|taken on a weekend get away to Orcas Island. Jan was there to greet us when we arrived. |
Always a gracious host.
On Friday morning we received the sad news that our sister-in-love had gone 'home' to Jesus after a long hard battle with cancer. Jan was one of the kindest, gentlest, giving women I have ever had the privilege to know and our family will have a huge hole with her gone. She was married to Bruce's brother and while we didn't see each other very often (a few times a year) there was always a welcoming presence about her. Even after the chemo destroyed her body and getting around was a painful experience, she still had a sweet spirit of wanting to serve and help others. Jan, you were a beautiful example of loving kindness and you will be so greatly missed!
|I found this heart shaped rock on the beach during that weekend on Orcas. |
I think that finding hearts in nature is like finding a love letter from God.
Learning of her passing on what we call 'Good Friday' and knowing that because of the sacrifice our Savior made on this day so many many years ago, we can rest in the assurance that we will see Jan again. Yet that does not remove the pain of losing her. At Good Friday service that night, I was helping in leading worship and each song made me fight to hold it together. But our last song, "In Christ Alone", one of the most beautiful anthems of our faith, I could not hold the tears back any longer. As we sang the mighty words 'no guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me..." I just let the tears fall. (mind you this song has the power to bring me to tears anyway) And it was OK. They were tears of both sorrow and joy.
The weekend was busy; Saturday was back to back activities. I had my Christian Women's Writers Group in the morning, followed by our church's Easter Program for the kids. From there it was a surprise birthday party for a friend. It was a fun party and at one point, I looked over at Bruce and said "We are so rich." For indeed, the room was full of some stellar people and the friendships we have developed has blessed us so much!
|on loan from a friend and I can't wait to delve in!|
From the party, a group of us headed to the movies! We watched "Heaven is For Real". I had read the book a couple of years ago and am thinking a re-read is in order. I enjoyed the movie very much. It was well done and very encouraging. I know both Bruce and I were thinking of Jan.
Sunday was of course, Easter! Resurrection Sunday. We had a wonderful service, which included the powerful exercise of something known as Cardboard Testimonies. I wish we'd taped them but this link will give you a good example of what it's about. Basically, it's a sign with one side stating who you were before Christ, and the other side is who you are in Christ now. For example, one of the signs that my friend carried said "depression and addiction" on one side and when flipped over proclaimed "overflowing with joy and purpose." As each of our folks walked across the front of the church with their sign, one of the band members sang an original song he'd written called "The Great Romance". Pretty sure there were more than just a few wet eyes by the time it was all done.
|because of Calvary...|
After church Bruce and I both kind of hit the wall and decided that despite some great invitations to join others, it was best for us to just go home and rest. We took a beautiful walk along the river during the late afternoon and explored a trail we'd not ever taken before and were treated to some extraordinary beauty.
|gonna lay down my burdens, down by the river side....|
|Happy Easter from the Love-Burkes.|
We had hoped to work in a visit to see the grandsons but we had learned earlier that morning that the little one was sick. And as the day progressed, so did his illness. Finally we got the news that mommy and daddy had taken him to the hospital where he's been admitted and tests are being run, even now as I write this. He is only 3 weeks old and while the temp. isn't terribly high, it was high enough to warrant a stay in the hospital till they figure out whats going on.
|another love letter from God as we walked the river.|
A feeling of lethargy has settled in. I got in my power walk this morning and began to tackle household chores but I certainly wasn't feeling it. I dreaded facing my kitchen which looked ransacked after our whirlwind weekend.
The need for a good laugh is desperately called for. So I'm looking for funny. And when I can't find it, I create my own.
|In a desperate attempt to get motivated I've donned my June Cleaver pearls and apron!|
I guess this might be what we sometimes refer to as "A Bad Case of the Mondays."
How glad I am to know that I can come before the Throne of Grace and lay down my burdens, pour out my heart and receive His Peace.
All because of Calvary.
|the power of the cross is only surpassed by Christ's conquering death by rising again!|