A solitary tree stands in a field in Cades Cove. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
© 2014 Kristina Plaas, All Rights Reserved
I had great intentions of doing a scripture-based Countdown to Christmas blog all month but, like with other holiday things, I am learning that I need to reduce my expectations and simply my approach to Christmas this year. That means my blog content will be spontaneous -- the things that are on my heart in the moment.

I did something tonight that took much courage on my part, but it was something I needed to do for me -- I attended a holiday memory service at the hospice where my mother died last August. It was the first time I've been anywhere near there since her passing. It was very emotional for me but I think it was also healing. Two large fir trees are a part of the landscaping in front of the hospice. The trees were adorned with golden lights and gold lame bows, the lower branches filled with tags containing the names of persons to be remembered on this occasion. I did not ask to have mother's name placed on a tag, so she wasn't there but in my heart her name was there with dozens of others. A short service of music and a reading of names took place outdoors, under the near-full moon and clouds. Afterwards, a lovely reception was held inside.

I may have been the first person crying, long before the service started. I walked in the front door and saw the Robert Tino artwork over the fireplace, and tears were inevitable. It was the Tino print that told me I was making the right decision to have mother transferred to the hospice. It was the beautiful chapel that told me I would find peace there. It was the kind and gentle people that told me I would be supported in the moment and in the future. Yes, yes, yes.

At the close of the service a man recited a portion of the 46th Psalm in a way I have never heard before. It was profound and I was deeply touched. It's counsel I hope to employ in the coming weeks.

Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Be still

I think it's fair to say that my mother would want me to be -- be who I am, be the kind of daughter she lovingly raised me to be, be the person God created me to be. When I take the opportunity to be still, I know all these things. Be. Just be.


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