2 Things You Can Do To Combat Holiday Loneliness

For many, the holiday season can be a time of turmoil, a constant reminder of the lack of family, friends, and finances. It can also be a time of brokenness as we ponder over failed love and the desire for that perfect mate. Many people feel lonely.

lonely

According to Miriam Webster, loneliness is when one is sad from being alone. Sadness is an emotion, a feeling. There are people whose lives are filled with family and close friends yet they still feel lonely around the holidays. These feelings can creep into any persons mind.

This holiday season, I encourage you to embrace your current situation by doing the following:

ONE: Pray
Luke 5:16 says, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

If you are in a lonely place, do what Jesus did. Do more than contemplate your past relationships and hurts; take the time to evaluate the impact you had in those relationships. How can you become a better friend, parent or spouse? Do you have goals that you’ve pushed off due to procrastination or fear?

Although Jesus made the choice to seek out a lonely place and you didn’t, take advantage of it.
Get ahead of everyone caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, start praying for guidance on how you can be your absolute best next year.

TWO: Be a Blessing

The single most important thing you can do for others is to send up fervent prayers of blessings. Refer to task one.

The next thing you can do is to be kind. This year, make it a point not to get lost in your own business. Be aware of what’s going on around you and in your community. When you meet someone on the street, say “hello.” Find the time to help that elderly neighbor take the trash out on one of these cold winter mornings. If you have a few extra bucks, help a less fortunate family celebrate Christmas with toys for their kids and a nice spread for dinner.

Whatever you can do for someone, do it; it may stop the loneliness bug in you and prevent it in others.

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Momma So Fine: Expand My Territory, Not My Weight

This morning I started reading "The Prayer of Jabez" by Bruce Wilkinson.  Its not my first time reading it.  I just need a refresher on how to increase something besides my ever-growing waste line.

My baby boy is 17 months old so the "baby fat" excuse no longer works.  I’m 5’6" and I weigh – I am so embarrassed to admit this – 176 pounds.  Fortunately, I’ve lost a whole pound since last week.  My other measurements are too embarrassing to post.  But, I will – later.

What I found this morning during my devotion time is my lack of accountability in the weight-loss arena.  For writing, I am in forums, writers groups, and social networks.  For my spiritual development, I attend church, participate in forums, and read my bible.  However, many of the people I deal with accept their current weight so they don’t struggle with shedding a few pounds like I am.

I’ve decided to start a weight loss group called Momma So Fine.  Before I was married, I was a diva.  Now, with 2 kids under 5 in tow it seems I have lost all of my diva-ish qualities.  I’ve traded 3 inch heels for flip-flops; designer purses for backpacks and diaper bags; and, it seems, my body for motherhood.  I’ve got to get it back.

This brings me back to my title.  In the book, Bruce talks about appointments that help you help others.  I truly believe this could be our appointment to help each other.  Let’s be accountability partners.  I’ll make the first step.

My Current Measurements

Weight Chest Right Arm Left Arm Waist Hips Right Thigh Left Thigh
176 38 13 13 35 1/4 43 24 1/2 25 1/8

 

My Current Goal

I figure if I can lose a pound a week, it will only take me about 41 weeks to lose 41 pounds.  Who knows, I may lose it quicker.  But my short term goal is to lose 10 pounds by October 8, 2008.  I know its only 8 weeks but with your help, I know I can lose 10 pounds.  So, how about it?

An Invitation for You

Earlier, I wrote that I had started a group called Momma So Fine. Its true and I would love for you to join me in my quest to get healthier.  If you join the group, you will receive weekly journal topics and customized journal pages.  You will also receive a weekly food log that you can print, fold, and place in your wallet to keep track of what you are consuming.  But most of all, you will get someone – maybe even a group of other women, who can encourage you to stay the course in reaching your desired goal.

You can start by using the box below to join Momma So Fine.  After you join, you will be able to download the 1st weeks Journal Pages.  So, hopefully, soon I’ll see you in a smaller pair of jeans.

If you look into the sidebar, you will see a place to join Momma So Fine.

31: Adopted by GOD!

Adopted by GOD

 

Mind Over Matter:  Who’s Your Daddy?

You’ve been connected to a lie detector.  You’ve been instructed to recite the first 5 words that come to mind when you think of your relationship with your father.  If you lie, you will be doomed to pay $7 per gallon for gas for the rest of your life – you commute 40 miles to and from work.  Will you tell the truth?

 

FOR THOUGHT

 

  1. Have you ever felt embarrassed by your family, situation, or other things you have no control over? If so, what are those things?
  2. Do you ever imagine what your life would be like if the things that embarrass you were not present in your life? How do you think your life would be?
  3. Do you ever consider GOD’s plan for your life and his role as your “father”? How so?

 

Scripture — Ephesians 1:4-5 (NIV)

 

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons [and daughters] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

 

Adopted by GOD – Write About It!

o  Adoption changes your status from one family identity and inheritance to another.  What are some traits you’ve inherited from your family that you must adjust so that your daily life will reflect your inheritance in Christ?  (i.e., quick temper, anger, overeating, cheating)

o  How did a parent or close family member hurt you?  How did you feel when you were hurt?  What can you do to prevent that same hurt in your children or in other relationships?

o  An adopted child has all the rights and privileges of a naturally born child.  What is God trying to give you that you reject because you feel unworthy?  How can you begin to receive from him?

o  What can (or will) you do today that will please GOD?

o  What is GOD’s will for your life?  Are you submitting to it?  If not, what can you do to submit to his authority so that his will manifest itself in your life?

 

ACTION

Please complete your name, the date, etc., on your certificate of adoption and allow someone to witness your adoption. Decorate your certificate to reflect the unique you!

 

You are an heir to the thrown!

 For a PDF copy of this entry, journal pages, and the Certificate of Adoption, please click here.

Caller 31 on today’s show will receive this:

Are Your Friends, Friends of Your Marriage?

Situation 

Karen doesn’t care for her husband’s relationship with Dahlia.  Dahlia has been disrespectful to Karen by calling her names and by pursing a “friendship” with Jarious, her husband; even though Karen has expressed to the both of them that she is uncomfortable with the relationship.  To make matters worse, Dahlia has a history of being in unhealthy companionship with men, married and unmarried, and has participated in over the line flirtation with Jarious.  Jarious has admitted to crossing the line and has asked his wife to forgive him but refuses to end the relationship because they work together and because Dahlia is a Christian woman.  Jarious also feels like his wife should trust him more.

Karen feels like Jarious has chosen Dahlia over her and that Dahlia has won.  Karen has been tempted to re-enter relationships with friends that she has let go for the sake of her marriage just to get back at Jarious for choosing another woman over her.  She is tired of being disrespected by her husband and his “friend”.  However, Karen’s friend Tina told her that she should not do anything wrong just because her feelings are hurt. 

Scripture:  Proverbs 27:6 KJVFaithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.

Solution All too often I hear married women and men complaining about their spouses’ relationships with others.  Whether it’s a parent, a friend, a sibling, or co-worker all external relationships should strengthen your marital bond.

In the Life Application Study Bible‘s concordance, a friend is defined as an intimate companion or associate; one attached to one another by affection or esteem.  When determining the validity of friendships that strain your relationship with your spouse, you need to figure out why you are maintaining the relationship by asking yourself the following questions:

Do I have an intimate relationship with this person?  If so, would I feel comfortable with my spouse maintaining the same kind of relationship with another person? 

Intimacy goes beyond the bedroom and sex.  Intimate conversations can include the discussion of finances, marital problems, and even work issues.  When an intimate relationship happens between members of the opposite sex, the natural attributions of the male and female psyche begins to operate.  Men have the inclination to rescue; women, to nurture making it easier to cross the line.  Would you want your wife to be rescued by another man? Would you want your husband to be nurtured by another woman?

Am I attached to this person by affection or esteem?  Why am I attached in this way?

For the sake of argument, let’s look at several of Miriam-Webster‘s definitions of affection and esteem.

affection:  a moderate feeling or emotion / tender attachment / the feeling aspect (as in pleasure) of consciousness

esteem:  the regard in which one is held; especially : high regard

The biggest part of this step is why you are attached to the friend in question.  If your spouse’s discomfort with the relationship is valid, holding on to that friend is selfish and may cause detriment to your marriage.  Marriage is about love. Love is not selfish (1 Corinthians 13:5).

What are the motives of the friend in question?

This part of the self-evaluation ties into the chosen scripture reference.  Your friends are honest with you about your wrongdoings and will encourage you to do what is best for you and your family.  An enemy – someone who does not love you – will tell you what you want to hear and send you off to fail.

A person cannot be fond of you if they are not fond of your spouse; you are one.  Your spouse is a direct reflection of you.  If you have a friend that does not respect or like your spouse, that friend is truly a foe.

Am I being obedient to God in maintaining this relationship?

Ephesians 5:21 – 23 is clear on how the marriage relationship should be handled.  Verse 21 states, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” 

If an external relationship causes your spouse pain, you should walk away from it.  If the relationship is a work relationship, it should be modified meaning that only situations and conversations related directly to the business at hand should be entered.  Anything outside of this may put your relationship with your spouse under duress.

Please click here for the PDF version.

If you would like to provide a situation to get a biblical remedy, please click here.

A Diva’s Armor

Inspired by Ephesians 6:10-18

Courtesy imageafter.com

Be fierce in appearance and in the integrity of relationships.  Cloth yourself in elegance, femininity, and grace so that you will be revered and envied by the haters.  Your outward show should reflect the goodness within; setting the standard amongst other black women, promoting self awareness, self confidence, self worth, and the priceless value of true womanhood.  Defy ghetto ness and self hate; reject anything that deflects from being fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Therefore be complete, that you may be able to endure life’s tragedies and pain.  Be encouraged in relational difficulties, not allowing anyone to steal your strength, compassion, or joy; forgive others just as you have been forgiven so that you do not carry the burden of another’s transgressions; serve and give with your heart’s sincerity so that in your time of need you will receive what you have sown one hundred fold; and be protected by the Truth, for there is only one. 

Take time to love yourself and all those around you; make time to be loved.  Take time to pray, meditating upon good things, not bad.  And lastly, strive for perfection knowing that being perfect is not being right; it is being like Him, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, which will get you justly through anything or situation not covered in this writing.