Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lessons Learned From Chronic Pain and Weakness

 

Not blogging and connecting with you for the past few weeks while doing some physical therapy for back pain has taught me a few lessons. Not that you need my lessons learned--but maybe you'll indulge me and bear with me. I need to remember this stuff. If I seem to forget it in the future you have my permission to call me on it, OK?

1. I've learned that God helps me fill an important niche here in widow world. Nobody else provides the networks and venues for Christian widows like I do. I could do better, but I can't; which leads me to the next item.
2. Why is there a 'big girl panties' picture above? Beacause I've learned it mocks me. Sort of puts me in my place. I can't do everything and I've eaten a big slice of humble pie over these past weeks.
3. I've learned I get really ugly when the pain won't stop. I now admire people who are able to be gracious and plow through it. I never knew what it took to do that. You who deal with chronic pain, whoever you are, are my new heroes. And those who are helping and dealing graciously with cranky people in pain? They are also my heroes. I've learned that some of you have dealt with unspeakable circumstances, and I deeply respect you.
4. I've learned that I have a different body now. My brain needs to start agreeing with that. Things don't work as they have in the past so I can either keep aggravating myself by pretending things haven't changed, or I can build new habits that will help and strengthen me.
5. I've re-learned and must continue to re-learn all over again something that widowhood taught me: It's good to be needy and weak. (Not the manipulative, damsel-in-distress sort of needy and fake weakness). But I've learned that there's an honest neediness that only God and His people can fill. If we admit it. I've learned it's hard for me to admit it. But I've also learned that when I do come to end of myself---when I can't bend down to pick up the cup or whatever I clumsily dropped---or I can't take out the garbage---or I can't sit at my keyboard to work on a presentation I must do---when all those little irritants rise up to flatten and humble me---God ignites this strange mixture and does some things I never would have expected. Like last night when my poorly prepared lesson at a homeless shelter turned into a time of creating safety and honest prayer because I had to turn it over to God. For when I am weak I am strong. (2 Corintians 12:10).
6. I'm throwing out the big-girl panties for now.

How about you? What lessons are you learning from your chronic pain---whether it's physical like mine at the moment, or if you're still in the broken-hearted season of widowhood? Do you need to throw out the big-girl panties or step into them....Let's talk about it. Click the comment line below.
 
ferree

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I Hope You'll Join Me in November!

I'll be speaking at this widows retreat and I hope you'll be able to be there too!
Click the link below to register, and please email me at WCplace@gmail.com if you're able to come so I can be sure to meet you.     
ferree
                                          

Register Today!!

by Liz Anne Wright

aNew Season Widows Conference

November 7-9, 2014

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Register here

The post Register Today!! appeared first on aNew Season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Widow Wednesday

Last week our Widow Wednesday friends, Jimmy and Cynthia Choutea made national news!
View the story here: http://fox4kc.com/2014/10/08/widow-wednesday-volunteers-assist-widows-widowers-with-daily-challenges/?utm_content=bufferd3121&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

And may God bless Jimmy and Cynthia! I first introduced my readers to them back in April and was happy to have a wee part in helping them launch the first National Widows Day here in the US.

Have You Heard of Widow Wednesday Yet?
National Widow's Day Starts Today

Well, my 10 minutes on the computer is used up for today, but please know you're in my thoughts and prayers. ferree

Monday, October 13, 2014


I've taken off blogging for the past week or two because of back pain, so I wanted to thank those who've been praying for me and let you know I'm feeling much better! I have a couple more weeks of physical therapy, but at least I can move without back spasms now. If I ever have another one of those it'll be much too soon!

My computer time will be very limited for the next month though. I find that after about 15 minutes my body starts to get aggravated. Subscribing to this blog by email is the best way to make sure you don't miss any posts for now. Normally I post 6 days a week, by 9:00 every morning. But, that can't happen right now so I'll post when I'm able. Thanks for your patience and understanding, and most of all for your prayers! ferree

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Memorial Wall for October 2014

Here's the October listing from the Memorial Wall here at Widows Christian Place. I hope you'll use it throughout this month to pray for everyone. If you'd like to add your own tribute to the Memorial Wall, please follow the directions mentioned here. I'd be honored to add your precious memory too.
ferree


OCTOBER
10/01/2012
* Gareth * Clare (lung cancer/ stroke) * We’d just moved to start a new life, Clare had a “chest infection” turned out to be pleurisy (turned out to be lung cancer). Until the week before she died we expected her to get better but then she had a stroke. The last week was absolutely amazing (the family worshipped and prayed together at 3pm everyday) (but I wish we could have talked to each other). Clare died at the end of our singing “Jesus we celebrate your Victory” but my life has been blown out of the water * Aberystwyth, Mid Wales
10/05/2011 * Donna * Raymond- suicide * Renee 17 years old; Isaac 13 years old * Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. * Your pain and suffering is over now, my love; rest in the presence of our Lord until we meet again. Thank you for the 19 years of marriage and two incredible children you gave me. You are always in our hearts. * Ohio
10/10/2012 * Soledad (Soli) * David M Serrato, age 64, passed away at almost the midnight hour. * I was there at ICU with him till the end. He loved me soo much and I love him soo much still now.
He contracted West Nile virus in the worst outbreak in US history; he fought for 3 months and 5 days till he went with God to Heaven. My husband used to pray over me when I would sleep. Because he was older than me, he knew he could go before me. He would tell me how he prayed to God for years, asking for permission to be my Guardian Angel when/if he passed before me. He taught me to learn to like myself, to be strong and to trust in God. He always told me this: "Jesus is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings and one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess He is Lord...." God joined our prayers together, we met, and we became a family for almost 12 yrs. I feel lost without him, I thought he was MY assignment to take care of for the rest of my life, but now I feel lost, hurt, abandoned by God some times even. * Central Texas
10/13/2010 * Glenda * Jim- He died suddenly from a heart attack while playing golf. It was a beautiful, sunny day and he made his putt and then just fell over. * Our sons: Crawford and Glenn * Jim was a quiet and kind man who made each day special and fun. We met in college in 1959 and were about to celebrate our 50th anniversary. His deep faith brings peace to my heart.
10/15/2010 * Doris * Frank died at age 76 of metastasized lung cancer six weeks after diagnosis, the shortest six weeks of my life. Stomach cancer had spread and filled his lungs and liver and we never knew it; occasionally he would say, “I don’t feel good today,” but it never stopped him from his work. * Frank had a daughter, Debbie who was 53, from a first marriage of 21 years; I had 2 sons from a first marriage of 18 years, Mark was 46, and Michael who was killed in an auto accident in 2000 at age 34. * Frank and I were married for 32 years. He was the hardest working man I’ve ever known, a Supervisor in the Heavy Machine Shop at Newport News Shipbuilding, had a part-time tree business for 35 years and he did the climbing – his last tree was six weeks before he died. He was known as Mr. Fix-It and helped anybody who needed him. Frank was a “man’s man,” hunted, fished and he left a big empty hole in many lives. I so miss his arms around me and the strength of his presence. I was blessed to be married to Frank. * Yorktown, Virginia.
10/16/2011 * Lisa * Bill. He went home to be with our Lord and Savior on Sunday, October 16, 2011. He died from a very rare form of thyroid cancer. * At the time of his death, our sons Kyle was 15 and Randy 12. * Our love and faith in God is the only thing that has gotten us through. We were married for 16 years and I have been with him for more than half of my life. I miss him terribly! *
Indiana
10/16/1999 * Catherine * Sid, hepatitis C * son Ben - 36 years old - died of cancer in February, 1993. He was a wonderful young man, loved music. * I still miss my two men, even after all this time, but I
lead a support group at my church and it helps me to help others.
10/20/2009 * Donna * Robert [Bob] - Bob was killed in a logging accident on our farm. He was 53* Gabriel Robert, age 10 * Missouri.
10/21/11 * Amanda * Wade...sudden massive heart attack. * Our children...Misty (28), Katie (26), Bethany (24) * We were married for 31 years and not a day goes by that I don't miss him. He was amazing! * Louisiana
10/23/13 * Shauna Pendleton * Gary Pendleton, toxic mega-colon * Frank (18) * We were highschool sweethearts married for 22 years. We had just begun our 2nd honeymoon (empty nest). The grief is beyond painful. He was the most amazing man with a heart of gold and a sense of humor that could make anyone laugh. TX
10/24/2010 * Jenn * Jonathan, at age 38. * Shannon 14, Gabriel, 2 * He's finally free! Experiencing the fullness of God he failed to fully know on earth. Despite all his struggles, I truly loved him.
10/25/2010 * Karen * Mark, 51 - Complications from MS, kidney, heart and weaked immune system. * Katie 24, Kerrygan 22, Tom 20 * We miss him as he was taken away from us too young.
10/26/2010 * Kathleen * Wayne * Sepsis * David 25, currently lives with me; Jon 22, (engaged to Holly) lives with me * Recently started to volunteer with Indiana Organ Donation Organization (IOPO) Wayne received the gift of life: a Heart Transplant. He was able to live an additional 13 years, to see his sons grow up. We live in Northern Indiana
10/28/2012 * Gertrude * William Henry, lung cancer
10/29/2013 * Lynda Slattery * Michael Slattery, cancer * Marianne (19), Jonathan (16), Rebekah (13) * Mike and I had a happy and healthy relationship. We have been blessed by so many friends and family members who helped us through Mike's year and half battle with cancer, his passing and funeral, and now through this first year full of firsts to get through. I'm praying for patience and guidance for whatever the future holds for us. * Greenville, SC
10/29/2011 * Tanya * Jim, heart attack * Ashley 21 years old-Niccole 19 years old-Trisha 12 years old. * My husband was such a blessing to me and we miss him every second of the days. He had brought so much joy to our lives. I look very forward to being him in Heaven with him one day. We are doing the best we can to create a new norm to our life. * Washington
10/31/2009 * Catherine * Jimmy-pneumonia secondary to H1N1 (44 years old) *Joe (20), Jason(15), and Susanna, (5) * There are no words.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Functioning With A New Reality

After my physical therapy session for my back this morning the phrase "functioning with a new reality" applies. My brain doesn't understand or accept that my back is trying to tell it to Stop! Stop expecting me to function as usual!

I think widows understand how that works when comparing their life experience B.C (I call that Before Crisis) to their life now---A.D. (which I respectfully call After Death). We've never been down this road before and have no idea what to expect, and no idea what our strengths amount to. How much can we handle? Functioning "as usual" isn't going to cut it this time. Normal isn't normal anymore.

So as my body illustrates---sometimes we don't know how much we can handle until we've exceeded our limits. Apparently I've exceeded the limits of the poor posture my spine will endure. For now it must rest and recover. I've got to quit pushing or suffer even more dire consequences.

How about you? Do you need to quit pushing? To rest and recover? I know it's complicated and nearly impossible, but some of us need to consider it mandatory. For me, recovery means staying off the computer for a week or so. I can do quick things like book orders and Lifeboat requests, but my daily blog posts and Facebook time need to halt for now.

Please consider signing up to receive this blog in your email. That way you'll know when I'm back online without having to revisit here to see if there are new posts. Don't hesitate to email me either, but allow for a day or two for me to reply.

And please pray for me. I'm really looking forward to the widows retreat in November, and I hope you'll be able to join me there! If so, be sure to contact me because I want to make it a point to meet you in person. (click here for more info and registration). Until then, I will treasure your prayers for me, and I sure will be praying for you. Functioning with the "new normal" is a huge adjustment---whether it's dealing with health issues or widowhood---and we both have a lot of changes and challenges to overcome. Having been through widowhood already, I know that the Lord can pull me through anything. I'm counting on Him to guide me once again in this new and very different reality of my life.

Rest and recover my friends, ferree