Joe’s favorite color was beige. Yep! I told him beige was boring. He said he was just a boring guy. I told him he was NOT boring. Beige is a neutral that compliments every color which is why he liked it.
While beige might be acceptable in fashion, it is not acceptable when it comes to your faith. You need to be bold and step outside your comfort zone which might include following a Bible reading plan, attending a small group one evening a week, serving as a member of your church’s leadership team, or spending a set amount of time praying every day.
Boldness in faith will be different for everyone because we are unique individuals.
You could also choose to be like Benaniah in the Bible and not only chase a lion but jump into a pit with him.
Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.
2 Samuel 23:20 New International Version (NIV)
Where did this get him? Benaiah started out as one of David’s Mighty Men and ended up being chief of Solomon’s Army.
So be bold in your faith and in the rest of your life. You only get one life, so don’t be beige.
This is not what I had planned for the first Wednesday post, but I thought it was appropriate after what happened last weekend.
When trials come that devastate, we can’t see the mercy, only the devastation. We can’t see God in it, but I promise you, He is there. His mercy is real, and no matter what we go through, eventually we will see His hand.
Kate Battistelli The God Dare, Will You Choose to Believe the Impossible? pg 143
It may take time but you will see His hand, along with His goodness and mercy following you all the days of your life.
Take a plate of cookies to a widow along with the recipe.
I rarely bake anymore. However, if someone was kind enough to bring me a few cookies they baked along with the recipe it might inspire me to get out the cookie sheet. Plus it would warm my heart that during this busy time of year someone thought of me.
It might only be baking but it gets you trying something new and life after the loss of a spouse is filled with doing new things, so you might as well start somewhere.
Send a grieving person a Christmas card so they know you are thinking about them.
Christmas can be a lonely time for widows and other grieving people. The focus is on kids and their toys. There are lots of lonely, grieving people who feel invisible and getting a simple card in the snail mail will brighten their day.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Bah Humbug!
My first Christmas after Joe’s passing, I was in a locally owned grocery store and heard this song as I went down the chip aisle. Then as I am walking down the baking aisle, it came over the loud speaker again. Finally as I walked up the dish soap aisle and headed for the check out line, yet another dead singer was crooning it over the loudspeaker. Three times in the 30 – 45 minutes from the time I entered the store until I left. After barely making it home, I laid down on the couch and had a meltdown.
Let my heart be light? Nope! Troubles miles away? Nope!
So lower the music and let the grieving person and other guests can focus on and enjoy conversation.
Invite A Grieving Person To Your Holiday Party
But do not expect them to stay the whole time. There comes a point during the festivities where it is just too much merriment for the widow. The length of time they can handle the merriment will vary because each widow is unique. It is alright for the widow to leave early. Just appreciate the time and effort it took for her to step outside her comfort zone and attend.
Speak about their deceased loved one.
It is alright to speak about the deceased loved one. We want to know they are not forgotten. It comforts us to know that people remember him. Society wants widows and other grieving people to put there loved in the ground, walk away from the grave, and act like the deceased never even existed.
So think and speak fondly of the deceased.
Do Not Quote Any Bible Verse or Get Theological
This is simple. If you look in the mirror and see Billy Graham staring back at you, then go ahead and use Bible verses and theology to comfort someone. However, when you look in the mirror you will not see Billy or even Franklin Graham staring back at you -so zip it.
Do Not Say “If you need anything, let me know.”
By saying this you are placing the burden on the widow or other grieving person to wrack there brain about how you can help them. They have enough on their plate.
You have a house and know what tasks need done everyday and the tasks associated with the different seasons so just call a grieving person up and ask “Who is shoveling your driveway this winter?” or “Who is raking your leaves this fall?”
Go to GriefShare.org
The GriefShare program helped me immensely after Joe’s passing. It is Christ-centered, Biblically based program by Church Initiative. I looked forward to Monday nights. Those nights were more important to me than church on Sunday. Those Monday meetings became my rock, my foundation for the week because I was with other people who were grieving.
While we all lost different loved ones and the causes of their passing were different, we all knew the pain of grief and supported one another. The conversations we had after viewing a different video every week for 13 weeks left us uplifted and encouraged that grief was survivable and our joy would return.
This is not the entire list of advice for helping grieving people but it is a good starting point. Below are links to additional blog pages where you will find links to books, websites, articles, music and recipes.
May all this information help you this Christmas season whether someone you know is grieving or you yourself are grieving.
It is 2:43 a.m. this morning as I write this post. I woke up and could not get back to sleep so I decided to get out of bed, light a virtual fireplace, and do some work on this blog.
There is a new page on the menu – “Holiday Helps.” It is filled with various articles, websites, music and book recommendations to help you get through the holiday season. There is something on this page for everyone, whether you are grieving or just stressed out from all the chaos.
There is also a sub-page, “Joy Filled Recipes” that contains links to unhealthy but extremely delicious recipes.
I will add to the pages as I find more resources or recipes that you will enjoy.