Showing posts with label 2. Tuesdays: Single Living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2. Tuesdays: Single Living. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Recipe: Spiced Iced Mint Tea

Dear Reader,
Tuesdays are dedicated to Single Living Skills so please send in your handy household tips, recipes, directions for plunging the toilet and all the other "fun" stuff you get to do now. They can be serious and of actual help, or you can vent a little.
It just wouldn't be summer at my house without this special drink. The Single Living Skill to develop with this recipe is enjoyment, or make that enjoymint! It's a delicious alternative to sugary soft drinks this 4th of July.
ferree


(http://www.flickr.com/photos/wyldkyss/ )
SPICED ICED MINT TEA
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 small cinnamon stick
1 cup water
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, minced
1 sun tea jar ready to fill with water and your preferred amount of tea bags
1 sun at the center of our solar system
  • Combine the cloves and cinnamon stick with 1 cup of water.
  • Boil together for 3 minutes.
  • Turn off heat, let steep for 10 minutes, then strain.
  • Put the strained infusion into your sun tea jar, fill with water, add tea bags.
  • Add the minced mint leaves.
  • Let it sit in the sun and brew several hours.
  • Serve over ice. Add lemon slices or sugar to taste.
  • Sit down, put your feet up, and imagine your happy place!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Don't Get Lost Like I Did

Getting lost proved to be as easy as getting in the car for me. I've heard it's a pretty common problem for widows at first. I, myself, got lost two times too many after Bruce died.

The first time was trying to find our lawyer's office. It was on a main road, I knew the general area, I'd been there before, but this time all those office buildings looked the same! Did I bring the address or phone number with me? No, I truly thought it'd be easy to find! I started to sweat--I mean, I really didn't recognize anything. Near panic set in--frantic questions about my sanity screamed in my mind! Like a scared rabbit I zipped home, rescheduled the appointment, mapquested the address and printed out the directions for next time (no GPS back then).

Then I got lost going to a girlfriend's house. I'd only been there once before, but you just turned the corner, and her house was on the right, right? Except--at that corner, I couldn't remember--was I supposed to turn right or left? And when I did turn, there were four houses on the right! Which one was hers? I was truly clueless! This time I didn't have to give up and go home though. She saw me driving up and down the street like an idiot, so she opened her front door and waved me in.

I realized how dependent I'd been on my husband to get us to the right place. I'd never paid much attention to where we were going when he drove--and he drove most of the time. What a luxury to be a passenger!

I now mapquest and GPS everything when I drive alone. Directions are a good thing to get OCD about. I never want to get myself lost again.

Keep these things in your car, even if you have a GPS:
Cell phone--FULLY CHARGED
Addresses and phone numbers for your destinations
Emergency phone numbers
Local maps

Did you have any trouble finding your way around after your husband died too? I hope to hear from you! To tell about your experience and advice click the comments below and type in the box....
ferree

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Widows Help Wanted!

I'll bet there are a number of VBS and Bible Club outreaches in churches throughout your community this summer, and I'll bet that a number of them would be happy to have your help! Why not look into it? Start with your own church first, of course. From herding kids to baking cookies, doing crafts, telling Bible stories, or praying with a little child to ask Jesus into his or her heart, opportunities await.

Did you attend VSB as a child and what was your favorite thing about it? Send in comments or pictures of your VBS experiences. I'd love to hear from you!

Now go sign up to help and get your kids, grandkids and/or neighbor's kids signed up! One of the best ways of making progress through grief is to start reaching out to help others in need. You'll be a tremendous blessing through this simple act of kindness, and you'll receive a blessing too! :)

ferree

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dealing With Restlessness & Disquiet

Some days I can't escape a disquiet in my soul. Silence echoes off the emptiness and sends shimmering waves through my mind like a water mirage on a hot highway. The restlessness unnerves me. I want to pace but I don't know why.

I pray, I read Scripture, but the peace they bring is more from duty than from relief.

Do you know what? That's OK. Sometimes I just have to do what I can and leave it with the Lord. Especially when I don't know exactly what I'm praying for. I live in a fallen world and sometimes I'm incapable of understanding all the mechanics of the spiritual around me. I think that's called walking by faith; trusting God even though I don't exactly know or understand what's happening around me.

But the disquiet has a purpose. It urges me to pray, to be alert, to spend time in the Word. But I've also learned---surprisingly---to listen to some music. Yes. Some days we need music in addition to prayer and Bible reading.

What is it about music?

Do you know that humans are the only creatures who create music? Birds sing, angels sing, stars sing, even whales sing. But only humans create new combinations of notes, melodies, and tones. Only humans translate what the heart feels--joy, sorrow, yearning, giddiness--a spectrum of emotion--into something the ear can hear. Music expresses to the outside world what's going on in the heart.
Music also leads me to worship...an essential but often overlooked Christian practice. I was reminded of this by my pastor's urgings on Sunday to really think about the words of the hymns and to offer singing as a form of worship. Singing is so hard for many grieving people. How is it for you?

Those are just some of my random thoughts about music. I never thought about it much until singing became so emotionally overwhelming after my husband died. Did you find that, too?

This disquiet in my soul, this restlessness . . . sometimes it's a thirst for music and worship. The existence of music, and my ability to relate to it expresses that I am part of a larger community, I'm a piece of the puzzle we call life. I dive into it today, not only giving my life to God, but worshipping Him and asking Him to take it in the best sense of meaning. The following hymn translates my feelings into words and music. What songs express your inner, unspoken mysteries?

ferree




(As always, if this post arrives in your email inbox and the video isn't showing up, or you’d like to add a comment, simply click on the title line at the top of this page to get to the WCP blog itself so you can view it. Thanks!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What A Lifeboat Group Has Meant to 2 Widows

A few years ago I set up some secret Facebook groups. My "Lifeboat" groups are the entry groups and welcome women who've been widowed at any time. Throughout the week I'll receive requests to join the group and I add new members on Tuesdays or Fridays. For those who are interested, I have another group called "Going Ashore" and it's for widows who have passed that one-year point of widowhood, can see that they are changing and growing through their grief, and would like to address the issues and challenges of the second year and beyond.

Yesterday I read the following posts from two widows in a Lifeboat group who've decided to move on to the Going Ashore group. With their permission, I've copied their words here for you today so you can catch a glimpse of what Lifeboat has meant to them. I'm so grateful the Lord uses "the boats" to provide a unique and wonderful support during this storm of life we call widowhood.

To my Lifeboat group---It has been two years since Ron died, and a little less than that since I found this wonderful Lifeboat group. I can only imagine the terrible isolation I would have suffered if not for all the Lifeboat ladies. Instead, I had someone to cry with, laugh with, and pray with—anytime of day or night. I’ve had one foot on the boat and one on the shore for a while now. It’s time that I remain Ashore and make room for another widow who needs that intense support only you can give. I look forward to seeing each of you on the Shore in time. Best wishes--Christine

To my Lifeboat group---I Love, Love, Love this boat...it literally saved me from the pit of hopelessness and despair about 4 months into this unexpected painful journey. As hard as it is to remove myself from this group, I know that it is time, tears fall as I type this. I went Ashore several months ago and have kept one foot in the boat as well, I attribute this to "separation anxiety". And staying in the boat has allowed me hopefully to minister in some small way to those that have stepped into this journey after I had walked a few miles. Coming up on 2 years in March since being thrust into this "New" life, I have learned some amazing life lessons--- The only ones who truly know your heart and pain are those who are on the same path. I no longer waste my time, energy or breath trying to explain my pain to someone that cannot possible understand it. However, I was that clueless person until the moment my husband went to live with our Abba Father for eternity. I hope I can extend the same Grace to others as that was extended to me in my ignorance... Our Lord wants intimacy with you. Seek Him, He is waiting, wanting and wooing you . He is now your husband, His love for You is Relentless. With carpet burns on my forehead which will be full blown callouses by the time I step into eternity, I know beyond a doubt He wants us to be complete in Him. Happy, healthy, and loving Him with all of our hearts ... The Enemy wants us to be limping Christians. I wake up challenged most days, I still am not crazy about my new life and long for my husband and the former life. But with my Lord's help He is holding my hand today as I step both feet on shore. You are in my thought often and my heart and prayers always...I will see you ladies on dry land. Blessings♡ --Lori

God bless you Christine and Lori as you continue your journey! ferree

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Fresh Beginning for Broken Lives

Yesterday we explored some Scriptures that help connect with God during grief. But what if we don't even know God? The first key is personally accepting God's salvation and love.

God wants a relationship with us. Isn't that amazing? The Creator of the universe + you. Sometimes I wonder why He doesn't make us all automatically love Him and respond to Him? He's God, He's powerful enough to do that, right?

Right, but He's also kind. And gentle. And He's given us a free-will to choose Him. Or not. God will not force Himself upon us.
We're separated from God by our humanity, by being flawed with sin. And some of us are pretty proud of that at times. We sing that song, "I Did It My Way," and think God will be proud of us. But we need to come to grips with the fact that sin separates us from God--its humbling to admit we need Him, realizing that Jesus died on the cross to cover our sin.

Look at it like this: He paid to take away the judgment of our sin. And just as if someone paid for our meal at a restaurant, we need to decide if we will accept their payment, or if we'll argue and object. We either accept Christ paying for us with His death and resurrection, or we refuse to believe. There's no middle ground.

I don't really understand why people refuse to accept Christ's offer of salvation. His purpose in dying for us wasn't to make us raving Republicans, do-gooders or even the nicest neighbor on the block. A lot of people do become a little nicer with Christ in their life, and unfortunately some morph into fanatics, but that's certainly not why Jesus chose to die. Bottom line--He died to save us from eternity in Hell. Have you ever taken Him up on His offer of salvation?

Scripture tells us over and over how to do that. Here are some examples:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9,10
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

Why not talk to Christ about His offer of salvation right now? Let Him know if you believe --or not. Ask Him to forgive your sin and make you righteous and pure in God's sight.
Some people like to write their prayer out like a letter. That's a good idea, it's a tangible reminder of this event. Others silently form the words in their mind in the privacy of their home, or in a church or a special place in nature. (My father was in the Navy and his first prayer was while gazing upon the Pacific Ocean). Or you might like to have a friend or pastor pray with you. They can tell you some words to say and Scriptures to stand on.

Or, you might do like a woman I know. For days she'd been hesitating, vacilating between her longing for God and her fear of God. Finally, one day as she was driving around on some errands, she could stand it no longer. She pulled her car to the side of the road, looked up and cried out, "God, take away all this junk!" And you know what? He did. He'll do the same for you. A fresh beginning . . . the real gift of Christmas . . . a transforming relationship with God in the midst of grief.

Sound good? E-mail me or comment below if you have questions. If you'd like me to pray with you please let me know; that's what I'm here for--to help you know God is with us; to know that He cares and He wants to connect with you. He's the hope we need when life is hopeless. Just like when the shepherds in the Christmas story heard the good news, God enters our lives when the nights are cold, dark and lonely.
ferree

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Lot to Be Thankful For...


I'm posting a big THANK YOU to all who ordered my book recently, I appreciate it! I'm grateful because it's another opportunity to share the comfort God has granted me. I'm so thankful to God! That's why I do this blog, my book, and the Lifeboat support groups. My greatest satisfaction is in seeing widows come out of their grief and begin to live again---you're my heroes!

And speaking of heroes, today is Veteran's Day so let's all thank every veteran we see. They all sacrificed far more than we may ever know, and thank their wives and widows too. May God bless them all! And by the way, I'd like to shout out "Thanks, Dad"---to my dad who served in the Navy during the Korean War. I'm sure he'll be attending all the services and parades he can to honor those he served with. His memories and patriotism run deep.

Do you have a GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE yet? It's a 5-session guideline for starting a casual book club or widows group using my book. Groups have been starting up all over---Minnesota, Oklahoma, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, etc., etc., even Malaysia!
If you'd like a free discussion guide too, just email your mailing address to me at [email protected] and I'll drop a free copy in the mail for you. And of course, rest assured that I do not sell or even share your address or info with anyone else.

I hope you'll enjoy the many features of my book.
  • I know what "widow fog" is like---those days when we find it so hard to concentrate. So I designed the book for those days too!! You can just read the "postcards" at the start of each chapter. As you flip through them you'll see Ruth and Naomi transform from grief to gumption to redemption!
  • Later on, when you're ready for your own transformation, start using the journaling exercise at the end of each chapter. You'll be amazed as you look back on your own life and see what the Lord has brought you through and the blessings that stretch out on the path ahead of you.
  • And then, you can even use it with a small group. As we found out at the widows retreat this weekend, we need each other! Good things happen when widows get together. The instant comraderie, encouragement and love are beyond compare! Aside from a whole weekend together, going through my book with your friends is the next best thing. Request the discussion guide for your own group, or to give to your church's womens ministry or grief recovery team for consideration. 
  • To order a copy just click on the book cover at the right top corner of this blog. (Email subscribers click HERE to get to the blog website so you can order).
Have a sweet day, and thanks again, ferree

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Have You Ever Had A "Grief Attack?"

Yesterday we talked about tears and crying jags. "Grief Attacks" they're sometimes called. Here's what I hope will be a light-handed little questionnaire about these darn things.

We'd all love to read your answers, so please copy and paste the questions you want into the comment box that opens up when you click the comment line below. (Email subscribers---we'd love to hear from you too! Please click the title line to get to the blog and comment). Once you've got the questions pasted in, just type in your answers. Use the Anonymous identity (it's the easiest if you don't have your own URL, etc) and sign off with your name or initials if you'd like.
 
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD
survey
 
1) Do you prefer Puffs Plus with moisture creme, regular Kleenex, or your sleeve?

2) When you cry are you all dainty and lady-like, politely dabbing at your eyes and nose? Or are you like me, sobbing and snarking and making a real mess?
 
3) Where is the worst place, or when was worst time you had a crying jag or grief attack?
  • Movie theatre
  • Wedding
  • Dropping kids off at school
  • Hallmark store
  • Coming home to an empty house
  • All of the above
  • Other
4) Share a brief experience or a piece of advice about emotional meltdowns in public.
 
5) Share a Bible verse that has spoken to you about your grief.
 
6) Name a movie that needs a "WARNING: May Cause Crying" label on it.
 
I suppose I should do this too, so you'll see my answers in the comments below.
ferree
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pray for Our Kids & Their Schools

If you have children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews in school, I highly recommend joining a Moms In Prayer group this year. Find a group by clicking here.

Let's face it, our kids need all the prayer they can get! And if you've never heard another woman pray for your kids---well, all I can say is there's no greater joy. I've found times when someone else knew what my kids needed as well as I did--sometimes even better!

Moms In Prayer groups run on a tight schedule and a focused mission of prayer and prayer alone. It's structured and guided. You don't talk about prayer requests, the leader takes you right into praying through Scripture which applies to your children, their school, their teachers and classes and you.

Check it out today! Moms In Prayer And be sure to view this wonderful video. (If you subscribe to this blog and the video isn't included in your email today, just go directly to the blog by clicking the Title at the top of this page).




Also join in on Sunday, Sept 21. Please visit the Moms In Prayer website for more info.





Tuesday, August 26, 2014

???'s About Budgetting Your $$$

Do financial questions boggle your brain? If you're like most the answer is "Of course they do!"
The following basics come from a list of fifty helps which you can view right here. The first ten (which they gave me permission to copy when I first posted this), help with our overall attitude about money. The rest of them get more specific and provide a few links for money-saving websites, etc. If you're looking for budget guidance it's all there in a nutshell---very convenient!

Additionally, if you're interested in couponing (which is beyond me, but if you can handle it, go for it!) try this website: http://www.southernsavers.com/
If you'd like some calculators for budget decisions, click here: http://www.crown.org/FindHelp/Personal/Calculators.aspx

Getting a Godly View of Money

1. Remember that all of your possessions belong to God. Psalm 24:1, Psalm 8:4-6
2. Establish giving if you haven’t already. 2 Corinthians 9:6
3. Stop buying on credit right now. Proverbs 22:7
4. Be on guard against materialism. Luke 12:15, Matthew 13:18-23, Ecclesiastes 5:10
5. Borrow money cautiously and modestly. Proverbs 22:7
6. Practice saving, even if it is a small amount. Save your spare change every day. Proverbs 13:11
7. Remember that you are accountable to God for the stewardship of the resources that He’s entrusted to you.
8. Learn to live on what God provides and not fall prey to what the world tells you that you need.
9. Evaluate where you prioritize your work (Jesus first, family second, work third). Proverbs 23:4-5, Matthew 6:33
10. Think before you purchase everything. Proverbs 24:3, Ephesians 5:15-17

I hope you find these helpful. Please add what works for you on the comment line below.
ferree

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Financial Guidebook for Widows

Moving Forward On Your Own--A Financial Guidebook for Widows was written by a woman who was a financial planner before her husband, a Lutheran minister, died in 2007. Now she devotes her business exclusively to helping widows.
Here's a newspaper article about it, which is where I first heard the story. Financial planner's own experience helps her guide widows in money matters Be sure to read the article for some very helpful Q & A's. Kathleen Rehl is also featured in the stories on Widow Connection.

I must say, it is a beautiful book! Filled with colorful artwork and budget basics, it takes on the unusual task of helping a widow reconcile her feelings about her values and finances. It's not a Bible-based book, its more for a secular audience. But it will help sort out some money issues, and it would serve as a lovely gift to a recent widow of any faith.
ferree

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I See Widows

Welcome back to the WCP! I took off posting last week and did some travelling, visiting, and catching up. (Not much catching up though--I may as well give up on that, tsk tsk. If you could see my desktop you'd understand---and probably laugh).

But it's good to be back with the women who are woven into my heart, my thoughts and my prayers.

Tom came across this video and we were both touched by it. The imaging is very fuzzy, but that's ok, it's not so much about the individuals as it is about the message. And it's not the faces I see anyway. When I watch this particular girl do you know what I see? I see a widow. I imagine you. I see myself. In the picture frame of eternity this is what we do.



"...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus..." (from Hebrews 12:1,2 NASB)
 
(As always, if this post arrives in your email inbox and the video or link isn't showing up, simply click on the title line at the top of this page to get to the WCP blog itself so you can view it. Thanks!)
ferree

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Home Repairs Single Style

"Stay calm," I told myself. I was a little uncomfortable, but nothing hurt. Luckily I'd fallen on my bed, flat on my back, arms spread out. I could have snapped my fingers to summon the butler--if I had a butler. Next best thing--snap at the kids, but they were all at school.
Elmer, AKA Useless

Elmer, one of my cats came in, jumped on the bed, stepped over my face, stepped up onto the large and heavy mirror I was under, laid down and started to purr. I was pinned by a mirror with a cat on top.

Kind of like a fly under a flyswatter, except I wasn't smashed. I wished I was smashed, but I wasn't; it was just another day of widow-meets-home-decorating-challenges.

Score: MIRROR - 1
WIDOW - 0

I'm mirror-free now. I wriggled out from under the thing before the kids got home. What are your most embarrassing home repair stories? If you haven't had any yet, then click the link below and to start the DIY and build yourself some LOL memories!

Home Repairs That Shouldn't Require A Handyman
Here's a quick overview:
1. Toilet Tweaks: You and I could do these! Plus you wouldn't have to subject yourself to plumber cracks (yay!)
2. Replace a broken light switch: If you know how to find and turn off the circuit breaker, you can do this too. Consider buying the circuit tester they mention, they're really great for finding live wires too.
3. Tuck-pointing: Honestly? I wouldn't try it because cement is known to dry before I'm done.
4. Installing a dimmer switch: see #2.
5. Replacing a broken floor tile: Really? Renting all those power tools too? Just put a throw rug over it.
6. Patching a concrete crack: see #3
7. Replacing a faucet: this looks do-able!
8. Installing a ceiling fan: NOT unless you have the upper body strength, have a spotter, and don't get dizzy on ladders
9. Removing a stripped or broken screw: maybe
10. Repairing your gutters and downspouts: If you're comfortable on a ladder this could save you from a lot of water damage and $$$$ repairs. But--- consider if it's worth falling off a ladder for.

I'd love to hear your tips, tricks and most embarrassing home repair moments.
ferree

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Do You Offer God Options When You Pray?

This blog post by a wonderful blogger and woman of prayer (and widow, of course) brought a tear to my eye and a change to my heart. So often my prayers try to make it easy for God to tell me "no," because I don't want to risk being hurt or disappointed (again). . . I can't simply summarize Cynthia's words, so please click onto the link to her blog so you may have the whole of her thought-provoking and perhaps, prayer-altering piece. ferree


Multiple - Choice Prayers

cynthiaprayblog.wordpress.com
 
I hate multiple choice surveys. Ask me a good question, give me enough space and time, and you’re likely to get a response that’s thoughtful, maybe even passionate. Just don’t force me (click here for more)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

ICE CREAM Dessert

What's summertime without ice cream?
And if you like Dairy Queen Buster Bars, this recipe makes a 9 x 13 pan full!
Even though I've cut the sugar and the butter of the original recipe, it's very rich and sweet. So bring it along to the church picnic, or divide it up in smaller foil pans to save for smaller get-togethers. In fact, why not invite other widows over for a movie night or go to the fireworks together?
BUSTER BAR DESSERT
CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 of a 13 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 pkg. (6 oz.) chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla

CRUNCHY CRUST:
1 pkg. (15 oz.) Oreos cookies, crushed (use regular Oreos, not the Double-Stuff)
1/4 cup melted butter

OTHER LAYERS:
1 1/2 cups roasted peanuts (Use your favorite kind: dry-roasted or Spanish work equally fine...salted or lightly salted... you can't go wrong). 
1/2 gallon vanilla soft-serve ice cream from your favorite ice cream shop

Sauce:
Combine confectioner's sugar, evaporated milk, chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup butter in a pot. As it melts together, low boil for 8 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add vanilla and let it cool.

Crust:
Combine crushed cookies and 1/4 cup melted butter. Pat lightly into 9" x 13" pan (or two smaller pans, or a number of mini-loave foil pans).
Freeze crust until firm.

Layers:
Sprinkle peanuts over cookie crust. Spread soft serve ice cream over the peanuts. Spread chocolate sauce over ice cream.
Keep in the freezer until ready to serve, and then give it just a few minutes to soften up enough to cut
it into servings.

Help out other widows by sending in your favorite yummy recipes to: [email protected]
ferree

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Is There An End to This Pain?

A widow going on her third year mentioned how each year seemed to present an entirely different set of challenges and it seemed that just as she began to get a handle on one, the calendar page would turn and she'd be looking down the barrel of a whole new ominous cloud.

I could see that the Lord had given her a lot of wisdom though. She realized she had some hard choices to make between the better path and bitterness. Today's post captures some of these, especially if you can link to the audio. Remember if you receive this post by email you might have to click on the title so you can use the link directly from the blog rather than your inbox.

Some of our choices on the long road of widowhood:

"Most friends will not continue to sympathize with you---be tolerant of them anyway . . ."

"God will often be silent and seem very distant to you--- trust Him anyway . . ."

"There's a big difference between God's silence and His absence . . ."

These are a few quotes I jotted down from this fantastic sermon from my pastor in Ohio on May 6, 2012.

And here are the main points:
  • Accept your experience as a test
  • Repeat the spiritual disciplines even though they seem empty at times
  • Be realistic--you may be in for the long haul. So dig in.
  • Remember that God promises to reward those who endure
I wish I could formulate this sermon into a pill and take one every day! The next best thing is to take it in by listening. All you have to do is click here to go to the church's website, sit back and soak it in. I think you'll agree it's a big help and encouragement! 
05/06/12 - When Pain is Prolonged by Cornelious Hancock

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Priceless Daily Routine

Years ago, daily Bible reading and prayer had always been on my “Yes I Should” list, but seldom got consistently checked off.

Then my mom gave me a little book called Daily Light. It was a collection of verses that carried the same keyword. I could read it in about 5 minutes, and I could check daily Bible reading and prayer off my “should” list for the day. Not a very good motive, I'll admit, but as a relationship with God began to grow out of the routine, I grew to enjoy those minutes; they anchored my day.

One morning every verse mentioned, “God is my portion.”

“Oh, I like that,” I said to myself. “God is my portion is a really special thought for elderly, white-haired widow ladies. I might need these verses when I'm a cute little old widow in about 50 years. I should start a file and collect other verses, too. Then I’ll be set when it happens to me.”

I became a widow that very day, not 50 years later. When I finally got into bed that night—- alone -—and sleepless—- I re-opened Daily Light and stared blankly at the verses.

I am your portion and your inheritance. Numbers 18:20
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26
You, O LORD, are the portion of my inheritance . . . Psalm 16:5

Even though I was reading those verses, I felt frozen in a nightmare, like I couldn’t wake up. I didn’t want those verses that night. I loved my husband; I wanted him instead! I hadn’t given a thought to “God is my portion,” since I’d closed the book that morning. Not today, not yet, not for years! I wasn’t ready to be a widow!

Yet God had chosen that day to put those verses in my path, and that thought in my mind about how good they'd be for little old widow ladies. I didn’t even understand what God is my portion meant, but I knew God had spoken. I knew He had known all along what would happen to me that day.

Reading God's Word that day gave me hope.

What if I had skipped my daily quiet time that day? God would have worked some other way. But do you know what? I really like that He worked it this way. He speaks through the Bible, and I want to be sure to hear what He says. Every day. No matter what.
ferree

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Grief Camps for Kids

With summer upon us, have you considered finding a "grief camp" for your children to attend?

Often, your local hospice will sponsor such a thing. Exclusively Christian grief camps for kids are rare, so prayerfully consider what's available in your community. Children might not seem like they need any help---yet. But you can help equip them now for later on when they're ready to deal with it.
If you know of other grief camps for kids this summer, please add it to the comments so others can read about it too. Thanks! ferree
Christian-based Grief Camps:
Camp Agape in Glen Rose, TX * June 13 - 16 (there's an adult camp also, same dates)
Brave Heart Camp in Brevard, NC * June 23 - June 28
Camp Anew in Mears, MI * June 24 - 27
Christian Works Camp Erin in Dallas/Ft.Worth, TX * July 11-13
Other Grief Camps:

Camp Erin by the Moyer Foundation.

Comfort Zone Camp camps are in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia

Other resources for grieving children:

National Alliance for Grieving Children Many articles about grieving children, and a map you can click on for help your area.

New York Life Foundation This website link goes directly to the children's page, but has lots of other help too

Hello Grief I've set up this link to the Hello Grief page of state-by-state resources. Find your state, click on it to discover the available programs.

Olivia's House in York, PA
Sad Child - Portrait by George Hodan

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chicken Salad for Sharing

It can be quite a challenge to begin to cook for just yourself, can't it? But this versatile recipe can get you over some of the obstacles---it's easy, it takes care of at least two meals, or its good enough to share with another widow. Why not call her right now and meet for lunch in a park today or hit the beach? She can bring the beverages and crackers, and tell her you'll bring the salad.

For the chicken in this recipe you could roast a chicken yourself, pick up a rotisserie chicken at your grocery store deli (eat some of it for dinner tonight and use the rest for this salad tomorrow), or use a large can of chicken white meat.

Grapes add surprising freshness, flavor and juiciness, and the pepper is just the right oomph.

ALMOND CHICKEN SALAD

1 1/2 cups diced, cooked chicken (or one 13 oz. can chicken breast)
1 cup halved, seedless red or green grapes
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds (To toast, place in a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring until golden. Butter or oil not necessary).
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Combine all in a medium bowl and mix well.

Pack your picnic basket--or old grocery bag if you're like me and don't remember where you stored the picnic stuff! Treat yourself at the nearest picnic table! ferree

Help out other widows by sending in your favorite single-living recipes or tips to: [email protected]
 
photo by Sherry Luttrell, used with
permission

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Widows Can Help Widows & Themselves

Did you know that helping others helps yourself?

Maybe that's why Jesus said, It's better to give than to receive.
I see evidence of this principle every time I visit my 3 different, confidential Facebook groups. Have you heard about them?

We pick up survivors and help
each other on the ocean of grief.

There's Lifeboat and Lifeboat II because we outgrew the first Lifeboat. These are the entry point groups for new widows and more experienced widows alike. In fact, those who've been widowed longer often become mentors. It's not an official thing, it's just what happens as they converse and share what's going on their lives---frustrations and challenges, prayer requests, questions, and--believe it or not--- unexpected joy. Everyone learns from everyone else, and in telling their stories, experiences, and godly wisdom they begin to understand, adapt, and spiritually grow in Christ.

My Going Ashore group is for widows past the one-year mark who want to look to the future and discuss the challenges ahead. Many became acquainted with each others' grief journeys in a Lifeboat group, and Going Ashore gives them a platform for discussing life beyond widowhood.

LoveBoat is, as the name implies, for those who are interested in remarriage. Members talk about dating and remarriage--both the romantic and practical aspects, and they support and learn from each other and from those who get engaged and marry.

If you have a Facebook account and are interested in Lifeboat, please click here and follow the directions. Once you're on Lifeboat you may consider Going Ashore if you're past the one-year mark, or LoveBoat if you think God might have remarriage in your future.

I don't encourage people to get a Facebook account, but these groups are free to set-up on Facebook, so that's why I use it--there's no cost to you or me. Plus, Facebook does provides a degree of confidentiality and security since only members are allowed access. In fact, if you search on Facebook for these groups by their various names and find them---they're not mine, they just happen to have the same name as mine.

Contact me through Facebook anytime and I'll reply as soon as I can. New members get "on board" our Lifeboats on Tuesdays or Fridays. Set sail soon!
ferree