Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Solo Thanksgiving

I just looked at the calendar and saw that Thanksgiving is next week! It's going to be different for everyone this year because of the pandemic, but especially for widows. Covid might be a blessing in disguise--a ready and acceptable excuse to keep to yourself. 

Isolation/quarantine, however is not good for the long haul. Try to get outside for a walk or a drive. Sunshine and fresh air are healthy for you! Mask up and go somewhere to at least be visually around people too. One widow friend of mine said a walk at the mall or just a trip to the grocery store helped her when the walls started closing in.
  
Here are some ideas to help keep your "Solo Thanksgiving" from becoming a "So LOW Thanksgiving."

IF YOU WILL BE ALONE ON THANKSGIVING looking forward to something for the day is key. 
* Plan ahead to avoid a pity party. Find some widows or family members and set up times to phone them. Yes, I know some of you might think they should make the first move and call to you---but that sort of thinking is a recipe for depression. Most people will be glad to hear from you. Phone calls will give you something to look forward to.
* Treat yourself to a special meal. Even if it's your favorite Lean Cuisine frozen turkey! The important thing is that YOU get to decide what you like best.
* Do NOT COMPARE this year to "the good old days." You may reminisce if that brings you comfort, but if it makes your future look bleak and purposeless then slam that scrapbook shut! 
* If you are a baker, don't let that talent go to waste, but cut back a little. Because of covid, people are not sharing food so much this year. But there may be neighbors or friends who would love a piece of pie or cake. You get a piece too and freeze the rest to enjoy or share later.
* Choose some favorite movies to stream, or if you're like me, go to the public library and get some DVDs.
* Buy some Christmas cards this week and start addressing them on Thanksgiving Day. You might want to compose a short letter about how you are doing since your beloved died. Most caring people secretly do want to know. Sleep on it and read your letter over a couple of times so its just the right balance of what you really want to say. Make photocopies of the letter so you can send it to as many people as you'd like. 
* If tears well up, that's ok. Let them flow, you'll probably feel better in about 20 minutes. If it turns into a whole day, though, please realize that sometimes that's what's needed too. "Lamenting" is an important part of our journey. Almost half of the Psalms are laments. Read some and let God's Word give its words to your sorrows---I can tell you it's one of the most effective things you can do to help yourself along the widows path. Click here for an example.
* Understand that this is an investment in your future. You can be proud of how you spent this day! 

IF YOU ARE VISITING OR HAVING PEOPLE OVER
* Decide ahead of time what to do if you have a "grief attack"---an unexpected wallop of sadness and loneliness. Sometimes the loneliest place on earth is in a crowd of people. Before it happens, let someone who can speak for you know that you might have to just disappear into the bathroom or bedroom to have a little cry. Let them know whether or not you want to be alone, and that you'll be ok and will be back in 15-30 minutes. This is normal!
* If you are visiting in someone else's home, try to drive there in your own car. That way you can stay as long as you are comfortable. Sometimes being around people is very draining and you might want to leave earlier than you did in the past. Assure and thank your hostess that everything was lovely but you're just exhausted.
* Most people will take their cue from you about talking about your loved one. Don't be afraid to mention their name. But if you'd rather not speak of them that's ok too! 
* Understand that this is an investment in your future. You can be proud of how you spent this day! 

Here's a really good and quick video that can help too: go to https://www.griefshare.org/holidays

I will be praying that your "Solo Thanksgiving" is not "So LOW." If you have tips or Thanksgiving memories you'd like to mention please be sure to comment. They are an important part ---sometimes the best part of blogging! ❤ ferree

 


Monday, November 9, 2020

Prayer Request & Praise

 

Please pray---I am moving (again) this week!

After 18 months of living in limbo---with 4.5 moves/partial moves between 3 towns and 2 states---we close on a house tomorrow! The moving truck empties all our stuff into it on Wednesday. Do you know what I look forward to the most? Just having a table to sit down at for meals! Please pray for me if God brings me to mind this week.

Praise too! Did you get to view the Virtual Widows Conference on Saturday! I'd love to hear your remarks and reviews. And if you didn't see it, PTL it's still available!! Go to 

Widows Link 

It's a little over an hour long but don't let that daunt you. Each speaker is only 15 - 20 minutes long. It's jam-packed with blessings for you! This was a labor of love---freely given by each---and free now to you and all churches to use for their widows ministry! God's love in action! 

With the holidays coming up this video will be a great help for all widows. 

Open your arms to God's comfort this week. I'll be praying for you. ❤ ferree

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Don't Forget: Widows Conference Today!

From the comfort of your home!

 

VIRTUAL WIDOWS CONFERENCE!

Saturday, November 7

12:00 noon Central Standard Time USA 

1:00 Eastern 

11:00 Mountain

10:00 Pacific


Click here: Widows Link


Monday, November 2, 2020

2 Life-Changing Events This Week

 We who have suffered loss know by experience that life can change forever in an instant. We know that the tiniest of details--- like the turn of the steering wheel which either causes or avoids that fatal collision, or forgetting to do your monthly breast exam, or deciding which space to fill in on your voting ballot--- these little decisions can set the trajectory of life. This is wisdom! There is wisdom in the house of mourning... states a particular version of Ecclesiastes.  

 This wisdom is a fearful thing... it's that "waiting for the next shoe to drop" sort of feeling. Most people I've known speak of it during their grief work. Do you ever feel that? You are not alone. 

 This wisdom is ultimately a good thing when we learn to balance or resolve it. With God's help, we can begin to trust Him once again as we experience His faithfulness in the big picture. Our questions turn to answers--- Where's God? He is with me. Does God love me? Yes! Infinitely! Will God help me? Yes! He always keeps His promises.

 We have 2 life-changing details happening this week. Our seemingly tiny choices about using them or not can change our lives. Steep this week in prayer and use the following opportunities to consider what the Lord might be saying to you. Where's God? Does He love me? Will He help me? Please choose to hear the following and you will be greatly encouraged.

 Detail 1). The first one is the election tomorrow. Does it make a pit in your stomach as much as it does in mine? Here is a pastor's take on it, one which my Facebook friends have found incredibly encouraging and I think you will too. (If this blog post arrives on your phone or email you might need to click on the title at the top of this post to get to the live links but it's well worth that extra step).

An Open Letter to Christians in America by Chip Ingram

 Detail 2). And then please let me remind you again about this:

VIRTUAL WIDOWS CONFERENCE!

Saturday, November 7

12:00 noon Central Standard Time (adjust for your own time zone)

Click here for the website on the day of the event: Widows Link

For more info visit here.

May God bless us one and all in this historic week. ❤ ferree


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Widows Conference Nov. 7! You can go!

I know you can go because it's a 

VIRTUAL WIDOWS CONFERENCE!

Saturday, November 7

12:00 noon Central Standard Time (adjust for your own time zone)

Click here for the website on the day of the event: Widows Link

For more info visit here.

Be sure to check out the featured speakers--you might see me!

***

Every Wednesday Here's Another Video Ministry 

I've been an avid reader all my life---EXCEPT after my first husband died. Ugh. Reading took too long ... took too much concentration ... I couldn't relate ... I wish these videos would have been around back then!

"Wednesday's Word for Widows" posts a new, short video from Widows Link's director, Marlene Craft that is always practical and encouraging. You don't have to be on time to stream it, just go to their Facebook page and play any that you want: 

https://www.facebook.com/widowslinkministry/

I hope you can all take advantage of these! ❤

Monday, October 26, 2020

Suicide

I've been staring at a very kind, well-intended note for several days now. First I had to sort of overcome the shock, but mostly my mind goes blank when I see it: 

"I do not know you...you do not know me...But I need your help to encourage a dear friend...recently widowed...suicide...could you write to her?"

Suicides have been on the rise and I've wanted to provide some helpful Christian resources for a long time. Trouble is, there's still not much help specifically for widows. And often there are no words.  A ministry of presence is more appropriate---be there in person. Listen. Be delicate. Be wise. Be sensitive. Pray. 

I finally composed a letter that maybe I will share with you some day, but I cannot post it today. Instead, here are some resources I've appreciated:

SOME RESOURCES 

Bearing the Special Grief of Suicide This article is a compassionate and excellent summation of the grief after a suicide. It's from a Catholic resource but is written to a general audience, and it's the best brief article I've found. Please share resources you might know of as I'm certainly not the last word.   

Especially for widows: God Is Enough by E.M. Louis. You know how widows need to hear from widows? Mrs. Louis's painful discovery of her husband's death after 33 years of marriage and ministry led to her own life and death struggle until she discovered "God is enough." I couldn't put it down. 

Grieving A Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers, and Hope by Albert Y. Hsu. I found this book listed with Stephen Ministries so I take that as a great recommendation. Mr. Hsu is a senior editor with InterVarsity Press. His father died of suicide and this is a valued resource for all.

Finding Your Way After the Suicide of Someone You Love  by David B. Biebel, DMin, & Suzanne L. Foster, MA  I've read this book and think it should be on every minister's shelf especially because of the chapter on "How to Help Survivors of Suicide," and the coverage of special situations. On the other hand it's valuable for survivors: with easy-to-spot main points the reader can find what they need for their individual situation. Then, "Finding Your Way" helps at the end of each chapter provide tangible and productive steps to take. It's written with the compassion borne of personal experience.

i understand love heals is a website and non-profit on a mission to redefine suicide. One doesn't "commit" suicide and they will help you understand why. The link I've provided takes you directly to a blog post about how to deal with Halloween---do you hate it too? A valuable read! Fish around on the website for other good information and help. There's also a book, i understand by the young widow who founded the organization.

If you know of other helpful resources, please feel free to add them to the comments. ❤ And please pray for all who have been left behind to deal with the painful aftermath of this complicated cause of death.