Monthly Archives: September 2012

Shining Moments

Although I have considered from time to time

     discontinuing this blog

   I long to give you a glimpse today of someone who knew what it was to live

       within the shining moments

        brightly creating thousands of moments for others.

Yes, Emily Ann Black was a one of a kind.

Our relationship began more than 20 years ago when she wrote me

    Having seen an article of mine published in Decision Magazine.

I wrote back

    somewhat amused that she lived in Fredonia

         the community where I had gone to college.

Her letters kept coming

    filled with encouragement and little bits of news.

She bubbled about her quiet life

    talked about the colored leaves falling on those old slate sidewalks

    that I used to walk back and forth to class.

She was interested in people

   and I became one more for her to care about.

She had never read a book or a blog about living a satisfied life

  or how to develop a life of purpose, peace and passion.

No, she didn’t need to.

Emily Ann was a lover

   of her Lord and

     all her family and friends.

She gave herself away in so many ways.

A note here

   A phone call there

     Always interested in what I was doing.

 She did not preach it

   she practiced the art of living

  one day at a time.

Then a few years ago her health began to decline.

I heard the pain in her voice when we’d talk

   but she never complained.

Always thankful.

But I knew that fall was turning to winter.

She continued to remember birthdays

   mine, my daughters and even asked about my dog Savanna

 and even though our lives were separated by many miles

   and we had never met

 she was such a very special friend.

So when I discovered early this morning that she was gone

 my heart drooped with sadness and grief.

My life will be different without her.

But then I think of all those many shining moments we shared.

The sound of her sweet voice on my answering machine.

The curve of her handwriting on each note she sent.

The joyous laughter and sweet friendship over the years

 I realize that she lived out

   life at its best. She discovered it.

Yes, she was a shining example of a life well lived.

She not only experienced many shining moments wherever she went

   but she created them for others.


do you long for a life that shines with brightness?

do you long to really make a difference in others lives?

Don’t wait another day. Contact me.

You can not only experience shining moments but you can learn the art of living them.

It can’t get any better than that.



Shining Moments

We called her Aunt Annie although she wasn’t my aunt.

Only a friend of my grandmother

   but throughout my childhood she left many shining moments

   and one in particular comes to my mind today…..years later.

When Aunt Annie came to visit she would usually stay 2 weeks at a time.

And one day during these two weeks she made chicken potpie.

Pennsylvania Dutch cook at her best

   she made sure to have the freshest chicken.

Smells came from the kitchen early in the morning on the day that

   Chicken potpie was being cooked.

Chicken was cut and fried

Dough was made and rolled out into big circles

   and then cut into small squares.

I’d come home from school and walk through the dining room

   admiring all the pieces of dough drying out on the table.

My mom and aunt worked hard all day it seemed

getting ready that one special meal.

Chicken potpie always had to be served and dandelion greens with hot bacon dressing.

So more chopping

    Bacon sizzling in the pan

     Eggs cooked

        More cutting and talking and talking and talking.

The day seemed to drag as I waited and waited for supper time to come.

An aroma of chicken and bacon and vinegar teased and tantalized

    hinting that the time was drawing near.

Then finally the grand moment came.

We all gathered around the table and took our seats.

Hands were joined while prayer was said.

A huge pot of chicken potpie sat on the table

    along with a big platter of chicken. Dishes of salad at each place.

My mom usually had sweat on her brow from the full day of cooking.

Aunt Annie was pleased with her efforts.

Yes, I remember the excitement my brothers and I felt as we looked at all the food

    and then at each other.

It was certainly worth the wait.

Time has come and gone now.

Aunt Annie went home to be with the Lord many years ago

    as well as my mom

       and my older brother.

I hold dear in my heart those special times of long ago

   when the family gathered close and shared those special times of togetherness.

Nourished on chicken potpie times

   and bonds of loyalty we grew to have a sense of family and love.

Like an old photo I treasure those special moments of old

   knowing that they were gifts of God to a young girl.

Family times around the table feed not only the body but also the souls

   of all who gather.

Holding hands as hearts are lifted to the One Who provided us with it all.

Shining moments that stir me to keep creating moments in today.

Chicken potpie?

   Well, maybe I will.

How about you? Do you continue some old family traditions around the table?

Feeding bodies and nourishing the souls.

Lighting a fire deep within that these relationships are yours to have and to hold

   in your heart for always.


Shining Moments

I thought my world had come to an end.

   There I was hours away from home

      and my mommy and daddy and two brothers.

Suddenly sent away to stay with my aunt when my mother came down with polio.

Not knowing that I’d ever see my family again.

Not understanding.

Confused and scared.

Lost and all alone.

It was a time of seeming hopelessness that I will never forget.

Four months later my dad surprised me by suddenly showing up

    and taking me back home.

Reunited again our family of 5

   with the best Christmas I could ever want.

Everyone together.

There are times in life when the fog settles in

   covering the obvious from our eyes.

We see no indications of God at work for us.

Matter of fact, all seems hopeless.

We grope looking for something to hold on to

   but find only more nothingness.

Our ears strain to hear something

    anything to show that He cares

   only to be met with silence.

We weep with those who have lost family members

    innocent babies and

      precious children and

        loving spouses and


Where are you God? We cry.

And then as if it was yesterday I remember sitting alone on that bed

   so far from home

   and the sound of a familiar voice.

I had no idea what was going on

 as I sat there feeling so abandoned.

But God did know

   and my parents had not forgotten me.

We can not base our beliefs totally on what we see or hear or feel. There is more.

The truth is

    that although we do not understand

      might never understand

          our God knows and is still good.

This verse shines brightly “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food,  though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)


Though the fog continues to surround us

   and we seem to be trapped by what we do see and hear

 let’s praise Him.

Yes, let’s lift our hearts high with praise as the tears run down our faces

We will rejoice in our God

     my Savior

     your Savior.

And if the fog lifts

    we will praise Him

      But if it doesn’t

      Yes, if it doesn’t we will yet praise Him.

     He is still worthy of our praise and we will continue to wait upon Him.

A little four year old girl discovered after a very long, seemingly endless wait

    that she was still loved.

And so are you.

Deeply loved. Infinitely treasured.

Yes, so are you.

Hold on, my friend.