Loneliness in the holidays

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With this week being Thanksgiving, I thought it would be appropriate to share some tips in dealing with the holidays while walking through grief. Facing every-day life without your loved one is difficult. Facing the holidays without your loved one can seem overwhelming. Loneliness and holidays tend to go hand-in-hand, especially during the early years of loss.

If you are facing your first holiday season on your own, it can help you to remember several things I have found to be true. The first is to know that anticipation is usually worse than realization. Anticipating the holiday may stir up extra feelings of loss, apprehension, and loneliness. You may find yourself dreading the holiday. Fear can be a very real emotion as you wonder how that particular day will feel and what you will do to fill the hours until you can go to bed and wake up in a new day.

Perhaps you have been invited to spend the day with friends. You want to go, but you may be unsure how to excuse yourself in the case that you need some time alone to process your feelings. Remember that your friends care about you and desire the best for you. While they may not completely understand your loss, they want to see you smile and be happy. Do yourself a favor and be honest with yourself and with them. If you feel like crying – then cry. If you feel like laughing – do so with gusto and without guilt. Your loved one would want you to experience joy again. If you find yourself needing time alone – simply state that fact and retreat to a quiet room for a while. Pretending your loneliness does not exist will only keep you from healing.

Loneliness in the holidays is not necessarily a bad thing. It is something you need to experience in order to grow and take a step forward toward healing. Be courageous, take a deep breath, and give yourself grace as you learn to maneuver through Thanksgiving Day. In doing so, you will find yourself better equipped to look toward the other upcoming holidays. Allow yourself to feel and fully experience those emotions that will roll over you this week. As you do, picture your loved one cheering you on and being proud of you for facing what may be a hard day.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. With the holidays just around the corner, this may be just the gift your friends and family need to help them. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

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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.

A Dark Place

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Walking through grief and loss can be a dark place. Whether your journey has just begun or you have been acquainted with loss and sorrow for a while now, there will be times when you find yourself back in a dark place due to circumstances in life. Perhaps someone says something that brings up a painful memory. Maybe you just wake up sad and lonely and the day is a real struggle for you. Whatever the cause for finding yourself in a dark place, try to remember a few things.

First, when you encounter darkness, try to keep in mind that life is still the same as it was in the light. The goodness you know to be true is just hidden for a moment. There is still a familiar pathway you can find to get your bearings and work your way out of a dark place. Have the courage to take one step forward and then another and then another. You will find that a dark place does not have to hold you captive for long. Instead, it can propel you forward and teach you as you journey through it.

That leads to the next reminder. A dark place will not last forever. There will be an end to your darkness, your sadness, your trial, and your pain. The Bible says: “There is a time for everything, a time to be born and a time to die, ……a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 (NIV) The hard, unpleasant season you may find yourself facing will not last forever. While it may hurt to be in a dark place, that very place can serve a powerful purpose in making you work harder at healing in order to move forward with life. Your journey can also give you empathy to share with others who will one day face similar dark days. What you learn from walking your own path can help others as they struggle to walk and find light again.

Darkness has its own sort of beauty. Have you ever toured a cave? Some of them are so deep and cavernous that no light can be found in them except that which man has placed in them. Yet, people pay money and plan vacations to tour such caves. Why? Because there is beauty and wonder found within them. Realizing that beneath the surface lies great beauty can be the same with your journey. As you learn to deal with and walk through your sadness and grief, it is possible to find and experience joy, beauty, and light again if you look hard enough. Use the light of others’ experiences and God’s Word to shine into your dark place when you are unable to provide your own source of brightness. No one needs to walk a dark place alone.

The next time you experience a dark place, do not lose hope. Instead, embrace the darkness – not in order to stay there – but in order to beat it. Being proactive in dealing with your pain and sadness will help you have the upper hand in difficult situations. Life will be less likely to catch you by surprise and you will be able to find real beauty and joy in life – no matter your circumstances. Tell yourself that the darkness will fade and light will return, then focus on seeing that light before you as you courageously and steadily move forward through your grief and dark places. Be proud and rejoice that you can move forward into light again from a dark place.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

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.

Share Your Story

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When you are journeying through grief, the last thing you may want to do is to share your story. There are days when you can barely manage to get out of bed and go about your daily tasks, much less think of baring your soul and being vulnerable to others with your very real and painful heartache. However, as you find yourself healing and gaining confidence and strength in your new way of life, you may see some opportunities to help others with their own grief journey.

When you share your story, you bless others by showing them there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They are encouraged to see that you are surviving great loss and pain, therefore there is a chance that they too will be able to do the same. Each time you share your story, you will also find that you heal a bit more. When you are courageous enough to tell others about your journey, you will propel yourself forward in your own healing. You will feel better about your life. Soon you will be able to look back and see how far you have truly come from those early days of loss and sorrow.

How wonderful to be able to see that you are not stuck in your grief, but that you are once again learning to live well and find joy. Life will not seem quite so overwhelming or impossible. The cloudy fog of early grief will lift and clarity will take its place. Let the vision of your recovery and growth propel you forward to share your story with those still working through the incredibly difficult days of early loss.

I look back and shake my head in wonderment at how I survived those first few weeks. I actually have very little memory of those early, grieving days. The only way I was surviving was on auto-pilot. God does that for you. He allows you to be numb enough to manage the tasks demanded of you in very difficult times. However, as that numbness begins to wear off, the pain and discouragement can set in with surprising strength and depth. It is in those times that people find themselves sinking in their grief. It is because of those times that you need to be willing to share your story as a sort of life-preserver to the drowning.

You can certainly make a difference! Take the time to truly think about being a catalyst to someone else’s healing. Begin to make notes of what it was that helped you along the way. What did you find encouraging when you were at your lowest point? What was said that didn’t help you at all? Is it possible then to share your story and impart hope and knowledge to people who are in great pain? Because you are a survivor and have a similar experience, you can be instrumental in walking through grief with someone else.

Consider how you can share your story to impact others and make a difference to those who so desperately need a lifeline of hope.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

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.

Being Blessed

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What does it mean to be blessed? When you hear this expression do you picture someone whose life is easy, full of fun and laughter? Perhaps you think of a life that has never faced hardship or sadness as you have. You cannot imagine how a blessed life can be filled with hurt and difficulties.

Unless you face some sort of challenges in life, you fail to realize just how much you appreciate the easier, happier times you have been given. Those people who go through life seemingly without any difficulties can easily misunderstand what being blessed means. I would like to present to you the possibility that you can certainly experience a blessed life even in the midst of sorrow, great pain, and grief.

Being blessed does not mean you will be kept from sadness. Being blessed is not a promise that tears will never be experienced and your heart will never ache. Without experiencing those things at times, it is impossible to truly appreciate the better part of life. But being blessed is even more than being able to understand that life has its ups and downs.

Being blessed means that you do not have to walk the rough patches of life alone. It means that no matter how rocky your road may seem, you have company beside you cheering you on and encouraging you to take another step….and then another….and then another. Being blessed is knowing that someone has your back no matter what comes your way.

When my husband passed away, I had good people surround me and hold me up when I couldn’t gather the strength to even stand by myself. One friend in particular promised to have my back and committed to walk this journey with me for as long as it lasted. Nearly six years later, she is still my sounding board and listens carefully, giving wise advice when needed.

Being blessed does not point to the absence of hardship and sadness. Instead it means that you do not have to face your life alone. Do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help when you feel your sadness carrying you away into a dark place. Accept the blessing of friendship and help. No one needs to walk this grief journey by themselves.

Remember that no matter the number people who are in your life, your best friend can truly be found in Jesus Christ. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends….” John 15:15 (NIV) He alone will be with you in the dark of night and can understand the depth of your pain.

Being blessed is knowing who your friends really are and recognizing that you never have to do life on your own.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

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.

The balance beam

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I spent some time watching gymnastics on television last night. This is a sport that I enjoy viewing, admiring how the gymnasts do amazing jumps, flips, and turns. Watching as they dance along the balance beam and exhaling in relief when they stick the landing can be exhilarating. Having no talent whatsoever myself in any form of gymnastics, I marvel at the skills these young people have.

I watched, despairing as several of the young ladies bobbled a turn and failed to stay on top of the balance beam. As I sympathized with them, I began to see similarities between what these talented people strive to do and what those in grief must learn to maneuver on their own type of balance beam.

Being a gymnast competing for a place on the Olympic team takes years of practice and dedication. They have devoted themselves daily to hours of grueling drills and repetition of required skills. Commitment is evident in the success these athletes achieve. Even when they experience an unexpected tumble to the floor from that 4-inch beam, you see them take a breath, recover, and remount the beam quickly in order to follow through and finish their routine. They do not quit or give up.

The beautiful routines are filled with dancing, graceful moves, and difficult skills meant to thrill the audience and satisfy the judges. Focusing on fulfilling the required movements helps to assure that success is within reach. Working with a trainer and having these moves choreographed results in an art admired by many.

Walking through grief can be compared in ways to walking the balance beam. It takes great commitment and work to learn to place one foot in front of the other after suffering a loss. Courage must be summoned to manage even getting out of bed some days and facing your changed world. Some of the jumps and back flips on the balance beam require a blind landing. As you make your way through your loss, you may feel that you are required to move blindly, uncertain of what is ahead and how can you land well into the future when you cannot quite picture what it looks like.

There are also some great differences between walking the balance beam and walking your grief journey. These athletes train for years with some of the best coaches available. Most of the time you enter your grief with little notice or warning. Even if the loss has been anticipated due to an illness, it seems impossible to properly prepare for the complete separation that death brings. How does one truly practice for that?

Talented choreographers work with these gymnasts to provide cute and appropriate movements while fulfilling requirements of the judges. Walking through grief, you are forced to make up your own routine. No one can tell you how you should feel or what you should do. While there are people who have survived the grief journey and are willing to encourage you, no two journeys are the same. Therefore, it is up to you to find what works best in your own life.

Millions of people will be watching the Olympic trials and envying the talents of these athletes. No one will be envying you as you face loss and learn to journey through grief. In fact, you may find that some people will avoid you, fearing and doubting what they should say or how they should act around you. It will be necessary to not take these slights personally. Remember, unless you have actually experienced the loss of a loved one, you fail to know how to communicate clearly with those who have been forced to say good-bye to someone.

As you watch the Olympic trials and later the actual Olympic Games, be encouraged when you see athletes braving the balance beam. They are doing something that few people can do. You, my friend, can say the very same thing. You are walking a journey that no one else can tell you how to walk. Take courage, be confident, and step forward into your new life with gusto. Picture walking your grief journey well. Fight to keep your balance and work to stick your landing. You can certainly do this.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

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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.

When something is taken

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Upon coming home from work today I found that one of my nice recliner lawn chairs had been stolen off my front porch. I stood there in disbelief at first. I had saved up for the pair of chairs last summer and have enjoyed sitting and reading in the cool of the early mornings. I was furious as I stood there and realized that the theft had occurred. One thing I do not tolerate is taking things that do not belong to you. When something is taken unjustly, your emotions tend to flow; anger, regret, revenge, disbelief, and maybe even surrender.

When you face grief and loss of life, you feel that something has been taken from you. Life as you know it is changed and will never be the same again. Your ability to talk to your loved one, give them a hug, share a laugh, and watch the future unfold with them will never happen.

This realization also brings with it emotions that ebb and flow as you journey from day to day, doing your best to maneuver and figure out how to live without them. It is natural to feel anger and regret. You may feel that revenge is needed. Disbelief may cause you to doubt yourself and your whole situation. Eventually you will work through these feelings to reach a sort of surrender. Not the type where you give up and fail to live life. But one that understands that when something is taken, you are still left with much.

Please understand that I am not saying your loss has not been incredibly painful and huge. I can make that statement because I have faced great loss as well. However I have come to see that I still have many blessings in my life. I encourage you to evaluate what you still have after you have given yourself time to be sad and to grieve.

When something is taken from you, it is helpful to see what you still have. Do you still have family and friends who care for you and love you? Is there a place where you can lay your head at night and rest, feeling safe from the outside world? Did you have the opportunity to eat today? Even though your appetite might be hard to find, there is food available when you want it. Take a look around you. Evaluate what you still have. Perhaps something new is there to help fill the void of your great loss.

Ask God to reveal these things to you. Remember that He is the greatest treasure than no one can take away. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

Holding on to your anger and what you feel is unjust when something is taken, will only cause you to mourn longer and move slower through the grief journey. While you do not want to rush and skip the steps of healing, you do want to give yourself permission to feel better when the time comes. Accept the joy that will peek through your clouds of sorrow.

Just as I need to get over a thief taking one of my recliners, you will need to let go and begin to move forward as well. Do not let life be ruined forever when something is taken.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

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.

The Unexpected

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A miscommunication in texting with a friend last night turned out to provide a much-needed laugh. Her text came through to me asking where Batman lives. I responded with “Gotham City?” and was confused when she wrote back, “Whatttt???” Then she realized that the word she had written was auto-corrected and changed to Batman. I had a good laugh as I then understood the weird and the unexpected conversation.

There are times in life when we are faced with the unexpected. It might be an unexpected conversation, the sudden appearance of someone, a surprising reaction from others, or an unpredicted outcome at work. The longer you live, the more you come to understand that there are surprises and you are often left to deal with the unexpected in life.

Grief is oftentimes unexpected. Even if your loved one had an illness which led your family through months of difficulty and their final passing may have been eminent, the actual diagnosis was probably unexpected as well as unwanted. While you realize that sickness, sadness, and death are part of life, when those events invade your daily routine, they catch you off-guard.

So how do you handle the unexpected things in grief? Is it possible to regain your footing against the intrusion made in your life and upon the plans you had for your future? Yes, you will survive the grief and the unexpected turn that you are now facing. Will it be easy to do so? Of course not. No one who has experienced grief and loss will tell you the journey is easy.

So how do you face the unexpected things of grief? I believe that God uses the first few months to numb you from the pain. I know that there are actually many details in those first few days of grief that I do not have clear memories of. A sense of auto-pilot takes over and the necessary arrangements are made with the help of family and friends. So while your journey has taken an unexpected detour, you somehow are able to function and survive by the grace of God.

As time moves forward and your world changes and little daily adjustments are made, the numbness begins to wear off and you suddenly feel the unexpected weight of your pain. These are hard days to face. You awake to some mornings where you want to choose to stay in bed rather than get up and face your day. Doing this once in a while can actually be a healthy and necessary “mental health day.” Recognizing what you need to refuel and function well in your grief is important. As long as you don’t spend each and every day staying in bed and avoiding life all together, an occasional day off is recommended.

Grief also has a way of throwing road blocks in your path. Oftentimes, an unexpected thing will be a trigger that threatens to throw you back into the depths of your sorrow. The ability to be flexible and give grace where needed is likely to help you through these little surprises of life. While you may want guarantees, there are few of those in life. Learn what things you can give up and what items are non-negotiable to you and your journey will be likely be smoother as you move forward in your grief.

Surprises can endanger your sense of well-being too. Feeling paralyzed by fear and doubt can be very real as the unexpected appears now and then. Work hard at not giving power to these surprises. They are just slight hiccups in the bigger picture of your life. Keep your eyes focused on your goals and desires and upon where you are headed, not where you have been.

In all of this, remember that God desires to strengthen you and hold you up when you feel you can go no further. I read the following verse a few months ago and have come to appreciate its promise that God goes before me to ease my trek.

“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low;

the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.” Isaiah 40:4 (NIV)

Until next time –

Karen

When the unexpected happens, Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

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.

Where is my seat

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I recently went to a Colorado Rockies baseball game with my son and was amused at the antics of some of the fans. There were two ladies who began the game sitting one row down from us. Soon I saw them hopping over seats and plopping down a few rows further down and to our left. Then I shook my head when 20 minutes later they were approached by people saying those were their seats and watched with amazement as these two ladies moved up a few rows and over across the aisle. From there I lost track of them. It was obvious that they did not like their original seats and were looking to get something better. “Where is my seat” seemed to be a game they were playing in the stadium as the Rockies were playing their ballgame on the field.

As I reflected on these two rather restless ladies, I began to compare their predicament with mine of walking through grief. There have certainly been times when I was unhappy with where I found myself and I was eager to do anything to move to another place. In fact, that is probably true more often than not. Really, what person desires to walk through the pain of losing a loved one?

However, in order to heal, that is exactly what you must do. You must embrace the journey and dive in headfirst to what lies ahead. When you take that giant leap of faith, you may find yourself floundering for a while asking “Where is my seat.” The thing with the grief journey is your seat will continue to change. The position in which you are seated today will not be where you need to be sitting three months from now. In a year, you will find yourself in a completely different position and ready for another seat in order to view your ever-changing world correctly.

The desire is that you will be like those two ladies at the ballgame. You do not want to stay in the same seat forever. That first seat of grief has a poor view of your future. It is impossible to make out what life looks like and how you are supposed to respond to the world around you. However, as you take those first steps to trudge through your sorrow, you will find yourself in a new and better position; one that allows you to see a bit clearer.

Eventually you will get to the point where you will not have to ask “where is my seat” any longer because you have finally arrived at the place where joy is abundant and you once again feel at home with your circumstance. I have recently read and committed to memory a verse from the Bible. “You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.” Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

Eventually you will no longer find yourself asking “Where is my seat” because you have finally found a way to feel at home and at peace right where you are; in the midst of healing and in the embrace of a God Who loves you immensely.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

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.

Familiar

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I do quite a bit of typing at work between planning lessons and camps, writing material for classes, and communicating with people. In order to keep my wrists happy, I also use a special ergonomic keyboard. However, I have used it so much, that the markings on many of the keys are worn off. This has not bothered me at all since I am quite proficient at typing. Yet when others sit down to use my computer, I hear comments such as, “How can you know where the keys are?” I suppose it is because the keyboard letter positions are familiar to me. I know where they are without even looking. I can count on my fingers just landing on the right keys out of habit and years of practice.

As you continue on your grief journey, the familiar things of life often feel lost to you. No longer are you certain what the day may hold. Things that you have counted on fail to be part of your life now. People you have known for years are no longer with you. How can you endure the loss of familiarity as you make your way through life?

As I type, I feel my way along the keyboard. I know where certain letters are in relation to others. Typing has become second nature to me. What about in life though? Now that elements of your life have drastically been altered, can you still know where you stand and in which direction you should move? I believe you can.

As people, we tend to rely upon feelings to guide us in life. While this is a common practice, I am not so sure that it is always wise. Feeling for and expecting the familiar can leave you uncertain when all you are able to conjure up are unfamiliar emotions. While you long for what you know, you find yourself unacquainted with the demands of adjusting and modifying what you thought would be your life.

The familiar seems lost to you and suddenly you are forced to find a new path to walk; a new way to live. I find comfort in knowing that no matter how unexpected your life journey is now, there is one thing you can count on to never change.

God is a constant in this world. When nothing else seems to make sense, you can be certain of God’s sovereignty and ability to meet your needs, even in the midst of loss and grief. When all the familiar things you have been certain of seem to be gone from your grasp, the things of God are still very much in place and within reach.

It is with His help and guidance that you will eventually be able to look back at those missing, familiar things of life and realize that new feelings, new people, and new adventures have filled your days. All of the sudden, it seems that the unfamiliar is actually there to help you move forward. Life has great promise again. Hope and joy enter your daily picture as you become familiar with new things, new people, and new choices.

Do not give up just because what you know – the familiar – is gone. Instead, choose to look ahead and be open to change. Who knows, right around the corner may be an exciting element to add to your new life. Here’s to become familiar with fresh possibilities.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

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.

I am thankful for –

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There are times when I need to be encouraged by feeling hope and joy. Even though much has changed and life is very, very different, there are still plenty of things I am thankful for. Day-to-day life can be exhausting and overwhelming. In the midst of feeling as if all you can do is survive certain days, it is helpful to stop and do an inventory of the all the things you can enjoy.

Some days you may wonder what God is up to. Reviewing what you are thankful for can start you down the road to feeling better. Grief is a journey with ups and downs. Hang on tightly and prepare yourself for the marathon of grief. At those times when you find yourself running low on fuel, fill up by composing your own list of some of the things you are thankful for. Here is a list of items that easily and quickly came to my mind as I began thinking on this topic. I am thankful for and enjoy:

The smell of freshly mowed grass

Bright yellow tulips

Good friends

The hope that love provides

Thunderstorms

Beautiful music

The laughter of children

Spending time with family

A good hug

Teaching and helping others see their potential

An interesting book

A good cry

The chance to sing with good musicians

The kindness of strangers

Second chances

Studying and discovering treasures in the Bible

Writing

A sincere compliment

Finding a great pair of jeans

Remembering the past

Looking forward to the future

Giving today my all

Helping others

Fresh flowers on my desk

Massages

Reading this list gives me hope and makes me smile. It helps me realize that I can still feel good about life. Perhaps you are still wondering if you will ever move past the numbness of loss and the pain of grief. Begin your own list. There is no shame in starting small. Just place down an item or two and add to the list each day. Keep thinking and watch your own list grow.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. 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. Place your order today!

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

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

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