Life is Beautiful

We moved to this lovely mid-west town, affectionately known as The Burg, two and a half years ago. Little did we know that we would fall in love with this town and it’s people.

Sure, it has it’s frustrations like all relationships, but the people here and the countryside puts you right back into perspective.

Shortly before we moved here we met a great couple that were part of us feeling at home. We became fast friends.

Early in our relationship we found that the wife, Shirley, had been battling cancer. We became fast warriors in prayers of complete recovery.

Complete recovery can have perspectives just like a painting. We never seem to see all the outcome or the image at once. Some see victory on earth, some see the battle and the hard work associated with it, and some see the victory being the dance and the songs in the courts of Heaven.

As humans we would like the earthly answer. It’s where we are now. So many have overcome the ravages of cancer and some the overcoming came too early and continues in eternity with no more pain.

That was our Shirley. I had plans with our friendship. We were going to tramp through woods and see wildlife. She was going to feed them as I took pictures. I chuckle as I write this. Not to mention her husband and her children and grand children had plans of a future together.

We just don’t know. As a Christian I believe in healing. I’ve seen healing. I believe we can, scripture says, raise the dead. But sometimes that terrible, yet beautiful, mystery of our God takes us to where we  humans do not want to go. Death.

If we could just step back and see our life here, on this earth, is a part of the picture. Our lives continue into eternity. It hurts to lose. I know this.

As painful as it is I get to still be a part of the earthly tribe. The parts of Shirley that still live one. The heart of her husband that beats with joy, though pained, and a giving heart so big. Her daughter carries her mother’s heart for her own children and husband that shines with faith and love so deep for so many. Her son carries her creativity in levels that go so deep I am sure Shirley is rejoicing over them! And those grand children! An amazing legacy!

img_2663

That brings me to the images I want to share. There is a property in Russellville, MO that has been in Shirley’s family for quite a while. It is beautiful! If you go there and sit on the front porch with her son and his wife you feel completely at home.

There is a peace there and a piece there of Shirley’s inheritance that I cannot find words for. There is hope there. There is vision for the future there.

A vision to help those who have struggled to come and farm and learn and use their talents to make their life better. A vision of hope for the hopeless.

As this project develops I will write more about it. But right now I honor Shirley and her inheritance. It is so wonderful to see that it never ends when our pained and broken bodies fail and leave this earth. Life does go on. History teaches us that. Memories are like gold and seeing someone living on in the hearts and talents and actions of those still here is priceless.

In the old barns they found the original tools for farming – made of wood!

Enjoy!

Cate B

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Circle of Life

This week, a fellow blogger, Terry, lost her brother Al to a terrible disease.  She is not only his sister, but his caregiver.  My heart is with her and her family.

Also, a dear friend of mine, Jill, lost her brother to another terrible disease just this morning.  Again, a piece of my heart is with her and her family.

Death is a part of life.  The part we humans hate.   But is must happen.  Grief is both terrible and beautiful.  Those of us who have lost loved ones know what I mean.

However, when death comes it is hard.  It is uncomfortable and yes, inconvenient.  The world around us goes by as if nothing happened.  Those of us who got stopped in our daily tracks by death wonder – how can they just keep going as if nothing happened?  But life does move forward and we must, as times passes – simply because we are alive.

Babies are born everyday.  Everyday there is new life.  Everyday there is death.  It happens and even though we do not understand it, it happens anyway.

My prayers are with my friends and their families.  My prayers are with you all that have loved and lost.  Prayers that help you ride the waves of grief and let healing and comfort fill you in the days and years ahead.

May you find peace and comfort.

cate b

Prisoner of Hope – Anniversary

part 10 …….

Sometimes I think I live in a sheltered world.  What I mean is that words that imply more than one thing seem to only imply a positive meaning in my head.  For example, the word anniversary is defined as:

anniversary |ˌanəˈvərsərē|

noun ( pl. -ries)

the date on which an event took place in a previous year

I always think of nice thoughts tied to the word anniversary.  But when it’s the death of a loved one I don’t like to use that word.

January 10th marked the eight year “anniversary” of our daughters death.  Eight years have flown by in some ways.  I actually thought it would get better as time went on.  That the wound would somehow lessen.  Wrong.  But I will say the wound becomes sweeter.

Death is a part of life.  There is a sweetness especially when you realize that this life is a part of eternity.  This is the first part.

butterflyAnd that is where my hope lies, anchored in the One who takes me through life’s ups and downs, the easy and the hard.  And because of that Hope I will her when I get there.

Cate B.