Category Archives: death

Sap rises and falls

It’s been an interesting week or so. My father in law had a heart attack a week ago and was scheduled for bypass surgery last week. My husband went to Kansas City to spend time with his dad before the surgery but then there were complications. Finally, after a long week in ICU, they are heading to surgery today. And we are praying.

All of these events have brought to mind several Easters past. What is it about this time of year? My mom has always said ‘Old folks die when the sap rises and falls.” That means spring and autumn. My grandfather died in April. A friend’s father died in April. And yet, a dear friend who was not old at all died Easter weekend. And my own father’s funeral was on Good Friday just two years ago. So instead of Easter bunnies and Easter eggs, I tend to think of funeral flowers and losing loved ones at this time of year. Makes me feel a little like Bryn, my character in Once in a Blue Moon.

This week, of course, we were very concerned that we would lose my husband’s father. And I ultimately don’t know what God’s plan is and how the rest of this week will turn out. Quintuple bypass surgery is difficult and the recovery is not easy, so we are praying for Glenn. Surprisingly or maybe not surprisingly at all, I find peace in Easter. Because it doesn’t all end here. I don’t have to grieve for those who have gone on and who knew Jesus as their savior. Because in Jesus, who died for our sins and was resurrected, we find victory over all the grief and sorrow. In Jesus, we find life. In Jesus, we find resurrection. Because HE is the way, the truth and the life. Because He is the resurrection and the life. Because he holds the keys to heaven. He is the door through which we must go to receive eternal life. And for that, I am grateful. No matter if it’s April or some other time of year, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves, whether the sap is rising or falling or somewhere in between, Easter holds the answer: the cross is the key. Through the cross, through Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, we can find hope.


Do you believe in the power of prayer? I certainly do. Prayers can really carry you through difficult times, especially when you can’t seem to pray for yourself and others are lifting you up. God does answer prayers, not always the way we want, but He listens, He hears, and He is moved. Sometimes we think there are certain things we shouldn’t say to God, but honestly God already knows. He simply wants us to share with him how we’re feeling. It’s okay if you’re angry. He gets angry too. The amazing thing about prayer is that laying our burdens at His feet can really give us a peace that cannot be explained any other way.

A few years ago, my husband and I had been praying about his job. He was very unhappy at work. It was a toxic environment. We’d also been praying for our little dog Muffet, because she was getting very old. She was blind and deaf. We knew her time was short. Frankly, I was worried that I’d have to make a decision about her life, and I really didn’t want to do that. But even more than that, my kids were fairly young and I didn’t know how I would explain that to them. Death is hard enough but telling your five year old you had to put your beloved pet to sleep permanently just seemed like a huge mountain. At the same time, I was praying for my book Elvis Takes a Back Seat because it was at a publisher’s being reviewed for possible publication. Well, two weeks before Christmas, we received an avalanche of answered prayer. My husband was laid off work, and he came home early and found that our sweet dog had died in her sleep, and sitting in the mailbox was a rejection of my book. WHAM! All in one day. Talk about painful. It really was. But every one of those was answered prayer. I won’t lie and say it wasn’t scary when my husband was out of work, but his eventual consulting led to new opportunities that have been such a blessing. I don’t think he ever would have pursued that if he hadn’t been forced to. My sweet Muffet passed away peacefully, and even though we missed her so much it helped knowing I didn’t have to make that awful decision or attempt to explain it to my kids. Also, that rejection helped God lead me to the inspirational market. It was a journey I never would have anticipated.

Prayer, I’ve learned, is also more listening than us blathering on about our problems. Over the past few years, I’ve lost a few people in my life and it has been a painful parting. It’s been amazing to me how God has whispered in my spirit words of comfort and peace, and I have clung to those words and His hand during those times.

It’s also a great privilege to be able to pray for others and lift them up in prayer when they are burdened. So I would encourage you if you haven’t prayed lately, go ahead and give it a go. If you need prayer, don’t hesitate to ask someone to pray for you. You will bless them with that opportunity and you also will be blessed. If you are a prayer warrior, I ask that you lift fellow writer, Diann Hunt up as she is again battling cancer.