The poems speak my language

by Beverly Gray

I have Retinitis Pigmentosa. This is a degenerative, hereditary disease of the eye. There is gradual loss of vision often progressing to total blindness. Mine is the most progressed, and I can see only light and dark.

It has been a journey of loss, times of anger and frustration, grief and tears, joy and laughter. My sister gave me a CD from Janelle's Seasons of Solace poetry reading. I cried and related. Janelle's honesty and insight, depth and searching spoke to me deeply. I kept wishing I could "see" the photos that went with each poem.

I am thankful for Janelle's sharing her heart and her pain, her new understanding of life and God and the Christian journey here on earth. It IS so different from the way it is portrayed by so many church groups. I have sought to be faithful. I shouldn't be blind then, right? Well-meaning people have approached me with such sentiments. "Why don't you ask to be healed?" they ask, implying the lack of faith.... But what about the beauty through pain that Janelle expresses in these poems? When I try to explain the peace of being where God has me....sometimes it feels like I am speaking a foreign language. These poems spoke my language.

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A Window into the Sacred

by Carole Martin
(Manheim, PA, USA)

I decided at the last minute to spend some of my birthday money on "Seasons of Solace". The photography was alluring, and the theme held unexplored territory for me. And what a blessing it has been!

I am doing my best to savor one poem per day, and let the richness of the story and words and photography wash over me and teach me. They teach me of pain's depths; they show me a different facet of the face of God, they herald a unique beauty that emerges from a pain beyond description. May this treasure be held and discovered by many!

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A Book to be Prayed!

by Cheryl Lehman
(Mount Joy, PA)

I remember Janelle's sad eyes...and then I learned about her loss. I listened prayerfully to her story and trusted Divine Presence to support her painful journey!

What has emerged in this book is lovely beyond words and photos! This story of human/divine exchange...honest and earthy draws me in. I, too, pray my questions about life. The photos...every one, creates a little gasp in me as I'm smitten by the beauty and detail. Holding and engaging this book becomes my prayer! Thank you, Janelle, for picking up pen and camera. I shall highly recommend it!

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Amazing Images

by Janet Breneman
(Lancaster)

I read through your whole book this a.m. I'd read a lot of it earlier. I am so amazed at your gift with words, and how a few simple lines build such amazing images in my mind and sentiments in my soul. Please keep on writing simple lines and snapping photos of the mundane and turning these into miracles!

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I love this book!!!

by Tonya
(Alabama)

I'm blessed because I was given the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Seasons of Solace. I don't normally read poetry, but Janelle does such a beautiful job of making the poetry easy to understand. I love the fact that it tells a specific story and yet I could connect with it because we all deal with grief in our lives. I could not put the book down- I read it from start to finish in one sitting and pretty much cried the entire time- tears of pain and also tears of hope! Thanks, Janelle for sharing your journey with the world. It is going to help so many people!

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Windows of the Grieving Soul

by Sherill Hostetter
(Lancaster, PA)

Janelle's book of poems and photography take us deep inside her soul where we have windows into the depths of her journey through grief and pain. She does not try to give any pat spiritual responses to loss nor does she ignore God in the midst of her grief. She paints the paradox of being able to lament authentically to God while being held by God at the same time. No matter what losses we've journeyed through, our hearts identify with the laments, the questions, and the solace found in this book. Thanks, Janelle, for putting words on the page for all of us.

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It captures the story of grief and healing

by Peg Cromer, MA, MNSc

As a widow and a spiritual director, I found that Seasons of Solace captures the story of grief and the slow healing journey back to a life with wisdom of no other book I have found.

The poetry and pictures are short enough to speak to the one laden with grief and creative enough to speak to the hearts of those who do not understand.

The ebb and flow throughout the book mirrors the confusing cycling of the grief and recovery experience. The depth of spiritual healing and growing wisdom found throughout the story can only come from one who has struggled and walked this journey.

The photos of nature tell the story to a depth beyond words that speaks to the soul. Seasons of Solace is a gentle and beautiful offering to one struggling with loss and to those watching the struggle.

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A book I will share with others!

by Janelle Myers-Benner
(VA)

I don't know what words to use to describe your book. I'm just grateful that I learned of it recently, and it has been very meaningful. For some reason the past month has been a more difficult one for me and having the images and words from your journey has been helpful for me to read. I've read the whole thing once and now keep finding myself going back to Sing Now. Thanks again for being willing to share so honestly from your own process and journey. And for the powerful way you combined images with words. I will share it with others!

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Beautiful and wonderfully honest book

Janelle, A friend gave me your book. It is beautiful and wonderfully honest. Thanks for sharing your journey through grief. I had a son who drown at 16 months old and I can especially identify with the poem about John's funeral. The people who give you what they think is comfort by saying things like " it is for the best " or "God needed another angel "- it just makes you want to scream-NO !!! I pray that God continues to bless you and help you on this journey of life. Sincerely, Barbara Rhinehart

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