A Good Father

father, children, family
Photo credit: Unsplash

Once upon a time a man fell in love with a mother of two young children. A wedding took place and they became a family.

As the children grew, he was there to instruct and watch over them. They were nourished, cared for and disciplined when necessary. He loved his children. They loved him in return and knew he always had their best interests at heart.

Years passed quickly and the children became young adults. They were now old enough to make their own decisions. One day they approached their father with a question. “Will you legally adopt us?” they asked.

The man was overjoyed. He had always considered them to be his children. Now they wanted to officially state that they belonged to him.

This story flooded me with emotion. As a good father who had loved and taken care of these children for many years, the man now had the great joy of knowing the children were taking his name.

This man’s joy was an example of my Heavenly Father’s response when one of his beloved children comes before him with the same request.

I picture him rejoicing over each of his children who choose to be identified with His name. God’s arms are outstretched to receive us to himself. There is much more I could share about my Heavenly Father and my relationship with Him. For now, I’ll close by telling you, since I asked Him to make me one of His children, my life is more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined.

“Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God’s dear children. And that’s what we are.” 1 John 3:1

Precious Gifts

gifts, heartfelt, affirmingOver the years, I’ve received many lovely gifts. Some were beautiful and extravagant. Others were practical items I’ve used and enjoyed. Still others filled an unspoken desire.

Among those I count the most precious are words straight from the heart. I still have a letter written to me several years ago by my employer. In it she expressed her appreciation for me not only as an employee but also for my personal traits. This was a rare gift and I treasure it.

Recently I received a simple card with You Are written on the inside.affirming words Underneath, in various handwritings, were words like loving, understanding, compassionate, funny and caring. For me, this was priceless.

Many years ago, a man I respected told me he kept a file folder labeled “encouragement.” In it were placed encouraging letters, notes, and cards he’d received over the years. Words of praise, admiration, thanks and support were saved in this file. He would reread these when he was feeling down and they would always give him the boost he needed.

After hearing this, I started a similar folder. The messages contained inside come from various areas of my life. They are precious gifts, reminders of times my heart has touched that of another. Rereading them is like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold winter day.

Encouraging, affirming words can bring hope. They have the power to change a life. Spoken words are wonderful but I believe those written are even more important. Because they can be reread at any time, their impact can continue many years after they were written.

It’s been a while since I sent a note to let someone know I appreciate them. Every day is a good day to send or receive encouragement. In fact, I have a few people in mind to reach out to today. How about you? Can you think of someone to share the precious gift of encouragement with?

My Superpower

childrenPlate in hand, Miss K headed to the kitchen for the last piece of dessert. I noticed a slight hesitation as she approached the counter and said, “You don’t have to have it now. If you’re too full, you can wait until you’re ready. I’ll make sure it’s saved for you.”

She looked at me and said, “Wow, you have a superpower! I was going to ask if you’d save it for me but you knew what I was thinking before I said it.” “Did you hear that?” I said to my husband. “I have a superpower!”

Miss H, (who had already eaten her dessert), challenged me with, “If you have really have a superpower, tell me what I’m thinking.”

“You’re wondering if I really know what you’re thinking,” I replied. Her mouth dropped open in shock that I read her mind! She agreed that I must have a superpower.

My husband and I were still laughing about this the next day. I definitely do not have the power to read minds.

I could, however, understand why they might have thought this to be true. In both cases I was able to discern what had not been expressed in words. This is not always the case.


I wonder if I can develop the ability to look at someone, sense what they need and act on it. In order to do this, I would have to take the focus from myself and my needs and turn it outward. In other words, I would love others as much as I love myself.

This empathy and compassion would enable others to recognize their value, and in turn, contribute to peace, love and fulfillment in the world around me. Love is the best superpower of all.

Trapped at Home

isolation, lonlinessThe elderly man we passed in the stairwell used broken English and hand gestures to convey his message. We smiled and nodded, even though we weren’t sure what he was trying to tell us. All we knew was it had something to do with the stairs.

Although our assigned underground parking spot is next to the elevator, we routinely walk to the end of the hall and take the stairs. That is why it was several days after our encounter before I fully understood what this gentleman had attempted to convey.

A glance at the elevator as I passed caused me to stop and read the notice posted there. It was dated a few days earlier and informed us the elevator was out of order until the end of the week.

This situation would be inconvenient when we carried groceries in but was something we could still manage. It would be much more difficult for those in our building with mobility issues, such as the elderly man we saw who slowly made his way down the stairs. Some would be trapped, unable to exit the building without the elevator they relied on.

Being trapped at home is something many of us are experiencing right now. Restrictions on gathering together mean our Christmas will be spent at home and not with our loved ones.

I am one of the lucky ones. As much as I’d like to be with our children and grandchildren at Christmas, I am not alone. My husband and I will spend a quiet Christmas together. Through technology we will be able to connect with our family and watch them open their gifts.

There are many who will spend the day alone. I can’t invite others into my home right now but can reach out and let them know they haven’t been forgotten. Maybe being trapped at home this year will give me more opportunity to share the joy and love of the Christmas season.

Chords of Love

Last week I had the privilege of being the speaker for an event in a small seaport town in Mexico. Women (and a few men) from three countries came together for the evening. The majority spoke Spanish and my message would not have been understood if not for the amazing translator I worked with. The goal was to share how we all have a role to play and can come together despite our different languages and cultural backgrounds. As one of the volunteers involved in bringing this evening to fruition, I experienced the teamwork necessary as a perfect example of this. Our theme was inspired by the song Bind Us Together and the evening ended with it being sung in both languages simultaneously. For this reason, it seemed fitting to include an illustration pertaining to music near the close of my talk. Years ago, I was a member of a four-part harmony acapella chorus, so I drew on that experience. The melody line was complimented by tenor, baritone and bass. While the melody could have stood on its own, it became much richer when combined with the other notes. Conversely, some of the other parts sounded discordant when heard on their own. Their notes were meant to enrich others by blending together. The resulting harmony was far more pleasing than any one voice could produce. The point is, when we come together to help each other, each of us sings a more beautiful song. In these days of uncertainty, some are singing notes of fear. If I come alongside with my notes of understanding, encouragement and support the tune can change from despair to hope. Instead of wondering if your notes can enhance mine, I need to be looking for ways I can enrich yours. It’s amazing what can happen when we are bound together with these chords (cords) of love.

Tribute to Mom

#Inspiration, mom, mothers dayMother’s Day is a bittersweet time for me. Twenty years ago, on Mother’s Day weekend, my mom went to her eternal home. After all these years, I still miss her. If I concentrate hard enough, I can almost hear her voice.

No longer can I share my life, ask for advice and learn from her quiet wisdom. She gave me all she could when she was with me. Now I draw on those memories as I navigate my life.

Recently I was told my mom would have been proud of me. Oh, how I cherished those words.

Mom loved me enough to ensure I learned what was needed to have a fulfilling life. This was much more than separating the whites from bright colours when I did the laundry, or not letting the potatoes boil dry!

She taught me to be polite and respectful.

Her example showed me the value of service to others. I learned giving is receiving. To this day volunteering is still one of the most rewarding parts of my life.

Although I didn’t always appreciate it at the time, she helped me learn appropriate discipline is a form of love. I learned to be honest and responsible.

When I did something wrong, she was forgiving. This taught me to be honest about my failures. I also learned the freeing power of forgiving others.

The twinkle in her eyes and quick wit ensured I would appreciate fun and laughter. Her ability to laugh at herself helped me learn not to take myself too seriously.

Mom’s deep love of family helped me see the beauty in committed relationships. She loved and accepted each of us despite our flaws and weaknesses.

I know my mom was proud of me because she told me so in her final days. I like to think she’d be proud of the woman I’ve become today.

The best way to honour mom’s memory is to pass her wisdom and love on to the young women who follow behind me, so they, in turn, may pass it on. I look at my daughter, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughters and know she’d be as proud of them as I am.

Amazing Love

#Jesus, #inspire, love, family, The statement took me by surprise. “Deep love is always accompanied by deep suffering,” our pastor said. My thoughts of love were of joy not suffering, but in that moment I could see how true these words were.

I have wept with friends over a serious illness of a loved one. I have sat with friends as they poured out the anguish in their hearts over situations with spouses, children or grandchildren.

Although I can empathize with my friends, I don’t know and love these people on the deep level they do, so will not experience the same pain.

Countless prayers are requested by those who are suffering. The majority of these revolve around someone deeply loved.

I think of my husband, my children (and their spouses, who are children of my heart) and my grandchildren. I love them deeply and would do anything in my power to keep them from harm. I suffer along with them when they are hurting. If one of them was in grave danger and the only way to save him or her was to sacrifice my life, I wouldn’t hesitate. That is how deep my love for my family is.

This helps me understand why Jesus would die for me. The sinless Son of God took on the sins of mankind because of his deep love for you and for me. Jesus suffered an agonizing death in order to save us.

I think back to the pastor’s words, “Deep love is accompanied by deep suffering.” If there is anyone who fully understands this, it is Jesus.

As we approach Easter and focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus I want to stop and think about the magnitude of this gift I didn’t deserve. He saved me before I even knew I was in danger. I praise his name for this amazing love.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” (1 John 3:16 NIV)

Love and Friendship Day

#inspiration, love, Valentine, romanticMy husband and I attended an event a couple of days ago that was an early celebration for February 14th. We are in Mexico and the celebration was different from what we experience at home.

On a large banner, the words Feliz Dia del Amor y la Amistad were printed. Translated, this means Happy Day of Love and Friendship.

Valentine’s Day as we know it, is all about romantic love. It is important to recognize those we love and let them know how much they mean to us. My husband is the most important person in my life. I never want to take for granted the love we share and celebrate it frequently.

But, how often do I celebrate the other types of love in my life?

One significant type of love is the kind I have for my family. My daughter and son-in-law; son and daughter-in-law and my amazing, talented, witty and compassionate grandchildren (absolutely no prejudice here!) mean the world to me. Each of them has enriched my life in her/his own unique way. They deserve to be celebrated and I don’t tell them often enough how much I love them.

Friendships form another kind of love. Whether we have been friends for months, years or decades, these relationships have helped shape me into who I am today. We support each other through the roller coaster of life and I love each of you.

A very special love is the one I have for you, my faithful readers. Your encouragement and support gives me the strength to keep writing. Without you, I wouldn’t be living my passion. From the bottom of my heart I send you thanks and love.

To each of you, I wish you a Happy Love and Friendship Day.

Great Love

#Inspiration, #Jesus, #Love, familyMore than ten years ago both of our children moved almost one thousand kilometers away.

We loved our family and missed the closeness we’d once enjoyed. My husband and I wanted to be able to spend more time with them and be active in their lives.

After much prayer, we decided to uproot the life we knew and start again, closer to our loved ones. The Lord provided a job for my husband in our chosen city. We resigned from our jobs and sold our home.

I was excited to know we ‘d soon live only twenty minutes from our family.

I hadn’t considered the difficulty of leaving friends and our church family. The goodbyes were tearful. Knowing we were doing the right thing didn’t make it any easier. I grieved what I would be leaving behind.

The transition had some challenges. The result, however, was more than worth it. We have been restored to a close, loving relationship with our family and are blessed to play an active role in their lives. The sacrifice we made out of love has rewarded us more than we could have imagined.

Our small move was insignificant when I think of the move Jesus made for you and for me. The love I have for my family is nothing compared to the love He has for us.

He knew we were becoming distant and longed for a closer relationship. The Lord knew there was only one course of action to be taken to remedy this situation.

He left his home in heaven and came to live on earth. He sacrificed not only comfort, but his very life in order to restore us to a relationship with God.

What does Jesus require for this love I don’t deserve? He wants us to spend time together. The more I do this, the deeper our relationship becomes. It is amazing to think the Son of God not only offers me forgiveness, comfort and guidance but wants to us have a close personal relationship.  Now that is love worth celebrating.

The Treat Tin

#inspiration, treats, memoriesThe old coffee can received a new life in a kindergarten class back in 2005. First, it was painted white. Then a snowman face was painted on and a red felt cap added.

Our young granddaughter chose to present this wonderful gift to my husband and I. The cap had an opening in the back that was perfect for little hands to reach in, so we decided to turn the snowman into a special treat tin for our grandchildren.

They were not allowed to look inside the tin to make their choice. Instead, they would get what their hand chose. Sometimes the hands were in the tin for a long time as they attempted to feel every treat inside! This was the basis for many fond memories.

As our grandchildren grew, in size and number, the hat became unglued several times. Eventually, the snowman tin was retired and tucked out of sight in our pantry. I think we missed the game of guessing the treat more than the younger children did.

Not long before Christmas I brought out our special snowman and looked at the piece of masking tape on the bottom of the tin that still showed our granddaughter’s name.

The time had come to bring this gift back to life. My husband reattached the hat and we shopped for some special treats.

Our granddaughter has just moved out of her parent’s home and into her own apartment. When we presented her with the treat tin as a housewarming gift I could almost see the memories dancing across her mind. Her, “Oh, my gosh!” and big smile let us know the gesture was appreciated.

My hope is this tin will be a visual reminder of the sweet surprises life has in store for her and for her grandparents, who will always be there when she needs us.