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Sunday, May 31, 2015

His Grace is Amazing...

God's Riches Redeemed in the midst of unthinkable tragedy.  The Willis family is no stranger to such grief..

Might you listen to their beautiful instrumental rendition of Amazing Grace and be lifted up this day...

Amazing Grace, Indeed,
                            My Love,

Monday, May 25, 2015

Honoring our Fallen...

It is widely believed that Memorial Day began as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War.  After World War I, it was extented to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

It is traditional to fly the Flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon.

And those would be the facts found in history books... Yet in our family, this day marks a personal journey of loss... for it is a day we grieve a loss of ultimate sacrifice...

Bowing head and heart in grateful remembrance:

Pfc Caleb Andrew Lufkin
December 9, 1981
May 25, 2006

You are loved, always remembered,
and honored today with tears spilling over.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Choose Hope

Heads up for a Memorial Weekend Sale!

Choose Hope is offering 20% off on orders of $60 or more, for online only... No code required... And there's Free Shipping... :-)

We love this company. (We are not affliated with them in anyway, nor endorsing them for profit, we just truly love the work they do!)  Not only do they get what Cancer does (they've been there), but they have found a way to give smiles and joy back to the hurting. 

With every sale, they support cancer research and are Fighting for a Cure right along with us.

Plus their stuff is simply perfect...

If you're looking for the perfect gift for the cancer so-journer in your life,
head on over to Choose Hope this weekend!

Choose Hope's generosity of spirit is making a huge difference in the lives of those touched by cancer.
Over $900,000 donated to Cancer Research Nationwide!
Well Done...

Choosing Hope this day...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Safe in the Jaws of the Beast...

Ok, so you remember that walk we took a week back?

The beautiful spring-day walk in the woods?  Yep, that one...

And our hearts were smiling, and the breeze was light, and it was so very springy and pretty...

And I took lots of pictures, and only shared a few, cuz overload and all that.  Well, there were a few pictures I didn't share, because, well, they weren't very springy and pretty.

But, then everything changes.  And now I have to share.  So beware...not springy and pretty coming up...

Yes, it is indeed a skull...
Just laying out on the path, wicked fangs interrupting the peaceful calm of our spring walk.  Farmer husband informed me that they are tusks from a wild hog... But fangs, tusks, it was all a little unsettling
So, of course, we picked up the gruesome skeleton and brought it back home.  You expected that, yes?
It's kind of like "show-and-tell" at Memaw and Pepaw's... Because grandkids love gory stuff...
And I tried to ignore the gory skull... But then it ended up on the patio table so we could see it better and I refused to eat there, ever and again, amen...
Fast forward to today and this adorable little tree frog...
All safe and snug in the Jaws of the Beast...
And getting a little sun to boot.
How can that not make you happy?
Sweet little tree frog, nestled all content
in the last place on earth I would ever want to be...
Perhaps there is good even in the gory?
(The patio table is still dead to me...just saying)
And because this could be a traumatizing post for the squeamish among us,
I feel obligated to end on a happier note...
Same walk, same day...
Frilly blooming Iris,
growing wild and free,
a thing of beauty.
May your day be so,
the unexpected beautiful right where you are.
Love Always,

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day and The Stone

There are days that bring my heart such joy... I never thought I'd be able to feel the blessings again after losing mom.  The grief was thick and the smiles were, oh so fragile... Sadness cloaked the path.

Yet, Grace spilled over hurting souls and covered us in Love.  We've walked on in the journey and have found joy... not the same... the missing still aches, but joy, nonetheless in all the good God has given.

And most days it is so.  There is Grace, there is Love, there is Blessing.

But every now and then, the Loss can overwhelm and all but drag us down into the dark.

Mother's Day...

The missing is a physical thing.  And I feel it deep.  And the smiles tremble...

And then I read a sweet journal post from a fellow grief-traveler.  She understood the Loss, even though her loss is so different from mine.  Yet, grief, the same...

She spoke so beautifully of The Stone she carries always.  Might you read on and see her tender heart...

"The best way I can describe grieving over a child as the years go by is to say it's similar to carrying a stone in your pocket.

When you walk, the stone brushes your skin.  You feel it.  You always feel it.  But depending on the way you stand or the way your body moves, the smooth edges might barely graze your body.

Sometimes you lean the wrong way, or you turn too quickly and a sharp edge pokes you.  Your eyes water and you rub your wound but you have to keep going because not everybody knows about your stone or if they do, they don't realize it can still bring this much pain.

There are days you are simply happy now, smiling comes easy and you laugh without thinking. You slap your leg during that laughter and you feel your stone and aren't sure whether you should be laughing still.  The stone still hurts.

Once in a while you can't take your hand off that stone.  You run it over your fingers and roll it in your palm and are so preoccupied with its weight, you forget things like your car keys and home address.  You try to leave it alone but you just can't.  You want to take a nap but it's been so many years since you called in "sad" you're not sure anyone would understand anymore or if they ever did.

But most days you can take your hand in and out of your pocket, feel your stone and even smile at its unwavering presence.  You've accepted this stone as your own, crossing your hands over it, saying "mine" as children do.

You rest more peacefully than you once did, you've learned to move forward the best you can.  Some days you want to show the world what a beautiful memory you're holding.  But most days you twirl it through your fingers, smile and look to the sky.  You squeeze your hands together and hope  you are living in a way that honors the missing piece you carry, until your arms are full again."

                                                                                               ~ Jessica

Our losses are all so different... Perhaps your struggle is the loss of faith, or the loss of a dream.

Grief is somehow universal to all of us.

And the loss comes in a multitude of hurts.  

The terminal cancer diagnosis, the straying of a spouse, the pink slip in Friday's last paycheck... Grieving what was, a life, a love, a passion... It is the stone we carry in our pocket.  For some, more ragged, more raw... but always there.

Mother's Day is one of those days that can be so very hard.  For many it is not the cheerful, Hallmark greeting card kind of happy.  It's a sharp, pointed rock digging wounds into our hearts... 

The mom you lost too soon.

Perhaps the mom who's slipping away.

Or the maybe you're the mom who fell so deeply in love with that child, the one you lost, oh, much too soon.

Or the mom who grieves the baby she never had.

The pain of this happy day is so very hard for some.  There are no Hallmark cards for this kind of Mother's Day.

But can I tell you that you are not alone?  We are journeying the same road, different loss, but the same emptiness.  Be gentle with yourself and those who are feeling their way through the pain on days like today.

May we remember, as Jessica does, that there is a day coming when our arms will be full again...

A day when "God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."  Revelation 21:3,4

A deep longing for that day... how we ache for that time.   We'll celebrate Mother's Day once more, all together.  Smiles joyful and hearts spilling over.  Love come full circle. No grief in that homecoming. And such riches we will hold...

God is good that way.

And until we do, we hold on to the memories {and the stone} always... praying that we honor their lives with each breath we take...

Love you Mom, always and forever...

Friday, May 1, 2015

Spring's Calling...

Warm breezes and blue skies have lured us out from stuffy four walls to see that there is still beauty all around...

A walk to clear our heads and lift our hearts,
leaving behind worries and cares for just a little while...



Perhaps Spring is God's way of reminding us that no matter how dark and cold the winter is,
grace still finds a way to bloom beautiful.

Might your weekend, dear friend, bring you moments of beauty and peace...

My Love,