; font-family: Roboto; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin: auto; max-width: 1040px; orphans: 2; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: right; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">By Sabrina Beasley McDonald</div><div class="article-content" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #545454; font-family: Roboto; font-size: 15px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin: auto; max-width: 1040px; orphans: 2; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: start; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><div class="at-above-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/holidays/featured-holidays/easter-and-lent/how-my-husbands-death-changed-the-way-i-see-easter/" style="border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"></div><div style="border-image: none; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 20px; vertical-align: baseline;"><i>"How many times in my Christian life have I heard that Jesus rose from the grave?"</i></div><div style="-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 20px; vertical-align: baseline;"><a href="https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/holidays/featured-holidays/easter-and-lent/how-my-husbands-death-changed-the-way-i-see-easter">Click here</a> for the full story at Family Life.com. It might change the way you see Easter too.</div><div style="-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 20px; vertical-align: baseline;">As for me, I don't remember any details about the first Easter after my husband died except that I bought a bag of peanut M&amp;M's. They were his favorite candy. All other memories are frozen behind a locked door in my mind. It was only 2 months or less after he died. It was agony--I could relate to this writer's experience. I had no warm fuzzy feelings about heaven, only cold sharp doubts. A hard lesson of faith is accepting what God has said and not judging it's reality by whether or not it agrees with my emotions.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 20px; vertical-align: baseline;">Yet, speaking of emotion, faith is also knowing that Jesus weeps with you at the graveside like he did at Lazarus' tomb. Hebrews tell us "...we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses… he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him..."</div><div style="-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 20px; vertical-align: baseline;">I want to get to know this side of my Savior this Easter. The ordinary and earthy side, the one who's heart could break. Triumphant?--ultimately yes. But for now I want to think about how he wept at his friend's grave. I wouldn't doubt that he still weeps at the grave of each of his friends (like your husband's and mine), and then --- because he understands and is able to sympathize with us --- and because he holds the power of life and death--- he patiently waits for each of us to look up and see him through our tears. He's alive!---and that's our personal Easter morning.&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 20px; vertical-align: baseline;">Blessings on you during these holy days, watch for him!<span style="color: #b00000;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 20px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="color: #b00000;">❤&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: &quot;Brush Script MT&quot;; font-size: 22pt; line-height: 115%; margin: 0px;"><span style="color: #444444;">ferree</span></span></div><div style="-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased; border: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: inherit; font-size: 15px; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 20px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <span style="color: #b00000;"></span></div></div><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-45216377101122008512019-04-15T08:00:00.000-04:002019-04-17T17:12:00.475-04:00How Often Do I Post Here at Widows Christian Place?Here's a question that came in my email. Others of you might wonder the same thing so I thought, "Why not? Let's turn it into a post because there are some good things to say about it."<br /><br /><b><span style="color: red;">Q. </span></b>Often do you post on your blog?<br /><span style="color: blue;"><b>A.</b> </span>I try to post every Monday but I don't always make it.<br /><br /><b><span style="color: red;">Q. </span></b>Why don't you always make it?<br /><span style="color: blue;"><b>A. </b></span>The main thing that prevents me is when I travel. Don't envy me, I don't mean travelling on luxury vacations. I can't get my kids to come to me so I have to go see them and they are scattered from coast to coast--literally. The closest are only 500 miles away in Delaware and Ohio, two other adult children are in Seattle, WA. My dad is in Wisconsin, and in-laws are in New York. And when I travel I get the cheap tickets with like only a carry-on so I pack real light and simply can't/won't take a laptop. My phone is really old so I don't use it for blogging or Facebook. So if I'm on the road or in the air I'm off the Internet. I also work as a school librarian for 30 hours a week. So I love blogging, but other stuff interferes.<br /><br /><b><span style="color: red;">Q. </span></b>How can your readers find answers to their questions if you're not always posting?<br /><b><span style="color: blue;">A. </span></b>There's a nifty device here on the main site (not on your email view). It's a search box. Enter any word you have a question about and it'll pull up everything I've got on it.<br />Here's a large print of what it looks like over on the sidebar:<br /><div class="widget Image" data-version="1" id="Image4"><div class="widget-content"><br /></div></div><div class="widget BlogSearch" data-version="1" id="BlogSearch1"><h2 class="title">1. Search for Keywords on This Blog</h2><div class="widget-content"><div id="BlogSearch1_form"><form action="/search" class="gsc-search-box" target="_top"><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="gsc-search-box"><tbody><tr><td class="gsc-input"><input autocomplete="off" class="gsc-input" name="q" size="10" title="search" type="text" value="" /> </td><td class="gsc-search-button"><input class="gsc-search-button" title="search" type="submit" value="Search" /> </td></tr></tbody></table></form></div></div><div class="clear"></div><br /><div class="clear"></div></div><div 2.="" can="" h2="" labels="" or="" search="" these="" you=""><div class="widget-content cloud-label-widget-content"><span style="color: #000013;">Play with it, it's kind of fun. Wonder about taking off your wedding ring, dating, or sleep problems? Enter any of those words! You may also search the labels and the archives but the search box is my personal favorite.</span></div></div><br /><b><span style="color: red;">Q. </span></b>How do I know when you've posted something new? I don't have time to be checking your blog every week to see if you have a new post.<br /><b><span style="color: blue;">A. </span></b>That's a wonder of technology too! I wouldn't want to have to keep checking either. So just subscribe and whenever something new comes up it goes straight to your email.<br />Use this box that's over in the sidebar of the main site (not your email view) and click the submit button.<br /><div class="widget FollowByEmail" data-version="1" id="FollowByEmail1" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #334455; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 16.16px; margin-left: 13px; margin-right: 13px; margin-top: 6.46px; orphans: 2; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><h2 class="title" style="border-bottom-color: rgb(34, 51, 68); border-bottom-style: dotted; border-bottom-width: 1px; color: #223344; font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot;,&quot;verdana&quot;,&quot;arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px 0px 6.46px; padding: 0px 0px 2.58px;">WidowsChristianPlace delivered</h2><h2 class="title" style="border-bottom-color: rgb(34, 51, 68); border-bottom-style: dotted; border-bottom-width: 1px; color: #223344; font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot;,&quot;verdana&quot;,&quot;arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px 0px 6.46px; padding: 0px 0px 2.58px;">&nbsp;straight to your Inbox! Just enter&nbsp;</h2><h2 class="title" style="border-bottom-color: rgb(34, 51, 68); border-bottom-style: dotted; border-bottom-width: 1px; color: #223344; font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot;,&quot;verdana&quot;,&quot;arial&quot;,sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px 0px 6.46px; padding: 0px 0px 2.58px;">your email address in this box.<table style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #334455; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; orphans: 2; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: 100%px; word-spacing: 0px;"><tbody style="background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #334455; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><tr style="background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #334455; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; 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background-size: auto; color: #334455; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" target="popupwindow"><table style="background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #334455; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; width: 100%px;"><tbody style="background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #334455; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><tr style="background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #334455; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"> <td style="background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-color: transparent; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position-x: 0%; background-position-y: 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; color: #334455; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-right: 1px; padding-top: 1px;"><div></div><div><span style="color: red; font-family: inherit;"><b><br /></b></span><span style="color: red; font-family: inherit;"><b>Q. </b></span><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;">Why do you keep saying "(not your email view)"?</span><br /><span style="color: blue; font-family: inherit;"><b>A.</b></span><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;"> When you subscribe and receive my posts as email you <i><b>don't </b></i>get the search features, comments, etc. BUT, you can easily access them by simply clicking on THE TITLE. Another wonder of technology! Click that title and you go straight to the blog site on the Internet and get all the extra features. &nbsp;</span><br /><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;"><br /></span><span style="color: red; font-family: inherit;"><b>Q.</b></span><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;"> But I really need a daily dose of encouragement. Are there any daily posts for grief or widowhood?</span><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;"><br /></span><br /><span style="color: blue; font-family: inherit;"><b>A.</b></span><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;"> Yes! I totally understand and I'm happy to mention some that have the staff on hand to publish daily. Go to <a href="http://griefshare.org/">GriefShare.org</a> and sign up for their daily emails. On Facebook sign up to follow my friends at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AWidowsMight/">AWidowsMight </a></span><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/AWidowsMight/">https://www.facebook.com/AWidowsMight/</a></span><br /><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;"><br /></span><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;"><br /></span><span style="color: black; font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></div></td></tr></tbody></table></form></div></div></div>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-3332323743804889472019-04-01T08:00:00.000-04:002019-04-01T08:00:11.268-04:00PRACTICAL TIPS FOR A WIDOWS GROUP<a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DMhvZ_JKDxc/TacK0ECvkRI/AAAAAAAABRI/FDuT9pVh-MkJtqtQyPMPKoxAxHsYhGD3QCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/springtime%2Bwalk.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="375" data-original-width="500" height="150" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DMhvZ_JKDxc/TacK0ECvkRI/AAAAAAAABRI/FDuT9pVh-MkJtqtQyPMPKoxAxHsYhGD3QCPcBGAYYCw/s200/springtime%2Bwalk.jpg" width="200" /></a><br />Here are a few tips that might help with your group. They might also prompt some of your good ideas. Would you share them with us? Enter them as a comment or email them to WCplace@gmail.com<br />💗&nbsp;&nbsp;<span style="font-family: &quot;Brush Script MT&quot;; font-size: 22pt;">ferree</span><br /><br /><br />PRACTICAL TIPS FOR A WIDOWS GROUP<br /><br /><br />* You can't fix the situation but you can encourage the woman.<br />* What’s said in the group stays in the group.<br />* Each group has its own personality.<br />* Over-invite. Many widows will back out at the last minute; don’t take it personally.<br />* Widowhood and grief are transitional times so in the long run, both you and your group will change and that’s a good thing.<br />* Facilitate, don’t dominate the discussions. Use open-ended questions, not questions with yes or no answers<br /><br />*Ask a question that is non-threatening such as:<br /><br /><ul><li>* How has someone shown a kindness to you recently or in the past</li><li>* How have you shown kindness to someone</li><li>* Have you traveled to an interesting place</li><li>* Is there a place you would like to visit</li><li>* Do you have a pet story</li><li>* Do you have a most embarrassing moment story</li><li>* Do you like to talk on the phone or prefer emails</li><li>* What is your favorite dinner or place to eat</li></ul><br />* Have fun! It’s OK to laugh!<br />* Call just to “chat” – it is an opening to hear their story and where they are in their grief<br />* Send notes to encourage or as a reminder that someone is thinking of them<br />* Don’t forget those widows that cannot get out – remember them with visits, cards, calls<br /><br />These were part of a workshop that Bebe Holland and I presented at A Widow's Journey Retreat on March 2.Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-68141450928837705432019-03-25T08:00:00.000-04:002019-03-25T08:00:05.295-04:00How to Start A Widow's GroupLast week I shared about the Naomi Ministry in Alban PA. Their group started when the Lord stirred the hearts of two widows to reach out to others. Is God stirring your heart too?<br /><br />I've heard from many of you that He is!<br /><br />Reaching out ideas and actions come in many forms:<br /><ul><li>A Mennonite widow in Virginia hosted a Valentines Dinner for widows in her new business venture, a café, and gave them a free, delicious meal along with an evening of heart-felt sharing and talent.</li><li>A church in the Pittsburgh PA area plans to host a Tea for Widows event, aiming for 50 to attend.</li><li>A twice-widowed woman I recently met leads a group of 192 widows at her church, and the church didn't seem too interested at first! But she told me that although she doesn't fight for many things, her experiences of walking alone and abandoned as a widow made her passionate that no other woman in her circle of influence will ever have to go it alone like she did! The church leaders seem to be listening now. 😅</li><li>"Book club" type groups use <a href="/p/bookstore-postcards-from-widows-path.html">Postcards from the Widows Path and its discussion guide</a>, (request the guide by emailing me at wcplace@gmail.com. I'll need your mailing address); or Miriam Neff's From One Widow to Another set of DVD's.&nbsp;</li><li>Other groups-- small, local groups of 4 - 12 women like mine in South Carolina or Bebe's in the Philadelphia area get together for lunch in homes or restaurants about once a month. Bebe always makes sure they have some good laughs by bringing along some silly stories and jokes. I start with a fun "ice-breaker" conversation starter, we eat and talk, and afterwards we have some "soul food" which is just a short devotional, a Psalm, or a reading from this blog or Facebook pertaining to widowhood and hope. Then we talk some more!</li><li>CEO--Caring for Each Other, is a local group that started with a widow's heart to help others back in 2012 in Kansas. It now reaches over 100 hurting people in their community, funded and fueled by God's grace. My friend Carmen has seen God supply their needs over and over again.</li></ul>There are others too! and I hope to tell you about them in the weeks to come. But back to the basic question---How to START?<br /><br />Pray! And pray about all these things:<br /><ul><li>Find the person(s) you can team up with.</li><li>Discern whether your group can be 1). a ministry of your local church (always the first choice, but not always possible), or if it will be 2). a home group, or 3). a community group that meets in a public place.&nbsp;</li><li>Talk about your purpose and outreach--what unique service will you provide? Fellowship and social and&nbsp; emotional support are legit! But you can also survey widows in the area or in your church to see what they actually want and if your ideas fit. This will help build a case for your church to be involved.</li><li>Decide how often to meet--(weekly, bi-weekly, monthly; a.m. or p.m.), what you will do, any costs involved. (I will mention resources in a future post).&nbsp;</li><li>Plan your first kick-off event and start inviting!&nbsp;</li></ul>For further detail and help go to Miriam Neff's website and this page: <a href="http://widowconnection.com/resources/how-to-start-a-widows-ministry/">How To Start A Widows Ministry</a>&nbsp; She has a wealth of information. You'll find a ready-made survey to download and a starter list for referrals of businesses to help widows in your locale. Search the rest of her website for 7 reasons why churches should have widows ministry and how to order her DVD's for starting a widows group.<br /><br />Let's do this!<br /><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;Brush Script MT&quot;; font-size: 22pt;">💗 ferree</span><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vQAI75Qwlx4/TacOyc9wjPI/AAAAAAAABRM/ucx2gKIBXvwVhEY2URlncNgWgq93jfp-gCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/hands-and-bible.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="282" data-original-width="425" height="212" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vQAI75Qwlx4/TacOyc9wjPI/AAAAAAAABRM/ucx2gKIBXvwVhEY2URlncNgWgq93jfp-gCPcBGAYYCw/s320/hands-and-bible.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-16138317904769992442019-03-18T08:00:00.000-04:002019-03-18T08:00:04.667-04:00Widows Group: Naomi's Ministry in Alban, PAGetting ready to kick-off into their second year of ministry, the Naomi's Ministry in Alban, PA continues to blossom and grow. Denise Sweeney sent me a description and some of the ways that she and co-leader Carol Eskridge get the word out about their weekly group.<br /><br />I'm delighted to share their ideas here so you can adapt them to start your own group at your church.<br /><br />First, the pictures, then follow through to see the good stuff Denise told me. (If you're viewing this on your phone and the photos don't show, try clicking on the title so you can get to the actual site).<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RdQT6eiI1vw/XI0v0JR6XdI/AAAAAAAAGyk/4hTIQkUyfFQrkINNZDvOlBGwHOxjvGYiACLcBGAs/s1600/Naomi%2Bministry%2Bin%2BPA%2B2019.1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="200" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RdQT6eiI1vw/XI0v0JR6XdI/AAAAAAAAGyk/4hTIQkUyfFQrkINNZDvOlBGwHOxjvGYiACLcBGAs/s200/Naomi%2Bministry%2Bin%2BPA%2B2019.1.jpg" width="150" /></a></div>&nbsp;This is their brochure. At the top you'll see:<br />*Naomi's Ministry (named after Naomi from the Book of Ruth in the Bible) *their mission statement in a nutshell--widows helping widows<br />At the bottom:<br />*the church name and address<br />On the back (not pictured):<br />*contact info for Carol and Denise with their names, phone #s and email addresses.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-f2NUaq_c9aM/XI0v82IMH5I/AAAAAAAAGys/m4M7fZYvoRMAnbc4iP8WIjzsRJceaE9QgCLcBGAs/s1600/Naomi%2Bministry%2Bin%2BPA%2B2019.2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="150" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-f2NUaq_c9aM/XI0v82IMH5I/AAAAAAAAGys/m4M7fZYvoRMAnbc4iP8WIjzsRJceaE9QgCLcBGAs/s200/Naomi%2Bministry%2Bin%2BPA%2B2019.2.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><br />Inside the brochure it says "As widows, we are on a journey that God has chosen for us. It's a difficult one, but God has told us in His Word that we are special to His heart." (II Corinthians 1:3-4&nbsp; and I Peter 5:10 are printed out in full in case you can't see it in my fuzzy photo).<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vLtNsfk0210/XI0v9M7uBcI/AAAAAAAAGyw/n0UjlP3hRSsQdQliNEEqx4kqQgWj-T_MACLcBGAs/s1600/Naomi%2Bministry%2Bin%2BPA%2B2019.3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="200" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vLtNsfk0210/XI0v9M7uBcI/AAAAAAAAGyw/n0UjlP3hRSsQdQliNEEqx4kqQgWj-T_MACLcBGAs/s200/Naomi%2Bministry%2Bin%2BPA%2B2019.3.jpg" width="150" /></a></div>I love this idea---the folded standing up card is simply an altered version of the front of the brochure. It's printed on card stock, blank on the inside, and may be used for notecards or at luncheons for place marks, etc.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-K03b_mpCZps/XI0v81lr9HI/AAAAAAAAGyo/qrRdgv9iFU89oCvyyUszv6YD03mO1GzbACLcBGAs/s1600/Naomi%2Bministry%2Bin%2BPA%2B2019.4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><br /></a></div>This last photo displays the promo sheet for their start up which was a luncheon for widows at their church. They also created a questionnaire to gather information about each attendee and their interests, and also discover additional ideas for ways that a widows group could effectively minister.<br />The group has since invited speakers from their church who are professionals in estate and financial planning and they've taken day trips and more! They always have announcements in the church programs and good support from the office staff and pulpit--which is very important! Please read on for more from Denise. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-K03b_mpCZps/XI0v81lr9HI/AAAAAAAAGy4/RwKe7H5q-mMXkOO4Ru0MvWyBDW0L9cAWgCEwYBhgL/s1600/Naomi%2Bministry%2Bin%2BPA%2B2019.4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1200" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-K03b_mpCZps/XI0v81lr9HI/AAAAAAAAGy4/RwKe7H5q-mMXkOO4Ru0MvWyBDW0L9cAWgCEwYBhgL/s320/Naomi%2Bministry%2Bin%2BPA%2B2019.4.jpg" width="240" /></a></div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="margin: 0px;">What is the main thing you do?</span></b><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span></span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="background: rgb(241, 240, 240); color: #444950; font-family: &quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 10pt; line-height: 115%; margin: 0px;">Our main purpose is to offer support love and encouragement to Widows. </span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">To give them a safe place that they can come and share their pain, cry and grieve with others who understands. No one can really understand what a widow is going through better than another widow.</span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">We have done book studies (Postcards from a Widows Path, From One Widow to Another, and others).</span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<span style="background-color: white; color: black;"></span></span></span></span><span style="background-attachment: scroll; background-clip: border-box; background-image: none; background-origin: padding-box; background-position: 0% 0%; background-repeat: repeat; background-size: auto; font-family: &quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 10pt; line-height: 115%; margin: 0px;"><span style="background-color: white; color: black;">Once a month we meet at a local pizza place for a change of pace. On those nights we do a devotional and share a meal and just enjoy being together.</span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">We have done trips together. This past November we went to Lancaster to the Sight and Sound Theatre to see the show JESUS. Afterward we had a wonderful meal together.<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span>We have also done day trips to the shore and Lancaster to shop and have lunch together. And the ladies also enjoy getting together for lunch or dinner. Not the entire group but maybe 3 or 4 of the ladies will do that between meetings. The ladies have really bonded and truly enjoy spending time together. On special occasions we will go out to a nicer place for dinner to celebrate holidays and such. We also do weekly prayer requests and praises for answered prayers. </span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">We are coming up on our 2nd year anniversary. We plan to celebrate by having a High Tea at our church on March 30th. We also plan on inviting Widows from other local churches to come to find out more about our group.</span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">One more thing that I forgot to mention. We have also had meetings with guest speakers. For example: we had a financial planner from our church come and explain to the ladies how to take over and manage our funds (or lack there of). He explained budgeting, insurance needs, etc. We also had an estate lawyer, again from our church, come to explain wills, POA’s living wills, etc.<span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp; </span>These people were able to offer advice that was so valuable to the Widows during a time of confusion and not being sure what they should or should not be doing.</span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">How did your group get started?</span></span></b></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">Our group got started after reading “<a href="/p/bookstore-postcards-from-widows-path.html">Postcards from a Widows Path</a>.”</span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">God just really put it on my heart the need for a ministry to the Widows at our church. Once the idea got started, God graciously opened doors for us to get started. </span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">Carol Eskridge and I presented our plans to the Women’s Ministry at our Church. From there, we presented the idea to the Church Committee. We received encouragement, support and approval from all concerned. </span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">Our first meeting was held on March 25, 2017. We placed announcements in our church bulletin, along with passing out flyers and inviting Widows that we knew personally. We held a luncheon at our church to share what we would like to offer to Widows. We told the ladies how very much God Loves and Cares for Widows and how we hoped that our group could help share God’s love with them.</span></span></div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;"><br /></span></span></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; margin: 0px;"><span style="margin: 0px;">·<span style="font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; font: 7pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;">God has been so faithful to Carol and me over these last two years and we have seen amazing growth and blessings in the ladies of Naomi’s Ministry</span></span></div><span style="margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;"><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;">Thank you Denise, and may God use this to plant other widow ministries!</div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;">Do you have a widows group going too? I'd love to hear about it! Please email me at WCplace@gmail.com&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;">Thank for visiting here today,</div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px 48px; text-indent: -0.25in;">❤ <span style="font-family: &quot;Brush Script MT&quot;; font-size: 22pt; line-height: 115%; margin: 0px;">ferree</span></div></span></span><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><br /></div><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: calibri;"></span><br /></div>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-77054547203928574812019-03-12T21:48:00.000-04:002019-03-14T19:57:55.828-04:00Widows Link CruiseAt the Widow's Journey Retreat I was so pleased to meet a "missionary to widows" --Marlene Craft. Wow! What a wonderful concept and ministry! In 2015 Marlene became the first missionary to widows with the Assemblies of God denomination. I want to explore her website more but I also want to let you know about A CRUISE FOR WIDOWS she hosts. This will be the 5th year, and it's growing and growing. I imagine the weekend retreat I was just at and having 6 days together instead of just 2-- it'd be a wonderful, life-enhancing, growing time with the Lord.<br />The registration is coming up quick--March 21. <b><span style="color: red;">UPDATE: It's been changed to May 15! yay! I hope some of you can go! </span></b>Contact Marlene at her website <i><a href="http://widowslink.org/widowscruise">Widows Link</a></i>&nbsp; if you have any questions. <br /><span style="font-family: &quot;brush script mt&quot;; line-height: 115%; margin: 0px;">💗<span style="font-size: large;">ferree</span></span><br /><br /><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ifM0Wfh5wls/XIhe14GucJI/AAAAAAAAGxs/s68kmuNkvJAyDcT6S24fhGqjdoowGOhGQCLcBGAs/s1600/Widows%252BLink%252BCruise%252BFlyer%252B2018.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1294" data-original-width="1000" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ifM0Wfh5wls/XIhe14GucJI/AAAAAAAAGxs/s68kmuNkvJAyDcT6S24fhGqjdoowGOhGQCLcBGAs/s320/Widows%252BLink%252BCruise%252BFlyer%252B2018.jpg" width="247" /></a><br /><br /><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-83672862283627298082019-03-11T08:00:00.000-04:002019-03-11T08:00:03.453-04:00Can people in heaven look down and see us?Dear Friends,<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Have you ever wondered if people in heaven look down and see us?<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; This isn't a weird question if you have a loved one who has died. If you've wondered about it, rest assured that many others have too. It came up in my small group at A Widow's Journey Retreat earlier this month and all the ladies were very interested.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Pastor John Piper at www.desiringGod.org addresses the question with a compassionate and best-as-we-can-know calm that you will appreciate. I'm not able to imbed or copy it onto my site today, but if you click on the following link you'll find both the audio and written version. The audio is only eight minutes long and well worth the time.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; You can listen to it and/or read the text <a href="https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/can-loved-ones-in-heaven-look-down-on-me">right here.</a><br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Some may find it a little unnerving to think that we are being "watched." (And please don't ever tell a child that "Daddy is watching you." The younger ones will be looking out the window for him and the older ones will think you're batty).&nbsp; But I don't think it's like that at all, it's not about judgment or loneliness. And I'm sure there are better things to do in heaven than watch us. If they do occasionally look this way I like to think it's when we need to feel them cheering us on, don't you? <br /><blockquote class="tr_bq">Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and <i><b>let us run with endurance the race</b></i> <b><i>that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus</i></b>, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured … Hebrews 12:1,2a NASB</blockquote>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; "Together on this marathon, we run for our lives. The track twists, turns, and changes unexpectedly. At certain points we trip and fall. But on the horizon, eternity stretches out...our finish line. Along the path, like spectators along the course... your loved ones and mine--urge us on.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; God, too, is there. He watches. He urges.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; He knows you and me. Whether you have entered this race as a young mother, a retiree, or somewhere in between--we never signed up for this club--but the marathon has begun.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Listen as you run, as you struggle and strain.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Do you hear the cheers from the heavenly grandstand?<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Faintly, faintly they begin from afar."<br /><i>(adapted from chapter one of <a href="/p/bookstore-postcards-from-widows-path.html">Postcards from the Widows' Path</a>).&nbsp;</i><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #1d2129; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">💗&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #1d2129; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><br /></span><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aPY6BVHx4aU/XIQdP13WR9I/AAAAAAAAGw0/_4X0cg7UYRIIzXacc1S6EVSQqUwVHYNegCLcBGAs/s1600/runner.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="500" data-original-width="500" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aPY6BVHx4aU/XIQdP13WR9I/AAAAAAAAGw0/_4X0cg7UYRIIzXacc1S6EVSQqUwVHYNegCLcBGAs/s320/runner.jpeg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><i><br /></i>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-66673847188067335602019-03-06T18:03:00.000-05:002019-03-06T18:03:04.316-05:00Widow's Journey Retreat 2019 - Kathy's Experience<div style="background-color: white; font-family: helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; color: #1d2129; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-92GDENa_DvU/XIBOpMJ6qLI/AAAAAAAAGvk/tkZANIFF77AVTt-Yxr9DH2kjpQRbe1hlQCLcBGAs/s1600/kathy%2Bhontz%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Babout%2Bretreat%2B2019.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="720" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-92GDENa_DvU/XIBOpMJ6qLI/AAAAAAAAGvk/tkZANIFF77AVTt-Yxr9DH2kjpQRbe1hlQCLcBGAs/s320/kathy%2Bhontz%2Bblog%2Bpost%2Babout%2Bretreat%2B2019.jpg" width="240" /></a></div><span style="color: #134f5c;">Here's another note about the weekend from Kathy, a Facebook and blog friend. About ten ladies who either follow this blog or Facebook attended this year and we met in the dining room for supper on Friday night. It was really sweet fellowship. All in all I think there were around 130 in attendance.&nbsp;</span><br /><div style="color: #1d2129;">💗&nbsp;<span style="color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Brush Script MT&quot;; font-size: 16pt;">ferree</span></div><div style="color: #1d2129;"><br /></div><div style="color: #1d2129;"><br /></div><div style="color: #1d2129;">Met face to face this weekend with God and looked deep into my steps on this journey of widowhood.</div></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; margin-top: 6px;">Met face to face this weekend with God and found community with others who are on a similar journey.</div><div style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; margin-top: 6px;">Met face to face this weekend with God and heard His Word through Gayle Roper as she described the journey to be unknown to us - but God knows; to be unseen by us - but God sees; unexpected by us - but God is there; to know we are not destroyed because God renews.</div><div class="text_exposed_show" style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; display: inline; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><div style="font-family: inherit; margin-bottom: 6px;">Met face to face this weekend with God and discovered through Margaret Rineer the importance of snuggling in, closer to our Lord.</div><div style="font-family: inherit; margin-bottom: 6px; margin-top: 6px;">Met face to face this weekend with God and heard Sarah Schieber’s story of firm resolve through intentional laying of a foundation in Christ, of God’s faithfulness and the circumstances of our lives do not change who God is.</div><div style="font-family: inherit; margin-bottom: 6px; margin-top: 6px;">Met face to face this weekend with God and learned of the stage of being poured from Jennifer Kennedy Dean.</div><div style="font-family: inherit; margin-bottom: 6px; margin-top: 6px;">Met face to face with God this weekend and uncovered some deep moments of grief and the importance of staying in His Word when I can not breathe, can not calm this racing heart, can not think, can not stop the flow of tears, can not embrace the sadness that envelopes my whole being ..... when all I can do is be still before the King of Kings.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BJ76bYDDTgw/TDftD0UpZTI/AAAAAAAAA1w/eNSSQZX5A4sadObo1Tm5Pa09ROPalSXLACPcBGAYYCw/s1600/PICT0001.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="240" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BJ76bYDDTgw/TDftD0UpZTI/AAAAAAAAA1w/eNSSQZX5A4sadObo1Tm5Pa09ROPalSXLACPcBGAYYCw/s320/PICT0001.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div></div></div>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-26697900919190314242019-03-06T16:50:00.002-05:002019-03-06T18:03:46.850-05:00Widow's Journey Retreat 2019 - Sue's Experience<span style="background-color: white; color: #134f5c; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Hi Everyone!&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #134f5c; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Remember the Widow's Journey Retreat I've been hoping you all could come to? Well, it happened over the weekend, and some of you came! I'm back into the crush and rush of the usual now but it was an excellent retreat and I'll be posting some comments and photos over the next couple days.</span><br /><blockquote class="tr_bq"><span style="background-color: white; color: #134f5c; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">By the way ... Now's the time to put it on your calendar too: Save the date--- March 6 - 8, 2020. Cost includes all your meals, room, and registration. Price per person depends on how many people you share the room with. (Stay with women you know, they do not assign roommates). It's $219 Quad, $269 Triple, $319 Double, or $429 Single. If you can set aside $20 - $36/ month this year you've got the weekend covered, just add travel.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></blockquote><span style="background-color: white; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #134f5c;">The following is from Sue. She posted it on Facebook the other day and gave me permission to copy it here. I'm so glad she's planning to go next year already!&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">💗&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;brush script mt&quot;; font-size: 16pt;">ferree</span><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;brush script mt&quot;; font-size: 16.0pt; line-height: 115%;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Just back from a wonderful Christian widows’ retreat at Sandy Cove in North East, MD. I was particularly thrilled to meet the authors of two of the best books for widows, Gayle Roper, “A Widow’s Journey,” and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: inherit;">Ferree Hardy</span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">, “<a href="/p/bookstore-postcards-from-widows-path.html">Postcards from the Widows’ Path</a>," and get them to sign my copies. I’m also in Ferree’s FaceBook group; it was great to meet her and a few of the other members who attended.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Below: 1. the signed title pages, 2.&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Ferree and me.</span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">&nbsp;3.&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: white; color: #1d2129; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">sunset on Chesapeake Bay. This was an uplifting and fun weekend in a lovely location. I met such a marvelous group of strong ladies! Looking forward to going back next year!</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3lrnmKoLV7g/XH6E_06pxbI/AAAAAAAAGvA/7PDtOtrQuLU4jTuV-9c56uBP0iRGEquRgCLcBGAs/s1600/Sue%2BBowles%2Bphoto%2Bof%2Bretreat.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="562" data-original-width="750" height="239" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3lrnmKoLV7g/XH6E_06pxbI/AAAAAAAAGvA/7PDtOtrQuLU4jTuV-9c56uBP0iRGEquRgCLcBGAs/s320/Sue%2BBowles%2Bphoto%2Bof%2Bretreat.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--z6b_-sPJJk/XH6FExqgK4I/AAAAAAAAGvE/6t-YqxQ3rNYbI5N9_ydmKytY6L3HZbNtwCLcBGAs/s1600/Sue%2BBowles%2Bphoto%2Bof%2Bretreat%2Band%2Bme.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="960" data-original-width="720" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--z6b_-sPJJk/XH6FExqgK4I/AAAAAAAAGvE/6t-YqxQ3rNYbI5N9_ydmKytY6L3HZbNtwCLcBGAs/s320/Sue%2BBowles%2Bphoto%2Bof%2Bretreat%2Band%2Bme.jpg" width="240" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dfn81o-3nWw/XIA45w_e4-I/AAAAAAAAGvY/fXQxyiAxeqorSjnntAjXf0ypEatv0jYWwCLcBGAs/s1600/sandy%2Bcove%2Bsue%2Bbowles.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="240" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dfn81o-3nWw/XIA45w_e4-I/AAAAAAAAGvY/fXQxyiAxeqorSjnntAjXf0ypEatv0jYWwCLcBGAs/s320/sandy%2Bcove%2Bsue%2Bbowles.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-50442773239860339302019-02-25T08:00:00.000-05:002019-02-25T08:00:07.459-05:00Why Don't More Churches Do Widows Ministry?<span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">Too many widows ask me this question because there's a dreadful and shameful void in church ministry. Don't church leaders realize that widows are mentioned from Genesis to Revelation? As long as there’s been death there have been widows. Thousands of women and men become widowed every day!</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br /></span><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">Don't church leaders know that widows are the only specific group of people mentioned at the three most important, pivotal events in history? The United States has become a nation of “special interest groups,” but it seems that God has always held widows as his “special interest group.” Let’s look at those three important events. Stay with me, this is an important foundation but I'll make it brief.</span></div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">1. When the Law of Israel Was Given</span></b></div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">At the founding of Israel, God revealed The 10 Commandments plus many other laws for daily life and religion. These laws are interspersed throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy of the Old Testament. Its extensive reading—over 100 tiny-print pages in my Bible! It’s all about actions and consequences, crime and punishment. In general terms it was “an eye for an eye.” Like today, people were judged by people. When someone was found guilty the community carried out the verdict and punishment. </span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">Keep that background in mind because when it came to harm against widows (and orphans), God didn’t leave judgment up to mere people. Exodus 22:22-24 declares that God, himself, would execute judgment on one who afflicted the widow or the fatherless! God made it clear that unlike other nations of the time, the widows and orphans of Israel were to be protected and free from harm and mistreatment. This law set God’s people apart as compassionate and responsible. It also implied that widows and orphans needed extra help. Hello! Although we can argue that we're not under Old Testament law, the principle is that God was especially concerned for widows and orphans and his concern has not changed. Churches are missing a blessing, and perhaps facing consequences for neglecting widows and orphans.</span><br /><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">2. The Birth of Christ</span></b></div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">At the birth of Jesus Christ widows were honored to be in the genealogy of Christ. The family tree of Jesus listed in Matthew 1 is very unusual. Most genealogies in the Bible only listed men, but Matthew 1 mentions five women, and most of them were widowed at one point or another! They mattered! Two thousand years after the birth of Christ we read and remember their names. Did they try to earn that special honor? Did they volunteer for the position? No, but there was something about them that the Lord saw and wanted to use as an example to us. They left a legacy of faithfulness, persistence and courage in spite of hardships. Widows leave the same today. Death never comes at a convenient time; seldom is one ever prepared. The courage and faith I’ve seen demonstrated by the widows I’ve met over the years is incredible. <span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">And who was the first woman to tell the world about Jesus? When Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple, Luke 2:36-38 (NIV) tells us, “There was also a prophet, Anna…She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”</span><br /><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">Unlike some cultures which shunned and ostracized their widows, at the birth of Jesus, an elderly widow spoke up in the temple with the good news of salvation. God put her in the right place at the right time and she stepped up to the task with a thankful heart and joyous words. Oh, how she must have been ready to burst with excitement! </span></div><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">3. The Beginning of the Church</span></b><br /><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">At the founding of the church in Acts there’s only one group of people assigned provision and watch care by the finest of the disciples—its widows, of course! (Acts 6:1-3). </span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">The earliest book of the New Testament is the book of James, written around 45-48 A.D. One of the first commands is in James 1:27—that widows and orphans are visited in their times of distress.</span><br /><br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">From the many loving notes tucked into the book orders I receive each month it’s clear that certain individuals are caring for and visiting widows. I’m so happy to see that. But I also see churches that have their ladies Bible studies, youth groups, men’s’ groups, patriotic and veterans services, Sunday Schools and hospital visitation programs. They budget for building programs, music, landscaping, advertising, etc. I have to wonder—what do they do for widows? What does the church budget say about widows?</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"> <br /><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;">The Bible doesn’t leave us in the dark about what to do for widows, nor about who exactly should do it. First Timothy 5 beautifully outlines their care. Family members like children and grandchildren are the first to put their religion into practice by helping out. Other women in the family are next. Then the rest of the local church is better able step in and care for the ones left without family. But <i><u>everyone</u></i> visits when they are in distress. Thing is, though, people don’t usually know if a widow is in distress unless they visit so the church should somehow stay connected with her and not force her to ask for help when she's in distress. This isn't easy, I know, but I don't think we can sweep it aside and not do it if we really want to follow Scripture.&nbsp;</div></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">Finally, if you look at all the books in the Bible, there are two books named after women: Ruth and Esther. Ruth was a widow and Esther was an orphan! Scripture would be incomplete without them and we as a people are incomplete without widows and orphans. Their needs are opportunities for God to be glorified. It’s wrong to overlook them or to hopefully assume that they're loaded with Social Security and life insurance benefits. Many godly widows do not have enough of either.</span></div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">Death is not random or optional, it’s a part of life. Widowhood is a difficult journey, but there are gems of wisdom to gather along the way. There is joy unspeakable, and moments full of glory for both the widow walking by faith and for the people walking alongside her. <span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp;</span>Ecclesiastes 7:4 tells us that the wise are in the house of mourning. Widows pay a high price for that wisdom and many of them would love to share it with people who will stop by and ask. Seldom will they speak out, so draw it out of your widow friends when the time is right.</span></div><div style="margin: 0px 0px 13.33px;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">God treasures widows as his “special interest group.” Shouldn’t everyone, especially the church? God doesn’t overlook them. They matter to him! They have an indisputable place in his kingdom and their influence, legacies, courage and faith testify generation after generation. They should receive special treatment in the church--or at the very least as much support and acknowledgement as the youth group or the landscaping.&nbsp;</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sujZltNxRaY/Tx4BsalYmpI/AAAAAAAABqg/W2xDWciLrhYePjh3UJ3lLGeZck_9Y9pYwCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/ws_Heart_shaped_pages_1920x1200.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1000" data-original-width="1600" height="200" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sujZltNxRaY/Tx4BsalYmpI/AAAAAAAABqg/W2xDWciLrhYePjh3UJ3lLGeZck_9Y9pYwCPcBGAYYCw/s320/ws_Heart_shaped_pages_1920x1200.jpg" width="320" /></a></span></div></div><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"></span>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-84420245701188442502019-02-11T08:00:00.000-05:002019-02-11T08:00:00.291-05:00Dealing with Valentine's Day Loneliness<span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #7030a0; font-size: 34.66px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><b>D<span style="color: yellow;">e</span><span style="color: #3d85c6;">a</span><span style="color: red;">l</span>i<span style="color: yellow;">n</span>g <span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #3d85c6; font-size: 34.66px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">w</span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: red; font-size: 34.66px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">i</span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #7030a0; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 34.66px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">t</span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: yellow; font-size: 34.66px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">h</span></b><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #3d85c6; font-size: 34.66px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><b> </b><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: red; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 34.66px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><b>Valentine's Day</b><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; color: #7030a0; display: inline; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 34.66px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 700; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span></span></span></span><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike></span><br /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><br /></span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">&nbsp;Valentine</span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">'s Day countdown has begun. About 110 million roses will be sold, and more than 58 million pounds of chocolate will fatten women's hips. Other women's...sadly. I understand. I've been widowed too. My first husband, Bruce, died instantly of a brain aneurism on Feb. 15, 2000 --the day between the big V and my birthday.</span><br /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><br /></span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">&nbsp;It doesn't hurt like it used to, although I wanted it to hurt always. I never wanted to forget, but the years have drawn a shade over the grief and lifted the weight. I don't know if that will give you some hope today, but hope is a precious commodity so I want to give it out to as many as will accept it. Contrary to popular quotes and memes, Grief does not last forever. But I've been blogging and reaching out to widows since 2010 so I know it can feel like forever when you're in the middle of it. Suffocating at times.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><br /></span><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"></span><span style="font-size: small;"></span><span style="color: #b00000;"></span><span style="background-color: transparent;"></span><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;"></span><span style="font-size: small;"></span><span style="color: #b00000;"></span><span style="background-color: transparent;"></span>If you feel on the verge of getting pulled into the vicious vortex of Valentine's Day loneliness, here are some ideas I've collected over the years from other widows. You might be able to transform it by thinking ahead and using these ideas to do something different.&nbsp;If you want to pretend the day doesn't exist and not acknowledge it at all, that's okay too. I often find that people deal with sorrow in two different ways:<span>&nbsp;</span></span><br /><ul style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><li>remember/memorialize it</li><li>or choose to leave it alone. It's in the past, its been dealt with, and its time for the next chapter.</li></ul><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">Depending on your background and personality, both of these methods can work. There's a third way too---have a pity party, but that won't get us anywhere.</span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;" /><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;" /><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">If you'd like to memorialize the day or give yourself something to look forward to, here are a variety of things that might be meaningful for you:<span>&nbsp;</span></span><br /><ul style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><li>Visit the cemetery and leave a message of candy conversation hearts to melt into the snow</li><li>Tie a home-made Valentine to a helium balloon and let it fly away to heaven</li><li>Collect old Valentines and love letters and put them together in a decorative memory box keepsake.</li><li>Create a collage of photos and frame it to hang on a wall or stand on your dresser.</li><li>Buy a package or two of school Valentine cards. Send them to your own children, nieces &amp; nephews or other family members. Write a little love note on them.</li><li>Or send Valentines to various groups--nursing homes, children's hospital wards, missionary kids you pray for, your childrens' ministry leaders, your Bible study group or group leaders . . .</li><li>Offer to babysit for a married couple so they can enjoy a romantic evening out. Prepare a lot of fun things to do with the kids so you don't end up bored and feeling sorry for yourself.</li><li>Invite other widows over for tea or coffee and snacks, or a carry-in lunch or supper. Give them an opportunity to share their stories and send them home with a love verse from the Bible.</li><li>Do something nice for yourself: sign up for a class about anything you're interested in--from Acrobatics to Zebra farming; join a church or community group; get a library card and use it; rent a musical instrument or buy an Irish whistle (I'm having so much fun learning to play mine!); volunteer or find a part-time job...</li></ul><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">--hey, I'm getting carried away here, but you get the idea. Plan some&nbsp;</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><strong><span style="color: #ffc000; font-family: &quot;GrilledCheese BTN Cn&quot;, sans-serif; font-size: 26pt;">f</span><span style="color: #31849b; font-family: &quot;GrilledCheese BTN Cn&quot;, sans-serif; font-size: 26pt;">u</span><span style="color: red; font-family: &quot;GrilledCheese BTN Cn&quot;, sans-serif; font-size: 26pt;">n</span></strong></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">and show<span>&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #7030a0; font-family: &quot;GrilledCheese BTN Cn&quot;, sans-serif; font-size: 26pt;"><strong>y<span style="color: yellow;">o</span><span style="color: #3d85c6;">u</span><span style="color: red;">r</span>s<span style="color: yellow;">e</span><span style="color: #3d85c6;">l</span><span style="color: red;">f </span></strong></span>some love and kindness.</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">If, on the other hand, you just want to forget the day that's OK too. At least your pants will still fit without that 58 million pounds of chocolate.</div><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><br /></div><span style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; display: inline !important; float: none; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">Do you have some new ideas to share about dealing with Valentine's Day? Please comment today. I love to read everything that comes in and will post it asap. Other widows love reading your comments too and find them a big help.</span><br style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;" /><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="color: red;">♥<span>&nbsp;</span></span><b><span style="font-family: CluffHmk;">ferree</span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><b><span style="font-family: CluffHmk;"></span></b>&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: white; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.61px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration-color: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-family: CluffHmk;"><strong>P.S.<span>&nbsp;</span></strong><span style="font-family: inherit;">Have you ordered your copy of<span>&nbsp;</span><em>Postcards from the Widows' Path</em><span>&nbsp;</span>yet for yourself or a friend? Take advantage of a 20% off sale if you order <a href="/p/bookstore-postcards-from-widows-path.html">here in my bookstore</a>. (Not on Amazon!) Thanks!</span></span></div><b></b><i></i><u></u><sub></sub><sup></sup><strike></strike><br />Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3382629264175127167.post-26810313877083982582019-01-28T08:00:00.000-05:002019-01-28T08:00:03.641-05:00What's Your Love Story?<div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; clear: both; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><em><strong>Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.</strong></em></div><span style="background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline; float: none; font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , &quot;verdana&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br /><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; clear: both; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 10.06px;">(Frederick Buechner, from the book "A Grace Disguised," by Jerry Sittser, pg. 92)</span><br /><span style="font-size: 10.06px;"><br /></span></div><span style="background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline; float: none; font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , &quot;verdana&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><br /><div style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: transparent; clear: both; color: #333333; font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;,Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; font-size: 12.93px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: center; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></div><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GVAuuJy-T7Q/TVvgFXcplDI/AAAAAAAABL8/A_J0qCQslFAgziiNAsC3aiEw20MAyki6wCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/vintage%2Bheart.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="265" data-original-width="190" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GVAuuJy-T7Q/TVvgFXcplDI/AAAAAAAABL8/A_J0qCQslFAgziiNAsC3aiEw20MAyki6wCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/vintage%2Bheart.jpg" /></a><span style="background-color: transparent; color: #333333; display: inline; float: none; font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , &quot;verdana&quot; , &quot;arial&quot; , sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;"></span><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Would you like to share some memories? Your words can become wisdom and strength for the journey so many others have ahead of them. . .&nbsp;</span></span></span><br /><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></span><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="background-color: transparent; color: #001000; display: inline; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;">When I have some widow friends over for the afternoon next week we'll do the same thing, only in-person. I wish you could come too!</span><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #001000; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #001000; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;">&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span><br /><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="/2012/02/valentine-memories.html">Click here for the original post,</a> You'll see what I mean and you'll just love hearing other's brief stories.</span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: inherit;"></span><br /><span class="messagebody" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background: none; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Here are the questions I'll use with my group. They'll choose one or two favorites to talk about. (Feel free to copy for your group!) For now though, I'd love to hear about your answers.&nbsp;</span></span></span><br /><span class="messagebody" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background: none; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><b><span style="color: red; font-size: large;">*</span></b>What's <i><b><span style="color: red;">your</span></b></i> love story?</span></span></span><span class="messagebody" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background: none; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="color: red; font-family: inherit; font-size: large;"><b>*</b></span></span></span><br /><ul><li><span class="messagebody" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background: none; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">When did you and your husband first meet?</span></span></span></li><li><span class="messagebody" style="-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background: none; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; orphans: 2; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Where did you go for your first date?</span></span></span></li><li><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="color: #b00000;"></span><span style="font-family: inherit;">At what moment did you "know" you wanted to spend the rest of your life with him?&nbsp;</span></span></span></li><li><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: #001000;">D<span class="messagebody" style="background: none; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">id you fall in love or gradually grow in love?&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></li><li><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">How did he propose? Did you say "yes" right away?</span></span></span></li><li><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">How long were you married?</span></span></span></li></ul><span style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: #001000;">Sometimes though, r<span class="messagebody" style="background: none; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">eminiscing can be difficult. On some days memories are too painful--and that's nothing to be ashamed of--they just are. Don't worry about it. Don't force yourself to remember, and don't "command" yourself to never remember again. There will come a time down the road they won't sting so much and will prove helpful and healing. Be patient.</span></span></span></span></span><br /><span style="color: #001000; font-family: inherit;"></span><span style="font-family: inherit;"></span><span style="color: #001000;"></span><br /><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">For some people there are times when it's impossible to recall any good memories. This is frustrating and disconcerting! You know your life wasn't that bad; you know there were good times but you just don't remember them and it's a guilty and crazy feeling all rolled into one. I.Have.Been.There.</span></span></span><br /><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></span><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">I was re-assured a little bit by hearing that it's a part of grief. People aren't perfect so when we are grieving we grieve over the whole person we miss so much--the good and the not-so-good, happy and not-so-happy, and what was and what-could-have-been. For me, I could not recall even one nice thing my dear husband ever did for me. I knew there were many things but my brain was just empty!</span></span></span><br /><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></span><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">I finally prayed about it and asked God for some relief. A few days later I asked one of my daughters to bring me a little glass of water. When I took the glass in my hand it was like a key unlocked a flood of memories starting with the many times Bruce had also given me a glass of water. It was a gracious relief and unburdening. I will be praying that God will do the same for those of you who need that too.</span></span></span><br /><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;"><br /></span></span></span><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="color: red; font-family: inherit; font-size: large;"><b>*</b></span></span></span><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">Please go ahead and post your memories in a comment at the bottom of the blog today or email them to me at wcplace@gmail.com</span></span></span><br /><span class="messagebody" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; width: auto; word-spacing: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"><span lang="EN" style="background: none; color: #333333; float: none; line-height: 19.4px; margin: 0px; overflow: visible; padding: 0px; width: auto; word-wrap: break-word;"><span style="font-family: inherit;">If I get enough I'll post them here for everyone to love and enjoy during the week of Valentine's Day. ❤</span></span></span>Ferree Bowman Hardyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/10739485535852107104noreply@blogger.com0