Endless Knot

#God, #Jesus, Good Friday, sacrificeI wasn’t sure exactly what it was in the box but knew it was unique and beautiful. The sculpture was a large circle with thick glass strands intertwining.

A card inside told me this was an endless knot, representing a never ending connection. It was also a symbol of eternity, harmony and endless love.

This lovely expression of endless love was a gift from family members. I have heard many stories from people who don’t have good relationships with their family. The object I held in my hands represented the blessing of the harmony that exists with my children and grandchildren.

Our lives are intertwined; each being made stronger by the connection with the others. This bond has been passed down through the generations.

As we draw near to Good Friday, the endless love of God is in the forefront of my mind. He showed his love by sending his only Son, Jesus, to atone for our sins and give us eternal life. This act of great sacrifice reaches to all generations, binding us together.

His love has no beginning and no end. He loved us before we knew him and paid the greatest sacrifice of all that our lives may be intertwined with his. For this, I am eternally grateful.

The Lord is good. His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness endures throughout every generation. (Psalm 100:5 NLT)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Down Memory Lane

quality time, life, photographsRecently I took an enjoyable stroll down memory lane. My husband and I were sorting through a box of old photographs. These were the kind of pictures where we didn’t know exactly what was captured on film until it was developed. Not like the digital ones today where we know exactly what we’re getting.

Some were better quality than others but all held precious memories. It was like having the lives of our children flash before our eyes. One minute they were babies, the next they were teenagers. Today they have children of their own. Stories and laughter abounded as we recalled events over the past few decades.

As I looked at the photos, I was struck as much by what was missing as what was there. When our children were little we spent countless hours with them. This is evidenced by the number of pictures from those years.

Just as we didn’t know how the pictures on the roll of film would develop, we also didn’t know how our lives would develop. There are chunks of time not accounted for in the photographic history of our family life. I like to think it was just the camera that was missing and not my presence in their lives. That may not always have been the case.

Time passes swiftly and looking at these pictures, I was reminded of the importance of quality time spent with our loved ones. My goal is to ensure the legacy I leave will be one of pleasant memories.

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll

Adventure Won!

skydiving, family, #inspirationA couple of weeks ago I told you I was struggling between fear and adventure. I’m happy to report that adventure won!

The day of my big adventure had finally arrived. Why was I so calm? Shouldn’t I be nervous? The fear must be lurking, just waiting for the right opportunity to pounce.

Instead there was restlessness. I had the whole morning to kill and time was moving at a snail pace. Finally the time came to leave. I drove with my daughter and her friend while my granddaughter followed behind.
As we pulled into the parking lot at the small airport I said, “This is starting to feel real. We’re actually going skydiving!”

We checked in and were each handed a waiver to complete. If all the acknowledgements of danger and consent to absolve them of liability didn’t frighten me enough to back away, I figured nothing would!

We were soon given basic instructions and climbing into our jumpsuits. Goggles and 12600 feetgloves were handed out, harnesses attached and we were introduced to our tandem jump partners.

The anticipation built as we climbed aboard our small plane and watched the ground fall away beneath us. Soon my instructor was fastening himself securely to my back. As we reached 12,600 feet the door was opened and we inched towards it.free fall, skydiving

One second I had my feet on the floor of the airplane and the next I was surrounded by sky. There was no fear, no life flashing before my eyes. The sensation was incredible as the sound of air rushing past drowned out all other sounds and conscious thought. Here I was falling 6,000 feet at a speed of 200 km per hour with another adult strapped to my back! Then the chute opened and all was peaceful. The sensation was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

One of the highlights of this adventure was sharing it with my daughter and granddaughter. That’s right, three generations went skydiving together that day, and we all loved it!Tandy, Andrea & Faith have landed

After the jump my husband said, “Now that you’ve gone skydiving, what’s next?” My mind flashed to other adventures I’d been afraid to try. I smiled and said, “We’ll just have to wait and see!”

Are You Excitable?

excitable, Jesus, calming, inspirationThe city street had been closed to motorized vehicles. On this day it was being enjoyed by cyclists.

We were fascinated by bicycles that were designed for families. These shared the road with traditional bicycles and the occasional rollerblader. It was enjoyable to stroll down the wide sidewalk, observing people laughing and talking as they spent this relaxing time together.

Soon an insistent high pitched bark caught our attention. It was a Chihuahua in the front basket of a bicycle.  Another dog in its line of vision caused the excited barking.  As it strained forward I could see a leash attached from the dog’s collar to the basket, presumably to keep it safe inside. The dog’s master was stroking its head as a calming attempt as she cycled past.

Suddenly this dog jumped completely out of the basket. The leash kept it from reaching the ground and it dangled precariously from its neck for a few moments until the rider could stop the bike and rescue it.

I gasped and thought the silly dog had almost hung himself due to its excitability.

The next day this image popped back into my mind with the added thought that I have been just as foolish on occasion. In my excitement I’ve jumped before I thought of the consequences. If I’d stopped long enough to pay attention I would have recognized the hand of my master, Jesus, calming me. Instead, I was left in a precarious position as I called out for him to rescue me.

The best course of action I can take is to let Jesus be the one who steers my life. When I allow him to lead me I’ll never be left hanging.

I cried out, “I am slipping!”  but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. (Psalm 94:18,19 NLT)

After the Turkey

turkey, feast, tradition, family, soupMany years ago my husband started what has now become a family tradition. He made us clubhouse sandwiches on Boxing Day.

This has become so popular that our children have carried it into their own families. No one likes to miss this gathering together for a lunch of clubhouse sandwiches and an afternoon of visiting. The younger ones may not have acquired a taste for the sandwiches yet, but enjoy playing with cousins and snacking on everything else.

As I write this, my house is filled with the mouth-watering aroma of turkey soup simmering on the stove. We will savor this over the next few days while the remainder goes in the freezer to be appreciated at another time.

Why am I telling you this? It’s because I have come to realize that the enjoyment doesn’t end after the main feast is finished. There’s still more to look forward to. I have named but two of the ways we find to help this delicious meal last.

It is the same in life. I have worked towards a goal and once achieved, wondered if anything else could match this accomplishment. It was so rewarding that it seemed unrealistic to expect more.

As I look back over this past year I am humbled to see what God has accomplished in and through me. After one feast of blessings he has nurtured and sustained me as he prepared me for the next. I am confident that there will be more for me to relish. For now, I wait patiently and expectantly as I put my hope in God. I’m excited to see what he has in store for me next!

Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14 NLT)

Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. (Psalm 25:4-5 NLT)

Campground Celebrations

celebration, Jesus, inspiration, joySome campgrounds have interesting traditions. The one we stay in holds a Canada Day parade the Saturday before July 1st.

Family friendly is a good description of this event. Everyone was encouraged to decorate their sites. Canadian flags and banners were hung. Red and white in the form of streamers and balloons were seen in abundance. We even hung a Canadian flag Frisbee in our tree!

A big red fire truck decorated with Canadian flags led the parade. Behind the truck was campground paradewhere the real fun started. Children rode decorated bicycles; drove battery operated cars and waved flags as they walked the parade route through the campground. Parents walked along with them.

Those deciding not to enter the parade sat in lawn chairs to watch the procession. The lucky ones were able to gather some of the candy that was tossed out to the spectators.

In a matter of minutes the parade had passed. What lingered was the joy of seeing families participating together in this event.

If this simple celebration could foster such a spirit of co-operation and joy, imagine a world where families, friends and neighbours joined together to celebrate and share the love of Jesus. That kind of contagious joy could change the world!

Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; celebrate his lovely name with music. (Psalm 135:3 NLT)

And all the people followed Solomon into Jerusalem, playing flutes and shouting for joy. The celebration was so joyous and noisy that the earth shook with the sound. (1 Kings 1:40 NLT)

The Spirit of Giving

family, love, memoriesAt Christmas the emphasis is often placed on gifts. The malls are crowded as people search for the perfect gift to give to loved ones. Budgets are often ignored and spending runs rampant.

This puts an incredible amount of stress on people. I remember being worried that I couldn’t find or afford the latest toy that my children wanted. While this seemed important at the time, neither my son nor daughter can remember gifts received when they were children.

What they do remember is time spent together as a family. Their Christmas vacation was spent playing board games and doing jigsaw puzzles. We did simple things, but we did them together. It was the love and laughter of family that was most important to them. This is something that money can’t buy.

Love is the reason we have Christmas. God loved the world so much that he sent his only son. Christmas is the celebration of the greatest gift ever given. This was given freely, sacrificially and generously to all of us. All God asks in return is that we love him and share that love with others.

I pray this Christmas that I may have a heart like His and my giving will follow his example and be pure and selfless.

In this spirit, I have a gift for you. I would like to give you a copy of my book, Inspirations From the Everyday. Let me know you’d like this and I’ll be happy to send you a code to download an ebook from iBooks. This is my Christmas gift to you.

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT

One of Life’s Special Moments

first book, inspiration, supportThe call came while I was at work. A shipment of books had been dropped off on my front porch. As I thanked the person who called, tears of joy were running down my cheeks. You see, these weren’t just any books. They were my book, the first I had written and a labour of love.

Since I live close to work I was told to go home, take the books in and enjoy the moment. Climbing into my vehicle, I realized that I would be alone when I first held one of my books. This didn’t seem right, so I called my daughter-in-law Jackie and asked her if she could join me. She and her girls soon met me at my house. Jackie took pictures as I opened a box and then more as I picked one up, smiling and crying at the same time! The girls each held a book so we could get a photo. Two of them looked at the front cover and one turned it over and said “Your picture is on here!” The joy I felt was indescribable. After the photos we had a little celebration party with bowls of candy (before lunch!) and then they went home and I headed back to work.

The moment I held my first book was a special time that will never happen again. This was an achievement I wasn’t certain I could accomplish. I thought it was too big a project for me. God had other plans as he gave me the inspiration needed and surrounded me with the support that enabled me to take on this daunting task. I am doubly blessed. Firstly that God entrusted this to me; and secondly that I had loving family members with me to share in this special moment.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NLT