12.02.2014

When Life Hands You Crumbs...

I saw this basket of cookies at a place called Mana Sushi Teriyaki Wok in Port Orchard, Washington and it made me smile. The "misfortunate" cookies are broken fortune cookies wrapped in plastic. 

Isn't that a perfect example of what we can do when life hands us crumbs? We can choose to get upset, feel discouraged, or quit. Or, we can turn it around into something clever.

That's a #repurposed and #upcycled life!

12.01.2014

99-Cent Cyber Monday Sale on 'The Repurposed and Upcycled Life'

The Kindle version of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life is on sale on Amazon for Cyber Monday (December 1) for 99 cents.

It's a Countdown sale, meaning the price will increase in increments over the next few days until it returns to the regular price of $5.49.

Click here to download at the sale price


11.19.2014

How Many States Have You Visited?

Have you ever calculated how much of the United States you have visited? I just returned from a long road trip, and thought it would be fun to do the math. I'm not certain if I traveled through additional states as a child, but these are the states I have visited as an adult.

Someday, I will visit the East Coast!



Create Your Own Visited States Map


 How about you? Where have you traveled?

8.28.2014

I'm So Sorry for Your Loss...

Have you ever wondered what to say when someone has just experienced the death of a loved one? I'm not even sure what I would want someone to say to me, but here are some well-worn lines that often come to mind when words elude me:

  • I'm holding you in my thoughts and prayers.
  • We're praying for you at this time of great sadness.
  • I'm so sorry for your loss. 
Worn out phrases, but heartfelt, I promise!

That leads me to wonder; just how do the ones left behind express their experience to others? How can they begin to capture and describe the life-changing event?
  • My daughter passed away...
  • My mother went to be with the Lord after a long battler with cancer...
  • I lost my husband last year...
I once heard a well-meaning pastor give his analysis of that last phrase. His response to a widow who used that very expression was, "Oh, did you misplace him? He isn't lost! He has gone on ahead of you, but he isn't lost if he knew Jesus." 

He explained how we ought to avoid expressions that refer to death as a loss, and instead we should look for alternatives to express our sympathy.

An attempt at lightheartedness, I guess. No malice intended whatsoever. But...

I've thought about this often. He meant well, but I have to wholeheartedly disagree. After watching several close friends and family go through the painful process of outliving a loved one, I can't think of a better thing to say. 

I'm an outsider looking in. So, I could be completely off-kilter with my observations. However, death is a loss. Yes, I have hope knowing the truth of what the Bible says about eternal life. I know exactly where Jesus-followers go after they die. Of course, they aren't misplaced. 

But for the ones left behind, it's still a loss.

Death is a loss of communication. It's the end of conversations and tender words.

It's the loss of daily phone calls to mothers and sisters, and friends. Fathers, brothers, and sons. 

It's the loss of dishes done side-by-side and glances across steaming coffee cups and warm apple crisp.

It's the loss of mundane banter about weather and politics, newspaper articles, and reality TV shows.

It's the loss of potential resolution for tangled up relationships and harsh words.

It's the loss of possible restitution and redemption. For wrongs to be righted. For restoration.

For many it's the loss of the other half. The part so entwined with our own selves we can't tell where one begins and the other leaves off. 

It's the loss of future road trips, laughter, and family reunions. 

The absence of knowing smiles. 

The loss of plans. 

It is a loss. 

Let's call it like it is. When someone dies, we suffer a terrible loss. But in the midst of it, we have great hope. And that calm assurance is what makes the loss bearable. 

It's what makes it possible to smile even when everything is shaken. When hearts are broken. When we're torn up inside.

In the midst of the great emptiness of loss, there is also great possibility. For it is when we are the most empty we have room for God's love and hope to fill the void.

If you've lost someone dear to you, I can't begin to fully understand. I'm guessing you don't understand it all either. I care. I might not say the right things at all. But please know my heart breaks for you as you discover new losses each day. I'm so sorry for your loss.


8.27.2014

Free Kindle Book - 30-Day Praise Challenge


This book looked interesting to me, and it's free right now on Kindle, so I wanted to share it with my readers. 

The 30-day Praise Challenge by Becky Harling published by David C. Cook

From the book description:
Discover the Power of Praising God When Becky Harling was diagnosed with cancer over ten years ago, she begged God for healing. A friend of hers had another idea. She challenged Becky to spend twenty minutes a day in praise. Becky thought, What if I’m not feeling thankful? But as she intentionally praised God, she began to experience new joy—and her relationship with God has never been the same. Now, in The Thirty-Day Praise Challenge, Becky guides you in praising God for twenty minutes every day for one month. Arranged topically, the book includes music selections to enhance your praise journey and creative ideas for continuing the habit of praise. As Becky writes, “If you take this challenge, your faith will grow more than you dreamed possible. You will experience more joy, less insecurity, more courage, less anxiety. Thirty days of praising God. Are you ready?”

7.25.2014

6.26.2014

The Christian Chick's Guide to Surviving Divorce

The Christian Chick's Guide to Surviving Divorce:
What your Girlfriends Would Tell You if They Knew What to Say

Imagine you are newly divorced, or have just been served papers. You are a solid Christian and never imagined you’d find yourself in this position. What do you do next? Where do you turn for help? Now, imagine you walk into a Christian bookstore hoping to find something that would help you. You hope no one sees the tears on your face, so you keep your head down. You don’t want the world’s version of coping with divorce, and you hope you can find something here…

This is exactly what happened to author Suzanne Reeves. She says she didn’t want “the usual version of surviving divorce—have a glass of wine, slash his tires, head to Jamaica, and party like you did in college. I needed godly advice from a woman who had walked in my shoes and lived to tell about it.”

Suzanne wants to share hope with other women who are just where she was. She’s lived to tell about it, and she wants to encourage other women going through divorce. The Christian Chick’s Guide to Surviving Divorce is the book to give a friend who needs help processing the pain, praising God in the midst of the storm, learning how to forgive, and moving forward. She addresses how to learn from the pain and grow into a better person from the experience of divorce. Instead of bitterness, she urges her readers to be teachable.

One of the most important topics this book addresses is that of children. Suzanne’s biggest piece of advice is, “You must love your children more than you hate your spouse.” Hurt, anger, bitterness, and sorrow over the betrayal doesn’t need to become the pain of the children as well.

The other important topic this book addresses that many won’t is how to reconcile divorce with being a Christian. Suzanne talks about going to Bible study and asking for prayer, and wondering in her heart if she would have to break her own beliefs about divorce. It wasn’t what she wanted, and she struggled with coming to terms with that loss. This book addresses divorce from a Christian perspective, with solid advice based on what scripture says about God’s love and mercy.


The book also addresses some practical questions that many hope they never have to face. What do you do with the rings? What happens with mutual friends? What happens when ‘your song’ comes on the radio?

The author’s raw honesty, conversational style, and her ability to find humor in her experiences make this book read like a letter from a dear friend who understands. Suzanne has repurposed her own pain into coaching other women through the emotional struggle, shame, and discouragement of divorce to find the courage to move forward.

Find Suzanne on Facebook.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author for my objective review. I also wrote an endorsement for the book. 

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails