The Christmas Eve Robin

Have you ever hummed a catchy tune or song which stayed in your head as if stuck on continuous replay? No matter how diligently you try to purge your mind of the sound, it keeps on playing … unceasingly and completely involuntarily like a broken record! Even if you love the particular music, after a while you find it irritating to say the least … and at worst it can drive you crazy! Then suddenly to your amazement, it vanishes with no explanation … peace and quiet reigns in your head once more. The human mind is amazing isn’t it?

Something similar happened to me this week leading up to Christmas, but instead of repeated music, a vivid vision flashed before my mind’s eye! It arrived unexpectedly and refused to leave. It wasn’t just that it recurred several times a day throughout the week, it was more the poignant nature of the subject that grabbed me.

It struck a chord in my heart and touched my soul. Continue reading →

A Tribute to My Mother … A year Later

My Dearest Mum,

It’s been a full year since I felt the Holy Spirit beckoning me to your side. I’m so grateful I listened to His call and sped over to you post haste. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, as painful as it was for me to say goodbye and let you go.

Mum, it helps me to write and express my feelings in stories and videos, so I made this video tribute to you. I hope you like it. I chose the accompanying music because I feel it depicts your humble, quiet, yet deep rooted faith and is so applicable to who you are. Your indomitable courage and strength … and the depths of your love. Whatever you were called to do during your life, you rose to the challenge, willingly with a beautiful smile on your face and a song in your heart, no matter what was asked of you. Continue reading →

Gentle Rain from Heaven

I so love the rain …. I feel rain. Of course sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy too, but there’s something ever so much more poignant about the rain. It inspires me to pour out words of soulful expression.

Today I awakened to the pitter-patter of raindrops gently tip-tapping at my bedroom window. Music to my ears and food for my soul.

I will especially enjoy my walk along to Mum’s bedside today. The river, its surrounding green pastures, and the stately trees along the route are adorned in their shimmering, flowing tear drops from above.

Heaven weeps Continue reading →

Take Time Out to “BE”

time to be

Aside from the many treasured moments of being with my elderly parents, one of the reasons I love to return to Dorset, is to give myself a “time-out”. Time out from the everyday “normal” … away from the demands of routine living, a break from the hustle and bustle of self-imposed activity and the endless doing, doing, doing {most of which I admit is self inflicted!}  While there, I’m usually busy assisting my folks, but when I snatch some precious “alone” time to breathe in the tranquility of the peaceful countryside,  I’m reminded how valuable, rewarding {and health promoting} it is to simply BE.  Continue reading →

I Feel Rain

There’s just something about rain that stirs my soul and stimulates my senses to a heightened level of awareness. I’ve always been fascinated by the sights, sounds and smells that accompany falling rain! When I venture out in it and taste the raindrops on my lips, my thirsty soul is refreshed and my spirits revived! You think I’m a little weird, right? Haha! Just wait. It gets better!

Feel the RainWhat I most love about the rain is that I FEEL it! When I see rain falling, I yearn to encounter it, to be IN it! I covet an experience with it. Do you? I mean do you REALLY “feel” rain like that, or does it just leave you cold, grumpy and wet? Do you savor gentle droplets pitter-pattering on your face? Do you welcome it, embrace it, throw on your raincoat and rush outside? Do you crave the sensation from wind-driven, lashing rain hurling down on you so hard it stings your skin and awakens your senses? Now that’s what I’m talking about! Not just reacting in annoyance to its chilliness and its wetness, but experiencing how it makes you feel inside. How it touches you – how it moves you emotionally and spiritually. 

Told you it gets better! By now some of you really think I’m crazy, right? It matters not! I’m good with the way I feel AND the way you feel about rain, and about me. Feelings aren’t right or wrong, they simply ARE! This is just my perspective.

As a child did you fall over yourself to don your wellington boots, raincoat and sou’wester hat, so you could puddle-jump with your friends? Did you laugh and scream together as the gritty rain water splashed over your boots and trickled down your leg?

Have you ever stood in a stream and felt the pull of the water flowing ever faster, ever stronger at your boots, flattening them to your legs – until you jumped onto the muddy grass banks, fearing you might lose footing and get carried away like the stick that swiftly disappeared downstream, tossed about like a toothpick? Was it a thrill? Did you21698496_s throw your head back in the pouring rain, close your eyes, open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue to soak up the succulent drops from heaven? Do you remember how freeing and invigorating that was? I do! Do you recall, in child-like wonder, the simplest of things … like dancing with the raindrops, launching a matchstick boat in a torrent of water flowing down the street gutters? Did you laugh hysterically when your umbrella blew inside out exposing you to the full blast of rain, flattening your hair to your head – and you couldn’t care less because it was the coolest thing ever!! Did that ever happen to you? Was it fun for you?

It was for me. Of course I grew up in England, where weather dominates the beginning of almost every conversation, and talk of precipitation is expected. Rain is a common occurrence there! H-e-l-l-o! Like almost every other day {or more} in one form or another. It’s either the damp, mysterious, misty, tiny droplet variety, the bone-chilling drizzle kind or the steady, soaking rain!

Then there’s the stormy, heavy-duty-lashing, side-driven rain propelled by high winds. Rain that pounds on the roofs and gushes off the gutters, saturating the ground, flooding the streets, gardens and causing rivers to overflow their banks. If you’re caught in this kind you run for shelter of a doorway or even better, seek out the nearest red phone booth, shivering with your “honey” and loving the excuse to snuggle closer for warmth, as the rain splatters against the phone booth windows. Ah-ha! Many fun moments. You should try it sometime!

My Dad is not a fan of rain. {So much so that we moved to Africa in search of sunshine. Then later he and my Mum moved to Australia for much the same reason. Warmer, sunnier climate.} Dad kept a diary of the weather for years to prove how bad it is in England. LOL! He’s quite the character! When it came time to go on holiday, the weather dictated when and if we traveled or not … and what day and time we left. Since it rains so much, our travel plans were disrupted frequently, leaving this anxious little girl disappointed, sadly watching the raindrops roll off the glass front windows, chanting “rain, rain, go away, come again another day.”

It wasn’t that I disliked the rain obviously, but rather I was eager to go away on holiday and it needed to stop so we could get on the road and head to the seaside or wherever! Of course the rain was not influenced by me in the least and always seemed to take its sweet time before pausing and giving way to a dry spell, just long enough for my Dad to give the okay to leave.

You’d think I would dislike the rain wouldn’t you? That I’d be sick of it! That I’d blame it for past disappointment, or associate it with unpleasant feelings. Not so! I admit it’s inconvenient at certain times, but I don’t allow rain to ruin or change my plans {exceptions of course} or affect my mood adversely, or get mad over that which I have no control! But that’s just me, I know everyone’s different.

Back to rain. I wonder at it. It’s always so different, sometimes gentle, drenching now and then, but constantly wet, always fascinating in the way it falls, ever inviting me into its embrace. To experience it. I have always loved rain and the way it moves me, touches my emotions. 

It invites me to lean into it, go with the flow of it. Know its nature. I’m so thankful for it and its provisions to us and our planet. I love that it revitalizes me, and inspires me to explore the depths of my soul for deeper meaning, for greater understanding of who I am and whose I am.

I feel rain. I feel God.

“Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain– The LORD who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man.  Zechariah 10:1

PhotoCredit: Girl with Umbrella: Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

How Great Thou Art

how great thou artWe awakened to heavy rain and thunder in Austin, TX this morning!  What a beautiful sight and breath-taking sound!  We sure need the rain to break the drought and fill the lakes. And I crave it to cleanse my soul! SO refreshing – so peaceful – a wonderful way to start our Sunday …. Continue reading →

A Moment in Time

Family BridgeI am so touched by our wonderful, loving family! It never ceases to amaze and delight me how consistently they demonstrate their priorities in life. They don’t just talk about family first – they live it. Since I’ve always believed people are more important than things, it warms my heart that our family feels this way. 

If I were to choose any kind of legacy to leave behind, it wouldn’t be about success and power, or creating wealth, or sports prowess or how much stuff one can accumulate in a lifetime, it would be a “Legacy of Love” – all about instilling the value of people. That people are the real treasure in life. When all is said and done, nothing is more valuable than relationships that bloom and flourish and create living memories. Memories that last an eternity. And it seems to me though memories may fade with age, the feelings surrounding the memory endure.,…..

Continue reading →

S.O.S. Shut Out Static ~ Slip On Some Solitude

Do you remember when solitude was once enjoyed and appreciated? Not so very long ago, everyone knew a little solitude. We didn’t have to schedule it, or write it into our planner to block off time to enjoy some.

It was simply there … naturally woven into the spaces of time throughout the day. In fact sometimes we would intentionally seek out human connection to escape long stretches of solitude! Imagine that! It was there in abundance and while for some there was too much of it, for most of us it was a blessing.

So what is solitude? It’s spending time by oneself, apart from other people. It’s taking intentional time alone – away from the madding crowds of people, the demands of work and family, the cell phone interruptions, the emails and texts, the social networks, computers and TV’s. It’s less about doing and more about being.

As a race we humans have scheduled out solitude and replaced it with a plethora of activities that permits no room for anything but work and continuous go-go-go. Cell phones are permanently plugged in our ears, or eyes cast down at the device, and we never log off them or our computers and iPads. People are always around us and we get next to zero time alone.

We fill in the spaces of time where solitude once lived and we’ve replaced them with work, play and people … endless activities and distracions!

We used to get a little alone-time in the car … not anymore … the incessant beeps of emails, texts and FB posts take care of that; or we fill in that opportunity for a little thoughtful silence with annoying talk radio….or some other noise …. and the never-ending static energy that transforms us into “energizer bunnies” – when all the time our thirsty soul cries out for some peace and quiet!

In today’s world solitude, silence and serenity are almost non-existent because we have chosen to push them to the back-burner of life. We do it to ourselves! Nowadays most people don’t know what solitude is or where it went, and maybe they don’t care, but I do!

Solitude is valuable for so many reasons – including our sanity!

It’s in our solitude, lost in the quiet moments of the day, where we find ourselves. In our alonenness we’re better able to think, to dream, to plan and to recuperate from the busyness of life and all its earthly demands. It’s where we gain perspective on life and relationships and where we determine direction.

In solitude we are more spiritual, we develop appreciation for all we have. We become more aware of our surroundings. We can dwell on gratitude. It’s where we learn to be comfortable in our own being, to seek courage and encouragement. In solitude, we gain strength of resolve, inspiration meets us there regularly … and we find our sense of purpose.

It’s also where we connect with God in all his magnificence … alone on a mountain top … adrift on a great expanse of water or lost in the beauty of the woods. More importantly, in the quietness of our solitude we hear Him whisper to us.  That still small voice of God. We hear His message, His assurance and we learn His plan for us. Most of all we feel His love.

And we discover while we are most alone, we are not alone at all.

The place of solitude is a special place for each of us to rediscover, protect and visit often. I encourage you to find those spaces of time in your life. Shut out the endless static that deafens and dulls your senses, or stimulates you into oblivion. Instead, take time and space for some solitude and while you’re there together, may you be the best of friends.

“In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.” Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) British writer.

“Conversation enriches the understanding; but solitude is the school of genius.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.