Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my blog! Of course if we were visiting in person, I'd have the teapot out and we could sit and chat.
I'm honored you stopped by to listen to my thoughts and ponderings - and if you have a minute sometime, let me know you dropped by!

You can also find me on Facebook at Grace Notes, Thoughts and Prayers.

I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A canopy, a sanctuary

  It is Sunday. No church today, and although we miss our dear friends, we have settled in for a winters rest.
  Today that was outdoors and this evening, as the twilight settles, I am cozied under this canopy of trees. And it feels like a sanctuary.
  The birds are singing all around, and I watch them flit here and there and I listen to their songs. They seem to me like hymns of praise.
  It is peaceful to stop. To rest. It takes time for the restless spirit to quiet. To listen.
  And tonight, as I gaze at the sky through this canopy of trees, I can be at peace.
  I know the world churns and there is trouble everywhere. Oh yes, we know this well.
  And yet tonight, the birds sing songs of peace and rest settles like a blanket, a knowing that all is well in Gods world.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Miracles and Memories

   I've been asked, do I believe in miracles?

  I do!

  We all look for them, with hopeful eyes, with dreams of a better year, with longing for many things... and health would be on the top of my list.

  I write this with a sniffy nose, recovering from a wicked sinus cold, so very minor compared to many I know who suffer much.  And despite lots of prayer, and asking, and a good dose of medicine, there have been no instant miracles.  No, like many, I have had to live with not feeling so good this holiday season.

  And I've had to think of how I define a miracle.

  I've seen so many this year... including my own.

  I've learned that miracles happen every day, but they don't always happen the way we might imagine, or even feel entitled to.

  No, it is more the miracles of the heart and soul, and the presence of a Creator God who enters into a world of suffering... this is where the true healing, the healing of the heart takes place.

  In my work, I have been so very privileged to witness this on a very regular basis.  It is the unexpected encounter in the hallway...and a meaningful conversation takes place; it is being called into a room just as someone has died, and being present to comfort the family; it is giving a teddy bear or book to a little child and watching their eyes light up, and the tearful silent thanks of a worried wearied parent, who needs some encouragement.

  It is the opportunity to tell someone who has lived a hard life, who is dying, that God loves them, and the light and hope in the room is felt in a holy way, as they ready themselves to go home... to be released, and isn't that a miracle?

 It is the holy hush of a room filled with lonely people, in wheelchairs as we lustily sing Christmas Carols, and the words hit me from "O Holy Night" with such impact...not often sung, with this second chorus:

...The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our Friend.
Chorus 2:
He knows our need
To our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King...

  And as we sang, this, and other carols, the miracle to me was evident... the presence of a God who stooped to lonely manger... who knows our need.

And there was evidence in the life of one lonely man who I had visited a number of times, who for the first time that day gripped my hand and thanked me, and there was a new light in his eyes.  And in the family and staff who joined us, there was a spirit of hope and thankfulness, and for some, tears.  This, even in a hospital ward where the future for many is very unknown... and most of them are not going home.

  Miracles?  Yes, they are everywhere!

  I've witnessed them in my own life, as I spoke twice in December, wondering how I would pull it off with not feeling so well... and both times I spoke without symptoms and was able to do so clearly... and I knew my praying friends were holding me up...

  It is the miracle of another Christmas with my brother-in-law, seven years fighting cancer and still we can share moments and conversations together...

  It is the spectacular miracle of my niece who survived a car accident just after Christmas, which in many counts she should have perished, but she and her friends survived, and that is an amazing story in itself that only she can tell.

  And as we enter a new year, in a broken world, I am reminded of the words of Jesus..

  "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

  Peace in a broken world.  Love for one another.  God present with us.

  All awesome miracles.