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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

th[3]Grief is not only about losing a loved one, but also about losing our life as we know it.

Since many people will be affected from the Hurricanes this season, I wanted to share a post from Ferree, my widow friend, that was related to “Harvey”.

Widow’s Christian Place shares a face post from a Katrina survivor to share her testimony and advice on how we still need a great God!

 

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Grief CareThis is a Grief Ministry Resource for churches to support individuals through their grief journeys. The Journey in Grief Care course will give the leader confidence and skill to work with those who have just lost their loved one. Designed for the leader to teach in a group setting, or for the individual to take the course at home.

http://www.griefcarefellowship.org/

Grief Training & Grief Support Curriculum For Churches & Individuals

All our materials are written for the churches to help support their ministry to those who have lost loved ones. It is written to comfort people who have lost their loved one, increase their knowledge of what God says about death and the hereafter, and eventually equip them to be an active partner in the church’s care team.

Hope Beyond Today is a six week program consisting of one hour sessions. Each session begins with a 30 minute DVD, which is followed by discussion time for the group to share their own thoughts, words of encouragement and comfort. It is the purpose of Hope Beyond Today to provide hurting people with practical ways to deal with their pain as a result of a life changing loss.

I wanted to share this resource I found through my friend, Ferree, who has a very informative website for widows:

http://www.widowschristianplace.com/

 

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 Cover Page

Cynthia A. Adams’ Book Signing Event

You are invited to attend a book signing for author Cynthia A. Adams:

inman-perk

Friday 10/28/16 – From 4 to 6 pm

INMAN PERK COFFEE

240 North Highland Ave.
Suite H
Atlanta, GA 30307

(678) 705-4545

Please join Cindy for this special event

and invite a friend!

If you already have a copy of A Widow’s Pursuit,

buy one for a friend – this book makes a great gift!

We hope to see you there!

For more information, please email Cindy at: cindyspursuits@yahoo.com

Can’t make the event? Visit our online bookstore to get a copy!

https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-68187-394-7

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photo%20storefront[1]What’s on your agenda next Saturday….12/12/15???? Shopping???

Whether you’re shopping by the Mall of Georgia or wanting to escape the mad rush, please stop in and say “Hi” if you’re in the area. I’ll be doing my very first book signing at an actual book store next weekend. It’s a fairly large store so if you’re looking for shopping ideas and books fall in that category, please stop by, Books For Less, by the Mall of Georgia!

Books For Less: 2815 Buford Drive, Buford, GA 30519  “I hope to see you next Saturday (12/12/15) between 1 and 3 pm.”

Always a 20% discount on cash purchases for “A Widow’s Pursuit“. Buy one for someone struggling through grief over the loss of a loved one during this Christmas season. It may give them hope and encouragement to know that there’s more to life than grief!

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A_Widow's_Pursuit_Cover_for_Kindle

“A Widow’s Pursuit” was released on November 3rd, 2015. I want to shout out, that I’ll be doing a book signing today, Saturday 11/7/15, at Espresso Theory in Duluth from 12 and 2 pm. Come on out and if interested in purchasing a book it will be on sale 20% off!

I’m including links for anyone wanting to purchase a book on the following websites:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Tate Publishing

If not able to make it today, I’ll be doing a 2nd signing next week at LATTEA on Saturday 11/14/15, in Duluth from 12 to 2 pm.  Hope to see you there!!

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five-golden-stars-digit-star-icons-white-background-pointed-shiny-rating-rounded-corners-eps-34907363[1]Guest blogger, Jessica Kane has some helpful advice in dealing with loss, in her article, “5 Techniques for Coping with Death.” My favorites that helped me cope during my grief were numbers 3, 4 and 5 🙂 Of course #5 was my foundation in helping me cope in a healthier way than I could ever do myself.

5 Techniques for Coping with Death

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult challenges that people face in life. According to the National Institute on Aging, prolonged mourning is unhealthy and can lead to anxiety and depression. It is important to take appropriate steps to proactively cope with the grief and pain. Below explains 5 ways to successfully cope with the loss of a loved one.

1. Understand Who Grieves the Most

The National Cancer Institute has detailed research on risk factors for grief and bereavement outcomes. They have found that those who lack social support, have a history of depression, a lower income and are pessimistic tend to suffer more. In addition to this, those who had an insecure or an ambivalent relationship with the deceased tend to experience more negativity and grief. People who tend to cope through overthinking almost always have higher levels of stress and depression. The younger the age, the more difficulty after a loss. Understanding your personal situation and being aware of your risk factors will help with coping.

2. Social Connections

Social interactions are very effective with normalizing emotions, improving mood and enriching overall quality of life. Socializing engages the mind, reduces stress and provides opportunities to bond with others. An active social life can actually improve nutritional intake because people tend to eat more when they are around others. In addition to this, being social can help lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and reduce the symptoms of depression. Sometimes those who are grieving tend to withdraw, avoid others and become sedentary. However, researchers at the University of Berkeley’s Greater Good Institute have found that socially inactive adults are 70 percent more likely to experience cognitive decline and related health issues compared with socially active adults. Being socially active results in excellent emotional and physical benefits.

3. Active Choices

According to the National Institute of Health, exercise and physical activity reduces stress, improves mood and prevents and delays disease. Being active is a key to dealing with the stress and grief while doing something productive. Physical activities can be simple things like gardening, dancing and housework. Exercise can be regularly scheduled specific physical activities such as jogging, cycling and lifting weights. Exercise has been proven as an effective treatment for improving cognitive functions and reducing the symptoms of depression. Exercise also decreases the likelihood of developing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Even walking 30 minutes a day will improve health and sleep quality while relieving anxiety and depression.

4. Travel

An ancient Chinese idiom says that traveling is better than reading 10,000 books. Many people coping with grief tend to withdraw and fixate on the past. However, travel forces us to be active, adapt to new situations and exposes us to the wonders of the world. Traveling forces us to engage others and experience life. Traveling locally or even internationally are excellent ways to leave the painful comfort zone at home and embrace the beauty of the world around us.

5. Spirituality and Religion

Most people only turn to religion during holidays or special events. However, there are benefits to both spirituality and religion. While there is great diversity with spirituality, yoga, tai chi and meditation have proven benefits for stress release and health. These aren’t just exercises, but actually ancient methods of spiritual practice and purification. Religion can play an important role in coping. While there is limited empirical research on the benefits of religion, studies have shown that religion is very helpful with coping because of the social support. Religion also provides a belief system that helps to understand and cope with death.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Legacy Headstones, a leading Ohio-based headstone manufacturer and vendor.

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Cropped pictureFrom my experience, as a young widow raising children, this is not an easy answer. First, I had to work through my grief. There’s no specific time limit for grief. It’s when a widow has worked through the stages and has accepted the loss. For me, it took two years before I could see the light of joy again.

I believe the parent must first work through grief to be capable of entering into another relationship. If they don’t, they could have unresolved grief and the children might have compounded grief. However long it takes, widows must work through their grief to then help their children complete theirs.

Once I was in a healthier state of mind and accepted my loss, I then realized my children still had a ways to go. After two years of widowhood, with an 8 and 9 yr. old, I had a marriage proposal. I really had to pray about it. A counselor told me that children can take on average four and a half years to work through grief.

So I put my heart and wants to the side. My children were my top priority and I had to make sure they resolved their grief before I moved on. I had them in support groups and children’s grief camps. I brought them to see counselors when I saw it was appropriate. And I always prayed for God’s direction!

So all my sacrifices and hard work paid off! It has produced the most beautiful joys and rewards. It wasn’t easy! I did remarry once my children were grown and on their own paths in life. My one daughter is married and my other is engaged. They have both been making very good decisions in their lives. Read my book to find out all the details of how the three of us made it through.

A Widow’s Pursuit: Finding Out There’s More to Life Than Grief

 

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Blessing[1]Are you feeling overwhelmed being a WIDOW? There are many retreats and conferences to help, encourage and support widows in their grief. I attended a conference last November through, A New Season Ministries. I highly recommend going to one if you can. It helps to know that you are not alone. Widowhood is similar to a journey that many of your friends and family may find it hard to understand. You may have a hard time understanding this grief journey as well. But it can be easier if you connect with other widows that understand what you’re going through.

A New Season Ministries has started a Blessing Fund for those that are struggling financially and want to attend the retreats. Please visit A New Season’s Blessing Fund on this blog.

Know that when you are strong again, you will then have the resources to repay this favor, whether it will be giving back to the fund or having time to minister to other widows.

God Bless You with His Peace and Blessings!

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footprintsHard to believe… 20 years ago my first love passed away. I became a 34 year old widow with 2 daughters, 6 and 7 years old. My life changed in a matter of weeks when my husband died of pneumonia. This wasn’t what I planned. My plan was to continue living in our Florida home, going on yearly vacations, and enjoying our children as they grew up. But apparently, it wasn’t in God’s plan. He had another plan for me.

As I look back over the last 20 years, life turned into a journey where I never thought I would travel. It took a couple years to work through my grief before I could see the light of day again. But once I pulled through, with continuous faith in being led by God’s peace and guidance, I emerged as a new being.

I went to college and found a career to help others going through grief and hard times. At 37 yrs old, I started my adventure in social work. My children came first so school took awhile. I received my bachelor’s degree (BSW) when I was 46 and 4 years later, I received my master’s degree (MSW) followed by a Licensed Master’s of Social Work degree (LMSW). I was 50 years old with an education and life experience.

I raised my children for 14 years on my own. I refused a marriage proposal because if I had taken it, I would have regretted it. My children did not need a replacement and didn’t need any other grief in their lives. I wanted them to know that they came first until they were adults and on their own.

Today, at 54, I’ve been remarried for 5 years. My oldest, at 27, is in nursing school and working in the hospital as a nurse tech. My youngest, at 26, will be getting married in a few months. She completed her bachelor’s degree and then moved to California. We live on opposite sides of the country but my main concern is that she is happy. And I believe she is!

To sum it up, this year I finally obtained a full-time job position as a social worker for a home health agency. I actually pursued my dreams and I’m able to serve others now that are having a difficult time with illness, grief and loss. It comes full circle and down to one thing…..

II Corinthians I: 3,4

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 have received from God.

 

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images[9]Sometimes I can’t help but think…is this life on earth all there is? I want to believe, that when our loved ones die, there has to be something else! I admit that if I didn’t have faith in an eternal life, I wouldn’t be as at peace that I am now. Knowing I’ll see my loved ones again in Heaven, goes a long way in continuing on in this life that’s filled with pain, sickness, loss, etc.

Just thinking about Heaven puts life in a different perspective. I live my days knowing that this is not my final home. Just as in the book I wrote, “A Widow’s Pursuit: Finding Out There’s More to Life Than Grief“, life is also about finding purpose to help others through their grief. And to know there is another final destination. It’s not here!

For widows/widowers this can be painful because we won’t be married in heaven. However, we will know our loved ones in heaven….”At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30) I’ll also admit that I didn’t like this verse for quite a while. I began to accept this more when I read a Billy Graham book, “Hope for the Troubled Heart”.

Excerpt from “A Widow’s Pursuit“:

Reading books brought comfort, too. I read Billy Graham’s book, Hope for the Troubled Heart, and then focused on the last two chapters that pertained to death and heaven. He regarded death of not being final, but another phase of life. That lifted my hopes.

“Someone has said that death is not a period, but a comma in the story of life.” Graham continues, “Everything that happens prior to death is a preparation for the final voyage. Death marks the beginning, not the end. It is our journey to God.”

 Going into Graham’s last chapter, he talked about what heaven could possibly be like through quotes from the bible.

In Revelation 22: 3, John wrote: “His servants will serve him.”

Graham adds,

 “Each one of us will be given some task that we will enjoy doing. Some may be the cooks who prepare heavenly dishes, some may play with the children. Perhaps we will be called upon to tend the gardens or polish the rainbows. Our imaginations are limitless. Whatever we do, the Bible says we will serve Him. Just think – loving the work you are doing and never getting tired!”

 This must be where Nicole serves the food!

Heaven felt like a whole new world opening up for me. I found these chapters exciting to read. He described heaven as, “The Ultimate Family Reunion.” However, one part remained hard to digest.

“We may not be married in Heaven. Some of us who love our wives and husbands very much may find that sad, but the more I think about the promises of Heaven, the more I believe whatever God has in store for us will be unbelievably more joyous, more delightful, and more wonderful than what we now enjoy.”

 Maybe when our reunion comes, it won’t matter. Until then, my wedding bands stay on.

I wore Nelson’s wedding ring on my left hand next to my ring. This notion of not being married in heaven persisted as the most sensitive area to talk about in my grief. Our wedding song had been, “Always and Forever.” In Graham’s last chapter, he concluded with a poem from an unknown poet that touched my heart.

 “Together Forever”

In this dark world of sin and pain

We only meet to part again;

But when we reach the heavenly shore,

We there shall meet to part no more.

The joy that we shall see that day

Shall chase our present griefs away.

 I can’t wait for that day to come. Heaven will be my eternal home and Nelson will be there waiting for me!

Please visit my friend Ferree’s blog, Widow’s Christian Place, and watch an amazing video, Knowing What I Know About Heaven!

 

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