Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Porch Light: Finding Your Way Home

I called ahead to confirm our reservation at a small cabin. I was worried. We were late and the mountain roads were throwing us some curves that called for caution. Night was falling, and shadows swallowed up the river valleys and rock-sided heights as the sun started to sink behind the Rockies. “I’ll leave a light on for you,” the good-natured host assured me.

Those are good words to hear when you’re in a new place and darkness is setting in. Your gracious host knows you may be shuffling around, not sure of where you’re going. Whether you’re arriving at a destination vacation, or shuffling down the hall to the bathroom at your mother’s new home for the very first time, those simple words promise guidance. It’s good comfort to know someone who’s familiar with the area is looking out for you.

So it is with life. We all need people who have “been there” to “leave a light on” for us. And that’s what we hope to accomplish on Wednesdays with stories of widows from the Bible, from history and from our everyday lives. Their stories help light our paths so we can find our way through a dark night.

I’d like to mix in a new component to widows’ stories, though. We’ll simply call it “Porch Light—Finding Your Way Home.” On Porch Light Wednesdays you’ll find a few questions that fill in some blanks about your “new normal.”

Feel free to join in with your answers in the comment line—even the questions that are just for fun. It’ll be fun to get to know each other. Try to cut and paste your answers into the comment box, or just answer the ones you like. A few months from now you’ll gain new understanding and insight into your progress when you go back and read what you wrote. For today you just might light the way for someone else. Here we go!

1) Name your favorite vacation spot

2) What is your favorite way to travel: plane, train, car, bus, bike, walk, or something else?

3) Which do you prefer: a well-planned vacation, or no schedules and lots of spontaneity?

4) Do you like surprises or hate surprises? Any reason?

5) What has surprised you the most since your husband died?

6) What is one thing you would tell a new widow?

Thanks for sharing!

(Flickr photo credit by: was_bedeutet_jemanden)

10 comments:

  1. For your convenience, here are the questions.
    1) Name your favorite vacation spot

    2) What is your favorite way to travel: plane, train, car, bus, bike, walk, or something else?

    3) Which do you prefer: a well-planned vacation, or no schedules and lots of spontaneity?

    4) Do you like surprises or hate surprises? Any reason?

    5) What has surprised you the most since your husband died?

    6) What is one thing you would tell a new widow?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ferree, In the last week I have recommended your site to two recent widows. I believe what you are doing will be helpful to them. I was thinking that if not many comment it may be because they just don't feel like talking right now. They are just listening. But, I suppose you already know that. Love you, girl. Hugs from Elaine W. Miller

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Elaine! I can mail you some business cards if you like.
    And thanks for the encouragement. God sends the loveliest people along at just the right time. What I really love about this blog is that it's one thing in their life my readers can control. They can visit when they want, read what they want, write if they want . . . My part is to be as reliable as the sunrise, Lord willing. Blessings on you, Elaine!

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1) Name your favorite vacation spot: It's hard to choose, but I'll say France.

    2) What is your favorite way to travel: plane, train, car, bus, bike, walk, or something else? I really like a road trip.

    3) Which do you prefer: a well-planned vacation, or no schedules and lots of spontaneity? I'm a planner. I don't mind being spontaneous once we get there, but I enjoy having some structure to the vacation.

    4) Do you like surprises or hate surprises? Any reason? I like pleasant surprises.

    5) What has surprised you the most since your husband died? I'm not sure.

    6) What is one thing you would tell a new widow? Just one thing? I think I would tell them to find a Grief Share group ASAP, spend the money to see a Christian counselor for at least 6-8 weeks after your husband's death, and make sure to be in the Word on a daily basis. Those things have really held me up during these first four months.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great advice for new widows, Joannah! I wish someone would have suggested counselling for me, but then, Greifshare wasn't in my area at the time. It's a wonderful ministry. Here are my answers, too, while I'm in here:
    1) I love anywhere with water and family, but Lake George, NY tops the list.
    2) For long distance I like planes, otherwise driving is fine with me.
    3) I'm a planner. Anticipation is half the fun and makes me really happy and excited. But I allow for lots of flexibility and spontaneity.
    4) I like good surprises. It means a lot to me that someone would make all those arrangements for me.
    5) I've been amazed at how my values have changed. I think I used to be pretty petty and it's just not worth it. Life's too short.
    6) God has an amazing journey ahead for them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ) Name your favorite vacation spot
    in the Rocky Mountains
    2) What is your favorite way to travel: plane, train, car, bus, bike, walk, or something else?
    If it is far, a plane. Close by, a car.
    3) Which do you prefer: a well-planned vacation, or no schedules and lots of spontaneity? I like most of it planned with some spontaneity.

    4) Do you like surprises or hate surprises? Any reason? I like planning celebration surprises for others, but I don't like them to be for me. I don't like to be the center of attention.

    5) What has surprised you the most since your husband died? Two things stand out, 1) the intensity of emotions and energy it takes to walk through this and 2) how many ways God shows His presence and continues to provide strength.

    6) What is one thing you would tell a new widow? Pray, read God's Word, journal, and rest before you think you feel like you need to. Your true friends will stick by you and use them and your family in any way you need to.

    July 7, 2010 7:14 AM

    ReplyDelete
  7. 1) Name your favorite vacation spot
    Myrtle Beach,SC

    2) What is your favorite way to travel: plane, train, car, bus, bike, walk, or something else?
    Plane for long trips

    3) Which do you prefer: a well-planned vacation, or no schedules and lots of spontaneity?
    I prefer something inbetween! I don't want every moment planned out, but want a few things confirmed!

    4) Do you like surprises or hate surprises? Any reason?
    Depends on the surprise! If its something I really want, I LOVE a surprise. But I don't like to be caught off guard.

    5) What has surprised you the most since your husband died?
    The confusion. And how difficult it became to sort my emotions, feelings and thoughts out.

    6) What is one thing you would tell a new widow?
    Find other people who have been through the same thing. Seek counseling, and allow yourself the time to grieve. Cry.
    I know thats more than ONE thing, but for me it all went together!

    ReplyDelete
  8. 1) Anywhere with a beach, and the sun doesn't even have to be out - the clouds and shadows are beautiful.

    2) I really like driving - I can listen to books on tape or my favorite music and sing (?) along!

    3) I like to plan, but I also allow for a lot of room for changing it up. There are usually a few things that are not negotiable (depending on the destination). My dear husband on the other hand, was a very rigid planner when it comes to vacations...it made the kids and me a little nuts sometimes! :-)

    4) I suppose it depends what it is... for some reason, I do not like surprise parties. Never have. But surprising me with a dinner out or weekend away is just fine!

    5) I am not surprised by this per se, I'm must amazed at God's provision and loving care. I could not have imagined feeling this protected. And I can truly see (in hindsight) that He has been planning this time for me since the beginning.

    6) Do not feel guilty for enjoying your new life! Sometimes I think widows don't think they can laugh or have a good time because they don't want people to think they don't care about their husband's death. And I agree with the counseling - if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, find a good Christian counselor. A non-Christian may not be able to connect with your spiritual journey and may want you to push it aside.

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  9. P.S. on the #6 question - Christian praise and worship music is EXTREMELY helpful when you can't be reading the Word. It sinks into you and you find yourself listening to the songs in your head, and it is very comforting. I think I listened to nothing but contemporary Christian music for at least six or nine months. I still do, but I've added back in my old favorites and found some new stuff, too!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree, Kelly! I can see how some of the plan was laid out before. It is faith that we keep going even when we don't understand the "what for" of all of the events before, during, and now after the loss of our loved one! God is ever present and never leaves us even when we are in our fog or feel like we are wandering aimlessly. The "Son" is always shining!

    ReplyDelete

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