"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Let's Just Do It

Action: something done or performed; act; deed.

Let's Just Do It

Let's be there for our kids in 2013. Let's not just give them money (for those that have it!) or be obsessed with buying them the latest gadgets. Let's not protect them so much that they never learn what it means to fail. Let's not fight all their battles for them. That attitude, and the behavior of fighting all their battles, will never help them when they begin their career at the biggest corporation known to man: MY LIFE, Inc. Let's remember, when we do fight our kid's battles let's begin fighting them on our knees in prayer.

Let's just be there for them. 

Let's acknowledge their pain, but remind them that there is a lesson to be learned in their pain that only they can learn. Remind them that you will not always take away their pain for just that reason. Let them know that they're never as great as people would lead them to believe and that they are not as bad as some people say they are. Let's be honest with them about their talents and their "lack of" in certain areas. Some kids are really good at playing short-stop and some are not. It doesn't have to be the coaches fault or the team he/she is on is bad. It's just that their not a good short-stop.


There are worse things in life than our kids not being able to make a jump shot or having to endure a season with a bad coach. If you don't believe me go volunteer this year at the Ronald McDonald House. They would love to have you and they will find something meaningful for you to do.

I promise. 

Our kids can't be great at everything and we owe it to them to tell them that. Let's share with them that some people will love them and some will not... and that's OK. Let's tell them to just make sure they love themselves in a healthy way; eliminating narcissism, selfishness and arrogance. Let's tell them not to be impressed with their own "humbleness" because they're not that great. Let's tell them that so they will grow into prosperous adults with a healthy self image and with the proper self esteem. Let's tell them that one of the most important goals in their life is to become comfortable in their own skin while remembering that {we}, their parents, too have failed.

Let's not allow our kids to some how think their better than others because their parents make a lot of money or because of the luxuries we, their parents, have purchased them. My success as your parent is my success.

I earned it. 

I got the education, I went to the interview and got the job, and I made the sale. I did this, not you. I earned it, now you go out and earn yours.

Let's let them know that rejection can always be motivating if they allow to be, and that when their love is rejected it will be "one" of the most painful things they will ever endure. Tell them to remember that truth, and because of that fact they should take very serious when another gives them their heart. Let's let them know that every person they will date is not who they are destined to be with or marry, but that every relationship that ends doesn't have to end badly. People do have the ability to go their separate ways gracefully, especially in a dating relationship. Let's share with them that conflict resolution is more important than conflict and that thinking before speaking will never get them in trouble.

Finally, let's tell them that they will always attract more bees with honey than they will with vinegar, and that their attitude and kindness will be the most attractive thing they will have to offer another person. Let's let them know that good looks are nice, but character is the one true beauty that never fades, and that money is important, but you should never define yourself, or judge another, based on the size of a bank account. Let's just be there for our kids and let them know that we don't have all the answers, but we are willing to listen to every question. Let's tell them that we love them, but God loves them more. Let's just be there for our kids. We can do this.

Let's just do it.

Let's be there for our kids.

sbb 29.12.12

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I Too Shall Bless Someone Else

Gift: something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present. The act of giving. 

  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
-Luke 2:4-12

 It's good to give...

Below is a little note I received today that really displays what Christmas is all about. Christmas can be wonderful for the receiver and the giver. Merry Christmas to everyone.

OK this is hard for me, but I have to share. 
A family from church wanted to help a family from our church this Christmas. Well, God put it on Pastor Dale Georges heart for us to receive that blessing. We met on Saturday with their whole family and my kids and I.  Michael had to work so he couldn't come. Mind you I didn't know what they had planned for us, but I was thankful for whatever God had put on their hearts to do. 
Well we get there I meet the gentleman, his wife, kids and grand-kids and Pastor Dale. They asked about or situation and I told them. Well, long story short they blessed my daughter with the Barbies she's been asking for, Lego ninjagos for my older two boys, and Elmo toys for the baby. They gave my Husband and I $175 gift cards to Walmart and GFS. 
I'm balling my eyes out at the point and praising God. I was not going to share because I was embarrassed, but I had too!!  God said too humble myself and put Pride aside. To tell of our blessing this Christmas. 
When our finances are better, I too shall bless someone else. 
Merry Christmas!!:-)
Merry Christmas to everyone!

sbb 25.12.12


Monday, December 24, 2012

Someone I Used To Know - (HEAL - pt. 3)

Tangible: capable of being touched; discernible by the touch; material or substantial. Real or actual, rather than imaginary or visionary: the tangible benefits of sunshine. Definite; not vague or elusive: no tangible grounds for suspicion.

 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.
-Mark 2: 1-5

Often we hold our best life in our own hands.
-art by Angela Hardy: "Tangible Pears"

Two days ago I began this series on healing with a letter I received a year ago from a person that was really hurting. She sent the letter with the intent of me writing something concerning her pain and the difficulty of the holidays. The piece I wrote last year in response to her letter was entitled; " What Are You Doing New Years Eve? " I was honored she wanted to hear my thoughts on such a personal reality; reflection. 

Below are the words from the same person a year later. 

The new perspective, growth and positive attitude that has taken hold in one short year is encouraging, wonderful to read, and inspiring. God can and does make a difference; a tangible difference. 

Healing is a journey; a long distance race; a marathon. Nothing that is good in our life or requires growth happens over night. New perspectives, challenges to old thinking, and personal enlightenment takes maturity, time, and requires a choice to be made by the person that so desperately wants a different reality; that wants healing.

 In the end, changes; positive changes in our life don't always have to be vague or elusive. They don't have to be a vision that doesn't come to reality or be just a figment of our imagination. Growth, improved circumstances and thinking, new perspectives and change can be definite in one's life. It can be discernible and capable of being touched. It can be measured and documented. Healing is a lot of things, but the one true thing healing is when real healing takes place is that it's tangible. 

Like God's love, true healing takes us to a place that we can actually touch the changed circumstance with our fingers and we can feel the real healing with our hands. Remember, pain and unresolved hurt doesn't have remain in your life forever. They can be someone we used to know. We all have the ability, like the paralyzed man in the book of Mark, to choose healing over pain; over hurt. We have the power to choose healing as a lifelong compainion and friend. All we have to do is ask God to heal us and have the faith that He will do that very thing. -sbb

Sometimes you have to take a picture in 
your mind of what true healing looks like. 
-art by Angela Hardy: "At Arms Length" 

God's love Is Tangible 

I thought about the letter I wrote to you about Christmas (I think it was last year) and thought I’d give you an update.  This year, I’m taking a different twist.  I’ve let go of what MY expectations of those who are supposed to be close to me but aren’t.  

It’s always a struggle to get together with family; the facade is almost strangling.  I had my own Thanksgiving at home this year; I cooked a great dinner all by myself.  That’s something I never do and I was very proud of myself.  

Christmas, I’ll probably spend at home too.  

I’ve got to learn to forgive my family for judging my daughter as she deals with her addiction.  Last year, just to make me happy, she came to a family Christmas – after she snorted some street drugs so she could handle it. 

I’m making Christmas presents this year to get away from the craziness of greed and unnecessary spending.  I’m seriously thinking about making hot chocolate and passing out candy canes downtown during the season.  

God’s love is tangible.

Healing is a collaborative effort.
-art by Angela Hardy 

I found the unconditional love of Christ this year through my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I was set free from not trusting people because of past hurts and I’m learning how to love through Christ, but loving those who’ve hurt me… I’m working on it.

It may take awhile, but at least I’m trying. 

The holidays are good this year, finally! 

God’s love came down to shine truth in this world and for that, I’m very thankful and will celebrate with love for Him.

You have a wonderful season with your friends and family.  I’m very grateful that we’ve crossed paths.

Healing doesn't have to be a negative experience.
-art by Angela Hardy: "Second to last Shot"

Email: part II

Don’t mean to bother you, but I also want to add that I don’t think that God has ever been so close to me as this season.  He’s giving me a love for Him and a strength to love and show love.  It’s awesome. 

 I’m enjoying this season.

Also, I’m am scheduled to go out with a ministry on Saturday to feed the homeless and am looking for people to pass out hot chocolate and candy canes on Christmas Eve at the sidewalk of Faith Mission.  

I just want to share with those that are hurting that God is with them.

True healing reveals the best you.
-art by Angela Hardy: "Ripple Effect

Jeremiah 29, the whole chapter, has been my “song” for about 15 years.  My life (if I look at it with worldly eyes) appears to be such captivity.  I’ve prayed for the place that I’m in and prayed for God to give me an understanding to seek peace in it.  I know, based on Jeremiah 29:11-14, that I will prosper in it and I have in a spiritual way.  

I would have never got this close to God if I hadn’t experienced what I have.

You don’t need to add this to a blog you post… I just thought if you were wondering about my Christmas I’d fill you in.  It’s a happy ending, Christmas this year is awesome regardless of the craziness around me.

Take care and enjoy Emmanuel J
Merry Christmas,

sbb 23.12.12
Somebody I Used To Know  .  Gotye (feat. Kimbra) 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

H.E.A.L: You're Not Alone (Pt. 2)

Healthy: possessing or enjoying good health or a sound and vigorous mentality: a healthy body; a healthy mind. Pertaining to or characteristic of good health, or a sound and vigorous mind: a healthy appearance; healthy attitudes.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7 

As a country, and a world for that matter, we've become all too familiar with tragedy, trial and tribulation over the past year. Whether it's Benghazi, Hurricane Sandy, or Sandy Hook many people are hurting and are in need of help; healing. And as we find our self smack dab in the middle of another Holiday Season many of us are reminded of the unwanted pain we carry around with us. The pain might be center around unresolved family issues, financial pressure, or lost friendships. Others find themselves in the midst of a divorce, the first Christmas since the death of a loved one, and for some, dealing with a strong sense that their dreams are quickly slipping away as evidence of another year coming to an end without little change from past history seems to be a bit overwhelming. 

"I thought I would be somewhere else in life instead of here.",  many say.

Holidays, especially Christmas, can be a traumatic event for many; with the main goal surviving them instead of thriving within them. Many souls are lost, spirits crushed and hearts completely broken.

I know... Merry Christmas to you too. 

I think it's safe to say I could continue with example after example of how people find themselves in complete despair this time of year but I think my point has been sufficiently made; people are in pain, and are in desperate need of healing.

Heal your life

Most people are good at identifying their hurts, acknowledging their pain, and even better at blaming someone or something for their inability to be happy and experience pure joy. As we grow older we soon realize that happiness, and sadness, is often determined by circumstance, and that joy is rooted in deep rooted contentment. Happiness speaks to what I have; joy speaks to who I am. In the end, both are attainable, both are choices and both are unachievable if hurt lives deep within us with no intention on a part of getting rid of it, getting better; healing.

It's said that when a person opens their heart they begin to get better. Opening one's heart will immediately introduces them to vulnerability, honesty and more pain, but if we are to begin the process of healing we have to begin the process being vulnerable, being honest and open to reliving the pain that is associated with that which ails us.

Allow me to share. 

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
-Isaiah 40:8

When a person is to begin the process of healing they're never able to do it alone. For those that have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ know that in times of despair and devastation; in the season of hurt and harm we can go to Him, the One that sits upon the throne and ask Him to hold us in His wonderful embrace. What a beautiful thought. Psalm 61:1-4 states this:

"Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever
    and take refuge in the shelter of your wings."

and Psalm 62: 5-7 shares these marvelous words with the reader: 

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him. 
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge."

We soon realize that the believer will always find their healing through the power and love; grace and mercy, of God. But if we are at all to be honest with ourselves we also realize that God use's people here on earth to be part and parcel of the healing process for those who are hurting. Recognition is the key word for both the hurting and the helper; those that are full of pain can't heal alone, and they must recognize that truth. Those on the sideline of another person's pain can't decide watch and wave either. They too must recognize that another is in need of help; their help. 

Often times when we see someone waving to us from the shore that is their life they aren't saying hi, their actually drowning, and their trying to get our attention; they need our help.

Who is waving or drowning in your life? 

Paul Young, the author of The Shack, puts it this way: “I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.” 

It is through our relationships we are healed. Our relationship with others; our relationship with God. 

H stands for Hope; stands for Help

The key when your hurting is not to lose hope, and the key for those close to the situation, and who have been invited into another person's pain, is to help them never to lose hope. Remember, not everyone that is waving to you is saying hi, some are drowning and desperately need your help. Having hope is important; it's vital to the healing process. One of the ways I remind myself of past hope being rewarded, prayers being answered, and healing from a painful situation is to use my Bible like a journal. In the margins of my Bible in chapters 61 & 62 in Psalms are a list of very specific prayers for change, and for God's favor and healing in different areas of my life. I have a date next to the request representing when I wrote it down and began to pray concerning the certain circumstance(s). Some of the entries have a second date, that date represents when my prayer was answered, but in all actuality that date represents far more than an answered prayer, it is a forever reminder to me that God is faithful, that He didn't abandon me in my time of need, and that He will show Himself again when hurt and healing are needed. My hope is increased when I see two dates next to an entry. It gives me faith and hope for another day. In the end, some entries have two dates; some have one, but both entries were entered with the faith and hope that God see's my need; that He sees my specific circumstance and He will answer my plea in a way that best fits into His will for my life. God always and only wants to offer His best to us, no matter how much we've screwed up or how much we've contributed to our circumstance and pain, no matter how bleak the our reality might be, God wants to give us His best. Jeremiah 29:11-14 supports that truth. Finally, I've come to the realization that it is as important to pray for God to reveal the lesson to me that he wants me to learn in a certain circumstance as it is to pray for a change in that circumstance. We must never forget; God has a plan for our pain. All we have to do is allow Him to share it with us. Don't lose hope. God sees where you need to heal and He will help you... all you need to is ask Him for help. Remember, you're not alone in your need to heal, and your not alone when you travel through the valley that is the healing process. Don't lose hope, help is on the scene; everything is going to be alright.

E stands for Engage; stands for Encourage 
For real healing to begin, and for it to take on deep roots, one must first become engaged in the healing process. You have to decide you want to heal from what ever ails you. Pain, like disappointment, in this life is inevitable, but much like discouragement, healing is a choice. You have to decide you want to heal. In the book of Samuel the reader is introduced to David, the greatest king Israel has ever seen. In the 30th chapter of 1 Samuel David was exhausted and defeated by battle. His troops blamed him for their misfortune and wanted to stone him to death, but scripture recorded David's behavior for our benefit in verse 6: 

"David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God." -1 Samuel 30:6

Different translations of that verse state that David "strengthened" himself. The Hebrew word for strengthen is encourage. We soon realize that David had options at his disposal on how he could handle his misfortune; his pain. David chose to encourage himself and in the process became healed by looking to God as his strength. He knew that God was bigger than his circumstance. David displayed unyielding faith and courage. Before we can become encouraged we have to be engaged, and we can't be healed unless we're encouraged. Often we must have the courage to encourage ourselves, and to encourage others. Again, for those who have been invited into another's pain via a phone call, note or text we have to be willing to become engaged in the healing process. Patting someone in need on the shoulder and saying "I will pray for you" isn't nearly enough. Prayer is important, but we must be engaged at a higher level. Let me state in advance, engaged doesn't mean having all the answers or standing in judgement of the person in need either. What engaged really means is practicing the lost of art of listening, praying for God's direction for the one that is battered and for you as you aid in healing process, and to be unwavering in our attempt to encourage the person that is in need of healing. Be that person that can be depended upon to be engaged in their pain and to be of encouragement to them during their time of discouragement. You can't be their for everyone, but I do believe you will know deep within you when you are to be there for that certain someone. I really do.  

A stands for Act; stands for Attitude
If you sincerely want to heal you have to act now. And the first action that needs to take place is the changing of our attitude towards what is causing our suffering and pain. If someone needs to be forgiven, forgive them today. If you need to go to someone and ask forgiveness don't delay, go to them today. Like David, anyone that has healed from a particular circumstance has at some point decided that they wanted to be healed and thus changed their attitude concerning the situation. They wanted better. Our attitude will always determine our outcome; our altitude. You will only travel as high as your attitude will allow you. Attitude is everything. Many good people choose to wallow in their pain, unwilling to relinquish poor attitudes and senselessly choose to suffer for entirely too long. And when you choose to senselessly suffer everyone you come in contact suffers a little too. Most, if not always, when I write about attitude and the importance of it I write very little. At the end of the day, attitude is always a choice. It's your choice. It's my choice. People will always choose their attitude and there is very little I can say, or do, to change that reality. I will just end with this, choosing a good attitude is always better than choosing a poor one. It's good for your healing, good for you, and good for everyone you come across.

L stands for Life; stand for Love
Love your life enough that you want to heal. The best you; your best life, involves a high level of healing. I know there are circumstances that physical pain can't be extinguished. You might have terminal cancer, were badly injured in a car accident, or your body is being ravaged by deadly disease, in those cases pain is part and parcel of your sad ordeal. But what I'm talking about is the pain we carry around inside of us because we refuse to choose a better outcome. We can choose a better outcome. We really can. Sometimes we have to forgo our right to be right. We have to at times swallow our pride for the greater good. Sometimes we have to simply just move on. I agree that some pain is worse than others, and are very difficult to get over, but at some point we have to choose to live our best life; to be all we can be. Both of those realities takes action on our part, and both are apart of living our best life. Love your life enough to forgive, to seek professionally counseling if needed, and love your life enough to want to heal from what is causing you pain. You can do this. You really can.

Your healing is in God's hand; in your hands.

Yesterday, early in the morning, I received these words from a friend on Facebook:

 Hi Shawn, it has been a while since I've looked at your blog, but felt led to read it today. I was blessed and touched by what I read. I have not been in the best of spirits due to my recent condition and just felt like throwing in the towel.

When I read words like that I'm reminded of why I do what I do. Mybabyroc was started with the simple goal in mind to encourage others. Notes like the one above tell me that the site is going down the right path; right direction. In reading those words I'm also reminded that many people are hurting and are just trying to get through another day. The reasons why people are hurting can be insignificant and irrelevant at times. The names can be familiar or with little social recognition or significance. The people can be wealthy beyond comprehension or living in poverty. No matter the race, religion or gender, no matter if the person is young or old, living with failing health or is as healthy as a horse, the fact still remains that many people are hurting. And it's during this time of year the pain seems to be more intensified. Pain can make us feel like were drowning. It can suffocate us. At times the pain can be incomprehensible leaving us without any hope or notion that anything will get better anytime soon. Pain during the holidays can be cruel and debilitating leaving us empty of any hope; any joy, just an acknowledgement that we are beyond running on fumes; we're empty on the inside.

But wait...

God sees you and He wants to help. He sees how empty you are on the inside and sees where you are right now. He wants to help you. All you have to do is ask.

God is faithful to those who have accepted Him into their heart as their personal savior. God has your best interest in mind and it's deeply entrenched in His heart. All of your pain has a purpose. Simply ask God to reveal it to you. He also desires you to fully heal from whatever is killing you on the inside. That is part and parcel of living the best life that he has planned for you.

Healing is part of His perfect plan for you; for me.

Don't give much attention to yesterday, and worry less about tomorrow, and let today be the day you begin to heal.

Decide today you want to heal. 

Hopefully, you won't be alone in that decision.

sbb 22.12.12



Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas Grievers (HEAL - pt. 1)

Pain:  physical suffering or distress, as due to injury, illness, etc. a distressing sensation in a particular part of the body: a back pain. mental or emotional suffering or torment: I am sorry my news causes you such pain.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."
-Matthew 11:28-30  
Below is a letter that I received last year that was enlightening and admirable; heartfelt and appreciated. It inspired me to write a piece last year entitled; "What Are You Doing New Years Eve." I will re-post that piece on December 30th of this year. These same words, and an update sent a year later from the same person, has motivated me to put pen to pad and share my thoughts on healing. After Hurricane Sandy & the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy I think it is safe to say we all need to heal from something. The holidays often invite over some uncomfortable house guests. Bitterness, loneliness and grief are the names of just a few. Over the next few days I want to discuss healing and what healing looks like. I hope you join me in the discussion and look inwardly and evaluate where healing needs to take place in your life. Remember, you can't change, fix or heal what you don't acknowledge. But first lets revisit the painful words of a hurting soul I received one year ago this month. Letters like this are the very reason I write.

Merry Christmas Grievers 

I'm seriously putting myself out there for this note, being the "Debbie Downer" for the "Happ, Happiest Season of All", but I'd like to put a shout out for all of those who are struggling, wanting to close their eyes and run from all of this candy coated happiness. 

I'm not turning atheist or anything; I don't use the word "X-mas". 

I know this is the time of year that we, as born again believers in Jesus Christ, celebrate the season of our Savior's birth.  He has come to set the captives free, the light of the world that once lived (and still some do) in darkness will see the glorious light of our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 42:7)  That alone is great cause for rejoicing. When I think of God sending his son to die for what I've done so that I could live forever in glorious celebration of the creator, I want to do more than a happy dance.

However, (this is the downer part) in my realm of living, people seem to hide the feelings of depression when it comes to the holidays.  They are forced to put on their happy faces and pretend that everything is okay with their world.  The people around them don't want to mention the pain to spoil the season.

Isaiah 7:14 

Cooler temperatures, shorter days, leaves are falling.  Halloween comes and goes, then the Christmas decorations come out.  Before you know it, Thanksgiving.  Blink and the Christmas season is here.  The season brings on a wave of memories.  I have personally seen a Hallmark, Lifetime Christmas.  I've heard people talk about the memories and traditions their family experience.  Old time ornaments from years gone by are hung on the tree. 

That's such a wonderful blessing to have as a reality.

But (insert the Christmas carol screech to a halt), this isn't reality for a lot of people.  Christmas brings on hurt, loss, and painful memories.  The holidays trigger them multiplied.  I know, I'm one of them.  Struggling through the holidays every year for a very long time, I go on a search for what I can find of Christmas that will balance out the riot going on in my head.  The loss of dreams, hopes, desires, what you thought would transpire in this season isn't exactly what you dreamed of for you.  

How do you get through the season?

Let me inform you at this point, I am not a scrooge. 

Acts 5:31 

I like Christmas carols, I rejoice at hearing of how families spend the holidays and put up the lights together.  Just this year, as part of my "make a new memory" campaign, my daughter who was once totally estranged from me, came over and helped me wrap presents and ate Thanksgiving dinner at my house.  Don't take for granted the things that happen in your life every day.  Some have no family at all. 

How would you get through the season with no family at all?  (Insert prayer)

For me, this is how I'm trying to change my attitude.  First, it is what it is.  I've got family who love me the way they know how.  I love those around me the way I know how.  I'm not experiencing my totally longed for dreams-yet.  But I'm making new ones.  Putting the past behind me, most of it in boxes so I can pull it out as a testimony of what the Lord has brought me through. 

I'm putting up new memories starting this year. 

Matthew 1:21  

Looking for things in my world to fill the void, the loneliness that comes with grieving. Like the time I experienced peace on earth goodwill to men at the Goodwill store when an Iraqi and an Iranian met and smiled.  New memories, being intentional on finding them and not letting the past ruin yet another year.  

Learn from me, if you spend time looking behind you, you will totally miss what's right in front of your nose. 

Look in the present and forgive the past.  

Heal your lost memories, make new ones.  Grieve, heal, gain strength from God our Father and trust He will give you new memories.  I know it's easier said than done because I'm going through it myself.

What I'm asking is this: Think of the ones who are grieving in any area of their lives during this holiday season.  Not everyone has the perfect holiday.  I have spoken to people who are not having a good time right now and I feel so sorry for them.  They're trapped in their emotions for fear of wrecking the spirit of the season. 

John 3:16  

Please pray for them, that the things that cause them pain be replaced with love.  That healing comes and they can experience peace and strength.  

For those who grieve from a death this year, I am so sorry for your loss.  I'm so sorry for the pain you must be experiencing.  For those who grieve a loss of memories and dreams of what you thought your life was going to be, I'm so sorry.  It may be a long road, but healing is there for you through Christ.  He makes all things new, heals painful scars of hurt, rebuilds new dreams, and if it is His will restores old ones. 

Try to look for things God puts in your life today, He wants you to smile. 

He wants you to have a hope and a future, not a longing for something that's in the past you can't redo.  That's what I'm trying to do, find healing.  And I will find it.  My prayer is that other grievers find it too.  

Merry Christmas grievers, you're not alone. (12.15.11)

sbb 18.12.12