Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Covid-19 Was No Joke!

Continuing from yesterday... more from JoLeta:

Covid-19 was no joke!! 

I didn't put a lot of details in my post, but it was a rough 3 weeks. 

I had a fever (thankfully not over 102 degrees) for 14 days, and it didn't break to normal at all during that time. 

I am a 5-hours-of-sleep-a-night girl, and feel fortunate to get it some nights, but during Covid the fatigue was unbelievable; a bunch of days I slept 20 hours a day. 

I had shortness of breath and my chest hurt. I would check my oxygen level several times a day and had instructions to go to the ER if it went below 90. It went to 93 a few times, but thankfully no trip to the hospital became necessary. 

I had some other random symptoms that didn't last long like a rash and heart palpitations. 

I went in about a month ago and my Dr ran a bunch of tests and did an EKG and chest x-ray. Everything looked good - I just have some lingering asthma and can't breathe wearing a mask for any extended period of time. But I am blessed and very grateful. 

Here's how JoLeta coped with Covid:  
  • My kids and a couple of friends checked on me a few times a day, mostly by phone.
  • My son would have moved in if I was any worse, but I wanted to protect him while I could manage myself. A couple of times my son did show up at my door and wanted to see my eyes through the storm door.
  • They dropped off food on my porch. 
  • I learned how to use Shipt to have essentials delivered to my door. I had food delivered a couple of times. When I found the energy to cook, I would make extra for additional meals later. I mostly fixed really simple things. 
If you need proof that JoLeta is alive and well now, click here for a Facebook video of her with her widows ministry team from WidowsLink on Sept. 2. (She appears to be the shy one, just like me!) 
www.WidowsLink.org Check out the team page to learn more about her. 

Also follow Widows Link on Facebook. Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Central time here in the USA, is a short video stream from the Widows Link director Marlene Craft with some very pertinent topics for widows.

Standing In the Gap Ministries --- amazing! And so very needed! I hope they can expand to every state and worldwide! This is a great ministry in Oklahoma. 

blessings, ❤ ferree

Monday, September 14, 2020

Covid-19 Widow Experience

Dear Friends,

Loneliness is one of the top challenges for widows--can you relate? It's especially hard when facing illness or physical problems and there's no one living with you. Please pray for a widow named Mary who is in surgery today for a pinched nerve. 

Have you thought about what to do if you come down with Covid-19? We always think, "Call 911!" But give some thought to what happens after that. 

  • First off, we all should have a doctor to call before it turns in to an emergency. Write down your doctor's phone number and call her/him at the first sign of symptoms. 
  • Find out which hospital is in your insurance network. If you do call 911 you want them to take you to the right hospital. 
  • However, please don't overly worry about this, and keep the news headlines in perspective. 

I only know 2 people who've had it so far. One of them is a widow friend and she's permitted me to share with you what she wrote on Facebook: (If the music video doesn't show up in your email just click on the blog title to get to the website where you can hear it, "'Tis So Sweet to Trust In Jesus.")

from JoLeta: 

2020 has truly been a year that requires trusting in Jesus like never before. 

July was a month when I was glad I was able to simply rest in that trust. What many of you don't know is that even though I was safe and took precautions, I contracted Covid-19 from a totally unknown source. 

I started running a fever on July 1, and what I initially believed to be just another sinus infection turned out to be Covid-19. 

In a nutshell, I was totally down for 3 weeks, and I've NEVER felt like that before. 

I am so thankful that I didn't have to go to the hospital, and that I fared better than many. I do still have some lingering fatigue and asthma, but I'm continuing to regain my health with each passing day. I am blessed. I decided to trust Jesus a long time ago now. We've been through a lot together, especially in the past 10 years. 

The trials and heartaches have made me trust Him even more because I KNOW He can be trusted. He loves me more than I can even comprehend. Do you trust Him? Believe me - He can be trusted!! Several months ago my friend Lisa Crawford Cerros shared this arrangement of this timeless hymn. I hope you enjoy it. ❤ This is my most favorite hymn, and I listen to some version of it almost every single day.

Tomorrow I will tell you some more about JoLeta. If you are on Facebook I can introduce you, so let's get connected. I'm the only Ferree Hardy so I'm easy to find. 

Pray for widows in the western wildfires. Amy Godzelski, a young widow who created the audio version of my book, is in Oregon with her children and her recently widowed mother. Please pray for her and her family too!

Stay safe and stay well. ❤  ferree

Sunday, September 6, 2020

"Hiking Through" for Widowers

When you put men in a circle of other men to talk about their feelings and grief what do you get? 

 A lot of SILENCE! And chances are it won't happen again because they won't come back.

But if they can go fishing together, drive to a football game, or happen to meet on the Appalachian Trail, things will happen. Not the intimate, nurturing comfort that we women give each other, but rather some times of significant understanding and healing without further obligations to talk again or even meet again.

After several years of battling breast cancer, Paul Stutzman's wife Mary died. Like most of us he was overwhelmed but kept on at his job, read up about grief, tried to pray and draw close to God, and went through the motions of life.

Like most of us, the first anniversary of the death was brutal.

Unlike most of us, shortly afterwards he quit his job and assigned himself to through-hike the 2176 mile Appalachian Trail. 

He almost quit at some points but I'm glad he kept going. Not only did he receive deep healing and transformation from the Lord but he also gives us an account of it and a message to make our own.

Would you believe I had dreams of hiking the Trail when I was first widowed? I thought it'd be great to outfit and guide widows groups for hikes too! In fact, I still do, but instead I've just read books about it. LOL One can dream, right? HIKING THROUGH is the third book I've read, and the best in so many ways. 

Also, I was pleased to see that he's continued to write! He now has a website and has authored several other books!  One is about bicycling across America; another is hiking Israel! He's also written some books that bring to light his Amish heritage and finding his path to more mainstream evangelical Christianity. Visit his website http://paulstutzman.com/ if you've ever wanted to walk away from life.

On a personal note, thanks to those who emailed or commented last week about my future with this blog. I really cannot leave you all in the dust. lt's obvious I need to upgrade something, somehow. Each week brings new techie struggles but just pray as you are led that I can connect with the good solution that I know is out there. 

Thank you for spending some time with me today. These "holiday" weekends can be hard to spend alone. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God loves you and He will see you through... ❤ ferree


Monday, August 31, 2020

What To Do What To Do?

Cross roads. We face them every day. Many times a day.

Especially when widowed. Life keeps going and there are so many decisions to make that we don't want to make! Some should have been made years ago. But we just didn't want to face them. We don't want to face them now. We always thought we'd have more time... They're extra hard now, as a widow.

I totally get this. I'm at a cross road now too. With many things, but this morning I face one more.

It's so little compared to yours, but would you pray for me? I need to change this blog. Update it. Or turn it into a website only, or perhaps step back and concentrate on local ministry.

Here are some steps I'll take:

  • Pray & listen by meditating on God's Word.
  • Seek wise counsel & listen.
  • Decide.
  • Sleep on it. But not too long.
  • Consider other possibilities that may have sprung up. Your first decision will either be affirmed or set aside.
  • Take the first step.

Maybe these points will help with your crossroads too. If you have comments, questions or your own prayer request too, please use the comment option or email me at WCplace@gmail.com.

❤ Ferree

Monday, August 24, 2020

Reading Helps With Loneliness & Other Things

 "We read to know that we are not alone." (from the movie, "Shadowlands," 1993)

A-ha! We read to know that we are not alone....

Have you ever come across a line in a book that suddenly makes sense of things you're going through? It's like WOW! this is exactly what happened to me! Or WOW! I guess I'm not the only one! Or WOW! This author just described me inside and out!

What's the best thing you've read lately? 

Right now I'm going through this book---

Doubt: Trusting God's Promises

I started it last year but decided to start again and finish it off this month. It's a 31-Day devotional, but do I ever do anything daily? Hardly! Do you? I admire you! I think I missed out on the 'routine gene.' 

Here are my favorite quotes so far:

"Perhaps something or someone has died...Perhaps everything you have worked for, all your prayers, seem unanswered. Don't despair. Ask Jesus now for the help that you need and he'll give it." (page 50)

"...even on our best days most of us struggle with the feeling that something bad is about to happen." (page 57)

"The Lord knows how weak we are, how hard it is for us to continue to believe. He knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:14) What are we? Mere dust trying to believe. Jesus chose to suffer so that, when we wonder if we really are loved, we have a sure answer." (page 73)

What are you reading and what's a favorite line you've found? Feel free to use the comment box to share a title or a quote. (If you receive this by email, click the title to get to the blog post and comments, thanks!)

Books help in so many ways. Read to fall asleep at night. Take a book along when you go out to eat alone. Learn stuff! Laugh! And maybe even discover that you are not alone. ❤

SPECIAL OFFER! This week when you order my book I will include a nice surprise book from my own collection too! Click here to order:

Monday, August 10, 2020

"Dark Night of the Soul"

Perhaps you woke up this morning to one of those days (weeks....months) when it seems like nothing is ever going change and you really don't know where God is or why this is your life....

Dark Night of the Soul, title of a 16th century poem by St. John of the Cross, fits these days. And, by the way, they happen to the best of God's people so please know it's not just you.

A wise counselor wrote that suffering people not only need to know that God is with them, they need to see him.

Do you need to see God at work in your life? Do you need to know that he is with you?

Request a diary page from me. Each week I use one it's like a light in the night, giving me hope. It's very simple. You don't have to write to "Dear Diary" each day (although that's helpful too). Instead, you note any of the following:

  • 3 things you're thankful for 
  • 1 positive thing from the past 24 hours 
  • 1 Bible verse or thought you came across
  • a random act of kindness you did
  • a good song you heard

Not every day will include everything, but most days you'll have some things. And that starts to get encouraging. Just email the subject DIARY PAGE to me at wcplace@gmail.com and I'll send you the attachment. If you don't have a printer and need a paper copy please send me a SASE and I'll mail you some. Ferree Hardy, 122 Breckenridge Dr., North Augusta, SC 29841

Many thanks to a widow who requested a diary page for herself this morning. I need it too and the Lord used her to remind me. 

Do you need prayer? I sure do. This Covid junk is really getting to me. I haven't seen my kids for almost a year. Normally I'd have seen them in April.... Let me know what I can pray about for you and you please pray for me, OK? 

Quick update/ explanation for my absence the past few weeks: my old house is officially sold, praise the Lord, but everything we can't fit into our one-bedroom apartment is in storage. Which would be ok if the storage didn't cost anything. But it does. It costs more than our rent! So please pray we can find a suitable house soon. Thank you, I hope you'll email me about what I can pray for you. ❤ ferree