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Welcome to my blog! Of course if we were visiting in person, I'd have the teapot out and we could sit and chat.
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hope for Christmas...and all the year

  Christmas Eve has come.

   It is a nostalgic Christmas this year, with pockets of sadness. There will be an empty place at our table. I think of friends who are also grieving this year.  And even though joy is in the air, there is a weight of grief that colours this holiday.

  And yet... there is hope.

   I sat in an office, at the hospital, of one who worked with the very sick, with those for whom the outcome was grim. And on the bookshelf sat a large plaque, with the word HOPE.

  I pointed it out, this word of hope, and was given the sad reply that really, in that department, hope was illusive....  How sad, I thought.

  A few weeks later I was passing through a hallway on a medical floor and a family member of a patient caught my eye and I was drawn into the room.  His wife lay there, weak, discouraged, sick. And we talked.

  And the words that came to mind (actually I believe God reminds me of words at times like these), were from Romans 8, that beautiful passage where it says that NOTHING can separate us from God's love. Nothing. And as we shared about the love and care and compassion of God, something eased in the room. And God was there.

  As I left the husband whispered to me...."you gave her hope back".

  And isn't that what Christmas is all about?  In the midst of sadness, despair, loneliness, grief, we know there is a bigger picture. There is hope....even beyond death!  That love promised to us binds us together, even to those who have passed to the other side.

  It gives reason to hope for today. Tomorrow.

  So, a gentle Christmas, to all who grieve. I am grateful for the love and hope we share.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I really want to wish you a Merry Christmas!

  The tree isn't up.  Oh, there is a little one there, on the toy shelf, overlooking the toys, a few clay ornaments to dress it, so it isn't completely naked.  And there is another tree outside.

  We had an early Christmas... cherished, wonderful, but that was November.  And now the real date descends on us, a first without my mom, and for many, their first too... and it brings me back to my early widowed years where one has to learn to do holidays all over again.  A new normal.

  So I found it interesting that a conversation on the radio got my ire this morning.  I was fuming!  I don't have names, or even the station, it just happened to be on as I drove.  The lady being interviewed was telling the interviewer how we need to change our winter greeting.  We could say "It is Winter", or some other ridiculous statement.  She went on to say (quite vehemently I thought), that we should never WISH something on anyone... that is imposing.  Really????

  I could tell the interviewer was rather aghast himself, but trying to be polite.  And then she verbally attacked him, saying she could "feel" his disapproval.  She demanded an apology!

  I could not believe my ears...

  This in sharp contrast to the Global News this morning where they were discussing the same subject... must be popular... or a slow news day... and what I loved was that they talked to a Rabbi.  A man with kind eyes, and obviously a warm heart, and he said he wasn't offended by the words in a greeting... but rather the warmth of giving a greeting at all should be seen as a gift...

  And I said Amen to that.  And usually I don't really like getting into this "Christ in Christmas" argument, because in my mind, we have secularized Christmas to such a large degree anyway, and it is largely a commercial holiday.

  And yet... this is the season of good will... I love buying magazines this time of year, and watching movies... it is the season for the good story, for sharing the kindness of the human race, the inspiration for all of us to give beyond ourselves, to think of others.  It is a beautiful time.

  And I love this season of giving.  One of the deepest joys I have is giving quilts and prayer shawls to those who are sick in hospital... lovingly stitched by those who care, and it is I who has the wonderful privilege to wrap these gifts around those who need it most... and give the message of hope and love and comfort.

  And the Christ in Christmas, the Christ I love, who started as one of us, a baby, also grew to be a man and came to love the ill, the neglected, the poor, the sad, and the lonely.

  And when I wish something for those in need, when I wish something for my friends, or my family, I don't think of it as imposing, but rather as a blessing, a gift.  So I do wish you a Merry Christmas... I wish you a season of hope, and peace and joy.

  And even in the midst of a broken world, I am so thankful for the gift of Christmas.

A Christmas Past... One of my favourite pictures