Give Yourself A Gift

Give yourself a gift to lighten your load in life and live a healthier more fulfilling life.

Give Yourself A Gift for Christmas

Hello.  I got some really nice encouragement from a couple people at church this morning.  Genuine encouragement, from people of faith that I don’t necessarily talk to every week.  The message was something to the effect that I’m making a positive difference in their life by being who I am and doing what I do.

I know I’m special {and I know at least half of you are laughing right now and thinking of a joke about pork}.  I also know that we’re all special.  I hope that you use your talents {which are different for each of us} to make somebody else’s life a little brighter this Christmas season.

There have been some challenging changes on the farm in the past couple months that lead to my family selling our milk cows.  I’ve thought many times how different life would look if Mark, my late husband, was still alive as we’ve endured the challenges.  I accept that he’s gone from our lives in the flesh and blood kind of way.

I think it’s in the hardest times that we really miss people.  This has been a hard time for me…character building, gut checking, good blogging material kind of stuff.  So maybe you’ll hear about some of it this winter.

The preacher talked about letting go this morning, letting go when kids leave the nest, letting go when people leave the path, and letting go when people leave the earth.  I appreciated the message.  I think it hit some people really hard.  So many have so recently lost loved ones or maybe not worked through the feelings of losses long ago.

I noted that burying grief is not a good way to deal with it, because that’s not dealing with it of course.  So maybe you can give yourself a gift this Christmas {which might be a very valuable gift to those around you as well}.  I encourage you to look within yourself and deal with something that you haven’t yet.  The bigger the pain, the harder to overcome sure, but the more challenging the victory when you do!

And an unscientific personal opinion of mine suggests that eating more properly cooked pork is another strategy for self-improvement.  Hey, I was just trying to end on a laugh, this was pretty serious stuff.

More Articles on Tough Topics

Ten Years After Becoming a Young Widow shares bits of my journey and healing process.

There are many How to Remember Loved Ones and here are a couple ideas from my experiences.

Becoming healthy and whole is always my goal.  Here are thoughts on How to Help Grieving People Become Healthy & Whole.


  1. Jen, I really love this post. Thank you for writing it. I’ve been guilty of piling on work instead of dealing quite a bit lately. I say its what keeps me moving but sometimes I wonder if continued movement is the right thing. Maybe a moment to stop movement is what we all need.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I do believe that we are healthier when we work on healing.

  2. zweberfarms says:

    Hello Jen,
    I have been thinking about this post since it hit my inbox this afternoon. Our priest also talked about letting go today. His message was about fasting. We sometimes have to fast to make room for Christ to enter our hearts. How can we let Christ in if we have so much “stuff.” Whether it is emotional or actually physical “stuff” we have let go and prepare our hearts for the coming. It was really beautiful and your post just tied it all together. Thank you and God Bless!

    1. I’ve never thought of fasting as making room. That makes sense to me. I really appreciate you sharing that!

  3. Karen Davis says:

    “Hello” from Iowa! I loved your post and wanted to thank you for sharing it. You offer just the right blend of humor and serious messages. And, I love the plug about pork, too. Take care!! — Karen Davis

    1. What’s up Karen? Thanks for the comment! I saw your picture this spring in a Taste of Home magazine or online maybe as I was exhibiting during the tradeshow with the pork council.
      Great to hear from you! I hope things are well in Iowa for you!

    2. Yes – I’ve been demonstrating for Taste of Home. We had two fun pork recipes this fall. I’m done traveling for the cooking schools and thankful to be back home for the holiday season. I have your blog bookmarked! It is always fun to read. Take care and keep up the great work!

  4. Mary J. Fleming says:

    I spent time this last week in the hospital, completely unplanned and now driving some real serious thought about what’s next. I’m looking forward to following your comments.

    1. I just prayed for strength, wisdom, discernment and patience for you. I will continue to pray. Thank you for the encouragement to keep posting.

  5. Jen, this post is beautiful. It hits home in a very real sort of way. I can’t even begin to express how much I empathize and identify with the emotions mentioned in this post. Thank you so much for sharing.

    You really are an amazing woman with a lot to share, and the more I work with you on agvocacy projects and get to know you personally, the clearer that fact becomes.

    Thank you, and I hope you have a beautiful holiday season this year.

  6. Jen, your ability to steadfastly deal with what is laid upon your table never ceases to amaze and motivate me. Too frequently, it’s easy to deal with bigger things on the surface and to put a happy face on and continue life. It takes real courage and faith in God to look the situation right in the eye and press forward through the character-building tough stuff. It’s a lot like picking up your spiritual feet and stepping over a really really high threshold.

    1. Well Anne, it’s easy to fool people like you from a few thousand miles away 🙂 Issues are like pork…you can’t put fabulous seasoning or a glaze on it, overcook it and think it’s going to be ok. Haha, I was fishing for a pork joke.
      Thanks for the encouragement. I’m just the tool trying to let God use to get some good stuff done while I’m here.

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