Psalm 68:6 – God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
It’s wonderful to have company.
It’s wonderful to have them visit you.
It’s wonderful to have coffee with friends.
It’s wonderful to help someone celebrate their birthday.
And then they were gone.
You bask in the glow of smiling faces as they sing Happy Birthday to you. It was thoughtful for them to come to you when it’s difficult for you to go somewhere on your own.
And then the party is over. The kitchen has been cleaned up. The trash is taken out from all of the wrapping paper and boxes. You’ve started your thank you cards.
And then it sneaks up on your – The silence.
Time feels like it’s standing still.
What do you do now?
Life is back to the way it used to be.
And there is a deep hole growing in your heart. So you let yourself sit in your recliner all day. At least it was supposed to be only one day. But it moves on to day two and three. The emptiness surrounds you.
Your friends came. And they didn’t have to.
Your friends and family do care about you.
I know the deep hurt in your heart, but is it really a deep hurt? Does it have to be a deep hurt.
There’s something you can do:
Pull up the memories you just made and those from before.
Remember the smiles and laughter.
Remember the small talk.
Remember the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself.
Crisistextline.org post the article, “How to Deal With Loneliness.” The article provides the signs of loneliness such as low energy and brain fog, discusses the types of loneliness such as situational loneliness from moving to a new city, causes of loneliness such as you lost a friend or loved one, then steps to deal with loneliness such as get out there and say hello to new people.
Someone else is going to feel lonely.
Someone else has a deep hole in their heart.
And the next time you have a gathering, you’ll be better prepared to share your life with them.
It’s in the way they look into your eyes.
They see a new sparkle.
They see your renewed hope.
And when you share your reason for hope, it makes the other person smile and believe in the impossible.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. God knows that by ourselves we can be lonely, so he sets the lonely in families. I’m so thankful for that. So, the next time you’re feeling lonely, remember that God is with you and will cause your loneliness to dissolve away.
Psalm 81:6 - He says, “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket.”
Sometimes I feel like life is rushing. I feel so busy and need to move fast.
I imagine a Taskmaster behind me running after me chasing me lifting his whip to hit me across my back. And so, I run, and I run, and I run. But when exhaustion comes upon me, I finally decide that I’m going to turn around and tell that Taskmaster that I need to take a break.
So, I turn around and who do you think the Taskmaster is that’s chasing after me lifting his whip to hit me across my back:
It’s only me that’s Chasing Life
It’s only me that gets in the way
Take a look at the Bible verse above. God doesn’t give us more burdens on our shoulders. He lifts the burden off of us. He sets us free. Remember that when you feel like a taskmaster is pursuing you.
Isaiah 46:4 – Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
As I find one more gray hair, I can feel myself dropping to my knees because with each hair, I not only lose respect for myself, but I also notice people who no longer appreciate the gray hairs that grow and don’t believe God is saying that even when I’m old and have gray hairs, God will sustain me.
Losing respect can be a New Year’s crusher. Can you hear the street sweeper heading in your direction? It’s loud, but many times we pretend we don’t hear it and continue down that street of loss of respect.
When we look back even 25 years ago, the wisdom that older women and men have was still considered a jewel.
But now, in 2020, it would appear that old age means:
Here are some ideas about how we can better find ways that an older generation still can contribute to the workplace on harver.com in their article, “How to Manage Generational Diversity in the Workplace.” This article discusses many of the difficulties that management has to deal with now that we have four generations working together and the differences in how each age group is affecting the work force and what each age group has to offer such as diversity and whether they have a strong work ethic. It discusses in detail the problems such as higher risks of conflicts, lack of mutual understanding, different working styles and communication gaps. Last, the article discusses how generational diversity contributes to a company.
Finally, after reading the information in the article above can help us understand each other better. The Bible verse above shows that God takes a different approach and opinion on each age group and the value he places on seeking out those who are older and showing them respect.
Isaiah 43: 18,19 – Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Now that a new year has begun. I have to ask, did you make New Year’s resolutions?
I’d like to not just flippantly make a resolution, but one if tackled, can change my life all together.
Here are a few of the most common ones:
You get the gist of it. So, what’s my resolution:
Life can be full of the “awesome” things. Find yours today. It can be kinda fun to do, as many changes can blend in together to make a new you this year. People.howstuffworks.com gives us some ideas about new year’s resolutions such as stop procrastinating and just do it, learn to take risks, forgive someone, and learn one new thing. Find more ideas in the article, “10 New Year’s Resolutions Might Actually Keep.”
Now, go out there and make your list, keep it small, believe it can be accomplished then strive for it. Take a look at the Bible verse above, it challenges us to forget the things that are in the past and believe that God is doing a new thing in your life. God will make the way for you, if you believe that streams can flow in the wasteland of your life. Can you feel the shower starting? It may be scary to begin with, but it can be just the start you need to make and keep your New Year’s resolutions.
1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and purity.
That’s what people feel like when they’re asked to do something all the time, but no one cares to lift a finger to help you.
You can’t do anything right!
You can’t do anything right!
Nothing you do ever seems to be good enough for others. They pick apart your life ready to let you know just how badly you do things. You slump your shoulders as you try to lift yourself out of the muck and the mire. And just as you start to get out of the deepening muck someone steps on you. You wonder, “Do I deserve to be treated this way. Am I really so low on the totem pole? So, you close your eyes a take a deep breath and move forward anyway.
But life doesn’t have to be that way. Regardless what other people think of you, remember the most important voice in your head. God says, “I love you. You are perfect and have everything you need today. Close up those ears that hear you’re worthless and believe in my love and that you do have a purpose each day.”
Here are some ideas from huffpost.com in their article, “Stop Letting Other People’s Opinions Control you.” This will help you get a clearer perspective on what other people think of you. Here are a few things the article lists: stop comparison, you are unique so stop looking at what everybody else is doing; set boundaries, don’t let other people put you down; remind yourself whose life this is, ultimately this is your life, take courage and live the life you were meant to live.
The Bible verse above is centered around Timothy who was being put down because of his age. How was he to combat that? By setting a good example. And yes, in speech too. It’s tempting when being mistreated and used that your heart can be changed into stone. Don’t let that happen. You are the one to set the bar by your speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.
If you do this, you may still take on some criticism and begin to develop thick skin. Or like what other people have said, “Let it roll off you like a duck.”
Luke 2:11 – Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
With Christmas just around the corner, I have some good memories, but more bad memories.
Not everyone looks forward to Christmas.
Mine was filled with a drunk father and the sound of painful cries from my mother.
It was very difficult times, because though my father would act cruelly, but he always provided for us materially.
We never had to worry if we’d have food to eat.
We never had to worry if we’d have a roof over our heads.
But I truly wish there had been more love in our home. So, my goal is to encourage others and pray for them to be able to look forward to Christmas. We must look at our current “happy” memories that are being made.
In their article on yourrealdreams.com, “How to Have a Christmas that works for you in spite of all the mayhem, drama and tragic memories,” has some ideas to help you cope during Christmas time. One idea is it’s not my job to fix others, I can accept people as is, where is, right now. In addition, it’s okay if others get angry, and it’s okay to say no. Read the rest of the suggestions on the link above.
Remember if you don’t have a lot of happy memories, take time this year to make happy memories with your family and friends and respect their boundaries. And as the Bible verse above says, let’s give God thanks for sending his Child to us and that we are protected in His love. Also, if you find yourself on a bed of pain this Christmas you’re not alone.
Merry Christmas and many blessings for the New Year!
Luke 2:16 – So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in a manger.
Luke 2:16 – So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in a manger.
As the holidays are upon us, what do you do if your family is gathering 3 hours away? It takes so much to just function and take care of the needs of your chronic pain or an extended illness.
You might be okay with having to be alone, unless your family can’t understand how you don’t muster up enough strength despite of your chronic pain.
There’s also emotional pain and loss involved. You feel yourself falling deeper into the valley of depression.
The holidays can be difficult even if you don’t have a chronic condition:
Yes, it hurts to lug the box out of your closet which holds your Christmas treasures. But you don’t feel like decorating. All you can think about is how unfair it is that you can’t gather with your family those 3 hours away.
And your chronic pain kicks up a notch as you reminisce about days gone by. You think of the Christmas’ with your little ones hanging ornaments on the lower branches of the tree. With a manger scene and the effort that it took to get everything out, you loved the memories you were making.
But what about this Christmas? What kind of memories would you make? You’d probably visit your bathroom more often caused by the extreme pain you’re in. Is it possible to feel in the Christmas mood?
First, Christmas isn’t about the decorations. It’s about focusing on Christ’s birth. He should be the center of our thoughts. This should at least make you feel grateful for the baby who would become a man and eventually die for our sins.
That’s why we lug that manger scene box out so that you can look upon it, even if no one in your family will see it. It’s about you and remembering. Is it so bad that you can’t travel? Maybe they’d give you a phone call and all say, “Merry Christmas,” to you. That would make your heart beat with love.
And don’t forget to mail your adult children money for them to put towards a Christmas gift.
Here are some more ideas on how to make Christmas a time of joy even if you battle chronic pain, on buzzfeed.com, in their article, “A Guide to spending Christmas Alone.” Some of their suggestions include: Many people are alone at Christmas but it’s okay to be alone. You can choose to do some of the traditional things you would do if you were with your family and create some new ones. Being alone may make you feel sad but create your own new Christmas traditions. Here’s some ideas: work on your hobby, eat yummy food, or binge-watch a show or movie series. Whatever you choose to do, try to not let chronic pain ruin your Christmas.
And just like the Bible verse above says. The shepherds hurried to see the baby that the angels had told them. You, too, can hurry off to see the baby. Turn on some Christmas music and if you find a song you like, turn the volume up on your CD player and sing loudly as you find yourself not so lonely anymore.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is a time for everything, and an activity under the heavens.
We know that we experience different seasons: fall, winter, spring and summer. But did you know there are also different seasons in our emotional pain journey?
If we can just hang on until the next season, we can find we’ve discovered hope thus depression no longer has a hold on us. Thecut.com in their article, “How to Help Someone with Depression,” provides us examples of how we should start conversations with someone we care about that we suspect are depressed, such as using open ended conversations. “How are doing lately?” “Are you struggling with anything?” “Can I help you?” Find more ways to help someone who is depressed in the article.
If you’re the one who is suffering from depression, know that this season can pass if you keep our eyes on God and how he has been faithful to you in the past. Hang onto hope. And if your depression is a heavy load on you, seek help. Whether it be a friend who will listen to you or receiving a counseling from a therapist. This too shall pass.
Psalm 18:4 – The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
All of us at one time or another feel overwhelmed; some more than others:
However, as stressful as these circumstances are there are others who have their stressors with them through each moment of the day:
Huffingtonpost.com, in their article, “How to let go of Overwhelm,” provides some signs that you’re overwhelmed such as:
You feel like you have no inner space, you experience constant pressure, and there’s no fun in your life.
Some of the ways we can combat overwhelm are having the courage to stop what you’re doing, let go of some things, and commit to less stress. You can find the rest of the list in the article above.
Feeling overwhelmed can leave you spent; all done with life; or simply not wanting to try any more. When you feel like that, take a look at the Bible verse above and you’ll see that the writer of the Psalm felt like death was entangled around him and not just a small flood, but torrents of destruction can cause us to feel overwhelmed. When we feel like that, we can know that God will be with us through it all just as he was in the verse above. So, take a deep breath and ask God to take away the feelings of being overwhelmed. He will send you peace from on high and dash away this feeling of being overwhelmed.
Isaiah 35:3 – Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way.
Empathy. Empathy, according to Wikipedia, is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.
Because you haven’t been there.
Unless you have struggled with what someone else has gone through, you can’t know how it feels.
But regardless of whether or not you’ve walked in another person’s shoes, you can perhaps relate it to something that you struggle with.
Verywellmind.com in their article, “Importance and Benefits of Empathy,” discusses types of empathy, explanation of how empathy works, emotional explanations, the benefits of empathy, how you can influence people, and why people lack empathy.
Empathy means reaching out to someone who has experienced a trial in their life, and even if you haven’t experienced it, you can still water their hearts with your compassion showering a sweet balm upon them.
Lastly, take a look at the Bible verse above, it calls for all of us to strengthen and steady those who are in a situation that you might not have been in but you can still stand by their side and help them through the trial.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.