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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Forever Gift

Sweet Christ-child come to us,
turning even a lowly stable
into Holy Ground.
May you be welcome always.
Gracing our lives
with the Gift of your
Forever Love,
From our Stable to yours,

Monday, December 24, 2012


In hushed anticipation, we wait.  Children's noses pressed tight against frosty window panes.

Christmas Eve.  Magical Night.
Lights twinkle on the tree, rivaling the starry night.  Beams of silver shine over the stable...
And we wait
on this wondering Silent Night...
 for Grace to arrive.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Dolphin Escort...

Mom's memorial cruise began with the most graceful of gifts...

A playful dolphin frolicking in the muddy waters of Galveston port!
She brought smiles to the 4 intrepid travelers:
Jordan, Katie, Me and Dad...
The wonderment continued as we settled in to our staterooms
and began to let the cares of the world slip away.
A cruise vacation that mom would have loved...
We ate.  A lot!
We relaxed and watched the shows...
we explored the tropical ports of call...
We played with tigers!
We indulged in a Beach-side massage.  Ahhhh.....
And on tuesday, December 4th, we honored mom's memory...
at sunset we stood at the bow, endless blue above and below.
We released her with tears and sighs
and felt her spirit dance on the waves...
there was pain and grief as memories flooded,
but also joy and freedom as we realized the grief was softened...
her love wrapped our hearts,
not with the tearing hurt of first loss,
but of hopeful new beginnings with her blessing.
And in a surprising, touching end to the day, Dad bought a
beautiful painting at the ship's art auction...
the painting was aptly named
"Close to my Heart"
She is and always will be...Close to our Hearts.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
And then we arrived at the Wedding Beach!!!
What a delightful way to finish out this memorial cruise.
Katie and Jordan had a blast roaming the beach, playing in the surf
and relishing the absolute peace of this tiny bit of tropical paradise!
We arrived back home refreshed and at peace.
Tropical trade winds, soft and warm,
brought the healing caress of memories,
soothing to the mind's eye
and sweet to the much loved heart...
In Grace Renewed, Jane

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day of Silence

On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. 

 Many in the blogging world are raising awareness for The Newtown Youth and Family Services organization in light of this tragedy. Here is the official description of their support service:

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Please visit THIS PAGE if you are interested in making a donation.
Thoughts and Prayers Circle ever high
for the Community of Newtown and beyond.
May God's Holy Spirit fall gently
Covering the Hurting Hearts with Healing and Hope...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How do you bear the unbearable?

Suitcases barely unpacked...

Dogs beat happy welcome tatoo against our legs, begging with wet noses and urgent whimpers -- so glad you are home...

Goats bleat hungry and Daisy Donkey brays hurry!

And in the midst of such happy...
Horror interupts in Breaking News
Small town, unspeakable violence...
Such Innocence, blond curls, shy smiles
somebodies babies...
Time stands still,
we are rooted to the horrifying images on the small screen.
Lives torn apart by unbearable tragedy.
Tears spill unheeded
as hearts break for families we do not even know.
But the grief, unimaginable...
How does a person bear it?
There is no answer for the empty arms, the mamas crying for their baby, the daddies longing to swing their little one up in the air one more time.  The Christmas packages wrapped in ribbon and bows waiting to bring delight to a child who will never open them.  The grandmama and grandpas who live too far away, hearing the news sobbed over the phone...there is no answer...
And yet, there is One who knows that kind of Grief..
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and well-acquainted with grief..."
                                                                               Isaiah 53:3
He was there in the midst of that Horror
with the trembling teachers who
faced Evil to protect the Innocent...
He was there in the closets
and in the corners
as precious children learned the taste of fear
but were Held safe...
He will be there with the
mothers and the fathers
the sisters and brothers
the families and friends
as they begin a Journey of Unbearable Grief...
He knows that kind of Grief.
He will bear it
He asks only that we let Him...
Taking our Soul-Sick Hearts to the very Throne of Grace this night.
Lord hold the Families Close,
May your Mercies be ever Strong,
reaching the deepest place of their Grief
and giving sweet Peace and Relief
in their greatest Time of Need.
Bowed in Hope...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

365 Days...

... without Mom...
Hearts still grieve and emptiness waits to be filled...
Moment to moment Grace gives Peace, and I know she would smile to see her family honoring her memory in a tight circle of Love, shouldering each sorrow together and growing stronger for the journey... 
But how to walk through this 1st anniversary without her?   We have silently debated, each of us wrestling with memories of that final day, not wanting to relive the pain, but unable to stop the flood of emotions, raw and sharp...
In quiet moments with Dad we've tread the unfamiliar ground, hesitant and would you like to honor this day, honor her memory, her life?
It will be a cruise...
As the days have drawn closer to this 1st anniversary, Dad's sense of rightness and calm have pervaded.
A cruise it will be...
He had no desire to stay at home, reliving those horrific, heart-tearing days.  Rather, the place he wants to remember her is a place where they had found such delight and joy...on the sea, sun bright, wind caressing...
We leave today.
On Tuesday, December 4th, we will gather at the bow of the ship and in silence and with deep peace, we will allow our hearts to open to all the memories...
How I wish we could have just one more hour, one more minute together!
Praying for Grace to Guide the Memories,
Hallow the Moments,
Fill the Empty Holes of our Hearts.
For Love's Sake I know God Hears,
Steady and Sure in Grace,