Since Easter is quite early this year and we will likely still have snow on the ground when we celebrate; I am offering to you a word to help keep in mind that spring will come.
   The sequence of events being a bit mixed up this year should give us a great opportunity to understand the importance of  having hope in our hearts regardless. So here’s to creating beauty with spring colors in my heart and in our home while we wait for the snow to melt. Hope, the knowing kind, while we have more snow and lots of mud, will get us through to spring. Mud is just part of the story that must be.
  Hope is also the flame that feeds the glow of our souls and faces. One Sunday morning Elv and I had a snafu between us that we were obliged to fix on the way to church. I was half sick and he was frustrated. I don’t remember what was the issue. I know it was quite trivial and harmless but it made us sad. I always feel hopeless with myself and my slow growing maturity when this happens. It’s so frustrating and disheartening. Anyway, I walked into the sanctuary wearing the best plastic smile I could muster and sat down. What a terrible way to go worship time, right? But it helps. It helps to just go in there and settle in to the singing and scripture reading. There I found hope and healing which is exactly as it should be. I wish I could remember which songs we sang that day. I know they were the old hymns, rich with meaning and glorious hope.
     I think that when someone is wearing an unlit face; they have been robbed of hope in some way. And you can’t just make up the inner glow. I can’t anyway. I wish there was a way to “snap out of it” as my own dear husband used to recommend, half in jest, half in frustration when sadness was overtaking me at times.
Time, prayer, kind words from people and scripture each have their place in relighting the candle in me. I distinctly remember the place on the road where we were driving on an errand one day when one short sentence that Elv said took me from flat and and lonely and cold inside to lit and content. Just a few words at the right time. Even though it was wonderful to be fine again, I get a little frustrated with the lack of control over my own candle.

   Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

   Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see.
O Lord who changes not, abide with me. 

   I need your presence every passing hour.
What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like yourself my guide and strength can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

   I fear no foe with you at hand to bless,
though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory?
I triumph still, if you abide with me. 

   Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes.
                                                           Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
                                                           Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee;
                                                           in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

What do you do when your candle needs lighting? Please share. Creating, cleaning, and quiet time help me a lot, but nothing like kindness from people. Am I the only one?

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