Saturday, January 18, 2020

how to help a grieving friend, part 2

Nine years ago, I wrote down some ways you can help someone who is dealing with grief (click here to read!). I started thinking about it again recently because of some dear people who have passed way too soon into heaven and my friends are grieving their loss.

I also thought about it because someone sent me something that made me remember my brother, who passed away in 2009... which is why I wanted to write how to help a grieving friend, part 2.

Here's the story... in the stack of Christmas cards I got this year, I received one from a close girlfriend. It got shoved away in my desk, so I forgot to open it until yesterday. When I did, it wasn't the normal Christmas card I expected. It said, "A gift has been made to Samaritan's Purse in your honor." Now, Samaritan's Purse is an awesome organization that I am happy to support, but it wasn't until I opened the card that I was floored.

The inside read:

I immediately cried. I hadn't seen his name written out for years. It reminded me that he was more than just a family memory. He was a real person that I used to hug and live with and make memories with. It was such a moment to treasure to just reflect on him and love on him and know that someone across the world was getting blessed because of this gift in his honor and they knew his name. 

Whoa... it blessed me!

And I wanted you to know... if you want to help a grieving friend, do something out of the ordinary and in that person's honor like this. Surprise them weeks down the road, years down the road. Write down the anniversary on your calendar. Write down a note to do something for them in the future. Do something now to let them know that you remember and care about them. 

I vividly remember nine months after Brody passed that we got a card in the mail from someone just talking about him... and it came from someone who wasn't necessarily a close friend we talked to every day! That blessed me so much! So much love and outpouring comes immediately after something happens - and yes, that stuff sticks with you too - but there's something special about someone remembering when the world has moved on. 

So if you know someone who lost a friend last year or the year before that or years or decades ago... or even last week, send them a special note. If it was a recent loss, make a note of the anniversary and send them a gift next year and the year after. Do something out of the ordinary and unexpected to show you care... it will bless them! 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

In the books of Revelation, we see this description of God.

“Who was, who is, and who is to come”

I like the message translation.

“The God who is, the God who was, the God about to arrive.”

I like that. He’s almost on the scene. Get prepared. He’s almost there!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

healed as they went

"As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!'

"He looked at them and said, 'Go show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

"One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, 'Praise God!' He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.

"Jesus asked, 'Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?' And Jesus said to the man, 'Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.'" -Luke 17:11-19 NLT

I've had a phrase that I've been thinking on over the past few weeks.

"healed as they went"

The concept comes from this passage of Scripture. The lepers were healed as they went. Consider how odd it must have felt for them to walk away from Jesus without seeing immediate change in their bodies. Maybe they expected that because lepers were thought to be contagious, and they knew they shouldn't get close.

Jesus didn't even touch them, yet they were cleansed through their obedience.

They had to turn around and walk without seeing immediate change. That must have been hard. I'm not exactly sure when the change came, but it says they were healed as they went to see the priests... I imagine it came slowly. Once they started to see a difference, I bet their excitement rose.

Placing myself in that story helps me imagine that God doesn't always answer as we plan or want Him to. Obedience is key. Trusting Him is key. Don't stop believing if He doesn't do as you expect. Anything is possible when you believe.

One reason this is a big idea for me is because my hubby has been going through a lot of health issues. Right now, he has some opportunities that I believe as he walks them out in faith and trusting God, he will be healed as he goes!

Now, God may not answer exactly as I plan, but I'm learning to trust Him through the process as these lepers did, even if I don't see things right away. HE IS STILL AT WORK! All caps to remind me it's always the case.

Monday, April 15, 2019

passing on the love of books

I've hit a busy season with work! Through it all, my goal is to keep reading to my kids.

I finally remembered to ask Erik to take our pics... I've been reading with these kids on couches and next to beds for years, and the space we need as we read keeps expanding as they get bigger. 

Here's our latest pic and I love it. 

Keep reading to your kids... and grandkids! Which prompts an extra shout out to my mom, who reads to the kids via Facetime! YAY! 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

don't despise the little things!

We're hosting a baby shower at my house on Sunday, and so we are in full pick up the house and clean mode!

Yesterday, my five-year-old was vacuuming the stairs and when he stopped he said, "Mom, mom! I figured out how the vacuum works!" He went on to explain how our hands hold the vacuum down and air comes out that pulls up the crumbs/dirt. 

It was a really fun moment, because a couple days ago, his older brother did something similar with a zipper. He had been zipping his coat and must have  been contemplating how it actually worked, and then told me, very excitedly, how interesting it was and how he figured it out. 

It goes to show you that kids are always trying to figure out life! This is one reason I value homeschooling. I get to hear all those moments of discovery... and they happen all the time, even when they are helping with chores or putting on a coat. They don't need tons of extra stuff to learn. They just need a safe place to learn and someone who will guide them through it! 

I'm certainly not perfect, but I'm enjoying it! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

sap to syrup!

Happy April!

Wowza, it's amazing how quickly time goes by. Already April! I think it helps that we have more than enough to do as moms and wives and workers and such to fill each day and week. I remember realizing how a kid's calendar goes by so slow when they are waiting for a big event that is weeks out because all they have to do all day is play / school... the days are much longer then!

Well, clearly I'm off  my normal devo routine, and I'm rethinking what my blog will look like going forward. I may switch it up and mix in devos with 5 things I'm grateful for as well as homeschool stories.

Yesterday was a fun homeschool day because we boiled down maple sap into syrup for the first time! It was something my hubs and I were interested in for a while, and it finally happened yesterday. The syrup was delicious! And it smelled so good as it boiled down. It was fun to realize how that experience was so good for the kiddos. They got to watch evaporation first hand as the sap changed to syrup. I think we are all excited that we get to do this all again each year! A lot of work, but it pays off. Oh and I ran to the gas station last night for vanilla ice cream to eat with our syrup! Delish treat after a long day of work (much of it my hubby's patience as it boiled!).

We still have sap to gather. I think it might run for a few more days. We also have more sap to boil. Yay! more syrup.

Anyway, I hope your week is going well! Thanks for reading about what is going in my world!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

5 things 3/30/19

1. Weekends.
2. Family.
3. Girls nights.
4. Chocolate chip cookies.
5. Singing