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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Something More Sundays- Week 1

There can be grace in grief.

The holidays can be doubly difficult if someone has experienced the recent loss of a loved one.

Enough tears can be shed to possibly brine a Thanksgiving turkey.

I think most of you know that despite my desperate pleas for prayer I did not make it to my grandmother’s side before she passed away. This could be a prime opportunity for guilt in addition to grief. But I have decided not to invite that notion in to live and fester within my heart.

My grandmother was a nurse for over 60 years of her life. She saw multiple generations experience the circle of life and death. Death is not always easy. It can be quite the struggle. My grandmother had seen this firsthand and in all honesty, even though she knew I was coming, she was probably a caring nurse right up until the end and wanted to shield her loved ones from viewing what could possibly be a difficult passage.


I like this idea - simple & great for Christmas ! I am going to recreate for my kitchen table it but use a oval ivory colored platter --------

My grandmother lived in a town of 903 people. She was active in her church and community. Everywhere I went last week people I did not know had lovely memories and happy stories to share about my grandmother.


My grandmother passed a Yule log down the family. Some how it fell apart. This year I plan on making one so my children will have it to pass down. It brings back great memories.

People were eager to help me. Be it my grandmothers minister, her neighbors or former coworkers. It’s not lost on me that every single sympathy card I have received thus far has been from a stranger.


Advent and Christmas Scandinavian style , Per Natale

I had the opportunity to really get to know family members who, up until this point, I had no idea who they were as people. Seeds of relationships were planted and are budding.


Vinter- & Julinspiration

It was so inspirational to me, as I was cleaning out her home, to find several projects she had in the works. Yarn to knit caps for Honduran orphans, a doll she was repairing for a friend and notes to me scattered throughout the home.


Easy and chic Christmas decoration idea by Suolaa ja hunajaa blog

Yes, there were moments this past week that I let grace allude me. I became overwhelmed when I discovered no less than six piles of dirty laundry that had been created while I was gone. To have this chore on top of shopping for, decorating and preparing Thanksgiving dinner on short notice made me….ungrateful. Surly even. Then I remembered the last load of laundry I had done at my grandmother’s. Burying my head deep into her soft shirts to experience her smell one last time…

So yes, I decided to rejoice in dirty socks. Which truly can only be GRACE.

I'm thinking of adapting this idea for an advent wreath -- use a round tray instead, then add some greenery, a fifth candle, and glue a narrow ribbon of the appropriate color around four of the candles.

Goodness can shine though even in grief. Like all things it is merely our choice to choose to see the good and embrace the grace.

This is from one of my favorite advent sites.

“As we begin Advent, we light one candle in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world.  It symbolizes our longing, our desire, our hope.  Three “advents” or “comings” shape our desire.  We want to be renewed in a sense that Jesus came to save us from our sin and death.  We want to experience His coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose.  And we want to prepare for His coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth.”

So, we begin with our longing, our desire and our HOPE.

“When we wake up, each day this week, we could light that candle, just by taking a few moments to focus. We could pause for a minute at the side of our bed, or while putting on our slippers or our robe, and light an inner candle.  Who among us doesn't have time to pause for a moment? “

Each evening we could each find our own way to pray something like this:

“Oh, Lord, be with us now as we gather around this wreath.  As we light these candles, may this time together open our eyes to see your love in our lives and in the love we share for each other. Help us to be grateful for all of the ways you shine a light in the darkness of our hearts. Let us feel that love from you and be grateful for it. Open our hearts to those who have so much less than we do; those whose lives are so full of pain that they cannot see the light of your love. Show us how to carry that light to other people. Amen.”

You can also find prayers for singles, couples and those who are widowed HERE.


As I light the first candle of Advent, which represents HOPE, this evening at dinner and throughout the week I will be thankful for God’s unending grace.


16 comments : said...

Wonderful reflections, Laura.

FairfieldHouse said...

Sweet Friend,Laura,
This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read. Thank you for sharing your heart and touching mine.

Denise said...

Oh Laura, you are a blessing to so many people -- in the things that you do everyday for your family and community and the blog posts that you share with us. You must have a lot of Grandma Jingles in you. :) I will be thinking of you during the holiday season; I know Christmas is hard when you've lost a dear loved one.

I love this post, and thank you for the Advent references and link.


Denise at Forest Manor

Karena Albert said...

Laura, she kows you were there for her and by her side in love and spirit!

Enjoy this blessed holiday weekend!
The Arts by Karena

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I am so happy you got to reconnect with more of your family. I know Grandma Jingles was smiling down on you the whole time.

Dawna Motz said...

What a wonderful post. I am so glad that you are not letting guilt steal the joy of remembering your sweet Grandma. Grace,,,oh, how we all need grace. Thankful for the wee baby who came to give us just that. Love your photos and all the white candles. Happy Advent time to you :)

Vickie H. said...

May God bless and continue to keep you. Such a sweet post.

Marilyn said...

Such a lovely tribute to your grandmother. So heartfelt and eloquent.

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Scribbler said...

How beautifully written. I wish you joy and peace in this time of sorrow.

Grammy Goodwill said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts. You are helping me to deal with my mom's death with what you've written. I'm glad you were able to find the grace in this sad situation.

Lorrie said...

Dear Laura,
Thank you. Grace abounds.

Sarah said...

Laura, my recent post touches on some of the same. It's important to find gratitude even in death.
Beautiful post, my friend. I'm thinking of you at this time of loss.

Vel Criste said...

I need to have one of these, but with kids, it's so hard. :-(

Debbie said...

Oh Laura, I'm so glad that I came here this morning. This is beautiful. You are so right about taking the time to focus, and I loved that you used the word surly to describe an ungrateful attitude. I understand this all too well.

Rita C. said...

Beautiful way to begin Advent, Laura - thank you.

Terri Steffes said...

I find myself rather emotional and a loss for words. So I will just write, "hugs" and sign off.