Posts tagged "grief"

Abound in HOPE, Be Full of JOY

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 For me, family picture day is exactly like physical torture with a side of mental self loathing. It's torture because I have to manhandle children and run my fingers through unruly curls and pry open mouths to brush...

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Finding Joy Amidst the Grief

"What's the worst thing that could happen?," my counselor asked me?  "I get cancer," I replied. "And what's the worst the worst thing about getting cancer?" she continued. I paused, "It would be painful," I replied. *** Pain is something I actively avoid. As a child I decided I would do a flip on the monkey bars, which are probably outlawed by now (thank you 80s school playgrounds). Upon spinning...

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Grief Is Best Served with a Casserole

It had been a long nine months. In and out of the hospital the whole time. Sometimes spending only a few hours, others spending more than a week. From the day she learned she was pregnant, she knew it was different. She would say to her husband, “Something isn't right.” She never used the word wrong. That would be too much. Too strong. Too harsh. "Wrong" might make things worse. “Not right” would leave...

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The Thorn and the Gift

I live in a house with a husband who has a thorn the size of Texas protruding from his side and God is choosing to let the thorn only pierce him deep enough so as to allow the thorn to pierce me too. The thorn making us bleed out is making us cry. The grace covering the thorn that is making us both bleed out is making us weep. And...

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The Table Of Suffering

She lost her baby that fall. It was early in the pregnancy, but there had already been celebrations and joy at the positive test. Then there was blood and aching and sorrows that sliced them open. Our baby came two months later, the little girl we were planning to adopt. And it was too early. Way too early. I sat in a NICU holding her impossibly small hand and praying...

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Always a Baker, Never a Bride

I’ve named 2017 ‘the year of weddings.’ I’m told that everyone has seasons like this, but it’s a first for me. Over the span of six weeks, four of the most influential women in my life are getting married, each in a different state from New England across to Southern California. I’m maid of honor, cake baker, chalice bearer, and candy maker. But as a single woman who has never...

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A mother’s love, some chocolate, and why you shouldn’t wait to say “I love you”

I learned a lot from my mother, as I assume most people who are blessed with good moms do. And there is something to the phrase "a mother's love" though I can't explain it.  In August 2015, my younger sister and I had flown from opposite coasts to spend some time with Mom in Arkansas. Our scheduled visit ended up being spent at the hospital and things were not looking...

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Grief, Gratitude, and Turkey Stuffing

Thanksgiving was the first holiday we celebrated after moving to this old red-brick farmhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, we will celebrate our fifth Thanksgiving in this place. Is it any wonder I am looking back? Every year, we have roasted a turkey bought from a local Lancaster County farmer. I no longer attempt complicated new recipes because these turkeys are so flavorful. There are many reasons to take good care...

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Finding Your Place At God’s Table When You’re Grieving

It was nearly five months ago that I saw a group of EMTs wheel my grandmother into the back of an ambulance. She hadn't been able to eat much and her body had become weak and frail. She often complained of stomach pains and said nothing tasted like it used to. We seemed so far from the days when I used to watch her standing in front of her seventies...

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After The Storm

My father’s big hands light a hurricane lamp and pull a porch chair closer to his. With a gentle touch on my shoulder, he bids me sit. Trembling joints remind me I have not rested once today. Crackling portable radio grates against my ears, still squawking emergency broadcast After-Disaster instructions. He places a paper plate and a cup of water in front of me on a t.v. tray and urges...

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