In the last post, we were taking a look at Psalm 77 and considering what it had to teach us about our response the losses and hard places in our life. If you are just joining in this post- you will want to go back to the posts linked below to get caught up. Then you can join us again and things will make more sense.
This is the third post in a series called
Hope and Healing in the Holidays.
The first post:
Hope & Healing in the Holidays
The second post:
Have you noticed what you need this holiday?
But actually you might want to start here to get some background on where this series is going:
Looking at the BIG moments that Change Your Life
Let’s continue on in Psalm 77:7-9 to see another way he teaches us to respond. This is where the Psalmist, well, some people might say he was throwing a tantrum. But actually he is showing us how to get ‘unstuck’ by honestly EXPRESS our EMOTIONS.
Ok! Make a fist again. Open up the pinky finger from yesterday (NOTICE THE NEEDS) and this time open the ring finger as well to… Continue reading Say It Like It Really Is
The holidays often bring with them this expectation of sparkle. The tables are beautifully set, the food is perfectly delicious, the relationships with family and friends are glowing.
But just looking around my church this weekend, I saw face after face that told me that it wasn’t that way for everyone. Most homes are fortunate to get 1 or 2 out of 3, but the person who has all three- is probably not reading my website.
For many, the holidays only accentuate the awareness that things are not right, relationships are broken, money is tight. Life is not what you hoped it would be. Instead of the feelings of joy and delight, we feel fear and disappointment. The greater the expectation of sparkle, the deeper the funk we get in when it is not.
Instead of smiles and bright eyes, we often have furrowed brow and hands made into fists.
So how can we expect to find hope and healing in these holidays?
In my last post, (You can read it here) we talked about how our defining moments do not have to be those situations or losses in our life that we have no control over.
But we can do something about Continue reading Have you noticed what you need this holiday?
Days before Thanksgiving, I am noticing many people are writing or sharing posts and articles about ways to find hope and healing in the holidays.Honestly, the holidays are still one of the most difficult moments in my grief.
Our daughters, Caitlin and Brielle, come home – though often not at the same time. They are both married so we’ve also added two special son-in-laws. But when we are all together we are more aware than ever that Leisha is not among us.
After some earlier losses in life, I could still “manufacture” some of sparkle and gratitude of the holidays. I could still muster it mostly because I’m a positive person and I don’t have to work too hard to at least ‘appear’ happy.
But after Leisha died, it was not possible to even pretend to make that happen.
I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but for me grief was a feeling of being in a really dark tunnel where the mud was up past the top of my head and I couldn’t move a finger let alone breathe.
The harder I tried to get out the deeper I got Into the mire, into the mud, into the darkness.
Maybe you are reading this because you are Continue reading Hope & Healing in the Holidays
In the last post, I talked about the big moments we can recall in vivid detail. We remember who was with us, what happened, how it felt. Often, we share how that moment changed our life.
I shared one moment that is talked about a lot in scripture- I call it the RED SEA story -when the children of Israel were caught between death – and death. It was that moment when God showed up like he had never shown up before and they were saved. (You can read more about that in the post from yesterday)
I’m guessing that even as you read that description, you immediately think of one or more occasions in your own story that changed you.
I wish we could sit over a cup of coffee and share those moments together. I would love to hear about the moment that changed you in the comments section or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For now, I’ll share my story RED SEA moment with you. It was the day my 15 year old daughter, Leisha, died.
I didn’t know how I was going to survive the grief tunnel any more than the children of Israel knew how they were going to get out of Egypt, or get through the Red Sea.
God had to show up! And he had to show up differently than he ever had before! Continue reading What Happens When a Moment Changes Your Life
I recently attended the funeral, actually, the celebration of life of a 23 year old daughter of a friend.
The uncanny timing of this particular event was not lost on me. As I sat at this funeral, I was reminded of another that took place just one week shy of 11 years ago- in the same church- led by the same pastor. It was a funeral I was very much a part of since the life being celebrated was my 15 year old daughter, Leisha. Continue reading 6 Reasons to Be Grateful at a Funeral
Because it’s a very special day!
(I apologize for the freeze frames in this video- but you get the idea!)
I’m in the people business
Care for people
Feel for people
Because of this I have to be very aware of how I take in the emotions & pain of others. It can effect me not only emotionally, but physically as well.
Over the last few days a series of losses took my breathe away.
Death of a 26 year old friend of Leisha’s
Death of a 16 year old friend of a friend
Our friend’s 17 year old fighting for his life
Watching our parents process letting go of strength, while mourning each week the death of another friend or loved one.
Watching the girls navigate life and wondering what’s ahead for them and any future generations.
I’m not trying to take on all this pain but I’m struggling about what to do with my own emotions as I create a bigger picture for ministry I know I am part of
That involves more people
There it is!
I fear feeling more.
Then I reflected on the other messages
Continue reading So. Much. Pain.
It is Thanksgiving Eve, though I have seldom heard it described in such a way, not like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve. But tonight it seems appropriate. It is the day before ‘the day’ set aside for thanks and gratitude.
Yet I sit huddled on my sofa, tears just boiling under the surface waiting to spill over. Emotions are all over the place and I wonder if I will ever again feel free to experience joy without a deep sense of sadness.
If all the conditions were right, Continue reading A Broken Thanksgiving