Reminder Grief

Memorial Day began as a day of remembrance for those who gave their life in service to their country. Over the years, it has become a holiday to remember and honor our dead, whether they served in the military or not.

Holidays are days we celebrate, but they can also lead to a wave of grief because they remind us of family who are no longer here. Counselors sometimes call this “anniversary grief” since it can be triggered by the anniversary of our loved one’s death or by other special days throughout the year. A favorite restaurant, vacation place or even a certain smell may also act as a trigger. This wave of emotion can carry with it all the same feelings and reactions as your original grief. It does not mean you have regressed in the healing process.

Simply knowing anniversary grief may occur can help prepare you to positively and effectively handle it. It may last a day or weeks. Grief has no time limit. Denying how you feel will keep you from moving forward with healing and may intensify your loss. Instead, acknowledge your emotions and allow yourself to process them. As you remember your loved one throughout the year, rather than focus on your loss ponder the good times and special memories you created together.

For further reading on coping with grief, visit

Debra L. Butterfield © 2011

Kick Start Your Dreams

Three Super-Simple Kick Start Living Your Dreams – in the next 15 minutes
By Kathi Lipp

Is there a dream that God has given you, but you are waiting until the kids are grown and you have money in the bank before you get started?

You may not be able to enroll in a month long pastry making class or take a week off of work to get started on your novel, but today you can take three little baby steps to making your dream a day-to-day reality.

1. Go Public with It
It’s a little scary to tell the world what you want to do when you grow up—but this is one little step could get you closer to living your dream than almost any other. Plus—it takes very little time and you don’t have to raid your kid’s college fund to make it happen.

When you gather up all your courage and tell your best friend, “I want to learn how to paint,” suddenly she remembers an old art book she has laying around she would love to give you, or her friend from church who teaches art classes. The people you know and love want to be a resource. Give them the privilege of being a part of making your dream happen.

2. Join an Online Group
This is one of the simplest—and cheapest—ways to start exploring your passion. Find out who else is talking about restoring antiques and listen to their conversation. Start by Googling your interest along with the term “online groups.” You will be amazed with the number of people who want to talk about the proper way to care for 1950’s lunchboxes as much as you do.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Pray
I remember the first time I put an offer in on a house—I wanted it more than I had wanted almost anything else in my life. While I knew that I had dozens of other people praying on my behalf, I was too scared to pray.

I didn’t want God to tell me no. I was afraid to pray until my co-worker Kim asked me (in a loving, kind way), why I didn’t believe that God wanted His best for me. Don’t be afraid to pray—as with anything amazing in my life, the path is never what I expected, but it has always been obvious that God’s hand has been on it the whole way.

Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, serves as food writer for Nickelodeon, and has had articles published in several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults. See: