When God Speaks

 

 

Now THIS post is one that gets me totally excited because I love when I see God’s work in action, especially when it is what I call a direct message. We are used the the private messages on Facebook or the Direct Message on Twitter. We use those so that we can say something to someone without the whole world knowing what we are sharing. It is directed to you only. But… what if you get a direct message from God?!? What do you do with that?!?!?!??

You most certainly obey.  That is what happened this week with my friend and me. As some of you may know, I shared a week or so ago about my approach toward hard times and challenges. This journey with skin cancer has been a hard journey. However, it has always been a policy of mine, for myself, that as I make it through a hard challenging season, I give myself a life marker. It may be an activity, something I purchase, but it is always there to remind me. It’s purpose is to remind me of what God has kept me from, as well as, what He has brought me through. So…I had shared a story about my wanting to get this beautiful votive when I was on my way to Norway this last Spring. I saw it in Amsterdam and loved it. But, I didn’t want to spend money at that time since I had my whole trip ahead of me in Norway. So it stayed in Amsterdam. What I shared on Facebook was that, as I prayed my way through this journey of surgeries and one last upcoming surgery, I felt I should purchase that beautiful Glassybaby and then light it often to remind me of what God brought me through and kept me from once again. I had talked it over with my hubby too. The flower petals remind me of God’s soft touch in my life, and whispers in my ear that He will never leave me. The colors of opaque which reminds me that I won’t always see clearly in the moment I’m in, but He sees it clearly. Then, those shades of red I so love to remind me of His blood shed for me both in the beatings He bore and the sins He covered on the cross. Yes. This would be a great life marker. (And I love candlelight anyway)

Now for the exciting part that makes me want to dance! A friend read my post on Facebook and told me she commented that she was praying for me and for my healing. As she prayed, she felt the Lord say that she was to purchase this votive for me. She traveled all the way to my Bungalow, which is quite a jaunt for her, knocked on the door, and left it at my door! I messaged her a bit later after tearfully opening that gift and thanked her for such a wonderful, thoughtful gesture and what it meant to me particularly on this day. If you know Glassybaby, you know it is no small gift. She said, “In my prayers, God spoke to me to get this as a gift for you.” The best part of the reason was the why. Here are her words:

Enjoyed in the dark of my bedroom before sleeping.

“God wanted to make sure you knew that He was listening.”

Wow!!! Well, the flood gates opened as I read that on my phone. I was overwhelmed with the love that God would have for me, that He would use this wonderful lady who was obedient to what she had heard, to go out and shop for this gift, and then drove it all the way to my house to share it with me. God encouraged through all that…just to let me know He was listening!!

Friends, THIS is our God! I can’t even describe my feelings as I lit that votive and thought about what God had just done. How He cared enough about me, to give direction to another, so that, He could give me a message that I needed just at this time! AND…it was the same day that I found out that the spot on the left side of my nose was not indicating cancer! Now that’s a celebration my friends!

I absolutely ADORE this votive and what it represents, and love this sweet lady who was obedient to what God asked of her. But the BEST part is that God cared enough to give me a personal message through His chosen messenger! Thank you Jan from the bottom of my heart! May God bless you over and over. I will light it often, and always be grateful!

I have had many of these experiences where God has used another to speak into my life at a time when I needed a Word from Him. But… that is for a future post!

 

Until next time…

~JoAnn

 

 

Love In Action With A Servant’s Heart

 

Is it well with your soul today?  It is well with mine.  I wanted to share a little more about my experience following the adventures that God has me on.  Namely…helping my friend after her surgery.  You see, I believe that God places people in our lives to help us walk it out.  Without them, our life would be much more difficult, and sometimes, we just might feel like giving up.  But when we can find someone who we can share life with, cry with, laugh until our sides ache, just sit with, help in times of need and hurt, THAT is when we need to leave our cares behind, and be love to someone else.  It causes us to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto the task of loving on someone who needs it.  That was my experience.

The Captain all packed and ready for the journey north.

I have known this friend since we were in second grade, and I’m not telling you how long ago that was, but let’s just say, it’s been a while.   We have done many firsts together…firsts for her

Squirrels in her yard were so fun to watch.

and first for me.  We both enjoy going to the ocean and walking on the beach in silence, or even at different paces, and when we go to the ocean, the first thing we do is throw wide open the doors to hear the ocean waves.  Then we sit and say, “Ahhhh…” at almost the same time.  We can talk about anything and have gone through many things together.  So I didn’t think twice when God put on my heart, AND that of my husband, for me to go up and help her after surgery.  We rearranged our plans for our get-away, and away I went; The Captain and I.  I have totally been blessed with many of these kinds of friends and have received the same kind of help from them at times.  That is what relationship is all about.  If I have something I can do for someone, and it is in my power to do so, I will do it.  I always have…I always will.

So what did I learn in this adventure?

  • God provided the resources for us to do this.
  • When He puts something on your heart, He will take care of the details.
  • He gave me the strength to get up every 2 hours.
  • He gave me energy to help out with all that was needed and cooking a meal, and never feel tired during the time I was there.
  • It isn’t about me in this life.
  • It is about what I can do and give to make life easier to see Jesus every day.
  • I don’t do it on my own.  I learned that doesn’t work way back in Junior High School.  I still had bumps in my journey, and I still do.  But God is the one who helps me through it, keeps me strong and focused on the right thing…Him.
  • We love to show the heart of Jesus.
  • Her family got to see love in action.
  • It’s not about the person I am, but the person I have become BECAUSE of Him that I want them to see.  We live like Jesus as best we can, with His help.

We had her surgery, her husband took a fall the next day and hurt himself, and another emergency all within 36 hours of my coming.  When your friend covers her head with a blanket after all that happened and sobbed, you KNOW why you are there.  You sit down, you cry because your heart hurts with and for her, and you assure her that we will make it through this one together too.

A cup with a Starbucks card given to me by my friend’s daughter-in-law.

I ended up rooming with her, because of her husbands fall and he needed to be on the lower level.  How fun…it was like junior high and high school and many times after that…laughing into the night.  Doing her exercises and laughing so hard we could hardly do the exercises.  But I found I had to watch her too.  She is Miss Independent and would try to do it on her own.  God helped me to wake up at her moves and anticipate what she was doing.  I told her it was like in an old folks’ home; I was putting her walker on my side of the room so I would know what she was sneaking to do.  Or in exercises, we would be giggling over the leg lifts that aren’t coming even an inch off the bed and you couldn’t help laughing as I would ask her if she was lifting her leg!  I remember that feeling.   Then in the quiet of night, you think about some of those things and burst out laughing because you picture it all over again!  Yep!  And of course, trying to be sort of quiet when its 2 am in the morning or 4 am in the morning as you get up to use the rest room.  We would say “shhhh to each other back and forth” and I’m sure made more noise than was necessary telling each other to be quiet!  We also had breakfast together, lunch together, and dinner together.  Conversation and dreaming together.  That is awesome times right there!

Gift basket waiting for me in my room when I got there. How sweet is she??

I was reminded we aren’t promised a tomorrow and we need to take care of ourselves and be our own best advocate for living.  It brought back some hard memories for me because its only 3 years or so ago that I went through it with both knees at the same time.  I recognize the pain.  I know the struggle.  I have been there.  But you see, that is why God can use me.  I can sit alongside them and say, I know what that feels like.  Don’t sit on the sidelines, when you can be a help or encouragement to others.  THAT is ministry.  That is living a joyful and purposeful life.  After it is all said and done, she and I changed the world sitting in our chairs, over a mocha.  That’s good stuff!!  When we do what God suggests we do, and we are obedient to it, God will get us through it by walking with us.  I have had many friends in my life that have been that kind of people to me and it makes me feel great to pay it forward.

Who might you be the hands and feet of Jesus to today?  Are you willing to give up your schedule or time to follow through?  One less post on Facebook to send a text or make a phone call, or even a day without technology to help someone, have some quiet time, or whatever it is in your life that you need to do.  I got in the car to leave, left her crying and I was crying, but I thanked God for the time I got to spend helping her.  She deserved the help.  She helps others all the time.  God knew.  He gave something back to her and just used me to do it.  Love how God works!

So now this next week, I get to be the hands and feet of Jesus to another gal, and also to my husband after his surgery.  God keeps us humble and uses us when we notice where He is working.  I ask God for opportunities to be there for someone.  He always answers.  Always… I hope you find encouragement for your journey through these thoughts on my adventure.  I pray these thoughts push you out of your comfort zone and you begin asking God to show you ways you can love on others also.

 

Until next time…

~JoAnn

 

 

The Blessing of Giving Up Something

Have you ever had to give up something that you really wanted, or something you wanted to do, in order to do something you felt you were being asked to do?  It’s not always easy to give up our idea for what God may be asking us to do.  It’s called sacrifice.  God always rewards our obedience though!  I love that about Him!  So here is my story…I hope it helps you make the decision that is right for you in the future.

My hubby and I always take a day or two get-away for Valentine’s Day.  It was our plan to marry on Valentine’s Day when we got married but that plan didn’t work out.  So because of that, we have always gone away to do something together to celebrate our “almost” wedding day.  We consider it our anniversary day, even though we also celebrate our actual date of marriage.  So we had planned a three day time away in one of my favorite places with lots of other fun activities included.  But then, I found out that my very good friend was having surgery for a knee replacement two days before Valentine’s Day, and I was scheduled to go up and help her.  So… hubby and I talked about what we could do, and decided we would make plans to do something together the weekend before.  Terry wanted to make the plans for those two days, so that was kind of fun for me since it’s usually me who does that.  Friday afternoon, he went and did his food shopping for the weekend, and came back with a beautiful rose and card.  That was a part of his table setting the next morning.

Here was his plan:  he made me breakfast with mocha included, he would make dinner for me on Saturday evening, but he had planned snacks for during the day.  I was to do  whatever I wanted that day…read, take pictures, whatever I wanted.  I didn’t get to know what was going to happen the following day until it came.  We had a lovely candlelit dinner at home with time together and a special movie we watched.  He had snacks planned for later in the evening too!  Lovely day!  He told me we had to get up early the following morning because he had a plan for that also.

My hubby’s table set for me.  Still have to work out the deal with bottles but hey…it looks awesome!

Ocean view at Pacific Beach, WA

 

Little town of Pacific Beach, WA

The interesting layers of nature after the storm.

Seemed almost appropriate somehow for the reason we were out that day.

Always good to attain the climb from worldly things to go for higher ground.

 

 

I hate having my picture taken.
Silly guy!

So we got up and he fixed me breakfast.  While we ate he said he wanted to take me for a ride, and I was to bring my camera and we would go out to Pacific Beach and take photos!  Don’t have to ask me twice to do that!!!   He would buy me an early dinner after my beach fix, and we would just check some places out as we went.  Well…be still my heart!  That is MY kind of day.   So we went to the beach and I took photos; some fun photo opportunities.  We walked around, and got silly photos too!   Then I just happened to find a wacky kind of second-hand store that I found my Norwegian Farmers Rose cups for $.50 each!!!  I was SO excited.  That was just a drive by and I said, “Look!  That is open!  Let’s go see!”  It pays, I tell ya!  After all that, we went to get our dinner, and then on the way back home, I bought us a Starbucks.   We both came home feeling wonderful after another day of fun together!

What a treat!  It doesn’t take much to find sweet times together, or with a friend if that is the case in your life.  It also taught me that to give up is to get back.  We decided together that we wanted to do this so that I could help a friend.  We were blessed by that decision, and God gave us a wonderful couple of days to enjoy the little things in life.  Don’t hold back because you think you will lose when God calls you forward to do something different from your plan!  Step through the door and let Him bless you with other ways, and the means to find joy in the change.  We will still go do our first idea, but just for the day and one night.  We get to have another fun day activity, along with our weekend plans we enjoyed so much.

I think the moral of this story is that when we are willing to follow what the Lord calls us to do, and we are willing to do it in obedience to Him, He will take care of giving us back more than what we give.  It’s really a heart issue.  It had nothing to do with giving something up.  It wasn’t hard.  I was glad to do it.  But it taught me once again that when I am willing to step out and obey, God will take care of everything else; my hubby’s willingness to change the schedule, be a bachelor for a week, the plans to still do some of what we planned when I got back, it all worked out.

Have a willing heart to let go of your plans, and hang on to God’s plans.  That is best for all of us anyway!!!  I will share more of my insights with my friend in my next post.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

P.S.  My sweet cups that I was so excited to find!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finger Prints of Love

Photo Credit: pixabay

How do you think that God sees us?  I was reading a book recently and he talked about finger prints making us unique.  That got me to thinking…we know we all look different.  We also have been told, at least I hope you have, that God knows the number of hairs on our heads.  He doesn’t have as big a problem with mine now because I don’t have as many as I used to, but He knows the number. 🙂  What does that tell you about how special we are to Him?  Let’s think about that for a minute.  What happens when we get into trouble with the law, or we have to get a permit, or work for certain institutions?   We have to get finger printed.  Why?  Because each set of prints is individual to each person.  It is uniquely you.

So as I thought more about this, an experience I had many years ago, came to mind.  In 1973, I burned my right hand and arm and the part of my hand on my left hand in a fire.  I was making a specialty item for Christmas and the lard (we used that in those days) caught fire on the stove.  I ended up with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on my hands and arm.  I was eventually hospitalized because of infection setting in even though it was covered.  I don’t want to make you feel ill, but in order to make my point, I need to share this with you.  I lost the skin on my hands and also my arm in places.  I could look down between my old skin and the new that was growing and see the intricate work of God.  My body had to grow new skin and it was extremely sensitive to touch.  I couldn’t touch two fingers together without pain.  That is because my nerves were raw and open.  When my new skin came back, it was, and still remains, thinner than it was.  Even to this day it doesn’t take much to have an issue with a burn that I may get while cooking.  If I get a burn, it takes a long time to heal.   So here is the interesting part….I still have my finger prints.  My finger tips aren’t scarred from it.  My skin on the hands are more wrinkled than most people have, but my fingerprints are still uniquely mine.

I find it rather fascinating to see that even though I lost my prints, this creation we call our body, grew new skin and gave me my finger prints back.  God did that in His creation of us.  My hands and arms became a new creation…and my prints today are used when I have had to apply for jobs and permits.  How unique God has made us!  The thing is, if He can make us unique enough that an accident can not take away my unique prints, even when they had to become new, and they can still identify me as me, THAT is pretty amazing!  He cares for me that much.  He cares for you that much.  He has made you unique and has unique plans just for you.  Not to be compared with others, but made and created just for you.

I love that about God.  We each have a plan.  We each have unique gifts to offer in service to Him.  If you are feeling unworthy or overwhelmed by life in general and trying to find out what God wants of you, don’t look at that mountain and say how big the mountain is, but tell the mountain how big your God is!  Let’s leave our finger prints all over the people around us, so that, they know of the love of a God who cares enough to love them individually for who they are, and to help them along the path to who He wants them to become!  He tells us to love our neighbors.  Let’s leave fingerprints of love on those around us, so they can feel, and thus know, that they are loved by a BIG God!

Until next time…

~JoAnn

A Great Book, Flashlight and Warm Covers

maybe-its-you
When you were a child, did you ever get a good book from the library, you took it home, started reading it and it was so good that you had to read into the night? You even faced the discipline of parents to sneak the book into bed, wait until lights were out, turned on the flashlight, under the covers, and read? Your parents wouldn’t see the light through the blankets, right??? Hahaha! Yep! That was me!!! It still is one of my most favorite things!

img_7892Well, yesterday, I experienced that feeling all over again! I was privileged to receive an advanced read for the book, “Maybe It’s You” by Candace Calvert, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. As soon as I figured out the technical side of downloading it, I started reading. No housework catch up, a few hours break to hurry up and make something for hubby to eat, and back at it again. All. night. long. Laying in bed this time with no covers over my head, but the room is dark and only lit by my Kindle, but the feeling is the same. I felt just like a kid with a great book that I just had to finish… in the dark… but this time, on a device that would have shocked my parents. I think secretly, they liked that I read so much.

Why did I do the sleep deprived thing? BECAUSE! It was THAT good! She totally had me at “chocolate chip sea salt cookie”. It was a story about second chances,  love, truth spoken out of the mouth of a babe, doing what is right even when you know it will cost you, and how grace makes way for forgiveness. Absolutely loved this story. I have been following Candace’s books for years and like all others, this one really spoke to me.  God allows u-turns and second chances. What is in our past doesn’t have to determine our future.  God will see to that if we allow Him.  Candace weaves the story like no other and her personality comes out in her characters. You will find yourself laughing out loud, and then crying along with the characters…yep tears in the dark lit by Kindle light. So… you just have to read until 5 a.m. to find out what happens…just like when I was a kid reading under the covers. AND…you know what? Washington State is mentioned. Tickled me pink!!!!

I would highly recommend this book! I would recommend that you go right now to her website or Amazon and pre-order it! Seriously! It will be hard to put down!!! Sloane, her main character, has a lot to say to us!  Her website is: http://CandaceCalvert.com or Facebook http://facebook.com/candacecalvertbooks.  Here is a link to the first chapter!  http://candacecalvert.com/ChapterOneMaybeItsYou.pdf

 

~JoAnn

“Kos”: A Way of Life

IMG_3789IMG_2953Knock…knock…come on in!  I have a story to tell!  The other day I did a happy dance because I received a book in the mail that I was so wanting.  It is all about making the Scandinavian waffle; not just a waffle, but all kinds of ways to serve the waffle.  I was very excited!  I tasted the Norwegian waffle while on my visit to Norway.  In the wonderful hospitality of my cousins, it was served like a dessert waffle with a jam and whipped cream on top and each one was heart-shaped.  They were very, very good and had a touch of cardamom flavor.  What a treat!  I immediately wanted the recipe.  I have a couple other books and recipes, and now, I have this book. I have learned the history of waffles also.  And the recipes!!  That is really fun!However, there was a word in this book that really grabbed my heart.  My soul immediately resonated with it.  I have been familiar with its feeling, and always leaned this way in my daily life and IMG_3725living.  But this word description put the finger on the pulse when I read it.  It is described as the Norwegian word “Kos”.  As with many languages, sometimes it takes many words to understand the meaning of one foreign word used, and this word is no exception.  If we tried to translate it, it seems the word “cozy” would best work.  Sort of…but not really.  It is really described as more of a life style.  It’s about the quality of life we live and making an atmosphere that totally makes you feel like, this is the life!  This is what it’s about.  But she talks about “Kos” not just being about the home, it’s also about getting together for coffee, or when you see someone you haven’t seen in a long time, or sharing a bonfire with snacks or hotdogs together with friends, neighbors and family.  It is also about being out in nature on a walk or hike, or sitting on a deck and just enjoying what you see around you.  Hearing the sounds, and breathing in life.

I remember sitting on the porch after arriving in Norway, at my cousin’s house, and we all just sat on the porch and took in the sights of the fjord, the sunset, and…coffee… with cake.  And…conversation.  We would also sit on the back porch in the mornings with our coffee and enjoy the view of the mountains and nature.  I felt that same feeling when I went with _DSF4797other cousins, to see my grandfather’s church, and where his siblings and family attended, were confirmed, and lived their life.  I walked the road where my grandfather walked and then went up the hill to where his house was.  I traveled with other cousins to learn of my father’s mother and her life in Norway, and my great-uncle, who was a pastor, and gave his life to ministry in Norway, and later in the US.  I walked inside of the house where my great-grandmother, grandmother and her sister lived.  That was on my mom’s side._DSF5052  I could imagine for a while what their life was like and how hard their life was.  I could also look out the window at the beautiful mountains across the valley.  I stood there a moment trying to imagine them waking up to that view every day!  What a view a view it was.  Did they stand at the window and dream about a time when they would leave these mountains and come to the land of plenty?  Did they dream about a way to make a better life for themselves and for their family by leaving Norway?  Maybe they prayed for provision and food enough to get by?  Maybe their prayers were answered by our presence there that day.  Stories…do we know them, or are we too busy to gather around small tables by oil light to listen? (I will allow you an electrical light too, or, candles are welcomed). Can we slow down enough to hear the stories?  Everyone has one.

I think “Kos” isn’t about the just looking and seeing, it is about the appreciating it all; having a heart response.  It is about taking time to give your heart and life a chance to slow down; take it in.  That is “Kos”.  It is about living in the moment.  Right now.  It is like sitting by a window or out on the porch at night, lighting a candle and enjoying the evening with a cup of your favorite thing…for me it would be a mocha or tea.  Finding complete satisfaction in the moment.  Feeling like this is what life is IMG_3726about.  Whether by yourself, or with others, it is about squeezing every bit of enjoyment out of each moment lived.  For me, one of them just recently was laying on the floor with my grandson and just talking and giggling.  Listening to his story.  I can remember many days going to my grandpa and grandma’s house after school and sometimes just sitting there in a rocker and rocking back and forth, the Generator wall clock is sharing it’s “tick-tock, tick-tock”, and the quiet…we just enjoyed being together.  I have memories of my grandfather taking the time to teach me how to play solitaire.  I play a game on my phone before I go to bed each night in his honor.  Time.  We all have it.  What are we doing with it?

I remember going on a hike up the mountain in Norway and as we approached this mountain cabin, there was a small group of friends that were outside and eating IMG_3723their lunch together.  They invited on in to share the circle with them.  We ate our snacks there and they offered us cookies and coffee.  Here we sat, strangers to them, my son and I, and yet they invited us in like they had known us for a long time.  We were invited into the cabin for a tour.  My heart fell in love with this cabin on the mountain.  It squeezed my heart a little to leave, but I left feeling the “Kos” that day for many reasons.  Walking back down the mountain, it WAS hard to put into words.  But I know the feeling because my heart recognizes it.

So today, I am writing this post to not only teach you a new word, but to encourage you to put some “Kos” in your life.  Figure out what that means for you, and then add it into your life style.  Bring the outside in.  Take your inside out.  You know that I love nothing more than to sit on a covered deck, even in the rain.  I enjoy the sound of the rain, and watching the flowers stand up straighter after a rain, the lawn becomes greener, and the air is fresh.  Our culture is getting too busy for “Kos”.  It should not be so.  Slow it on down!  Put the breaks on.  Hang a light in the window, take your shoes off and enjoy the steam from a hot cup of cocoa, coffee or tea.  Breathe in the moment and then say thanks.  Invite someone in to enjoy this time with you.  Make “Kos” your lifestyle.

_DSF4843I thank my Norwegian relatives for reminding me once again what life is about and what is important.  I think God wants us to live this way.  It was never His plan to be running so fast that we run away from life instead of running to it.  We are running so hard that we forget to look around us at nature and what God has given us.  We can’t even hear Him because we are too busy moving on to the next thing.  I came back home with a reinforced perspective about this area of my life!  I am passionate about it!  I implement it in my home as well.  I now understand why. It was how I was brought up.  But it still takes ME to implement it.  When we allow it, our heart and soul will speak.  When it does, we have no choice but to listen and follow if we want harmony in our lives.

I want “Kos” in every area of my life.  What about you?  See that picture to the left?  This is a road trip we took and we stopped for coffee and cake along the roadside.  What a way to travel!  Now that is “Kos”!  Getting the idea?

Walking the “Kos” journey with you…

Don’t Miss Out

Dad's Harmonica

I know I have talked about his before, but this blog is about the journeys of my heart.  So, I will once again share today’s heart journey with you.

You know, as we get older, there are people we begin to lose from our lives, and the older we get the more of them we lose. I don’t have too many in the generation above me left now.  I have become the last generation, except for just a few.  I just recently received a photo of my grandfather in his element, working as a contractor/builder.  I loved seeing this for the first time!  As I was putting my grandpa’s picture in the picture frame to hang in my bedroom, I realized that this is yet another reminder to me of another time.  While enjoying the memory of the photo,  I received a phone call about another cousin who passed away.  There are have been many cousins who have left this earthly realm just recently.  So much of my childhood memories were spent with our family and extended family. We did holidays together, potlucks, reunions, overnight stays on weekends, and camp outs at the beach or lake.  We would ride bicycles in the summer time to meet up and play together.  When one family needed something and the other had it, we shared.  If one family was a bit short on groceries, they would be invited to dinner, or a package would appear on their door step.  Many of us might remember hearing our parents or grandparents talk about the “old days.”  I sometimes feel like I am now living the “old days”.  I have also come to understand why they said the things they used to say.  It enriches our lives when we understand more.  Ask questions if they are still with you or ask people who may have known them, to share a story or memory or two.  You can get to know them all over again!

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Grandma and little feet sharing life.

This particular man, my cousin, was happy all the time. Always had a smile on his face, and would always find something to tease me about. He enjoyed making me blush.  He was a ski instructor. I remember seeing him always wearing sweaters. I always thought that being a ski instructor was such a cool job to have. Kind of a status symbol to me since most men I knew as a child were blue-collar workers.  He was a ski instructor!  I mean, if you loved skiing, what better job could you have than to teach it, and be out doing what you love all the time!  He also loved music and he could play a one and half-inch harmonica like it was a full size one. In later years, he carried it around his neck on a chain and would entertain anyone around, that wanted to listen to him, with a tune or two.  Then he would ask, “How about that?”

My dad had three harmonicas.  One of them was mini harmonica.  He could also play that like it was his big harmonica.  I was always amazed that such a sound could come from something so small!  My older brother now keeps company with that little harmonica, and younger brother has his medium harmonica.  Thinking these thoughts, reminds me that life is very short, and spending time with each other and sharing memories is so important. Time goes so fast!  In the end, the memories we have and make, are what we have to share with OUR families.  My cousin’s music and story will live on in the lives of his wife and family.

A harmonica is rather special instrument to me because my dad played. I have his harmonica and I take it out and play it as best I can. I wish I could truly play because it is something that reaches deep in my soul every time I take it out. I can remember times when dad played with this cousin, and other relatives, and oh what fun it was to listen and watch.  You can see by the pictures that my dad taped and re-taped the box so that it would stay together to protectIMG_1500 his harmonica.  I treasure the box almost as much as I do the instrument because it just shows a little of my dad’s personality.  I have shown this box to my grandson many times as a part of his treasure box of memories that we go through when he comes to see me.  I try to add things all the time to that box so he has different stories to hear.  Someday, that box will be his, and possibly the harmonica as well.

So…today I remind you to consider choosing a legacy for yourself that can be told in years to come by your family.  Make memories today that will last a life time. Don’t let the music stop because loved ones are gone. Keep their song of life going.  I think when we do, THAT is when we truly understand them and the life they lived.  I think I know more of the heart of my parents and family now then I ever did!  If this hasn’t been your experience to have a family unit like this, then my wish for you is that you will decide today to be a generation changer.  You can always begin anew to set a legacy for yourself and your future.  I pray you do.

My song of life still has some verses to add, how about you?

Walking the journey with you…