Thursday, October 3, 2013

Planning Ahead for the Holidays

Even though "widow brain" thinking is like slogging through knee-deep mud at times, some simple planning ahead is helpful.

I'm talking really simple planning.
  • Look at your wall calendar so you can see the whole month at a time.
  • Note the important dates for you personally for the rest of this year.
Ugh, that's right. Holidays ahead! Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming, and Halloween if you don't object.

They'll probably be a little different this year. But different doesn't have to mean devastating and
planning ahead will help.

You've already accomplished steps one and two of really simple planning!
  • Look ahead
  • Admit the holidays will be different, but they don't have to be doomed
Now ask yourself this question:
  • How can I glorify (obey) God on these days?
That's not a question grieving widows are usually challenged with, but I want you to begin to open up and consider it. As I study and learn the Scriptures I truly see that God is full of compassion and mercy like Leslie said yesterday in her quotes from Lamentations 3. Yet widowhood is not an exception to the way we are to handle life's trials and tribulations. Certainly we mourn, wail, and lament---the Psalms are our primer for crying out our pain. But also in the midst of suffering we see many examples of how to handle it: Job chose to worship; when Paul and Silas were imprisoned they sang; Mary submitted to a socially doubtful pregnancy; Ruth and Naomi walked one step at a time all the way back to the land of Bethlehem and God's people.

The good news is we are not required to celebrate these holidays. Biblically, you are off the obigation hook! Hmmm, that's something to think about, isn't it?

Simple planning...
  • Look ahead
  • Admit the holidays will be different this year
  • Consider how you can glorify God on the holidays
  • Brainstorm: take 5 minutes right now and write down every idea that comes to mind
  • Over the next month change your brainstorm list. Add to it, cross off.
  • Pray and ask God to help you decide what to do on the holidays 
I'm not going to give you ideas for the holidays today (maybe later). But if you'd like to open the comment line below and brainstorm right here, you are welcome to do so! This is quite a challenge, and I sure will be praying for you!  ferree 


  1. Thanksgiving was 18 days after my husband died. Then came Christmas. I was staying with one of my daughters at the time and don't remember much except that on Thanksgiving Day my #2 daughter told me she was pregnant with their 1st baby. The daughter I was living with did no put up a tree that Christmas and her children somehow understood and were okay with that.

  2. Thanks Candy, what a whammy--between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's so important for widows to see others' experiences. You've shared a real pearl here. May God bless you!

  3. Three years ago this coming Christmas my son's family from London were home from London. A week later on January 2, 2011 my husband passed away. My son's family are planning on coming again for the first time since Wayne's funeral. They are planning on staying 2 1/2 weeks starting Dec 15. Although I want to meet my youngest grandson and see them all, there are mixed emotions about that. How can I glorify God through all this? Good question. How can I glorify God while recovering from surgery and facing other issues? I guess trusting in the Lord and resting it with Him.

  4. My husband died 20 days before Thanksgiving. My children and I traveled to the NC mountains to have a quiet holiday there, just them and us. Then 10 days before Christmas my oldest child try to take her life and had to be placed in the hospital. It is amazing how I even survived to keep Christmas going. I only had my small "Jesus" tree and prayed that my daughter would be able to be home for Christmas Day. She did and my precious parents were there for us again. Even in the midst of this horror, with another one lurking just around the corner -- my father-in-law passed away Jan 2., we remember the sweet memory of picking up my oldest and 7 of us squeezing into a booth made for 4 at a small Waffle House. It was the only place open. :) Also remember the kindness of those who worked with my husband sharing gifts to my children. ~ Beth ~

  5. What a wonderful way to Glorify God , " just trusting in him and resting in him" - there is no better way for one to bring honor and glory to the Lord.



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