Sunday, December 6, 2009

$10 Challenge

It's an interesting thing to give to someone in need or undeserving. My friend, Louise has chosen to partake in the $10 Challenge and has challenged the rest of us to also. Bill Coffey started the challenge and you can follow the link to his site to read it fully.

At this time of year, there are many who give selflessly, thinking of others and not of themselves, others who give thinking only of themselves and still others who give because they have to (I'm thinking of store clerks who are harried at this time of year). What can I give willingly that might make a difference to someone's day? No matter if I can only afford a $1, what can I sacrifice to help someone else feel a little bit of the love of God at this time when we celebrate His Gift to us? $10 seems like a small thing, a tiny token, but it can change the life or at least day of someone we come across.

My Mom occasionally gives the store clerk a chocolate bar, what if we were more prepared and had little cards in our purses/wallets to give along with it with a note of encouragement and/or thanks for those people who work double-time this time of year? Whether you do a spur of the moment gift or put some forethought into it, please let me know what it is you did, pass along your ideas so others can share them.

God bless you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Assault of Grief

It is a strange thing to grieve, to need to grieve. It assaults you, comes in waves, attacks at inopportune moments and lasts for years. You cannot gauge or predict how long it will take to go through the grieving process. It varies from person to person and is not something to be ignored and brushed away. You can't brush it away in fact, because it will jump out when you least expect it, demanding attention and refusing to be set aside again. If we choose to resist facing it, it affects our mental health until we stop and look at it face to face.

I grieve. Some days more than others. Some things I take out in little pieces because I fear that to face it all at once would be more than I could bear, and yet there are times when it threatens to overwhelm me and I must find a space to breathe.

I have tried to resist grieving, to put it aside until a better time, but there truly is no better time. If we grieve in the moment of our pain, it is easier to own, easier to share. When we put it off, we are misunderstood, we lose the support of our immediate community. There is still support, but we must be willing to seek it because most will think we are "over it". The truth is that the thing that makes us grieve, also makes us who we are. It becomes a part of us, a part of who we are.

My grief has brought me to envy the sibling relationships of other people, to encourage them to appreciate every moment, every memory they make with their siblings, to not let insignificant things come between them. There are days when just hearing someone talk about their sister brings me to tears, days when I still, almost 4 years later, think to pick up the phone to call either my brother or my sister, only to remember they aren't there.

The truth is though, that I will forever carry them in my heart, that they will never be far from me unless I chose to let them go. If I refuse to talk about them, if I refuse to remember them or look at their pictures, then they will disappear. I will not allow them to disappear. I will tell their stories, and hopefully in the telling, they will live on and enable others to live past the moment of their pain.

Maybe, in our grief, we can help others walk the pathway of life in a better, truer way. It is one way that our pain can bring good out of bad.

It's another Blog Carnival Tuesday! This week's word is "Grief". To read other blogs on this word, click here.