God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).


Saturday, June 19, 2021

Father's Day: Moments and Memories When He is Gone

 


by Marilyn Nutter @marilynutter

@barbaralatta

Today's post is written by my friend and fellow writer, Marilyn Nutter. Her words exemplify a Titus 2 woman through encouragement and advice that will comfort you if you have lost a loved one and struggle through holiday celebrations. Please welcome her with your comments below. 

Mother’s Day, the supreme Hallmark holiday, is met with flowers, fancy dinners, and cards. Father’s Day is often celebrated in more casual ways, with Dad grilling or golfing. But either day opens a wounded heart when a husband, wife, or parent has passed. As others celebrate, our beloved guest of honor is absent.

Loss Looks Different

Necktie quilt

Grief and loss wear different clothing. People with the same loss, grieve and mourn in different ways. 

Some cry more or talk less than others. Some withhold tears publicly. Journaling is a way to express grief, but writing doesn’t appeal to everyone. 

Company and activity comfort some, while others prefer alone time. There is no “one size fits all” in grief, and holidays triggers grief and observances in new ways. 

We may just want the calendar to skip a day or at the least, have time speed from morning to night. Neither is possible so we ask, “How do I remember with honor?”

The way we choose to remember our husband and Dad differs just as grief does.  

Shedding Tears

We shed tears, crafted by God. The tears of grief are chemically designed to relieve stress and are different from the tears we shed peeling an onion. Tears are a part of loss.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8 NLT

Fortunately, over time, the tears lessen, and the intensity of grief changes shape. The first holiday is always the hardest. As we move to the second and beyond, holidays don’t become better, but different, and our shape changes. In God’s mercy,

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 NIV

As time passes, what brought tears over the sight of a favorite restaurant, hearing a song, or recalling a shared event, changes from emotional remembering to historical remembering. Where we once broke down in tears rehearsing memories, we begin to smile and laugh telling stories.

Father’s Day Remembrances

Which brings us to Father’s Day. Just as grief is expressed uniquely, so are remembrances. How we choose to remember tangibly varies according to our relationships, personalities, and talents.

  • On Father’s Day, we will scroll through social media posts about living and deceased fathers, complete with photos, tributes, and memories. These may bring a grief burst—where you haven’t cried in months, the site of photos and recalling memories bring tears to your eyes. It is another stop on a journey. One of my daughter’s posts are elaborate and thought out, sometimes with a collage of pictures. Another doesn’t post but sends us group texts and a photo with a memory. Their love for their Dad is equally deep but expressed in different ways.
  • Some people plan a menu to include a favorite meal or dessert.
  • Some spontaneously tell stories and say, “Dad would have said…” “Dad would have liked…”
  • Four of my grands have gone fishing and use my husband’s rods and reels in his honor—he taught them to fish.
  • Others pass through the day with Dad in their thoughts and celebrate their husband.

Beyond Father’s Day

Grandchildren with Papa's remembrances

Linking objects are tangible reminders of our loved one that may be worn or displayed. Sometimes we prepare them for a first Father’s Day, birthday, or Christmas.

A few weeks ago at a Modern Widows Club meeting, my friend Becky shared a quilt made of her husband’s ties. Displayed on her living room chair, it keeps her husband close by. 

Another friend had her husband’s wedding ring joined together with hers and she wears it as a necklace.

I made pillows from my husband’s shirts and gave them to my grandchildren, Fortunately, I found photos of them with their “Papa” wearing that shirt and gave them a framed photo too.

My daughter had wrist cuffs made for each of us, from my husband’s belts. “It is Well with My Soul” was a favorite hymn and she had that title engraved on it.

Another daughter made a Shutterfly photo album of highlights with Papa.

Loss is always present; the empty chair remains at the table. We can look back, like glancing in a rear-view mirror, with gratitude and look forward to the wide front window. 

Father’s Day does not have to become a memorial service. Savor the cherished memories and look at the new moments that are part of a Dad’s legacy.

 Celebrate your son and son-in-law’s presence and influence. Appreciate the legacy a Dad passed on to sons and daughters and acknowledge a skill or quality.

The best advice I received shortly after my husband died was to “grieve in the way that is right for you.” In my grief-clouded brain, I didn’t fully understand, but in time and in companionship with other widows, I realized our losses were unique and complex. 

So it is with observing, living through, and remembering on Father’s Day. There is no right or wrong way—only the way that honors your loved one in the way that is right for you.

The memory of the righteous is blessed...Proverbs 10:7a NKJV

Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories of your loved one.

Father's Day moments and memories. Ways to remember when he is gone (click to tweet)

Father’s Day does not have to become a memorial service. Savor the cherished memories and look at the new moments that are part of a Dad’s legacy (click to tweet)

Marilyn Nutter was suddenly widowed in 2011 two days before Christmas while traveling 2,000 miles from home. She serves as a facilitator for Grief Support for Spouses at her church, is a writer for compilations, online sites, and maintains a blog and website http://marilynnutter.com/. Join her and find resources on hope, encouragement, and grief. In September 2021, her book co-authored with April White will be released. Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart, speaks to those who have experienced life interruptions, but can travel with hope.



Saturday, June 12, 2021

Honoring Our National Banner on Flag Day

 


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

Have you ever wondered where the American flag came from?

During the Revolutionary War, there was no flag representing the 13 colonies. Each regiment served under their own banner. George Washington set out to design a flag that could unify the army and the country.

The first design was comprised of 13 alternating red and white stripes with a union jack in the corner. This was too similar to the British flag so General Washington nixed that idea. You can imagine the confusion in battle if an army can’t recognize their own standard. They also didn’t want to identify with the enemy they were fighting.

On June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress passed a resolution “that the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white, the union be 13 stars white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” 

What is Flag Day? To commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of our national standard,  President Woodrow Wilson designated June 14 as Flag Day, in 1916.

What is the Flag Code? The Flag Code was established for instructions in the care, observance, and the disposal of worn out flags. 

Here are a few facts from the Flag Code you may be unaware of and ways we can honor our national banner on Flag Day:

  • The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing unless it is responding to a salute from a foreign ship. This became a tradition after the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. When all countries were asked to dip their flag to King Edward VII, the American flag bearer refused, and a teammate responded with “this flag dips for no earthly king.”

  • The flag should not be used as wearing apparel, furniture coverings, draperies, or pillows. Red, white, and blue bunting is used as platform décor with the blue color on the top.
  • When it is displayed on the same flagpole as another flag, the United States flag should always be on top. An exception to this code is during church services conducted by a Navy Chaplain for Navy personnel while at sea. In that case, the church banner can be on top.
  • When used in a parade or procession, the flag should be to the right of those marching.

What is the proper way to fold a flag?

Here is a video of soldiers that demonstrates the proper way to fold an American flag.

Old Glory is the banner that represents over two centuries of fighting and defending freedom. The freedom that God gave to us because oppressed people traversed harsh seas and life-threatening circumstances to come to this land and establish a country where people could worship God as they pleased.

As the Memorial Day post showed us, revering the flag is one way we as Titus 2 women can teach the younger generation respect for our country and memorializing the sacrifices of those who have died defending her.

May we be reminded of the honor we should give to the Stars and Stripes as the banner flies across the land to proclaim liberty and justice for all.

June 14, 2021 is also the 246th birthday of the United States Army. Happy Birthday, Army!

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Flag Day reminds us of the honor we should give to the Stars and Stripes as the banner flies across the land to proclaim liberty and justice for all. (click to tweet)

 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

How God's Faithfulness Transforms Bitterness Into Joy

 


by Barbara Latta

We have explored how God’s faithfulness to provide for the widow of Zarephath kept her from starving during a famine. We saw how Eunice and Lois depended upon God’s faithfulness to instruct Timothy to grow into a god-fearing man.

The Faithfulness of God series continues as we see how Jehovah provided for Naomi in her old age through Ruth. God’s faithfulness transformed Naomi’s bitterness to joy.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

3 Ways We Can Teach Youth About Freedom Through Monuments and Memorials

 

by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

After the children of Israel defeated Jericho and crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land the Lord told Joshua to take twelve stones from the riverbed and place them on the land they would occupy (Joshua 4:1-3).

What was so important about leaving a memorial?

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Five Lessons on Trust from My Little Pavarotti


This week's post is by my friend, Jeannie Waters.  She is an inspiring, award-winning writer whose words reflect a Titus 2 woman with their encouraging focus. I know you will enjoy the lessons a little friend from nature taught her. Please welcome her and share your comments below and follow her social media links.

by Jeannie Waters @jeanniewaters44

I allowed anxiety to gather grass and straw and build a tangled nest in my heart. No major problems plagued me, but tiny remnants of fear and questions about how God works in and through me swirled in my mind.

With my pen, journal, and Bible in hand, I sat on the deck and asked God to help me fight fear and learn to trust Him more. I then heard the first notes of a concert.  

The performer sang to an audience of one—me. A little sparrow belted out an aria, and as he tilted his head upward and increased his volume, I chuckled and named him Pavarotti.

Our loving Teacher used my little Pavarotti Sparrow to emphasize five important truths.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

How to Win Supernatural Victories When Outnumbered by an Enemy

 by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

Do you ever feel as if you are outnumbered by life? Kids get sick, bills need to be paid, traffic is congested, fatigue plagues our bodies, and yes, people we love pass away. These are not battles we fight with military weapons, but they are battles we must face and overcome. When we feel outnumbered, we can lose heart and see no way to win.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Promises From God's Word For a Parental Legacy

 

by Barbara Latta

The Faithfulness of God series.

As mothers we have the capacity to criticize ourselves for not being the perfect parent. Our minds can accuse us better than, satan, the enemy of our souls.

But none of us are perfect, and God knows that. We can hold on to promises from God’s Word to leave a parental legacy as the mother and grandmother of Timothy did.