When faced with the upcoming holidays and already rapid heartbeat and fading strength, the last thing a bereaved parent wants to hear is , “Make a plan”.
But the truth is, if you don’t it will be so. much. worse.
No one can tell YOU what the plan should be. Each family is unique. Each year brings different challenges-declining health, moves, children or grandchildren born and a dozen other variables that must be accounted forTHIS year versus years past.
Read the rest here: Holidays and Grief: You Need a Plan
The calendar is tricky for grieving hearts.
It’s not just a way to plan events or remember doctor appointments.
It’s full of milestone dates and commitments that loom large and awful like an oncoming train in a dark tunnel.
Sometimes I just want to fall asleep sometime around the end of October and wake up in January after all the hoopla is over.
But I can’t.
It’s not because I’m a Scrooge-I actually love making and giving gifts, I like baking cookies and breads, I enjoy cozy evenings with family in front of the fireplace.
What I don’t like is the busyness, the crowds, the push to be hap-hap-happy all the time and the crazy consumerism that crowds out the quiet peace of the promise of Light in the darkness.
I also struggle with meeting expectations-my own and those of others’-as well as enduring loud and slightly chaotic gatherings.
This will be the fifth set of holidays since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven and we have yet to settle on a pattern for how to approach them. Each year has been different and each year has presented new challenges.
I think the two things I’ve learned so far are this: (1) It’s OK to do things differently or to skip some things altogether; and (2) It’s important to communicate my needs and limitations to those around me.
Timing matters too.
I need to prepare family and friends NOW for the changes coming to holiday plans.
So for the next few days I’m going to repost some of the articles I’ve written about how to survive the holidays with a grieving heart.
They are not a “how-to” manual-just some observations and suggestions.
Take what is helpful and leave the rest.
In the end, each heart needs to find its own path.
I pray you find yours. ❤
Father, I have stopped asking for miracles.
My wounded heart has lost the faith it once had for hoping You might step in and make something out of nothing.
I still believe in YOU. I still hope in YOU.
Read the rest here: A Prayer For Mercy and Grace
“Is it not sweet to believe that our tears are understood even when words fail? Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers, and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate intercession which will wear its way right surly into the very heart of mercy, despite the stony difficulties which obstruct the way. My God, I will “weep” when I cannot plead, for Thou hearest the voice of my weeping.”
Read the rest here: Liquid Prayers
The Bible says that “The Name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are saved.” (Proverbs 18:10)
Clearly that does NOT mean that every person who calls on the Name of the LORD will be kept physically whole.
Many, many believers have suffered and died while the name of Christ is on their lips.
But I do believe that in a very real, very meaningful way, calling on the Name of the LORD has saved me.
Read the rest here: When I Don’t Know What to Pray: Praying the Names of God
One of the most devastating questions I had to face after Dominic ran ahead to heaven was, “What difference does prayer make?”
I had prayed-diligently prayed-for every one of my children since before they were born.
Even Dominic’s name, which means “belonging to God” was chosen carefully to reflect my heart’s desire that this child follow hard after Jesus.
Dominic had served Christ’s church with his time, talents and resources his whole life. Yet he was not quite 24 when he met Jesus face to face.
So why didn’t prayer “work”? Why did my son die in an accident when others live?
Read the rest here: Prayer After Child Loss: What’s the Point?
One of the hardest questions after child loss has been, “If God hears my prayers, and my prayers make a difference, why didn’t He protect my son?”
It’s not something a mama’s heart can just ignore.
So, because it comes up again and again, and because I hope my musings might help another heart, I’m going to dedicate a few days to do that.
When it’s not your kid you can think of all kinds of lofty, theologically correct arguments or reasons for why God answers one prayer and not another–for why one person is healed and not another–for why one person survives a devastating-should-have-killed-him accident but not another.
But when it is your child that doesn’t survive or isn’t healed or is stolen through the violent actions of someone else…well, that’s a different matter entirely.
Read the rest here: The Problem of [Un]Answered Prayer