Monday, June 20, 2016

The Awkward Author Mom & Her Kids

Here's what I'm up to this week---my kids! I'll be away from the computer, the Internet, Facebook, emails, texting and even my phone as much as possible. It seems like everyone has vacation traditions---and I'm finding that mine is to go off the grid. My closest family is 500 miles away, my parents are in Wisconsin, the in-laws are in New York and Michigan, and my kids are far and few between! One is in Ohio, two are in Washington state, and one is in Delaware--all a long way from me in South Carolina. So when I get to see them I concentrate on them.
So this week I'd like to repost the only blog I ever wrote about two of my kids and what they thought about their mom going public with her book about widowhood in 2012.

I hadn't seen Brad and Lisa for over a year, so my trip to Seattle over Thanksgiving was really special for me. Just in case they were interested, I took along one of my books, Postcards from the Widows' Path. I don't push this book on anyone---not even my kids! Can you imagine my surprise when they asked for their books? "You brought me a copy of your book, right, Mom?" They were each expecting one!

The Seattle branch of my family:
my son Brad, and daughter Lisa
Uh oh...Since I had to cram a week of thick warm sweaters and an umbrella (I'm in Seattle, right?)  into one carry-on suitcase for the plane, I'd only brought one book. I didn't think either one of them wanted to read it anyway. And if they did, I thought they could share. But---just like when they were little, they didn't want to share! They each wanted their own! Brad firmly told me he wanted his book mailed to him with a personal note and autograph. Yikes! This brought me up short! What could I say about the profound and personal experience of his father's death and the birth of my book?

After I got home from Seattle, I stewed and stewed. What would I write? A few days ago my time was up and I simply had to mail it. Here's what I finally wrote:

Dear Brad, When I had no words, God did. And His words filled my silence and pain just like your dad said they would. Here's my heart. Love always, Mom

After that, I thumbed through Postcards from the Widows' Path for the first time in several months, looking at it from a fresh perspective. And you know what? Please don't take this the wrong way, but it's really good! I can't believe I wrote it! It's honest, and gentle, and alive. And the wonderful thing is that as you read the story of Ruth, Naomi and me--- your own hope begins to grow.

The various Bible verses I found are so rich and truthful, speaking directly to the pain and needs of grieving people. The prayers are simply stated but deeply saturated with the character of God and the human condition. Naomi and Ruth step out of history and into daily life. And woven throughout the pages we see that the veil of eternity is only a heartbeat away.

Others have told me the book is powerful . . . it's one of the best books for widows . . . I felt joy and wonder as I read . . .

So, since I mention resources for widows on Thursdays, please allow me to recommend my own resource. You know I won't mention it often, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't. It's just that I feel awkward when talking about it to anyone, even my kids. Click right here to order, or pass this link along to "Santa." Consider getting an extra copy for your church library or for a gift for another widow.

Thank you for letting me share a bit of my personal life and family with you today. And if your holidays don't live up to the traditional pictures of the past, I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that mine don't either. Life's an adventure, not a re-play. We never know what to expect and that keeps our eyes fixed on following Jesus through it all. ferree


  1. Your book is a source of blessing and strength and there's no doubt in my mind you didn't write it alone. Many great things are birthed from agony and as I understand God's word - we must weep - before we can dry another's tears. Those dark days teach us "His grace will carry us - and most importantly the Lord is with us thru it all and we come to realize that we are loved more than we could ever imagine " I once heard a minister say " if you minister to broken hearts and broken spirits in a broken world, you will always have a place to serve"
    God Bless you Ferree and this ministry. L / dodi

  2. That's a wonderful quote, Dodi, thank you for your very kinds words too.

  3. I have started embracing the process of combining traditional holiday activities, deleting what is no longer practical, and learning new ones to incorporate into my schedule. It is a wide-open field to chose from in terms of what brings joy in my life and others during the season along with the familiar activities I've always loved.

  4. Ferree - That is precious! I haven't read very many of your blogs lately... being married again - very happily and blessed I might add! But very very busy with all of our children and grands and ministry... But this was worth reading! I struggle now with how to share the depths of my heart with my still hurting children - I didn't do very well in the years after their Dad died - and now they see me happy - but I know they still hurt - which makes me hurt. Fathers Day yesterday was hard - my kids all scattered - noone said a word. Till last night, my 14 year old called from the host home she was staying at with her traveling choir 600 miles away - to ask if I let off a balloon for her at Daddy's grave yesterday! Well no... nobody was here to do it with me - but I assured her that we would find time to do that in this next week when she is home. Sometimes their silence is louder than words.
    Your book was a tremendous encouragement to me - in my grief- and in my dating my new husband! Blessings to you as you spend treasured time with your precious family. And thank-you for sharing your heart with all of us! :) - Sheri N. M.

  5. Hi Sheri, it's always good to hear from you, and your wisdom about the kids--sometimes their silence is louder than words--that's profound and something I really needed to hear. Remarriage doesn't mark the end of this journey, especially for our kids. God bless you as you continue to seek His best for your family.


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