As I walked into the store this morning
my thoughts were focused on New Year’s Eve
and things I needed to do in preparation for 2014.
Time seems to fly much quicker than my inner spirit
so once more I was listening for those faint Christmas bells
while picking up my sparkling apple cider and oysters.
Deep within I long to make each moment count
to squeeze the joy out of every situation
and to see His Hand
and hear His gentle Whispers.
Sometimes the rush and busyness all around and within are difficult to ignore
but this morning it all came together
creating a marvelous shining moment of grace and peace.
I had just placed the saltine box beside the jar of oysters
when all of a sudden I met her eyes.
A dear sweet friend who is the sister of a fellow first grade teacher
who had taught with me for years and years.
Our eyes locked for just a second and I stepped to her side.
Faintly ringing Christmas bells
hearts beating with joy and gladness
souls warmed by the mutual care and compassion.
I asked about my old friend from teaching days
and she updated me with the sad news of her growing limitations due to aging.
For a moment while she talked
I was pulled back to those years that she and I
sat on the old merry go round outside
watching out first graders play and taking a short rest.
I loved her gentle manners. Conversation with her was easy.
Warm breezes blew through our hair as we grabbed a quick pick me up
that strengthened us for the rest of the day.
But then she retired and I lost track of her.
I continued teaching and only heard of her from time to time.
Life can all too easily move us away from those
who add much color and joy to our lives
but the heart never forgets. No, it never forgets.
“Tell her that I said hi,” I said as I parted from her sister this morning.
The Christmas bells of peace on earth – goodwill toward men
rang softly as I completed my shopping.
A brand new year filled with blank sheets of white paper
I knew just what I would write on one of those pages –
a visit to this fellow teacher/friend
and then within seconds the names and faces of others came to mind.
My heart skipped with joy – it still does as I write this blog –
There are so many people to touch and encourage.
So many lives who need just our time and care.
Listen for those Christmas bells that are still ringing
Calling us to keep spreading His Love throughout all the year.
And may this New Year for you be filled with purpose, peace and passion
that is greater than you can possibly imagine as you give yourself totally to Him.