And The Music Played

He moved in closer to the microphone in front of him in his isolated apartment as the melody of a fifty-year-old classic was beautifully created in a new old way from around the world with many voices.

The World Wide Web became the friend that made it all possible when life as they knew it seem to have disappeared.

And the chorus united them all.

And the music played.

********

She longingly glanced at the large round metal clock on the sterile hospital green wall for what seemed like the hundredth time that hour as time seemed to stand still in the midst of the world standing still.

She quickly straightened her sweat-stained protective mask for what also seemed like the hundredth time that day… or so it seemed.

Her three years of late night studying for this passion that had become her, had not prepared her for what was ahead of her now…. 12 hour shift after 12 hour shift along with the rest of her colleges, looking into the fearful eyes of those looking up back at her from their coveted beds, snaking through the hospital corridors.

She did what she had been trained to do….what she had promised to do… and do what her heart was telling her to do…take the hand of those that could be her biggest enemy as her eyes met thier fearful gaze, hoping to hide her own along with perhaps thousands upon thousands of other frontline workers in the world at this same moment…

The cause uniting them all.

And the music played.

********

He knew he couldn’t just sit and watch as views of the deserted streets outside his window left a gaping silence in his heart in this new day.

Donning a homemade colourful mask in keeping with the new normal, aching to lend a hand to his fellow man amidst his own fears, He made his way through the empty streets to the nearest homeless shelter he had passed many a time in his life, going to work as a New York journalist in one of the high-rises of the now deserted city streets.

He joined those already feeding and sheltering some of the world’s most vulnerable… uniting with a cause.

And the music played.

********

She awoke with a heaviness on her heart as week 3 of her own world along with the rest of the world shutting down, commenced.

A single mom, life was a challenge at the best of times, but this… this was almost too much as the baby had not quit crying since she’d woken in the early hours of the morning. Her toddler thankfully played, contented on the floor with his coveted metal fire truck… his little lips providing all the necessary sounds.

Turning to her tiny 60s table in the corner of her small kitchen, she watched 4 little eyes staring back at her, pencils in hand, waiting for her instructions of a day where she was now their full-time teacher for the past 3 weeks among all the other teaching she did daily.

It seemed such an overwhelm to wake up day after day, coping in her 4 walls, as the horrors of domestic abuse had left her with the sole responsibilities of these tiny lives.

The ringing of the simple black telephone, hanging on the wall of the old house, seem to be her only portal to the outside world.

How was she doing? ….the caller asked. She spoke much needed encouragement. Perhaps shared some laughter, always good for the soul… and said a short prayer for her to face another day, not only for the new world that seemed to have encroached on her, but for her day-to-day that seemed too much most days.

That day, she chose another day… because of the ringing portal on the wall.

Perhaps many such calls all over the world uniting in the cause of support.

And the music played.

*******

She had loved her job at the local Diner now for the past 20 years, happily serving her longtime repeat customers, but in the past 3 weeks, her beloved Diner had ceased to exist as she had known it for the past 20 years.

How would her bills get paid?? How would she live as this new invisible enemy was blanketing not only her own little town… but the whole Earth.

And then, as her world seemed to unravel in the midst of the whole world crumbling, the man whose heart had lovingly ran the beloved diner for 20 years, changed everything.

No layoffs, only changes and big ones. The bills would get paid and perhaps the thoughts of ending it all, even for the most religious in this new day.

He united them for the cause.

And the music played.

********

As she sat huddled under her well worn couch blanket by her tiny television set, news broadcast blaring into her tiny living room 24/7, fearful of what this all meant, hearing the statistics of what this new enemy of the world was creating… She knew one thing and one thing for sure. She still needed to feed her family.

She hurriedly made her way through the grocery aisles filling her grocery cart with what seemed to be more than her share as the mountain got higher and higher. All necessary, but she was afraid. Her two little ones hugging her closely as they made their way.

She and her small family were new to this town, with family and friends thousands of miles away. The prospect of a new job for her hard working husband had brought them here.

Despite more and more stipulations about how to do life in public, her little ones needed to join their mother in the hallways of the local store, being vulnerable to the stares of those who didn’t share her same plight.

But as she rounded the corner of the produce aisle, her eyes met the gaze of a beautiful, silver haired, older woman. The woman smiled warmly as she glanced at the little apprehensive eyes looking back at her, clutching their mother’s side.

Her heart knew nothing of this woman’s life with her little ones hanging by her side.

So she made a choice.

She smiled.

That is all.

But it was everything.

No judgement.

Because the world was in this together.. united.

********

And the world came together and knew who the enemy was.

Not each other.

And the world threw open its windows wide… along with their hearts…

And the birds sang louder…

And the skies became Bluer…

And the stars… brighter.

And the God they prayed to, hugged them tighter then any other could, and whispered…

I will never leave you or forsake you.

And their hearts believed.

And the music played.

Keep On The Sunny Side… Always On The Sunny Side.

Sunday request… CFRY time.

Family dinners at Grandma and Grandpa’s, down a muddy dirt road in the backwoods of my sleepy little hometown.

Both were necessary for my childhood memories to be complete.

As the squeaky, summer time screen door on the 1940s front porch, swung open wide to make way for my family, dressed in their Sunday best, to join all the other families dressed in their Sunday best, gather for a good part of the day…., my heart swelled as the sounds of the familiar Carter family tune played nostalgically, even then, in the living room, crooning through the vintage radio.

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side…

My heart was home.

Sunday after Sunday over many a decade, this was my favourite memory.

The song, written and sung well before my time, welled in my soul… Still relevant… Keep on the sunny side.

Years later, my curiosity scoured the web for the history of this beloved childhood song.

Written in 1899, now over a century ago, by Ada Blenkhorn, the song was inspired by her disabled nephew, who’s only daily wish was to have his wheelchair pushed down the “Sunny Side” of the Street on his daily walks.

Many years later, this song became a signature sound for The Carter Family, coming into family homes via many a radio station.

CFRY for our family on those beautiful Sundays in my childhood.

It’s a simple song.

Sometimes the simple is the most powerful.

Let us greet with a song of hope each day, though the moments be cloudy or fair, let us trust in the Saviour always… To keep us everyone in His care…. Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side….

And there it is.

Let us greet with a song of hope each day …. The message is still the same, now a century later.

No matter the direction the world may be spinning each day…

Send a message to someone’s who’s four walls seem to be closing in…

Sing a song from the rooftops and press send so the world can hear….

Perhaps leave a basket of Love on a porch for those in need….

Send a prayer for someone who just can’t face tomorrow…

But most of all let us trust in the Saviour always… To keep us everyone in His care…

And always… Always…

Keep on the sunny side☀️❤️

“Just Sit”

She smelled so good, as grandmas always do.

My young self buried myself deeper into her secure, loving soft arms as I snuggled even more comfortably in her ever comforting lap.

It was my favourite place in the whole world at that time in my young life. All was well on Grandma’s lap.

It wasn’t just the physical comfort of her soft comfy arms and inviting lap that made me want to stay there forever it seemed.

It was her heart.

It was her heart when tender loving care was needed for the scrapes incurred on the farmyard. Her heart healed it. She said; “I love you… just sit”.

When Grandma would spoil me with her homemade delicious cinnamon buns for breakfast (because she could:) her heart said; “I love you… just sit”.

When I would beg for just one more night of a long week of sleepovers, her heart said yes, and it said; I love you… just sit”.

When she took the time on many a lazy summertime afternoon between farm wife duties, to lay in her perfectly made bed in the cool of her bedroom, and cuddle me close as she read of stories in a faraway land… she said; “I love you… just sit”.

When her lap became too small as I got older, her soft arms were always enough to dry the tears in my heart when the loss of first love was too much for my tender heart to bear… her heart said; “I love you… just sit”.

When many years down the road she would wrap those same soft wonderfully smelling, comfortable arms, wrapped in one of her familiar Paisley Cotton house dresses, around my little girls on her welcoming lap… her heart said; “I love you… just sit”.

And when the time came to say our final goodbyes in the days before my sweet grandma left this Earth for her forever home… Her now frail but still ever so soft arms, still comforting to my adult me, as we talked about how life would go on for both of us… Her heart said; “I love you… just sit”.

Her heart still said; “I love you… just sit”, as I sat with her, remembering how we had sat together for so many decades throughout every season of my life.

My time to “just sit” with my grandma no matter how many years had passed,… was a healing for my soul even now when it was only I who could speak for the both of us.

Over the years, my God has often gently beckoned me; “I love you… just sit”.

But in the business of life through the years, I deemed “just sit” as idle, somewhat non-productive by nature. Yet as I think back to the times I would “just sit” with my beloved Grandma, the healing of my soul happened continually.

I’m coming to realize my God’s beckon to “just sit” heals much of every part of my being without all of my “effort”. He willingly takes our broken pieces in our “sitting”.

I can imagine this may just be the most important thing my grandma may be doing in her forever home, surrounded by His gentle arms❤️

This is where the healing is, from the one whose “I love you” will never fail.

It is His heart.

Today I want to keep reminding myself of the healing benefits of heading to the invitation of my God. The answer of Healing in all of us… Our body… our soul… our spirit.

It will not only change how we will do life… It will change our life…period.

When I remember to open the ears of my heart and head to the gentle;

“I love you…

just sit”. ❤️

From The Stands That Are Still Full

“And the winner is…

blue ticket number 3154!!… grand prize of four Jets tickets!! Congratulations to the grand prize winner of the evening!!”

My heart skipped a beat as I grasped the coveted winning blue ticket and made my way towards the direction of my coveted prize.

As the cheering of the gathered crowd faded, my mind raced ahead thinking of who would join me at my coveted NHL hockey game win.

Weeks later, pizza, popcorn and drinks in hand, the game was enjoyed by all from our prize seats in the stands, shouting loudly when deemed necessary.

Little did I know it was to be the last time in the unforeseeable future an NHL game would be played in our beloved hockey stadium in our home city along with all other NHL stadiums across the country.

Other sports followed suit creating a shutdown the likes of no one had ever seen.

History was being made.

Along with the sports world, the stadiums of Faith, big and small have been emptied and replaced by the likes of the online world. The latest being the push back of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics…. All creating an abandonment of the stands across the world…. Empty.

In the weeks to come, summer festivals, concerts and so much more continue to point to the reality of more empty stands.

There is a piercing of a sadness, grieving of sorts… just internalizing all the empty stands.

And yet, along with our sadness and grief, comes a hope… a hope found in the book of Hebrews where the stands are FAR from empty.

Filled with a cloud of witnesses… those who have gone on before, having won the victory on the other side of this planet.

Picture it.

Millions upon millions of the Saints, including those we have said goodbye to over the years on this planet…

my mom being one of them a year ago now. I can just imagine her in the midst of the cloud of witnesses… where she always loved to be… cheering her loved ones on❤️

Hold on!

Keep the faith!

Have NO fear!

A Whole New Perspective from the packed stadiums of Heaven.

It’s a picture I want to imprint in my mind daily as I see things unfolding day by day in these new moments in time the world is living in now.

There is no failing economy in Heaven. No sickness of any kind. No unseen enemy… the likes of which is blanketing our world in these moments.

It’s a place from which cheering multitudes thunder loud… the likes of which we have never experienced in all the stadiums of the world combined.

We are being encouraged from the heavenlies to keep running a race of perseverance in our faith and laying down all fears in a time that begs it mercilessly.

Open the ears of your heart and really listen. Close your eyes… imagine… Trust, despite the empty stands spanning this groaning globe of ours.

Heaven calls to us…

Keep on!… NO fear!… Trust!

From the stands that are still full❤️

Swing Like You Mean It

Holding down one end of the wooden swing with the biggest bear hug I could muster, both arms wrapped tightly as I attempted to be the anchor for those on the swing set…. their little bodies aimed for the stars as it seemed with every pump of their little legs.

Now it was my turn.

Our roles switched with much giggling ensuing as our spring time floral, rubber boots splashed happily in the muddy, blackened carved-out puddles at our feet.

Confident in the anchor skills of those that had replaced me, I aimed for the unseen stars with every pump of my pudgy little legs.

Every pump ever higher.

We were going nowhere, yet everywhere our minds could imagine beyond the stars in the midnight sky… We were free to swing… swing like we meant it.

This still, icy spring wind, stinging our little faces with every pump of our legs, seemed only to invigorate us more as we continued our quest for the title of “highest swing”.

Fast forward 45 years, my sweet little grandkids now occupying the wooden swings… the giggles, still present, the spring air, still looking to land some stinging bites on their little faces. The mud puddle still ever present, swirling continually with every splash of every floral rubber boot.

The Stars beyond the midnight sky….

Still the goal.

How often do we avoid something we were meant to do?… Meant to be?

Do the stars seem out of reach into a big midnight sky?… Does the stinging spring wind keep you from facing that which you were meant to do?…

Do the anchors, supports, people in your life feel far from adequate?… Do our floral rubber, Springtime boots not fit anymore because they are someone else’s?…. The swirling mud puddles beneath your feet, daunting?

What if….

What if we get back to where it all started….in the heart of a child.

Back to the garden…. Where we were to come as a child.

Use your God given gifts for a world that desperately needs them. Give them YOU. It’s still all tucked away in a child’s heart we all have deep down.

The stars are never the limit, the stinging spring wind… no match, the mud puddles… just an excuse to laugh… and laugh loud, armed with your own floral rubber boots.

The anchor(our God) , no worries… always trusted to the eyes of the heart of a child.

Today… Come back to where it all began. In the heart of a child.

Be brave.

Aim for the stars, no matter how far… Set your smiling face against the stinging spring winds… Stomp extra hard through those mud puddles… And know…

Your God… My God, is our anchor as He promises, no matter where your life may take you.

And above all….. Today… And always….

Swing like you mean it.

The Day The World Changed

Wave upon beautiful, powerful wave crashed onto the glistening Mexico toe happy sand just out our spectacular balcony view.

It was to be 2 weeks of a much needed holiday.

The luxuries of the trip were many, but the only English channels afforded us were a total of 2 news channels. So for the duration of the 2 weeks, when not enjoying our beautiful holiday, news of the US Primary and Super Tuesday dominated the screen.

And then…

Just as quickly as the crashing waves outside our balcony room would turn… The invisible imposter started taking center stage…

The Day The World Changed.

It was a new day.

As the belly of the plane touched down on home soil a few weeks later… The world was on a path of change, the likes of which no one had ever seen.

The World had changed.

I knew then, my Germany flight booked for only days from then, was not to be. A change. But not as big as what was happening around the world.

And so it began.

The Day the World changed.

But in the days and weeks that followed, I reminded myself of some of the things that had not changed.

The small birds, happily singing me into my dad’s manor as they had always done from thier home in the cluster of Evergreens just outside the door… not changed.

The gentle hug my dad still gave me with the usual complimentary pat on my head as he had done since I’d been a little girl… not changed.

The VHS home movies made lovingly by my sweet grandma at least a quarter a Century ago, reminding us of the “good old days”… not changed.

The days of my grandchildren bustling through my front door, throwing thier little arms tightly around my neck, dotted with ever so soft butterfly kisses…. not changed.

Words written in some of my most coveted books including my Bible, I now had more time for… not changed.

Pulling out one of my favourite somma borscht recipes, aroma drifting as usual from the large stock pot… not changed.

The coveted titles of wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend… still mine… not changed.

The choice I had to find a sparkle in everyday…every moment.. . not changed.

The beautiful harvest moon shining in the midnight sky followed by a beautiful sun peaking through my bedroom window the next morning, making its debut as it always had since the beginning of time…. not changed.

My love for my family and friends in the midst of a new day… not changed.

And as my eyes fell sleepily late into the nights in my quiet times with my God, my Rock… He reminded me gently…

nothing had changed.

His unending, perfect unimaginable love that He promised would cast out ALL fear…. Even now…not changed…. the day the World changed.

Nothing had changed amidst the constant barrage of breaking news updates in red, flashing across the screens daily.

We the world needed HOPE as always… nothing has changed.

Hope of a friend who promises to be closer than a brother, closer then our breath at all times, amidst the threat of the unseen enemy pulling us all physically apart…. not changed.

I’m reaching out more and more these days to a promised strong right hand who has promised He will not let me/us.. His children, stumble and fall in the MIDST… of all that has changed.

HE has not changed.

He promises PEACE that passes ALL understanding, today and EVERYDAY

Not changed .

Today I encourage you to open the eyes of your heart, and daily see the things that have NOT changed in your life that keep your spirits high and grateful.

But above all, I pray I… you… experience the ROCK❤️… The HOPE of the ONE who does NOT change in the midst of…

The Day the World Changed.

Precious Letters…”With Love… Always”

Goodbyes seemed like the end.

It was the 1940s… they were the end.

Or so it seemed in their aching hearts.

Hopelessness of perhaps never seeing the ones they so loved this side of Heaven again.

Her… him… a sister… a mother… a father… All sailing for another land that may as well have been another planet.

It was my grandma’s experience as she said farewell with long, lingering hugs and tears no doubt with those she loved so dear.

The hope of a thread of connection lay in the “onion thin”, expensive airplane paper as it was dubbed in those years.

It was hope.

Decades later, that same onion thin paper was her thread of connection with her daughter, across the miles, deep in the bowels of South America. Again… seemingly planets away.

The nightly ache was only soothed perhaps by the love of her family living on this side of the world and her seemingly unshakable faith in her God whom she loved and trusted… even when the “onion thin” paper was the only connection.

Prayers for her daughter nightly took the focus off of her longing heart.

She trusted. Trusted in His plan for her daughters life.

And then… It happened.

A shrill ring coming from the black 70s wall phone, living just above grandpas trusty vintage rocking chair , where his daughter had rocked securely on his lap many many years before, demanded all time stand still.

Her simmering stew on the stove… Off.

The vintage radio relaying the local news, sitting on the dining room hutch, which had traveled across the ocean many more years ago… off.

All distractions chased away for this coveted moment in time.

It was something my young heart witnessed with a sense of awe as everyone I held dear to me was but a short comfortable ride away in my dad’s 66 “Merc”. No onion thin paper was needed to meet with those I loved so dearly.

Memories of those times are many decades behind me/them now. Yet they somehow remind me of my journey through the Bible. Winding roads taken, mountain tops, valleys, and every step in between sometimes feeling planets away from my God …leaning on every word written on the “onion thin” paper that made up my first Bible… A precious gift from my mom and dad at the age of 13.

Reading and rereading the “precious letters” from the One who writes the best letters ever.

And then… it happened.

The “call”… clear connection, as some revelation of His Word “rung” in my ears and deep in my heart….clearer than all the Words I’d been reading perhaps for months by then.

It was a moment to cherish greatly.

All distractions… Off.

Music… Off.

Stove top supper… Off.

All distractions chased away to focus on this special coveted time of clear connection… Hearing….listening….revelation that would guide me in my journey in this life.

These coveted letters as I’ve been told, are now tucked away carefully long after my grandma has gone to Heaven….now face to face…having a crystal clear connection with those on the other side of the 1940s onion thin paper.

The memories of those coveted years of communication and special phone calls on that 1970s black wall phone, will always remain a treasured piece in my heart, reminding me of the ultimate letters in His Word, and the clear revelations… The “calls”… He gives us, longing to connect with us.

Be excited.

Excited for His ultimate precious letters to you…hope… signed..

“With love… ALWAYS” ❤️

The Apron

It was the essence of who she was.

Wiping her hands thoroughly for what may have been the “50th” time that day, on the signature patterned piece of material, snuggly and meticulously tied in a knotted bow behind her back, my grandma glided her way gracefully across the farmhouse kitchen floor between the stove and the table, tending to her freshly baked buns, gloriously on the rise.

Fresh Garden potatoes fried in lard, and lots of it, with lots of onions, simmered on the stove waiting for Grandpa to come in from the barn for supper.

I was blessed to have had a few grandmas that wore these coveted aprons over the years.

Just hours before, this same handmade apron, trimmed with vintage lace, served as a “bowl” for her large garden fresh grown cucumbers and ripe tomatoes picked that morning.

This same apron served as comfort as grandma knelt to wipe the tears off of one of us grandkids as we burst in the farmhouse door regularly, skinned knee needing one of her Band-Aid bandages after a rousing game of outdoor hockey with our younger uncle.

As the day wore on, the apron stayed fastened securely around Grandma’s wonderfully soft waste my little hands would wrap around often.

It wasn’t just something she wore… put on…

it was her.

Taking a break in her day, Grandma would ever so often find her way to her bedroom down the hallway and lay herself gently on her perfectly made bed for just awhile.

As she lay in the cool of her room, shaded by the canopy of poplar trees standing stoically around the back of the house, her mind would periodically travel back as memories of a different time would bring a smile to her lips along with a happy tear or two getting wiped away with the corner of her apron.

It seemed to be a quiet gentle friend in those kind of moments… never far away… just within reach.

This same apron had wrapped her tiny babies tightly and securely to shield the daylight from their eyes to help along the process of lulling them perhaps into the land of an afternoon nap in the moment.

A quick dip of the corner of the farmhouse sink filled with dishwater carried in from the farm yard well, was just the perfect solution for wiping off a “milk beard” of fresh farm milk from us little girls, as grandma’s pursed lips made a buzzing sound through her contagious smile with every stroke.

The Apron.

It stood for something.

Something safe, something answered, something felt,

When bursting through that 60s farmhouse door I would see my grandma’s apron tucked lovingly and securely around her beautiful being…

I felt home.

A place where my body, my soul, my spirit could rest, knowing it would be the answer to my tears… milk beard… skinned knees…and my naptime apron… shielding the light from my childhood sleepy eyes.

A place I could rest against the soft essence of my grandma.

Now many years later, though living in adulthood now, being a blessed Grandma to eight grandchildren myself, my heart still longingly remembers the apron as I think back to those favourite childhood memories.

I don’t have to look too far as I remember how my God has wiped my tears… cleaned my skinned knees… provided abundance from His garden of Plenty, and even wiped my silly milk moustache… because He lives in all pieces of our lives.

Nothing is too much for Him. and I need to remind myself though the days of Grandma’s apron are but a treasured memory now tucked deep in my heart, He is always enough for all of this… and so much more.

A quiet gentle friend always just within reach… A place of rest in the midst of all life brings.

I have a Hope.

You have a hope.

A hope of a God who will be all of this to us and so much more… enveloped in His amazing love… reminding us of all we found…

In the apron❤️

Forever and Ever…Amen

The vintage colourful lights strung over the city Main Street in the shape of festive familiarity.

Our family car, a 66 Mercury (Merc, as my dad would call it), malibu blue in colour, was our chariot for this coveted annual event my little heart looked forward to every year.

It was 1974.

The classic landmark Hudson’s Bay Company dazzled with all that Christmas was in the 1970s.

Multicolored vintage lights dazzled the scenes of Christmas trains, walking dolls and more, surrounded by trees adorned with silver tinsel and streams of vintage coloured round baubles and teardrop decorations.

It was nothing short of magical.

Each string of lights and treble cleft shaped Christmas architecture, passed by my view from the frosted back window as I sat snuggled and tucked between my grandpa and grandma. It was my favourite place to be in the whole wide world.

All was well in my young heart in that spot in that moment.

My homemade burgundy, pretend fur coat, made lovingly by my mom, hugged me in all the right spots as we travelled along in the warmth of the 66 Merc as my mom always preferred it to be.

The winter snow fell gently to the ground outside our window. It was a picture I would hold deep in my heart for many years to come.

The evening Christmas crowds bustled along in between the high banks of snow.

“Go Tell it On The Mountain” and “Children Go Where I send Thee” crooned out the front from my dad’s coveted collection of 8-track tapes, clicking after each track was done.

I felt safe and secure as my dad sat confidently in the driver’s seat, arm perched on the side of the door, three fingers casually directing the wheel in any direction we wanted to go. Many years of experience had brought him to this point.

My little heart trusted completely.

My mom clasped her black, plastic oversized purse with a single silver metal clasp and 2 rounded straps as she sat comfortably in the passenger seat. This too was a night out she looked forward to all year as the many years of the 70s were filled with being a stay-at-home mom… baking, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and chauffeuring to a young family.

Though her heart had already experienced more Christmases than mine, my little heart could say for today… this night… our hearts were both young in the season of Wonder.

And then as if this evening of Christmas lights and the wonders of the Hudson Bay display wasn’t enough, my heart anticipated the next part of the Christmas evening journey to Woolco.. THE store of those years.

Making my way past the display cases of jewellery greeting us as I stumbled through the doors in excitement, I couldn’t wait to make my way to the back of the store, where perched at the diner, we would order perhaps cherry pie or crispy fries as the treat of the night.

It was almost beyond what my little heart could handle.

My mouth watered incessantly with every step taken in my seventies winter lace-up boots, pointed down the main aisle to the back of the “big city store” towards the diner.

It would be a wonderful end to a wonderful evening with some of whom I loved so dearly, enjoying that which was so dear to my heart.

Now almost 50 years later, my mind can enjoy this special memory. It was a season in time to be enjoyed, but it all ultimately came to an end only to live in my memories… Although beautiful memories.

The same grandmother who sat with me so securely and safely in the backseat of that 66 Merc so many years ago, would introduce me to Randy Travis’s “Forever and Ever Amen” a decade later.

This song has taken on a meaning deep in my soul as I interpret it. My mind can only imagine what a day that will be when I will enjoy an even more glorious life with all those so dear to me, now waiting for me in Heaven when we won’t ever have to live on memories again.

Most of those enjoying that coveted evening in 1974 have gone on to eternity now…on their journey of experiencing forever and ever…

All we experience will come around again and again and again. How incredible! If life has been less than wished-for or perhaps only the memories remain… take heart!

Get your hopes up!

Get excited for forever!!

Forever loving those you have missed for too long!!

Our God is the ultimate forever memory maker in the land of no tomorrow’s.

So I say again take heart!

And look forward to…

Forever… and ever… Amen❤️

Be the Broach

The light danced happily on every corner of each pretend vintage stone and shone like a million stars in the midnight sky, perfectly fitted on my grandma’s black and white houndstooth coat.

It was the perfect canvas for her favourite broach.

My grandma’s beautiful ornate jewellery box, living perfectly beside her vintage hair brush set on her neatly organize dresser, was the perfect home to many a piece of special jewellery given to her by grandpa, the love of her life, and her family over the years.

But this piece in particular had special meaning as it had lived through many, many a generation.

It seemed to shine and sparkle greater than all the rest.

Her coat may have looked less special and plain without the beautiful vintage broach taking centre stage and subtly demanding attention. My grandma almost seemed to walk taller the moment the rolling mechanism clasped the sharp pin securely and confidently into place.

My little eyes couldn’t help but be drawn to its shimmer and sparkle with every graceful turn of my grandma as she went about her shopping at the local One Stop Shop in her small hometown.

Wherever she went, her beautiful broach seemed to lead the way.

Finding her broach tucked carefully it seemed, a long way down in my jewellery box many years later now, the memories of this broach and all that surrounded it fondly warmed my heart. It was like yesterday. The memory is still stamped so vividly in my mind.

It made me think of how we have the opportunity to wear His presence… A beautiful gift that was given to all who will recieve, and how our everyday moments, words, actions… can reflect our God as a “million stars in the night”. Our black and white “houndstooth coat”.. (our self efforts) can present less special and plain and maybe not noticeable at all, unless we walk in His presence daily reflecting Him to our world around us.

The history of the lovely broach goes back many, many centuries to a time when it had a practical use to hold garments together.

As we choose to wear Him daily, we will experience Him holding us together as we reflect the goodness and most of all His amazing love.

When we are willing to be the reflection of the Holy Spirit, it may leave a stamp of Hope…the Light of the world… to those who encounter the reflection.

May we remember to wear our broach, His Spirit. May we walk tall daily as we go about our lives, because when we wear His Spirit daily, and reflect His amazing love, it will not only change us, but those around us, and every turn we make in our lives will reflect Him.

Today…be the reflection of the Light of Hope inside you…

Be the Broach❤️