Monday, March 31, 2008

Not too bad...

Yesterday turned out to be pretty good. He was definitely better than Saturday. A couple of times dad excused himself to relax in the bedroom, perhaps doze a bit; but he also had some good times with all of us. Although, we did stay too long and ultimately wore him out.

I stopped over this evening after dinner and arrived just as dad was about to go back into the bedroom. Even though I didn't get to visit with dad (which I don't mind - I rather he get his rest), it gave mom and I a good opportunity to just sit and talk for over an hour.
While mom and I were chatting, dad's friend, Randy, came by to say hello. When mom announced who it was to dad, he was delighted and asked him to come right on in the bedroom where there's already a chair situated. Even though he's not out of bed, it's good to hear him talking so animatedly with his friend. He's enjoying his company. (Dad did get up after Randy left and I got to visit with him for about 45 minutes before he went back to bed and I headed home.)

The hospice nurse came by today. Dad's blood pressure is much better today. There are definitely signs, though, that his body is slowing down. Yellow complexion = reduced liver function... very dark urine = reduced kidney function... short of breath = reduced lung function... fast heart rate (104) = heart working to compensate (that's our interpretation of what the nurse has said).

In God's grace, we're all just taking what each day brings, thankful that dad is not uncomfortable (thanking God for Hope Hospice who makes dad's comfort their priority!).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Peaks and Valleys

That's what the hospice nurse said we can expect from now on. Good days and bad days. Today was a valley trek. Dad just feels weak, tired... possibly dehydrated. He has no appetite whatsoever and can barely even drink anything. He spent a lot of time in bed today; he says it's just comfortable there to be able to lie down and close his eyes, even if he's not sleeping.

He looks even a little thinner to me today... but what stuns me is his color. He's so yellow. Actually, you can call it that goldenrod color. Hmpf.... {sigh}.

Tomorrow is Sunday. Kristiina, Nic, Joe and I will see them for lunch, like every Sunday. Aunt Mar and Uncle Bob are coming, too. I hope it's a peak day so he can enjoy everyone and vice versa.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Seems Like a Good Day



I like this picture of dad. Kristiina captured it on Christmas Day - he looks healthy and happy.

I went to mom and dad's yesterday and it seems like dad was having a good day. Much improved over last week. He seemed much more lucid and didn't appear so sleepy. He was up for chatting which he hadn't been in the mood to do lately, and he even appeared to have an appetite (I caught them at dinner time). He is not taking the sleep aid anymore which seems better for him. He doesn't sleep great during the night, but with the pain medication he's now taking for his back, he's at least comfortable and that helps him sleep better than he used to.

I also noticed that the edema in his legs isn't as bad. I could actually see his ankles! The edema in his abdomen is still very evident, though. He's so bloated. But that's even improving - the nurse said he's losing inches around his middle. Part of that could be his overall weightloss (he's getting awfully thin), but mostly it's the fluids... water pills seem to be working.

Last week he had a couple of instances where he fell (thankfully, didn't hurt himself). He thought he stumbled (likely because of the way the sleep aid made him feel), but the Hope Hospice nurse said Wednesday that he may actually have passed out for an instant because his blood pressure is so low (the bottom number in one arm was 55, and 58 in the other arm). She's going to start coming to the house twice a week instead of only once so she can keep an eye on that.

Another person from Hope Hospice came to see him on Wednesday, too. She's an "Emotional Therapist" or something like that. I forget exactly what mom and dad said her title is, but she came out to see how he's doing "with everything" (facing death). After talking with him she concluded he's anchored and in a very good place. She wishes all of her clients could have his disposition... she said he's the anchor point for where emotionally healthy people should be (or something to that effect). Of course, we know that's because of his faith.

So, other than the low blood pressure, I was encouraged after seeing him yesterday and thankful to God for answering our prayer to keep him comfortable.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Almost forgot

I've been preoccupied lately with dad's health. Plus, for months now we've been counting down to May 1st. Mom is retiring (woohoo!!) - her last day is April 30th. And (I'm trying to be brave) Kristiina and Nic leave May 1st for Vermont. Not a vacation... a move; a semi-permanent transplant (at least 2 years). Ugh! My heart is sinking as I write this. Just for good measure, you may as well add to the mix that I'm trying to keep a struggling title company afloat in a floundering real estate market. With all of that, I was just about to sail right past April 15th without a thought about taxes! I'm glad I at least remembered with a few weeks to spare! Hmpf. Now, where did I put all that mail that said "important tax documents enclosed?!"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

...inexpressible and glorious joy...

1 Peter 1:3,4 and 8,9

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you... Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

I've been looking for words to adequately explain how I can experience deep sorrow and yet sincerely and gratefully praise God. I've read the passage above numerous times, but last night it washed over me anew and I realized, that explains it.

I find that happy and joyful are not synonyms. Happy is an emotion that floats on the surface of my circumstances and it comes when life is clear and calm. Likewise, sorrow rides in on the dark and turbulent waves. My emotions can change from day to day, sometimes moment by moment. But joy runs deep, is a firm foundation, and is undisturbed by the squalls that kick up on the surface. It's mysterious... an inexpressible and glorious joy!

I see my dad dying and my heart hurts, I cry; but deep within I can praise God because "...In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you..." and so on.

Hallelujah. Be blessed this Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Update on Dad

He's beginning to experience some pain - not severe, but enough to make him uncomfortable. When the Hope Hospice nurse came Wednesday, she (via the Hospice doctor) provided him with a nasal pain medication. That, and a different sleep aid. He began taking both on Thursday and together they may be too much. He's awfully disoriented. Not in pain anymore, but not very lucid; and sooo sleepy. Tonight they're going to forego the sleep aid and see how he does with just the pain medicine. Hopefully, he'll feel more like himself tomorrow. We'll all be at the house for Easter and it'd be nice if he could enjoy it with us.

I see him every couple of days, and each time he seems a little weaker and thinner. I typically drive home in tears...it's hard to see him so frail. Joe saw him today, too. It had been six days for Joe and the change in dad just since last Sunday was a hard reality for Joe - he wept a bit. He loves dad like his own.

Well, tomorrow is a new day - Resurrection Sunday; the celebration of Jesus' victory over death and eternal life for those who believe. Here's hoping, with God's grace, that it will be a good one for dad as he's surrounded by his family who cherises him so.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Siblings...

I recently came across an old picture of my brother, John and me
(not great quality - it was scanned from an inkjet print)


And another one that reveals a talent we share... Ha! :-)


We're a couple of weirdos!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Just an observation

I've noticed lately that when people say goodbye to dad they're more intentional. Not surprisingly, of course. But, you know how it usually is... a sincere squeeze and a "good to see you... hope to see you again soon... take care..."

Now people are sure to look him in the eye - give him a kiss on the cheek (I'm talking friends for whom that wouldn't be the norm) - tell him they love him.

This past weekend my aunt (mom's sister) and cousin were here for a visit. When it came time for them to go on Sunday afternoon, I noticed my cousin saying goodbye to dad. She gave him a tight hug, held his hand for a while, told him she loved him, even caressed his cheek. She lingered.

Later, we were standing out front for a moment before they got in the car and she said, "Ugh... I don't want to cry. It's just... I don't know when the next time will be that I'll see Kristiina (more on that later), and... Uncle Jack... " Knowing that she most likely won't see him again till heaven, she hugged mom and indeed cried.

I noticed it, too, when dad's younger sister was here a little over a month ago. When he walked her to the door she hugged him and told him she loved him, which isn't uncommon for a sister to do; but she also lingered a bit, searching his eyes.

Saying goodbye is a hard thing... even for those of us who have the hope of heaven and a future reunion. I can't imagine how painful it must be for those who believe this is it...nothing beyond this world. But there is life beyond this world and God promises that whoever believes in the Son he sent, Jesus, the One and Only, they shall not perish but will have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Believe and have hope!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Seven?!

I know, I know. Call us kooky. But, here’s how it happened...

Once upon a time, there was a cute little blond named Sassy who was rescued by a very nice dog rescue organization. About the same time, a handsome boy named Max came to stay there, too, and Sassy was smitten. She and Max became great friends and enjoyed running and playing in the yard at the rescue facility. Max was good to her and seemed to look out for her. I think he was smitten, too.

One day, two nice ladies were shopping for their other precious pets, when they happened upon Sassy who was at the pet store with her other canine friends hoping to be adopted. Now, the ladies didn’t have any plans to adopt another dog, but when they spotted Sassy, they could hardly resist her. She was so pretty, but looked so sad. She was edgy and fearful of her unfamiliar and chaotic surroundings.

Both ladies’ hearts nearly broke, and one of them kissed her on the head and told her she’d be back the following day after she told her husband all about Sassy. He wasn’t sure a third dog was appropriate for their home that already had Jake and Dexter, but he agreed to go back the next day to visit her.

Well, Sassy was terrified of the nice lady’s big husband and didn’t want to get near him, but his heart broke for her, too, and he agreed she needed a good home and loving family. So, they agreed to take her home. The nice couples’ daughter and son-in-law were there, too, and they discovered Max! Rather spontaneously, they decided that Max should go live at their house. So, Sassy and Max each had a place to call home and the best part… they could have play dates since their new families were family to each other!


It didn’t take long for the nice couple to realize that Sassy was a misnomer!


She was so timid and shy… she couldn’t possibly retain the name Sassy. After much thought and deliberation, she became Zeila, the couple’s pretty, pretty princess. She liked the nice lady a lot, but it took a very long time for Zeila to trust the nice lady’s big husband; nevertheless, he was very patient and gentle with her. Meanwhile, she loved to play with her new “brothers” Jake and Dexter and they helped her feel at home; especially the family’s alpha dog, Jake. He was very good to her and was willing to play nearly every time she wanted to. Dexter was nice, but not as much of a player.

Her friend Max’s new family also gave him a new name. He appropriately became Bruiser because he was always so happy to see them and eager to show his love that in his enthusiasm, he left little blue and yellow marks all over his “mom’s” legs and arms. A couple of times he got to go visit Zeila so they could run and play together like they used to do. They had so much fun!

Then one day, Zeila’s “big brother” Jake passed away quite suddenly. The family was so sad; they cried and cried. Dexter and Zeila were sad, too. Things just weren’t the same for anyone. A few days passed when it was decided that Bruiser would come to Zeila’s house to visit for a little while to help everyone recover and take their minds off how much they missed Jake, and while he was there, the nice lady’s big husband would help train Bruiser which would help his family and also make Bruiser a happier, well-adjusted dog.

It didn’t take long for everyone’s somber spirits to lift, nor did it take long for Zeila’s family to marvel at the remarkable relationship that Zeila and Bruiser had. They hadn’t before witnessed them spend this much time together, and therefore, didn’t realize just how deep a bond they shared. They truly were made for each other. Bruiser’s family could see it, too, and after a lot of thought and a few tears, it was decided that Bruiser would stay with Zeila’s family permanently. Truthfully, I think Bruiser’s “canine sisters” weren’t too upset to be free from the antics of that rowdy younger brother.

So… happy, happy, playful days ensued! One minor detail was overlooked… neither Zeila nor Bruiser had yet had the “procedure” to ensure that puppies weren’t in their future. When some changes began taking place with Zeila, her family watched them very closely to be sure the two didn’t tango; and when no one was home, Zeila got to stay in her family’s bedroom. Slick Bruiser, however, learned how to let her out of the bedroom... and the nice couple knew they could be in for some big changes around the house when Dexter, Bruiser and Zeila greeted them at the front door one evening! And sure enough... Zeila's family soon took her to the vet and discovered that she was pregnant with 4 pups. Oh boy!

Her family intended to find good, loving homes for them (well, maybe all but one of them... they are Zeila and Bruiser’s, afterall). Zeila’s family took very good care of her while the pups grew and developed and they were expected to arrive in early June. On Saturday, June 2nd, the very nice lady noticed that Zeila was acting a bit peculiar and she called Bruiser’s “mom” (another very nice lady) and told her to come over, “ cuz it might be time.” Sure enough, Zeila’s mom (the very nice lady) and Bruiser’s mom helped Zeila to deliver her four healthy pups; two boys and two girls.


They brought such joy to Zeila’s family! They loved to watch them interact with their mother, Mama Z (the newest of many endearing nicknames); and see them grow and thrive. It took 4 weeks before Mama Z would allow Papa Bruiser near them, but when she did, he was so tender. The family began to name them just days after their birth (so they wouldn’t have to keep calling them Boy 1, Girl 2, Boy 3, Girl 4…). After just a couple of weeks, the very nice lady was getting attached and realized it was going to be very difficult to let any of them leave their home.


After a few more weeks, she was hopelessly in love with them. And by the time they were big enough to go… there was no way! They were already part of the family.
...so the nice couple and their big, dog-family lived happily everafter...!

That’s why we have seven dogs. Sometimes it’s overwhelming (a lot of sweeping, windexing and laundering the dog beds), but mostly it’s pure joy.
And, incidentally... the pretty, pretty princess now cherishes the nice lady's big husband!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mmmm...love these guys!

These are the dogs that live at our house... 7 in all!

Mom, Zeila and Dad, Bruiser (With then little, Emma.
At 9 months, she's now taller than both of them and almost
weighs as much as dad...she far out-weighs mom.)
...neighbor, Luke, wishes he could come over to play.


Riley (born 1st - looks just like dad)
Emma (born 2nd - don't know who she looks like except her sister)
Sara (born 4th - looks like her sister, Emma)


Blaze (born 3rd - looks just like mom. He's our big guy! now 70lbs.)


"Uncle" Dexter getting kisses from Emma
(He hates puppy kisses... see him exercising patience?!
You can see he's looking straight at me. Translation: Put
the camera down and come to my rescue! ARGH!!)


These were our little one-pounders on June 2, 2007 ,
the day they arrived.


That's: Dexter, Zeila, Bruiser, Riley, Emma, Blaze and Sara...
Love, love, love them! They are so good...
and everyone of them loves to snuggle!! :-)

Worth Repeating

This is something I wrote to a friend recently. It seems appropriate to reiterate...

"...This past Christmas evening, he and I were sitting on the couch talking. Regarding his illness and imminent demise, I told him how thankful I am for the eternal hope we have in Christ and the peace it brings in the face of tragedy and dread. He agreed and said that in his own strength he'd have been such a coward with what he's endured, but it's Jesus Christ who has made him strong and able to face and fight his cancer. Thankful, though I am for eternal hope, my heart aches at the prospect of living out the rest of my life without my precious dad. I know it's the natural progression of life - we can't have our parents for ever...but who’s ever ready to let them go?

God prepares us, though, for what he allows in our lives. My prayers have changed for dad. Oh, how I used to soak my pillow with tears and beg God not to take him yet. I didn't feel I could live without his warmth and wisdom. Now, while I don't want to live without it, I don't feel so desperate. While I ask God to consider the desires of my heart, it's with peacefulness that I concede that He is holy, eternal, and His plans are perfect. Now I ask that as He carries out His purposes, He will be merciful and gentle. No suffering for dad, please. I was reading Habakkuk recently... the only thing that stood out (it jumped out!), were four little words... His ways are eternal..."

That pretty much answers the "Why's" of our lives. When we don't understand, we have to remember that "His ways are higher than our ways" and have eternal value. Granted, that's easier said than done when you're in the midst of your Why?! moment. Take it from me! My transition from desperately pleading to peacefully conceding has been several years in the making. Finally, lesson learned where dad's cancer is concerned, but I'm sure there will be future Why?! instances where I have to learn it all over again (I can be dense that way - and full of yeah, but's!).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Two Questions I'm Often Asked These Days

1) How's your dad?
Physically, he's slowing down quite a bit. He says he's not in pain or uncomfortable, but he doesn't sleep well at night which leaves him awfully tired during the day. He takes little naps often to compensate... but that probably doesn't help the nighttime problem. He really enjoys peace and quiet these days... the less chaos and background noise, the better. But, then again, there are times that direct conversation is more exhausting... just depends on his mood. He also has a condition called Pitting Edema - swelling and retention of fluids (his abdomen, lower legs and feet). It's a side effect of other ailments (which I found was a very long list). For him it's probably largely due to the damage the cancer has caused to his liver. He's still able to get around and do things, though. The other night when we had dinner together, he was intending to cook it himself! ... but I was glad to be able to take over and do something to help.
Emotionally - mentally - spiritually, he's great... still himself. Peaceful - not at all anxious. Funny - still cracking jokes. He's just like he's always been - the delightfully charming and witty Jack that everyone loves! :-)

2) How's your mom?
She amazes me. A tower of courage and strength. Of course, from time to time I see glimpses of weariness and discouragement; afterall, she's preparing her heart to say goodbye (for now) to the one she's loved for 45+ years, plus I'm sure it saddens her to see her virile husband weakening. But mostly, strengthened by her faith, she's peacefully just taking a day at a time. She's not working full weeks now so she can be with him.

They met yesterday with Hope Hospice and dad's nurse is going to start coming every Wednesday just to check on his status and vitals. He's not at the point yet where he would be more comfortable at their facility - he's fine at home, but I think both mom and dad are relieved for the home service they provide and that they'll be available and welcoming when the time comes that he'd be better off with 24/7 care.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I don't think I'll ever have a plate of spaghetti and meatballs without thinking of dad. For him it's an ol' stand-by. When nothing else sounds good - that'll do just fine!

The other night mom had a meeting and Joe was working, so he and I ended up having spaghetti and meatballs together.

It was nice (and tasty, as always!).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Winds and Waves Still Know

Well, it’s only been a couple of days, but I have to say the message of the hymn "Be Still, My Soul" still grips me. I’m compelled to listen to it multiple times a day and if I try to sing along, I always end up staining my face with tears, unable to get the words out, especially when it comes to the part about the winds and waves still knowing His voice. It reminds me, obviously, of the biblical account of how terrified the disciples were, afraid they were going to drown, when “a furious squall came up.” However, Jesus rebuked it, and (it appears immediately) it was completely calm.

The circumstances of my tribulations are like the winds and waves of that raging sea, and I’m inclined to flail and wail, fearful of the storms that blow into my life. Yet, because of that powerful lyric written in the 17th century, a sense of calm comes over me when I imagine Jesus could just as easily be saying to me, “Why are you so afraid? Have faith… the winds and waves still know My voice, and they're required to obey Me.” In other words, “I got it. I’m on it. Settle down.” And I’m amazed at His omnipotence.

“Okay,” I tell myself, “Be still, my soul, the Lord is on your side and He faithful will remain.”


Jesus Calms the Storm

Mark 4:35-41

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

Cathartic

I'm not a blogger; at least, I wasn't. I guess I am now, thanks to Nate and Tricia. When visiting their blog (not being a blogger, their's is the only one I visit - except now adding visits to some of their suggested blog spots!) I used to enter my occassional comments with a generic "Pam in Florida." One day, seeing the ability to sign up right there in the comment section, I decided to make it a bit more personal and create my own "blogspot." So, I became http://www.paminflorida.blogspot.com/ How uncreative!
Anyway, here I am, and I'm finding it to be therapeutic in a "Dear Diary" sort of way. A place to record the things my heart ponders, and purge some of my thoughts, perceptions, feelings, musings and ramblings. So, whether I find myself with a cyber audience, or not, I'm happy to be a blogger.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Happy Day 03-11-06

Just for fun (and to see if I could accomplish it), I've posted the clip of Nic and Kristiina's Wedding video. :-) Happy Anniversary!
Enjoy the memories...

video

See More...

Me and Dad

Reminiscing and thinking of some of my favorite moments, like -

1) When I was just a little tike and he’d scoop me up and dance me around the room while he sang Daddy’s Little Girl by The Mills Brothers – and later, when I got big enough, standing on his feet while we danced. (I can clearly remember dancing in the living room on Ballentine Road.)

2) Sitting in his lap when I was about 4 while I sang Baa Baa Black Sheep to him and having him praise me like I’m about to nail a recording contract.

3) Lying on the couch next to him while he read the paper and pretending that I was reading, too (the inserts that were small enough for me to handle).

4) Thinking at that time that he should run for President. He’d win, hands down.

5) On the evenings that mom had to work, sitting around the dinner table with him and my brother having a contest on who can get the most stats correct for each player on the "early 70's" Miami Dolphins football team (stats printed on our Miami Dolphins glasses, courtesy of Aunt Mar and Uncle Bob who sent them from Miami).

6) The nights we got to go to Burger King in lieu of him cooking (when mom worked), and being so proud that he let me have a Whopper (instead of the Jr.) because I’m big enough to finish it!

7) Going to the library after dinner to pick out books, records, or movies.

8) The weekend evenings that he’d rent a reel to reel movie projector from the library and a huge stack of reel to reel movies to watch. He'd get out the big movie screen, dim the lights and make big bowls of popcorn; just like the movie theater… Laurel and Hardy was one of my favorites.

9) Going to Webster’s Pond on summer evenings or lazy Saturdays and feeding the ducks.

10) Going to Arctic Island for ice cream after we fed the ducks. I always had chocolate dipped in chocolate; soft chocolate ice cream with the hard chocolate coating.

11) Listening to the radio in the car when a song came on that evoked a memory for him – and having him share with us what it reminded him of… something from his childhood, perhaps about his sisters or his school days. I also loved the stories about when he and mom were dating.

12) Sitting in the back seat of the car listening to my parents talk; they often had good, meaningful conversations while we were enroute – setting good examples without realizing it (though, I'm sure they took into consideration that the kids are within ear shot).

13) Sleeping in his old high school foot ball jersey.

14) His willingness to duck when he dropped me off at the ice skating rink because in junior high, it was completely uncool to be dropped off by your dad.

15) Late night conversations about everything under the sun.

16) The important life lessons he taught about integrity and diplomacy by just living life the way he is.

17) The long, story-like examples he would give relating to the point he was trying to get across (usually about my safety), as I'm going out the door.

18) Him not reprimanding me for rolling my eyes and exclaiming, “I know, Dad” as I’m going out the door!

19) The way he always made me feel like I was his priority.

20) The way he embraced my husband as a son.

21) As a grandpa, the way he gave my daughter her own long list of precious memories.

22) Dancing again with him at my daughter’s wedding while “Always Be Your Baby” by Natalie Grant played in the background (Joe and Kristiina's special song, but oh, how appropriate!).



"...You were my first love, always there for me. You taught me how me to walk and how to dream. God gave me your eyes, but it was you who showed me how to see. The way you loved me made me who I am in this world. You are my hero and that will never change. You still can dry my tears with just your smile, and I know by the look in your eyes I'll always be your baby. Your faith, your love and all that you believe have come to be the strongest part of me; and wherever this life takes me, I'll always be your baby..."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Be Still, My Soul

Maybe you need encouragement today, as I do…

... thought I’d share my new favorite hymn - Be Still, My Soul

I came to know and appreciate it recently through this version by Selah. They recorded it as a medley with “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” but I’d also like to hear it in its original form - as Jean Sibelius (and the others) composed it. (Searching the internet which I’m sure will satisfy.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOus45dorPU

Here’s its history and lyrics:

Be Still, My Soul
" Be Still, My Soul" is a hymn originally written in German during the latter half of the 17th century. This period of time marked by a revival that broke out across Germany. Lutherans as this time were practicing Pietism. This doctrine was composed of religious devotion, ethical purity, and charitable activity. The newest hymn at these revival meeting was "Be Still, My Soul."
Three different composers worked to create "Be Still, My Soul." A woman involved in the Pietism Movement, Katharina von Schlegel wrote the lyrics. A century later, Jane Borthwick, a Scottish-born composer, translated the hymn into English. The last contributor was Jean Sibelius, Finland's finest composer. The music from "Finlandia" is used as the tune for this hymn. God used three people with three different languages to give us this wonderful example of Christian patience.
"Be Still, My Soul" was the favorite hymn of the Olympic athlete Eric Liddell. He became famous in 1924 for not competing on the Sabbath. He became a missionary in China and in World War II was captured. He taught this song to fellow prisoners at the compound where he was held. Eventually he died in the prison camp of a brain tumor.

Be Still, My Soul
Be still, my soul--The Lord is on thy side!

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide.
In ev'ry change He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul--Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul! thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul! the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul! the hour is hastening on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul! when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.


It’s a soothing, gentle reminder of everlasting hope that renews, restores and strengthens me at a time when I could otherwise buckle under the weight of life’s burdens. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

Shoulders square, chin up, eyes sparkling (okay, sometimes brimming) = persevering.

XO -Pam

About Me

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18