Beyond the Pall

Pall—a casket covering used during the funeral, from the Latin pallium, or cloak. The days following Jim’s death were a flurry of activity—trips to the mortuary and cemetery, planning his celebration of life service, numerous necessary phone calls and texts, and people constantly in and out of the house. I was focused on doing the next […]

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Experiencing and Managing Emotions

God created us with the ability to experience emotions. But if you’ve ever lashed out in anger or been the victim of someone’s anger, you know unbridled emotions are powerful and can be destructive. Thankfully, we don’t have to be a slave to our emotions. How we act and react, and whether we allow our […]

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How Long is Too Long to Grieve?

A year ago, my 96-year-old aunt “Chinkie” skipped the bonds of earth and entered her heavenly home. She was a huge part of my life and continues to occupy my mind almost daily. Cleaning out her home provided moments of quiet grief, but also periods of joy. I thought I knew a lot about grief, […]

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When Life Hands Us the Unexpected

In recent weeks, I’ve found myself repeating the phrase “not what we expected” regarding my husband’s recovery from surgery. The surgery went fine and produced the desired results, but issues unrelated to surgery find us saying, “This is not what we expected!” We all have expectations. Some are realistic; others aren’t. Have you reached a […]

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The Power of Example

With the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II, much has been said about her commitment, work ethic, and love for family. As a 21-year-old, she pledged herself to a life of service, not knowing that she would step into the role of queen much sooner than anyone expected. Over her seven decades on the throne, […]

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5 Tips for Navigating Loss

Although we usually associate loss with death, loss comes in many forms. Perhaps your loss is related to a broken relationship, a health situation, a life change, or some other challenge. No matter how loss comes, working through it takes time. Following are some tips to help you successfully navigate loss: Grieve Your Loss Sometimes […]

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Responding to a Life Pause

Last week, a dear friend encountered a monumental life pause when she found her husband on the floor, unresponsive. Three days later, she released him to heaven. We all experience times when life takes a sudden twist that slams us into a “road closed” sign and halts forward motion. Although perhaps not as unexpected and […]

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When Life Hands You a Cluster of Difficulty

In my search for tomatoes that taste like the kind my father used to grow in the backyard, I discovered the ones that come closest are what the grocery store labels “cluster tomatoes,” the kind with the vine still attached. Sometimes, strange things, like cluster tomatoes, speak to me about life. As I unloaded groceries, […]

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Responding to Pain

In recent weeks, I have become increasingly aware of those in various types of pain. A friend and also a family member who are experiencing physical pain. Extended family members endured the emotional pain of watching the physical pain of a loved one’s final days on earth. Others suffer pain related to aging or chronic […]

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The Emotions Inherent in Life Pauses

Emotions are God-given and part of our humanness. They serve an important purpose by allowing us to express feelings and release tensions. Sometimes, we avoid emotions, suppressing them until we can experience them at a more convenient time. But often that moment never comes and those squelched emotions bubble to the surface unexpectedly and in […]

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