Making Tracks

Hey Everyone,

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a decent post here, so meanwhile I thought I would link you up to an adventure my friends Pat & Dan have been having in Spain as they walk the Camino Pilgrim Trail. Pat was able to make almost daily blog posts, on top of walking 20km+ a day! (An inspiration, or what?)

Beautiful scenery, how to take care of blisters, and friendships around the world!

Check out their site:

http://www.patanddanmakingtracks.com

(And just because I love poppies as much as Pat does, I have taken the liberty of posting one of her Spain photos here… Thanks Pat! ūüôā )

Pat's poppies, Spain

A Valentine’s Sonnet

I wrote this poem back in 1992, when I was dating my husband. It’s a little sentimental, and there are times it maybe didn’t ring true, but so far, our marriage is standing the test of time… I thought I’d share the poem with you today. Thanks to WordPress for the prompt (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/cupids-arrow/)!

FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE

When you came along, you made my days bright.

Gardens we saw, and the ocean so blue

We sat on benches to see sunset hues.

Our friendship grew stronger each happy night,

And the words that we spoke seldom were trite.

I thought right away that this I’d pursue-

A lifetime of smiles and tears spent with you.

With you by my side it always felt right.

My feelings for you are still much the same

Except stronger and deeper than ever before.

With our hands in God’s, our lives in His care,

Together we pray his promises to claim.

Your love shown to me makes me love you more-

Laughter and kisses we always shall share.

Sounds of Grace

Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound… recently a friend asked on Facebook, “What does Grace sound like?” While there were some cute comments like “I know a few girls named Grace, and they all sound nice”, this question really got me thinking.

It’s one of those phrases that I have heard a million times and never put much thought into.

I always took the phrase to mean that the composer John Newton thought the idea of grace sounded amazing. Which is true. Grace is amazing. Being gracious is a desirable trait that is not commonly seen. When is the last time you described a person as being gracious?

“Grace”, according to an online dictionary¬† is “elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action”. Wow! That could be a lot of things!

And whether we acknowledge it or not, I think we have all experienced grace already in 2012. Okay, maybe you didn’t see very much of it while Christmas shopping, but grace is all around every day, if we will open our eyes and hearts to see it.

Bono of U2 sings “Blessings not just for the ones who kneel, luckily” in the song City of Blinding Lights. That sounds like grace to me.

Read it again.

Blessings not just for the ones who kneel…

But to persist, and to ask as a child, what does grace sound like?

Think about it.

It could be the sound of rain on dry ground…

the sound of waves on the beach…

the sound of a mother’s lullaby

or children happily playing.

It could be gentle words in the face of anger…

a kind voice when you are lost…

or the sound of a hug when you are heartbroken.

Can you hear it? The sounds of grace? Tell me what you hear…

Happy Hearts

Hailey has a happy heart. Most often we would read this sentence knowing that this person feels happy and content. And that’s a blessing.

But what about your physical heart? Is it happy too, pumping away without you noticing, keeping a steady rythym that you hardly stop to give thanks for?

What about a heart that is under attack by a virus, and the person’s own blood cells attack it? This is a life-threatening situation called myocarditis, and it happened to a niece of mine. She developed this condition in a dramatic way when she was seven years old, and celebrated her eighth birthday in a Children’s Hospital. Through nothing short of a miracle and hundreds of people praying, she is now, by all appearances, a normal, healthy child.

She still takes strong medication, but overall, her heart, and the hearts of those around her, are happy. Things are so much better now than when we were confronted face-to-face with her life-threatening condition. We are thankful to God.

It makes the common flu seem to be of far less significance (and believe me, I was pretty miserable awhile ago when I had the flu).

When our mortality as humans is brought before us and we have to consider even the possibility of the death of a loved one, our perspective changes, and usually for the better. While we may have emotions from sorrow to anger or from fear to confusion, we do have an opportunity for growth as well.

A friend of mine has developed cancer. A hockey player and physically fit, a teacher and active in the community, the news came as a shock. But despite all the emotions she and her family are facing, all the challenging decisions that need to be made, I would dare say that her heart is happy. Not a happiness that is based on temporary things, but one that is based on the idea that God is orchestrating her life, working behind the scenes, and loving her.

My friend was able to attend a Coffee Break meeting recently. She had really missed this in her pre-cancer routine. She missed the blessings of meeting with other women. Interestingly, our study was “Esther- Courage in a Complicated World”. How appropriate for us all. She was happy to be there.

And our hearts are happy too. Not because of the cancer- there ARE tears- but because Life itself is so much bigger than cancer.

Than myocarditis.

Than the flu.

I challenge  you to look at your life and all of its circumstances and see where there might be opportunity in difficulty.

Turn away from what you are doing wrong, from mixed-up priorities, and instead study the Bible, pray, and talk with friends who really know how much God loves you.

I dare say, your heart will be happy.

Thank you all!

I have had over 2000 hits on my young blog… thanks everyone!
 
Look for more photos, stories, memories and thoughts on rural living in the next half year.
 
~ Brenda