Tag Archives: blessings

One Way For Widows (and others) To Get Through The Christmas Season

Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl.  But it warmed more than your body.  It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with melody that would last forever. 

~Bess Streeter Aldrich

Three months from today is Christmas Eve.  Have you started your shopping yet?  If you are a widow and this is your first Christmas without your spouse, have you started making plans for how to survive the Christmas season?

Write It Down

One of the best ways to get through the season is to start a gratitude journal.  It will help you focus on the blessings in your life.  It may not feel like it but there are numerous blessings even though you are feeling pain and sorrow. 

Start it now so you are well into the habit when the Christmas season gets into full swing.

Encourage everyone in your family to have their own journal and sit down once a week to compare notes.  Each journal will be different and no one’s journal will be better than the rest.  You are all unique individuals so what you are thankful for will be unique to each of you.

The grief monster does not like gratitude.  He wants to keep you miserable, depressed and seeing only the bad things in life.  So lay the smackdown on him by being grateful.

Bad Moments

Yes, even though you keep a gratitude journal you will still have bad moments.  But hopefully that is all they will be – moments.  It is in those moments you most need to get out the gratitude journal and start writing.

Not Just For The Grieving

By the way, you do not have to be in the midst of a grief journey to do a gratitude journal.  The Christmas season is a chaotic and hectic time.  What better way to calm your mind than to take some time writing in your gratitude journal while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate.

Your Minimum Daily Requirement

Get our your journal, steno pad, or legal pad and start writing – just 5 a day.  You do not have to stop at 5 so feel free to write as many as your heart desires. Then carry your new habit over into 2014.

Today I am grateful for everyone starting a gratitude journal, especially the widows who are using this as a tool to work through their grief. 

P.S. I have added a contact form so you can send me a private message if you wish or leave your thoughts in the “Express Yourself” section.

 

Updated: Seeing Blessings In Death

(Author’s Note:  I am on a 2 week vacation to purge some frustration and restore my spirit.  In the meantime, I dusted off and breathed a little bit of new life into some older posts.)

Hidden in every death is at least one blessing.   If you keep an open mind, you will eventually see the blessing.

Read on and you will see the blessing I found in Joe’s death.

Our Last Night Together

Joe was rehabbing after back surgery and doing well.  He called me at work on Thursday and asked that I go buy a DVD player for him and his roommate.  After I got to the hospital, he had me wheel him around the rehab department looking for the best TV and TV cart. He was his old techie self, trying to make things work and definitely on his “A” game.

Once we got everything set up, he told me to leave as it was a rainy March night with the temperature hovering around 32 degrees.  He was concerned about me getting home before the roads froze.  So I left.  I called him upon my safe arrival home.

That was our last conversation.

The next day he was gone.

The Blessing I Discovered

It took me months before I figured out a blessing relating to Joe’s passing.

Then one day I “saw the light” thanks to the proverbial “light bulb” turning on over my head.

My last memory of Joe could have been of him in extreme pain.  Instead, God healed Joe of his pain and left me and his family with a few days where Joe was extremely happy, upbeat and healthy.

Thank you God for that blessing.

“Blessings”/Laura Story (video link)

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

6 Biblical Tips For Surviving Unemployment

These tips apply whether you are experiencing a short or extended transition period.

Tip #6    “…Love your neighbor as yourself.”  

Matthew 23:39

Just because you are in transition does not mean you are worthless like most of society would have you believe.  You are one of God’s children and that means you are loved by him. You are not worthless to him and I guarantee He has plans for you.

Now that you believe that about yourself, believe and act it towards others also in transition.

Tip #5     Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

Start an encouragement file/journal/notebook.  Share the quotes, poems, scripture, and articles you find with another unemployed person or two, or three, or four …etc.  Hold an encouragement party where people share what they find and then work on their files together.

Tip #4     Be joyful always

1st Thessalonians 5:16

This is the role of your gratitude journal as well as your encouragement file.  Keeping a gratitude journal will help you realize all that you have, which in turn helps keep you joyful.

Tip #3     Pray continually

1st Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer works.  Send up brief quick prayers as you go through your day, thanking God for even the littlest thing that lifts your spirit.  Do this in addition to your morning and evening prayers.

Tip #2     Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (emphasis added)

1st Thessalonians 5:18

Realize that as bad as you have it, there are people out there who have it worse than you.  Give thanks for the blessings He bestows upon you every day.

The blessings are there, you just need to look for them.

The #1 Tip  

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” 

Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

 Surviving unemployment starts while you are employed, whether you are a worker, lower management, mid management or C-level. 

  • Your position can be eliminated at any second.
  • You could find yourself in transition at any given moment.
  •  The company you work for can be bought out or go bankrupt anytime.

If you were to be become part of what society deems “The Untouchables”, you would want to be treated with dignity and respect.  You would want help finding a new position.

So treat those who are in transition the way you would want to be treated:

  • Don’t eliminate someone because they have 15, 20, 25 or more years of work experience.  Don’t eliminate a potential new hire just because they are your customer.
  • Do offer to meet someone for coffee to learn about them, give them advice and pass their resume on to a hiring manager you know.
  • Do offer support and encouragement when you find out someone is out of a job.
  • Do offer to speak at job seeker meetings about your particular area of expertise.
  • Be willing to train a person whose experience is similar to the position you have available.
  • Respect people who have learned new skills while seeking a new job, whether they have taken advanced courses in Word, Excel, Access or Powerpoint, or maybe they have dove head first into blogging and gaining a deeper understand of using Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for business. If they have a deeper understanding of social media, hire them.  Every business needs social media people now-a-days.

Final Thought

Though you mourn your situation and are poor in spirit, you will be blessed by God in His own way and according to His time.

You fit into God’s overall plan and His plan is perfect.

 

Why Christian’s Faith Sometimes Needs Built Up

Why is it that even Christians sometimes doubt God in times of trouble and need their faith built up?

Because we are human.

Not doubting God when the going gets rough implies perfection.  We humans are not perfect.   If anyone is claiming to be perfect, then the “Men In Black” need called so they can send that person back to their home planet, there is no room on this earth for perfect humans.

Yesterday’s Post

I wrote yesterdays “What Christians Should and Should Not Do” from a position of strength.  I had a “Peaceful Easy Feeling” in my heart while writing it, so peaceful and easy it was hard to put my feelings into words.

“What A Difference A Day Makes”

I write this piece during time of weakness for fear has crept in regarding my career.  I wonder what God has in store for this sinner.  Even though I know He is with me and that He has nothing but good plans for me, I am having a hard time believing some good will come regarding my career.

Out Of Faith

I have signed up for the 2012 Social Media Success Summit on faith.  Faith that learning all about social media from the big names in the industry (Chris Brogan, Michael Seltzer, Jeremiah Owyang and others) will help me in my job search.  After all social media is here to stay and companies need people who understand it and can implement policies to help companies grow.  Maybe because of this I start my own business advising companies about their social media marketing strategy.

Or maybe through this course I will figure out another way to use social media to help women who suddenly became widows.

Good And Evil

Even though there is a lot of good in this world, there is also a lot of evil in it. Christians are constantly under attack from unbelievers.  Occasionally the armor needs reinforced through prayer, daily devotions, hymns and praise songs, and talking to other Christians.

These are just some of the things that can be done daily to help strengthen one’s faith.

Evil Is Strong

But there will be times when the attack from evil is so strong that faith needs reinforced.

For Jesus Christ said:

“…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

He knew we would experience tough times and that our faith would need reinforcing during such times.   During those times we need to remember Jesus overcame the world and hang on to that fact.  Yes, it is tough to hang on at times but we must.

We need to remember that God is with us and has a very good grip on us.  Even if we let go, He will never let go of us.

 Epilogue -Don’t Worry About Me

I started out writing this post while weak. Right now I am tweaking it and am feeling strong, hopeful and optimistic about my career.

Part of the reason I am feeling strong is because of the songs playing on my computer while writing this post:

  • God Is With Us – Casting Crowns
  • Blessings – Laura Story
  • El-Shaddai – Amy Grant
  • This Little Light Of Mine – Addison Road
  • I’m Letting Go – Sally Colon–Petree
  • Praise You In This Storm – Casting Crowns
  • Grace Like Rain – Todd Agnew
  • How Great Is Our God – Don Moen
  • Lifesong – Casting Crowns

Blessings Found

Author’s note: I know many of you are groggy, sluggish, and/or just plain out of wack with the universe after the long holiday weekend.  Here is a little something that will hopefully help get your brain functioning.  

 

“All of our hopes and our dreams for a better tomorrow can be found in the blessings God provides us today.”

 

—Charlie DeLeo, former maintenance mechanic for the Statue of Liberty

Courtesy of Guidepost’s Daily Inspirational Quote.

How many of God’s blessings have you found today?

Seeing Blessings In Death

Hidden in every death is at least one blessing.   If you keep an open mind, you will eventually see the blessing.

Read on and you will see the blessing I found in Joe’s death.

Our Last Night Together

Joe was rehabbing after back surgery and doing well.  He called me at work on Thursday and asked that I go buy a DVD player for him and his roommate.  After I got to the hospital, he had me wheel him around the rehab department looking for the best TV and TV cart. He was his old techie self, trying to make things work and definitely on his “A” game. 

Once we got everything set up, he told me to leave as it was a rainy March night with the temperature hovering around 32 degrees.  He was concerned about me getting home before the roads froze.  So I left.  I called him upon my safe arrival home. 

That was our last conversation.

The next day he was gone.

The Blessing I Discovered

It took me months before I figured out a blessing relating to Joe’s passing.

Then one day I “saw the light” thanks to the proverbial “light bulb” turning on over my head.

My last memory of Joe could have been of him in extreme pain.  Instead, God healed Joe of his pain and left me and his family with a few days where Joe was extremely happy, upbeat and healthy.

Thank you God for that blessing.