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WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED GRIEVING?

WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED GRIEVING?

I do not understand it.

I do not like it!

Most of the time I REALLY HATE IT!!!!!

Honestly, once upon a time, everything was almost normal and okay in my Life.

Then, SHAZAM!!!!

Out of the clear blue sky,

my sometimes almost under control Life spiraled into a mess of chaos and grief.

In a seven month time frame, my dad suffered a heart attack, lived with me for two months, and then had heart surgery.

Next, Dad was in ICU for SIX WEEKS, trying to recover from surgery. It was an emotional roller coaster- yes he was healing, no he was not, he’s better, he’s worse, he’s dying, he’s getting better.

And then he died.

Three months later, my Mom joined him in Heaven.

Needless to say, my Life has been thrown into a storm and scattered to the winds.

For a girl who hates change, this is MISERABLE!!!

Because I am mourning the loss of my parents, the fact that Life will never be the same.

I grieve for those times lost to us when we pulled away from each other, for histories I never knew.

But I am also dealing with the consequences of their deaths.

Legalities, memorials.

A household of 55 years accumulated, and four lives worth of memories. (My parents’ and my brother’s and mine.)

Cards, letters, clothing, household items, photographs, dishes, linens and papers.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY PAPERS!!!!!!!!

I just want it all to stop!

How can I grieve when I have so much stuff to take care of!?!

I’m having to make important legal decisions when I can barely pick a restaurant to go eat at.

How do I balance MY Home, MY Family, and MY obligations when I now have so much more to deal with? As well as trying to take care of MYSELF!?! I am not alone in it. I have my brother’s help, my husband, my kids, my Friends.

But it is all OVERWHELMING!

I have no idea where to start.

My house is filled with THEIR stuff- papers, pictures, mementos. I have no idea where to even begin to organize let alone finish clearing their Home. It feels like I am erasing their LIFE together.

AND I DO NOT WANT THAT!

Emotionally, I am a mess. I know God is here helping me, giving me others to care for me, precious memories of my Mom and Dad. Some days I seem perfectly okay. Then it all comes slamming down on me. Overwhelmed by EVERYTHING! Crying. Needing to be held and comforted.

My body does not want to cooperate.

I’m having weird dreams.

Not sad, not nightmares, just . . . weird.

What’s that about?

And I am EXHAUSTED!

ALL THE TIME!!!!

(And did I mention crying?)

I know there are things that need to be taken care of.

I’m trying here,

but sometimes it feels almost pointless.

I DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH ALL THIS!!!!!!

I’m not mad at God. He blessed me with my Family and Loved Ones, and I thank Him for that.

And He’s the One getting me through this, comforting me, Loving me, giving me strength.

But I am overwhelmed, and feel like no one totally understands.

Shouldn’t I be doing better by now?

HOGSWALLOW!

I know each person grieves in their own way.

There is no time line for “getting better or adjusting.”

And we have to go through the grief to deal with it.

So though I hate it, grieving is important to help me deal with all the pain, loss, confusion and stress that I am going through. It’s okay to cry, to SLEEP, to not be functioning at full throttle.

(Oh yeah, my eyesight is blurry these days, and my brain is fuzzy a lot.)

Grief affects our emotions, our Spirit, our bodies.

You know what God wants of me right now?

To Love myself, to cut myself slack.

To lean into His arms for comfort and Love.

To let myself grieve in whatever way works for me,

and to let people know that I’m grieving and need extra Love right now.

This is all part of the process.

Along with the sadness, the loss, the confusion,

there is also Joy if I look. Memories of times together.

The knowledge that they are no longer suffering,

and are happy together in God’s Presence.

And I will get through this, grow stronger, and closer to God.

He’s gotten me through the last seven months.

He will get me through whatever is next.

What a relief to know that I am not alone!

God is always with me, always taking care of me, never not by my side.

Thank You, God. I Love You!

I write this post because, for me, writing and talking to God on paper/computer, help me to deal with what I am going through. I can break it down, write what I really am feeling, yet also open myself up to God, and what He is doing to help me along the way.

But I also write this because there are others out there, grieving and lost.

You are not alone, you are not going crazy, you are okay in a hurting, falling apart kind of way. So I guess you’re really not okay, but in an expected manner of not being okay because you have just suffered a loss and your entire Life has been shifted on its axis.

So let yourself grieve. Do not let others tell you how to mourn your loss. Do what you can to take care of yourself. Sleep, cry, don’t jump on your case. Talk with Loved Ones about what you’re going through, and ask for Love and support. But also take time to remember the Blessings you have had with your Loved Ones. And please know that God is with you, taking care of you as He always does.

I pray comfort and Peace for you this night.

Blessings, Billie

Resources:

  • Tears ‘Larme d’or’ by Anne Marie Zilberman
  • It Hurts, Crying with a Friend, No Rule Book and I Will Never Leave You (Hebrews 13:5) found on Pinterest
  • Physical Symptoms from loveliveson.com
  • I’m Unreliable . . . found on griefhealingdiscussiongroups.com
  • Jesus is with You ‘Loud and Clear” by RebeccaHudgens on deviantart

A HAPPY DAY. A SAD DAY. A HOLY DAY.

It was a happy day. It was a sad day.

It was a Holy Day.

The day my Dad died.

It was sad to have my Daddy go.

I will miss his smile that lit up the room.

I want to hear him say “I Love you, sweetheart,” again.

I wish I’d held his hand more,

cried in his arms,

asked for more stories of his Life.

But . . .

It was a Happy Day.

No longer was my Dad in pain,

weighed down by the hardships and trials of this Life.

I sat with my Dad and held his hand.

I listened to his favorite music, and danced.

And I was at Peace.

He was ready to go.

Because . . .

It was a Holy Day!

My daddy went Home to be with God!

The One who Loves him totally

welcomed His Dear Friend

with a HUGE hug, tears in both their eyes!

God’s Love shone bright in those whose lives Daddy had touched.

And I felt God’s Peace envelop me in a wondrous embrace.

I knew my Dad’s deep Love for me;

it reflected the Light of My Heavenly Dad.

His breath stopped,

My Dad was gone, no longer with me in that room,

but in my Heart,

I see his smile, I hear his words, I feel his Love.

Dad lives on in my Family,

and in all those whose lives he touched.

And . . .

We will see him again!

He will swoop me in his arms, and dance with me!

Because God’s got Him now!

And that is a GLORIOUS thing indeed!

I Love you Daddy!

Hey God-

Thank you for my Daddy, and all the time we shared! We had our ups, we had our downs, but most of all there was Love. Thank you for not taking him before now, for giving us more time together, for the healing of hearts and sharing of Love these past few weeks.

Do I have regrets? You know I do. I wish we’d been closer, done more together. But I thank You for all we shared. In the end, he wanted US, his family, and he told us over and over again how very, Very, VERY much he Loved us! Thank you for those Holy, Blessed moments, and for all the years that came before.

I will cry, I will dance, I will grieve, I will Celebrate.

Because my Dad is with YOU, God! And what an amazing miracle that is! Thank you, Lord

You and Dad have fun fishing together! And give him a hug for me please!

I Love you, Lord. -Amen

Resources:

All images found on Pinterest.

I WAS SHANGHAIED!

I WAS SHANGHAIED!

Hey guys, I am really, REALLY sorry that Sonshine Celebrations has been on hiatus for so long.  There were a couple of interesting elements that came into play causing my absence.

1.)  My website actually was hijacked, and it took a while for my Techno Wizard to get things straightened out.

2.)  God’s timing was interesting, though, because I actually needed a break from doing the blog for a bit.

3.)  And it turns out, amazing God that He is, He KNEW what the last several months held in store for me, so God was clearing some space in my calendar for other situations that would be coming up.

End result, I took a break for a bit BUT NOW I AM BACK!!!!!  I have missed writing blog posts, and have TONS of stuff to share with you!  I can’t guarantee it at the moment, but I will TRY to have something new up on Saturday mornings.  They won’t all be intense messages, and I may miss some weeks, but I want to try and share some more of God’s Love with you through this blog.

As always, this site is to share God’s Love, to encourage you, and to bring wholesome Joy to people. And yes, my temporary sabbatical was truly a Blessing from God.

TIME FOR A SABBATICAL!

As I said, I had already decided to take a break from Sonshine Celebrations for awhile before I got hijacked.  (And THANK YOU, GOD, that we are now back to our wonderful “normal” self!!!!)

Why a Sabbatical?  Well, Sabbatical comes from the same root word as Sabbath.  And I was in desperate need of some Sabbath rest in my Life!  Nothing bad was happening, just LOTS of stuff!  In order to maintain my sanity, as well as renew myself in the Lord, I chose to take some time off.  And now, my blog is fixed, and I have lots of new, inspired HOPE to share with you!

It also turned out, that while I was on Sabbatical, my Dad had a heart attack, and surgery, so we have been dealing with all of those issues.  He is doing better, but it was also a HUGE Blessing, to have some more freedom so that I could be here for him.  And while God has been working to heal my Dad, He has also been teaching me new lessons, and growing me.  So yeah, there are LOTS OF TOPICS up ahead in the makings!!!!

For now, can you please pray for me, my Family and this website?  I’m calling my Prayer Warriors in here to help!  Because we KNOW that God listens to our prayers!

1.)  Please pray for Sonshine Celebrations, that God’s Love shines forth from it, and that these words are a beacon of Hope to all in need, as well as a reminder of God’s POWERFUL, WONDERFUL Love for us all!

2.)  Please also says some prayers for my Family as we go through these times, and that God guides me and gives me the strength I need to continue sharing His Love, with my Dad, and my Family, as well as others.  (Yourself included!)

3.)  Please think about your own Life, and where it may have been HIJACKED out of your control.  What can you see God trying to do with the situation, and what do you need to be doing?  (And as I am reminding myself, IT IS ONLY WITH GOD’S HELP THAT WE ARE RESCUED!)

4.)  Finally, are YOU in need of some SABBATICAL TIME!?!  Maybe you have lost control of your Life and don’t know what to do.  Please consider taking some time to rest with God, spend time with Him, and take care of yourself so that you can see where He is leading you!  He has plans for you, but He may want you to re-coop your strength in Him before you hit rough waters.

In closing, I Love this Blog, and I LOVE SHARING GOD WITH YOU!!!

Until we meet again, be Blessed my Friends.

And remember, GOD LOVES YOU more than you can EVER imagine possible!  You are WONDERFUL and you are LOVED!!!!!  -Billie

RESOURCES:

Totally Awesome Pirate image from geek-art.net

Prayer Warrior, Praying Hands, and Message from God found on Pinterest

Why I Decided from foreversunday.org

In the Dark found on Pinterest, Snoopy and Woodstock created by Charles Schulz

THE GIFT OF A DAY!

THE GIFT OF A DAY!

Hey- there!  Let’s try something a little different this week.

I would like to start off this post by asking you to think about a time when you gave someone a special gift.  If you have children, imagine their face and excitement when they received it.  Or think of how a spouse or someone else close to you reacted from a present that touched their heart.

Recently I sent my daughter her very special quilt that I made her to go on her bed in her new Home.  She didn t know I was sending it but her fiancee did, and he filmed her response.  Oh my goodness!  Talk about a moment that touched her heart!  She hugged it tight to her, and the look on her face was one of pure Joy.  I sent her the gift but I also received a gift in her response!  It meant the world to her.  The same day, my future son called me Mom for the first time, and I was overwhelmed with Joyful tears.  What a precious gift he had given me!

Gifts come in all sizes and forms.  Some come from stores and cost money  Others are actions of Love, words that Bless your Spirit, or the feelings you get when with someone you know Loves you.  But the gifts that come from the Heart often touch both the one giving the gift, as well as the one receiving it.  That’s the extra Blessing God bestows upon us as we share His love with others.

A DAILY GIFT

Each day, God has created Blessings and gifts for us, His Beloved, the children of His heart! Some days we see them, and other times we don’t.  But sometimes . . . sometimes the gifts are so overwhelming that we can’t help but receive them with arms open wide, thanking Him for such amazing presents!

I had one of those days today!  I am on vacation to visit the above mentioned kids, and they had a marvelous Adventure planned for me that they KNEW I would Love.  (They were right!)

The holidays are coming, and this is my first year as an Empty Nester.  They knew I was missing Fall and Halloween activities with my daughter so they had planned a WONDERFUL day for me!  They took me to an orchard with a pumpkin patch and a corn maze!  (My first- only got lost some but we made it out!)  What a special treat!  Not only did I get to share with my daughter something we enjoy doing together but I also got to experience Fall and Halloween with my new son for the first time!  We had so much fun on our outing, had tasty apples, cider and honey, and came home with pumpkins for Halloween and a TON off apples to make into tasty treats!  (Not literally a ton, but a lot!)  More importantly, we came Home with precious memories.  There was laughter, sunlight, cuddles and Love, plus great weather!  What more could we ask for?

Several times I felt God’s Love wrapped around us!  He was there helping us navigate the maze, in the cute little kids lining up their pumpkins, and in the sunlight shining on my face as I turned Heaven-ward to thank Him for the gift of the day, of my children and their Love, and this opportunity to do something fun and new and special!

THE TAKE-AWAY

Here’s what I want you to take-away with you from today’s post.

My children knew in their Hearts that I would be so Blessed to share this Adventure with them.  They wanted to be with me, and give me an experience and a memory that I would treasure always.  And it meant the world to me!

You should have seen my daughter’s face throughout the day when she would look over at me, and see me all bubbly and bouncy.  Not only did they have so much fun experiencing THEIR first Fall outing together, but it made them VERY HAPPY to see me so happy!

And . . . God LOVED the day with us together!

You know, it’s His world!  This wonderful place with sweet tasting caramel honey, delicious apples picked right off the tree, the bright orange pumpkins scattered though out the fields!  But even more importantly, He gave us the Love in our Hearts, He made us Family, and it brought Him SO MUCH JOY to see us enjoying our day together, and the Blessings He had scattered about like jewels shining in the sun!  Today, we were shining in His Sonlight!  Just like we Love it when we make others happy with presents of time, effort, or items, so does He value and cherish those times when we give ourselves up to the gifts He gives, and thank Him for such Blessings!

What about you?  When have you recently given yourself to experiencing and enjoying the gifts He gives?  Each day has gifts for us to receive.  Some are tiny little ones that you have to keep your eyes open to see.  Others may be wrapped in such a way that you don’t realize that Blessings are within, while others are neatly gift wrapped with a GIGANTIC BOW on top that you can’t miss!  You can, however, refuse to open God’s presents.  Please accept the gifts He has picked special for you, His Beloved!  Open your Heart to Praise Him for them, and share these sacred, ho;y times with Him!

P.S.  No pictures yet to accompany this post because I AM ON VACATION ENJOYING THE DAYS!!!!  (Without my computer complete with images and easy access to sharing them in this blog!)  I will get some up in a week or two so please check back!  But for now, I wanted to share with you these thoughts so you can start looking for your own special treasures!

Enjoy opening your presents this week!  -Billie

ORANGE YOU GLAD!?!

ORANGE YOU GLAD!?!

Knock Knock!

Who’s There?

Orange!

Orange Who?

ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU’RE HERE!?!

Okay, I admit it-

being inundated with Dad Jokes

sometimes influences my sense of humor!

(Or maybe it was all those years as a Cub Scout Leader!)

ANYWAY . . . . !

October seems the perfect month to Celebrate the color ORANGE!

Sure, it’s a beautiful color the whole year through.

Did you ever get oranges for Christmas in your stocking

or make Orange Pomanders with cloves stuck in them

so the whole house would smell all Christmasy?

Note: Poke holes FIRST with a skewer BEFORE trying to insert cloves!

Or cut grooves in the peel!

Otherwise you get Holy thumbs!!!!

Ha, ha! Dad Humor again!

And I’m the MOM!!!!

ORANGE is also nice for Winter,

blazing in the fires that warm our Hearts as well as our bodies!

And have you ever tasted those Cutey Mandarin oranges?

Mmmmm!

That sweet taste of citrus, so fresh and bright!

Almost like Liquid Sunshine!

I think we like ORANGE in Winter just because it

brings us Light and warmth,

even in the darkness of the season.

And then you get those gorgeous ORANGE daisies

that herald the coming of Spring!

Just to see their color bursting open in the brown earth

brings Hope with it!

There are also all those GORGEOUS ORANGE Butterflies

that flit and wander, dance in the air,

Rejoicing in the warmth and freedom.

That’s certainly how I feel when I see ORANGE in the Spring!

Next comes Summer.

Imagine those tasty frozen treats

all tart and sweet and refreshing,

clothed in various shades of ORANGE ranging from

pale peach to vibrant to mixed with cherry red.

I Love the taste of mango ice cream,

of Creamsicles and Bullet Pops and Popsicles!

Those tastes mirror our attitudes for the season-

bubbly and excited, invigorating and * WILD! *

Like tropical flowers and fruits:

Reminiscent of a brilliant sunset!

But Fall-  Fall was made of ORANGE!

From the HUGE Harvest Moon that marks the season

all the way through to that last tantalizing bite of

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie topped with whipped cream!

Autumn is when we Celebrate a bountiful harvest,

when we are thankful for the provisions

God gives to get us through the cold of Winter.

Fields are filled with ORANGE pumpkins.

portents of the up-coming Holidays-

for Pumpkin Bread, and Pumpkin Muffins

as well as Pumpkin Pie!

And what would Halloween be without

ORANGE Jack-O-Lanterns and corn candy?

Not just sustenance for our bodies, but fun for our Spirits!

Autumn, when the leaves change colors and Fall to the ground!

Isn’t it amazing how God takes something,

in this case the green leaves of the trees,

changes it to something else wondrous,

such as ORANGE and RED and YELLOW leaves?

Then for a bit, it seems as if the tree dies,

all Life is drained from it,

even as the leaves fall to the ground.

But it is not dead;

it only lays dormant during the next season,

waiting, rebuilding its energy,

until the seasons change,

and once again,

something new and beautiful grows.

The magnificent display of colors seeks to remind me

that in each season of Life, God has plans for me.

Sometimes I bloom and blossom in beauty.

Other times I radiate with vibrancy.

Yet even in those seemingly “dead times,”

God is at work within me,

healing me, preparing me for the season to come.

I can count on that!

Thanks, God!

For You, for Your Miracles,

And for ORANGE!

As Autumn Falls upon us, (Ha, ha!  Did it again!), where do you see God’s promises that darkness will not win out, that Brilliance will return?  As you go through these shortening days, do you see anything ORANGE that grabs your attention? God is here with us, always, in each and every season.  He Loves us, cares for us, prepares us.  I Hope this season brings you Hope blazing forth in the ORANGE surrounding you!

My final thoughts are on comfort and cozydom!  (Maybe not an “official” word, but certainly a Billie Word!)  As the darkness grows longer and the weather colder, we gravitate to warmth, both for our bodies but also for our Spirits!  Bonfires with friends sipping orange and apple cider, kittens curled up in your arms, flannel to cuddle under on a chilly night, all are Blessings of the season.  I Hope yours in bright and cheery and ORANGE!!!!!

NOW ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU DROPPED BY TO VISIT!?!

Blessings,  -Billie

RESOURCES:

Harvest Moon found on Pinterest

Pomanders from sjarmerendejul.blogspot.com

Cheery Daisies found on desktopdress.com

Creamsicle from shewonthatblog.com

Sunset from matadornetwork.com

Pumpkin Patch found on flickr.com

Halloween Bat found on Pinterest  (If he’s yours, he’s ADORABLE!!!!!  Thank you for making him!)

Autumn Leaves from telva.com

Orange Flannel found at allwomenstalk.com

Tabby Kitty from cattime.com