How to receive when you want to give

Sometimes it’s easier to give love than receive it…

“It is better to give than to receive.”

This is an oft-quoted-out-of-context verse at Christmas time and birthdays, particularly from adults to their children.

Yet often it begs the question: what if you can’t give? Is receiving only second best?

What if you feel like you do all the receiving and none of the giving?

Not all of us are positioned to ‘give’ at all times, in all places. Or sometimes when we do give, our gifts end up being more a hindrance rather than a blessing. What then?

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Help! My sick friend is not very sick…

When your sick friend is not so sick…

Our Loved One is too healthy.

On the surface this doesn’t really seem like an issue, does it? More like an answer to prayer!

And yet, I’d like to propose it can be a problem too. As we Watchers know, chronic illness is unremitting, that’s the nature of it. But the reality is, chronic illness, like everything has it’s ups and downs. Some days are better than others, some weeks are worse. Sometimes we can joke and other times all we can do is cry.

This ebb and flow is good. It helps us survive. It brings us hope, it gives us relief. But it can also be a hard reality to communicate.

‘How is your Loved One?’ Someone asks.

‘Not well,’ you say.

‘Oh, but I saw them at the grocery shop the other day, they looked so good!’

This, my friends, is why it can be just as hard when our loved one is well as when they are not.

Continue reading “Help! My sick friend is not very sick…”

Is it always right to ‘bear’ someone else’s ‘burden’?

How do you deal with the pressure to ‘choose right’?

Is there anyone in your life who is dependent on you?

Sooner or later most of us want to sit down and plan our future, or at least make a “five-year plan”. Yet if you are a caregiver, this can be difficult.

The Bible tells us to “bear each other’s burdens.” (Galatians 6:2) – But, when those burdens interfere with your personal goals, are you allowed to set them aside? Is it possible to love your sick family member, and at the same time plan a future for yourself?

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Talking about suffering: When we miss our chance to have the conversation

Some days we just can’t find the words in time…

I know I should talk about it,

I want to talk about it,

I planned to talk about it,

I prepared to talk about it…

But I missed my chance.

Am I a failure?

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Talking about suffering: Why answering ‘That Question’ is so difficult

‘Why does God allow suffering?’ if you find that question daunting – well, you should!

Are you a chatterbox?

Although I’ve written before about thinking before talking, and even (on occasion!) not speaking at all, the truth is…

I rather like talking.

Bring up ‘Sherlock Holmes’, the latest book you’ve read, or something God’s been teaching you… and chances are, I won’t be closing my mouth for a while.

Yet there are other topics which are less guaranteed to set off an avalanche of words. I suspect it’s the same for you.

I also suspect that one of these might be: ‘why does God allow suffering?’

It’s an important question – so why do we find it so difficult to talk about?

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Talking about suffering: When NOT to answer The Question

Questions require answers… but only sometimes..

Some questions should not be answered.

This is not because they are silly or childish (there’s no such thing as a stupid question, remember?)

Or because they are too difficult.

Or even because the answer is too scary.

No, the only reason you should not answer a question is when you have something to offer that is more important.

But what’s more important than an answer?

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Talking about suffering: Why pure motives don’t always make things right

Is the ‘right’ answer always the most appropriate?

Today’s post is the first in a series of articles called ‘Talking about Suffering’…

Why am I sick?

Will I ever get better?

What am I supposed to be doing with my life?

It can take courage to ask these questions. But sometimes, it can take even more courage to answer them.

Talking about suffering is hard! (how do you know what to say?)

Figuring out the truths about illness, suffering and the big problems of life is difficult.

It’s a different sort of hard when you are not sick yourself. How often do you feel helpless in the face of such questions? How often do you feel ill-equipped to answer your sick friend’s frustrations?

Even if you ‘know’ the right response (whether that’s an answer, rebuke or piece of advice) you might not know ‘how’ to say it.

Is this you? It’s often me!

Continue reading “Talking about suffering: Why pure motives don’t always make things right”