Celebrating Grace, Inc., Releases Notes from Susie: Choosing Gratitude in Life’s Low Places

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Celebrating Grace, Inc., has released a new book titled Notes from Susie: Choosing Gratitude in Life’s Low Places. The book chronicles Mark and Susie Edwards’ inspirational journey, sustained by timeless hymns of faith, in which they demonstrated joy and thankfulness while fighting the ravages of Susie’s cancer.

Book cover

Notes from Susie

Susie and I discovered that it is possible to be at peace and maintain a heart of gratitude while navigating life’s low places. We also learned that no matter how well we plan and prepare, we must always walk by faith and not by sight.

Celebrating Grace, Inc., has released a new book titled Notes from Susie: Choosing Gratitude in Life’s Low Places. The book chronicles Mark and Susie Edwards’ inspirational journey, sustained by timeless hymns of faith, in which they demonstrated joy and thankfulness while fighting the ravages of Susie’s cancer.

“Susie and I discovered that it is possible to be at peace and maintain a heart of gratitude while navigating life’s low places,” Mark Edwards said. “We also learned that no matter how well we plan and prepare, we must always walk by faith and not by sight because our circumstances can change in a heartbeat.”

Susie Edwards was a prolific writer of personal notes who cherished Christian hymns. Her profound gratitude and abiding sense of peace were evident in the frequent Facebook updates that she and Mark, her caregiver husband, posted to literally hundreds of people during their two-year journey.

The regular updates by Susie, Mark and other family members soon turned a page originally meant for information into a page of inspiration using hymn texts as devotionals. The Facebook group grew, and there was an overwhelming call for the posts to be compiled into a book for caregivers, friends and family of terminally ill patients.

Following Susie's death, Celebrating Grace, Inc., approached Mark to publish a book based on the Facebook updates of their journey. Notes from Susie is a collection of their reflections. It is an honest look into how one couple, completely devoted to each other and joyful together, meet head-on one of life’s greatest challenges by drawing on the support and power of prayer, scripture, hymns and the large cloud of witnesses surrounding them.

Throughout their journey, the Edwards lived out the great truth that the words in our mouths can become mediations of our hearts. They also gained fresh insight about how knowing hymns and living into them are not necessarily the same thing.

Behind the updates, the epilogue offers a “this is what I make of it all,” “this is what we’re learning” and “where we go from here” chapter. Their daughter Weslee and son Nathan also share how they navigated their own pain and loss to help their young children through their first major life tragedy.

Notes from Susie offers hope and inspiration for anyone who is struggling, has faced or will confront one of life's low places. Additional information, including a brief video, is available at http://www.NotesFromSusie.com. Notes from Susie can be purchased on the website as well.

About Mark Edwards
Mark Edwards served as minister of music at First Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee, for thirty years. He retired in October 2007 and became the vice president of Celebrating Grace, Inc. Edwards shepherded the production of the Celebrating Grace Hymnal (released in March, 2010) and led the committee of composers and arrangers that produced more than 1,500 choral, orchestral and keyboard accompaniments for congregational singing. In July 2013, he retired from Celebrating Grace, but remains as an advisor and consultant for many of the Celebrating Grace projects and products.
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DON BEEHLER

Janet Jarriel
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