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, 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!


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


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


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.