It’s a paradox really-that grieving hearts can be more anxious and more sorrowful BEFORE and AFTER a milestone day, birthday or holiday than on the day itself.
That’s not true for everyone, but it’s a frequent comment in our closed bereaved parent groups.
Fearful anticipation of how awful it MIGHT be can work me up into a frenzy.
Read the rest here: Post Holiday Blues: When The Grief Comes Crashing Down
Oh, dear one who opened your eyes to the morning light carrying wounds so deep no one can see!
I am so, so sorry.
When things have gone terribly wrong it’s hard to get up and make merry.
Read the rest here: Christmas Morning Prayer for Hurting Hearts
I admit it-patience is not my strong suit.
I’m a person of action rather than deliberation.
Sometimes that gets me into trouble. Almost always it makes me intolerant of delays.
So I have to be very, very careful not to apply my impatience to God’s timing.
Read the rest here: Advent: Right On Time
This has been an odd (to put it mildly) Christmas season. I haven’t done half of what I normally do and now there’s no time to catch up and do it.
I’ve been off balance since the first of November, hanging on by the seat of my pants and just barely managing the necessities.
So I really, really, really needed to read what I wrote several years ago.
Back then there was no chance I’d produce a full-fledged, decked out spread for Christmas. But I’ve gotten better at it since.
Just not this year. So if you are falling behind or falling down, you’re not alone!
So many ways to be reminded of how hard it is to hold on in these days and weeks around Christmas.
If your heart is barely able to beat, the pressure to be “hap-hap-happy” can send you over the edge.
If your home is empty of cheerful voices, the constant barrage of commercials touting family togetherness can leave you feeling oh, so lonely.
Early sunsets and darker nights send feel-good hormones flying and leave a body aching for just a little relief from anxious and depressing thoughts.
When you think you can’t hold on, let go.
Read the rest here: When You Think You Can’t Hold On
I don’t know about you but I’ve never thought of hopelessness as something I wanted on my resume.
Hopelessness is typically tossed into the pile of “negative” feelings we all acknowledge but don’t want to experience and if we do, we try to minimize, rationalize or disguise them.
If I admit to it at all, I tend to look downward, whisper quickly and pray that no one takes much notice because it feels shameful.
But maybe hopelessness is the first step to truly celebrating Christmas.
Read the rest here: Qualified by Hopelessness: An Empty Heart Can Be Filled
I’ll never forget one Christmas when I and some other moms organized a craft day for our preschool kids at a local church.
In our youthful enthusiasm, we thought doing homemade cards accented by glitter was a good idea. Boy, were we wrong!
Those bits of metallic bliss went everywhere-in hair, on clothes, in the carpet…we spent twice as much time trying to clean up as we spent making memories with the children. Never again!
So this quote about grief and glitter really struck home in my heart.
Every now and then I run across a quote or a meme that is perfect.
This is one of them.
Read the rest here: Grief Glitter, Tucked In Every Corner
It’s tempting to line up our friends and acquaintances in columns under headings of “perfect family”, “good christian”, “struggling addict” or “hopeless case”.
When I label someone I justify my response-good or bad-and let myself off the hook for sharing the extravagant, unrestrained love God has shown to me.
The longer I live, the more people I meet, the more certain I am that the neat little categories we like to use are not very helpful.
If I decide they are “doing well” then they don’t need my help.
And if I decide they are “beyond hope” then why waste my time or effort?
Either way, I’m wrong.
Christmas is the story of God come down-Emmanuel-of Love reaching down into a dark and lonely world. It was hardly tidy, it was a Messy Christmas
If your heart cannot bear the thought of one more holly, jolly song, one more hap-hap-happy get together, one more frenzied rush to the store for a forgotten present or pantry item-just choose to sit this one out.
It is possible to go through the month of December without caving in to consumerism or being guilted into celebrating when your heart’s not in it.
Close the blinds. Let the telephone go to voicemail. Fast from social media and turn off the TV.
Read the rest here: “Get Out of Christmas Free” Card
Getting Christmas cards out on time was always a challenge in my busy household.
So for the last years of kids at home, we transitioned to sending New Year’s greetings. It was easier to get a family photo with everyone home for Christmas, there was no artificial deadline to send them and we could include a “thank you” or respond to news in their Christmas letters.
I hadn’t sent anything for three years.
What could I say?
And a family photo was out of the question.
Read the rest here: Christmas Cards-Yes? No? Maybe?
I don’t know what the wise men expected to see.
It seems natural to us who know the story–who know the REST of the story–that they ended up finding Jesus-The King of the Jews-the One whose birth was announced by a star in a humble abode.
But I think it might have surprised those rich rulers traveling so far to worship Him.
Read the rest here: Advent: Extravagant Worship