Monday, November 12, 2018

Ever Have One of These Weeks?

My widowed friend Lynn had one just a few days ago...
I've reprinted her update with just a few edits so um, well, you'll see why she preferred to be rather anonymous...💗 ferree

Okay....something's going on here. Can we talk about this week??

My car dies and still isn't fixed, my water heater breaks, I'm seriously running out of cash, and behind in bills. I can't take a shower when I want to, or do dishes in warm water. My son is off school for three out of five days, and thinks every night there's a party at our house. A Christmas charity packing party is looming in the distance on Sunday and I am NOT even close to being prepared. I had no food in the house yesterday, and today my period started. Honestly, God.....

BUT......I have seen GOD, and felt HIM every single step I've taken. And Lord Almighty, has He shown up!!! It's almost getting ridiculous! 

It's like He is screaming at me, "LYNNE, I LOVE YOU!! TRUST ME!!" 

So long story short....the water heater is in the works and will be installed later today. 

The car? I'm still waiting for an answer there. 

Funds just appear, when I need them. Just enough, a little, a lot...a gift, a loan to be worked off, a favor.....

My sister has offered her shower every night which is better than no shower, and I am grateful for the friends my son has because it means we are loved. His girlfriend's mom drove me to vote, and I also got to the grocery store. Little things like that. 

So while I was at the grocery store yesterday, I couldn't stop myself from buying ingredients for chicken noodle soup. I remember thinking, "This is weird. This is a stupid idea. You don't have time for this this week. Why are you doing this?" But yet....I could NOT stop myself from reaching for every ingredient. 

Today I made some, and it's really quite good. So I decided to throw together some bread as well, because why not? I finally sat down after being in the kitchen ALL morning. 

I went on my town's "Moms Page" and there was this big red post from a young mom whose husband just had shoulder surgery this morning. I don't know her at all but the post asked, "Where do you get the best chicken noodle soup in town?" Mind you....I was sitting there with my phone in one hand and a bowl of "taste and see how it turned out" in my other hand. 

I just about spilled the whole bowl when I read it, and just said, "REALLY GOD???? AGAIN You're going to do something amazing??" 

So after thinking it through and arguing with myself, I agreed to reach out to this young mom and she was SO grateful for my offer of soup...and bread. AND it turns out that she lives down the block. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Q. Isn't PTSD Only for Soldiers?

A. No, it can happen to civilians too, even widows. Most people understand how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder might arise from traumatic combat and experiences that soldiers go through, but civilians who've survived torture, car accidents, rapes, and other unthinkable events are also at risk. I know widows who've been diagnosed with it after their husband died so I think it's something we should all be aware of.

Life isn't always safe. Death isn't always peaceful. According to the book, "Wounded Spirits - A Biblical Approach to Dealing with the Effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," some of the symptoms of  PTSD include
  • suicidal tendencies
  • fear, depression, sleeplessness and anxiety
  • guilt and survivor's guilt
  • anger and irritability
  • nightmares and flashbacks
  • avoidance of conflict
  • apathy
  • and a large array of other symptoms. 
Many of these symptoms accompany grief, so don't be alarmed if you've experienced some of them--it doesn't mean you have it.  It doesn't mean you don't though. Do seek help for things like suicidal tendencies, depression, panic attacks, nightmares and flashbacks. Only a qualified clinician can diagnose what you're going through and this little blog post is not a substitute for medical advice.

There's hope, though. By its very name, PTS "Disorder" means that "things are out of order." It's nothing to be ashamed of. We're human, trauma should affect us, it's not a stroll through rose gardens as if nothing ever happened. The good news is that God is an expert at putting life back in order.

For information and help on PTSD from a Biblical approach, click here for an excerpt from the book, "Wounded Spirits." I attended a seminar on it recently and have 2 extra copies free to the first two people who ask. Just email me today at and include your mailing address.

UPDATE:  I'm sorry but the book requests have been quickly filled! A huge interest and a huge need! The revised edition seen here is available for purchase for $6.95 plus shipping, just click on this link. (If it's not working on your phone or email, click the title to this post to take you directly to the blog.)

Do you think you might have PTSD? Don't suffer in silence. Chat with the people at Wounded Spirits blog or your doctor, pastor or therapist.

Monday, October 29, 2018

At Eleven Years

When life instantly changes forever we hold our breath wondering what's next. What will it look like 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 weeks, months or years from now?

Sometimes it helps to hear from someone further down the road who will call back to us and tell us what their road looks like. That's what Carol's post does today.

Carol found my blog shortly after I'd started it, and I had the unique and sacred privilege of attending her marriage to her second husband Chris a little while later. If you'd like to read that chapter of her life too, please click here.

Hear about the journey at eleven years right here from her Facebook post.

Thanks for sharing your life and God's light, Carol! ❤ferree

Monday, October 15, 2018

One More Butterfly Story

Hello Ferree, 

I've had multiple butterfly encounters since Joe's passing but this is the one that tugs at my heart the most. 

My husband Joe suddenly passed on March 29, 2008. The good Lord never blessed us with human children, instead he blessed us with a golden retriever daughter we named Rommie. She was 5 1/2 at the time of Joe's passing...and just as ornery as any human kid. 

This is my story, my butterfly story, and my song. 

It was Friday, July 31, 2015. Rommie took a turn for the worse that morning after having been sick the night before. I made an appointment with her vet. My friend and a neighbor came over to help me get Rommie in the car as she could not walk anymore. She apparently had a stroke in the wee hours of the morning. 

About 6 months earlier I discovered the road that goes by my church is the most direct route to the vet's office. (Rommie was 12 and I finally figured out the best route to her doctors. Geez.) Once we got there, her doctor examined her and said prognosis was grim. After informing and consulting with my Mom and Joe's brother, I made the decision to let Rommie go live with Joe. 

I took the same route home and after I drove by my church, I had to stop at the next intersection. I immediately thought of the line "My chains are gone, I've been set free." from the Chris Tomlin song Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone). Rommie had hip dysplasia for years so her chain was gone and she was running freer than she had here. The light changed and I started through the intersection. All of a sudden, a little yellow butterfly edged in black flew across my windshield from the bottom to the top. I gasped and figured it was Rommie telling me goodbye and confirming she was running like the wind with Daddy. 

Rommie did not let her hip dysplasia slow her down. From the moment she woke up until Mr. Sandman put her to sleep at night, she lived out this verse: 

This is the day the Lord has made.
    We will rejoice and be glad in it. 

Psalm 118:24

~ Michele

P.S. She was cremated on August 5th, 2015 - her 13th birthday. 

Michele Kearns

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Widow's Story--Lucy

I have another butterfly story for you, but my friend Lucy in Chicago area just passed a milestone yesterday. Here is a glimpse of her testimony as she's followed Jesus through some tough times. Thank you for sharing Lucy. ❤ferree

Image may contain: Lucy Reyes Rodriguez, smiling, standing and indoorTen years ago today (Oct. 9) I was diagnosed with a rare cancer. I passed the 5 year marker for remission. God gave me life again when all looked hopeless. I live with a disability, which made it difficult to be a teacher or a paraprofessional in a normal school setting.
But now I volunteer and co-lead a 3-day-a-week after-school program ministry through my church for CPS kids, grades 2-4.
I also volunteer at the food pantry. I lead a women's grief support class and I work with volunteers to support my pastor. When God says He is not done with me, He helps me to do His work. I thank God for all He has allowed me to do.
Losing my husband and mom and my health are tragic for me, but joy has come back to me. Like I told a friend yesterday, severe illnesses do not make us throwaway people. That's when God can do great things through us.

Image may contain: Lucy Reyes Rodriguez, smiling, sitting, shoes and outdoor
Lucy's first mission trip-- to Puerto Rico this past July. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Butterfly Story from Colorado

This comes from Joy in Colorado. It's such a beautiful story, and she's only told it to 2 or 3 people over the years so I hope you will count this a real privilege. It reminds me of Romans 8:18,19 in which Paul says (parenthesis are mine)...
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Isn't that amazing? Do you ever think about that "glory?" I wonder about it all the time!) The creation (including butterflies) waits in eager expectation..."
Joy's Butterfly Story

When my husband, Arthur, passed away on November, 4, 2009 his body was cremated.  My daughter and I picked up his ashes and I just kept them for over a year.  At the time my daughter, Laura, was living in Pagosa Springs, CO, which is a very beautiful area very close to the Rocky Mountains.  In the summer of 2011, my other daughter, Gayle, drove up from TX with her two children, to where I live near Denver.  We went down to spend some time with Laura and her family in Pagosa.  On a Saturday, Laura, Gayle and I took Arthur's ashes and drove out to the West Fork of the San Juan River.  Arthur loved the mountains so we thought this would be a fitting place to scatter his ashes. 

We tried to find a quiet and rather private spot along the river to have a little ceremony and scatter the ashes.  We pulled off in one place where we could easily access the river by stepping out onto some large rocks.  Almost immediately a huge monarch butterfly came soaring down the river to where we were.  We were so amazed to see a butterfly in that area and immediately felt uplifted by its presence.  It hovered near us for a bit and then flew away.  Gayle, Laura and sang a few songs and choruses.  I can't remember what they all were, except I think we sang "Because He Lives".  Then we prayed together.  We hugged each other as we sang and prayed.  When we were finished, again the beautiful butterfly appeared near us.  We felt so heartened by seeing this and felt as though, in some way it was sent to encourage us in the loss of our husband and father. It was a lovely ending to our little ceremony.

Thank you for sharing, Joy! May the Lord continue His goodness and comfort, and may He shine through you.  💛 ferree