Have you ever had a month or two that felt like just a few days … and blurry days at that? That’s what August and September have felt like to me. So while today I have a devotion running on Encouragement for Today, and I want to welcome visitors who are stopping in, I also want to share a bit of personal information with my regular readers … those who faithfully read my blog, post loving comments and pray for me.
Don’t think I’ve forgotten about the special giveaway of my friend Tracie’s book. And boy-howdy is it a perfect match for my life right now. Make sure you read how to enter to win at the end of this post.
I’ve had a lot going on these past two months, but I haven’t been able to share much of it. First because I had scheduled a back-to-school series and needed to honor that commitment. Then because I’ve been overwhelmed with family needs. Actually August started off great. I’d been planning a special mother-daughter trip to Scotland for over a year to take my mom to the Edinburgh Tattoo. We are Sinclairs, and there’s just something about the sound of bagpipes when you’ve got Scottish blood in you!
Although we had a great time together, we came home to some very sad news. My oldest sister, Helen Ann Ferrel, was having some undiagnosed neurological symptoms. In July she had a small lung cancer removed, and we knew it had spread to her lymph nodes. We kept our trip plans because she was doing well and recovering nicely from surgery. She was to start chemo in
September, but what none of us knew, including the doctors until just a few days before her death, was that her cancer was aggressive. And what had initially seemed like unrelated symptoms was in fact cancer.
We all dropped everything to be at her side and on August 31st my beautiful big sister passed away. The funeral was the next week, and for the past few weeks it feels like I couldn’t get traction under my feet. If you’ve ever gone through grief you know what I mean.
My sister leaves a huge hole in our family. She was an amazing wife, mother and grandmother – totally devoted to her family above all. She inspired me to set aside the dishes and play with my children, and to always remember that relationships are more important than projects.
In the midst of dealing with this loss, I’ve had the normal pressures of life, and of course a month of work that got set aside for family. So, how does all this fit in with my devotion today? I’m not sure it does. Excepting that I’m convinced of one thing: we need each other to show the love of Jesus, every day, especially in the hard times.
I’ve met some people these past few months who have held tight to Jesus’ teaching. Here are just a few examples:
- The friend who showed up at the hospital with a platter of sandwiches, a case of water, and some gel heel pads for my mother (who was having heel pain).
- The pastor and his wife who opened their home to us, gave us the keys to the front door, and left the keys to the car in case we needed it.
- Church members who brought tray after tray of food to feed the family members who poured in from all over.
- My friends at P31 who told me to drop everything and they would pick up the slack.
And the list could go on. We need each other to follow Jesus’ example … to step into each other’s pain, to reach out and touch with kindness, and sometimes to just show up and grieve alongside us. We live in a world that’s filled with heartache, and fear, and loneliness and grief. There’s only One who can make a difference, and I’m so thankful for brothers and sisters who choose to learn from Jesus and follow His teaching.
Now, there’s one more thing I want to do. And that’s to share a book that can make a difference in your stressful times. In fact, my friend Tracie Miles is one who has learned from Jesus, and models His love consistently. Today I am celebrating the release of her newest book, “Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World” by giving away a copy.
To enter, please post a comment related to the topic of my devotion or how someone was Jesus to you in a hard time, or really anything. Just leave a comment on my blog before Sunday at 8 p.m. EST (please don’t hit reply if you are reading this in an email, as it won’t enter you in the contest) and I’ll select a winner and announce it on Monday.
If you don’t win Tracie’s book on my blog, I hope you’ll consider buying it. And you might want to do so next week. Between October 2nd and October 7th Tracie is doing a special promotion, where anyone who buys her book during that week will receive 7 free gifts. You can read more on her book website : www.stressedlessliving.com.
Thanks so much for joining me today, and for sharing in a bit of my life.