Today I choose to

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What would life be like if we could always choose? Today you choose to get that job you have always wanted, drive a brand new car, sleep all morning, or take a walk in the woods. It sounds like a wonderful thing. To be able to do whatever you want whenever you want is a daydream many people have. But what would life really be like if that came true? Do you have the wisdom to always choose well?

There are plenty of choices we make beginning very early in life. As our kids were growing up, we would teach them to make choices starting as toddlers with the clothes they would wear. Those safe decisions led to bigger ones. What friends to make, whether or not to respect the house rules, being home in time to make curfew, and choosing a spouse. Looking at the ability to choose and make decisions seems a natural progression in life.

What happens though, when you do not get a choice? What about the circumstances that just seem to occur without your permission? You did not choose to break an arm playing sports as a child. Your intention was not to get up, drive to work, and have an accident on the way. When you decided to pick up the phone, you did not intend to hear tragic news that would rock your world. Yet, these things happen. Events come into your life without invitation and dare to change who you are. How dare they!

So how do you handle those moments that alter the direction of your life? How do you manage to recover and continue when everything seems lost and you feel alone? It is in those very moments that you will make critical choices, whether you intend to or not. Realize that you can choose to fight and continue on with life, making the most of every day. Giving up does not need to happen, even when you feel that things are hopeless. Life is never hopeless if you focus on the right things.

So today, even though you face pain and sadness, you say:

Today I choose to pray, for God knows better than I.

Today I choose to give, for that causes me to look outside myself and focus on others.

Today I choose to trust that the God who created the universe is bigger and more capable than I am.

Today I choose to love and treasure people still around me because they deserve attention and I still have much to give.

Today I choose to wait and hope because I believe there is a purpose in my life. I will embrace the promise of scripture. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prospers you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

While you would not have chosen to face the losses you have endured in your life, recognize that those events have shaped you. They have made you who you are today. While life may not be how you pictured it years ago, it is what you have now. There is no turning back the clock. Do-overs are not available. When I realized all this, I decided that I would not waste the death of my husband. I wanted to learn and grow from the experience. While it was not something I chose for my life, it happened. So I had a choice to make. You do too.

As you begin a new day, make the choice. This can be a better day if you will set your heart and mind on the hope and promises available to God’s children.

Until next time –

Karen

Choose to give hope to someone in your life today. Share Grief Letters with those you know walking through loss and sadness. This devotion book is filled with lessons learned from my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief.

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Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

More and more

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I find that the world in which we live tends to entice us in wanting more and more. The status quo is rarely enough. We must have more and more of: time, clothing, toys, friends, bling, food…the list could continue. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it would be easy to want more and more of things that we, on the journey of grief, feel we can no longer have. Yet, I would like to put a different twist on what we can possess.

Even though we feel set apart from those around us who use this holiday to show love to one another, we too can convey and receive love. Grieving a friend or loved one proves that we have known love. We grieve and miss them because we loved them. While it may be painful, it is actually a gift in having been part of such a meaningful relationship. Some people never realize and experience this type of bond.

So while you may feel you are missing out on a special day, February 14, your persistent, ever-present pain at this time allows you to remember that every day should be special and distinct. Experiencing grief tends to make us appreciate and value our days and our loved ones more.

Emotions can be difficult. People have the inability to keep their feeling stagnant and the same. Being sad one moment and happy the next tends to be the way of life. Human emotions have the tendency to change and fluctuate like the wind. Knowing this, we can make choices to guard against such emotional swings as we walk through grief.

We can choose to grow more and more bitter, isolated, and sullen in our grief journey or we can choose the opposite. Having more and more grace and love for ourselves and those around us reflects what Christ has done for us. Nothing we do or fail to do can make His feelings for us decrease or increase. God’s love is perfect and sufficient. That is the example we can follow.

So this Valentine’s Day, instead of bemoaning the fact that we cannot celebrate the day like others do, we can make sure that those we still have in our lives know that they are loved and appreciated. Spend time with friends, send emails or letters to family. Go have dinner out or watch a fun movie in. Focus on what you do possess with all the gratitude, grace and love you can muster. God can fill in the gaps where you may fall short.

May your day be filled with more and more patience, grace, love, freedom, joy, and beauty.

Until next time –

Karen