Good morning! After a rather lengthy hiatus, the Refocusing Widows blog is back! Before I launch into today’s topic, permit me a moment of “creative license” to share with you why I haven’t been writing blog posts recently. I believe we left off with my granddaughter’s wedding in Florida on April 13th. She was the first of the grandkids to marry, but certainly won’t be the last! I was somewhat surprised and a little caught off guard by how much I missed Dave’s presence at that wedding. It was definitely one of those moments that blindsided me emotionally.

Shortly after that, we had another momentous family occasion! Grandson #2, Peter, graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. So, of course, almost the entire family gathered again to share in that week of events with him. It proved to be another time that I couldn’t help wishing Grandpa had been there with us. But, as we’ve all learned, life moves on, and we celebrate the family occasions that are filled with life and joy and anticipation of wonderful things to come. The reality of the moment is always more exciting than dwelling on what we wish were true!

Upon returning to Omaha, I found myself immersed in writing Facilitator Guides, Participant Workbooks, Widow Talks Workbooks, Facilitator Training, strategic plans, newsletters, learning a new design platform, filing piles of papers, and dealing with all the other everyday events of life. So, at last I am able to “set pen to paper”, so to speak, to share some blog thoughts with you. (A big thanks to those of you who have asked “Where are the blogs?”)

Today I want to talk for a few minutes about the significance of writing…yes, writing. Some of us are natural-born writers, and probably natural-born talkers! Others find this activity nothing short of pure torture and tend to avoid it at all costs. Before there was written language, what was there?

I recently finished reading the two-volume biography of Elisabeth Eliott. This amazing work documents the story of her life in the jungle of Ecuador, figuring out sounds and intonations, and creating a written form of that dialect from absolutely nothing. Another friend who worked many years with Wycliffe Translators has done the same in an entirely different part of the world. These people are truly gifted of God to create a written language from only sounds that can serve as a vehicle for spreading the Gospel. Thinking along this vein, let’s take a look at why having a written language is so important.

Written records are a way to preserve the Scriptures and important historical documents. Jeremiah 30:2 says, “This is what the LORD … says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.’” There are many places in the scripture where we see God telling people to write things down. Through their obedience, we now have access to the Old and New Testament Scriptures. Almost half of the New Testament is comprised of letters and journals to churches and individuals, documenting both the ministry of Jesus and the travels of the Apostles. Without their meticulous record-keeping, we would be without the foundational teachings of the Gospel and what we know about God.

It has been said that historians record events, but the soul of a nation is recorded in its letters and diaries. Pioneers kept journals and wrote letters back home, leaving us a permanent record of what life in a wagon train, or on the South Dakota prairie was like. We only know what that life was like because someone wrote it down and shared their process of living.

Letters during war times helped families to stay in touch. Soldiers in the trenches during every major war have been encouraged because of letters they received from home.

Courts have stenographers to record every word of testimony spoken in the courtroom. Kings and Pharaohs had scribes who faithfully wrote down every transaction in the throne room, every gift of tribute brought, and every decree that was spoken by the King. As in the story of Esther, these things were sometimes very important for the King to go back and review!

By now you’re probably asking what all this has to do with being a widow and walking through grief. Journalling your feelings and experiences during the grief journey can provide a deep healing for your heart. Your personal journal becomes a place where you can pour out all the things that you feel and think…all the things you may not even say out loud to anyone. A journal that is kept faithfully over a period of months or years can provide a significant roadmap to your personal grief journey.

We can measure our healing by looking back through the pages of our grief, as we’ve poured it out and processed it through. We can be encouraged by the times we wrote about things we’re grateful for. As we read those thoughts we’ve written along the way, we may feel tiny sparks of joy popping up here and there. Reading back through those journal pages reminds us of things that we experienced, things God provided for us, and helps us to see how far we’ve come since those very first days of shock. Reading through that journal can remind you of things that God has said to you and promises that He has made during this difficult time.

If you haven’t done this yet, I’d encourage you to get a new journal and make it a goal to fill it up by the end of the year. As you record your thoughts and prayers and progress, you’ll be able to see so clearly where God has been at work to help you thrive in these years of being a widow. Some would call these their “Mourning” pages, but we like to call them our “Morning” pages!

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome here or you can email me at If you’re looking for a new purpose and a pathway to move ahead, please consider joining one of our Refocusing Widows groups, either in person or online. We look forward to meeting you!

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