Love says thank you’s #553-562 through tears

by Craig on September 19, 2011

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying-1 cor 13 love


Sara is what I think about most, and best, right now.

Jessica, her friend wrote…

And yesterday, when hospice came, she was consumed with making sure people in her life knew they were loved and that she was ready to be at home in heaven.
She refused the rest her body needed.
just loved and loved and loved.

And Robin wrote…

Sara realized this week her death was imminent; on Tuesday she admitted through a heartbreaking-to-me-text that she felt different, that she thought it would happen soon.  And she was ready.
She’s worried about us and how her death will affect those who know and care about her!
She’s not fearful.  She is ready.  She wants you to know Christ.

Outside, leaves trickle from branches loosing their grip…

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying-1 cor 13 love
one by one they’ll pile up…

already they sprinkle the ground in lonely little puddles of color…

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying-1 cor 13 love

and soon…
too soon…
they’ll cover the ground altogether.

Time will cover this moment like leaves…
and it should…
Sara will be in the hands of the Father…
we will remain here…
along with two words that are her legacy.
Just. Two. Words.

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying-1 cor 13 love

And I don’t want those words covered up.

And crickets are singing loud this morning before dawn, they’ve been silent lately, why now the chorus?

Anyway, Monday is for thank you’s to God.
It has been as long as I’ve been blogging.
But how can I say thank you…
as my heart splinters…
and shatters?

I scrape the bottom of the jar, seeking just a bit of gold…

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying-1 cor 13 love

and it’s still peanut butter, it still goes good with jelly.
Remnants of peanut butter, by any other name…
are still thank you’s.

Thank you God…

#553for Sara: bravery, hope, faith, and love –  painted in soft pastel watercolors on the canvas of her life.

#554that even though I’m not in Sara’s circles, and I only know her by words, I’m related by blood. All who love You are related by blood.

#555for these tears, these oh so many tears, that just. won’t. stop. You know what to do with them all.

#556for teaching me not to look away, teaching me, Lord, to feel the jagged edges in someone else’s life, like shards of glass under my own feet. I hate that. I heart that.

#557that You were like this, You are like this – and I’m just this tiniest smidge more like You now.

#558because if You didn’t lead me to blog, I wouldn’t even know of Sara – You tugged me right into a  blogging community absolutely full of awesome – and love.

#559for Sara’s words to Ann about that ring, “purposefully hammered and bent, the way I often felt — the way you are feeling — but it is beautiful and perfect in its imperfections.” (tears)

#560... For Ann’s baby speaking wisdom so perfect for this moment, “Mama? That whole song? It’s played on the black notes.

#561For Ann’s soul words that play harmony to that melody, “The black notes can make music too. The black notes can choose joy too.”

I had so little peanut butter.  Ann gave me more. And I’m thankful for that as well. We’ll make that #562.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina September 19, 2011 at 7:29 am

Tears, just tears. Beautiful. Truly loving others is like glass under feet. But He knows even better than we just how painful it is. I “heart” your list today:)


Craig September 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Christina, thank you, and trust me, tears as I wrote. And yes, like glass under feet – a path HE walked so much better than any of us. Of course, thank you for using heart as a verb. ツ A little smile – they’ve been rare. God bless you Christina!


Andrea Dawn September 19, 2011 at 11:02 am

Craig . . . my dear “blood brother” . . . I just have to say, I feel this past week for you, wrestling with the issue of Sara’s imminent journey home, is somewhat like Jacob’s wrestling with God, where he would not let go until “unless You bless me”.

And He has . . . I sense a profound change in you, in your writing . . . your heart is enlarged, your gift of intercession deepened . . . you may be walking with a limp but you have struggled with God and have prevailed. (Gen. 32:22-32)

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
Be blessed my friend.


Craig September 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Andrea Dawn, it’s just been a week of sorrow, and prayer, and entering into this from afar. I’m not there, I’ve never met her, and I don’t know if there’s something permanent going on, but my heart lies open – and not the first time in this year named “connect”. I try not to wrestle with God too much anymore – we’ve had a lot of matches – I think I’m retired from wrestling. ツthis, I think, is just empathy – Just. Simple. Empathy. old and easy for some, new, and seemingly challenging for me. God bless you Andrea Dawn


Kris September 19, 2011 at 11:31 am

Beautiful words. Heartbreaking truth. This wide world of the internet and we find brothers and sisters, we find family and friends, all connected by the blood….my heart has been twisted and squeezed as Sara winds down her days on this side of glory… I have been stunned at how though I don’t *know* her, her words, her life, the ending of her life, has affected me deep. Thank you for sharing your heart, your gifts… for being part of this family who loves and learns to love from He who IS love….

blessings, brother.


Craig September 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Kris, my sister, she has affected me, and I knew how her body was being ravaged – but this – this – maybe it shouldn’t have – but it caught me off guard – and it’s real – and it hurts. And this community – this Christian mommy blog community – the one where I stick out – beeing part of it it comes complete with a whole set of challenges – but a much bigger set of rewards. You are one of them ツGod bless you my sister.


HopeUnbroken September 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

beautiful, beautiful words. her life has touched many of us in ways she will never know.


Mary M September 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm

you are right, HopeUnbroken, and you are wrong. Her life has indeed touched so many of us, but soon she Will Know, because God Knows, and she will be with God for all eternity. She Will Know. And she will continue to make a difference in all of our lives, I really do believe this. Death is not the end.

Craig, thank you for introducing me to Sara, I have been praying for her and you and everyone in these days, mindful of your intentions, her life lived so fully, saying yes to God until the last moment…would that we might all do the same!

Choose Joy!


Craig September 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I saw the first part of your answer to HopeUnbroken and I kind of figured it was going to be what it was – I’m smiling to know I was correct. And Mary, Amen, would that we might all do the same! Choose Joy!!


Craig September 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm

and I smiled as I write this – Hope – it’s too late for her to know how much – here and now – but once the candle goes out, it only shines brighter! It’s sad, so, so, so sad, now, but soon she will know even as we are known – the secrets that she will know – the joy? That is the thing that makes me smile through the tears. Thank you very much, and God bless and keep you!


Maria September 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

Beautiful words about a beautiful person.


Craig September 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Maria, that she is – that she is. Choose Joy!! God bless and keep you – and thank you.


Kelly September 19, 2011 at 11:58 am

lovely tribute. heartfelt gratitude. blessings to you today


Craig September 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm

well, technically, Kelly, it was a thank you list – with a longer than usual preface – at least for me. I think the tribute will be in choosing joy, and then smiling when I do it in a worthy manner, and remembering why I’m smiling. That will come later. Now not much smiling… Later…

Blessings to you today as well Kelly.


Carrie September 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Lovely. I did not know Sara until today, but what a wonderful way for me to learn about her legacy. I’m heading to the linked post from Ann’s post as well as to Sara’s site to learn more about this wonderful lady.


Craig September 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Carrie, she is one of the special ones. To have a life headed in one direction and have it totally u-turned by illness – and then to deal with it with such honor and to choose joy – and now this. She lived alone – but not isolated – so we know the joy was real. Thank you Carrie, and God bless you.


Katie September 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.” Washington Irvin


Craig September 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Katie, that IS wisdom – thank you for that, thank you, and God bless you and keep you!


r.elliott September 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Beautifully written…I have not read sara long…but when my heart wondered toward self-pity…complaint…she would come to mind. Her very life just turned my heart back to Jesus…to see I have a choose…I want to choose joy…not let the leaves of life cover.



Craig September 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm

thank you, kind words. Sara has had – and will continue to have such effect. And I am so, so, so with you, “I want to choose joy…not let the leaves of life cover.” Amen! Blessings to you too my friend.


A. September 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Craig, thanks, and prayers, and more thanks, and more prayers, and ponderings. I especially heart #561 for some reason.


Craig September 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I’m not a piano player, but I know that the black keys are sharps and flats. The notes in between the notes of the scale. They tend to be a little melancholy when played in cords alone I think. And it’s wisdom to know that the dark keys – the dark keys – they can produce not “happy” – but joy. God bless you A.


Cora September 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Craig, I can only say thank you today. I read Ann’s post in holy awe, and the thing about the black notes would not leave me today. The song, Amazing Grace, is played on all the black notes, too. How many, many times has it been that the people whose lives are played on the black notes are those that touch us most deeply!??! Oh, that we, too, would find our song as He writes it for us and that we would sing it to the world around us!!!!! Thank you Craig. Thank you ,Ann. Thank you, Sara!


Craig September 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm

oh, the soul words of them Ann Voskamp – I was struggling for thank you’s today – and like I said at the end – I didn’t have much peanut butter – and when I read her words – I had much more. and I really didn’t know that about amazing Grace. On a lighter note – because I’ve had very few light notes recently – the Peanuts theme can be played on the black keys too ツ choose joy! God bless you Cora.


Debbie September 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Thank you for the thank you’s that break me. God bless you as you choose joy, for Sara, for Jesus, for us.


Craig September 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I’m not choosing happy – I’m choosing joy – and joy includes sorrow and tears sometimes I think. God bless you Debbie!


Mari September 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

Learning and choosing to not look away. I love this one. I usually want to look away bc its easier and there already is enough pain. Ive seen that God equips me to handle others pain when I take the risk. You are brave Craig, for not looking away! Blessings to u this week….


Craig September 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Mari, I used to always look away – my heart has grown a smidge. And I totally agree with you – it is the easier way. And I’m not so brave – I’m just learning – just learning love. Blessings to you too Mari.

PS and great – more tears – thanks ツ


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