Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Only Post I Share Every Single Year

"Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation."   --- Psalm 68:5


I share this yearly, but also, I tweak and update it. Read this before? You may want to again, rather like a checklist so to view your progress.  ツ


Ages ago, I chatted with a widow at church, probably 67+-years-old, and sweet. We spoke of mornings and I told her, "Usually I'm out of bed before 6:00 a.m.." When I asked if she, too, was an early riser, she nearly gasped, "Oh my, no. That would make my days feel eternal. I try to stay in bed as long as I can."

Oh wow. 

I could only suck in my breath then change the subject for I felt surprised and sad for her. Her words haunted me while I drove home that afternoon and they haunt me still.

Since then I have watched women lose their husbands either by death or divorce and here's what I've seen: The women who'd created another life separate from their husbands, those are the women who survive. Thrive, even. After the initial shock, they do well, smile real smiles and discover other worlds and the people who people them.

But then there are the others. You know, those who clung to their husbands for all their support, encouragement and companionship. Oh, they had outside acquaintances and activities, yes, but no close friendships or passionate interests. Mostly, their spouse was their whole world.

No need to draw you pictures of what happened to those women after their losses. 

You can imagine how they fell down hard, splattered, crumbled, and then needed whole truckloads of Christians to help peel them off the floor of despair.

So today? Today I would tell those of you who are married: Get A Life. You know, a life apart from your spouse, separate from him/her. A nice life, certainly--I mean, hey, I'm not hinting at a secret, tip-toeing-down-alleys-behind-his-back kind of life. Uh, of course not.

But I mean please search-out something you are passionate about. If you're still not sure of God's unique calling made especially for you, now is a marvelous time to discover it.  How can we use and refine those gifts/skills to help people if we don't know what they are? 

Even something simple like learning to love your daily rituals is big. 

Teach yourself to find the joy and peace in drinking your morning coffee, 
washing your dishes 
or folding your laundry. 
Develop good habits like taking walks (staying in shape--it's vital for your new life), deadheading your flowers, 
reading inspiring books 
and learning new hobbies and skills each year. 

Find and keep and tend to good, solid friendships and other relationships, like those with your grandchildren, church friends or neighbors.

Oh, and learn to pay bills and where to go for help with your investments, insurance, home repairs and all that annoying stuff. Do it now while you still have someone to show you how.

But my most vital advice? Learn to love Jesus, best. Better than anyone else, for He's the only one who, if everyone else fades away, will still be with you. Don't know how to do that? I once read, "it takes God to love God," so, well, ask Him for that love to flood your heart. Believe Him--and He'll do it.

Discover and learn and do and be you today--the you apart from your spouse. Learn what you like (and what you don't) and what you do best. And step away from any fear of newness or the future. 

But don't wait for your spouse to join you. No, this has nothing to do with him/her. This is for you, this is for now and this is for later, also.

Not sure what you can do for others?  Go here.

My friend, Susan, shared this link to Volunteer Match with me. Looks like a perfect companion post to this one! 

"You are significant. Even alone."        ... Jan Kiemel Ream


The first time I posted this, Kristi (a widow, herself) left this very insightful comment which I appreciated much:

"One little postscript: When you still have the gift of life on earth, you can always use it to think about and help other people. I think the poor woman in your first paragraph would not have found her days so long if she had involved herself in helping others. I hope she has discovered this by now."


Okay, now from 2022:

I found this video interesting and helpful:


Coming soon to a planet near you:

 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."   ---Mark 12:30

Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. *** "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

1 comment:

Pam said...

I'm glad you post this every year,Debra. Most of us either need the reminder, or we know someone who needs it. Whenever I have read the story of the widow who stayed in bed to make her days seem shorter, it reminds me that "this is the day the Lord hath made...we (should) rejoice and be glad in it." I was blessed to have a mom who had deep faith. When my father passed, she was brokenhearted, but there were moments of every day when her joy peeked out. I stayed with her for a week after the funeral, and helped her sort things out. There were so many tears, and then, she'd look up at me, and say, "Maybe we could go out for lunch...and have ice cream." When we grew tired of the paperwork, we'd head out for a nice walk. When friends called, she told them to come over and automatically brewed a pot of coffee and got out her homemade bars and cookies. Mom and dad had their main home in Minnesota, and a little vacation home in Texas (to get away from the cold winters). Dad passed away in April, and by the following October, she was boarding a plane, all by herself, to go to her Texas cottage. She spent the holidays with friends and loved going to her church in Texas. She came home to Minnesota in the spring, and, suddenly, was taken home to Glory in July. In those 15 months of mom's life, following my dad's passing, she taught me the most valuable lessons for living. She got up every day, ate food she enjoyed, had her devotions, listened to music, prayed like crazy (always aloud, as though the Lord was in the same room with her), and she cared deeply about others. She bought expensive perfume and wore it every day, always wore her earrings, and never missed her weekly hair appointment (yep, she had big hair, and was proud of it). Gosh, she was easy to love. That's my goal, but it can only happen when I walk with God. Sorry to take up so much space in this comment, but I sensed I was supposed to share this. Thanks for the reminder, Debra. xo