Holidays

12 Keys to Reclaiming Joy

October 6, 2016
1 Ph 1-92 Ph 1-103 Ph 2.24 Ph 2-45 Ph 2-146  Ph 2-29Advent wreath illuminated by candlelight8  Ph 4-69 Ph 4-810 Ph 4-1111 Ph 4-1312 Ph 4-18

Weekly Meditations to Prepare Your Heart for the Holidays paraphrased from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi With wisdom and discernment, grow in love for others. 1:9 “Love…Knowledge…Discernment” Be sincere and blameless, approving all that is excellent. 1:10 “Sincere…Blameless…Excellent” Seek unity and a shared purpose. 2:2 “Family Unity Matters” Look out for others’ best interests, not only your own. 2:4 “De Tocqueville’s Advice for Widows” Do all things without grumbling …

Continue reading

Autumn Anxiety Is Real

September 22, 2016

The Huffington Post headline proclaims, “Autumn Anxiety Is Real, And Treatable.” Huh? I never knew that the onset of shorter days could trigger a definable anxiety disorder. Until Lev died, I never paid much attention to the length of days, the hours of sunlight. Unlike most parts of the country, in South Texas fall holds the promise of a break in the heat, when we …

Continue reading

Starting Over

June 2, 2016
diet handbook

A year ago, I began a diet that called for eliminating carbs and fats for two weeks, while eating large amounts of lean meat and vegetables plus a small amount of low-fat dairy products. Gradually, I added small amounts of fruits and carbs, while reducing the protein. It worked. I was never hungry, and I lost about three pounds a week at the beginning, 20 …

Continue reading

Easter Hope: Celebrating Resurrection

March 24, 2016
Horseshoe Bay

Part 1: The Spiritual Aspect of Grief Lev was buried on Maundy Thursday, seven years ago. It seems like yesterday…and a lifetime ago. The approach of Easter is much more a reminder to me of his death/my loss than the calendar date, April 7. While I have written often about those sinkholes called holidays, Easter is not a sinkhole for me, for the resurrection story …

Continue reading

Celebrating Lev’s Birthday

March 3, 2016
top of the mountain

I have made it over that mountain of immediate grief, loss and aloneness—past the minefields, through the sinkholes, around the boulders that made the climb so arduous. I have not emerged unscathed, inadvertently injuring myself and others along the way. Now the road is mostly wide and smooth in front of me, just an occasional rough spot, boring stretch or sinkhole to trip me up. …

Continue reading

Bloom Where You Are Planted

December 20, 2015
Philippians 4:11

Key 10: Be content, whatever your circumstances. A young friend dropped by to invite me to participate in a major fundraiser for the local hospital. When I thanked her for her involvement in the community, she said, “I had some difficulty when we first moved here, but someone advised me to bloom where I am planted.” As a college student I dreamed of going to …

Continue reading

Wishing You a Blessed Thanksgiving

November 26, 2015
Giving thanks-a montage

Almost immediately after Lev’s death, I began to worry about the Holidays, more than seven months away. Having always loved everything about Christmas—the tree, carols, presents, cards, cookies, candies and lavish meals—I did not want to lose that too. How could I move from loss and grief to the joy of Christmas? In early fall, I set goals for myself, borrowing literally from the word …

Continue reading

Extending and Accepting Hospitality

November 22, 2015
Philippians 2:29

Key 6: Welcome others; be hospitable. A native son was returning home to Philippi, and the Apostle Paul–writing from his prison cell in Rome–instructed this small, struggling group of Christians to welcome Epaphroditus with joy. From beginning to end, the Bible is full of injunctions to be welcoming and hospitable. I tend to think of hospitality as a gift, and certainly we all know some …

Continue reading

Love…Knowledge…Discernment

October 18, 2015

Nothing prepared me for widowhood. That first month I was completely overwhelmed. I misplaced everything I set down, including Lev’s wallet with all his identity inside. I had amnesia. I still cannot remember much that was said and done, for I lived in a fog. There were days when I crawled back in bed and pulled the covers over my head. I had panic attacks. …

Continue reading

Widows: Alone in a Crowd

September 6, 2015

As most of you know, I am currently putting the finishing touches on my book, Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows, in which I recount snippets of my own struggle, as well as the experiences of others and the observations of the “experts.” Today, I would like to ask for your feedback and observations about some of the toughest challenges. My journey from grief and …

Continue reading