Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Plan of the Master Weaver~

At 1 am today, my longtime and very inspirational friend, Stacey Peretz Giordano, lost her 2 1/2 year battle with leukemia. She fought hard for so long with dignity, perseverance and grace. She was an embodiment of everything that is good and right about the human spirit.

It was hard to see her slip away from us. I worked with Stacey for many years at Mill Pond Press in Venice. She was always a lot of fun to be around and would liven up any party with style. She was a always a hard worker and if she didn't understand something she would come right out and ask. That was one of the things I loved most about her. She was very transparent in so many ways. She was always up for a good giggle.

Stacey always wore her heart on her sleeve. You knew where she stood without equivocation. It was refreshing to be around someone who lived life like that. There was no falsehood or hiding behind anything. Stacey was always right out there with it, whatever it was. And, sometimes you never knew what would come out of that mouth of hers. She made life fun for everyone around her.

Through the years she moved away to Montana to work for artist John Banovich and as life often does, you lose touch. But I was able to see her from time to time when she relocated and began working from home for John. My last memorable time with her was at lunch with another dear friend and co-worker, Ellen Collard.

We had a grand time at Millie's, the best breakfast restaurant in Sarasota, laughing and reminiscing about the good ole days at Mill Pond and sharing about our adventures since then. She looked great and she was  engaged in the fight of her life and she was totally up for it. She knew what she was facing and she had decided to take some time off work to concentrate on her health and her family. She inspired Ellen and I so much and for that matter she inspired everyone she met. Quite a gal our Stacey was. A bright light not soon to be forgotten.

                             Stacey, Ellen and I at lunch last year. Sharing the good times and memories~

When someone in the prime of their life passes away (Stacey was 48) we often ask questions like, Why? Stacey was such a sweet person with a vibrant zest for life. She brought so much joy to those around her. Why Lord? Why did she have to go so soon? It just doesn't make sense.

We don't know the Master Plan, but we know the one who does. Our job is to trust and obey. Our journey on earth is exactly that: a Journey. We are just passing through. This is not our home. We don't know how Stacey's untimely passing may affect those closest to her. But the Lord does and He can use this tragedy to reach out to someone who needs Him most during their time of grief. We don't know how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, but He does. Trust and Obey~ It's pretty simple and straight forward if we can just do it.

It's not always easy to accept the passing of those we hold dear, but it is an absolute necessity if we are to make sense of why some stay and some go and to be at peace with it. None of us knows the ways of Providence, but we must trust that He knows exactly what He is doing. We each have a time to be born and a time to die. This was Stacey's time and nothing on earth could have kept her here another minute. I find tremendous comfort in that and I pray that all of my readers do too.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us:

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."

                                  Stacey trying on wigs after her chemo began - she was always a great cut up!

The Lord wanted her home and there was nothing keeping her here, even one more minute. I didn't see Stacey in her last days, but did see her briefly a few months ago at Ellen's house. She was tired but seemed to be at peace with everything that was happening to her. Knowing her like I do, I'm sure she was brave till the end, leaving this earth peacefully while setting a wonderful example for her girls, her husband, her parents, other family members and friends. She showed us all what it meant to live life to the fullest, embracing every minute of every day, and taking nothing for granted.

                                                                 Stacey and precious daughter Sierra. 
                                                                 She was so proud of both of her girls~ 

                                                      Stacey and cherished daughter Cherie in Africa 
                                                      with the "Masai Dudes" as Stacey called them.

                                                              Stacey and her beloved husband Mark. 
                                           They took the plunge in July 2011 after many years together.

                                Stacey and best friend Linda. Linda was by her side through the whole ordeal.
                                             What a wonderful loving friend with a servant's heart.

Oh, that I would have her courageous spirit when my time comes. Thank you Lord for the life of my friend Stacey. Hold her close to you in Heaven above and watch over all of her grieving family and friends, especially her beautiful girls. They were her pride and joy and they will miss her greatly.

My friend Ellen posted some words on her Facebook page that I thought were appropriate to copy and pass along. This says it beautifully~ God has a plan, never forget that.

The Plan of the Master Weaver

Our lives are but fine weavings 
That God and we prepare, 
Each life becomes a fabric planned 
And fashioned in His care 
We may not always see just how the weavings intertwine
But we must trust the Masters’s Hand
And allow for His design.
For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side
While we must look from underneath
And trust in Him to guide
Sometimes a strand of sorrow
Is added to His plan,
And though it’s difficult for us
We must still understand
That it’s He who fills the shuttle,
It’s He who knows what’s best
So we must weave in patience
And leave to Him the rest
Not ‘til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why
The dark threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father:

Thank you for the life of my friend Stacey. She's home with you now Lord. Thank you that she is no longer suffering and is no longer in pain. Thank you for allowing me to be a brief part of her life. Watch over Mark and her family and especially her girls. Pull them close to you in these difficult days and in the years ahead. Let them feel Stacey's presence throughout their days in a gentle breeze and the falling rain. Let them know she is near.

In Jesus Name I pray,


  1. Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed your blog. We will miss Stacey, but because of knowing her, she will always be with us.


  2. Nicki, so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Thinking about you. Linda

  3. FAITH WALK365, IT'S AWESOMELY TOUCHING! Thank you for sharing the blog. Our God is an Awesome God!

  4. Hi Nicki,
    I'm so sorry about you losing your friend. We don't have many answers BUT if you look around you have to think there is a Plan.....From the Rose...to the wind....to the amazing birds and DNA....
    I wrote a song with a friend called "GOD IS IN CONTROL"
    Maybe it will give you some comfort.
    A great title for a song WOULD be "WHY"....
    God Bless,
    Barry David Butler (barrydbutler channel at youtube)
    Sebring, Florida

  5. General question: If I wrote a novel that took license with prevailing Christian thought, would you consider the context of the story or react just to the difference from accepted belief. For example, I am considering a novel about Jesus' last days. At the point when Judas identifies Jesus with a kiss, I have Judas lean into Jesus and whisper, "Master, this is Michael (the Archangel) in Judas' body. He could not do it so I took over his body." Jesus replies, "Thank you Michael, be kind to Judas, at heart he fears God."

    I study my Bible and I know this is not the Biblical version. But it shows Jesus compassion and forgiveness.

    I guess the real question is, "How far from the accepted story can I go before being condemned or, at least, heavily criticized?"


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