Gail’s Death

I checked the Shoemaker Update Blog this morning, and discovered that our sweet friend of many years died at 2 A.M. today.

I’ve blogged about Gail at least three times here at Home-steeped Hope. Twice asking for prayer for her and her husband of thirty years, and their six children. And one other time, about her influence on me.

After nine months of battling brain cancer, Gail is now with her Father in heaven…pain free, able to sing and move without the aid of a wheelchair. No doubt hearing Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful daughter.”

I couldn’t sleep when my husband and I went to bed around midnight last night. I lay there with goosebumps and tears in my eyes, feeling an incredible sense of awe and picturing Gail’s entrance into Heaven. Perhaps somewhere in the lyrics of the Acappella song I shared yesterday, lay the seeds of my imaginings, for at this point, I only knew that her Heaven-time was nearing. Little did I know that she was only hours from riding that chariot, meeting Jesus, and sitting at the welcome table.

Please pray for her family as they are encompassed by all the practical things that must happen when a loved one dies. How blessed we all are, to have known and loved Gail.

My seven year old has been learning portions of John 14 for Awana. What a great passage, reminding us that Jesus has prepared a place for all of us who love Him. And that His peace accompanies loss.

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

And finally a quote to sum up how bittersweet times like these are:

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ~Carol Sobieski

Thank you, Gail, for your servant’s heart, and for your love for Him, so evident to all who knew you.

Have you heard about Stevia?

Stevia is an awesome natural non-caloric sugar substitute available at your local health food store. And it packs 200-300 times the sweetness of sugar, so you don’t need as much. And you can use it in all your baking!

My next question is, have you heard of the dangers and side effects of Splenda? I recommend you read an article titled: Sugar Substitutes and the Potential Dangers of Splenda. The author, though very careful to remain objective, likens Splenda to pesticides. Scary.

Here’s some more info on stevia from the article. Incidentally, stevia has been used successfully in Japan for more than twenty years now.

“We’ve known about stevia in the US since 1918, but pressure from the sugar import trade blocked its use as a commodity. Today stevia is slowly gaining steam as a sugar substitute, despite similar hurdles. The FDA has approved its use as a food supplement, but not as a food additive due to a lack of studies. Stevia can be used for anything you might use sugar in, including baking. It is naturally low in carbohydrates. You can buy stevia at most health food stores and over the web. There will always be those who have a sensitivity to a substance, but based on reports from other countries it appears to have little to no side effects. For women who want to move through their cravings for sugar without artificial chemicals, stevia is a great option.”

For people on no-sugar diets, or for diabetics, or for anyone who wants to be more health-conscious–this is valuable information!

So, have you heard about stevia? If so, please tell us what you think…

For more info and The Stevia Cookbook, visit this stevia website!