Friday, July 13, 2018

OUR INCOMPARABLE GRIEF

The younger of my husband’s two daughters died a few years before I met him. The loss shattered the family. When I asked him about grief counseling, he said he briefly attended meetings for parents who had lost a child. However, he left the group when the parents related how their children died. Their descriptions unintentionally grew into a “can you top this?” competition. So deep was each one’s personal anguish that they had little to no sympathy with which to comfort one another.

Grief is painful, regardless of the circumstances. The death of a spouse, death of a parent, death of a child, death of a sibling, death of a friend, death of a marriage, even death of a beloved pet – each brings its own magnitude of bereavement.
I tried, without success, to choke back my tears when I told my physical therapist that my husband had unexpectedly passed away. She understood my pain. An auto accident had claimed her husband’s life several years ago. Our situations were similar in that we both lost our husbands, but they also had their differences: She identified her husband’s body from the wreckage. My husband died in my arms. Instead of comparing her loss to mine, she grasped my shoulders, looked me in the eyes, and said, “You’re going to be okay.” I desperately needed to hear those words.

To weigh one person’s loss against another’s doesn’t diminish the grief, but stabs another dagger into an already broken heart. We can offer our compassion, love, and sympathy; even months or years later, when we recognize that each loss has it’s own depth of sorrow.

(A widowed friend sent the quote to me in a text message when I lost my husband. I wish to give credit to the author, but couldn't find the source.)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Confession of a Pie Hoarder

My friends, Sarah, and her adult daughter, Grace, are (in my humble opinion) champion pie bakers. Although pecan pie had not been one of my favorites until I met these two wonderful ladies, my mouth waters at the mere thought of a slice of their pecan pie.

They brought a whole pie to my home for a covered dish luncheon during the holidays. I put it in the refrigerator during the main course and forgot to set it out for the guests when we were ready for dessert. Was that a real slip of the memory, or a subconscious desire to hoard the delicious delicacy for my own enjoyment? Hmmm.... a point to ponder for a nano-second.

When it became apparent that I could not, in good conscience, hog the whole pie, I shared it with my co-workers. All it took was a two-line office-wide e-mail: "Home-made pecan pie in kitchen. Enjoy!"

 A stampede to rival a scene from "Rawhide" confirmed my suspicions that my office buddies weren't yet sugared-out from all the earlier treats and goodies presented throughout the month of December. I thought I saw Rowdy Yates among them, but, of course, it was a sweets-induced hallucination.

In this first week of the first month of the new year, I have cleansed my guilty conscience. I have confessed my desire to hoard a treasured pie, and shared my bounty with others.

Now, I have to ask myself: was my motive to share the delectable dessert seeded in a heart of giving, or my fear of an expanding waistline?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Reason for the Season


And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold,

I bring you good tidings of great joy,  which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of  David a Saviour, 

which is Christ the Lord.
 
And this shall be a sign unto you;

Ye shall find the babe wrapped

in swaddling clothes,

lying in a manger.  

– Luke 2:10-12





(Manger scene is taken from free clip art)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fear Less Pray More


I am happy to announce that my newest devotional - Fear Less Pray More - A Woman's Devotional Guide to Courageous Living, is now available.

It is my prayer that these devotions will bless you. Some will make you laugh, others will bring tears. I also hope you will glean an insight into the power of our Lord and Creator at our fingertips. We have a mighty advocate to stand with us as we face our fears and challenges.

Tragedy struck my family when I was a little more than half way through writing this devotional. Our Heavenly Father led me through the crisis and, although He gave me the peace, strength, and courage to finish the project, it still felt like rolling a boulder up a slippery mountain. The Lord didn't promise to make it easy, but He did promise to be there with me. And He keeps His promises!

My critique group, Word Weavers International - Tampa Chapter, helped me not only with their critiques, but also with their prayers. They are all a special blessing to me.

My sister, Kathy, coached me through those difficult days and held me up in her prayers. God granted me the treasure of the best sister in the world!

Friends and other family members, including my church family at Bayside Community Church in Tampa, urged me on with their encouraging words and prayers. My friend, Sarah, summed it up best with her comment, "Death by deadline!" I've claimed that as the title of a novel I'll write.

I can't give enough praise to the editors at Barbour House Publishing for their excellent work. Many thanks for their patience and kindness, and for extending my deadline more than once.

So...through my blood, sweat, and tears, but most of all, through God's gentle embrace, here it is.



Monday, November 28, 2016

Winning the Battle

Too often I read an obituary that states: "...lost his battle with (name of disease), and passed away..."

Friends, we are losing the battle while we remain here to endure the fatigue, the pain, and the frailty that so often accompanies the ugly diseases we encounter. But for the believer in Jesus Christ, that battle is not lost. Victory belongs to those who break free from their sickly torment and accept the outstretched hand of the Savior. No more pain and anguish; bathed in the glorious love of God, our Creator. That is a battle worth winning!

"Just think of stepping ashoreand finding it Heaven,of touching a hand and finding it God'sof breathing new air and finding it celestial....of waking up in glory and finding you are Home..."
Finally Home! 
by Don Wyrtzen

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Here are the links to the latest lessons from Charlie Clough. He spoke at Bayside Community Church in Tampa (3333 Bayshore Blvd.) on Sunday, 10/9/16.

As always, his teachings on the issues of global warming and Darwinism are mind-blowingly clear.

10 AM Three Ways the Culture Weakens Our Faith and What We Can Do About It - Pt.1
http://bcctampa.sermon.net/main/main/20779859
11 AM Three Ways the Culture Weakens Our Faith and What We Can Do About It - Pt. 2http://bcctampa.sermon.net/main/main/20779857
Read about him on his website:
http://bibleframework.com/about/clough/

Monday, September 26, 2016

God's Invisible Protection

The next-to-the-last leg of my journey to work this morning put me on a curved road that emptied into three lanes at the traffic light. The left lane was a "turn only," the middle lane offered a choice of turning left or going straight. The right lane was another "turn only."

While I waited in line six cars back from the traffic light, the man behind me grew impatient. He pulled his Jeep into the oncoming traffic lane (crossing a double yellow line - Gasp!), and drove around the curve to the left "turn only" lane.

 
A woman in an SUV turned onto the road, missing a head-on collision with the Jeep by two seconds. A second impatient driver behind me performed the same trick the guy in the Jeep had done. He zipped around the hairpin corner, on the wrong side of the road (another Gasp!), and stopped behind the Jeep.
A young woman in a sedan with a little dog in her lap turned onto the road, missing the latest impatient jerk by a whisper.

The two women who turned onto the road were unaware of God's protection at that moment. Did they get stuck behind a school bus that delayed them those few precious seconds? Did they complain about it?

It made me wonder how many times I've sat stuck in traffic, fuming about being late for work. Did those traffic jams actually protect me?
A simple life lesson learned from people watching:

Thank you, God, for using delays to protect me from other impatient people!