Holiday Help 2015 (updated 12/22/15)

I will not be online during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holiday season. Please check this page often for articles, books and other resources that will help you through the holidays.

I need this holiday season and probably most of the winter, to be about me. My cup is empty and it needs refilled. I am of no use to you my dear readers when I need refreshed and nourished.

Thank you for understanding and God bless you with an abundance of joy and precious memories this season.


Widow’s Christian ( Home)    Ferree Hardy – About Info  – (Article) How to Prepare for a Widow’s First Christmas. 

The Holy Mess – Sara Borgstede – Newly redesigned site launched today geared towards balancing faith, family and fitness. Receive The Holiday Hope Toolbox free when you sign up for email updates. I’ve got my copy – do you have yours?

Sara runs the Faithful Finish Lines fitness program I’ve been participating in for almost a year. Love Sara and this group of wonderful women. – (Home)   Holidays      Find A Group – This is the program that helped me through the first year. After that I was asked to Co-Facilitate the group and did so from 2009 to January 2015. I highly encourage you to find a group and attend a regular program and the holiday program. It is a 13 week video based program and most churches will let you start no matter what week they are on.

A Holy Experience – Anne Voskamp’s site. How to Make A Plan so That You Don’t Feel Worthless This Time of Year (links at the end to her book The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story at Christmas, The Family Edition of the same book and to free gifts, ornaments, and much, much more. 

I love Ann’s book The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story at Christmas (non-affiliate Amazon link). 

RPM Ministries Dr. Bob KellemanHealing Hope for the Holidays (free PDF) Dr. Kelleman is one of the people interviewed for the GriefShare videos. Click the link to go to his site and download the PDF. It is full of very helpful information. I also read and love his book God’s Healing for Life’s Losses, How to Find Hope When You Are Hurting, which you can order on his site and probably through Amazon as well.

Updated 11/16  You’ve been RACK’ed – Random Acts of Kindness – Kindness is the Best Way to Countdown to Christmas  A link to a free downloadable Kindness Advent Calendar with ideas on random acts to do every day. There is also a blank version to fill in your own unique random acts of kindness you do daily.

Being kind to someone else is one of the best ways to get through a season of chaos and confusion, whether or not you are grieving.

Updated 11/20

“Drink Deep” A Musical Journey Through Grief – Chris Fabry Interview – Prior post here on JoyReturns, with links to Music For The Soul where you can order “Drink Deep” the emotions of grief beautifully captured through music.  Find out about Music For The Soul here and meet Steve Siler here.

TheHumbledHomemaker  – You have to sign up to receive her free e-book Healthy Holidays, Slightly Indulgent Sweet Treats. I just finished browsing through the recipes and there are some quick and easy ones which are perfect for widows, or anyone else grieving, needing to make something for a Christmas party or family dinner. Using ingredients like natural peanut butter, raw honey and a good quality Cocoa powder makes these treats healthier than most dessert recipes.

Updated 11/25/15

Tending Joy (website) Ingrid Goff-Maidoff  (about page) – I am doing a re-read of her book What Holds Us – New and Selected Poems by Ingrid Goff Maidoff.  Her words are ministering to this tired, weary and just plain beat up soul. Thank you Ingrid. I also have The Joy Book and Moonlight and Remembrance . 

The Angel Journal  and The Little Book of Soul Questions are on my Christmas list

Ann Voskamp: Known by our Gratitude (video) Which will you choose? Doxology or Dark?

11/30/2015  – Lisa Ryan  – Lisa’s Books on Gratitude Gratitude is tough during the holidays whether or not you are grieving. Lisa’s site will give you encouragement to live a life of gratitude and incorporate it into your business. 


Elvis Christmas Lights Show – Popped onto Facebook long enough to check my Private Messages and found this wonderful video on the Ronnie Tutt Fan Page (Elvis’ & Neil Diamond’s drummer)  – now THIS is my kind of Christmas music and light show.


Here’s the link to Annie F. Downs post she wrote for {in} courage – The Longing.


5 Ways to Handle Grief and Loneliness at Christmastime. (Billy Graham) Thank you Ferree Hardy at Widow’s Christian Place for posting this on your site.


Surviving the Holidays – Live the List  – 11 tips for getting through the holidays.


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