Yearly I share this post. That's how important I believe it to be.
(But you'll find some new 'Debra Advertisements' at the end.) ツ
Ages ago, I chatted with a widow at church, probably 65-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."
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.
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.
And above all, discover who you are in God and who He is in you. With all your heart, seek to love Him best. Better than anyone else, for He's the only one who, if everyone else fades away, will still be with you.
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 the new 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 match to this post!
"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."
"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." ... 1 Corinthians 16:13
A favorite surprise for me this past Christmas Day?
Tom and I sat talking about my much-loved tv series, Early Edition, and I told him, "But seriously, I've given up believing the final two seasons will ever come to DVD. I'm just resigned to owning the first two seasons. Forever."
Then Tom said, "Have you checked lately? I'll bet the last seasons are out by now." To which I pretty much said no-way-I've-checked-every-year-for-like-15-and-they're-never-there."
Tom then said, "You never know."
I said, "I know."
But then I got my sorry self off the couch, stepped here to the computer then clicked my way to Amazon where, oh! I spied this--
Oh wow. All four seasons! Something I'd dreamed of for at least 18 years. And by Christmas Day's end, I had Amazon gift cards with which to buy this new set.
Happiest of happy sighs.
So again--never, ever give up! Well, unless you're hoping for something that God's pretty much told you isn't right for you.
If that's so, you can then begin believing for what He does want you to have (or do)--and never give up on that.
The very best book I read in 2018? This one--
Fixing-up-a-house-dreamy and vintage wonderful. Read about it here.
Unfortunately it's not at Open Library. Darn. Maybe it's available elsewhere to read online? Or your town library may have it?
But you can purchase it here or here. (Costs more than books I usually recommend, but trust me, this one--if it's a genre you love--is worth it.)
It's a keeper.
And is this an adorable idea or what?
(Thanks to my buddy, Dolores, for sharing this at Facebook.)