|Help! My friend is grieving!|
Author and speaker Beth Marshall joins the Molden Cast family today. This conversation is packed FULL of wisdom and practical ways to be a great friend through the hard times. This episode, much like Beth’s upcoming book, Uncrushed, is like chicken soup for the griever’s soul—full of ingredients and ideas to help us through the toughest seasons. If you’ve ever felt like you need a “Grief for Dummies” manual, you are going to love the thoughtful advice Beth gives us here.
Beth is the author of two books and a grief-related, YouVersion plan. She’s most excited about her newest book, Uncrushed -coming this September from End Game Press! You’re gonna want to put a reminder in your phone to pre-order in August!
[thanks for the kind words, Jessye Wilden!]
|Speaking of my dear California friend, Jessye, here’s her beautiful book- We Wrote Your Name In Color– available everywhere you love to buy books.|
Getting Unstuck from Grief
It’s been 20+years since my beloved mom (aka Beazy) suddenly graduated to heaven… but I’m thinking there’s someone who might need to hear this today. Grace and peace, Beth
Have you ever gotten so caught up in grief, you weren’t sure you’d ever find your way out? I surely have.
It was four months after my mom’s hit-me-like-a speeding-train sudden death. Even though I was pretending I had this grief thing under control, in reality I was stuck and had no idea how to dig myself out of the deep sorrow. A typical day would be spent at home, safe from awkward questions and embarrassing public tears. Anybody else been there?
One morning after the kids had gone to school, I settled into my cozy chair and started to think about my mom.
What if I forget about her?
What if memories fade and I don’t remember the time she followed a speeding ambulance through rush hour Atlanta traffic to beat the crowd to Hobby Lobby? Didn’t everybody’s mom do that?
I start to write every sweet, embarrassing and hilarious story I could possibly recall. About two hours later I realized I hadn’t moved a muscle, except to write.
The most amazing thing happened that morning. As decades of memories poured out on my spiral notebook pages~ I started to smile, and even laugh again through the tears. Tears of thankfulness for this rare and extraordinary woman I called Mom.
How about you? I don’t know your story, but I do know that remembering the people we love is a beautiful way not only to honor them, but also to begin to heal. Do you have a place you can go to write their story? You don’t need an expensive journal- a spiral notebook like mine will be just perfect.
My prayer is that as you recall and write your good, bad and crazy ambulance-chasing Hobby Lobby stories, you’ll begin to see sweet glimmers of healing.
Please visit the Grief Survivor FaceBook to share a funny, sweet or memorable story about your loved one. Your stories of love, loss, life and finding joy inspire the rest of us more than you know!
Additionally, here’s a YouVersion plan I created –Grief Survivor -that will hopefully be encouraging for you.
Holiday Tips when Life is Hard
When you’re missing someone you love, going through a tough medical situation, or maybe life just isn’t where you thought it would be by now, the holidays may not feel like the most wonderful time of the year.
So, what do you do when sparkly lights and jingle bells don’t feel so merry and bright? Here are a few thoughts that might help.
- Cry when you’re sad, smile or laugh when you’re happy- and don’t feel guilty about any of it. Sorrow and joy can definitely coexist.
- Make a plan with your closest people, so that the most intense days- like Christmas and New Year’s Eve- don’t sneak up on you.
- If decorating, house guests, gift buying, or holiday gatherings are sucking the ever-loving life out of you, don’t let traditions be the boss of you. It’s OK to do what you love, and let the rest go.
- If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, tell somebody. Chances are, not everyone knows how tough these holidays are for you.
- Make memories, instead of buying a lot of stuff. Paint pottery together, go ice skating, or (please don’t tell our grand daughters this part) take a kid to get sparkly “fairy hair.” They’ll remember those days long after the gifts are forgotten.
- Take care of you. Getting fresh air, going for coffee, working out, taking a nap, creating something, or getting a massage- can spark joy, even on the toughest days. Rest is not a four letter word. [OK, so technically it is, but not the kind that got you in trouble in middle school.] Give yourself permission to rest.
Life won’t always be this hard. I promise.
I invite you to visit the Grief Survivor Facebook page to add your thoughts.
May your holiday season be filled with God’s peace and love.
What Matters Most?
Sorry it’s been quiet around here for a minute. Earlier this year, our family went through some really hard days with a serious illness. We’re forever grateful for all the prayers and kindness- thankfully, all is well now.
As soon as my beloved husband and I got a minute to exhale, we made the decision- after 34 years in South Carolina, to move our whole life to Flat Rock, North Carolina! I mean, why not?
The NC mountains have always been our happy place, but the most fun part about the move will be living super close to (2/3 of) our kids and grand people.
Marie Kondo-ing (brutally determining what stays and what goes) a lifetime of possessions has revealed a few things. The 1950’s Baptist Church recipe book, filled with cream of everything soup & crushed Ritz crackers drenched in “oleo” recipes…not going.
But, this tiny precious chair, lovingly hand-painted by a dear friend, is absolutely making the trip!
The colossal move ahead of us has shone a bright light on what really matters most. For us, faith, family, friends. (and fun furniture)
The scary medical season reminded me to hold my favorite humans a little closer, and tell them I love them- a lot.
What matters most to you?
If it’s your family and friends- I want to encourage you to let them know! I’ll go first. I’m thankful for you, and want you to know You Matter!
Can’t wait to get back to you soon with updates for Uncrushed (my newest book), also to tell you about some friends’ phenomenal books that are launching in the next couple weeks!! I’m talking about you, Jessye WIlden and Michelle Medlock Adams!!
- (Sorry about the double printing of this post [below]! Technology… can’t live with it. Definitely can’t live without it!)
20 seconds of insane courage
Have you ever permanently opted out of something after one too many bad breaks?
For me it was hiking. In the ER after breaking my third leg (not kidding) on a rocky, slippery trail… I kissed hiking goodbye. No more. I’m out. It’s just not worth it.
That was until today when Ava the Avalon and I slammed on brakes at the Linville Falls sign. The hike down to the falls was not terribly treacherous, but was magnificent. The “20 seconds of insane courage” it took to hike the first step on the unknown trail was pure terror and sweet exhilaration. I was finally ready for fear to stop bossing me around.
What fears have you overcome? Roller coasters? Quitting the job that wasn’t sparking joy anymore? Dating? Failure?
What would you do with 20 seconds of insane courage?
I want to encourage you to
Do the thing.
Start the business
Call the guy (or girl)
Take the hike.
God’s got this and He’s got You.
Miracles in the Madness
It’s no secret, the past couple years have been a bit of a dumpster fire for a lot of us. Whether it was a terrifying medical diagnosis, family trauma, pandemic stress, or something else- you may have wondered how in the world you would get through it.
I get it.
A few years ago, it felt as though there was no escaping the waves of adversity that started washing over me, and just wouldn’t stop. Maybe, you know the feeling.
- The first mishap was breaking my leg. It was actually my third broken leg. Seriously, who breaks 3 legs? Mercy.
- Then came the dental discovery that a beloved front tooth had a fracture above the gum line.
- Next was the monstrous tree, just feet from our house- uprooted by tornado-ish winds.
- And, then on December 23rd, a flying (rein)deer crashed into my car, shattering two windows. [The “grandma got run over by a reindeer” joke was, in my opinion, a bit Too Soon.]
Through it all, I know it sounds a little crazy, but God was really good. Even in one of the hardest years ever, there seemed to be miracles hidden in the madness.
A few highlights:
The Lord healed the busted leg to the point of being able to do pretty much everything (except, according to the surgeon, play rugby).
A superhero periodontist not only rescued me from a life with no front tooth, but she also made me smile again.
We were spared from a tree crashing through our bedroom. And were able to make the most of the situation.
When the flying reindeer annihilated my car, and removed the window that was inches from my face- I walked away without a scratch. Straight up miraculous.
All that to say, “God is still God; and God is still Good. To God be the glory!” quote cred: Zac Smith.
If you’re going through more than you could have imagined, I want to remind you- you’re not alone. God sees you. He loves you. He’s never ever going to leave you.
Even in the madness, never stop looking for miracles.