Sunday, February 16, 2020

Valentine's Day 2020

The beautiful flowers and card that my children gave me
the morning of February 14th, 2020.

Hard to believe, but this was my 2nd Valentine’s Day without my husband.  Gotta be honest, I feel like I did pretty good this year. There were a few tears, but I stayed focused on spreading love to all my family and friends that I still have in my life.  I also reminded myself that I am blessed to have had any time with Jeffrey...let alone 20+ years.  

I thought I would go out to the cemetery, but I didn’t.  Partly because it was super cold on Valentine’s Day. Really, it was cold the whole weekend.  Plus, the ground is covered in snow, so I wouldn’t be able to sit and hang out like I sometimes do.  But also because I don’t feel the need to go to the cemetery as often as I used to.  


I just think I have reached a point where I realize that he is with me everywhere I go.  I talk to him all the time, and I can hear his words/voice in my mind. When I am lying in bed at night, I feel like I can practically feel him laying next to me sometimes.  To the point that I move my feet towards him like I would if he were actually there. I will still go out to the cemetery, of course, but when I don’t, it isn’t because I’m not thinking about Jeff.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, and honestly, it would be exhausting to count the number of times that he runs across my mind in a day. Oh, but I am so thankful that he does!       


So, no cemetery, but I did write Jeff a little something on Valentine’s Day.  Here it is...


Happy Valentine’s Day in Heaven my love.  


I hear your voice in my head.  You are saying~
Hey there, Good lookin’!
Keep your chin up &
Keep on keepin’ on!


And that is what I will do.
I will press on.
I will let my light shine-Just as you always let your light shine.
I will carry our love forward--sharing it with our kiddos.


I feel blessed to have loved you & been loved by you.


Know that~
You are thought of...often.
You are missed...intensely.
You are loved...always.


On this special day, I cherish our memories.
The good times that bring a huge smile to my face, 
As well as the difficult times that we worked through and learned from.
All of our memories will be appreciated until the day we see each other again.


XOXO


To some it might seem silly writing to someone who won’t read it, but for me it is healing and helpful.  What really helps me get through this loss overall, especially on these special days, is just allowing myself to focus on what I had (my loving husband), what I still have (wonderful family and friends), and what I will have again someday (Heaven---Jesus, Jeffrey and other family and friends again).  


I also try to remember that my husband would not want his legacy to be that his death destroyed me...or anyone else that he loved.  He would want me to continue being a loving mom to our children, and he would want me to focus on the good that is left. I know this because I saw how he handled losing loved ones.  He talked about his two grandfathers and grandmother after they passed with love. He shared fun stories about them. He didn’t dwell on the hurt or loss. So, I am trying to do the same.  

Here is hoping that I can continue to make it through special days as well as I did this one.  I know that grief is unpredictable, so I am not completely confident that will always be the case.  That is okay though because I made it through this one. One day at a time.   

Thursday, February 6, 2020

When We Fall Apart


Oh my goodness!  This song moved me to tears.  It brought me back to when I was 31-years-old and got the news that my dad was sick.  Within just a few months, he died.  I'm pretty sure it is safe to say that losing one of your parents, no matter your age, is heart breaking.  I would have preferred he lived to a ripe old age of 88 or older, but instead, he made it to 60.  Not long enough for this daughter.  

I love how in this song his mom tells him that...

It's ok to cry
It's ok to fall apart
You don't have to try
To be strong when you are not
And it may take sometime to make sense of all your thoughts
But don't ever fight your tears
'Cause there is freedom in every drop
Sometimes the only way to heal a broken heart is when we fall apart   


'Cause let's be honest, folks, sometimes the only thing you can do is cry.  Life can be brutal at times, and releasing tears usually brings a bit of relief.  I'm the type of person who likes to keep it together in front of others, but I am well aware that it truly is okay to fall apart.  Maybe you are like me, and you fight for composure.  That is okay, but remember to allow yourself time to let the tears flow.

There is a time for tears, and you shouldn't allow yourself to believe that crying is a sign of being weak.  Washington Irving, the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, said that "There is a sacredness in tears.  They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.  They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.  They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love."   He was a wise man!

Big hugs to all of you who have lost a parent (or parents).  My ❤️ feels for you!
    

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Hodge Podge

This past year has been tough.  Well, 1 year, 1 month and 24 days really, but who's counting.  I’m tired all the damn time. Seriously! Just mentally, physically, and emotionally worn out every single day.  

As I type that, I feel guilty.  I really shouldn’t complain. There are people out there who have it much worse than I do.  The news is filled with people who are going through difficult situations...deaths, missing children, house fires, etc.  Yes, I lost the man that I love, my partner in life, and the father of my children. However, it wasn’t just yesterday. Yes, I lost him in a way that I can’t fully process and accept, but I try.  That is all I can do. Yes, I am a solo parent. Yes, I have had to navigate and tackle some big things this past year. Heck, just found out today that our 2016 taxes were never processed. Deep breaths!  The good news is that I have fabulous family and friends that help me out so much all the time. For the love, my dear mother lives with us and cooks and cleans for us. She is super supportive and helpful.  Many others have been too!  

And yet, I’m sitting here complaining because I just feel worn out.  I think the toll of the past year has just really gotten to me. My son’s car accident on January 19th stirred up a bunch of anxiety and emotions.  Praise the Lord he is okay! On top of that, I am not taking very good care of myself, and I know that. My eating habits are horrible, and I have gained about 15 pounds in the last 2 months.  I’m also not taking my vitamins, supplements and depression/anxiety medicine on a regular basis. Why? No good reason really.  

I have been to the doctor.  Everything checked out normal, and she thought the way I was feeling was likely due to depression and anxiety.  So, we upped my medication since I was on a low dose. I did feel better for a bit, but then I stopped taking it regularly and feel wiped out again.  Hoping that once I start taking it more regularly again, as well as my other vitamins and such, eating better, and just overall take better care of myself, I will feel better and the fatigue won’t be so bad.  Ugh! Why is it hard sometimes to just take care of ourselves?

The other day on my Facebook page called ‘Walking Through the Valley’ I asked for prayers.  So thankful to have people that I can turn to when I need prayers. Grateful that there are people that will lift my family up to Him when I am struggling to do anything but just get by.  I do pray, but it is just reassuring to know that others have my back in that area too.  

My personal belief is that it is important to be as open and honest when you are going through tough times.  In the past, if I try to hide what is happening, it just makes me feel worse. Plus, when you share, you just might help others.  So, I openly share that I struggle with anxiety and depression. I am very honest about that face that I have dealt with suicidal thoughts since I was a teenager, but thankfully, I have never acted on them.  Unless you count the time that teenage me took too many Tylenols, but I don’t. That was just teenage stupidity. I openly share that it has been hard to lose Jeffrey, and I am getting better at acknowledging to others that it was an apparent suicide.  

One part of my brain says it’s nobody else’s business how he died.  Nunya as Jeff would say. However, the other part of my brain says that we have to get rid of the stigma of struggling with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts.  People shouldn't feel ashamed. Instead, they should feel able to reach out for help. We need to help people, maybe men especially, understand that it is okay to ask for help during times of struggle.  Feeling hopeless can happen to anyone. It doesn’t mean you are weak. When I ask for prayers for others or share what is going on, it isn’t to say “Oh look at me!” It’s to say, “Y’all, I am struggling and I need help.”  Needing help is okay.    

Jeff was very much a manly man.  Kind of your typical man so to speak.  You know the kind of man that doesn’t like to talk about his feelings, and doesn’t like to ask for help.  If he did take his own life, I wish he would have known that he could have asked for help. I wish he would have known that I would not have looked down on him for needing help.  It’s not just me that would have helped him either. He had many family members and friends that loved him dearly, still do, and would have helped him anyway they could.

This post feels like a hodge podge of stuff, so I will add some more randomness to it.  In the area of taking care of myself, I finally went to counseling yesterday for the first time in 6 weeks.  I have been going every 3 weeks, but I had to cancel my appointment 3 weeks ago due to not feeling well. Let me tell you...6 weeks is too long of a stretch for me at this point.  We talked about my high anxiety and how I keep finding myself clenching muscles and not breathing. This led us to try progressive muscle relaxation. It’s supposed to help with muscle tension, which I could definitely use.  At this point, I’ll try anything once.

Alright, I’ll wrap this up.  Please excuse my random assortment of hodge podge.  Love that I have a space I can get some of my thoughts out at though.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Why God?


I heard this song on my way to work yesterday morning.  It really spoke to me! There are so many things I will never understand.  So many things that cause me to say, “Why God?” My personal big whys lately are...Why did my dad have to die at age 60?  Why did Jeffrey have to die in such a tragic way at just 46 years old? Why couldn’t I have had more time with both of them?

But let’s be honest, there are just so many whys out there...why do babies die?  Why do people go missing? Why would anyone want to kidnap or murder another human being?  Friends, you know we could sit here all day and compile a huge long list of whys. It’s honestly never ending.   

The whole song is fabulous, but I adore the chorus.  Check it out...

I don’t understand
but I understand
Why God I need You
It’s why God I run to Your arms
Over and over again
It’s why God I cling to Your love
And hold on for dear life
And I find You are right by my side

I will never understand why so many unfair things happen every single day to people all around the world.  My only glimpse of understanding is that we live in a fallen world. That is so very true.   

Many will say that God could stop things from happening.  Yes, he could. He certainly is capable and powerful enough.  However, if you are a parent, you understand that sometimes simply fixing your child’s situation doesn’t change anything.  Sometimes they need to be shown tough love. I am sure that God, our father, doesn’t enjoy sitting back and watching many of these things unfold.  

I can’t question why He chooses to stop some things and not others.  I have to trust that He has all of our best interests at heart. He is unlike any parent out there.  He has knowledge beyond what any of us will ever have. He sees the bigger picture in a way that none of us ever will.

So, while I don’t understand, I will continue to cling to Him.  I will trust that He knows best. I will continue to trust in Him because He is trustworthy.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

We Live in a Crazy World




Sometimes, it is overwhelming to live in this broken world. Maybe everyone doesn’t feel that way. But holy moly, for me, it is difficult. Social media and the news are filled with enormous amounts of bad news and very little good news to balance it out.

Human trafficking, kidnapping, missing people, children who have runaway. Murder, parents killing their kids, suicide, death of people way too young (before 70 in my opinion), death of loved ones over 70. School shootings, church shootings. Heck, any kind of public mass shootings. Cancer, Alzheimer's, sick children, other diseases. Mistreated animals, mistreated people. Massive fires, house fires, tornadoes and other natural disasters. Tragic accidents. Rapists, pedophiles, internet predators. War. I am certain that I could go on. Yes, I am also absolutely sure that these “sentences” are not grammatically correct. It’s all good.

Ugh, it’s not that I don’t want to not know about these things. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand and pretend they don’t happen. If I did that, I wouldn’t be able to pray for people in those hard situations, and I wouldn’t be able to be aware and vigilant so that I can protect those that I love. But, oh my goodness gracious, these things just overload my brain and overwhelm me.

Maybe I feel this way because I struggle with anxiety. Seriously, I worry about everything. I was like this before Jeff died, and since then, it has only gotten worse. Jeff used to tease me because I worry so much. Oddly enough, one of the things I worry about the most is losing those close to me. Clearly, I have a reason to worry. I pray for safety for my children A LOT! Bad things happen every single day. I have learned that you can’t stop them. I fully realize that I am not in control. That hasn’t eased my anxiety though, and medication only does so much to help.

It could be that my brain feels overloaded and overwhelmed because I am an extremely empathetic person also. That was another thing that Jeff didn’t fully understand about me. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that he never felt empathy. His empathy was just generally reserved for people that he knew personally or had some type of connection to. My empathy goes beyond that. If I read about a missing child, I feel terrible for the parents. I start to physically feel what they must be going through. When those feelings come over me, I have learned how to rein them in. Doing this doesn’t completely make the feelings disappear, but it does keep them from consuming me.

Ultimately, whether the overwhelmed feelings come from my anxiety or overactive empathy, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I realize that I can’t function healthily with this level of fear, worry, uncertainty, or concern. I have to turn it over to God. So, I pray. I cast my cares on Him because I know that He will sustain me (Psalm 55:22). I listen to Christian music that gives me peace and hope. I read my Bible, and talk to family and friends that can help center me and bring my anxiety back down.

Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us how to put on the Armor of God. In verse 17, we learn that we need to be armed with the Sword of the Spirit. This is the word of God. So, I’m going to share with you a few verses about anxiety that I like to arm myself with. There are so many more verses in the Bible that could help if you also struggle with feeling overwhelmed by all the negative in the world, but these are the ones I turn to during times of need. I take these verses and turn them into a prayer. It’s not a magic cure, but most of the time it truly does help calm my overwhelmed mind.
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7
  • Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” ~John 14:1
  • “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9
There is one last verse that I would like to share with you. Proverbs 12:26 says that anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. When you are in need of a kind word to help ease your heart, you can’t just make someone say them to you. However, knowing that kindness can cheer up others, you should try to be looking for areas where you can spread this daily. I am a firm believer that this will help others, but it will also ultimately impact you. Cheering up others, will also cheer you up. Try it!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Last night, I was listening to a couple of women talk about grief on a podcast.  They are two women from the group Grief Anonymous.  One of the women is a widow and the other is a mom who lost her infant son.  Both are terribly hard losses to have to endure.  They were talking about embracing your new authentic self.  They said a couple of things that resonated with me, and I wanted to share my thoughts.

The ladies stated that there is no shame in moving forward.  Survivors shouldn’t feel shame or guilt for learning to live a new life.  They said that we aren’t given a choice about these tragic events.  Clearly, if we had been given a choice, all of us would have chosen for our loved one to remain with us much longer.  That is a no brainer!  Right???  I know I would have chosen to keep Jeff with me until the day I die.  The problem is that wasn’t an option.

I have heard many grieving people, including myself, talk about survivor's guilt.  Some feel guilty simply because they are still here.  They feel guilty if they are out in public with friends and having a good time because their loved one can’t do that anymore.  Many have talked about the shoulda, woulda, couldas.  I have worked through most of my guilt, but it wasn’t easy.  I have felt guilty for having a good time with family and friends, and I also felt guilty for not realizing how unhappy/stressed that Jeff truly was.  I shoulda told him more often that I loved him and was here for him.  I felt guilty for not realizing that the last hug he gave me was actually a good-bye hug.  I wish I coulda seen in his eyes that morning just how badly things were going to go that day.  If I coulda, Lord knows I woulda stopped him in his tracks.  You know what though?  Shoulda, woulda, couldas don’t get you anywhere.  Doing that to yourself doesn’t solve a single thing.  It only causes more pain.  I can’t go back and get Jeff to see that he could tell me anything.  There is no reverse button on life.  I can’t just time travel back and show him just how much I care.   

Plus, I am pretty sure that he already knew all of that.  For the last couple weeks of Jeff’s life, he had been sick.  He even took off work to sleep, which was so unusual.  He rarely ever missed work.  I was so afraid he had pneumonia, and I couldn’t get him to go to the doctor.  I was such a worry wart that, one of the nights just days before he died, I actually slept on the couch to be near him as he slept in his chair.  I remember waking up to him coughing and asking him if he wanted a drink.  He smiled at me and told me that he had some water, and then he took a sip.  So, like I said, I am pretty sure he knew I would have done anything in my power to help him...physically, emotionally, spiritually.  But that is the problem.  Jeff made sure to not let me see what was really going on with him.  I would ask all the time how work was, but I now know that for years there was so much he didn’t tell me.  If I had known, I coulda...never mind.  That way of thinking is pointless.   

Another thing the ladies said was just a simple but profound question really.  They stated that grieving people needed to ask themselves if they are going to allow the loss of their loved one to define their life or refine their life?  I’ve said before that I don’t want Jeff’s death to define me.  I don’t want to simply be thought of as a widow.  I am more than that.  Most definitely I want the loss of him to refine me.  If you refine something, you make it better.  Who wouldn’t want to be better?  I want to move forward with Jeff and work to make my life, and the lives of those around me, better.  I want to take our love and the beautiful parts of the life we shared together and move forward finding and spreading joy.

What are your thoughts on these things?  Have you ever struggled with survivor’s guilt?  Has your brain done the woulda, shoulda, coulda thing?  Have you allowed the loss of a loved one to define you or refine you?  I’d love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Reflections


Happy New Year Everyone!  Every year, during the week between Christmas and New Year, I take time to just relax and reflect.  It’s a time for me to think about the past year, or many years, as well as the year(s) that is/are coming up.  I’m sure many of you do the same thing.  It seems like a natural thing to do. 

We’ve now entered into the year 2020.  The year of perfect vision.  Oh, if only we had the type of vision God has.  That would be perfect!  We would know exactly what we were supposed to do and how.  Although, I am sure there are many things we wouldn’t want to know, but you get what I’m saying.  It would just be nice to clearly see the path for our lives.

Since, I don’t have this type of vision, I reflect.  This past year was most definitely my hardest year so far in life.  Sure, December of 2018 is when my life changed forever, but honestly, prior to that 2018 wasn’t too bad.  Actually, up until the very moment I received the call about Jeffrey, I would have told you life was pretty wonderful.  So, yes, I can say that the end of 2018 was hard, but it was 2019 that really brought me to my knees...literally.  It is in 2019 where I had to learn how to survive the change that happened in 2018.

This is actually a weird year to look back on, and it is very hard to explain to someone.  Let’s try this.  Picture yourself on a walk in unknown woods.  There isn’t a pretty path that you are following.  You are just randomly walking through the trees that are tall and thick trying to find your way back out of the woods.  You don’t have a clue where you are, and it’s hard to see too far in front of you because your vision is blocked by trees.  You are frightened because you don’t know these woods, and you don’t know what animals lurk here.  That’s not all though.  Picture a dense fog.  It’s such a heavy fog that you can physically feel it.  The trees make it hard to see, but the fog makes it absolutely impossible.  You take steps forward, feeling your way around the woods.  You are positive that you are walking in circles.  However, after awhile, the fog starts to lift a little.  Actually, over the course of your journey, the fog slowly lifts until the point that it is finally gone, but that takes a very long time to happen.  Thankfully, you’ve become a little more familiar with the woods, and things are a little clearer.  You no longer fear the animals that could be hiding because you have encountered them and been okay.  But those tall trees and the lack of a clear path still make it hard, and you are still, most definitely, stuck in the woods. 

Yep, that sums up my 2019!  It was a long, treacherous walk.  I made many missteps.  I also learned a whole lot...about myself, my family and friends, and the world in general.  It is a year that brought me closer than ever to our Lord.  He and I are tight!  Our bond is unshakeable at this moment.  When you are walking through something hard, you need something solid.  Thankfully Psalm 18:2 tells me that God is my solid rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.  He is my strength and my shield.  So grateful to have Him in my life and to know that my husband resides with Him now.   

So, yes, 2019 was hard.  Being without Jeffrey has been difficult.  Truly, that is an understatement!  Learning to tackle things alone has been tough.  Here is the good news though.  I have done it, and while doing so, I have had many wonderful moments.  There has been wonderful memories made along the way with my children, my family and my friends.  I have reconnected with people that I hadn’t really spoken with in a long time.  And the best part is that I have realized that I am never really without Jeff.  He is still with me.  No, not physically, but he is still in my heart and mind, and I will continue to carry him there until I see him in Heaven and get to spend eternity with him. 

With all good reflecting, we look back and we also look forward.  I have seen many things that I do want to change.  I would like to get back into church.  I need that in my life.  I need to also be in the Word more, so I am going to make that happen. 

I also need to figure out a job.  I absolutely love my job as a secretary in the special education department.  However, being the sole provider of a family is a daunting task, and I can’t just go for what I enjoy.  I need to think about money.  Ugh!  I haven’t had to do that in over 20 years thanks to Jeff, and back then I didn’t have to care for anyone but myself.  If any of you have any suggestions for what I can do when I grow up, I would welcome them.  My degree is in elementary education.  I love kids, but I don’t know if teaching is where I should be.  I just keep praying.  I want God to lead me.  If he gives you any wisdom in this area, please share with me.

In 2019, I focused on surviving.  Thriving is where it is at for 2020.  Thriving is all about being healthy and successful.  I’m going to tackle the healthy part with continued counseling and GriefShare.  I’m also going to try to take better care of myself physically.  The successful part of thriving might look different for me than others.  Success in my eyes is having a strong group of family and friends around me.  So many have shown me support over this past year, and I want to work on reciprocating that support and kindness.  Success also means making the world more joyful.  So, I am going to be purposeful about spreading joy in our world.

My hope is that you all have a fabulous 2020.  I pray that this coming decade brings every single one of you peace and joy.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Is Over


Christmas is such a wonderful time.  A time of hope and joy.  A time of peace and comfort.  Even in my grief, I have been able to find ways to enjoy this season. 

Sometimes it is hard when Christmas is over though.  It's like there is this build up for a whole month, then December 25th arrives, and afterwards we are left with a what now feeling.  It's as if the world is just slightly less special.

I found a devotional from 2017 that touches on this.  I thought I would share with you all.  Hope you enjoy!  May you always remember that God is here with you.  Press into Him my friends!

~♥️~♥️~♥️~♥️~♥️~♥️~♥️~♥️~♥️~

A Prayer of Hope for When Christmas Is Over
By Debbie McDaniel

“…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10



Often this day after Christmas can seem maybe, not so sparkly. You might be feeling like the holiday spirit came and went by too fast. Maybe you never did get everything done, but now that the big day is gone, you're already vowing to make next year even more special. Messy house calling your name, organization of it all begging for attention, returns waiting to be done, toys already broken, lights going out...

Deep breath.

His reminder to our hearts this morning: Christmas may be over, but He never changes.

Though some days seem to have lost their shine, He's still the same.

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

On all the big, celebration days and on all the days in between.

The manger is empty and so is the tomb. Jesus didn't stay there, He's alive today, our Emmanuel, "God with us."

Whatever you might be facing, don't ever doubt His great love for you. He sees you and He cares. He made a way for us to be free.And that truth puts all the joy and "Merry" in Christmas and the New Year too.

We still have such reason to celebrate, we still have great reason for joy, today, and every day.

For He is with us.

Resting there today. Hope you are too.

May His peace and joy fill your heart and home today, more than ever before. On this day after Christmas and through the whole New Year.

Dear God,

Fill us with your joy and the peace of your Spirit. Thank you for your reminder that both in seasons of celebration and in seasons of brokenness, you’re still with us. You never leave us. Thank you for your daily Presence in our lives, that we can be assured your heart is towards us, your eyes are over us, and your ears are open to our prayers. Thank you that your surround us with favor as with a shield, and we are safe in your care. We choose to press in close to you, in all these days after Christmas. Thank you for giving us this hope we can carry all year through.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A Christmas Poem


Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!  The waiting of advent is over.  I’ll readily admit that I am still working on my daily advent lessons.  Doing one a day was difficult, but I’m not giving up.  Sure, it is taking me a little longer than it should, but to be honest, I kind of figured this might happen.  Although I wasn’t always able to sit down daily and do the study, I was able to keep my focus on Jesus this holiday season.  Oh, I still enjoyed other holiday things like shopping, baking, and spending time with loved ones.  However, I kept Jesus with me through it all.  With my eyes focused on Him, I was able to walk in His peace and purpose.  My love for him is strong!  

I am an imperfect person.  If you know me at all, you know that.  I don’t hide who I am and pretend to be something I am not.  Honestly, I don’t do that because I couldn’t.  It would just be too much work to try to pretend to be someone else.  Thankfully, no matter how imperfect I am at times, I am loved by the perfect one.  You are too!  

Jesus came to this Earth as a baby to save all of us.  He didn’t come just for the sinless or perfect.  Why?  Because nobody is sinless and perfect.  Nobody!  He sent His son to save us all knowing every single sin that would ever be committed.  There is nothing you can do that will surprise God.  Knowing this and how much He loves me makes me want to follow Him more.  I hope it does the same for you!        

My hope is that everyone will be able to have a blessed Christmas day with family and friends.  If you are missing a loved one, know that they are always with you.  Until we see them again, they are in our hearts, in our memories, and guiding our lives with the wisdom they imparted on us while they were here.  I like to think that God allows their spirit to visit us too.  I pray that we will all be able to feel our loved one’s presence as we carry on cherished traditions and remember special moments shared with them.  Enjoy your Christmas!


Monday, December 23, 2019

If You Could See Me Now


Saw this poem at Hobby Lobby, and I absolutely love it.  I didn't buy it though.  I figured if I put that on my wall, I would just have to listen to my kids tease me more about making a shrine. 

I've said it before, and I will say it again.  I will never understand why Jeff isn't here.  It still doesn't make sense to my brain, and I don't think it ever really will.  I've just resigned to not understand, and I am learning to be okay with that.

Thankfully, while I may not understand that, I do fully have faith that he is in Heaven with our Savior.  I will allow Jesus to be my guide in life so that we will see each other again someday.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Takes My Breath Away


Grief is something that you learn to deal with.  It's just a part of who you are after awhile.  I can go about my day to day life smiling at strangers and trying to spread joy to others even though a part of me hurts.  I've learned to function with it walking along side me.  However, every once in awhile, it still surprises me.  Today was one of those days.  My mom and I were at Farm N Fleet, and my chest started to hurt.  I'm fairly used to that pain now.  I started remembering so much...being there with Jeff, buying him the trash can of peanuts for Christmas, his boots we always got there.  The tears started flowing.  I miss him so much, all the time, but it really does take my breath away still at times.  Grief is hard!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Love Has Won


My dear friend, Carrie, shared this song today.  It's beautiful!  Here are a few of the lyrics, but truly, you should take the 4 minutes to listen to it.  It really speaks to your soul!  Lord, thank you for conquering the grave! 

Sometimes it feels like it's hopeless
It's a war just to hang by a thread
Sometimes on this side of heaven
Oh, it just doesn't make sense

And that's why He gave us this family
With a promise that nothing can break
That one day we'll all be together
And the devil can't take that away

Oh, so don't be afraid
He's already conquered the grave
So sing

Hallelujah love has won
Hallelujah love has won
God is with us, thank You Jesus
Though the battle rages on
Hallelujah love has won

Walk Along Side Me


This is what I'm trying to do.  Being consumed is a horrible feeling.  It makes it hard to focus on anything else.  It sucks the joy out of the good things you still have.  I hate it! 

So, I am trying to learn to let my grief walk along side me by allowing Jeffrey and the memories we made to all be part of my life.  I'm also trying to accept what has happened, which really just means learning to accept that I will never understand. 

It seems to be working a little because I do feel less consumed, more at peace, and so very thankful for every second we had.