Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Interrupted Expectations



There comes a time when we all move on.  Other opportunities present themselves and seasons in life change.  Although grief will always be a part of my life, I am thankful that healing does come.  While the tears don't stain my cheeks as frequently, no matter how much time passes they will always stain my eyes.

While I have no plans to remove this website, I will not be updating it much in the future.  I pray that God will continue to use it to bless those who are experiencing Interrupted Expectations. And, I pray that it will be a guide and a glimpse into grief for those who are blessing the hurting. 

If you find a book, post, verse, or idea that has blessed you, please let me know.  I would love to add it.

I hope that you will join us at our sister blog - Our Out-of-Sync Life.  Also, join us for accountability and spiritual encouragement on SISTERS at ABCJLM on Facebook.


Until then, I leave you with my favorite verse.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God bless...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Healthy Grieving #6 - Find a Support Group



God created us to need others.  Grief doesn't change this.  Being by yourself while grieving can be very dangerous.  Don’t feel like you can or have to go through it alone.  Try to find a church or community grief support group.  We need encouragers! 

It is very important that you find those who has experienced something similar.  Unfortunately, those who haven't shared in your "kind" of grief don't understand.  They sometimes give some crazy advice simply because they don't understand.  People in a support group with similar situations will understand. 

Unsure of support groups available in your area?  Call a local church or hospital.  Pray that God will lead you to a group that can hold your hand as you travel the roads of grief.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Healthy Grieving #5 - Write a Letter



This one is the toughest for me.  Tip #5 is writing a letter to the loved one that you lost.  Honestly, I didn’t do this.  Probably never will.  The concept is that you share with the person you lost through a letter stating what you wish you could tell them in person.  I definitely have talked to my loved one many times, but I haven’t gone so far as to put it down on paper. 

There are so many things a grieving person wishes they could tell that very special person.  It just might be an “I love you” or “I miss you”.  This tip can be especially helpful if you lost your loved one and didn’t get time to prepare.   This letter could help with the closure that is so important.  It just might be the step that is needed for healing. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Guest Post: When Mother's Day is Difficult


Mother's Day is not a joyous day for everyone.  There are women who desperately want to be with their moms but can't because of death or shattered relationship.  Mother's Day is a fat reminder that the daily relationship with their mom is no longer there. 

Then there are women who desperately want to be a mom.  While everyone else is receiving cards and roses, these women are reminded once again that their arms are empty. 

Read an article written by a woman who is reminded every year in May that she is not a Mommy yet. A reminder to us all to be on the lookout for those who grieve this Mother's Day holiday.

On May 9th, we celebrate Mother’s Day once again. For many, it’s a time of appreciation and joy. For others, it can be one of the most difficult days of the year. This is often true for women facing infertility, families who have recently experienced the loss of a mother, and many other painful situations.

I’ve learned what it’s like for Mother’s Day to be difficult through my work at Dayspring as a card writer. Each year we receive letters about our “Difficult Mother’s Day” cards. One woman expressed her appreciation and then said, “I spent seven very painful Mother’s Days longing for motherhood while dealing with infertility and the losses of eight children through miscarriage and failed adoptions. I’ve also seen my own mother’s grief and struggle through Mother’s Day after the death of her mother. And I have many friends in less-than-ideal situations with their children.”  Read more...

Thank you Holley for allowing me to share part of your journey.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Healthy Grieving #4 - Journal


This is a continuation from the last blog on "10 Tips for Healthy Grieving" by Steve Arterburn.



Tip number four for Healthy Grieving is journaling.  Simply stated, you just write out how you are feeling.  This may take the form of a prayer or just thoughts as they come.  The only rule is that you just be honest.  Since this is for your eyes only, there is no fear.  By writing down your thoughts, you have a resource to go back to and see if you are changing or growing in your faith. 

This is something that I didn’t do and really wish I would have.  At the time it seemed like I would never forget what was happening.  But looking back, I wonder just how I really felt.  I remember that my heart was down to my toes, but I have forgetten the details.  As I help others through the grieving process, I realize it would have been good to be able to go back and remember what I felt at that time. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Healthy Grieving #3 - Telephone Buddy


This is a continuation from the last blog on "10 Tips for Healthy Grieving" by Steve Arterburn.


A grieving person needs a telephone buddy. That person you can call when it hits real hard and you need to talk immediately. Hopefully you can call this person night or day.

I lost my daughter almost 11 years ago.  This weekend I had to clean her room.  She always hated me cleaning her room.  I just know she was yelling from heaven to not clean it.  Even after all of these years, the tears were flowing while doing this dreaful job.  I needed to talk to someone. Thankfully my telephone buddy was available.  This person may not be the same person from the start of the grieving process.   As your grief changes, this buddy may change. That is okay.  But, we will continue to need our telephone buddy for years to come.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Healthy Grieving #2 - Tell People What Helps


This is a continuation from the last blog on "10 Tips for Healthy Grieving" by Steve Arterburn. 


It is so hard to tell people what helps and what doesn’t when you are grieving.  Frankly, I don't think I knew myself!  If they haven’t been through an interrupted expectation, those around you don’t understand.  It is your job as a grieving person to teach them. You need to let them know when you need a hug or an errand run. 

As a grieving person, we take it personally when people do not fulfill our needs.  We think they do not care but most of the time they simply don’t understand or know what to do.  People can not read our minds so we must be brave and tell them what we need.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Healthy Grieving #1 - Stay Connected



While looking through some old emails, my mom found a forward that I had sent to her just nine months after my sister died.  It contained a list of "10 Tips for Healthy Grieving" by author Steve Arterburn.  She wondered if I would like to use it on this blog and I asked if she would consider writing a little something about each one of the tips.  She kindly obliged.  For the next few weeks, we will be looking at these ten tips from the viewpoint of a grieving mom.  Yes, even after eleven years, she is still grieving and will always grieve. 

I can’t tell you which one of the tips is most important so we will just start with “connection”.  It is of utmost importance that you stay connected with someone.  This could be a family member, friend, pastor, or counselor.  At first this might appear to be one sided where you do all of the talking and they do the listening.  As a grieving person, we just need someone who will listen to our hurts.  If this person is a true friend, they will know their role and be content with their job.  This is your time to talk because down the road the roles will change.  You will need to be a listener for someone who has just begun grieving.  Not sure how to find someone?  Begin to pray that God would bring a wise person into your life who will listen with wisdom.  This person needs to be nonjudgmental but be able to help you stay on the path of healthy grieving. 

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

You...


While searching for an image for another blog post, I came upon this poster.  Immediately the Holy Spirit said, "This is what God thinks of you!"  Then I was hit with all of these encouraging thoughts:
                                               You are mine.
You are beautiful.
                                                                                      You are my daughter.
                                          You are the daughter of a King.
                                                                             You are created in my image.
All thoughts that the enemy pounds us day in and day out as lies.  We are hit at every angle that we don't match up.  God smashes that and says, "No.  When I look at you, I see my child.  Wow!"


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Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Ultimate Joy


It is amazing how many times God has brought these verses to my mind when I need them most.

Revelation 21:3-5 (New Living Translation)


3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.

4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Encouragement



Encouragement for my sisters in Christ from Beth Moore:

You have everything you need by virture of the Holy Spirit within you to bear your load. If He had energy enough to speak the worlds into being...He has the energy to carry you through your burden.


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Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Mess


I heard this said during a call-in time on our local radio station.  It is perfect.
God turned my mess into His message.
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Faith...


Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Faith During Interrupted Expectations

Lord, Only You Can Change Me: A Devotional Study on Growing in Character from the Beatitudes

Also from Lord, Only You Can Change Me: A Devotional Study on Growing in Character from the Beatitudes is a quote about faith. 

Faith says, "God, I don't understand, but I know You are sovereign, loving, and just.  I may never understand in this life, but I will not accuse You, slander You, nor alter a single one of Your words to fit my poor, limited perspective."
Wow...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

God is Sovereign Even in Interrupted Expectations?

Lord, Only You Can Change Me: A Devotional Study on Growing in Character from the Beatitudes

For my devo time, I have been studying the Beatitudes using Kay Arthur's study Lord, Only You Can Change Me: A Devotional Study on Growing in Character from the Beatitudes.  Currently, I am learning about meekness.  What I have uncovered is that meekness is understand that God is sovereign (surpreme ruler or ruler over all) and it is His will not my own.  Ms. Arthur brings up the age-old question about God being sovereign but yet bad things happening in the world.  Here are a few points that she makes:

We are so focused on the future that we can't understand the things happening to us now.  Our circumstances seem confusing and don't appear to be taking us in the direction we want to go. ...We struggle and strain to see more clearly. 
This is why some people have problems with the sovereignty of God.  They look at the future, imagining they see it clearly.  Because of their cherished goals and high expectations, they have difficulty accepting and handling hurts, setbacks, and adversities in daily life.  Life seems out of control.  How could these bumps and bruises possibly be coming from God?
...What they need is a proper perspective on the present in light of the eternal.  ...He views our whole earthly pilgrimage through the eyes of eternity.  He knows where we are going.  He knows how it all fits together.  He knows how to extract maximum good and maximum glory out of every situation, no matter what!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Come Home...


I actually wrote this blog a few months ago but for some reason never posted it.  I guess the timing wasn't right until today.  I sit here grieving for a friend.  Actually a year older in school, a girl (who I will call Hannah) who I respected and enjoyed being in choir and show choir with.  Hannah was never anything but kind and encouraging to me. 

Life has taken us in different directions after graduations but God continues to cross our paths in different ways.  After Hannah announced her 4th pregnancy, everyone was excited to hear about the birth of their precious daughter (who I will call Grace).  Just a few days after her birth, they realized that Grace's heart wasn't quite formed correctly.  Immediately I was drawn to this baby and family in prayer.  Suddenly, Hannah and I were no longer just girls from the same hometown.  Now we were both moms to heart babies.  

On October 7th, Grace had open heart surgery.  Although it didn't go as well as they hoped, the surgeon was optimistic about the outcome.  The next day, things took a turn for the worse and Grace was placed in the arms of Jesus.  In an instant, Hannah joined a club that she never asked to be in.  The same club that I was forced into almost eleven years ago.  It's the group of people who place a child or young person in the arms of Jesus.

As my heart aches for this family, I find myself asking that forever question, "Why?".  I am surrounded by yet another family grieving because of the lose of a child.  In this case, a child who was only a few weeks old.  As I wrestle with this through prayer, God reminds me that none of this world is mine or under my control.  God can at any moment call one of us home. 

So, why did Grace only have a few short months?  Why did my sister only have 18 1/2 years?  Well, because their time on earth was done.  God said, "You have done what I have asked you to do.  Come home."

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Grateful in Your Interrupted Expectations #2


Again, I am borrowing a quote from a friend's blog.  This one comes from Joni Eareckson Tada.
"your hardship and heartache come from HIS wise and kind hand and for that, you can be grateful."

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Grateful in Your Interrupted Expectations

Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy

I am borrowing this quote from two places...a friend's blog where she is quoting Nancy Lee Demoss's book Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy.  I can't say that I am right now in this place but as I spend more time understanding who God is I am journeying one step closer.  Let's be honest; sometimes my steps are backwards.  But, as long as I have more steps forward than backward, I am still stepping toward the prize.
I have learned that in every circumstances that comes my way, I can choose to respond in one of two ways: I can whine OR I can worship!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Review: Softly and Tenderly

Softly and Tenderly (A Songbird Novel)

Just a year ago, I started a new book The Sweet By and By by recording artist Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck.  In my review I stated, "I was sorry that I started the book over the Christmas season because all I wanted to do was read!"  The second book in the Songbird Series - Softly and Tenderly - was exactly the same.  Full of surprises and hard to put down. 

Unlike most people, I almost never read the back of the book.  I don't want to have any leads to the plot.  Because of this, my overview of this book is very slim. Jade is married.  She owns two antique stores.  She has a past that haunts her.  The present terrifies her.  The future seems unbearable.   I can sum it up in two words - Interrupted Expectations

Momma C's Thoughts:  Much of what I wrote in my review of the first book applies to the second one.  The authors have an amazing way with words.  The luring descriptions pull you right in.  I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the final book in the series.  But, I want to preface that statement with – this could be a very difficult story to read for people who have had similar circumstances in life.

A quote on the front of the book compares this book with those of Karen Kingsbury's.  Since I have read almost every Karen Kingsbury book ever written, I can say with assurance that I would not put these books in the same category.  If the movie rating system was used on books, Kingsbury would be "G" and the Songbird Series would receive a "PG-13."  This is not a book that I would allow my daughter to read until a maturity level is reached.  The plot includes some tough topics and some crude comments are made at times.  While this may not shock most people, those who are anticipating a Baxter-style book are going to be in for a rude surprise. 

Scattered throughout the book are references to God, prayer, salvation.  I was disappointed that the references weren't more blatant.  The authors had a golden opportunity to present the Gospel and I feel they left it hanging. 

I enjoyed this book but understand that it is not for everyone.

Thank you to BookSneeze for giving me the opportunity to review this book.