Holiday Self Care

How do you get through the first holidays without a parent? My mom moved on to heaven on April 25 and the physical pain, the hurt in my heart, has diminished but the emotional pain is still very strong.

As we just celebrated Thanksgiving and as we get closer to Christmas, I’ve been flooded with memories. The memories sometimes cause a stab in the heart. I’m still not sure what is meant when people say, “at least you have your memories”. What does that mean? Memories hurt, they are not comforting. Could that just be me? I don’t think I’m the only one.

So, how DOES one get through? For me, I am attempting to make new memories. It’s all about new memories. They don’t seem to cover or block out the old memories but making new memories, doing new things, spending time with family in different ways, helps.

Something else I’m committed to doing is being more intentional about caring for me during this season. I have determined that I won’t agree to do anything, spend time with anyone, go to any event that would cause me stress. I’m not talking about the stress of being with friends and family I love dearly. I’m talking about the stress of having a lot to do and very little down time. Down time during this busy season is vital for anyone and this year all important for me.

This next tip probably is the first thing I do to get through. I spend time alone with my Abba father. I crawl up in his lap and he wraps his arms around me and rocks me like a true daddy would comfort his baby girl. I talk to him every day in my spirit. He comforts me without words.

So I know that whatever I have to do to get through this season, he is with me. Psalm 16:8 in The Passion Translation describes my experience with my Father perfectly.

“Because you are close to me and always available, my confidence will never be shaken, for I experience your wrap-around presence every moment.” TPT

What a gift from my Father! My forever Father! My human, biological father wasn’t able to give me the assurance of his presence but my true Father walks with me every minute of every day.

We read many lists during this season on how to manage the stress. Some are long and for me, they are too long to be helpful.

So, during this holiday season I’m relying on three important ways to get through: Making new memories, intentional self-care, and totally relying on my Abba Father to walk this tough season with me and to be available to comfort me as needed.

I hope this helps anyone trying to get through this festive season right after losing a loved one. It can be tough. But we have to take care to tap into our Father’s resources in order to get through.

All Scripture quotations are from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo by D A V I D S O N L U N A on Unsplash

We Already Have Answers

One Friday, I took a much needed trip to visit my eldest son and his lovely family. Since they are 1 ½ hours up the mountain and I lose my Christian radio, I put on a Bill Johnson YouTube and listened through my phone.

This day, I listened to “The Resting Place” and the first part of this teaching left a huge, life changing impression on me. This is what he said, “When you pray for what you already have, you never have the joy of seeing it answered because you’re not aware that you already have the answer.”

So, as believers, we already have the answers.

  1. God says He will never leave us. There are so many verses in the Old and New Testament assuring us that He will never leave nor forsake us.

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV)

Don’t be obsessed with money but live content with what you have, for you always have God’s presence. For hasn’t he promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!” (Hebrews 13:5 TPT)

I don’t know about you, but that gives me great comfort knowing He is walking this life out with me. I am not alone. We don’t need to beg Him to be with us in this trial or that trial. We already have Him within us and we have been assured He will never leave us.

  1. Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted.

He heals the wounds of every shattered heart. (Psalm 147:3 TPT)

Jesus has healed all our soul wounds. Once we grasp that, we will manifest the truth of it in our lives. Yes, it is a process. This doesn’t happen immediately in most people and in most cases. I believe and live that process every day. But at least I have recognized that He has already done the work of healing and now I am learning to make that a part of my life every day.


We already are made new creatures. WOW. What we probably need to be praying for is the REAL understanding of what Jesus took to the Cross and what He left with us. We are promised freedom, no condemnation, provision, etc. Well, I for one will change how I pray. I already have Holy Spirit. I just need to reach up and accept what He has already provided for me. I just need to listen to Him and believe what I’ve already been given. How about you?

Photo by Anaya Katlego on Unsplash

Tears In A Jar

“You keep track of my misery. Put my tears in your leather container! Are they not recorded in your scroll?” Psalm 56:8 NET

I’ve just spent the past 6 weeks in misery.  The experience of sadness, grief, fear, and lots of crying were a part of everyday for those 6 weeks. I haven’t worked in those 6 weeks because I and my sisters were caring for mom, and it was especially intense the past 4 weeks.

You see, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the end of March. We waited until both my sister and I were with her before we could allow her physician to tell her. We didn’t want her to hear this news alone. She still had a lot of life to live and even though she was 84 years old, she had plans and projects to complete. She had great grandbabies to meet, granddaughters’ weddings to celebrate, her garden to clean out and get ready for summer. She was looking forward to getting back to her painting and her beading. These are the things that rip out my heart more than the fact that she is gone and living in her heavenly home now with Jesus.

This morning, I was reading this verse in Psalm above and Holy Spirit reminded me that He feels and records all the sad things in our lives. He really loves us so much that He even saves our tears in a bottle. Our tears are important to Him. What an incredible love that has to be! That’s because each of us, as unique as we are, mean so much and He loves us so intimately that he will save something and record something as personal and private as our tears and grief.

Reading Psalm 56:8 was an encouragement and uplifting to me, because I believe Holy Spirit, who is also called Comforter, helped me feel less alone this morning.

Whatever you are going through, focus on the God who loves you so intensely, intimately and really cares that you are suffering. That’s exactly what I need to do today and in the days ahead.

Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

Where Do We Find Peace & Security?

What’s on my mind today? Life as we know it can change in a flash. A job can be lost which means loss of income, a child is lost or has died, a home and all our possessions can burn to the ground, a spouse decides he/she doesn’t want to be married any longer. Do you get the picture? All sense of stability is shaken in a heartbeat.


So how do we, believers, maintain our peace and supernatural sense of stability? It’s not easy. To say it is easy and give standard answers to anyone going through a life change seems uncaring.


But the answer is simple. Simple and easy are not the same things.


A definition of easy is “not hard or difficult.”


A definition of simple is “not elaborate or artificial; plain.”


God’s Word says he will take care of us even, and in particular, through our storms. I’d love it if you share a Scripture that has been a comfort to you.  Share some Scripture in the comments which remind you that He is our provision, comforter, healer, etc.

These are some of my go to verses.

“He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” Psalm 62:2 NASB


“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.” Psalm 40:2 NASB


“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;” Hebrews 10:23 NASB


And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.” Luke 12:22 NASB

 Photo by Jérémie Crémer on Unsplash

A Jesus Level Love

I read a story recently. It was a story to make a point, probably not a true story, but a story that could actually occur, considering some of the recent shootings. I’m sharing this story not meaning to open recent wounds but to share what these recent tragedies have caused me to think about.

As the story goes, a gunman walked into a church and commanded all who believed in Jesus to lie on the floor. Some people immediately fell to the floor. The gunman told the others they were now free to leave.

Then he turned to the Pastor and said, “You can start preaching now.”

Again, I am not intending to make light of the tragedies that have happened this year but to share with you how Holy Spirit has used these tragedies to stir something in me.

This was a story which caused me to wonder if I would be strong enough in my walk and relationship with Jesus to lay on the floor for Him and face possible death. I think so, I hope so.

Now I take this story and relate it to my everyday walk. Do I walk and relate to others as Jesus would, if He were still here in a human body? I think so, I hope so.

I so want everyone, no matter where they stand spiritually, to feel His love through interaction with me.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (ESV)

We love. Do I love like He loves me? I need to totally get the magnanimity of this verse.

Magnanimity is a noun that means the quality or state of being generous. Some of the synonyms are:

big-heartedness, bounteousness, bountifulness, freehandedness, generosity, generousness, great-heartedness, large-heartedness, lavishness, liberality, magnanimousness, munificence, openhandedness, unselfishness, unsparingness.

Do I love like this? Only when we totally understand that He loves us like this, then we can love others like He loves us.

So, today, I’m going to ask Him for help in this area. And display confidence that He will help me. Today, I will be intentional in showing a Jesus level love to all I come in contact with, even those who get on my last nerve, ruffle my feathers in some way, talk mean to me, treat me like I don’t matter, etc.

Have an awesome walk with Jesus today!

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

It’s A Two Way Love

As I continue my study of Song of Solomon, I realize more and more the depth of God’s love for us. This book is encouraging us to know, really know and understand how much and how deeply. We talk about God’s love all the time but do we really understand the depth of His love? The words in Song of Solomon describe an intimate kind of love from Him and from us to Him. Some synonyms for intimate are close, cherished, faithful, devoted, personal, confidential, secret, innermost, deep, unspoken, undisclosed and familiar.

All healthy relationships are two way. If you have a friend who only wants to talk about her stuff, you might decide to be a good listener for a while because you care, and she may need someone to help her process some things going on in her life. However, if this continues and this person doesn’t return the time for you, you might begin avoiding her. And you may find someone else who can be that kind of friend who better understands the way healthy relationships work.

In the same way, a healthy love relationship with our Father needs to be two way. We need to understand how intimately He loves us. When we really get that, we will naturally return that love to Him.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because God first loved us.” (GNT)

You might want to take the time to read the verses prior to and following this one. What I understand here is that God has taught us what true, deep, intimate love is so we are better able to love Him and love others.

In Matthew 22, Jesus responded to the Pharisees who were questioning Him about the Law and trying to trap Him. In verses 37-39, “Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” (GNT)

You can also find the first part of verse 37 in Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (GNT)

My point here is that throughout Scripture, God teaches us by examples and commands how to receive love from Him and others and how to return love to Him and to others.

Yes, He teaches us that love is a two way street whether it is love for Him or love for others.


Photo Credit:  Gloria Boone

Oh, How He Loves!

Song of Solomon 2:10, 13b

10) My lover spoke to me, saying: “Arise, my darling; My beautiful one, come away with me! …

13b) Arise, come away my darling; my beautiful one, come away with me!”


I’m studying Song of Solomon this week and I’m struck by the love our Lord has for us. It’s similar to a romantic love. He calls us numerous times in a way that one would address a lover. Just look at the verses in Chapter 2.

Romantic love is described in Wikipedia** as “the expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction towards another person.”

“In the context of romantic love relationships, romance usually implies an expression of one’s strong romantic love, or one’s deep and strong emotional desires to connect with another person intimately or romantically.”

So, I’m seeing in a new light that our Lord wants a relationship with us as deep and intimate as a romantic love.

He excitedly tells us to come away with him. See the exclamation point at the end of both of those verses above? It excites Him to be close to us, to be intimate with us.

He wants us to love Him this much too. Our love for Him will grow as we get to know him and we can get to know him better by intentionally drawing close to Him.

Even though I’ve often been hurt over my lifetime by people who claim to love me, I’m beginning to realize that there is One who will never betray my love and that One actually enjoys my closeness and intimacy with Him!

Draw closer to Him today by focusing on this amazing love. You can start by reading this short book of 8 chapters and meditating on His deep and intimate love for each of us as individuals.

Have an awesome day, knowing you are loved!

*Photo Credit: Unsplash: Milada Vigerova

**Quote taken from Wikipedia:

Who Will Be There For You When You Are Beaten Down?

As you may or may not know, I am a Christian Life Coach and Counselor. I have met with people, who were at such low points in life that they just could not gather the strength or initiative to pray.

Have you ever been so deep in the quagmire that you just don’t have the words to pray? We can pray with groaning in our spirit and He hears our cry. We don’t have to use our voices and words. Sometimes we are so low, we just don’t have the words, but Holy Spirit does! And Holy Spirit will intercede for us!

Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (ESV)

At this point, I am reminded of that poem, Footprints. The actual author is disputed because many have claimed to author this allegorical poem. Not at all my point today, but Wikipedia says:

(This popular text describes an experience in which a person is walking on a beach with God. They leave two sets of footprints in the sand behind them. Looking back, the tracks represent various stages of their life. At various points, the two trails dwindle to one, especially at the lowest and most hopeless moments of the person’s life. When questioning God, believing that the Lord must have abandoned His love during those times, God gives the explanation: “During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”)

This is not actual Scripture but it states perfectly what I think about when people, including myself, experience when at those low points. And there are plenty of Scripture that remind us that He is with us and knows our needs, even before we are able to put them to words. Matthew 6:8, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (NIV)

Are you in a place of deep despair? Take heart and be encouraged!

Photo Credit:  Milada Vigerova



What Happens After The Rain – My Thoughts On Life

We’ve had a lot of rain in our part of this planet earth. Actual flooding, pouring, storming rain has been a part of our lives for over a week now. We’ve also had a few, a very few, breaks with some sun shining down. Oh, what an experience to live with wet, muddy, rain and then see the sun pop out, even if just for a few minutes.

The other morning, after a night of constant downpours, I took some pictures of the wooded area on my way to work. I am always amazed at the brilliant colors of the varied greens and browns on the trees after a soaking spring rain!

What this made me think about are the rains and storms of life we all experience. How do you get through them while they are right on top of you and smothering you with, not only rain, but some bolts of lightning thrown in? Those metaphorical bolts of lightning are really jolting to the system. In our emotional, spiritual and even physical systems, we experience the effects of those “thunderstorms”. It’s almost like, we are down with the blaahhs, and even perhaps full blown depression, and then a lightning bolt is thrown at us for good measure.

During these times, I have to really make an effort to remember that I am an overcomer. Jesus took all that rain and those thunderbolts of life, with Him to the Cross. I have to remind myself that I can do this because He gives me the strength and stamina needed. I have to look toward a better day tomorrow with hope because of Him.

That better day is usually filled with beautiful, more vibrant, more varied colors. The Hope of a better day is, of course, available for us in the next life. But we can experience that better, more fulfilling, more exciting, day NOW. After the storm passes, there is a better day ahead if we walk with Jesus and stay close to Him, even through the storms.

John 10:10 says,” A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came to give life—life that is full and good. “(ERV)

My storms and thunderbolts have always brought me to a better place of provision and abundance. We all hate the dreary, cloudy, stormy days. There is a better day ahead and we don’t have to wait to die and go to heaven.

These past weeks of rains have reminded me to be more intentional in my spirit to look forward to the hope of greener greens, flowering dogwood trees, and various colored tulips.

Have a hopeful day today, regardless of the weather!

IMPORTANT:  If you are experiencing depression, even mild depression, for more than 2 weeks, PLEASE SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP!

If your depression or down in the dump feelings are causing problems with everyday normal activities, like differences in sleeping habits, irritability, etc. SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP!

This article is NOT meant to replace a need for professional help. God’s Word says you are valuable. Take care of yourself!