Thanksgiving–Not as Seen Before

~~ by tkbrown — ≥∑
Thanksgiving--not as seen  before--
limiting self to hearth and home,
mask mandates anywhere you roam,
restricting groups to ten--no more--
if they gather behind closed door.
Thanksgiving--not as seen before.

The turkey--much smaller than last year--
roast and wrap with cornbread dressing.
Taunted taste buds dream of tasting--
sometimes an apple in the core
with spices, onion cut into four.
Thanksgiving--not as seen before.

Social distance is still the chant.
Some adhere while others ignore.
Dangerous surges, death counts soar--
no reason for fare to be scant.
Come one, come all--uncle and aunt.
Thanksgiving--not as seen before.

"Turkey, dressing," the constant rant--
green beans, yams, casseroles galore,
cranberry relish, pies and more.
Tasty morsels making one pant--
food is now ready, plates are sent.
Thanksgiving--not as seen before.

Some of us will abide the score
set forth by those in government
rather than risk that rudiment--
the viral germ outside the door
ruining life for the party goer.
Thanksgiving--not as seen before.

Giving thanks is the sentiment--
bonding infused with leaden ore--
the hearts of some recall the gore,
prefer to emit resentment
for losses, lives that have been bent.
Thanksgiving--not as seen before.

How to give thanks midst all the grief?
How to make mem'ries that will soar
amidst COVID's hellacious war?
How to move past and find relief,
giving thanks, not able to share?
Thanksgiving--not as seen before.

Faith doth answer, provides an oar.
It builds a raft when hearts are rent,
He is your tabernacle tent.
Row to Him, cling to His harbor,
tell Him your sorrow--aching sore.
Thanksgiving--not as seen before.

Let Him hold you, secure though bent.
Place your worries there in His care.
His love will reduce wear and tear
and calm each tempest you lament.
Peace so serene when we can vent.
Thanksgiving--not as seen before.

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Background Photo Above: by monicore @ pixabay.com.

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Heading Words Adaptation on Background Photo Above: by tkbrown – ≥∑.

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My Morning Do . . . Grief and Depression

~~ by tkbrown

25 September 2020 — A few days ago, I discussed the reality of grieving not only individually but also as a society. Depression is an important part of grieving because how you cope with your depression determines the extent to which you and those around you are impacted by all stages of loss and grieving. Depression slows you down and requires that you face the loss. Denial, anger, and bargaining typically precede depression, but in societal grief there may be no way to predict how society, or individuals, will progress through the stages. So, we must develop compassion and tolerance for the suffering.

However, we must also draw a line to stop the violence and mayhem assault on others–it is not a part of grieving. Creating more grief does not resolve your own suffering or that of anyone else. It causes post-traumatic-stress disorder for all victims. Do not kid yourself! Those inflicting the harm are not the sufferers. There should be swift legal action and reparations against all who cause harm to another person or to another person’s property.

When the coronavirus hit, individuals began grieving the loss of family and friends. Those losses were not a long time in coming. Some had only a day or two of illness in the family member or friend before death caused a forever separation. Loved ones in the hospital were unable to see family and friends face to face due to the contagious aspect of the pandemic and self-quarantining required by our expert health officials. Some were able to talk on the phone with a loved one, but many could not arrange this contact due to the loved one being too ill to talk. As if these atrocities were not enough, the loved on died without being able to get a hug or hear the words “I Love You!” in a face to face visit. Some were even unable to arrange a funeral due to the virus. No technological contact can ever replace the healing power of face to face care and love.

Those who did have loved ones who survived were still not able to see them due to “stay at home” restrictions on society. The loved one may have continued to suffer problems from the illness after recovery. He or she may still be suffering. The long term impact of having the coronavirus is still being learned. How does one help a loved one when it is not possible to be there in person. The problems associated with the illness and or loss of a loved one only scrape the tip of the iceberg in dealing with losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Many have lost jobs because of the contagion causing too much illness in the workplace and decisions to close in an attempt to prevent the spread. Some were fortunate enough to be able to transfer work responsibilities to home via online portals. This provided some relief from the stressors involved, but not for all. Job losses presented the problem of not enough money for food, housing, utilities, clothing for growing children (some can grow several sizes in two to three months). The food assistance, rental protection, work position furloughs, extra unemployment compensation, student loan deferrals, and other forms of assistance provided by the federal government helped keep many from falling through the holes in the sidewalk. Others, who had no benefit of unemployment may have been buying a home instead of renting. How was this to be managed? So many question with no answers because no one can predict how long this will continue.

Add to these, the fact that a lack of immune response safety means visiting family members and friends has been largely rendered impossible unless you live close to them. Even in this situation, it must be limited in duration and frequency due to the risk of passing the virus to each other. Social distancing and face masks are another adjustment when in groups. Thrust into these restrictions without warning, without a plan for addressing the contagion or the ramification it presented–because nothing like this has ever happened before–having to keep children home from school, daycare, sports, church and visiting friends have all taken a major toll on everyone.

Shopping for groceries, cleaning and hygiene supplies, personal care products, and other essentials became a major challenge. Frequency of shopping excursions had to be greatly reduced and when in the stores many products were sold out. Production plants had been closed due to too many afflicted by the virus.

Only essential services were allowed to remain in service unless the work could be done 100% online. Some of these situations are historical firsts. They, in some ways, resemble when the Black Plague ravaged Europe, when the flu of 1918 ravaged the world, and when the Great Depression of the 1930s oppressed people everywhere. How does society go on? We have gone on here in America, and we have–so far–survived one day at a time, thanks to our Presidential Administration in Washington D.C. and to our Representatives and Senators both State and National. Even with all of the loss, and grieving, the world is surviving. This will be recorded in history books as a time of recovery even as the virile pandemic ravaged the world. The problems we are facing are normal for the extent of loss and grieving in the world. Everyone, every town, every state, every nation is suffering continuing loss and grieving. What is normal? What is not? When will it all end?

Depression is common amidst society throughout the world at present–with everyone suffering for the same or similar reasons. There are some who suffer chronic depression who should be monitored by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a counselor. This is due to the need for some to take antidepressants and to be monitored for problems needing special support–especially during this time of great loss. Those not needing professional assistance to wade through the daily muck are also suffering depression to some degree due to loss and grieving. No one is immune–no one will make it through this pandemic without being personally impacted in some way. This is called reactional depression. It is normal depression which occurs during times of major adjustment to loss. It is a part of the grieving process. No, it is not considered the “first stage” of grieving, but I would suggest there are some who become depressed on the first day of grieving–whatever the loss. Some work through other stages first, but with everyone in the world affected by this loss and grieving process, the stages of grief are going to vary greatly, and some will be working on more than one stage at a time. The overlap will vary but it will be there.

There is a tendency to minimize suffering associated with grief because the suffering is not seen. People go on with life unless they are overwhelmed by the losses. The same applies to societal losses and grieving. It is minimized. How soon did we see people breaking the call to self-quarantine and limit group gatherings to less than ten persons. Some were gathering in larger groups the first week even though each gathering caused spikes in the local number of people who contracted the virus.

We have death and dying all around us, and some said during the first week: “We have to move on!” “We will not be imprisoned in our own homes!” “We will not be told what we can and cannot do!” No concern existed for the safety and lives of others involved. So, the deaths and losses mounted–one upon the other. I would suggest the levels of depression in many individuals–while a natural response to the situation–are phenomenal. Thus, I have decided to discuss depression. This will require several posts to address concerns and to make suggestions for coping with loss and grieving–your own, or that of someone you love and /or care about. If you have need for coverage of some specific area of grieving and loss, and do not see it covered in the next several posts, please place a request in the comment section with a ping-back to your blog so I can address it.

Blessings to all during this time of great oppression!

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Photo Above: by pen_ash at pixabay.com.

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My Morning Do . . . “Logical Reasoning”

~~ by tkbrown

15 September 2020 — While social distancing, by design, necessitates families spending more time together, time spent playing board games and other games strengthen a number of skills needed throughout life. Card games, checkers, Monopoly, Dominoes, Scrabble, and myriad others available for purchase online and in stores require players to look, listen communicate, and act. Decision making plays a large role in winning and losing.

In order to win at a game and in life, rules must be followed. It is necessary to pay attention to what is being done by all players. Math skills are needed in Dominoes, cards, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and others. Thus, when daily chores are completed, sit down together and play games. Communication skills improve because individuals discuss more when sitting together than when each is off doing his or her own thing.

It is imperative to be able to go out and function solo, but success also requires the ability to interact with others in a productive manner. Family mealtimes is an ideal time to increase discussion about the day’s events and any lingering concerns. Even when not spending so much time together, it is important to try and have one meal each day together. Sometimes this may require getting up a bit earlier, making breakfast for everyone so this can occur with all family members sitting around a table or in the same room eating and talking with no distractions.

When the pandemic is over, it will be important to continue these activities with family. Thus, you will be able to influence patterns of behavior with regard to decision making, problem resolution, communication skills, working–and playing–together. Television time and individual computer time can be adjusted to make time for these activities thereby teaching time management. All activities taken together as a family improve abilities to function in activities away from family. So, do not just work together at home, play together too!

Have a Blessed Day!

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Photo Above: by Tai’s Captures @Unsplash.com.

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My Morning Do . . . “Pleasant Words”

~~ by tkbrown

12 September 2020 — Soft words spoken, when harsh words are expected, are often visibly appreciated. The look of surprise alone can be fuel to continue using soft words rather than berating the offender. I have always been one to readily forgive an offence. It just was not typically worth the effort or the time it took to argue the issue. Now, I am not always the best of persons when it comes to my words of offense. There have been times when I argued the point to the nth degree, but mostly I have always tended to allow the other person his or her view on the topic.

One day, I was reading in Proverbs and came across some scripture to support this approach. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” (NKJV). It is so true. I thought on the times when I had argued the point. Either I or the other person left the discussion upset. Untended anger can be a detriment to health. It can cause elevated blood pressure, which in turn can cause myriad other problems if it is a frequent occurrence.

On the other hand, Proverbs 16:24 says, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones,” (NKJV). When I read these scriptures, I began making a conscious effort to not get angry without a truly just reason, and I began checking myself to ensure I replied with pleasant words. This scripture prompted a more in-depth study of problems associated with off-the-cuff comments and the unbridled tongue in general. One can create so many problems for self and others simply because the tongue is left unchecked. If a wholesome tongue is “a tree of life,” I wonder that this lesson is not taught more often.

Needless to say, these and other scriptures have taught me the importance of “thinking before I speak.” The good news is I do not have to make amends by apologizing for an errant tongue as often as before. This is a “major blessing” because I am so ashamed when I have to atone for this or that pain caused by my mouth. Also, others are not angry with me when I speak with pleasant words. Earlier in the week, I wrote about “gossip” and the harm done by it. Have you ever dealt with this in yourself or someone else? If so, would you please comment below and let us know how you approached the situation?

Just some food for thought as social distancing continues, and we are inside with family more.

Have a Blessed Day!

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Scriptures above are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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Photo Above: by kangbch @ pixabay.com.

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Calendar Quindecims — September 2020

by tkbrown

September is a  time to look ahead
planning completion of special projects,
mapping special meals for the holidays,
budgeting gifts, shopping, buying no rejects
while looking at winter travel options.
Safety, facemasks, verifying inspects
upon arrival; social distancing guides
for compliance, and monitor prefect,
fees for each fractured crime come into play.
Each will effect memory time collects,
trying to normalize every aspect.
Ads for Christmas appear early this year,
already here as if adding some cheer,
and carols will play when the day draws near.

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Image Above: by Lena Helfinger @ pixabay.com.

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Summertime 2020

~~ a quindecim
by tkbrown
Summertime! Summertime! So glad you're here!
Apricity, grilling, picnics galore
help us appreciate you soooo much more
as Covid-19 has brought most everyone fear.
Warm weather activities all around
entice forbidden choice which does abound--
water sports, basking in alluring sun--
have beaches packed along gulf, bay, ocean.
Rivers and lakes add boating, fishing too;
camping, floating, rafting, a gumbo roux
and not a few more add to the allure--
such a tempting lot most do adore.
Social distancing does not fit the scheme,
nor does the nightmarish midnight dream
of sickness and death, the 'wakening scream.'

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Image Above: Seascape, Sailboating by Francine Sreca @pixabay.com.

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Devotional: Social Distancing

Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)

“‘For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.'”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

These are trying times for people of the faith as well as for those not of the faith. People who are accustomed to attending worship services on Sundays are longing for those days to return. Those who violate the guidelines of no more than 10 in a gathering are frequently penalized by law enforcement. How do we balance our obligation to attend church services?

I encourage you to remember the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:20 (above). Here, Jesus knew there would be trying times when large gatherings could not meet. In fact, the disciples went through some of those times. Christians were despised by many during the first century AD. They usually met–either in the catacombs beneath the city, or they would meet house to house. This allowed them to meet in smaller groups–making them less conspicuous. The Emperor Nero was among the Roman rulers who persecuted the Christians. The apostle Peter died during Nero’s heinous rule.

So, take heart during these troubled times, and meet in small groups. Worship house to house like they did after Christ’s death. Just be very careful to ensure that social distancing is practiced. Even with these precautions, you still may contaminate others. If you are an asymptomatic carrier, you may not even know you are infecting others. If you are comfortable with the online, media worship, this is the safest procedure. If not, then please practice social distancing, and meet in small groups. This can be done under the direction of church leadership. I have seen it done. It can work.

I pray that Christians everywhere abide by the restrictions COVID-19 is placing upon us. I ask that God allow us to meet in small groups practicing social distancing in order not to infect others. I pray that God give us strength to learn the lessons intended by these troubling times and make us stronger Christians in better servitude to each other as we serve Him after these times are over. May God Bless and Keep all who practice the faith in Christ Jesus according to Christ’s teachings. I ask all in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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Image above: by Hannah Busing on Unsplash.com

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