Accomplished Plans & Smiling Hearts

“I hep ya, Mama?”-
A direct quote from all 5 of my kids…
over the last 20 years.

I have pictures of them standing on chairs or little stepstools
in the kitchen, wearing an apron, stirring, mixing or just watching
with great interest. Now, back then I didn’t really need their help,
but I loved being with them, and they loved being a part of the action.

One time our oldest, Mariah, (about 5 yrs old at the time) was setting
the table. Her little sister Courtney was about 18 months old
and wanted to help, too. So Courtney proceeded to take a can of pop
from a box of 12, and one by one with your little toddler hands,
took EVERY single can to the dinner table… where all FOUR of us
would be eating! Her “help” may have added a little extra work on my
part, but she was so stinking’ cute and felt so happy to be doing her part
that it made my heart smile! 🙂

On Friday when I opened my Bible, God said I should just make everything
I read my prayer. I’ve been reading in Isaiah, so I picked up at Chapter 25.
Verse one says…

“O LORD, I will honor and praise your name,
for you are my God.
You do such wonderful things!
You planned them long ago,
and now you have accomplished them.”

I started praising His name and thanking Him for all He’s done
and accomplished in Detroit and Courage Church.
Then He quietly said,
“My plans for you being in Detroit have been accomplished.”
Before I could even finish a nice sigh of relief
I stopped short & said,
“Lord I’ve made so many mistakes, how could it all be accomplished?”

He smiled at me ( yes, He does that) and said,
“Yes of course you made mistakes.
You’re a human child, but my plans have still been accomplished.”

Then I read on until this verse …
Isaiah 26:12
“LORD, you will grant us peace;
all we have accomplished is really from you.”

(I added the underlining!)

oh, Duh, Netta! Of course!
Everything is accomplished because HE did it!
Such a merciful God who lets us “help” Him carry out His plans!

Thank you, Daddy God, for allowing me to “help” you!
Perhaps I made your heart smile, too! 🙂

When we don’t know what to do…

Pain & Death… what a difficult topic.

Yesterday’s post was about what to say, or NOT to say.

(Probably more of you have some insight to share on that topic)

 

Today let’s talk about AFTER the funeral…

weeks & months after!

These are things that meant a lot to me

long after my Dad died

or else they’re things that I try to do

for friends who have lost

someone dear. Just my experiences. Please, add your’s.

– Send a card Waaaay after the funeral & actually write something in it besides

your name. Memory. What you’ve been praying for them, etc…

– PRAY… grief takes time & they still need weeks later

– Sharing a memory or picture of the lost loved one with their family.

Knowing that other people still thought of my Dad months later was

a wonderful encouragement.

– Send another card/note on the anniversary of the person’s death.

It sounds weird, but the family never really forgets that date. Having

someone else remember it, too… huge comfort.

=

– Hug. Often. (My friend Chris mentioned this on yesterday’s post)

– Keep in mind that grief kinda messes with thoughts. Your hurting

friend might not be themselves for a while. Slower to process info.

Forgetful. Quick to jump to conclusions. Quiet. Extra chatty.

Whatever the case…Be kind & patient.

– Listen. Don’t tell them how they feel or worse yet, how they

should feel. Just listen & pray with them. Cry. Hug. Listen.

(But only when they wanna talk. Don’t be pushy)

– Include them. Grief doesn’t mean you wanna sit home & cry.

Invite your friend to join you as you do something normal but fun.

(Like taking a walk, running out for a coffee, going to the library,

community/church clean-up day, etc…) Don’t put expectations

on them, just invite’um and enjoy their company, even if they’re quiet.

-Smile. Give Hugs. Give Chocolate… seriously. Why not give little gifts

on occasion to show them that you’re thinking of them while you’re

out & about.


 


If you’ve walked or are walking down the complex but necessary road

of grief and have some wisdom & practical advice you’d like to share…

please do.

[box] “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3,4[/box]

When We Don’t know what to Say

 

 

My Dad died 13 years ago.

He suffered from bone marrow cancer

for 4 long years before that.

I learned a few things during the illness,

the funeral and the strange process

that followed called, “grief.”

 

 

I learned to hate the phrase,

How’s your Dad?”

and later, “How have you been doing?”

They cared. Most people truly cared, but didn’t know what to say.

So they asked a question. MOST times I’m all for question-asking,

but not during these times.

When someone wades through heartache & grief they never

know when their emotions are gunna wanna spill out. Being put on

the spot to give a report on your sick loved-one or heart-broken family

(or self) can actually add to the pain of the moment. It can even feel

like the person asking the question is selfish. Sometimes they are.

Sometimes people just want the lastest info…. but mostly people

just really want you to know that they care!  So why don’t we just SAY THAT!

“I CARE!” or

You’ve been on my mind all week.”

or

“I’ve been praying that you’d find

extra strength in Jesus this week.”

Stuff like that leaves the other person encouraged and gives

them the opportunity to say nothing!  OR to say something if

they would like. No pressure. No selfishness.

NOTE:

Sometimes a GOOD, CLOSE friend needs to look a friend in the

eye and ask, “How ARE you? And that close friend has earned the

right to ask. That’s another story.

TOMORROW I’ll post OTHER ways to encourage someone in these situations.

If you’ve experienced an extremely painful situation and/or loss and have

thoughts to share… please feel free.