Monday, May 24, 2010

When All You Do is Worry

Life can be so difficult, and there are times when things seem to pile up and get way out of our control. The bills. Sickness. Family problems. Depression. Broken relationships. The death of a loved one. Worse is when these things come at us in rapid succession without giving us any time to catch our breath or gain any new strength. We’re left feeling exhausted and depleted of all hope!

What do we do when we’ve lost every ounce of energy, every bit of desire for life that we once had? That’s a sure-fire sign that we are experiencing life-burnout and we need to step back, take a long, hard look at the real picture, and then call on God for extra help.

God has given us promises of being our very present help in trouble. He says that He is our shield and protector. He tells us that He is our Shepherd and cares so deeply about each of us that he even has the hairs on our head counted! But, when we’re going through painful sorrow, it’s hard to believe all of this is true! That’s when we need to hold fast to our Father even more, and cling to His word and make that our security blanket.

Look to the skies and be reminded of the One who created the heavens. Feel the gentle breeze against your face and know that it is the whisper of God reminding you He is near. Watch the sunbeams dancing and know that God is touching you with His very breath. God is real. He is alive. And, He will carry you through whatever problem and pain is touching your life! He gives the hope and peace to carry on! --Clara Hinton

“Worry never accomplishes anything except giving you extra wrinkles and a big headache! Let go and let God!” --Clara Hinton

“And now Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee.” --Psalm 39:7

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When Hope Seems Distant

Whenever grief enters our lives, it is often described as feeling like a hole has been placed right in the center of our hearts and nothing in the world can ever fill that void. That’s grief at its worst, and for a long time it hurts like nothing we’ve ever felt before. Loss touches every area of our living, and we feel drained, and devoid of all hope.

Well meaning people urge us to move on in life and our grief will diminish. While this is true to a degree, the one thing we need the most is hope. We need some kind of assurance that tomorrow will be a better day than today. We want to know that we will not always feel so alone and sad. We need something to assure us that joy will come in the morning.

God, in His infinite love and care for us, knew that we would need to know with absolute assurance that hope is still alive within our grieving hearts, so He gave us daily reminders to serve as hope boosters. All we have to do is look to the heavens, and we can see the mighty works of God. We see the sun, the stars, the moon, the clouds, and the vast expanse of the sky. All of those are reminders of what a mighty God we have as our Father.

God did not design a world of chaos and despair, but rather a world of beauty and miracles. When we look at the intricate makings of a flower, our hearts fill with hope because we know that if God cares that much for a flower, He truly cares for each one of us! We are never alone. Hope lives within our hearts forever! – Clara Hinton

“Every new day is a gift of hope sent from God.” --C. Hinton

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” --Psalm 19:1

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Even in Loss, We have Choices!

Most of us don't like change. We get to a place in life where we feel comfortable, and we are fine with staying there. Then, out of the blue, there comes something that knocks us flat and leaves us wondering if we'll ever get to a place in life where all feels okay again. Loss brings about so many changes in our lives!

Are you struggling with finances today? Broken relationships? Loss of health? Lost dreams? Loss of a loved one? The unthinkable - the loss of a child? If so, please know that you're not alone in this pain. Countless others have walked the lonely path of grief and pain and have been faced with many changes, and they've made it. The good news is that you, too, will make it to a new place of peace and joy!

While dealing with all of the changes that come about due to a loss, surround yourself with others who can support you. Look to those who have gone through similar circumstances for some much-needed guidance and encouragement. Above all else, lean on your heavenly Father for strength!

Remember, too, that we have choices all along the way. We can choose to place ourselves in the dark corner of hopelessness forever, or we can choose to look for new hope in the everyday happenings of life. Look at the sunrise and the sunset and find the miracle in each one. Study the beauty of a flower ready to burst into full bloom and reflect on how much God cares about details. Listen to the sounds of nature singing a song of hope just for you!

Slowly but surely, changes will take place, and you will find yourself once again able to enjoy the small blessings in life. Day by day, the sun will begin to shine once again, and you will find yourself able to face the day with renewed hope and strength! - Clara Hinton

"Hope places new life into every soul who asks for it!" --Clara Hinton

"Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul." -Psalm 54:4

Rest in Him for Your Strength

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We Don't Live in a Perfect World

In a perfect world, life doesn't hurt. There is no pain. We don't have to shed tears because all is perfect and well. Reality tells us, though, that we don't live in a perfect world. Instead, we do have pain, sorrow, and tragedies that come into our lives quite unexpectedly. Life isn't always fair, and we are left asking that age-old question, "Why?".

I don't think we'll ever answer the "why" question good enough to satisfy us, BUT we can understand that we are not alone in our pain. In this world, there are many sufferers, and we each can learn from one another and gain new strength and hope as we travel this road of grief.

As has been said before, sorrow is a new language that we must learn, and it gives us new eyes in which we view all of life. At first we feel like foreigners struggling to find our way without a map. After a while, though, we begin to struggle less until finally we find a new place to call home, we learn the new language, and we have keener, sharper eyesight in which to view life's beauty.

If you are struggling today in the land of sorrow, hold on and continue putting one foot forward until you find your place of level ground. Trust that as you travel this often lonely path, you will find others along the way who will reach out and help you. They will speak your language, and you will no longer feel alone.

You will be filled with new hope each day until finally your small flicker will turn into a sunbeam of hope that will light the way for you from the dark path of sorrow into the healing light of new-found peace and inner joy!

A thought: "Yes, things are different now, but they will get better! Hope is alive, and will lead the way!" -- Clara Hinton

"Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul." --Psalm 54:4

NOTE: It is my sincere hope that you've found a bit of sunshine in these words. Visit often as I continue to all hopeful messages, thoughts, and Scriptures.

Clara Hinton

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Getting through Mother's Day during Child Loss

Mother’s Day will soon be here, and while that day is an awesome day of celebration for some, it is also one of the most painful days of the year to get through for the many mothers who are living with the heartache of child loss.

I have been a mother in grief. Twenty-two years ago on Mother’s Day I was carrying my son who was to be born in July. Instead, I found out that he had died inside of me, and I spent Mother’s Day carrying my little boy knowing that his heart had stopped beating forever. He was delivered “still” on the Thursday following Mother’s Day.

Having “been there”, I can tell you that there is no right or wrong way to approach Mother’s Day when grieving. Do what is best for you, and don’t spend countless hours trying to please others around you. If you want to take a walk among nature to reflect, then do it. If you want to skip family meals and all reminders of Mother’s Day, then do it. And, remember that you don’t owe the world an explanation. This is one time when it’s necessary to be selfish in your actions. You know what is best for you, and this is a time to take care of yourself.

Remembering your child is a very personal thing, and you might find that others will not remember, or if they do remember your child, they might not mention your child by name. Others don’t like to see us cry, so they avoid the obvious. “My child isn’t here, and I’m in pain.” Cry. Journal. Scream. Sleep. Light a candle. Release a balloon. Write a poem in memory of your child. All of these are ways to “get through Mother’s Day” when you are missing your child. Again, this is very personal. Do what is best for YOU to get through.

Lastly, remember that this day will pass. You will make it, and when you do you will have accomplished a big step in your journey we call healing. – Clara Hinton

“My child, I love you, and I always will.” --Clara Hinton

“In the day of my trouble I shall call upon Thee, for Thou wilt answer me.” --Psalm 86:7

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hope is an Amazing, Powerful Strength!

In our grief, sometimes we feel so isolated and alone that we feel we’ve been singled out. While our grief is unique and is totally ours, we do belong to a family of people traveling that same difficult journey called grief. Many times, we need to remind ourselves of this or we can sink into a hole of despair that is so dark and lonely that we cannot find the light of day.

Grief is unique, but it is also universal. I cannot feel the same intensity of pain as you, but I can offer you encouragement through my pain. We have not been left alone even though there are times in our walking with grief that it feels that way.

How can I cope? How can I get through this day, or even this hour when I feel this alone? It often helps to walk among nature and to see the communion we have with all of life. Soak up the beauty of the flowers and trees and birds, the sky, and all of nature. Our heavenly Father has not left us alone in our darkest hours. He is near, and He will give us rest from the weariness of pain and grief if only we will lean on Him. If He cares for every detail of nature, does He not care more deeply for us?

Hope is an amazing, powerful strength that lies within us. For a while, it lays dormant after a loss, but then slowly our hope is ignited and it grows in proportion to our belief an understanding that we have not been left alone. Hope heals. Hope comforts. Hope helps us look to the future with eyes no longer clothed in tears but with peace! --C. Hinton

“In this life, I am never alone. Hope bathes my heart in peace, and comforts me every hour of every day!” --Clara Hinton

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” --Psalm 23:1-3a