Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Cross at Christmas

My Mom.  
Still so young.  But still dying.  
No more chemo.  Relentless tumours.  Way more pain.  No appetite.
We're trying to find a pain medication that agrees with her body chemistry.
We were stretched out on her bed -- she spends increasing amounts of time in her bed -- 
this morning,  devo's was a rendering of Psalm 103... 
O my soul, bless God, don't forget a single blessing!  
He forgives your sins - every one.  
He heals your diseases - every one.  
(we smile at each other when I read this)
He redeems you from hell - saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy - a paradise crown.
(she's wearing it)
He wraps you in goodness - beauty eternal.
(she's beautiful alright)
He renews your youth - you're always young in his presence.
God makes everything come out right;
We have been very busy getting the proverbial 'house in order' - thankful for the time and ability to see this through and cope with the myriad emotions that wash over us.
We are praying to be able to enjoy each others company yet on Christmas Day 
when the whole shebang will be present.  
You have been praying haven't you?  
We are very thankful for this and ask that you continue to do so.
The final scene in John Bunyan's classic The Pilgrim's Progress shows Christian crossing the river to the celestial city.  Strong and mighty arms pull him up from his watery grave and embrace him with vigour, welcoming him into a splendour beyond description.  
To help someone prepare for such a crossing is....frightening, yes.  But less so now.
It's more like privilege.
And a very profound one at that.  
Almost a year in the making - our community project Great Hymns of Faith & Other Favourites is finally available.  It continues to be a great balm for a weary soul.
We missed the kafuffle over the moon.  
The way I see it?....we've had our fair share of amazing 'God displays' in different ways.
Imagine what a lunar eclipse would look like from His vantage point? 


  1. Yes, we've been praying! Praying you will have a very special Christmas celebration together and that you will all feel the peace of God surrounding you.
    "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6,7

    With love,
    Rich & Cynthia

  2. We have been praying - that you would have a very special Christmas together and that you would sense His gracious presence.
    Much love
    The Faber family

  3. Joyce DeGelder Hendricks
    We're praying Joanne.
    December 23, 2010 at 2:41am · Like

    Betty Sussan Boone
    I'm praying for you Joanne!
    December 23, 2010 at 2:48am · Like

    Susan VanderPloeg
    Treasure each second you can with your mom Joanne. I shared the last 10 days of my mom's life with her, and would not have traded that for anything. As you go through this time, remember always that your Mom, you, and your family are carried by a loving Father who is in complete control and will give each of you the strength you need. We will continue to pray Joanne.
    December 23, 2010 at 6:34am · Like

    Sonja Heeringa
    December 23, 2010 at 8:11am · Like

    Jill Jelsma
    My sister in law Margie is also in the final stages of her cancer. We too hope she can make Christmas but it sure has put a damper on the holiday season, waiting for that dreaded phone call. Praying for you as well.
    December 23, 2010 at 8:16am · Like

    Thea Heyink
    Praying amidst my tears for you all...
    December 23, 2010 at 8:18am · Like

    Elsa Devries DeGelder
    Praying for you all, Joanne, and holding you in our hearts.
    December 23, 2010 at 8:24am
    via Facebook Mobile · Like

    Tina Dekker
    thinking of you Joanne...
    December 23, 2010 at 8:31am · Like

    Diane Bosscher
    Praying for you, Joanne, and all your family. May our Heavenly Father carry you through this difficult time.
    December 23, 2010 at 8:38am · Like

    Deb Alkema
    Prayers for your family.....
    December 23, 2010 at 8:50am · Like

    Anita Kamstra Poort
    May our Lord and Father in heaven carry your Mom and family through this trying time, granting you all His peace and comfort.
    Thinking of you and praying for you Joanne!
    December 23, 2010 at 8:52am · Like

    Wendy Oostdyk-Verwey
    Praying for you and your family...
    December 23, 2010 at 9:19am · Like

    Henriette VanHof
    Thanks for sharing, Joanne. May God grant you all that you need as you travel this difficult road.
    December 23, 2010 at 10:14am · Like

    Yvonne Spanninga
    Praying for you and your family.
    December 23, 2010 at 10:48am · Like

    Hilary Vonk Scholtens
    Praying, Jo, and wanted to say that listening to 'the cd' this morning on the way to my Mom's I kept having to swallow back tears. May God bless this time that you share together on this earth!
    December 23, 2010 at 11:54am · Like

    Marie Kegel Kieft
    praying for you and your family, Joanne. We pray that the Lord will end her suffering soon (in His time). Andrew's Dad passed away the Friday before thanksgiving 9 years ago and it was the best family time we ever had afterwards... reminiscing, remembering, crying with tears of pain, grief and joy all mixed together
    December 23, 2010 at 12:37pm · Like

    Trix Aasman
    Thinking of and praying for you all, Joanne.
    December 23, 2010 at 1:51pm · Like

    Tammy Krikke
    Praying God continues to give you peace and joy in your sorrows...thanks for being so willing to share these private moments.
    December 23, 2010 at 6:15pm · Like

    Anita Hulzebosch
    may His perfect peace surround you all!!
    December 26, 2010 at 8:59am · Like

    Sheila Kamstra glad you know the ending to tHIS story.
    December 27, 2010 at 11:22pm · Like


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