Tag Archive | love

A Special Prayer For Your Marriage

Marriage today can be tough. There are so many attacks on marriages and so many day-to-day challenges.

If you are going through marriage problems, please know that God truly cares. Take some time today to get alone with God and pray for your marriage. If you know of a family member or friend who is going through a tough time in their marriage, intercede in prayer for their marriage, too!

This prayer by Beth Moore is one of my favorites! God used this specific prayer in my own marriage over a decade ago to bring about great change.

If you are married, after you check out this prayer, take some time this weekend to show your spouse how much you love them…thank them for all they do…plan a special time with them…remember your love story and the days of when you fell in love with each other.

With God, there is always HOPE!!!

A Valentine’s Prayer by Beth Moore

PRAY (out loud if possible):

My powerful and glorious and holy God, with everything I have and everything I am in Christ, I come before Your Throne to intercede on behalf of marriages, especially mine. Lord, I come before You with complete confidence because I know with irrefutable certainty that I am praying according to Your will. Father, You are PRO-MARRIAGE. You are FOR US. And if You are for us, who indeed can be against us? Lord, Your enemy the devil is waging full scale war on the marriages of Your own children. Havoc resides in the earthly house of God. Our churches will only be as strong as the families that inhabit them.

If not for Your Spirit living within us, Satan’s psychological warfare would be almost too much to bear and his lies too sly to discern. We cry out to You, Lord! I ask You to rise from Your Throne in & on behalf of each of our homes and marriages and cause our enemies to scatter violently. Open our eyes to the deceit of the enemy that tempts spouses to think they need something – or someone – brand new. Help them to see that it would be an unending cycle of newness always wearing off and demanding something deeper to sustain it. Renew us, Lord! You created marriage and You alone can sustain it. Breathe fresh life into each of our marriages. You are a master at resurrection life. Raise marriages from the dead, O Lord! Reclaim those that have given up. Put a holy tenacity in them to refuse to let go. Give each spouse eyes only for each other. Cause each husband to thrill to the touch of his wife. Cause each wife to thrill to the touch of her husband. Renew a fiery passion in their hearts toward one another. Fill each wife with the desire and obedience to treat her man like he’s the real man You created him to be. Forgive us our serious trespasses of dishonoring or belittling our spouses in any way. Forgive us for making our men secondary priorities to our children. Help us to see that the best thing we could ever do for our children is to have a wonderful relationship with their father.

Cause each man to be lavish in his demonstrations of love toward his wife. Open his eyes to see how hard she works and how badly she needs his blessing. In turn, open her eyes to the pressures that fall daily upon her man and enable her to love him in a way that soothes and relieves him. CLAIM OUR HOMES AND OUR MARRIAGES, LORD! I know You can perform miracles over the worst of marriages. You performed countless wonders over my own. Lord, in Jesus’ Name, You bring to a stunning halt every weapon forged & formed against my marriage & each couple’s marriage and every scheme the enemy may already have under way. Bind every single person and subsequent action that may be coming against my marriage & family, or one of these marriages & families. Halt any hint of extra-marital flirtation or fantasy in the powerful Name of Jesus. Cause any “other” person that has become dangerously attractive to a married spouse to now become utterly repulsive to them…and cause our spouses to become utterly repulsive to the “other” person. Empower every person at risk to flee for his or her life from sexual temptation, impurity, and immorality. Make each spouse TRUE, Lord, in heart, soul, mind, and spirit.

God, I lift this to You with great urgency and fervency. Enough is enough! Enough Christian marriages have disintegrated! I don’t just pray for couples to stay together. I pray for them to LOVE staying together. I pray for the return of laughter, flirtation, desire, and life-long commitment. Interrupt mediocrity with fresh fire. We are all weak in our natural selves, Lord, and we know we’ll never have perfect marriages and homes but we are fully capable in Your sovereign power to have good ones. Healthy ones. FUN ONES. L-A-S-T-I-N-G ONES! Lord, the beauty of praying in Your will is knowing that every single couple who desires and receives it can have it. Every couple can be healed. Every couple can be in love again. Every family can be healed & whole if they are willing. Make EVERY SPOUSE & FAMILY MEMBER willing! I offer this intercession with the absolute belief that You initiated it, Lord. You do not waste time nor effort. If You prompted it, You meant to answer it. Now, compassionate and wonderful Father, do what only You can do. Out-do everything we ask. Do more than we could think to request so that Your great Name can be magnified above all else. I set before You every marriage represented by those who read this entry. Cause every couple & their family members to have a glorious Head-on collision with You, Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Nothing is too difficult for You. My prayers are unmistakably heard and my thanks already appropriate because I offer each of these petitions in the incomparable and delivering Name of Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Check out Beth Moore’s page for more encouragement: https://www.lproof.org

Gratitude & many blessings,

Kim

©2018 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book):Click here for book

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance

7 TIPS FOR HELPING A GRIEVING LOVED ONE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Do you know someone who is hurting due to the death of a loved one, an illness, divorce, family conflict, or an unexpected life challenge or crisis?

The holidays are very hectic for most people, but they become extra challenging for those going through grief.

When family and friends offer kindness and encouragement, it can make all the difference in the world to those who are hurting.

Whether the person who is grieving is a family member, friend, fellow church member, coworker, acquaintance, or neighbor, you have the amazing opportunity to offer compassion, support, and HOPE this holiday season.

Choose to be a BLESSING!

Think about each of these tips, and while you’re reading them, think of who you can bless – starting this week!

Here are 7 practical tips for helping a grieving loved one during the holidays~

1. Offer encouragement to the person who is going through grief by sending them an I’m-thinking-of-you card or a phone call. Whether they lost a loved one a week ago, or many years ago, their loved one will always be loved, treasured, and missed. The holidays can be a painful reminder of the fact their loved one is no longer here. If possible, refrain from sending over-the-top cheerful holiday greetings and cards if their loss is recent. Instead, send a more peace-filled greeting card with a special heartfelt note.

2. Stay away from cliches such as, “They’re in a better place,” “God needed an angel,” or “God must have needed them more.” Although these statements are intended to make the grieving one feel better, it can often leave them hurting and frustrated. Try encouraging your loved one with loving words of remembrance such as, “I really miss _____, she/he was a such a wonderful person” or “I remember when we ________.” Reflection on the deceased loved one brings validation to family members left behind that their loved one was important, is missed, and they are still cared about. Most who have gone through grief still enjoy talking about their loved one. Bringing their loved one up is welcomed by most. You’re not going to hurt them by bringing up their loved one…their loved one is already on their heart. Also, at all costs, never say (or even hint or suggest) to someone who is going through grief to “get over it.” That’s worse than all cliches combined.

3. Take the bereaved person a Christmas wreath, cookies, or a Christmas flower arrangement. A small kindness and helpful gesture goes a very long way in encouraging someone who is going through grief.

4. Invite them to attend your Christmas church service, family holiday dinner, or join in your Christmas festivities. Peace, comfort, encouragement, and loving relationships are important to offer to the bereaved during the holidays. A griever may want to attend church, but may not have anyone to attend with. Sometimes, traditional family dinners can be challenging too. If you are a close enough family member or friend, they may welcome an opportunity for a new place and environment to go to for church, dinner, or holiday celebrations.

5. Invite your grieving loved one to a holiday movie, out for coffee, to a special Christmas church event, to see The Nutcracker, to dinner, or to go shopping with you. You can also invite them to an online Christmas Church service and watch it together. When someone is going through grief, they lose contact with the outside world as they are immersed in their pain. Many times, people do not know what to say to someone who is going through grief – so, unfortunately, they avoid seeing them altogether. Please let the grievers in your life know you care. An invitation can speak volumes of your love and concern for them.

6. Be patient with those in grief. Life as they once knew it has drastically changed. It takes time to find a new “normal” and to thoroughly understand the full impact their grief and loss will have. Allow them the time they individually need to grieve. Everybody grieves differently and that’s perfectly fine. Please do not become frustrated with someone who is in grief…trust me, they’re frustrated, too! Support, love, and encourage them.

7. Simply listen and be there. Sometimes, the best thing someone can do for a griever is to give them a hug with the gift of silence and a listening ear. Simply let them know someone truly cares. No words necessary…just be truly, genuinely caring and a good listener. And if they confide in you, please do not betray that precious trust. We all desperately want to say the magic words that will comfort loved ones in grief, but there simply are no words that can magically remove their heartache and pain. A trustworthy listening ear is more important than most realize.

Please consider whose life (and heart) you can make a difference in this week! Think of someone you know who is going through grief or a hard time and offer them hope and encouragement.

Have a very blessed and meaningful holiday season!

Gratitude & many blessings,
Kim 🎄❤️🎄

©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

🎄Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

⭐️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

🎄Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

🎄❤️🎄

Divorce Prevention: Questions To Ask Before Getting Married

Marriage can be one of the most incredible experiences of your life…or it can truly drain and destroy your heart every. single. day.

When starting my grief ministry, I was surprised by the amount of people who sought help for marriage, family, in-law, and dating relationship related grief issues. All of these types of relationships – especially in this day and age – can be stressful and cause an extreme amount of grief and conflict.

Yet few consider the huge impact these relationships can have before taking the plunge.

My adult son once told me a marriage joke: “There are three rings in marriage…the engagement ring…the wedding ring…then the suffering.”

This was funny when I heard it..but it is an all-too-true reality for so many.

My husband and I have been marriage coaches at our church the last several years. We also have many couples contact us now due to word-of-mouth and recommendations from couples who we have helped. With God’s grace, we have an over 90% success rate with helping couples to turn their relationship around, and it’s not because my husband and I have a perfect marriage. It’s because we experienced years of marital turmoil, and we also experienced many life, family, and grief experiences throughout our marriage – so we have gained priceless practical insight on how to help couples. We are also very real, authentic, honest, and transparent when we help others.

When rebuilding our marriage, we found what worked…and what did not…and we are very open about what we learned.

My husband and I have been together for almost three decades. During the first 14 years, our marriage was horrible…absolutely terrible. There were ten years we genuinely despised each other. We only stayed together because we didn’t want to ruin family members’ birthdays…or divorce around a holiday…or we had a vacation or special occasion coming up that we didn’t want to ruin for anyone. For me, it was also because I didn’t want all of our photo albums and home videos to turn from being a source of joyful memories for our family to being a visual source of pain – evidence of what “once was.”

At our lowest point…I sought to improve myself and our marriage, as I deeply pondered how things got so bad.

Nobody plans on things going bad, but it does happen…frequently. Too frequently. In fact, around 50% of marriages fail.

Most people (my husband and myself included) get it backwards: we wear rose-colored glasses before we get married and then we wear magnifying glasses after saying, “I do.”

It is much wiser to wear magnifying glasses while dating so you can truly make a solid decision about who you will be spending the rest of your life with…then wear rose-colored glasses after you get married.

When someone gets married, it literally can affect everything in, and about, that person’s life…who they are, their joy, their relationship with God and others, their family, their health, their present or future children, finances, goals, dreams, job/education/career, beliefs, their self-esteem…everything. Since they are willingly placing their self…and their life…in a position of extreme vulnerability, it’s important to be very thorough in making sure they’re giving their heart and life to someone who truly deserves it.

Nobody is perfect…that’s for sure. We all are a work in progress. We all have room for improvement. We all have a bad day here and there. Always. But there is a huge difference between being with a partner who is willing to work at figuring things out vs. a partner who will simply wear you out.

Many people — like I stated earlier, one out of every two people — will either file for divorce or be served divorce papers…so it makes sense to ask a few very important questions before getting engaged or tying the knot.

Consider these statistics:

  • The average marriage lasts 8.2 years
  • 45-50% of first marriages end in divorce
  • 67% of second marriages end in divorce
  • 74% of third marriages end in divorce
  • Nearly 60% of spouses admit to cheating…45% will go on to cheat again
  • The average divorce costs $15,000 to $30,000
  • BUT you can beat these odds with prayer, and a lil preparation and prevention.
  • A good marriage can be an incredible joy and blessing…but a bad marriage can negatively impact both spouses, their children, and both spouse’s families – and each person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health…sometimes for years!

    Contrary to popular belief, a gold band or diamond ring doesn’t have magical abilities. It doesn’t sprinkle pixie dust on the wearer’s finger and make them a magically better version of their self. Brides and grooms come “as is” – no warranty.

    Some go into marriage not only thinking they can change someone…they try to make the marriage or potential spouse “fit” their expectations.

    If a person has to force their foot into a glass slipper (marriage) to make it fit, they will, no doubt, have a very uncomfortable walk throughout their marriage…or worse, the glass slipper will eventually shatter and they’ll carry the scars for a very long time. And if someone is made to feel they never measure up, they, in turn, will resent their mate.

    So now that I’ve been a much needed Negative Nancy so far in this post, how about some positive statistics?😍

    • Married women are 30% more likely to rate their health as excellent or very good compared to single women
    • Married people report lower levels of depression and distress
    • Married people (over 50 years old) are more likely to maintain daily health routines like exercise, eating right, not smoking, and routinely receive annual health physicals
    • Married people are twice as likely to go to church as unmarried people
    • Marriage does more to promote life satisfaction than money, sex, or sometimes even children (source: Wake Forest University psychologists)

    Okay, so what if you’re already married and you believe you made a huge mistake or you think you married the “wrong” person? Please consider a few statistics:

    • 50% of those who divorce regret ending their marriage, and 80% of those who divorce during an affair regret the decision…so it is vital to talk to a trusted pastor or qualified marriage therapist before making the painful decision to separate or divorce
    • 86% of those who rated their marriage as “unhappy” reported having “improved” or even “great” marriages five years later after choosing to stay married
    • once you get married, your spouse becomes the “right” person. God has the incredible ability to heal your marriage

    At some point, I’ll write specifically about each of these questions, but for now, I’ll leave these questions without answers so each reader can come up with their own individual answers. As you read each question, be sure to also answer how your partner would answer or rate you if they were the one reading these questions.

    With any and every relationship, you must keep perspective and look at all viewpoints and sides!😊 It is an absolute must for both people to reflect on not just their partner, or their own individual wants and desires, but it is also important to reflect – and be real about – what both people are personally bringing to the relationship. It most likely will be a mixture of good strengths along with some flaws.

    Each person needs to do their own self-work to ensure they are continually becoming a skilled “master” of their relationship, instead of being the “disaster” of the relationship.

    We’re truly either an asset or a liability to our partner’s heart and wellbeing.

    There are also a few issues many do not consider before marriage that my husband and I frequently hear while coaching:

    • a spouse influences their partner to “write off” or limit their spouse’s time with their spouse’s parents, siblings, or family…then a family member dies…then the spouse who was influenced becomes extremely bitter towards their spouse.
    • a spouse makes more money than one spouse and holds it over the lesser paid spouse’s head.
    • when children are born, a spouse compares their spouse to their own parents.
    • a spouse changes direction in their life without considering how it will affect their spouse (moving, going into missions, etc.)

    There are many reasons – too many reasons to count – why a marriage can fail. These questions are designed to eliminate possibilities for divorce.

    While reading this list, you may be tempted to point fingers, argue with your partner, or dish out blame. That is not the goal of this blog post. The questions are a great opportunity to reflect on what self-work needs to be done by each individual, and it may reveal deficits so you can make an overall decision to either work toward a happier, healthier, and much more fulfilling relationship – or discover that you (or they) may need to upgrade your/their value…or if you choose to stay together, upgrade the value of your relationship together.

    In any bad or challenged relationship, it is rare if it is just one partner’s fault. Both people need to take responsibility for their part and work toward creating a “team” mentality together. When my husband and I were repairing our marriage, I shared with him, “Well, we’ve already found out what doesn’t work for our marriage…let’s now focus on finding out what will work.”

    The truth is: marriage – just like all relationships – are work…sprinkled with love, times of joy, memories and purpose.

    If you’re experiencing a bad time in your relationship or marriage, or you’re in need of good, solid, unbiased advice, there’s no shame in seeking out a qualified and trusted pastor or marriage therapist. My husband and I went to several before we found one who we both liked who could genuinely help us. To this day, we still go to this therapist when we run into issues we can’t easily resolve. The best advice he’s given is, “Treat one another how you would want to be treated and seek to improve yourself!”

    When tempted to think that it’s all one partner’s fault, it’s best to consider the impact – both the good and the bad – both are contributing. As my husband’s and my marriage therapist always says, “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

    When my husband and I coach couples, usually one partner will initially drag their feet and truly dread it…until they realize they can custom create a marriage where they and their spouse both feel treasured and fulfilled.

    Your relationship and marriage is yours. You do not have to have a perfect marriage to be happy. You don’t even have to resolve every problem to get along and feel fulfilled. You are not required to pattern your marriage after anyone else’s marriage. You get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make your marriage exactly what you both want it to be!

    Before reading this list, take a few minutes to pray. Ask God to speak to your heart and to guide and direct your life and relationship.

    Realize there are probably some of these that your partner and you are not favorably doing, and one or both of you may not be up to par. This list simply reveals what needs to be worked on.

    Some of these may be high priorities for you both as a couple…some may not be. Each relationship – especially a marriage – needs to be custom created by the couple. Parents, siblings, friends, etc. certainly care…and a couple should prayerfully consider and contemplate the advice and wise counsel of anyone who cares about them…but at the end of the day, both people need to take ownership of their relationship and do what works for them.

    My husband and I wouldn’t have suffered as much turmoil in our marriage had we discussed a list of questions like this before we got married. We pray this list truly helps others to avoid the heartache and grief we experienced for so long.

    Marriage is definitely a huge decision and commitment. And lifetime love, joy, purpose, and commitment are the goals — for both you and your partner!

    Things To Ask Yourself Before Taking Your Relationship To The Next Level:

    1. Is your partner into you…really into you? (Are you truly into them?)

    2. Do you both love, honor, & fear God? Is your relationship with God the top priority…individually and as a couple? Are you comfortable praying together and encouraging each other spiritually?

    3. How do you both treat your own family? How do you treat each other’s family? How does their family treat you…how does your family treat them? Do you both respect and love your families? Are you both under authority…or are you rebellious? Are you both capable of leaving and cleaving (even though you will still love and respect your parents and families)? Will you (and your partner) be able to set solid boundaries after the wedding so your spouse and marriage truly come first?

    4. Are they mature, responsible, compassionate, caring, and kind? Are they bent towards mercy in how they deal with others? (Are you?)

    5. Do they – and will they – handle hardship, grief, and stress well? (How do you think you handle these things?) If either of you were to prematurely die, can you trust and depend on them to be compassionate to your family and treat them well (and if there are children, will they be fair to your parents/family)…or would there be conflict? 80% of couples will divorce after the death of a child. How people handle grief and tough situations is more important than most realize.

    6. Do they protect, respect, and honor you? (Do you seek to protect, respect, and honor your partner?)

    7. Are they loyal, faithful, and will they truly put you first? (Are you truly wiling to do and be these, too?) Are they prone to cheating? Has a parent cheated? If a parent has cheated, there is a greater likelihood a child will cheat if they’ve failed to forgive their parent.

    8. Do they have a solid ability to communicate, process, and work out problems/issues and restore harmony in the relationship? Are they good at taking the initiative to work problems out? Will you truly have a partner who invests in the relationship to prevent issues? (Do you communicate and work problems out well? Do you invest in the relationship and do your part to prevent issues?) Are you both willing to learn new communication and relationship skills?

    9. How do they consistently treat their parents/family, waiters/waitresses, store clerks, pets, children, and others? (How do you treat others?) How a person treats their parents/family/others is a solid indicator of how they’ll eventually treat you.

    10. Will they be a good parent…and will you want your kiddos to be just like them once they’re grown? (Will you…and would you…want your future children to emulate your life/actions/habits?)

    11. Are they forgiving or do they hold grudges? Are they a peacemaker? Are they vindictive? Are they mature and work issues out…or do they resort to immature tactics such as throwing fits, cussing, sweeping issues under the rug, ignoring problems, or doing the silent treatment? (How do you handle forgiveness issues?)

    12. Do they have their finances in order and have a stable job/work history – do they quit easy? (How about you?)

    13. Are you (or they) controlled by any addiction or toxic behaviors? Will either of you have a hard life due to these issues?

    14. Do they have anger, bitterness, or attitude issues? Do they “make people pay”? (Do you?) Are they humble or prideful?

    15. Have they unpacked their “baggage” in life – the unprocessed baggage their parents (knowingly or unknowingly) passed down to them, as well as their own – and do they continually seek ways to grow and improve their self? (Have you taken – and do you continually take – the steps to do this?)

    16. Have you or they ever cheated in a relationship…and if either has a history of infidelity, did you/they learn from it? If someone has cheated and failed to self-reflect to figure out why, they have an overwhelming chance of cheating again.

    17. Do they respect sex and are they respectful towards you in this area? Do they respect boundaries on social media? Do they make inappropriate comments about the opposite sex? Do they use premarital sex to entice you so you overlook issues or fail to see their personal flaws? (Are you respectful in these areas? Do you do these things?)

    18. If you were ever disabled or diagnosed with a serious illness, how would they accept and handle that? (If your spouse became disabled or seriously ill, would you leave…or love them enough to stay?)

    19. Are they continually self-centered? (Are you?) Do they frequently talk about what they can get from you and others…or do they seek to give to others?

    20. How does your partner make you feel…and if nothing ever changes or improves, can you genuinely live with how things currently are? (How do you make your partner feel…and are you willing to do whatever is necessary to improve your relationship?)

    21. Do you have a good education, a trade, or skill set to provide for yourself – and any children – if the marriage ends or your spouse dies? (Are you committed to ensuring both you and your partner have this important ability?)

    22. Are you/they in love or in need? Getting married for financial purposes will bring problems and deep heartache – for both people.

    23. How do your parents/family feel about your partner? (How do your partner’s parents/family feel about you?) Are any of their concerns justified? Will your parents welcome your spouse after the wedding…will your spouse treat your parents/family fairly? Will you ensure that your parents/family loves and respects your spouse…and will you ensure that your spouse loves and respects your parents/family? You’d be surprised how many marriages end due to not ensuring basic love and respect by all parties.

    24. Is your partner genuinely good to you and are you genuinely good to them…and are you genuinely good for each other?

    25. Do you genuinely like them as a person? (Do they genuinely like you?)

    26. Do you have similar values, life goals, and beliefs? Are there any deal breakers?

    27. Do you have compatible ideas on the hot topics of marriage: religion, money, parenting, family, sex, chores/jobs/responsibilities?

    28. Do you have fun together, have a strong friendship, and genuinely enjoy each other? Do you value and celebrate each other on important “couple” holidays (anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, etc)?

    29. Are you attracted to your partner – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, etc.? (Is your partner attracted to you in these areas?)

    30. Do you and your partner make gratefulness and valuing each other a priority? Are you (they) more grateful or ungrateful? More valuing or demeaning?

    Hope these questions are helpful! Keep in mind these questions are not the gospel…they’re simply a tool for self-reflection and self-improvement.

    Rome wasn’t built in one day and neither are relationships. Marriages take a lifetime to grow and perfect!

    So, what if you read this list and are now discouraged?

    Here are a few resources I have personally found to be very helpful. Some are websites and some are videos. All are helpful for building relationships and self-improvement:

    http://www.familylife.com/weekend-to-remember

    https://saddleback.com/watch/how-to-build-a-love-that-lasts-a-lifetime/growing-a-love-that-lasts

    http://www.focusonthefamily.com

    http://www.life.church/media/from-this-day-forward/

    https://saddleback.com/watch/the-purpose-driven-family

    https://www.drphil.com/advice_categories/relationships-sex/

    https://www.celebraterecovery.com

    http://www.life.church/media/the-vow/

    http://www.purposedriven.com

    http://www.life.church/media/samson/

    http://www.chazown.com

    http://www.rickwarren.org/devotional

    http://www.rejoicemarriageministries.com

    http://www.familylife.com

    https://www.gottman.com

    Marriage can truly last a lifetime and be one of the best experiences of your life!

    Your heart is one of the highest, most prized treasures you can give to someone. Give it to someone who will take good care of it!❤️

    Gratitude & blessings,

    Kim

    ©2018 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

    ❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

    ⭐️For more encouragement:

    ❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

    ❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

    ❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

    ❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

    ❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

    1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

    2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

    3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

    4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

    ⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

    ⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to help and encourage others by sharing our personal experiences we have gone through with our own personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or pastor for guidance andadvice.

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️Websites are not necessarily an endorsement. They are included for encouragement and informational purposes only.

    The Dark Candle ~ Resolving Guilt After The Death Of A Loved One

    When someone you greatly love and cherish dies, life can be a challenge.

    A challenge to find joy again.

    A challenge not to cry every day.

    A challenge to enjoy others.

    A challenge to relax by doing your previous favorite activities.

    A challenge to figure out how to live life at all.

    After my sister passed away, life became a true challenge. I felt absolutely horrible guilt that I couldn’t help her…that I didn’t notice how sick she truly was…that we had a bad argument a few months before she passed away…that I was so busy preparing for thanksgiving that I didn’t visit her the few days she was in the hospital.

    My sister and I were extremely close; in fact, she was my best friend. The heartache and intense guilt I felt after she died plagued my heart for years. As I cried out to God to help me through my grief…and to release me from the unrelenting guilt and pain…God was so good to answer my prayers.

    My life and the way I process grief has never been the same since.

    As I was seeking God for His help, a thought came into my heart, “Your sister doesn’t hold anything against you. What may have bothered her on earth, does not even remotely bother her in Heaven. She knows how much you love her, and she knows if you would have known how ill she was, you would’ve come to the hospital. She loves you and she forgives you. Your sister loved life! She’d want you to enjoy and love life, too, so do so in her honor.”

    After sensing this in my heart, my eyes flooded with tears. Ever since that day, I have truly tried my best to celebrate life, love my family, and honor my sister and other loved ones to my greatest ability.

    When grief enters your life, you are left to work through all of the tough emotions. You grieve not just the person, instead you grieve every facet of that person and all they meant to you. And it takes time.

    I’d like to share a story with you. As you read the following story, keep in mind that during grief, there will be tears – absolutely! – they are a very normal and healthy part of grief. And you don’t always have control of when grief will hit you since grief is much like the ocean’s water…sometimes the water is calm and beautiful, but other times, the water is extremely rocky and torrential.

    As you read this story, listen to your heart and truly know that your loved one loves you so very much! They love you for all the ways you loved and cared for them while they were here on earth…and they treasure and love you for all of the ways you honor and remember them daily. They hold nothing against you…they wish you love, peace, comfort, and joy.

    I hope this story brings your heart the comfort and peace you so desperately deserve. May God bring your heart healing, love, and all of the good things that life has to offer! You’re going to make it through this!

    ❤️Gratitude & blessings,
        Kim

    The Dark Candle

    A man had a little daughter – an only and much beloved child. He lived for her ~ she was his life. So when she became ill and her illness resisted the efforts of the best obtainable physicians, he became like a man possessed, moving heaven and earth to bring about her restoration to health. 

    His best efforts proved unavailing and the child died. The father was totally irreconcilable. He became a bitter recluse, shutting himself away from his many friends and refusing every activity that might restore his poise and bring him back to his normal self. But one night he had a dream. He was in Heaven, and was witnessing a grand pageant of all the little child angels. They were marching in an apparently endless line past the Great White Throne. Every white-robed angelic tot carried a candle. He noticed that one child’s candle was not lighted. Then he saw that the child with the dark candle was his own little girl. Rushing to her, while the pageant faltered, he seized her in his arms, caressed her tenderly, and then asked: “How is it, darling that your candle alone is unlighted? His sweet daughter lovingly replied, “Father, they often relight it, but your tears always put it out.” 

    Just then he awoke from his dream. The lesson was crystal clear, and its effects were immediate. From that hour on he was not a recluse, but mingled freely and cheerfully with his former friends and associates. No longer would his little darling’s candle be extinguished by his useless tears.

    Written by Strickland Gillian

    I pray this story brought comfort and great encouragement to your heart. May God bless you today and always!

    ❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

    For more encouragement:

    ❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

    ❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

    ❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

    ❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

    ❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

    1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 

    2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 

    3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 

    4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

    Creating An Authentic & Personalized Valentine’s Day In Spite Of Heartache

    Valentine’s Day.

    Ah, the day for love. A day filled with flowers, chocolate, jewelry, romantic candlelight dinners, gifts, and love.

    But what if you’re one of the people who aren’t in the Happy Valentine’s Day Club this year?

    Maybe your treasured spouse passed away and Valentine’s Day is excruciatingly painful. It’s hard to get through the day.

    Perhaps your little Valentines (kiddos) who used to make you the sweetest homemade cards have grown up and aren’t exactly being sweet.

    Maybe your spouse (or significant other) committed adultery, betrayed your trust, and you’re in the heart wrenching transition of cleaning up a horrible mess you didn’t choose, create, or deserve.

    Perhaps you recently experienced an ugly divorce or tough breakup and it’s super hard to see other couples celebrating.

    Maybe you’ve longed to have a spouse or special someone in your life, but things never worked out quite how you imagined … and now you find yourself alone.

    Perhaps you’re married (or in a relationship), but you know you will not be cherished or celebrated. February 14th is just another day on the calendar – and no matter how much you’ve communicated your feelings, needs, and desires, Valentines Day will simply be another annual let down. https://griefbites.com/2018/02/14/a-special-prayer-for-your-marriage/

    Maybe you’ve been burnt by love in the past, so you take great care to never go anywhere near the flame of love ever again. You just don’t care to pursue or open yourself up to love again because you don’t want to potentially get hurt.

    Perhaps you’re in the middle of a huge grief experience and love is the last thing on your mind. Your broken heart feels as though it can’t focus on anything but your present grief and pain.

    Maybe you have a loved one you are estranged from (spouse, child, or other loved one) so your heart feels as though it will never heal. Every day feels like a silent funeral in your heart. https://griefbites.com/2016/03/20/mourning-those-who-are-still-alive/

    There are many reasons – spoken and unspoken – why some are less than enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day. Sometimes the pain is so deep, it can literally hurt to breathe. https://griefbites.com/2017/06/20/the-challenge-of-unspoken-or-hidden-grief/

    Life just doesn’t always go the way we plan. https://griefbites.com/2018/03/21/when-god-doesnt-give-you-your-fairytale-2/

    When going through a tough life experience, your soul craves comfort and relief. It also craves authenticity, because when your heart and soul have been battered by the waves of life, it washes everything shallow away and you just want something real…yet you wonder how you can truly enjoy or celebrate holidays in spite of the pain.

    Thinking of past holidays, I wish someone would have given me a different perspective and new ideas so I had options for enjoying holidays once again. Today, I hope to be a source of encouragement for all who are presently hurting.

    Sometimes, you just need to change things up or create something unique and different, so as to not feel lost or stay stagnant.

    How do you wish to spend Valentine’s Day? What can you do to create a memorable day in spite of grief and loss?

    Maybe you want to celebrate big. Maybe you’re so discouraged, you truly just hope to get through the day.

    This Valentine’s Day, create whatever kind of day you personally need, so you truly are able to enjoy or just get through the day.

    If that means declaring an “Un-Valentine’s Day” where you make the day just like any other day and avoid all things Valentine-ish, then do so.

    If it means pouring your heart and love into your loved ones (spouse, children, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, siblings, parents, grandparents, other family, or friends), then wholeheartedly enjoy it.

    If it means baking Valentine’s Day treats and passing them out to loved ones or those you know who are hurting, then lovingly do that.

    If it means warmly remembering and honoring a loved one who is no longer here, then allow those special memories to comfort your heart.

    If it means putting on your comfiest pajamas, lighting the fireplace, and getting a box of chocolates or a pint of ice cream (hey, no judgment here😊) and watching sappy movies while either loving or hating the holiday, then go for it.

    If you want to go out to dinner with all of your single friends, go out and enjoy yourself.

    Do whatever makes you feel comfy, cozy, and comforted.

    You might want to spend the day completely alone, or with a few people, or get a big group of people together who want to have a great Valentine’s Day, too…or even an anti-Valentine’s Day.

    People should create whatever type of day they need, so that on February 15, they can wake up with a heart that is filled with joy, contentment, special memories, and wholeness.

    Expectations of how one thinks the day should go…or expecting others to fill their heart up…is the quickest way to arrive at disappointment and heartache.

    Instead of spending February 14th with great expectations…and then waking up on the 15th with disappointments or sadness…what if you purposely chose to create the day you want, and cultivate peace and gratefulness for all evidence of love you have in your life. Choose to create the best customized Valentine’s Day that truly fills your heart and the hearts of your loved ones, too.

    There are no rules on how to get through Valentine’s Day – or any other tough holiday of the year for that matter. As long as you aren’t hurting the heart of God, or hurting others or yourself, or doing anything illegal, then authentically doing whatever helps your heart to heal or feel joy will be what creates an authentic, personalized Valentine’s Day.

    What kind of day can you custom create this Valentine’s Day?

    What will bring your heart comfort, warmth, and peace?

    What can you do to custom create a day of relaxation and solitude – or what can you do to create a day filled with loved ones and fun?

    Do you enjoy flowers, candy, and jewelry? If you have no one to buy these special gifts for you, consider buying these treats for others or yourself.

    Are you concerned someone won’t celebrate and honor you? You have great value! Celebrate and honor your own heart…because you deserve it!

    All of the usual things about Valentine’s Day…flowers, chocolates, jewelry, gifts, dinner, and gifts…although these things are amazing, they ultimately fail to include the very best thing about Valentine’s Day. They can’t even compete with the true meaning.

    Valentine’s Day is about genuine love and the precious hearts of ALL the special people God has graciously given to us to love in our lives: God, our family members (spouse/significant other, kiddos/little people, parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, etc), and also our own heart.

    Creating a special day to celebrate love – and the gift of love – is what will make the day special. It doesn’t have to primarily be about romance.

    In fact, I prefer it doesn’t so I’m not limited in my celebrations of the day. I will forever choose February 14 to be a day of gratitude and love.

    It is also a great source of comfort to know and truly realize that the Ultimate Valentine (God) loves and adores you! So much!! If there is ever a day a person feels they do not have any options for a Happy Valentine’s Day, there will always be One who constantly remains…and He loves each and every heart, spirit, and soul more than any human ever can. God is MORE than happy to spend the entire day with anyone who feels lonely or disappointed by life and love!❤️ https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

    You don’t even have to wait to enjoy God’s love…you can celebrate and soak up His incredible love each and every day of the year. https://griefbites.com/2016/12/30/making-2017-your-best-year-yet-43-ways-to-delight-in-god/

    Valentine’s Day is a gift. How you choose to unwrap the gift of Valentine’s Day is truly and authentically yours. Do something extra special…or do nothing at all. That’s how to create an authentic and personalized Valentine’s Day. Make it what you need it to be.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! May you always realize your great value, and how special and loved by God you truly are.

    Gratitude & many blessings,
    Kim

    ©2016 by Kim Niles/Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

    ❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

    ⭐️For more encouragement:

    ❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

    ❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

    ❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

    ❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

    ❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

    1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

    2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

    3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

    4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

    5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

    6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

    7. ❤️NEW!❤️Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

    ⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

    ⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance.

    Brunch & Grief: 5 Valuable Life Lessons 

    Spending time with loved ones, going to brunch, and learning from others are among some of my favorite things to do in life.

    Earlier this week, my mom, sister, and I were lucky enough to all have some free time to have brunch together.

    My sister and mom are some of my favorite people to talk to. I love talking about life with these two because they both have such deep insight and wisdom. Both have been through excruciating grief, yet both came out of multiple harsh grief experiences stronger and better than before.

    As we were talking about our grief ministry, my sister shared a verse that is personally very meaningful to her, Psalm 55:17, “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.”

    The reason this verse is so meaningful to her is because she lived it out in experience. After the death of her fiancé and our sister (they died 3 weeks apart), she didn’t hear from God for almost an entire year. An ENTIRE year!

    How many of us would have become frustrated, grown bitter, or simply given up? She didn’t. She shared with me that she knew God loved her and was listening to her, so she felt compelled to keep pressing on.

    I’m glad she did because she’s a wealth of wisdom and knowledge about harsh grief experiences! Had she given up on God, she would’ve missed out on so much wisdom and some very powerful life lessons…lessons she now shares with thousands of people!

    Several things she and my mom shared at our special brunch date made an impact as I intently listened.

    By the way, everybody you know has a life story and rich life lessons you can learn from. Anytime I meet with someone, I like to come away with at least one new thing I’ve learned from them.

    Brunch was a jackpot of lessons. As I listened and talked with my sister and mom, I learned so much.

    Here are 5 lessons I learned at brunch that I think are very valuable:

    1. It’s totally okay to be in deep grief and distress. There’s an entire book in the Bible (Psalms) where David didn’t “get over” his grief. God allowed David the freedom to deeply grieve. God didn’t rush David or tell him to get on with life. Allow God’s Word to validate your grief…especially when people around you don’t (or won’t) validate it.
    2. Grief changes people. You are guaranteed to become a different person: you’ll either choose to grow from grief and become a different (better) person…or you’ll choose to wither up and die and become a different (bitter) person. You may also yo-yo in between these two scenarios as you process your deep grief…and that’s okay! It’s completely up to you what kind of person you’ll ultimately decide to become of the two, though.
    3. One of the best things someone can do for a griever is to go get them and treat them to a soda or coffee. Just being there means so much to a griever. My mom credits her friends who regularly did this for her with tremendously helping her overcome her deep grief after my dad died. In addition to God, family and friends can be an important lifeline to a griever.
    4. When you feel all alone and your family and friends aren’t measuring up in being there for you during grief, know that God half designed it to be like that so He can meet your deepest needs…and He designed the other half so family, friends, and His church can meet the other half of those needs. My sister explained, “If people had come through and been there for me 100% of the time, I never would’ve realized my need for God or developed the rich relationship I enjoy with Him today. If I hadn’t had to wait for God’s timing, I wouldn’t have known the treasure of trusting Him and His deliverance as much as I did. God wants to be your hero during times of grief…stop desiring that from your loved ones and let God be that hero!”
    5. Don’t allow people to rush you through your grief or to control your grief or life. Both my mom and sister shared stories of people wanting to take the steering wheel of their grief and make life decisions for them. Both are glad they chose to give the steering wheel to God and allowed Him to guide and direct their grief and lives. My mom is especially glad she didn’t allow others to make major life decisions for her. She shared, “I don’t believe my kids would be in ministry today and serve God like they do had I allowed others to control my grief, my life, or their lives. I also wouldn’t have drawn as close to God. It probably would have been easier—but easier doesn’t always mean better.

    What valuable lessons have you learned throughout your life or grief? Who do you know who could be a source of wisdom, insight, and great knowledge of life or grief lessons for you? Invite them out to brunch this month or call and invite them out for coffee, ice cream, or a soda.

    It’s always a great privilege to learn from others and to hear their life stories and experiences.

    Always learn as much as you can through grief and throughout life! Both are extremely valuable!

    Gratitude & many blessings,
    Kim

    ©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

    If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it and encourage others!



    For more encouragement:

    Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

    Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

    Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

    Kim’s FREE YouVersion reading plans:
    1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
    2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
    3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
    4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

    Kim’s grief blog: http://www.griefbites.com‭‭

    Loving The Hurting, Remembering The Forgotten: An Important Challenge To Churches Everywhere For 2016

    This morning, I attended a very special All Staff meeting at my church.

    We received phenomenal leadership and encouragement about change from our pastor. It was a great time of worship, vision, learning, and community.

    While Pastor Craig was sharing his heart, my mind began to come up with so many fresh, new ideas of change for my grief ministry, as my spirit absorbed the wisdom, passion, creativity, and vision God had planned for me.

    I have a huge passion for those who hurt, those who feel rejected or displaced, those who deeply grieve, those who feel life can never be better, and those who have turned their back on God and the church. And I absolutely love that my pastor has a huge heart for these precious groups of people as well!

    I’ve felt the sting of each of these situations through different seasons of my life, and none of them were a fun place to be. Because of personally experiencing these situations, God has been good to allow me to gain insight and understanding so I could know how to encourage and help in these areas…but today I wondered “is it enough?…am I doing enough?” 

    The answer, if I’m honest with myself, is no, not always. 

    So another question came to mind, “what can you change?…what needs to change?

    Every church cares. Most Christians truly care.

    Every church wants people to feel as though they belong. Many Christians go out of their way to show love and acceptance.

    Every church truly wants to minister to everyone. There are a lot of staff and Christians who spend many, many hours in ministry helping and equipping others. 

    Every church wants to make a huge difference. There are too many ministries to count that genuinely make incredible impacts.

    So what are we missing? Also, who are we missing? 

    What changes can we all implement to be more loving, accepting, kind, and effective so we can minister, serve, and encourage to the best of our abilities to make the absolute greatest impact?

    There are no perfect Christians, no perfect churches, no perfect ministries, no perfect staff, no perfect people, no perfect anything. Perfection is something we definitely pursue, but Christians fall short…all people fall short—regardless of their religious affiliation. Ministries fall short…just like workplaces fall short.

    So how do we bridge the gap between the church and people who are hurting…people who are deeply grieving…people who have given up on—or even reject—God and the church…people who have never and won’t even consider stepping foot in a church…people who feel like life is hopeless?

    I’m truly excited by what God showed me this morning and the ideas He gave me!

    I look forward to ministering like never before, serving more vibrantly, boldly caring, and writing more in 2016.

    As you read this, you may not share my enthusiasm. You may even have already thought of past hurts you’ve experienced.

    If you fit into any of the above categories, I hope you’ll closely follow my blog and find encouragement. I am so very sorry if you have been wounded or offended by someone in the church…so very sorry if you’ve experienced deep grief…incredibly sorry if you ever felt as though life was hopeless or made to feel that your life was void of value…so sorry if an event happened that made you turn your back on God and the church. Truly, truly, genuinely sorry. If someone has not sincerely apologized to you personally, then I offer my deepest apologies as a part of the body of Christ!

    God has great compassion and incredible love for you! You DO matter! Your life IS valuable! Your heartache, grief, and pain DOES count! God hears your heart’s pain and cries…and if anyone on earth failed to hear, understand, or realize your pain or grief (or failed to make it right), that is NOT okay with God…and I guarantee you it truly broke His heart. 

    This year, I want to vibrantly continue to help and encourage the grief community, and I also want to pour into people who have felt hurt and offended by anyone in the church.

    I look forward to encouraging everyone in 2016…especially with the vision God gave me today!

    Rolling up my sleeves to truly make a greater impact is my heart’s desire this year. If you are a part of any church, please join me in this endeavor. It is desperately needed! 

    If you know of anyone who has been through deep grief, anyone who is down in life, anyone who has been deeply hurt or offended by the church—whether by church staff or fellow believers, reach out to the offended and the hurting! 

    We need to never be so quick to be offended or put off by a person’s disbelief, mistrust or abrasiveness…instead, we ought to look into their hearts and seek to understand the reason behind why they’re hurt, offended, or bitter. There are a crop of people we need to seek to intentionally love back to life! 

    We, as the Church, constantly say and promote, “it’s okay not to be okay”…but then when people aren’t okay, or they later become not “okay,” do we as the whole church truly put our money where our mouths are and intentionally pursue the hurting and also genuinely care when others are hurt, offended, or leave?

    Church is a family…ultimately one big family…who will ALL be living together in heaven some day. Is it not going to cause us shame when we see Christ and have to explain to Him how we treated some people as unvaluable or, worse, disposable?

    Helping others and conflict resolution can be uncomfortable. It can be gritty and messy, for sure—definitely not all cotton candy, unicorns, sunshine and rainbows. It requires sacrifice and selflessness. People are worth it, though. So very worth it!

    Isn’t this exactly what God did for each of us? I am forever grateful to those who loved me back to life and those who intentionally invested in me. Because they took the time to genuinely care for a broken, hurting, mess of a young lady years ago, my life was spectacularly changed! Now, all because of their love and concern, 200 million users on YouVersion have an opportunity to read the Grief Bites reading plans, and people in 110 countries receive grief encouragement weekly on my blog. None of this would’ve happened had certain people not seen me as someone valuable enough to care about. I had plans to be an atheist and reject God and the church…but I saw—and truly experienced—Christianity in the most pure, loving, amazing, kindest form. And it made all the difference in the world!

    Who else in the world needs to experience the love of Christ? And what amazing spiritual gifts are hidden behind each hurting or hardened heart?

    Sometimes, people have hearts that have had a lot of mud flung their way. Who is willing to accept the challenge to use their Christ-like love to water and nurture these hearts so their true heart can shine through?

    People who have been through major grief, life challenges, or tough circumstances in life, they all have hidden treasure locked inside of them…each has their personal life story that can help others. What stories are not being shared due to not being nourished and nurtured? Like Pastor Rick Warren says, “Who better to help the grief community than someone who has been through grief? Or the atheist community than a former atheist? Or the addiction community than one who battled addiction?” There are a wealth of amazing people out there who are being lost in the shuffle and it’s up to the church to love, help and encourage them. If they were once plugged in and left a church…and no one cared…that falls on each of us.

    Every person has great value and has the amazing ability to create lasting change inside and outside of their church. Ask God to use you and ask Him to show you where…and with who…He wants you to begin!

    We have 11 1/2 more months of 2016 to see what God is capable of doing through this challenge. Let’s seek to obey Him with everything we’ve got!

    Make the incredibly important decision to love the unlovely, encourage the hurting and grieving, and to go after the ones who have left or abandoned their faith so they know someone cares…so they know that God and the church truly does care.

    I know this will be some of the best time we’ll spend this year in service and devotion to God!

    Be His heart…be His hands…be His feet!

    So who is up to this challenge?

    I hope everybody!

    Every single day, ask God to show you someone to encourage, and ask Him to bring to mind those who have left the church or who have abandoned their faith.

    May God richly reward and bless you as you love people back to life and shine the brightest light possible for Him this year!

    Gratitude and many blessings,
    Kim

    ©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

    If what you read was helpful, please feel free to share it❤️

    For more encouragement:

    Best decision of your life: http://peacewithgod.net

    Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

    Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

    FREE YouVersion reading plans:
    1. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
    2. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 
    3. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 
    4. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 

    Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

    ❤️

    3 Questions To Ask Yourself For The Best Relationships Possible

    Life is a series of choices. One of the most important decisions we’ll ever make is the choice about the kind of person we want to be.

    If we were to die today, how would we be remembered? Would we be remembered as:

    • a campfire who everybody gathered around for light, insight, & warmth?
    • a bright ray of sunshine who was fun & made everybody laugh?
    • a family member who didn’t value, love, or appreciate other family members?
    • a raging lunatic who everyone saw as a walking time bomb?
    • a person who was always there to offer encouragement?
    • someone who showed hospitality and made everyone feel welcomed, loved, and included?
    • a selfish person who made everybody feel stressed, unvalued, & miserable?
    • a mediocre or timid person too scared to take risks?
    • a source of comfort and strength for the broken?
    • an arrogant, exclusive, snobby person who made others feel unwanted or beneath them?
    • a source of loving encouragement who made others feel they could truly do something remarkable with their life?
    • a big ball of energy who loved life & everyone made great memories with?
    • a person who made promises but rarely kept their word?
    • a person who sucked the life out of others?
    • a person who was helpful and hardworking?
    • a person who was a negative influence, bad role model, or who encouraged or enabled sin, poor decisions, or addictions?
    • a materialistic person who put money & possessions before relationships?
    • a flaky person with no stability or follow through?
    • a person who caused drama or pitted family members against each other?
    • a person of great moral character who others could depend on and learn from?
    • a person who was too busy to genuinely care?
    • someone who took the time to love others back to life after hardships?
    • a person who made mistakes, but changed it all one day to become a person who greatly loved & honored others?

    When I was a senior in highschool, I had the best family relations teacher. She didn’t just teach from the usual curriculum, she branched out and taught from resources she knew would be genuinely useful to us in life.

    One of those resources happened to be a video series from Dr. Gary Smalley.

    As I watched and intently listened to each fantastic video, one stood out. It was a teaching on showing great Honor to others.

    Dr. Smalley basically said to treat each person as though they were the only person in the room…and to not just stop there but to treat your loved ones better than royalty—to be in absolute awe and wonder that you get the incredible, precious privilege of being a part of each of your loved ones lives.

    He also shared that it starts with just one person choosing to show their loved ones honor. It wasn’t contingent on anyone or anything else.

    I grew up in a home where we were very close and loved each other. Both of my parents were great role models to me on how to show others honor, and Dr. Smalley’s video made an incredible impact in my heart and life, too.

    I began to realize how everything I did in life—and especially how I treated my loved ones—had the powerful ability to affect everyone I (and they) came into contact with.

    Family. Friends. Co-workers. Church family. Neighbors. The employees at businesses and restaurants I frequented…Everyone.

    With each interaction I had, I could leave people in much better condition if I treated them with great honor, or worse condition if I chose differently — all depending on my attitude and honor.

    I began by purposely treating my family better. I’d stop by after school and buy my mom one of her favorite treats…a flavored bagel with honey & almond cream cheese, or I’d surprise her with flowers “just because.” I’d go out of my way to be kind to my siblings and make them homemade cards or bake them treats. I’d randomly treat my friends to ice cream, write them a note to encourage them, or pay for their lunch. If I ordered food from a fast food reastaurant, I’d go out of my way to be nice and ask the worker how their day was. I told all of my teachers, “Thank you,” for all they had taught (and were teaching) me and began to listen in class as a way of honoring their hard work and time they were investing in me. I’d surprise my dad by mowing the lawn, do my mom’s hair and makeup for her, or go grocery shopping to help out. With my mom’s encouragement and help, I’d also buy my teachers gifts around each holiday. I began to look forward to honoring others and doing special things for loved ones.

    With every choice I made to honor others, the better I felt. Life became much more rewarding and I felt I was making a difference. It was an amazing feeling to know I could bring others happiness or brighten their day. Honoring others felt much better than being shallow or selfish.

    After the video series, my teacher asked each of us, “How do you want to be remembered?” She explained she gave us some great information, but the info on the videos would only prove to be valuable if we chose to implement it. Ultimately, we needed to decide if we would choose to be an honorable person who chose to honor others as a lifestyle.

    Words cannot express how grateful I am to Mrs. W. for pouring into me my junior and senior years of highschool. Her investment in my life caused me to value my parents, family, and friends so much more…and this also positively impacted (in the future) my parenting and marriage. To this day, I greatly treasure my loved ones!

    I am thankful for the two questions I was asked many years ago that had such a fantastic, life-changing impact:

    “How do you want to be remembered?”

    “How can you show great honor & love to your loved ones each day?”

    We ALL leave a legacy…whether we like it or not. Whether we’re intentional or not.

    We ALL are known by our personalities, passions, and choices. We ALL leave our unique personal mark…our “brand”…on EVERYONE around us.

    The cool thing is, it is never too late for each of us to leave a better legacy than the one we are currently living.

    Through honor, we ALL have the powerful ability to choose what legacy we’ll be leaving.

    Think of who you TRULY want to be and then take the necessary steps to make it happen.

    What if you feel you’ve already monumentally messed up?

    Put one hand on your heart and your other hand on your mouth. Do you feel your heartbeat and your breath? If you’re still alive (which I’m guessing you are since you’re reading this😊), you still have the power to turn things around.

    You may have to apologize to loved ones, make amends, create much needed change, or set some things right, but today…this very minute…you have the ability to choose to become a person of great honor who others will warmly remember.

    Challenge yourself every day to grow and become a better person than you were yesterday and today, love your loved ones extravagantly while you still have the chance, and leave a legacy of great honor that is worth remembering.

    That’s something I’ll always challenge myself to do.

    So, today (and every day) ask yourself 3 vital questions:

    “How do I want to be remembered?”

    “Who can I show honor to TODAY?”

    “How can I love my family/loved ones to the very best of my ability?”

    One day, you’ll be remembered by your loved ones…and everyone around you.

    Make your memory a great one!

    Gratitude & many blessings,

    Kim

    ©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

    ❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

    ⭐️For more encouragement:

    ❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

    ❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

    ❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

    ❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

    ❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

    1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

    2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

    3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

    4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

    5. 🎄NEW!🎄Experiencing The Holidays With Jesus: Christmas~ http://bible.com/r/3V5

    ⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

    ⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance

    My First Christmas In Heaven

    ❤️🎄MY FIRST CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN🎄❤️

    I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below,  

    With tiny lights, like Heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow

    The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear. 

    For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

    I hear the many Christmas songs, that people hold so dear,

    But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here.

    I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring, 

    For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.

    I can’t tell you of the splendor, Or the peace here in this place.

    Can you just imagine Christmas, with our Savior face to face?

    I’ll ask Him to light and comfort your spirit. As I tell Him of your love.

    So then pray for one another, As you lift your eyes above.

    Please let your heart be joyful, and allow your spirit to sing.

    For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven, and I’m walking with the King.

    I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart. 

    But I am not so far away, We really aren’t apart.

    So be happy for me, dear ones, You know I hold you dear. 

    And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

    I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above. 

    I sent you each a memory of my undying love.

    After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold. 

    It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

    Please love and keep each other, just as my Father said to do. 

    For I can’t count the blessings or the love He has for each of you.

    So have a Merry Christmas and please wipe away that tear,

    Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year!

    ~Author Unknown

    Praying everyone has a Christmas season filled with love, comfort, encouragement, and HOPE!

    Gratitude & blessings,

    Kim

    ❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

    ⭐️For more encouragement:

    🎄Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

    ❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

    ⭐️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

    🎄Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

    ❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

    1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

    2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

    3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

    4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

    5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

    6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

    7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

    ⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

    ⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

    🎄❤️🎄

    Conflict Resolution During Grief Pt. 2

    Conflict is unavoidable in life. 

    Conflict will always be a part of life as long as there are people…because people are fallible. People have issues…and people are broken.

    We all have our own set of issues, as well as our own ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and desires. We also all have an idea of how WE think life should happen…and how WE think life should work. And then conflict begins…Grief can bring up a ton of conflict. Other times in life, God sometimes allows someone with VERY different issues, ideas, thoughts, beliefs, desires, and ideals to cross our path…or they may live with us!

    We can view a person we are having conflict with as:

    • sandpaper that gets underneath our skin…or…
    • a divine vessel from God to sand away the negative character qualities and imperfections we have in our own life

    Depending on how we view our offender or a situation of conflict, we will either deepen our negative character traits…or…become a better person throughout a trial.

    In my last post, I stated, “Ultimately, conflict surfaces because it is one of the enemy’s strongest ways of keeping us from achieving what God wants for us, and what God truly wants for those around us. Conflict continually keeps hurts and problems stirred up…sucking up our extra energy…which prevents us from FULLY achieving God’s Will and His best for our lives. Ultimately, conflict keeps us from TRULY loving God and GENUINELY loving others.” …Think about this for a minute…

    So where does conflict originate?

    EVERY CONFLICT STEMS FROM ONE ORIGINAL SOURCE: One, or both parties, involved in a conflict has a major character deficit. Character deficits…and the granddaddy of all character deficits–selfishness (pride)–are what conflicts are rooted in.

    James 4:1 says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Aren’t they caused by the selfish desires that fight to control you?” Our character, and the selfish desires of our heart, try to control us. That is why it is so important to control and develop our own personal character throughout life.

    Whatever negative character qualities we do not gain control over, will end up controlling us.

    Let me explain: Character is the sum of qualities that a person either possesses or doesn’t possess that dictates every single thought, word, action or deed.

    Some people are fortunate to have been trained to have character qualities while growing up; others have not had an opportunity to have developed their character yet.

    One thing is for certain though: EVERYBODY can choose to develop their character from this day forward…and by doing so, resolve many conflicts in life, as well as many life difficulties. 

    When people go through grief, they may say things that they really do not mean. They may even do things that are not typical of them, too. It takes time for a broken heart to heal and it can take a lot of work to balance out after life has thrown a huge curveball. As a result of grief and loss, normally good character can suffer greatly.

    We must continually develop and strengthen our character throughout our lives…because “life” and grief has the ability to change or weaken our character. Since our character can be weakened by life events…or wrong motives or wrong influences we allow into our life…it is imperative to keep a strong “self-check” in place over our character and our hearts.   Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

    Conflict is not always a “They’re wrong and I am right” situation. Conflict can certainly be that, but more often than not, it is simply a lack of character…and the 2 parties involved can not resolve an issue until the character quality is improved and resolved. Without the character quality being defined, improved, and resolved, the offending person no more understands how to resolve the issue than they understand how to develop the character quality itself, making lasting conflict resolution very unlikely.

    The more we become Christ-like, the more character our lives will have…and the more we go to God to ask Him to develop His character and the fruits of His Spirit into our lives, the more opportunities we will have to develop them. (By the way, there are solid opportunities to put character, and the fruits of God’s Spirit, into practice during times of conflict…usually, conflict will reveal what is TRULY in a person’s heart…and the amount of genuine character they have. It’s not a fun revelation, but it is genuinely revealing to say the least).

    Here is a list of popular character qualities. It is not an exhaustive list, but a most common list. As both parties read the qualities, each truly has the opportunity to take the time to see which qualities they have personally violated towards the person they are in conflict with. Remember, it is not about being “right”…it is about both parties owning their part and RESOLVING the conflict.

    Two people can absolutely tear each other apart with arguments and divisions…without seeing any positive resolution at all. So, doesn’t it make sense to battle and change the negative character instead of battling the same topics over and over again?

    Galatians 5:15 shares, “If you go on hurting each other and tearing each other apart [biting and devouring one another], be careful, or you will completely destroy [or consume] each other.”

    Take a moment and look at the following list of character qualities, along with the negative character trait associated with the needed positive character quality for conflict resolution. A lot of times, if someone cannot pin point a character quality that is needed to resolve an issue, they can most likely pin point the negative trait that is being displayed. Find the negative character quality that is being shown and then develop the opposite (positive) character quality to better the situation.

    Majority of people do not merely react to another person; they react to a person’s character/lack of character…or guiding life principles/lack of principles…or values/lack of values.

    Whether it is conflict during grief, or conflict within a marriage or family relationship, church/religion-based relationships, work relationships, or any other conflict or relationship…majority can be resolved when fixing the root…which is fixing the underlying character issues.

    2 people then are not fighting each other…they are overcoming negative character qualities together.

    Some may refuse to work on issues, their character, or relationships (due to being stubborn, or maybe being deeply hurt by a situation or another person), so they choose to cut off or remove their self from the situation. Regardless of what one chooses…and that is truly between them and God…their negative character traits will follow them into a new relationship or situation. And the lessons usually get harder and much more difficult. God rarely allows us to be offensive, or refuse to obey His ways for conflict resolution, and then walk off and be blessed. He usually sends a much more cruel messenger or situation to motivate us to change our character and our ways. It’s just the way it works!

    So, why choose to work on it…especially when you truly do not want to?…It makes much more sense to develop our own character…whether another person does or not…and whether a situation changes or not…because we have to look at ourselves in the mirror each and every day the rest of our lives regardless of the outcome of our conflict. We ultimately do our part to please God.

    Consider these most common character traits that can be lacking. The anecdote is for each person to do a self check to truly see which negative character trait they are exhibiting, so that they can clearly figure out how to develop the positive character trait for lasting results in conflict resolution:

    (Before reading this list, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you which character qualities you need to develop and work on. Don’t be discouraged, everybody has MANY qualities they need to develop!)

    Acceptance vs. Rejection

    Adaptability vs. Stubbornness

    Alertness vs. Unawareness

    Attentiveness vs. Unconcern

    Authenticity vs. Fakeness/Hypocrisy

    Availability vs. Self-centeredness

    Being Under Authority vs. Selfish Rebellion

    Benefit of the Doubt vs. Harsh Judgment

    Boldness vs. Fearfulness

    Cautiousness vs. Rashness

    Civility vs. Incivility

    Communication vs. Lacking Communication

    Compassion vs. Indifference

    Community/Family vs. Isolation

    Contentment vs. Covetousness

    Cooperation vs. Rebellion

    Courage vs. Cowardice

    Courtesy vs. Rudeness

    Creativity vs. Underachievement/Dullness

    Decisiveness vs. Double-mindedness

    Dedication vs. Wavering

    Deference vs. Rudeness

    Dependability vs. Inconsistency

    Determination vs. Faintheartedness

    Diligence vs. Slothfulness 

    Discernment vs. Judgment

    Discretion vs. Simplemindedness

    Empathy vs. Hard-heartedness

    Endurance vs. Giving up

    Excellence vs. Apathy

    Faith vs. Presumption

    Faithfulness vs. Unfaithfulness

    Flexibility vs. Resistance

    Forgiveness vs. Bitterness

    Generosity/Hospitality vs. Stinginess

    Gentleness vs. Harshness

    Gratefulness vs. Unthankfulness

    Hardworking vs. Entitlement

    Harmony vs. Jealousy

    Honesty vs. Lying

    Honor vs. Dishonor

    Humility vs. Pride

    Humor/Fun vs. Coldness/Refusal to connect

    Initiative vs. Unresponsiveness

    Integrity vs. Lack of Morals

    Joyfulness vs. Self-pity

    Justice vs. Fairness

    Kindness vs. Harshness

    Leadership vs. Wavering

    Love vs. Hate/Pride/Selfishness

    Loyalty vs. Betrayal

    Meekness vs. Anger

    Mercy vs. Judgment/Judging

    Obedience vs. Willfulness

    Orderliness vs. Disorganization

    Patience vs. Impatience/Restlessness

    Peace vs. Contention/Disharmony

    Positivity vs. Negativity

    Punctuality vs. Tardiness

    Purpose vs. Cluelessness/Flightiness

    Purity/Virtue vs. Impurity

    Purity of Motives vs. Manipulation

    Resilience vs. Quitting

    Resourcefulness/Conservation vs. Wastefulness

    Responsibility vs. Unreliability

    Respect/Reverence vs. Disrespect

    Safety vs. Carelessness

    Security vs. Anxiety

    Self-Control vs. Self-indulgence

    Self-Discipline vs. Undisciplined

    Selflessness vs. Selfishness

    Sensitivity vs. Callousness

    Servant’s Heart vs. Haughtiness

    Sincerity vs. Insincerity

    Teamwork/Unity vs. Competitiveness/”Me” Attitude

    Thankfulness vs. Complaining

    Thoroughness vs. Incompleteness

    Thriftiness vs. Extravagance

    Tolerance vs. Prejudice

    Trust vs. Mistrust

    Truthfulness vs. Deception

    Unity vs. Division

    Vision vs. Apathy

    Wisdom vs. Foolishness/Natural Inclinations

    Take a few days to truly think about these character traits, the positive and the negative, and then pray about how you are going to further strengthen the good traits you have, as well as how best to develop and work  on the negative traits you have too. We ALL have both positive and negative traits and one of the greatest things about life is that we have the grand opportunity to continually better ourselves. When we love God and love others….and we choose to actively better the lives of others, and better ourselves, good things have a way of entering into our lives.

    Everybody at some point has failed in a situation or a relationship…but keep in mind: “Failure is an event, never a person”…as long as you have breath in you today, you can improve your life and your character! And improving your character will always lead to a better life, better relationships, and the ability to resolve conflict!

    Next post, I will be writing about how to develop each of the character qualities above. Stay tuned! 🙂

    ©2014 Kim Niles/Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

    ❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

    ⭐️For more encouragement:

    ❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

    ❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

    ❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

    ❤️Kim’s blog: www.griefbites.com

    ❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

    1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

    2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

    3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

    4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays


    5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

    6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

    7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

    ⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print. 

    ⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.