Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Grieving Old Losses

gray clouds and body of water

Sometimes old grief can come back afresh at unexpected times. Earlier this year, I found myself grieving old losses. It surprised me to arrive at such a point of grief again – even after being disabled from a chronic illness for thirteen years.

For several weeks, I struggled with weariness in the long, chronic-illness battle, and I grieved the life that had been. I grieved the loss of my previous strength and energy, and I grieved the loss of the ability to serve my family physically in the ways I wished I could. Once again, I felt the raw pain of it all.

During those few weeks of pain and grief, one thing that encouraged me very much were these words from John Piper: “Occasionally, weep deeply over the life that you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Feel the pain. Then wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life that he’s given you” (Embrace the Life God Has Given You).

I felt less alone when I heard his words about past losses coming back again as fresh grief. My time of grief soon passed, and I went back to loving and embracing the life I have been given, limitations and all. But for a time, it was helpful for me to pause, recognize the losses, and take time to grieve.

I know that I am not alone in my grief regarding disability. My friend, Sarah, has a daughter with severe, nonverbal autism, and she shared with me that “‘what we never had’ is often the kind of grief special needs parents feel about their kids.”Another part of her grief involves the future for her precious daughter. Who will love and take care of her vulnerable child after she is no longer here to care for her daughter?

Probably all of us who are affected by disability will feel grief at various points in our lives. If you have a disability, or a family member with a disability, this is likely something you have been through too.

When those times of sadness come, don’t be afraid to feel the pain. Grieve the losses and weep. Then, as John Piper says, “wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life that he’s given you.”

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5b, ESV).

What losses have you faced in life? Do you find that old grief comes back at times? How do you grieve and then move on to embrace the life you have?

This article was originally posted on The Irresistible Church.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Teatime Conversations

Teatime Conversations

I would like to start a new regular feature on my blog called "Teatime Conversations," and I need your help!

Teatime Conversations will provide an opportunity for more interaction between us. I would like to let my readers ask me questions about anything - health, faith, dysautonomia, friendship, marriage, parenting, or whatever else you'd like to ask! I will answer a question or two at a time in blog posts, and at the end of each blog post I will ask a question of my readers. And then we can chat in the blog comments and/or in facebook comments. It will be like a virtual teatime! :)

What do you think? Do you have a question for a Teatime Conversations blog post? You are welcome to leave a question in the comment section or email it to me at RachelLundy(at)cranberryteatime(dot)com. If you are reading this blog post through an email subscription, you can reach me by replying to the email. Your name will be kept confidential if you would like it to be.

If you would prefer to leave your question anonymously, you may do so using the form below.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book Review: Love Without Limits

Love Without Limits: A Remarkable Story of True Love Conquering All

Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs, and he often wondered if he would ever find a woman who would love him. God brought that woman into his life! In Love Without Limits Nick and Kanae share their story of meeting, falling in love, and the first two years of marriage.

Love Without Limits is written primarily by Nick, but Kanae contributes as well. This book is written to those who are single, dating, engaged, or newlyweds. Nick and Kanae share advice from what they have learned about waiting for a spouse, dating, and the early years of marriage.

I expected there to be more information about marriage with a disability in Love Without Limits. There were some specific stories and encouragement for marriages with a disabled spouse, but this book is written for anyone, whether healthy or disabled. The struggles and challenges that Nick and Kanae faced will be relatable to many.

There are a few stories of ways that Nick’s disability has impacted their marriage, and I enjoyed reading about Kanae’s thoughtfulness and service to her husband through all of it. She loves to serve Nick, and she does not see it as a burden. When she can, she comes up with creative ways to help him experience something on his own. One way Kanae served Nick creatively was by wrapping a gift in such a way that he could open it on his own. It was the first time in his life that someone had wrapped a gift that he could open without arms and legs.

Nick and Kanae share a lot of advice for single, dating, and engaged couples. But my favorite parts of the book were when they shared stories about their lives before meeting each other and their life together. This book includes many pictures that give a further glimpse into their marriage and family. Nick and Kanae certainly face challenges in their marriage, but their love for Jesus, and their love for each other, helps to keep their marriage strong.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Love Without Limits through Blogging for Books in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Busy Hands: South Bay Shawlette

South Bay Shawlette

This spring I kept my hands busy by crocheting a shawlette. I used the free South Bay Shawlette pattern from Lion Brand Yarns. This is the first time I have ever crocheted a shawl, and it was fun! Although I did make mistakes several times, and I had to take out quite a few rows to fix my mistakes! Brain fog and crocheting don't always mix well, but eventually I completed the shawlette.

close up of the stitches in the South Bay Shawlette

Here is a close up of the lacy pattern.

South Bay Shawlette

I think I will give this shawlette to a friend as a gift. But first I am going to enter it in our county fair later on this month!

I have three more small crochet projects that I am also working on finishing so that I can enter them in the county fair. I am hoping for strength in my arms to finish them up in time.

What have you been doing lately to keep your hands busy? Are there any crafts or other projects you have been working on? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review: My Daughter's Legacy

I first began reading books by Mindy Starns Clark when I was living in Georgia 10 years ago. My friend, Dorina, was in Alaska, so we started a long-distance book club! We looked for fun books to read together, and we settled on The Million Dollar Mysteries series. We both quickly became fans of Mindy's books.

Recently I have enjoyed reading the Cousins of the Dove series, written by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould. When I heard they were looking for bloggers to be on their launch team for the final book in the series, I jumped at the opportunity! I was sent a complimentary copy of My Daughter's Legacy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

My Daughter's Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

My Daughter's Legacy is the third, and final, book in the Cousins of the Dove series by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould. Each book follows two stories: one historical and one modern day. The historical story is new in each book, but the modern-day mystery is woven throughout all three books. Fans of the Cousins of the Dove series will appreciate this final book and the exciting way the past and present combine to solve a decades-old mystery.

Enough background information is given in My Daughter’s Legacy that you can read this book without having read the first two novels. However, I would recommend starting with the first book to gain the most background information on the cousins and the mystery.

The historical story in My Daughter's Legacy is about Therese Jennings, a young woman living in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. Therese works as a governess, and she uses her spare time to work at a hospital caring for wounded soldiers. Despite the difficulties and dangers of war, Therese stands for what is right, even when it means personal sacrifice and risk.

The modern day story in this book primarily follows Nicole Talbot, one of the cousins who is a descendant of Therese Jennings. Nicole is a recovering drug addict who is working to keep her life on the right track and finally open up to her family about past secrets. Nicole finds much healing, and the four cousins find answers to the murder mystery that has burdened them since childhood.

Mindy and Leslie weave these two stories together in a way that flows seamlessly. The modern day cousins learn about their ancestor, Therese, through pictures and letters passed down through the family. Therese's hard work, ethics, and faithfulness in hard times had an impact on future generations. She left a legacy for her descendants, and this story inspires readers to consider the legacy they are leaving for their children and the generations to follow.

If you like historical fiction and mysteries, you will love this book series from Mindy and Leslie! 

My Daughter's Legacy and $75 Visa Cash Card Giveaway!

If you are interested in reading My Daughter's Legacy, you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book and a $75 Visa cash card!

You are also invited to attend the My Daughter's Legacy Author Chat Party on Facebook on August 1 at 8:00 EDT. The winner of the giveaway will be announced during the party.

Lastly, because I love a good book deal, if you are interested in reading the Cousins of the Dove series, all three kindle books are currently on sale!

Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

About the Authors

Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania. Find out more about Mindy Starns at http://mindystarnsclark.com.

Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including “Beyond the Blue” and “Garden of Dreams.” She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children. Find out more about Leslie at http://www.lesliegould.com.
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