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17 Ways to Bring Christmas Joy to a Grieving Friend

17 Ways to bring Christmas joy to a grieving friend - Grieving is hard all the time but it is especially difficult during the holidays. Families and friends may want to help in love, but not know how. Here are tips and ideas for gifts and gestures to help a grieving heart to heal.

I shared some suggestions on Tuesday for how to cope if you are grieving this holiday season. I remember distinctly how I felt in 2014, the year that my mother died. My heart was broken, and I didn’t feel like celebrating anything. If you are grieving yourself, make sure you check that one out. If you have a friend or family member who is grieving, you may feel helpless. I know Joe did during that time for me. You may feel like bringing up her lost loved one will make it worse, will make her feel her loss more deeply. … Read more

Why “God won’t give you more than you can handle” is a LIE!

The title just kind of puts it out there, right? The old saying that “God won’t give you more than you can handle” is a big fat lie. He will give you more than you can handle. If you’re a slow learner like me, He will give you more than you can handle a lot. Why would He do that? After all, isn’t His love for you endless, beyond comprehension? Doesn’t He want only the best for His children? Yes, it is and He does. But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding … Read more

10 Bible Verses for When Things are Hopeless

I struggle with anxiety and depression (part of bipolar disorder), and I am prone to seeing the worst case scenario. It just happens. I can’t help it. I work hard to find the good, the cheerful, the beautiful in every situation. It’s not easy. Never easy. That’s the everyday stuff.  Then there’s that every once in a while dreadful hopelessness that the enemy ushers into our lives to push us away from God. That is a whole new level of not easy. The despair is real, close, and painful. When you can see no way out, you feel all alone. Where is God then, … Read more

I Want to Wake Up to a World Where Robin Williams is Alive

I want badly to wake up tomorrow to a world where Robin Williams is still alive. I want to wake up to a world in which Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin’s Genie and Sean Maguire did not succumb to mental illness. I want to wake up to a world where suicide is not the 10th leading cause of death in America. I want to wake up to a world in which major depression and bipolar disorder are treated like illnesses instead of scarlet letters. I want to wake up to a world that embraces genius and supports the fragility and instability that so … Read more

Stronger Than We Think We Are

I have the news on in the background while I’m writing, and Robin Roberts just said, “We’re all a little bit stronger than we think we are.” I know that to be true. I didn’t write for a week, not even in my head (which anyone who writes knows is nearly impossible), but my life didn’t slow down. Life never slows down. It doesn’t matter if you’re sad or sick or tired, the world keeps turning, and your kids keep needing to be watched and dressed and fed and educated and entertained. In short, they still need their mom. They … Read more

Coping and Making Memories

It’s hard to make happy family memories with your kids while your mother is slowly slipping away. Impossibly hard. Questioning God hard. Crying alone in the dark late at night hard. It’s so unfair. Neither is it appropriate for my kids to see me moping through my life, mired in depression and self-pity. (Allie asks What happened? Why Mommy cryin’? Mommy sad? way more than I think is acceptable.) When we’re not otherwise occupied with camps or playdates or helping Grandma and Pappy, we spend a lot of time at Hersheypark. It’s a convenient escape. We hike up and down … Read more