Be Watchful

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It is so easy to go about life, just focusing on what is happening today. You get caught up in the busyness of schedules and requests. Deadlines may loom and stresses can mount. If only you could stop and catch your breath amid the craziness of your world.

Or perhaps your hours are a little less full these days. The house is empty and a bit quieter and you wonder how you will fill your time. Without the demands you once knew it is easy to find yourself binge-watching episodes of a show on Netflix. The day has come and gone and you really cannot say exactly how you spent your hours. You have nothing to show for your day. Both these scenarios are examples of the importance to be watchful and aware of your time management.

I am a believer that everyone needs down time. Being free from stresses and the demands of life can refuel you to “charge your batteries” and allow you to move forward stronger and better prepared for what lies ahead. Finding a healthy balance between work and play is key to living a productive, healthy life.

Before death moved in to take your heart and mind captive, productivity may never have been a concern. You managed to multi-task and churn out projects, check items off your to-do-list, and still have time and energy for more. However, as you now face each day knowing loss is always in the back of your mind and in the forefront of your heart, accomplishing those tasks is not as easy. The energy just is not there nor is the desire to be in constant motion.

As you step into your grief journey, it will help to be aware and be watchful of where your time is going. While you may desire for the clock and life to halt and let your emotions catch up to the demands made upon you, that just does not happen. So how can you handle your new life and be assured to live it well? Be watchful.

What is it that God still wants you to see and do now that your world has been turned upside down? How can you know what path to walk in a new stage of life?

God still has plans for you. Even though your world has recently been rocked and nothing seems the same, you can hold on to the truth that there is still a reason for your presence in this world. One verse that I have clung to in my own grief journey is this: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Be watchful. God has plans for you. Your life matters. What you say and do makes a difference in this world, not only to you, but also to those around you. As you learn to adjust and to heal, may you find hope as you look and seek out the path on which you are now traveling.

Until next time –

Karen

With a new year upon us, consider buying Grief Letters for a loved one or for yourself. Begin the year with hope and purpose. 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.

Chosen

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As I awoke this morning, I found myself silently recalling the words of a song. Not just any song, but the one I sang to Alan at our wedding. “What an odd thing to remember,” I wondered. The more I contemplated those words, the more I realized I was not so much thinking about that wedding day as I was the promise that the words of that tune still hold for me even today.

Perhaps it will help if I quote a few lines to you from the song He Has Chosen You For Me by Pat Terry.

“We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow.

Knowing this we’ll live above the world and all its sorrows.

I have prayed for all my life that we would be together.

Serving Him together seems so right.”

When I sang those words in our wedding over thirty years ago, I never would have guessed that they would hold such power and truth still today! This realization gives me encouragement and hope as I move forward to face each of my tomorrows.

None of us really know what the future holds. If we are honest, we would admit that even today is filled with a few surprises! We make plans for tomorrow, next week and a year from now. Dreams are formed, plans are built and hopes are hung – but all those are so temporary and dependent upon factors over which we have no control. For instance, what will the weather be like, what does the stock market do, how do the choices of other people affect us? In the midst of having dreams, plans and hopes, we must not lose sight of the fact that even though we look forward to the future, we cannot control it.

God alone knows what tomorrow will hold. He knew thirty years ago that I would be walking a difficult journey of grief today. He wasn’t surprised by the turn of events nearly four years ago. The same is true in your circumstance as well. God is not unaware. He cares what you are going through and knows what you need.

Realizing this truth and trusting Him, we can learn to live a good and happy life in spite of sadness, surprises and the unknowns that are continually placed in our way. As we journey through loss, we learn to discern and understand that smiling, laughing and finding joy is a gift that our loved ones would want us to accept and possess.

Just as God had chosen Alan for me all those years ago, He is showing me other gifts He has prepared and is giving me today. As you move forward in your journey, look and see all that you do still have in the midst of your pain and loss. Will you trust and take the new opportunities for joy and happiness He has chosen for you today?

Until next time –

Karen