Loved Because of Another

The moment we set foot in Nicaragua, the heat and humidity took my breath away. The scenery was full of contrast - lush, rich rainforest vegetation surrounding homes and people of poverty. It was the last week of August and I was part of a church group bringing musical instruments to a small church at El Rama. I'll never forget the warm welcome I received every time I was introduced as "la madre de Melanie."  My daughter Melanie had previously accompanied work teams to El Rama, using her Spanish language skills to translate. Eyes sparkled and lit up in welcome, as people of all ages including children, looked at me for the very first time. They would say, "Ah, de madre de Melanie" and envelope me in hugs of welcome. I had never felt such love, all because of my daughter. They didn't know anything at all about me. My accomplishments meant nothing to any of them. My thoughts of self-importance were totally exposed. We were planning to give workshops dur

Laying Down the Pen

All of life is a story, isn't it?  We tell stories every day -  of events and happenings, of surprises and joys, of disappointments and challenges. Is there a difference between author and storyteller? For many years, I tried to be author, keeping control of the pen as priority. It would seem to work for a while, till in desperation, I would throw it down, saying, "I can't do this?" "I give up!"  or  "HELP!" Without hesitation Jesus would pick up the thread of story-line. He would begin to work out peace from my point of conflict. He would bring some resolution to an inner turmoil. After all, I had chosen to follow Him as a child, so I am His beloved daughter. He remains faithful and consistent  in lovingly guiding that pen. I have to say, that even though He writes better than I, it often feels scary to not be in control. Out of fear, I often find myself grabbing the pen right out of His han


Hope is a ray of sun breaking through a darkened sky filled with clouds A rose still blooming on a cold fall day A robin walking on snow covered ground Hope is in words of comfort spoken around a hospital bed A spontaneous hug given by a child A rainbow circling around from ground to ground Hope is in the flickering candle that breaks into darkness A first spring blossom bursting out in colour A red stoplight with it's cycle of colours Hope is in a baby of virgin birth born into a dark world Trusting God to keep every promise Resting in His peace and love

Spring Blossoms

With the coming of warmer spring weather, I feel like I am being impacted with this seasonal change.  My personal winter is showing signs of new growth, signs of spring.  Hope is my word this year.  I am finding myself soaking in the hope that comes with the new life of spring. The blossoms have attracted my attention, as they bloom before the branches ever sprout greenery. Magnolia trees are brilliant with colour against the dullness of the bare tree trunk.  Forsythia yellow glows from the bushes. The muted blend of fruit tree blossoms give the promise of flavour with the coming summer's fullness. The beauty of these blossoms may be short lived, but are full of hopeful beauty. Hence my connection to my niece Bethany's relatively short life of 23 years.  She blossomed and shone beauty and joy into our home. We question the sudden end; why she was taken just as her life seemed to be coming into it's own springtime. The sadness I feel comes and goes in waves, as

Shalom - At What Cost?

Shalom    A word of Jewish origin Spoken both at meeting and parting Invoking peace, wholeness and contentment. What’s the price for peace? Being silent to “keep the peace”?   Avoiding conflict? Displacement?   Or even death? What price am I willing to pay for this shalom? Peace - At the cost of my silence? Words suppressed and left unsaid Feelings ignored, treated as unimportant Peace - at the cost of my silence? No. This is not peace - It is cowardice. The loss of self to preserve a facade of unity A victimized silence to avoid resulting anger Peace - at the cost of my silence? No. This is not peaceful - it is control; Where the price of silence pushes down one So another can be exalted. Peace - at the cost of my silence? No. I am to stand up for justice To speak the truth And offer hope for change. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers (not the peacekeepers) For they shall be called the children of God.” Shalom - but NOT at

"I Love You"

On January 15, 2016 I found myself at the bedside of my beautiful 23 year old niece,  looking more like a porcelain doll  than a victim of an aneurysm and car accident.  Feeling honoured to be included,   a few of us joined the doctors as observers of the detailed process  that determines that life had ceased. As the determination was officially made,  "Absent from the body, present with the Lord" came to my mind.  Bethany was no longer here.   She was truly in the arms of Jesus. Even in my grief,  there came such a sense of closure,  of release,  of love for all in the room.   This shared love we have for Bethany....... it joins us even more in her passing. Now as I begin to process life  without her exuberant spirit and energy in our home, I can say,  "Bethany, I always welcomed you,  told you to come anytime,  included you as a integral part of our family.  I only regret that I never specifically said,  'I love yo

Hooded Heaviness

The hooded cloak fully covers my body It is leaded and oppressive, causing shallow breathing The layers of grief are already thick, and now more? How can I bear more weight and still do life? Responsibilities weigh heavily with this unexpected sickness Someone has to step in to be caregiver By virtue of birth order and proximity I know that I'm the one How can I function with such limited strength and energy? Step by step, moment by moment I can only breathe I take the needs of each day and choose what must be done Prayer becomes a continual bantering of wonderings and listenings Gratitude for small things become the steady heartbeat keeping me alive Still the weight remains as weeks stretch to months This race is becoming a marathon, the end out of view I'm only still in the running because of the support from others The love in action of friends, giving gifts of time and self-sacrifice In a quiet moment I suddenly hear a whisper, a s