I’ll See The Lights…

Crouching low as to not bump our heads on the low ceiling of the bunk in the 1970s family motorhome my little sister and I made ourselves as comfortable as could be in the small space. The Monopoly board, paper money, houses, hotels, and move tokens took up most of the leftover space. It was one of our favorite things to do on our many summer family trips.

A long narrow window out the front gave opportunity for the best panoramic views where we were headed day or night. My views consisted of the majestic mountains in the British Columbia interior to the water’s edge of Newfoundland over the years.

On this particular trip my dad pointed the motorhome south across the border to California. Spectacular cities and country views by day…KOA campground signs and mostly deserted roads by the dark of the night.

This particular night long after dark, searching for the KOA campgrounds, the rolling hills of Salt Lake City came into view. Perched on the top bunk now tucked in with cozy blankets and pillows matching the 70s brown and gold decor, the motorhome crawled up a particularly long hill. Only the headlights lit the highway in the wee hours of the morning.

As my eyes grew tired and mesmerized by the continuous passing of the yellow dividing lines on the highway, I started nodding off.

Suddenly something bright forced my tired eyes to open a bit. My eyes then opened wide as what appeared woke my mind wide. Cresting the hill, a sea of lights shone as a million white diamonds as far as the eye could see.

I gasped slightly as I caught my breath at the sight. My eyes were wide open now not wanting to miss any of this view that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. There was a comfort in the cast glow of the city, even then in my 12 year old mind.

The darkness seemed to all but disappear as the city lights seemed to envelope us all.

As I think back on this memory, it reminds me of the first time I heard the Gaither gospel song “Because He Lives”. One particular line in the song has stood out in my heart ever since and it goes as follows:

“I’ll see the lights of Glory… and…I’ll KNOW He lives!“.

There may be times we will have to travel through life in the dark of the night after the joys of daylight with only the dividing lines and a few signs illuminated. But knowing that the final crest someday will open wide the windows of all the lights of Glory that will leave your eyes wide in awe and your heart breathless, will make this trip worth all you or I will experience.

And…

you’ll know… that you know… that you know…

He lives!♥️♥️

The Unlikely Teacher

Her soft, salt and pepper mixed schnauzer fur ruffled easily through my familiar fingers as I caressed her snuggled body lying in her favorite chair.

Her favorite blanket snuggled her small 15 year old body as I had placed it, hoping to let her know my heart. Time wasn’t on her side as Birthday number 15 had come and gone… But my heart just wanted a little more time…

Congratulations on the addition to your family!” announced the kennel owner as she poured the tiny squirming puppy into our arms, now 15 years ago.

I remember thinking, “Really lady? I think that’s maybe going a little too far? Yet I appreciated the sentiment.

Now 15 years later, our sweet girl has been all of that… and more.

Having had children and grandchildren I know the difference, “but one of the family” she has most certainly been, and still is… she’s still here.

For how long, I don’t know, but as a single tear snuck down my cheek, I realized I didn’t want to face another loss…. not now.

The past few years had been filled with different kinds of losses, including saying bye to my mom and dad as they left this Earth just 2 years apart… both too young…both too soon.

My mom had never been a fan of dogs. In fact, quite fearful, but she made friends with our China girl the last years before she passed away. Against everything she had ever been taught in her generation, she welcomed our little girl’s wet nose touching her gently on her knee under our family table at many a family gathering.

Mom would hold a small morsel of goodness between her petite fingers and quietly gave the OK for the quick nibble. Mom would always exclaimed how gentle our little girl would gingerly pick the morsel from her fingers, followed by, “You’re a good girl!”

It gave me joy to watch this exchange on many family occasion. It showed a different side of my mom, and it revealed to me how a little furry being and her tenderness could chase a lifetime of fears away in a moment.

Walks with my dad in the last years, him in his wheelchair, were dotted with moments of China leading the way as my dad held her leash, also revealing a different side of my dad post stroke….one I hadn’t known before.

Our little China girl had played a starring role in many pieces of are family’s lives in the past 15 years and counting.

So no… she is not JUST a dog to me.

My 4 daughters and and grandchildren have all experiences with her in their everyday lives over the years.

15 years of walks, playgrounds, bed snuggles, camping weeks, bike rides playing fetch till our arms were exhausted, car rides, ice creams and timbits, And wet kisses to go around as the family spilled into the door on the weekends. Her little wagging tail spoke volumes as she greeted each one.

And of course she was my sidekick for all these 15 years. Soft gentle licks when I was sad, soft gentle licks when I was happy. Greetings at the door…. every single time…. no judgment.

I share this story because I dare say I believe God created these furry friends to connect us in many ways…heal… teach.

For those of us who are fur baby lovers, I believe it’s brings our God much joy when his creations warm our hearts and knit us together with memories.

My little girl is a blessing to me and saying goodbye someday is not a thought I want to entertain just yet. but when that time comes, the memories that have knitted us together, have painted a beautiful picture.

A little 10 pound dog, conquered a lifelong fear in my mom. She was… she is… a loyal friend, and companion to our kids and grandkids. But most of all, I believe she is a Heaven sent, non judgmental being sent to teach us what that could look like.

As I finished this story, my little girl lifted her head and stared at me as if to say “What’s all the fuss about? And what’s with the tear?… I’m still here….”

She’s still here❤

So for now, I will enjoy her to the fullest in her golden years, and reflect on the wonderful moments she has connected for us, helped heal us… now in her golden years…

Our God-given…

unlikely teacher.

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” (1885) Hymn

My young hands held the navy blue church hymnal firmly on the corners that had heard many a voice sing across its pages over the years in the hard pews of my small country church as I was growing up. The pages smelled of a touch of mustiness …all part of the memory.

I loved singing. I had sung since the tender age of 4. The words of the decades old hymn seemed to flow effortlessly from my lips…

My young body sunk softly into my grandma’s seventies couch as I proceeded to sing my own concert to nobody else but grandma’s beautifully blooming Christmas cactus, centered in the front of the living room picture window, and shelves of black-and-white framed photos of generations past, listening in respectful silence.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.”

Sung with the innocence of my age, I didn’t know then how much these words would come to mean to me in the coming 5 decades in different seasons of my life journey. What a friend He truly became as the mountain tops gave way to valleys through the seasons.

Fast forward 30 years.

I gently held one corner of the navy blue church hymnal with my dad, dressed in his Sunday best, firmly holding the other side.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear...”

My soprano voice blended effortlessly with my dad’s beautiful bass voice as we stood together, side-by-side, bringing the gift of song to my grandparents, my dad’s parents, on their 60th wedding anniversary. They too will have experienced the words of this song as they had journeyed many seasons together raising 6 children, and loving on many grandchildren and great grandchildren over the decades.The suttle glistening in both my grandparents eyes said it all…

What a privilege to carry everything to God and prayer.”

Fast forward a few more years… sitting low beside my grandpa’s contented face as he lay feebly on the temporary bed made up for him, where life was coming quickly to a close for his life’s journey in the living room of the home, he and the love of his life, grandma, had shared for 60 plus years. His pure white,stiff, bristly hair, stood at attention as I had always remembered it as a child growing up.

It was a familar comfort even now when life was ebbing quickly for my grandpa.

Now in my late thirties, having a young family of my own, I quietly and gently sang the words of the familiar hymn once again…

What a friend we have in Jesus

My voice trailed off as his tired eyes drooped heavily, but in a moment, my grandpa gifted me with a heartfeld “Thank you!“in his low familiar voice I had heard for so many years of my life…

My grandpa peacefully left for Heaven just days later, but I was so comforted to know he had the comfort of his Jesus… what a friend.

Fast forward 20 more years; my dad, now laying in his bed most days, having had to say goodbye to his sweetheart of 53 years 2 years by now, left to face life with a debilitating stroke that accompanied him for over 13 years.

What’s song would you like me to sing dad?”… was a question I asked often as we spent time together in the evenings after the home care had left. My dad’s verberating bass voice answered as he stared at the ceiling, laying on his back, ready for bed, all tuck in by those who cared for him round the clock…

What a friend we have in Jesus!…”

Now it was my turn to have glistening eyes as the days of our duo singing were over, as the stroke had stolen a part of his singing voice among many other things.

Yet I knew as I sang the old familiar hymn with a lump in my throat, that my dad was singing along in his spirit as I saw the glisten, now in his eyes as the words that had comforted 3 generations over the years through many valleys, spilled out of my now quivering lips.

Life had been hard for my dad the past 13 years dependent on so many others …

What a friend we have in Jesus….

My dad met his friend Jesus the next night… face-to-face… It had come full circle as I now needed the words of that beautiful hymn as I said goodbye to my beautiful dad.

This one line of this beloved 18th century hymn had stood the test of time for 3 generations… and can continue to do so for many more generations I believe…

What a friend we have in Jesus….”

At Any Moment

My 13 year old teenage mind sat restless as Sunday evening church seemed to drag on.

My mind was dreaming of other things I could be doing in my teenage world this evening. I glanced over to the next dark hardwood bench where a few of my teen school friends sat in their casual evening Sunday dress, seemingly daydreaming of teenage things as well.

I reluctantly took a corner of the traditional blue hymnal as my mom beckoned me to the congregational singing with her. My reluctance became less as the words and the melody of the old familiar hymn rolled off my tongue… “When The Roll is Called Up Yonder” I had always loved to sing, even as a little child, settling in on my grandma’s blue 60s sofa with her own personal copy of our church hymnal.

The beautiful sounds of  harmony streaming from all corners of the small country church rushed over me… and I smiled. It was home to my heart.

It was time for the message. The preacher slowly climbed the wooden steps to the center pulpit. The Elderly white haired preacher with his well worn black King James Bible tucked securely to his chest, took his spot at the wooden pulpit where he had stood many a time over the past 50 plus years.

I glanced at the hands on my petite black coveted wrist watch I had gotten the previous Christmas from my mom and dad. I settled in to make the best of it. I was going nowhere as my mom and dad flanked either side of me on the hard bench, listening intently to the words of the preacher now booming through the small congregation gathered this Sunday evening.

Suddenly, I was jolted out of my far away thoughts. as my unfocused eyes sharpened and my mind heard ripples of unmistakable shrill gasps of a few, making its way through the small town church. Seconds later, as all my senses tuned in to the now, the vision of our long time, white haired , King James Bible carrying preacher, gripping either side of the tall wooden pulpit, having less and less success as his whole being, went crashing to the floor, taking the pulpit preached from for over 50 years with him.

What happened next seemed to roll out in slow motion.

More and more people jumped into action. A nurse, a family member, a deacon… The preacher we all thought would be with us forever in our teenage minds was making his way to eternity despite the futile attempts of his rescuers from the congregation.

I huddled together with my teenage friends in the comfort of a long wooden pew far from the scene as the ambulance attendants burst through the church double doors never meant for this sort of thing, pushing a long narrow gurney with white sheets that seemed to speak loudly in their own way. This was church. All were welcome, but this didn’t ft.

Our church service had been changed in a moment in time. The white haired preacher, who had graced  the small town pulpit for over 50 years, had moved on to his Heavenly home… in a moment in time.

As the story unfolded over the next few days, when his Bible and personal belongings were retrieved by his family from his long time post at the pulpit, it was discovered It was to be his last message preached. His wish according to his family was to enter Heaven doing what he was called to do and love… preach the Gospel with his last breath.

And so he did. How incredible.

I look back to that moment in time periodically. A Sunday night church service, and how my young mind translated from a listless Sunday evening church service to a life changing moment for a preacher and his congregation that included a listless teenager like me.

In a moment… life can change forever. The effects can be everlasting. Was anyone in that small congregation anticipating what would happen that Sunday evening? A strong NO I would venture to say, including the daydreaming teenager in me.

We all have a choice where we will spend eternity, yet eternity seems so far away at times. That day in my teenage mind, in a single moment, the turn came for one of Heaven’s souls. Now an everlasting citizen of the very Heaven he had preached about unwaveringly for over 50 years.

That night’s memory may have moved to the back of my mind through the years, but I know it changed me to this day.

I choose to try to live “in the moment” because that is what we have. And along with living in the moment, comes a certainty of eternity in Heaven, if it be 50 years from now or in one single moment. The Gray haired preacher did not know it was to be his last night on earth that Sunday evening over 4 decades ago now, but he was sure where he was going. He had preached about this eternity for so many years, accepting the free gift from his Savior many many years earlier as his testimony portrayed.

I too remember one night, under the covers of my blanket, at the tender age of 11 accepting that free gift of forgiveness and eternity in Heaven. FREE…. nothing I did… but everything HE did. Certainty of Heaven for me when the time comes, just as the time came for the old, Gray haired preacher that night…. He was prepared …I am prepared….we all can be…

ready at any moment.

“That’s Music to My Ears!!”

The day was planned.

Dust and dirt would fill every uncovered crevice of our beings. The greasy racetrack fries, with a healthy dollop of ketchup and a favorite ice cold 7 up to wash down every mouthful, accompanied you as you eagerly watched the 1st of the late model heats come roaring around the 1st turn, as the man with the green flag energetically waved it in the traditional X motion.

NOW THAT’S MUSIC TO MY EARS !!” you would yell above the roar, your eyes wide and sparkling as the reminders of the past 13 years of a debilitating life changing stroke all but disappeared in that moment. I so loved experiencing your energized spirit in these moments that seemed to erase the challenges of the past years.

My daughter heart was full as my chair touched yours as our combined love for the races seem to morph into one. Every every lap of the late models energized us both immensely; I would dare to say the favorite fries and ice cold 7 up may have taken a back seat to this constant adrenaline, but the combination was a must as the tall looming bright track lights slowly replaced the setting sun in the distance over the open farmer’s fields. The new atmosphere brought us to a favorite time of the evening… we were both night owls…. and we loved it.

As the man with the checkered flag crossed them viciously and with much excitement, the last of the races came to an end. Always too soon for both of us. Another annual race date with my dad had come to an end.

You were tired and cold, but so so content as we slipped into your van. Yet the evening was not complete without a quick nightlunch stop at the local Dairy Queen for the final lap of our evening before the cherished flag… the coveted peanut Buster parfe… extra peanuts. No words were spoken till the tall plastic cup of your most favorite treat was gone till the last shaped spoonful of goodness. No words were needed. Your pure enjoyment of every spoonful spoke volumes in the now darkening van.

You left way too soon for my heart, but I can just imagine you cheering on the best of the best races in Heaven ❤

I can only imagine our God coveting a close personal relationship with each one of us on this planet. He tells us in his Word that is His Heart. The relationships we enjoy so much cannot even compare to how He loves to see us exclaim:”THAT’S MUSIC TO MY EARS!! …when we enjoy all He has done for us and given us, and most of all, make time for Him… touch chairs with Him…. be one in the enjoyment of each other.

The “races” in our lives, the “greasy fries with ketchup”, along with a “refreshing 7” up topped off with a “peanut buster parfait” represent all the good and lovely He gives His children… He is such a good God.

My memories of our father/daughter dates are near and dear to my heart, but our God’s heart wells with joy and love infinitely more when we live a life of thankfulness for all His blessings. My Heavenly father/ daughter times together bless him right back, and his heart overflows with love when thankfulness lives on our lips and we proclaim…

“THAT’S MUSIC TO MY EARS!!”

Christmas in Heaven

Dad!! You.. are.. there!!

In a blink!!

I’m so glad your Jesus and your Angels were with you in those last moments❤️. You were soo ready! You longed for this moment for the past 13 years and especially after mom went to Heaven… you missed her soo much.

You said you were not scared to die. You were ready. I hope you felt my last hug the day before. I hope your spirit heard my singing, “What a friend we have in Jesus”(Your favourite we sang together many times) and “How beautiful Heaven must be.” My “thank yous” and my goodbyes.

Thank you for our night shifts. You always encouraged me… and my book is done dad… you always asked about it. I’m so glad I read to you those late nights. I’m so glad the “Louisville” story made it into my book, but more than that, you heard it firsthand! Front seat:)

Oh how I wish I could have seen the welcome you recieved by mom, your parents, Grandma and Grandpa Janz and so many more! My friend shared that she saw you give Jesus a big huge hug like a long lost friend… What a beautiful picture❤️

Just like the song we sang for many years together “What a friend we have in Jesus.” I’m so sure mom grabbed you as she burst through the crowd! And she could hardly reach because you were soo tall and so sturdy on your feet… WALKING!!! I am soo happy for your ultimate healing dad!

That big broad smile and mom reaching for your face and holding it in her hands as she love to do on Earth in your happy times.

Did she take you by the hand dad? What then dad? Did you start dancing with mom as she had always yearned for here on Earth? Did she lean on your chest and know all was well forever more?

I can only imagine… But you don’t have to anymore! I am sure Jesus said “Well done my son! ” He saw you struggle and your faithfulness. You never complained…and now your prayers of complete healing were answered!!

What do you see Dad? Billy Graham… Johnny Cash… George Beverly Shea… Don Williams… Wilf Carter? Is he singing “You Are My Sunshine” as you sing your favourite song to mom in your beautiful bass voice??

Is Billy Graham still preaching the Salvation story so important you? I would imagine so!

Do you see our son who left us far too soon now 34 years ago?… Do you see your Mansion prepared just for you by your Jesus? Is mom walking you there? Is Jesus just smiling at your wonderment?

How do your feet feel on the golden streets?? You longed so to feel the crunch of leaves and snow beneath your feet for the past 13 years… I’m confident the streets of gold more than make up for it!

Is “night lunch” ready at Grandma and Grandpa Janz’s? Is uncle Nick and tante Sara and all the rest of the family there welcoming you? Has Grandma Janz made your favourite flan cherry pie just like she did on the farm and for you and mom’s wedding?… And did she exclaim with excitement… “Hendrich!!

Have you told them of the books I’ve written like you said you would and have you hugged your dad so tight like you talked about so much? And have you told him of everything he had missed these past 20 years?

It’s been nine months dad and it will be your first Christmas in Heaven!!

I’ve been listening to “Alan Jackson Christmas” as had been your favourite this past year, bringing you sweet memories of mom❤️

Statler brother and Johnny Cash Christmas music just brings tears to my eyes and heart as I remember you playing those CDs over and over again this past year trying to keep mom close to you.

Are you singing “Angels We Have Heard On High” and are you harmonizing in your beautiful bass voice in a choir of angels??

Oh what a Hope we have!!

Well Dad, just for now… I will continue to celebrate on earth with those I hold so dear, but I will remember, as I gaze upon yours and mom’s black and white wedding picture and our first family black and white professional portrait when we were just little at Walt’s Studio.

Is the snow falling softly on the streets of gold as the latest country song goes? Are all the trees decked in lights beyond what I can even imagine as we have attempted to decorate on this planet for many years?

Oh how you loved Christmas!! you and Mom both!!

But for now I will remember you through the home movies we used to enjoy together, as I watch you walking tall in another lifetime it seems when you were the master of your gravel truck and your coveted 66 “Merc” as you called it….

As you now enjoy

Christmas in Heaven❤️

The Cloth

Time was not on her side…Time was not on my side.

Time had not been kind to her body, nor her mind, and time had not been kind to our relationship at times, and now it was time… Time to say goodbye.

Time to close this chapter in a way that would close all the chapters before. The time had come for my mom to say goodbye to this world… to us… to me…

but I wanted more time.

The drive from my small hometown to my moms was short, too short for all my heart wanted to say to my mom. Where do I start… where do I end?

A short prayer of “Show me how to wrap everything that has hurt and everything that was good in this short time that was left.”

I buzzed into the building as I had done many times over the years, knowing it could be the last time.

The ride to the second floor seemed far too quick. The familiar hallways didn’t make things easier for my heart as I slowed my steps to perhaps make time stand still, if even just for a moment.

Mom’s homemade, colourful bauble Christmas wreath still adorned the front door as my mom had been too tired to take it down as time was stealing away her strength.

It was now the month of April and the chorus of tiny birds living in trees just outside the building had sung me in again like they did most days.

But my heart was not joining in their happy chorus. I wanted time… more time I didn’t feel I had. There was so much to say… or was there?

I made my way down the familiar short hallway to her bedroom. The door was open. She never liked to be alone. Her small curled up being was covered with a soft cozy blanket taking up such a small space in the large queen size bed. It was a picture I had seen many times before, coming for lunch during these past few years.

But today was different. Lunch was not on either of our minds.

I slowly crouched beside her side of the bed, leaving us face to face with each other.

“Hi Mom,” I quietly whispered, “it’s Arlene,” as I placed my hand on her warm forehead. “Would you like a cold cloth?” I gently asked.

A slow familiar smile crossed her face as she replied, “That would be nice.”

I quickly made my way to the bathroom sink and gently took a pale green cloth from my mom’s freshly washed stack of wash cloths and proceeded to wring it under a slow stream of cool water.

My heart was all of a sudden completely wrapped up in this small, but somehow very meaningful process in the moment.

Making my way back to the small form in the large bed, I gently… oh so gently, place the cool, pale green cloth on her warm forehead.

My mom closed her heavy eyes gently as a familiar slight smile formed on her lips, “Thank you.” She whispered quietly in her weak but familiar voice.

And there it was.

The answer to my prayer.

All that needed to be said and done was wrapped up in just one cool, pale green cloth…

It was done in one moment.

Three days later my mom peacefully entered Heaven’s Glory. We both experienced a peace. The healing journey would continue through the next few years, but the close to that chapter… an answer to my prayer, would be a beginning.

Heaven for my mom and a Heaven-sent answer to a prayer for me…. A beginning and an end….

With…

the cloth.

The Night Diamond

It was one of my favorite times on my grandma and grandpa’s farm back when I was a little girl.

Firefly catching.

Grandma’s clear glass mason jar with holes punched in the tin lid was a temporary house we would catch them in and set them on the stone porch long after the sun had gone down into the dark of the night .

The stars on a clear warm summer night where the only other sparkle in competition with the Wonder of these dancing flies.

Some nights the show was nothing short of magical it seemed, like a sea of lights shining intermittently in the black of the summer night. One never knew where or when the next night diamond would show up.

We all carry a light whether we aware of it or not. Everyone of us. Going about our day we have no idea who may need our light. It may be as simple as a smile, a kind word, a phone call, your influence or your gift of your prayers.

Some days you may not feel like you are a light in any way. Yet if you are a mom or a dad you are a constant light. If you work at a job outside the home you are a constant light, and yet on some days you will also need someone’s else’s light.

The gift of prayers.

They may seem invisible but they shine brightly through the lives you lift up in your prayers. I believe those who have gone on to Heaven have prayed prayers here on Earth over the years that still shine brightly in our lives.

Prayers transcend time.

We never run out of time with prayers for those we love. They are an investment that travel through time and continue into Eternity I believe.

So no matter if you feel like you haven’t ever mattered in the way your life shines to those around you… if you’ve ever whispered a prayer… You’ve been a night diamond.

My mom went to her forever home a few weeks ago way too soon. We weren’t finished with her yet here on this Earth. But I know that although she is not physically here with us anymore, her spirit is more alive now then it’s ever been and I know that all the prayers she has prayed during her lifetime still shine and will continue to.

You are one of these lights.

Become aware of the influence you are in the midnight sky of a hurting world and know you carry the light of a night diamond.

https://anewday950968079.blog/2021/10/26/ill-see-the-lights-2/

Crouching low as to not bump our heads on the low ceiling of the bunk in the 1970s family motorhome my little sister and I made ourselves as comfortable as could be in the small space. The Monopoly board, paper money, houses, hotels, and move tokens took up most of the leftover space. It was one of our favorite things to do on our many summer family trips.

A long narrow window out the front gave opportunity for the best panoramic views where we were headed day or night. My views consisted of the majestic mountains in the British Columbia interior to the water’s edge of Newfoundland over the years.

On this particular trip my dad pointed the motorhome south across the border to California. Spectacular cities and country views by day…KOA campground signs and mostly deserted roads by the dark of the night.

This particular night long after dark, searching for the KOA campgrounds, the rolling hills of Salt Lake City came into view. Perched on the top bunk now tucked in with cozy blankets and pillows matching the 70s brown and gold decor, the motorhome crawled up a particularly long hill. Only the headlights lit the highway in the wee hours of the morning.

As my eyes grew tired and mesmerized by the continuous passing of the yellow dividing lines on the highway, I started nodding off.

Suddenly something bright forced my tired eyes to open a bit. My eyes then opened wide as what appeared woke my mind wide. Cresting the hill, a sea of lights shone as a million white diamonds as far as the eye could see.

I gasped slightly as I caught my breath at the sight. My eyes were wide open now not wanting to miss any of this view that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. There was a comfort in the cast glow of the city, even then in my 12 year old mind.

The darkness seemed to all but disappear as the city lights seemed to envelope us all.

As I think back on this memory, it reminds me of the first time I heard the Gaither gospel song “Because He Lives”. One particular line in the song has stood out in my heart ever since and it goes as follows:

“I’ll see the lights of Glory… and…I’ll KNOW He lives!“.

There may be times we will have to travel through life in the dark of the night after the joys of daylight with only the dividing lines and a few signs illuminated. But knowing that the final crest someday will open wide the windows of all the lights of Glory that will leave your eyes wide in awe and your heart breathless, will make this trip worth all you or I will experience.

And…

you’ll know… that you know… that you know…

He lives!♥️♥️

The Ultimate Captain

The 1970s Triple E camper windows framed the looming west coast rugged mountains like a majestic breathtaking motion picture, as my dad, the captain, pointed or vacation home on wheels confidently along the narrow winding, mountainous roads, inching dangerously close periodically to the seemingly dwarfed guardrails framing the seemingly endless valleys below.

This drive, or any other adventurous trek, was in my dad’s blood. It made his soul happy motor homing with his family.

I for one never doubted my dad’s skills. His fearless natural abilities to drive through any terrain or a trusty Manitoba blizzard for that matter, seemed to come naturally to him. His calm relaxed position in any of his captain’s chairs… one hand; two fingers actually, resting casually on the steering wheel, was a picture etched permanently into my mind over the years.

My struggles with the motion of the weaving camper along the looming mountain roads amidst the endless valleys below, found me crawling under one of the cozy camping blankets on the couch nestled just below one of the expansive windows.

My heavy eyes would close quite easily as the motion picture outside our family motorhome mile after many mile, rocked me gently into dreamland.

My security with my dad behind the wheel in the midst of the mountainous treacherous winding road, left me sleeping peacefully for many a mile of our family vacation, oblivious to the dangers. No fear.

The safety and security I felt riding in our family motorhome with my dad in the captain’s chair, through the rugged terrain and deep treacherous valleys, mere feet from our travelling home at times, was a gift to my young heart.

As beautiful as it was, it paled in comparison to the safety and peace afforded us by our Heavenly Father…

Fear not, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10.

He is with us always whether we are aware of it or not.

The rugged, towering, steep mountains and treacherous deep valleys of this world we are living in today, can leave us weak and fearful if we do not know or trust our Captain.

I knew my dad… I knew his heart. I had experienced his safety for a long while already by then. I trusted him enough to fall asleep peacefully as my dad sat in his captain’s chair, navigating for our little family.

What are you facing today? What mountain, what valley… what unseen winding road?

He promises NEVER to leave us or forsake us. Not now… not ever.

Rest in His presence. Know He sees it ALL. He is our HOPE… our ONLY hope.

I hold those sweet memories of those motorhome trips through the mountains dear to my heart so many years later now.

Knowing my Heavenly Father can be trusted infinitely more, is a place my heart can rest in, as I see the beauty amidst the looming mountains and treacherous valleys and unseen roads in our world today.

A hope Beyond hope… a peace that passes understanding, as I crawl under the covers… and sleep in security, navigating this world, resting my faith…

In my Ultimate Captain.