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25 Bible Verses on Joy & Happiness

25 Bible verses on joy & happiness. These encouraging scriptures will bring gladness and lasting joy to your life. The words and truths of The Lord God and Jesus Christ will lift you up and give you strength. Beautiful Christian thoughts for my heart.

There have been times in my life when I had joy and times when I had no joy. Looking back, the times when I had no joy are much more clear and well-defined: When my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and up through (and beyond, if I’m being honest) her death nine months later When I got laid off from a job I loved When I was on pregnancy bed rest and had to lie down 23 hours a day for more than 8 weeks When I had postpartum depression, up through being diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a … Read more

On Grief, Moving On, and the Movie that Made Me Cry Myself to Sleep

Moving on when you're stuck in grief - Grieving is so hard and sad, but it is so true that the only way through it is through it. Words and truths from my life when I lost my mom and watched a movie called Hachi about a dog who waited his entire life for his owner to come home. The feelings of the heart are real, and saying I miss you is natural, but letting go is beautiful and natural and essential.

It has been a very long time since a movie wrecked me and made me cry myself to sleep. It’s happened maybe never before, but it happened yesterday. Grace and I wanted to watch a movie together, and I picked Hachi over her objection. The premise is that a man (Richard Gere {swoon}) finds a puppy at the train station, raises him, and then dies, leaving the devoted puppy to wait for him at the train station for the rest of its life – nine long years. I have no idea what made me think watching this movie was a … Read more

How to Help Kids Deal with the Death of a Pet – 14 Tips for Coping

how to help your child cope with the death of a pet - Grief and loss are not easy for adults, and children feel so much more strongly. Helping them through their emotions and feelings in this time is super important, whether they are mourning a dog, cat, goldfish, rabbit, bird, or other pet. Death is a part of life with animals and it is normal to feel sad and lost without your best friend. This mom's thoughts and feelings about her kitten are witty and poignant. Awesome read.

Last year in September, my beloved cat Sammy died. He was over 15 years old and had been with me since before I met my husband. My kids both adored Sammy because he was gentle and friendly. The fact that his previous owner had had him declawed was a bonus for them as he never scratched them even when he deemed the kids to be too rough.  Sammy’s death was difficult for all of us, but he was old and had lived a very long and very happy life with us, and we were able to appreciate that.  Every time … Read more

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

23 Ways to Reclaim Christmas Joy When You’re Grieving

23 Ways to reclaim Christmas joy when your heart is grieving - Grief during the holidays can be devastating, especially when your mom or dad has passed away.

The holidays are hard for grieving hearts, I know. My mom died three years and five months ago. I remember clearly that first holiday season when I couldn’t bear to even think about Thanksgiving dinner and cried myself to sleep after it was all over. I also remember that first Christmas, and my heart broke first thing when she wasn’t there to see my kids open their gifts from Santa and all morning as we prepared the meal and all afternoon when we would have been playing games around the kitchen table. I cried a lot that whole first year, … Read more

10 Best Books for Kids About the Death of a Pet

When a pet dies, children sometimes don't know how to handle their sad feelings. Some don't understand what death means and don't understand that they will never see their beloved pet again. These 10 kids books will help to explain what has happened on a child's level and will help them understand the tough emotions they are facing. Includes both religious and non-religious books, cats, dogs, mice, and goldfish.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen that my sweet kitty, Sammy, died two weeks ago. He was 16. Sammy was the third of our kitties to pass in about three years which makes it that much worse. They were all pretty old, but that also means that all three were part of the family for my kids’ entire lives.  Sammy was the best cat I ever had by far. He was very friendly and liked to be scratched and cuddled. He liked to be with me wherever I was. He sat on my lap … Read more