Honoring Our Fallen

Memorial Day

Arlington National Cemetery, Courtesy of morguefile.com

A day we’re called to remember.

This is not a day to wish everyone a happy day, it is a day to pause, reflect, and remember.

Who Is In The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

Approved by Congress in 1921, this monument holds the remains of four unknown soldiers representing:

  • World War I
  • World War II
  • The Korean War
  • The Vietnam War

With today’s technology, it’s become easier to identify soldiers’ remains.

Courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Which US war suffered the most casualties?

In order of casualties they are:

  • The Civil War:  500,000+
  • World War II: 400,000+
  • World War I: 100,000+
  • The Vietnam War: 58,200

Gettysburg Courtesy of pixabay.com

No matter the war, no matter the numbers

we honor the men and women

who gave their lives

for our freedom.

Remembering the Forgotten Mothers

Courtesy of Pixabay.com

This weekend, we celebrate Mother’s Day. I never look forward to it because few of mine have gone well.

Instead of whining about why my Mother’s Days aren’t fun, I’d rather help my readers notice the mothers who get sidelined or find it hard to enjoy this day.

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
Psalm 68:5

As you remember your mother, wife, grandparents, or any other women in your life who answer to “Mom” please try to share a kind thought or blessing with any you know who are:

Single Moms: Most children learn to celebrate Mother’s Day through their fathers. Without a father to guide them, they don’t recognize the importance of this day.

Military Wives:  These women have the same problem as single parents if their husbands are deployed.

Stepmothers: They get a bad wrap thanks to fairy tales. Any woman who willingly marries a man with children does so with plans to embrace the lives of those children. That doesn’t mean those children remember them on Mother’s Day.

Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren: Most of them did not sign up for this. They’ve already parented one generation of children and were not anticipating doing it again.

Mothers Who Have Lost Their Children: I can’t begin to imagine the pain they experience.

Mothers Whose Children Don’t Contact Them: Estrangement from a child hurts. This is that little baby they carried and doted on.

Mothers Whose Children Live Too Far Away: They tend to understand the problems brought on by distance, but it still makes for a lonely Mother’s Day.

Women Who Have Lost Their Mothers: It’s been three years since I lost my mom and shopping for Mother’s Day cards is bittersweet. I, always, find the perfect one for her.

I’m sure there are other women who belong on this list. Find them and wish them a good day. If you have time or the means, treat them to lunch or a mani-pedi or give them a break from the kids for a few hours. They will appreciate it more than you know.

Houses Divided at Christmas

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many people suffer from depression during the Christmas season. Some are experiencing their first Christmas after a loved one has died. Others worry about the family dynamic on Christmas day–Will Uncle Ralph pick a fight?  Will Cousin Sarah get drunk? For others, the limitations of getting everyone together can create stress and disappointment.

Anyone who’s divorced with children knows the heartache of Christmas. Where will the children be? How do we divide up the time? As the children grow up, marry, and start their own families, it becomes even harder. Which family will they spend Christmas with? Who will we have to leave out? Add to this married children of divorce who have married a child of divorce, and the problem is staggering.

Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three… Luke 12:51-52

Even though these verses don’t refer to this specific situation, this is another example of why divorce is not God’s plan. We are facing it, ourselves. After many years of Christmases with most of our family gathered together, we’ve hit an interesting crossroads. One child is saving her money to come home for a wedding in April, instead. The others are headed to various family members’ homes, just not ours. Aging parents can’t make the trip.

I know Christmas is not about who is where. It’s about the birth of Christ, and the world’s awareness of God’s gift of salvation. It’s a time of blessings.

But it’s also a time when families gather together.

So, we will be trying out new traditions this year. New ways of approaching the day. On the plus side, we won’t have to rush to get dressed and get the turkey in the oven before family arrives. We can take it slower. And we will see most everyone over the next week. We get a prolonged Christmas.

Someone you know is facing a Christmas alone or separated from loved ones. Reach out to them, share with them your lives, and, most importantly, share the story of Jesus and the hope he brings.