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New Traditions

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: Ecc 3:1 ESV  

Until recently in my widowhood journey, the thought of losing our traditions and changing the “way we always did things” terrified me. I believe the reason partly comes from how I lost my husband. There were no goodbyes, no preparations–he was gone in an instant. The other reasons have more to do with not wanting to forget what David means to me and what he means to our three girls. I want his life to count for something worthy of our remembering. I feel very strongly about being the torch bearer for his legacy; I try to honor God and him as I go about life.

Time slips by so quickly and it’s hard to believe I have experienced four New Year Eve’s without my husband. I miss his silly remarks about “not kissing me for a whole year,” and reminiscing together about our first date 26 years ago on New Year’s Eve. I miss him terribly and I enjoy soaking in those memories until I have raisin-like fingers. The memories help ease the lonely and give a much needed break from living life without my spouse.

In the last few months I have come to realize the importance and the necessity of venturing out and establishing new traditions for our little family. All four of us are living and breathing and those are the only requirements needed to know our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. It isn’t realistic to try to stop traditions from growing when those experiences shape us and strengthen us. Being pliable is essential as we move forward. Adding some new traditions or setting aside some old ones is something the living have to consider.

So I decided to add a new tradition this year to our Christmas festivities. This gave a great source of anticipation and the planning kept me occupied. The planning wasn’t too complicated, which made it as low stress as possible. As I was carrying out my plan I came to realize that this little step forward didn’t take away from our memories of past Christmases, but it honored my husband in a new way. The daddy of our three girls and my husband would never, ever want his death to stop his girls from living and carrying out God’s plans. He never practiced living life based on fear and didn’t want anything to impede his girls from doing whatever they set out to accomplish. Bittersweet moments did shadow me through our new tradition, but the benefits and the wonderful time spent with our girls encourages me to keep working through the uneasiness.

Sweet Sisters, I want to encourage you to try out new experiences as you maneuver on this road of widowhood. The new experience will bring a little bit of excitement and a break from all the added responsibilities. Every step you take will propel you farther down the road to living out God’s plan for you.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for always guiding us into Your plan. Thank You for encouraging us as we try and move forward in the midst of our sorrow. We are grateful to know you take every step forward with us and you cushion our feet. In Your Mighty Name, Amen.


4 replies
  1. Sheryl Pepple
    Sheryl Pepple says:

    Great encouragement Jill! I had to shift some traditions this year because I moved but I like the idea of intentionally adding new traditions and building the anticipation. I will be thinking about this! God Bless, Sheryl

    • Jill Byard
      Jill Byard says:

      Sheryl, Thank you for your words of encouragement. Adding the new tradition helped in more ways than I ever thought possible. God is good. Blessings to you! ~Jill

  2. camille
    camille says:

    Thank you. I don’t know what I want to write. Every day is difficult but a new journey for my family.

    • Jill Byard
      Jill Byard says:

      Camille, Thank you so much for taking the time to connect with us on our site and for reading our articles. I am so very sorry that you have experienced such loss. I know every day can be difficult. I pray that you can find peace as you and your family move forward. We love when our readers interact and would love to hear more from you whenever you feel comfortable sharing. Prayers to you for the New Year. God Bless. ~Jill

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