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.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Taking time to Create

Hi there, it's Tuesday, time to tap my computer keys and create a blog.

I've been thankful for this weekly rhythm, and often reflect that this journalling and writing on-line is good discipline for me.  And if it touches someone's heart, or makes someone think or offers some encouragement, all the better!  Thank you for your comments and feedback whenever you are able - it is so very helpful!

Today's blog is about creativity and intentionality. 

I never considered myself much of an artist, but I knew I loved to create.  There were periods in my life where life was so full and intense that writing or creating was a pure luxury.

But those times also felt barren; it wasn't until I found myself in a creative space that some inner need was met.  There are a lot of ways to create!  I do love a blank sheet of paper and some wonderful pens;  wondering what will emerge.

I felt that way when I dabbled with pottery, there was something powerful about a lump of clay being shaped and formed into something beautiful, and often into something useful as well.  I thought about that last night as I served crackers on the leaf-shaped pottery dish I had made some years ago; what fun I had making plates imprinted with leaves!

It is worth saying again, if we are made in the image of God, the Creator, we all have the tools to create!  Some do it with incredible gardening, or creating beauty in their homes, or even in the food they prepare.  Everything around us has been formed and created, I look around and see my wonderful collection of books, containers for holding things, pictures that adorn my walls, greeting cards that sit on my shelf... hey, even someone created the desk I'm sitting at, and the very comfy chair and the stylish lamp that lights this space. 

Sometimes creativity is less tangible, like creating space with a smile, or helping someone to feel comfortable in their surroundings. Parents of little ones... grandparents too, can be very creative as they offer a safe and often fun environment for the children we love.  How I've enjoyed just colouring with our grandchildren, or exploring our world and observing Creation from their perspective.

Even for the very elderly or infirm, I've watched art, or simple colouring transform a person's world as they enter into a world of creativity.  Picasso said it so well: "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life".  He also said: "Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."   
Perhaps that is where the intentionality comes in!  For me, part of self-care is taking time to write, to create, to enjoy our beautiful world and be inspired by it.  

Here's to a creative week - however that looks for you!

<3 Grace




  


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Seize the Day... and the Strawberries!

I had some time last Thursday and did one of my favourite things - visit our local Farmer's Market!

Strawberries were everywhere - tis the season!  When I was a girl, this was a big deal, strawberries were not available year round as they are now.  We live in plenty, and when we go to the grocery store, we have become accustomed to having most things accessible - most of the time.

But there is nothing like a strawberry picked fresh, in season; the taste is incredible.  I have a few plants in my garden, just enough for a taste.  It is delightful!


I picked this little handful last week, along with fresh lavender close by.

In my journal list I have written:  Pick lavender!  Every day if you can...!  In a few short weeks, this season is done, and it seems this time of year the seasons rush by, and if I don't take the time to savour it, it is gone.

During asparagus season we eat a lot of asparagus... but it takes planning to find local sources, to go to the market, and before you know it the season has passed by.

So last week, at the market, I splurged and bought a flat of strawberries... I knew that time would not allow me to go picking.  I froze a pile, and we have been eating them every day... on porridge, on yogurt, on icecream!  Tonight they might find their way into my salad.  So very yummy.

I have been working on a series "Quotes to live by", and thought about that old Latin saying:  Carpe Diem... Seize the Day!  So today I will pick some lavender (and hang it to dry), eat some strawberries, smell some roses, breathe in deeply some fresh air, and take time to gaze at the beauty around me.

Enjoy this precious day!


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ticks, Mosquitos and Rattlesnakes

You could say I'm ticked.

Actually, I try to write positive stuff, most of the time, but this topic just keeps surfacing for me, so I'll write about it and call it therapy.

I probably had you at rattlesnakes.  I'll admit right up front, I'm terrified of them, most any creature that slithers.  If a snake appears in a movie, I'll leave the room, and likely my heart will be pounding.  (As if it could pop out of the screen).  And I know I'm not alone.  It doesn't have to be a rattler, although I do find them awfully scary, and to boot, they are poisonous and live in our surroundings.  I don't care to think about this too much.

I realize for some this is not a big deal, but I know I'm not alone.  Years ago, when my kids were little, our cat brought a snake into the house.  It wasn't big, but it was one.  That was enough for me, and in terror, I fled upstairs, calling our very brave neighbour who knew no fear to come and rescue me.

She was such a good friend, and in no time I heard her laughing... the snake was quite dead. (the cat had taken care of that).. and I had nothing to fear.  She removed the creature, and I think she laughed all the way home.  Oh well...

A couple of years ago I was walking in my neighbourhood, going down the long stairs to the street below.  Some joggers bounced up and said... "Watch out for the snake!", and sure enough, just below us a large long snake, with rattler markings was stretched along the stair.  I still shiver to think I could have stepped on it.  But forewarned, we just watched him slither away... and I didn't use those stairs for a long time afterwards.

Recently I noted (Facebook News!) that there have been more rattlesnake sightings in our area, some along the wonderful Okanagan Trail we love to walk.  I wondered if I would be brave enough to keep walking there.  It helped to talk to a rather sensible friend who told me that if the rattlesnakes were stretched out full length, they could do no harm, it was just when they were coiled you had to stay your distance.  And the trail is wide... so beware of your surroundings!

So I'm trying to be brave... and beware.

Of course there are always pests to be aware of.  Lately, I've been aware of an invasive plant that can blind you if you touch it... yikes!... and it seems to be a bad year for mosquitos.  And then there are the ticks, which can carry disease... Ticks could use up another whole blog, but I'm not going to let them.

I had a conversation with some gals at the hospital lately, and said I had a few questions for God.  They were all ears... and had a few suggestions of their own.  Why did God make mosquitoes?  And what are the use of ticks?

And honestly I don't know the answers to these questions, although we did agree that mosquitos were good bat food... and bats are supposed to be good for something... :-)

It seems that our broken down world is affected by chemicals and air quality and pests, which can carry disease... we all need to be aware. Sometimes that is downright depressing.

So what is the point of this tongue in cheek dialogue?  Just had to get it out there I suppose!  Oh yes, I think it was therapy!

I do know a few things...

I do know I don't want fear to dominate my life and keep me from being outside.
I do know the sun comes up every morning, and the beautiful world we live in always surprises me with never-ending colour, variety, new life... it is a gift I delight in!
I do know it helps to laugh at myself...and a sense of humour goes a long way, whatever our fears.

Fear can be crippling.  I admire people who venture forth without a care, this is freedom!  Courage is not the absense of fear, but the acknowledgement of it and choosing to face it.  Nelson Mandala put it this way:  "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."  (I'm thinking this might be good advice for women too!!)

For whatever we face, those are good words!  








Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Exploring the World of Dementia

A couple of months ago I was invited to a symposium on dementia, grateful to my denomination for their forward thinking in caring for this ever-increasing group in our population.

Being a baby-boomer myself, among many, we know that statistics tell us we are at risk, we are vulnerable, this could happen to us. 

My dear mom, who worked in a nursing home, and also cared for our gentle grandmother,  was afraid she would succumb to dementia.    Mom, who wasn't afraid of most things, feared the loss of her memory.  Perhaps that is why she and dad played games every night, she was determined to keep her mind active!  And when she died, five years ago, I was grateful her mind was sound to the end, grateful for our communication.

Because I know not everyone has that gift.

Our grandmother, mom's mom was a beautiful soul, and it was hard to watch her diminish with age.  I remember vividly my mom describing the night my grandmother lost it, it was a very stormy night, and she was trying to convince the staff in the nursing home she resided in. that her husband was out in that storm.  She was very determined to go out into the elements to find him.... even though he had been in heaven some ten years at that time.  The staff couldn't settle her... and finally called my mom to help.  Somehow they finally convinced Grandma to go to sleep, Grandpa was safe.  And indeed he was.

And yet Grandma had lucid moments, and I remember her telling me with regret that she wished she could have gone to heaven instead of my young husband.  The New Years after he died, she was 92, and I remember singing and praying in the New Year with our family. She sang with the rest of us, she knew all the words.   We didn't know she was entering her last months with us, and I cherish those moments.



These are my stories... and many of us have stories too.  Recently I was privileged to listen to a story of a patient in hospital, and she gave me permission to share a bit of it.  She, with a life-threatening illness was much more concerned about her husband, in one of the dementia units in our community.  She talked of him not knowing her much anymore, and her great love for him.  When I asked her how I could pray for her, she always said... please pray for my husband.

She was struggling with not being able to visit him daily, something she always did, helping him with his meals.  On many visits they shared this intimate moment where she sang to him a song "In a World of Your own!"  She would ask him... can I enter your world?  And as she sang, she honoured her husband, and was truly present.  What a gift!

There is much to learn about this world.  There were a number of things I gleaned from Dr. Gemma Jones who lead this workshop I was able to attend.  Dr. Jones is a leading educator on this subject.  One of the interesting things she shared is that dementia has four stages... and it is often in the earlier stages that people are the most frightened and confused.  It is a very difficult time for them, and for those who love them and live with them.

In later stages, their world diminishes... and according to Jones even their peripheral vision becomes much smaller.  She encouraged us who visit to wear bright clothing, and even bright lipstick so that the person can see you better, can follow your lips. 

Jones is part of the Alzheimer's Cafe moment, which started in Great Britain, offering safe and welcoming places for those with dementia, their families, caregivers and other professionals.  They are now offering these meetings in Vancouver, 

I am not an expert in this field, but am grateful for these resources. I have much to learn.  Jones encouraged me to share the information... and I'd love to see more public forums and discussions as we seek to better understand, have more compassion, and support the often fatigued care-givers, both at home, and those working with these precious people. 


This is a wonderful resource, I couldn't find it on Amazon, but you can find information about this resource here. And I do have a copy!






Thursday, May 24, 2018

Exploring my World, unfiltered.

I set off on an early morning walk, this mid-spring which feels like summer.

I left my phone/camera behind, it was charging, and at 94% of full charge, felt it deserved the full 100.

Besides, I was inspired by this picture that I saw on the internet... an elderly lady, taking in the sites of the royal wedding party due to drive by... she was peering, radiant... this was a moment she had been waiting for.

All around her were faces, faces with cell phones.  All of them.  Except her... and she was the one who captured the scene with all of her senses.

I love to take pictures, so I get it... but sometimes, can I just take a break and see my world through an unfiltered lense?

And so the pictures I captured this morning are all in my mind...  as I walked the neighbourhood.

I saw a number of guys, work vehicles ready to go, gathering things, dressed in their work-stained clothes... a bob-cat operator who cheerily nodded at me, and I hoped he would stay cool through this warm day... another with a plumbing vehicle, loading up, and I wondered what problems he would solve this day... I thought of my own hubby, dressed in his paint-stained white, painting people's buildings; he left early to beat the heat.  These are precious folk, we need them in our world.

I looked at our neighbourhood yards... and wondered about the people who lived there.  There are the well manicured places, beautiful and tidy, and I'm always thinking either they are retired and have a great deal of time, or are well off and can afford some help!  Some people just love to garden, it is their world.

Others, and we would probably fall among them, have kept yards, but not perfect.  Busy lives don't always catch all the weeds, prolific at this time of year.  It is usually a work in progress.

And then there are the neglected yards, swaths of weeks mixed in with brave flowers making their way to the sun.  And before I get annoyed, I wonder... what is their life like?  So busy they can hardly breathe?  Are they the "sandwich" people, carrying for their elderly parents and their children?  Or has illness or difficulty taken up their time, and the yard is hardly a priority?

I think of my dear elderly friend, energetic and full of life in her prime, now grieving her husband and just living has its challenges.  He won't be teetering on their ladder pruning this year, a task she always worried about... I heard that recently a neighbour of hers came over and offered to mow her grass.  And even better, he brought over his little girl to visit with her while he completed the task.  How delightful... and that is what community should be all about.  Do I know my neighbour?

This is my world, my thoughts, unfiltered, on a beautiful spring morning in May.






Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Being the Noticer

Have you ever wondered what you miss by not noticing?

Some people are very good at this, they spot wildlife from a distance, they know what to watch for. Others know the world of flowers and plants and even insects. They have a unique awareness that is honed and comes with a curious mind.

The world around us is always full of things to observe, of beauty to drink in, even of comic delight.

Yesterday I left my to-do-list at the urging of my hubby and we had a lovely day trip in our own back yard, in the lovely Okanagan. There will always be dust, paperwork, and the endless weeds, although I’m very grateful for my friend Violet who helps me keep those at bay.

Keeping the critters who want to share the garden with us is another whole subject, and we notice the footprints, the nibbles, and other unmentionables and wonder... who was here??

The other day I was leaving the hospital and heard the words... Lady, lady!  I paid no mind, I was on my way, in a hurry, on to the next thing.

But he persisted and I turned around. “I noticed the books you are carrying “, he said, “are you the chaplain?”

I confessed to being the same and took a few moments to talk, making an appointment for when I had more time to really listen.

He was paying attention, I was rather lost in my own world when he called me...and it reminded me again to pay attention.

Sometimes we pay attention to the wrong things. We joke about this in our house... I notice the “mess” long before my hubby does... and although having a clean and tidy house does have its virtues, it is the living and loving that is far more important.

So here is a photo collection of my last few days of noticing, and you will notice, there are no pictures of dust!!


Aren't these spectacular? Could anyone tell me what kind of flower they are?



These giant irises were giving out their last moments of glory before fading.  Glad to capture their beauty.





This ground squirrel provided us with comic relief and joined us on our picnic.





A beautiful boat we spied between the trees.




Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Mountain Top Experience - Living in the Valley



There is something so majestic about mountains.  We travelled home through my old dwelling place of Agassiz the other day, and as we drove into the valley we are greeted with this...

Mt. Cheam always moves me, and I gazed upon the beauty.  We stopped the car and I took pictures, wanting to capture the moment.  It was a beautiful day.

This is a mountain that captured my imagination as a child, it was the mountain that was the sentinel of our village in Harrison Hot springs, growing up, always there in the distance.

When I was fifteen I climbed this mountain, and it was a crazy day.  Our youth group ignored any easy way up and climbed on the face-side, 12 miles up from the bottom.  It was a hard climb.  When we finally stepped over the loose shale that formed the peak, reaching the top, we had only minutes to enjoy our mountain top experience.  It was exhilarating and I will never forget it. I think of it every time I see this mountain.

My dad also loved this mountain, but found a much easier path... up the back side, with logging roads part-way up.  He and mother and a host of other travellers climbed this mountain year after year. 

A few weeks after I climbed this mountain I was diagnosed with a very low thyroid, and low blood sugar.  Looking back I could understand why coming down from that mountain was so excruciatingly hard, and I wasn't sure I was going to make it.  I was exhausted for days.  And perhaps because of this, I have never desired to go again.

I think of the mountain top experiences of my life... and of the valleys.  There is that gospel country song by Lynda Randle speaks of this:
"for the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley...
the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times
the God of the day, is still God in the night."  

I find that often after a "high" moment in my life, I can crash... and know I can't sustain mountain top living.  Rather I find God in the ordinary, the everyday.  It is often in the hard times, the valley, that I learn the most.

When my first husband died, we buried him in a lovely cemetery in Hope, ironically called Mountain View Cemetery.  It seemed appropriate to me that he would have a resting place there, in the shadow of Mt. Cheam.  We had lived most of our lives close to this mountain, and experienced mountain top experiences as well as deep places of learning and shadows and grief. 

So I looked to this mountain again on Saturday, and remembered.  My soul is always stirred, and I come to these favourite words from Psalm 121: "I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." 

This is sustaining help, full of grace, and it fills me with hope. 




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Creating a Welcoming Place

I spent some time yesterday creating a living space on my deck.

It is a wonderful time of year, as we expand our living areas to the outdoors.  I love to plant lots of herbs to use in my cooking and just to enjoy.  My geraniums wintered over fairly well, and have new buds - hurray!  Now I just need to add some gerbera daisies, they always brighten my world with their sunny faces.

A decorator I am not, but I love to create a welcoming space where I can invite friends to spend time with us, and also where I spend time alone or with my hubby.. contemplating, reading, time with the Creator. Comfy chairs, plants, the outdoors... it is peaceful!


This isn't about perfection.

In fact I feel somewhat uncomfortable when I enter a space that is pristine, everything in it's place.  What if I mess it up? 

I certainly can stress about having a tidy and clean house, although having a sense of order and cleanliness can be helpful!  It is more about creating space for others... and all are welcome. 

Since we've had grandchildren, we have lots of toys and books handy, and the kids have their own corner where they can play to their heart's content.  We have lots of books... everywhere, and on any given day, if you come over, you will likely see my art pens and pencils lying about... there is usually something in progress! 

I shared with my church family on Sunday about being a welcoming place.  It isn't always the physical space, but it comes from the heart. 

We, the church, people who love God, also can be a welcoming place... this is a place everyone is welcome.  I know, from the stories I hear, that this has not always been the case, in many churches.  And it saddens me.

In my home, in my church, in my attitudes and in my heart, am I a person that is welcoming?  A safe place where people are free to be themselves, tell their stories, share their heartaches?

These are questions I ask of myself.  And I hope and trust that even this little space on the web is welcoming for you, that you would be encouraged today!

ps.  If you are interested in listening to my talk on Sunday, you can find it on our church's website, First Baptist, Vernon.  I talked about our beautiful diversity... and I might write more about that soon!






Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Time to turn the Page

It is the first day of May as I write this.

Time to turn those calendar pages, if you still have those old-fashioned calendars hanging in your home.  Even though my phone, my computer, and even my watch tell me the date, I like those reminders on my wall.

I was reflecting on the month of April we have just walked through, and in many ways there was so much joy as spring in Canada finally appeared, and I am loving the brilliant greens, the spring flowers, the new warmth of the sun.  The birds sing every morning, they are filled with praise!




But for many this April, it was a solemn month, a month of tragedy, and Canada collectively is mourning the terrible loss of young lives, of young hockey players, and their support team.  And more recently we have shuddered at the terror of a van in Toronto, killing people at random, and we wonder whatever possessed this driver to take life so senselessly.

These public events affect us.

But there has also been much more personal grief, the home-going of loved ones who do not make the headlines, but changes the fabric of people's lives forever.

This weekend I will be spending time with my New Hope friends as we talk about grief and remember our spouses who have died.  This kind of retreat takes courage for those who come, but it is helpful and healing to share our stories, to remember, and have tools to live with hope in the midst of loss.

It is five years ago now that we journeyed with my mother as she prepared for heaven.  I wrote a poem after she died about turning the page.  Writing these words helped me in my own grief...  and while we celebrated her life, and I think about her every day, I also know she would encourage me to "turn the page", and live life well.

The danger of grief is that we can get stuck in yesterday.  There is a fine balance of cherishing our memories, and embracing the life we have today, even as we plan for tomorrow.  This is not always easy for those who are in the midst of deep grief.

Here is the poem I wrote, which is also in the brochure "Poetry for the Grieving Heart"  now available on my website:  www.gracewulff.com, under the Resources page.

Turn the Page
Written on Canada Day, July 1, 2013, for my mom 
          
My calendar says June. It is time to turn the page.
I really don't want to...

Mom didn't want to see June,
but we were blessed by June.

Two more weeks to love and talk and smell the roses.
I really don't want to turn the page...

the last of the flowers, those last flowers I bought
for her the Thursday before she died,
bright happy gerbers, yellows and pinks...
I hung on to the yellow ones, and they have crumpled
Yellow petals and pollen fallen on my mantle
And I can't bear to clean it up.

Leftover food...
Gifts of love
fill my fridge... we eat, not hungry
but grateful..

Reminders everywhere of family love
Of being together
Of sharing these moments together
The house now empty
but full of reminders.

I don't want to change the page.
I don't want to clean it up...
I want to hang on and sit and remember

And as I water the fading flowers
And wipe the tears…

I really don't want to celebrate this Canada Day
My flag flies at half mast

The world more empty
Heaven richer.

And I know that I know
that I am grieving..
and that others grieve with me,

And that she would encourage me
to turn the page.

©Grace Wulff 2013



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Inspired by Hope

Hope is a word, a concept, an ideal that I hang on to.... sometimes for dear life!

It is not concrete, and I cannot explain it to my grandchildren, at least not very well.

But thankfully they live in a world that has largely been unfiltered by pain and sorrow.  They live trusting lives and their needs are met, most of the time!

Oh to have the simple faith and trust of a child!

We can lose that childlike faith and trust when we touched by grief and despair and pain.  I see it in the people I meet regularly, in the news feed I receive (and my heart is heavy for those who grieve and suffer), and even in my own life.  Hope has become a beacon to me, a guide on a sometimes weary journey. 

It has coloured much of my writing and art... my first little book was called "A Journey of Hope", I think it is aptly named.

"New Hope for Widows and Widowers" is an organization dear to my heart, offering hope and support in the midst of the painful process of grief when a spouse dies.  I remember struggling what to name our little organization, and it seemed apt to offer hope!

Hope is a beacon, which brings colour to my black and white world.



Hope is charged with energy, it gives strength to carry on.

Hope is a gift we give to one another, carrying one another's burdens. 

Hope is a promise, a promise from our Creator that spring will always come, the sun will rise, the flowers will bloom.






Hope is eternal, as we let go of earthly things, we have a future hope of reuniting with loved ones, of life without pain, of joy we cannot even imagine.

We can hang on to hope, and live lives of anticipation of good things to come!


www.gracewulff.com






Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Does Hope have a Colour?

I was lying in bed this morning, waking up and looking out our window.  And I rejoiced that colour was returning to our world.  Not so long ago we woke to shades of white and grey.  And many in our country are experiencing another blast of winter, even though we are more than half-way through April.

Our view includes a large deciduous tree... and I love watching the changing seasons through the life of this tree.  Right now the branches are still mostly bare, reaching up and looking for warmth... much like me!

This time of year the robin comes and perches on her highest branches, and greets us each day with a good-morning song.  It is one of the brightest moments of my day!

These words came to me this morning as I held this picture in my view, my ears filled with morning-song of this favourite bird:

What would our world be
without colour?

The robin sang to us this morning,
a tiny patch of red
on an almost bare tree.
Tiny buds show promise
but tremble in the harsh winds of spring.

Spring does not always come easy
..... but it comes.

Brave shoots are everywhere
and my bright forsythia has burst
into a sunshiny glow of yellow
which causes me to smile.

Hope is like a bit of colour
in a bleak world.

Sometimes we have to hunt for it
like treasure
but it is always there.
For those who wait.
For those who seek.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Held

I have long loved the picture of the Good Shepherd carrying the lamb.

This image evokes love, care, trust and rest.

But little lambs and children, and most often anxious and stressed adults sometimes have difficulty with this.  We are independent creatures, and one of the first full sentences of any child is "I can do it myself!"

When I come alongside people with great pain or grief, I often invite them to imagine this picture... we are the lambs, can we trust the Shepherd?

In doing so, we let go of the anxiety, the pain, and our bodies relax into loving arms.

I have witnessed much grief recently, and collectively our country Canada is in mourning as well.  Sometimes there are no words.  And yet we need comfort.  We need hope.

I was struck by this word today... Held.

It reminds me of the "Footprints" poem, that famous poem where there was only one set of footprints and the author wondered where God had gone.  And then she realized that the footprints were those of God... and she was being carried.

There is a wonderful scripture from the prophet Isaiah which says "I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."  (46:4).

Sometimes we hang on to sacred words and envision holy hands carrying us when we are bereft, in pain, and full of questions.  There is a surrender to what we don't understand.  This is radical trust, and it doesn't always come easily.

We are held.  We are loved.  We are not alone.

Good thoughts for today, and every day.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Alive

There is a great Charlie Brown picture that has been surfacing on facebook, where Charlie says to Snoopy: "Some day we all will die!", and Snoopy replies:  "True, but on all the other days we will not!"

It is true we live with the knowledge that we will die.  In my work, I see death on a regular basis.  It is easy to focus on dying and forget about living well.  Somehow I have to find a balance, and Snoopy says it well!

I'm still in the land of Easter, and have been thinking much about the resurrection.

For Christ-followers, this is central to our faith, for it is a risen Christ who brings us hope for eternity.

What I had not paid much attention to in the past was this wonderful in-between time after the resurrection, where Jesus appears - hundreds of times - as a risen Christ, before he ascends to heaven. These encounters are recorded in history books and give much reassurance to the doubting mind.

This Easter weekend, we watched the movie "A Case for Christ", chronicling the story of journalist Lee Strobel, who was a staunch atheist, and who set out to prove the invalidity of the resurrection after his wife converted to Christianity.  I was impressed by the quality of this movie, and the wrestling of Strobel, who loved his facts, and wanted to prove Christianity wrong.  In the end, he comes to faith.  I was deeply moved, and highly recommend this film, now on Netflix.

So the question surfaces for me, "How then shall we live?"

Every day is a gift, I say it often, and believe it well.  Every morning as I wake up I realize that I am alive!  Most of me works, and I am grateful that I am mobile, that I can speak, and for the most part have a functioning brain.  I don't take these things for granted anymore, and even though I purpose to take care of this body, I know it is fragile. 

I love the words of the prophet Micah who says that we are to act justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly...
The other amazing thought I'll leave here today, is this fact that this risen Christ desires to dwell among us, within us.  This is a mystery, and yet I have found it to be true.  There is such comfort in this, because in all we experience, in our sufferings, and in our joys, Christ desires to be with us, within us, surrounding us with a loving Presence.  






Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Wrestling with Suffering

Why does God allow suffering?

It is an age old question, and I was confronted with it again yesterday, not once, but twice; pleas for answers to unbearable pain.

I cannot look away.  I see suffering and I must acknowledge it.  There are days where it cuts to my core and I want to weep.  I feel it in my bones. 

To some extent we all look for ways to avoid it.  I believe it is worse in our culture where we worship comfort and live excessive lives.  It is our norm.  I've certainly bought into this, I love my comfort clothes, my comfortable house, even my comfort food.  There is no lack.

When people are confronted by deep loss, personal tragedy, and pain, the story changes.  And the questions come. 

I'm certainly not going to pretend I have answers.  I've read some amazing books and listened to some wonderful speakers which have helped me have some understanding. 

I wrestled with suffering when my young husband was diagnosed and told he had a 23% chance to live if he followed the prescribed treatment.  We struggled.  Some told us he would be healed.  He was not, at least not physically. The healing was spiritual, as he prepared for heaven.

In my "school of suffering" I began to learn, often with protest.  But even in those intense days, we had to choose trust, and even praise.  We experienced God in a way we never had before.  I felt the presence of the Holy in profound and intimate ways as we walked the journey of suffering and grief.

I think of this, during Holy week, when Jesus walked toward what he knew would be a gruesome and painful death.  Suffering was necessary for redemption. 

Jesus is the suffering Christ.  And I am called to follow, motivated by love.  I wear the cross, a symbol of suffering. 

I have come to a place in my wrestling where I believe that God doesn't "cause" suffering, but does allow it.  We live in a broken world.  Yesterday as I read the 23rd Psalm to a grieving family, I was struck by the last words which say:
"Surely your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
     and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Forever is a gift we all can hold on to.

I have become convinced, and yes have experienced!, the love of God, the presence of God in the most difficult of situations.  If everything was peachy, my life perfect, would I need God so?

The miracle of Emmanuel is "God with us"; and the suffering Christ is the ultimate picture of love and sacrifice.  It is because of the miracle of Easter, the resurrection, that we can have relationship with our Creator.  As I've wrestled with mystery - and there have been some dark times - I've also fallen in love, with a God who loves me, knows me, created me, and gives me the promise of eternity.

We have this hope, even in the midst of suffering. 


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The wonderful world of Books

I have an e-reader, which I enjoy, but there is something about getting lost between the pages of a good book, settling into the chair and becoming immersed in a story.

Some reading is necessary, some is monotonous, some inspiring, some is challenging, some is pure delight.

Although reading is solitary - and that kind of rest is good - I like to hear what others are reading and learning.

That was the case recently when a friend recommended a number of books and I dove right in.  I dusted off my library card and found a whole new world of treasures.

I've now read three books by Lisa Genova, the author of the famed "Still Alice", a novel about a woman diagnosed with dementia, and this book became a major film.  I have not read "Still Alice" yet, but found myself fascinated by her novel "Love Anthony" about a little boy who suffers from epilepsy and severe autism.  She steps right into the mind of this child, and you gain a whole new understanding of what it might be like to perceive the world when you are autistic.

Genova is a researcher who creates artistic expression with her words and stories and brings the real challenges of physical and emotional difficulties that people face, to life.  This has helped me to broaden my understanding of some of these challenges.  The latest book I read was "Inside the O'Briens", an amazing account of a family dealing with Huntington disease.  I also read her novel "Left Neglected", about one of the possible side-effects of brain injury.

These books and stories are better than any textbook in my opinion (although textbooks certainly have their place!)  They have given me new perspective to understand some of the people I meet in my work as a chaplain.

Recently I had a conversation with a colleague at work and we talked about how it is our personal experience and often suffering that have been our hardest and best teachers.  There are books which bring us into the lives of those facing challenges and these stories can  teach us in a way that textbooks cannot.

Another novel I just read is by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn, "Healing Waters" which addresses the deep problem many women have with self worth and body image.  This book also addressed those difficult questions about suffering, and why does God allow it?  As I read through the pages, I was drawn into the struggle; it was a good and challenging book which kept me from any housework for a number of days!!

I must admit I love a good novel.  I dislike fluff and pre-fabbed happy endings.  Life isn't like that.  I want a book to challenge and inspire me, to stretch me into thought and imagination.

True stories and biographies are high on my list as well. 

And I love the ancient words of the Psalms, of Isaiah, the poetry of the Bible.  And the scriptures are full of wonderful stories of real people.  I recently spoke on the story of the Red Sea, and again it was a book that helped me to understand this story even better.  If you need encouragement, I recommend "The Red Sea Rules" by Robert J. Morgan, the subtitle is "10 God-given Strategies for Difficult Times". 

What would we do without words, without language?  I think of the imagination of our Creator - and it is said we are made in God's image - and we have minds to think, and tongues to speak. These are gifts to us.  There is power in this, and also danger if we misuse it.

So, if you are inspired to read, happy reading!   And please share your favourite reads that you have discovered recently.  Here's to inspiration!






Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Anniversaries

Facebook is very good about reminding us about anniversaries if you check in regularly.

I'm trying to curb my FB appetite, but some days I am thankful for the reminders.

For instance, today my son posted a very sweet picture of myself and baby Andrew, taken and posted five years ago.  I love this picture!  We had travelled a long way to meet this new little grandson, and it was a delight. 



Mixed in with the memories of that week five years ago, was a phone-call we received while in South Carolina, that my mother had been hospitalized and was being transferred to hospice.  We were so torn! 

We were celebrating new life, but also feeling that we should be home, present with my mom.  I remember the FaceTime chat with her that week where she told us fiercely (as only my mother could) that we were to stay and enjoy our time. She promised, and I don't know how she could, but she did... that she would be around when we returned.

And she was... for three more precious months as we all prepared for her home-going.  My dad reminded us for those days this week.  He is meticulous in keeping a diary, and has records going back to when he was eighteen!  He e-mailed us this week telling us he was re-reading that diary of five years ago, those bitter-sweet moments we shared as a family.  It is in those moments indeed we recognize the fragility of life, the preciousness of family. 

As I am present to many others who are in the midst of saying good-bye on this earth, these memories stay with me, the lessons we learned still help me to understand, to be empathetic, to practice compassion.

Just this morning another memory came up, one that always stirs my heart quite literally... it is seven years ago TODAY that I entered into the hospital with weird symptoms... to find out I was having a significant heart attack.  I remember well thinking that it wasn't good timing, and perhaps they were wrong? 

The incredible part of that week seven years ago was that my dad was also in ICU, with severe complications after surgery, and for a few days, we were in the same ward.  Crazy memories.  Recently he turned 87, and we are grateful for his return to health!

I don't take my health for granted.  Every day is a precious gift, and I pray often that God would guard my heart and teach me how to live wisely with the body I have. 

Every day a blessing, and so many opportunities to love, to share, to make a difference.
  It is good to look back and remember,
       good to celebrate today,
            good to plant the seeds of hope for tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

God cares about the little things

I've been spending time with the wonderful story of the Red Sea miracle told in the book of Exodus.  This is a miracle of epic proportions.  In fact I'll be speaking on this story this coming week, if you are in the Vernon area, part of our Lent Eccumenical series.  (Wednesday, 2 pm, at 1st Baptist Church).

It is a story which puts us in awe of what God can do.  To think God can part the Red Sea to make a way of escape, gives us faith that our Creator can also provide for us.

But what struck me last week as I moved about the hospital in my work as a chaplain, was how God cares about the little things.

I've been doing this long enough to recognize God's hand in so many ways, leading my steps.

Last Wednesday was a busy day, and I got there early... and there was a beautiful young women in the lobby, who I've had the opportunity to visit many times.  She was waiting for a ride.  Our conversation was meaningful, her diagnosis not an easy one to bear.  I saw it as a "God-appointment".  During that interlude, before I ever got to my office, I met two other people I knew... and was so glad we could have conversation.

Earlier in the week, I had been given the gift of little pockets made from greeting cards, much like the Christmas Card stockings we make every year.  But these were for everyday, and lovingly stitched.  And I wondered... how would I use them?

I looked in my filing cabinet, and spied two lip balms I had not given out at Christmas time.  Yes, they fit into the little pockets!  So I put them in my bag as I started my visitation.

The first visit was to a friend who had been in hospital for a week... and I said, I have something for you!  I gave her the little gift... and to my amazement, it was exactly what she needed!  She had asked her husband to bring one, and he had forgotten... and before we carried on our conversation, she applied it, grateful.

And we were both amazed by God's provision... it was a little thing, and yet I believe with all my heart that God cared about her need in the midst of what she was going through.

I also became aware of another women who was in hospital that day, one I have visited often.  I happened to know she loved a certain Disney character, and in the midst of her life challenges, this brought her joy.  I wasn't thinking about that though, on this busy morning, but happened to go to my storage area where I keep all kinds of materials, and prayer shawls and quilts.

There on the counter was a quilt... one I had neglected to put away days before.  The quilt had a disney character on it... and I realized at that moment... it was exactly what this woman loved.

I knew then I was to bring it to her, and I marvelled how God would put it in my path at that moment, because I was certainly not thinking about it, or even intending to bring her a quilt.

We talked together, she and I, about how God cares for the little things... and I believe that our Creator cares so deeply that there are reminders... beautiful reminders that God IS with us... even in suffering.

We are not alone.

These stories encourage me greatly and I pray they will encourage you as well.  The God who flung the stars in place, who created our beautiful world... the God who created a pathway through a sea to rescue the people of Israel - this God also cares deeply for you and me.  How awesome is that?





Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Flexibility and Expectations

I decided to bake this morning.  I had some unexpected free time, and I plunged in, smashing bananas, measuring and sifting flour...

It wasn't the greatest idea.

If I had a twitter account (I don't) it would look like this:  #bakingfail #forgotmyMennoniteroots #wasteofgood ingredients

I used to bake a lot.  I baked for my children, I baked for their friends, I baked for ambulance attendants (when my husband worked as a paramedic), I even baked for the school lunch program. 

But life changes.... I no longer have white flour in my house, nor do I have white sugar... healthy choices have created purges...

My hubby sometimes says... why can't eating healthy taste good?  I think my children echo that at times... so I keep on trying... 

Last week I wrote about planning... prayerfully.

We all have just so many resources, and the energy part seems to dwindle as one ages.  So there are choices to be made.  How do I spend my time?  Can I be flexible... even with my expectations?  I might have been super-mom way back then, I have different priorities now.  I'm not sure baking should be one of them...:-)

Years ago, when I was starting a job at a busy church, a wise woman came to me on my first day with some encouragement.  I'll never forget what she said to me.  She told me the interruptions were to be embraced, they often were the most important work of all. 

I thought of this last week when I was at work, and I loosely plan my mornings, with time for hospital visits which are always high priority, and time for paperwork and other connections.  I never did see the patient I had noted on my pad... instead I found myself having a meaningful conversation with a staff person that was not scheduled... but felt so important.  I was guided by another staff person to someone who was dying, and those were precious moments as I entered into their life story.  I had to enter into what I call "God-appointments".  They are the best of all!

A long time ago, when I was a foster mom... in those "super-mom" days, a older friend said to me... "you are like an elastic!"  I stared at her, not comprehending.  She laughed and said I was stretching, adjusting my life to include other children...as well as take care of my own.  We were an emergency home for foster care for almost seven years, taking in over 100 children on a short-term basis.  I loved it.

Back to now... It is easy to become rigid with my time, or hard on myself with expectations. My mind is full of good ideas, my body doesn't always keep up!   It is a good question to ask... can I be flexible, and adjust well to life's changes? 

Part of this... and this really hits home... is accepting changes that come with aging.  I don't have as much energy as I used to.  Can I balance that fact with a commitment to take care of myself, to exercise, to eat well, to rest? 

Perhaps part of that will be to find a healthy bakery...or just eat more fruit and vegetables.   And to be thankful for all my blessings!






Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Scheduling as a Spiritual Practice

Last fall I went to one of my spiritual advisors asking for help.

I had struggled with a chronic cough - and I know many have struggled with viruses this winter - and was weary and overwhelmed.  I thought I should be doing better! 

One of the most helpful things she said to me that day was to map out my schedule in a prayerful way, and I can't begin to say how much this has been a useful exercise.

I started out in my little journal drawing a map of the whole month and writing everything down.... and when I did, it really didn't seem so bad!  From the jumble in my head to a plan on paper was freeing indeed.

I also became more intentional about asking God for wisdom in my planning and what I should put on those pages.  What was necessary?  What could I say no to?  Did I plan for self-care and time with my hubby and family? 

Last week I had to put this into practice as I wanted to participate in a study of great interest to me.  I also wanted to participate in a Eccumenical Lent series I was excited about.  As I processed this, I felt that I could only do one... and I had to choose.  When I did, I felt released.  One can't do it all! 

I greatly admire (and am secretly jealous of) people with endless energy and high metabolisms.  I work with limited physical resources... and I think we all do to some extent.  Especially as we get older... ahem.

So part of my week now, often on Sunday afternoons is planning for the week ahead.  It means reviewing my schedule, and I send this to my wonderful prayer partner who prays for me!  I plan my menu, and somehow knowing what we will eat gives me freedom to enter the week feeling prepared and restful.  A crockpot chicken dish on Monday can become a stir fry on Tuesday and soup on Wednesday... it helps me to manage my resources and be lest wasteful... another goal of mine!

I also need to create "empty" spaces... which allow for rest, creating art, reading and just "being".  These are "energy" blocks which fuel the work I love to do.

Yesterday I had some fun creating a weekly calendar plan which could be printed on a regular size sheet of paper, and even laminated for continual use.  If you would like a jpg. of this, you can send your request to grace@gracewulff.com and I will send it.



On this calendar there is space for the every day appointments, but also places to reflect spiritually, to think of others, to create, and spend time with family. 

There is a new buzz phrase, to live intentionally.  I have a device which measures my steps and it helps me to be very intentional about moving!  More importantly, I want to be intentional about prayer, about being aware of God's presence and strength to help me through each day.

I also want to think of others... can I drop an encouraging card in the mail, or phone someone who is lonely?  Even if I do this three times a week, it is a practice of giving that encourages those who might need it most.

I love the prayer from Psalm 19:  "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You!"  I try to pray this daily...

Yesterday at a group I lead, we talked about breath prayers... and even setting reminders to stop and pray through the day as we breathe deeply of God's love, of God's presence.  When we slow down, we are strengthened. 

Perhaps scheduling well is already a part of your life, I would love to hear what is helpful for you.

May we live our days with wisdom, for each one is a gift.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Connecting with Love

Two important dates collide tomorrow, that is if you celebrate them.

It is the beginning of Lent, and there is amusement in some circles that this is a difficulty for those who love chocolate but have chosen to abstain for 40 days.

I have grown to appreciate the season of Lent; and like Advent, it is one of solemn reflection and spiritual preparation.  Last year I posted every week on a reflection for Lent, and those seven reflections are now available in a little booklet for those interested.(just e-mail me at grace@gracewulff.com)

It is also the season of Love, and Valentines dominate the marketing theme of any store you will walk into.  It is a great day for restaurants, florists, chocolatiers, and card-makers.

It has always been a fun day for me, since I enjoy seasonal things, and making cards is a lovely pastime.

I've been thinking about Love this week, and doodled this famous passage from 1 Corinthians 13, the Love chapter in the Bible. 


We use the word love loosely, I noticed as I reread this that I talked about loving chocolate.  And yes, it is one of my favourite food-groups, especially if it is the good-quality kind.(happy thoughts!)

Love is often related to romantic love, and yes, this should be celebrated... every day.  I am grateful for my marriage, and a wonderful husband.

But I am too aware that this is a gift not everyone experiences, for I work with the widowed, the lonely, and many other single people... some by choice.  Being single is a growing statistic, some saying it is as high as 48 per cent.  That is half of us!

While some might be content with living alone, and are comfortable with solitude, others experience deep loneliness.  Even governments are recognizing the downsides of loneliness, recently I saw a news report that Great Britain had created a government position to address the lonely, because it was linked to health concerns. 

I also read recently that one of the best factors to a long life is having healthy connections with others. Connection is a powerful word, and a I believe it is a longing in all of us.  We long to be connected to our families in meaningful ways, and good friendships are precious.

Connection takes work, I think... it means reaching out, even when we are lonely.  It means making that phone call, not waiting for the phone to ring.  It means joining a group, showing up, and for some, their church family becomes that meaningful connection.  There are groups of all kinds, senior's centers, art centers, sports opportunities and support groups.  There are places to volunteer and get involved.

Knowing that God loves me, that the Creator desires meaningingful connection with us fills me with gratitude.  I also recognize that we all need at times connections "with skin on".  Meaningful touch, a hug, can change how we feel. 

Lately we approach touch with so much caution, we hear in the news all about inappropriate touch, and how it is affecting peoples lives as they come forward and tell their stories.  This is a travesty.

It is also a travesty when we stop connecting in meaningful ways, with hugs and gentle touch. 

It is wonderful to know that we are loved... unconditionally, just as we are.






Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Lessons from Las Vegas

Lessons from Las Vegas

In all honesty, Vegas has never been a destination of choice. But we found ourselves headed there this past weekend to celebrate a special birthday, and it was a wonderful celebration. 

We had one day to explore the “strip”, about ten minute walk from our hotel. We did a lot of walking! In afterthought I wished we had a guide, for I was sorry we missed the beautiful gardens at the Bellagio, and I’m sure there were other places of interest. 

The fountains there, set to music, were lovely. We also explored the mile long mall, all indoors, but covered with a sky coloured dome, we felt we were outdoors in Europe. It was fun to eat there, in an “outdoor” patio. 


My friends who know me well seemed concerned (or not!) that I would be drawn into the life of gambling, but I am not that easily departed from my money!

I am an observer of life and this was an interesting place to watch. A lot to take in. It was loud. It was bright.  And at times it was lewd. This comes from a girl who loves quiet and serenity.  

My heart went out to the poor, and we saw several sleeping in corners, in the light of day. I wondered about their stories. 

There was lots of traffic, people walking, six lanes of vehicles. That evening, a truck with a trailer bearing large banners added to the noise, telling people to repent. A big cross was on the back. Messages saying this is wrong, that is wrong, were written boldly on its side, and loudspeakers telling their message added to the noise of the city. 

I found myself ashamed and and dismayed,  I, who identify with Christ, could not identify or condone this kind of judgement. It seems to me that Jesus would approach things somewhat differently... he would listen to people’s stories, he would meet the real inner needs of longing. 

We all have longings, and the bright attractions of Vegas can be a fun escape for those who enjoy it. We heard lots of laughter. 

Two words came to us in my observations... my hubby and I talked about the word excess... and it seemed to fit. Living excessively seems to be Vegas style, for many who visit there. 

Another more positive word was connection, and that was the real reason we came. We met relatives of my hubby’s family we had never met before, we shared stories, we celebrated 80 years of life for Ron who has overcome many difficulties in living with diabetes for 57 of those years.  He is an overcomer and lives life positively, even with daily physical challenges. This is an inspiration. 

One of the biggest lessons I have been learning in the last few years is to live a life with a heart open, to live with compassion. When I am out of my comfort zone, this doesn’t always come easily, but it is good to be reminded of that. When I gazed into the sky, I saw the beautiful moon, light from our Creator. I love the verses that speak of Gods Presence wherever we go, and yes, I experienced this, thankful for the blessings of life, even in Vegas!  


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Looking back to see how far I’ve come

I took some time today to check out some old posts, and have been entertaining the idea of publishing some of them in a little book.

I was astounded to realize I am entering my eighth year of blogging!

When I started, I was recovering from a surprise heart attack, which happened just before my 53rd birthday. I was in the middle of my spiritual formation course at Carey Theological College. It was a stretching time, a growing time.

I’m so grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned along the way, and know more than ever, it is about the journey, living one day at a time, practicing being fully present, and practicing awareness of Gods Presence every day.

Just for fun, here is the first post... and I might reshare another favourite or two in the next while.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me, and I’d love to hear about yours...



First Blog - July 3, 2011

I've been thinking of creating a blog for a while - I've been inspired by other's blogs including that of my brother Randy: Be the Best, and sister Cathy, who blogs at kateaj.blogspot.com, called Desert Rose.

So I'm taking the plunge and starting a blog.  A therapeutic exercise perhaps, a place to share my thoughts, hopes and significant happenings.  It is also a time in my life where I want to record the journey - which is one of hope, faith, and love.  As with any journey, there have been bumps in the road, and significant challenges, as well as rich experiences.

A number of years ago,  I published my little book "A Journey of Hope", which chronicled not only my journey so far, but also told the story of my grandmother Annie, and of my first husband Andy and his battle with cancer.  It was healing for me to share my story of grief and loss, and the rich gifts that were gained as I grew from that deep experience.

This past year has been more of a journey of faith - and sometimes faith is putting one foot in front of the other - when you can't see the way clearly.  It is radical trust in a God who has been faithful in the past and whom you trust will never leave you.  It is about knowing in the dark that which you remembered in the light, and hanging on to that truth. I had actually thought of giving this blog a "heart" name - "thoughts from the heart", "the heart of the matter", or something of that nature, but that seemed a little too corny and overused.  But the fact is that since my surprise heart attack on March 13, of this year, it has been on my mind... how language of the heart and our actual hearts seem to be connected.

The pain of emotional heartache and physical heartache are really not that different, in my experience.   I'd love to do a study of heart words and phrases as they relate to life and the human experience, and to faith and belief.  But I'll leave that for another time.

The purpose of this blog is to simply share the journey - because it is not about what I have learned, but what I am learning.  It is more about the questions than the answers.  It is about searching after the heart of God and finding Him in surprising places.  It is about being fully human and honest.  It is about discovery and finding joy wherever it can be found.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Winter Entertainment

The best entertainment of this season has been provided by the birds.

A couple of years ago, my hubby built this bird feeder and for a while, it decorated our front garden and just sat there, waiting for business.


That has all changed.

The birds have come, and any given hour of every day there is group of birds hopping from the rose bushes to the porch, eating their fill.  We've had up to five or six on there at a time.

Bird fights have broken out as they fight for their spot. and this is highly amusing.  Not so funny was the couple of times a hawk swooped in and I don't think he was looking for bird seed.

No, there was an immediate scattering of little wings, seeking shelter.

We even had a buck come visit there, it was quite a shock to see him outside our front window.  I couldn't figure out what he wanted to eat, but when he helped himself to my rose bushes I opened the door and scared him off.  Enough is enough!

I'd like to show you some pictures of these birds, but they are skittish.  I sat one day, phone-camera in my hand, next to the window.  I was as still as you can be. I sat there for a long time.   But they sensed me, and refused to feed.


This is my best effort, and I know it is not a good picture.  What I need is a remote controlled camera with a tripod.  In my future!

My hubby mentioned it is too bad they don't cooperate for the ones who feed them.

That made me think of how we live our lives... flitting about, taking so much for granted.  It brings me back to my Source, the source of life, of all good things, of wonderful food and provision in so many ways.

It's always time to give thanks, and today I'm especially thankful for these winter birds and the joy they have brought to our life.