Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Last week our friend Di shared this portion of the Book of Common Prayer with CarolB as she was walking her beloved sister home.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work,
or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge
over those who sleep.
Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary,
bless the dying, soothe the suffering,
pity the afflicted, shield the joyous, and all for your love's sake.
(Compline BOCP)

Which makes me remember these comforting words.

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have
laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.  God is awake."
~Victor Hugo

And in April 2010, when my sister was dying....

Once upon a time my parents died. I was 16 years old.
I learned that life is short and beautiful and that you have to make the
decision to live and love abundantly.

And with the birth of our children the love poured out
and life was full of life and love.

And then our sister got sick and I reminded myself that life
is short and beautiful and that I have to make the decision
again to live and love abundantly.

And yesterday came the phone call,
a little boy is on the way....

a little boy to love.

and suffering and joy lived side by side in my heart and I knew that the only way to live is
to love and live abundantly because life is short and beautiful.

Encourage one another.
Mean it.

Donna Elsie


  1. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Oh my goodness, Donna Elsie. This post brought tears to my eyes. May God bless the families of those hurting, and the families of those expecting new little ones. Thank you for "keeping it real".

    Dee S.

  2. From the BOCP, Victor Hugo's and yours - these words are beautiful. xoxo

  3. Beautiful. Love you. Mean it. <3

  4. "...and sadness and joy lived side by side in my heart..."
    --how can that be? But it is true...that is life and hope and that is how we go on. And of course with God's love holing us up.
    Thank you for sharing your heart, Donna. And your words, those beautiful words. Linda

  5. A word fitly spoken ... is like a work of art.

    Wonderful, life giving words.

    Love them. Thank you, Miz Boo

  6. That compline prayer is a regular in my personal prayers, and whenever it is prayed in church I get a little weepy. It expresses such kindness and care and vulnerability.

    What struck me in your post about Sue is the phrase, "and I have to make the decision again to live and love abundantly." It is in the "again" that we feel it, isn't it? But God does meet us in those moments and gives us the courage to live as we know we want to.

    Beautiful post, dear Donna. You are a GEM.

    Love always,

    1. Yes, a gem. A very precious one.

  7. Anonymous2:18 PM

    Compline is such a precious service and those words are heart helping/healing. And, I so appreciate Victor Hugo reminding me that "God is awake." Your words Dear Donna echo what my devotion books for this year are telling me, "Hope and Trust," bookends that surround Jesus Christ at work in our lives and in the world. Thank you! love and prayers, jep

  8. Just lovely, Donna. I read your words in 2010 and one more time today. Thank you.

  9. Anonymous9:51 PM

    Thank you for the comforting beauty here.

    Debbie Z.

  10. Anonymous10:42 PM

    Kristi in LV

  11. Thank you for these words. So precious.

    Grief and joy can stick together. I'm copying your words in my journal. (sniff, sniff)

    Love to you from all my heart,

    Carol B.

  12. I love the quotes you share. They are so powerful. Thank you.
    Thank you for reminding me to love hard and treasure every moment.


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