Are you missing a loved one this Thanksgiving?

It felt like there was a hole in my heart.

I was waking up on a National family day without my family. I can honestly say it was one of the hardest days after my divorce.  It was my first Thanksgiving without my kids.

Are you missing a loved one this Thanksgiving?

Perhaps your child is serving in the military and deployed this Holiday season.  Maybe like me, the reality of sharing the time with your kids at Holidays is too much to bear. Or maybe this is your first Holiday since a loved one has passed, and you deeply miss them.  If this describes you, let me first say that I am so sorry.

Grieving the loss of a loved one is hard, but Holidays without your loved one is the hardest.

Since Holidays have a way of magnifying our grief, let me encourage you by sharing some things that helped me during my grief. 

Give yourself lots of grace if you are missing someone special this Thanksgiving.

Ask God for strength and energy to get through the day.  Invite friends to pray for you too.

Surround yourself with people who care and can empathize with you. This could be your family, friends, or your small group at church.

Be honest with how you are feeling and let others know what you need.  Journal how you are feeling if that helps!

Talk about the loved one you are missing.  Let yourself cry if needed; I remember shedding lots of tears.

Don’t put any expectations on yourself to do the same traditions you have done in the past if it is too much for you. 

Guard your heart by taking a social media break.  Social Media makes you think that everyone has it all together, and you are the only one whose life has been shattered.

Fill your mind with truth by listening to worship music or reading a helpful book.

Please don’t rush your grief.  Don’t worry about anyone else’s expectations.  You set your pace for the day.

And most importantly, remember that “It is okay not to be okay.”

I know how hard it is to miss a loved one this Holiday so I will be praying for you as God helps you get through this day.  Sending you a big hug!

Love, Jodi

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Encouragement for those Feeling Overwhelmed and Depleted

I cannot keep up with it all: my to do list. Intentional time with my loved ones. 

It feels like life is spinning faster than I can handle.  My mind is easily distracted, and my body is more fatigued.  Barely able to keep my head above water, I am feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.  Maybe you are too.

I was listening to a podcast episode that talked about how many people are feeling this way.  With this pandemic changing so much of our normal, our capacity to do life has changed too.  We are more depleted than ever.

Friend, I want to encourage you today!

1. Remember You Are Not Alone.

I think we can so easily assume we are the only one feeling this way and that is not true. I encourage you to talk to a trusted friend and share the emotions you are feeling.

2. Guard Your Heart

When you are depleted and discouraged, it is easy to lose heart. I encourage you to find a Scripture Verse that will encourage you to focus on God, not our problems. I love Isaiah 43:1-3.

“Don’t be afraid, for I will protect you. I call you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I am with you; when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you. For I am the Lord your God.” Isaiah 43:1-3

3. Lower Your Expectations.  

As our energy is depleted due to the many emotions of this uncertain time, we will not be at full capacity.  I encourage you to give yourself grace especially my fellow Enneagram 1 friends.

4. Remember God is in control even when life spins out of control.   

We don’t know how long this pandemic will last, but God knows. Lean into Him, rely on God’s strength, and trust that He will get you through this time of uncertainty.

Friend, I needed these words this morning as I have felt overwhelmed and depleted. Maybe you do too! Remember it is okay not to be okay, it is okay to let go of full capacity, and it is okay to give yourself extra grace in the middle of this uncertain time.  Praying for you!

Love, Jodi