The Gift

I was walking to work the other morning, one of our warmer mornings, and was thinking about our children across the miles.  I celebrate each of them for their unique God given gifts and abilities, and their determination to follow their dreams. I cherish their friend relationships, their mentors, their loved ones. As I listened to the crunch of the snow under my feet and watched my breath crystallize and fog my glasses, I smiled. Each of our grown up children live long distances away, if we are to count the miles, but there is one gift that keeps them closer than we are able to comprehend – the gift of prayer.

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. ~ Philippians 4:6

Once Upon a Christmas Past…

Once upon a Christmas Past…

Struggling with pneumonia, I laboured to pull out the piano bench quietly. Once seated my right foot found the middle peddle, and pushed it down to the left to lock it in place. This way I could play and not disturb anyone’s sleep. It was the middle of the night. Only the street light’s glow on a fresh fallen blanket of snow lit the keys before me.

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Christmas was coming, and I had been too sick to do any shopping or baking. Little did I know that a song would be my gift to those I loved.

“Seasons come and seasons go, and every year the sight of snow, threatens to paralyze my soul. Christmas finds me questioning your gifts of joy and suffering and memories send me off in search of hope.”

My parent’s marriage had its ups and downs. When they divorced Christmas was never the same. I know now that Christmas does not hinge on humanity’s imperfect state.

As I wrote at the piano, their pain and mine, of never being a whole family again, flowed out of my heart and onto the page. Mysteriously, for every sorrow a remedy followed. Each melodic, aching admission turned into a revelation of hope.

“I am weaker than most; you came to a manger. I am broken to the bone; you were pierced for a stranger. The past has left its mark, but Christmas heals the heart with memories of a child who offers hope.”

The next day I printed the song onto fancy paper and fashioned small pillows with pockets, from scraps in my sewing closet. Each pocket was sized to hold a copy of the song.

When Christmas day arrived, our family drove almost two hours north to my sister’s place for dinner. Unfortunately I was still very short of breath, so I attended the festivities in my pajamas. Like Linus from ‘Charlie Brown’, I toted a blanket behind me. Although my ‘song pillow’ gift to everyone was small, I trusted they too would be lifted by the musical revelation of hope God had inspired.

Cindy Palin

Winter’s Gift

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We drove through a frosted postcard, with trees dressed in their choral gowns, and the mountains draped in evergreen. Fresh streams hung frozen from rock faces creating tears of teal glass, and white woolen snow on winter’s breath, swirled and danced around us.

It was the day before Christmas Eve, and we stopped for the night at an Inn. There was room for us. The snow was falling hard, and rather than peer at the magic through our room’s window we bundled up and went in search of wrapping paper. Neither one of us had our winter boots on, and our shoes were disappearing in a foot of snow. When we reached a recently shovelled sidewalk, we slipped and slid as if on skates, from the ice beneath the snow’s crust. But it was peaceful, and dark except for the streetlight’s glow and winter’s gift.

We purchased our paper and trundled off back the way we’d come. Distant hums and whines of snowplows and sanding trucks lulled us to sleep, and thankfully bad dreams of closed road signs were not to be realized.

At morning’s light we drove further, and deeper, and higher into the magic of winter, with anticipation of something far greater than the wonder all around us – the wonder of a child, two in fact.

At times our tires crawled with the crunch of the snow beneath, and at times our engine purred as we descended mountain tops. We reached the Ferry at Horseshoe Bay early Christmas Eve, and quietly ached for a place on board. One by one the cars started rolling forward. We were near the end of the line, and we held our breath.

Moments later we had crossed the Straight of Georgia, and were surrounded by one of God’s most miraculous gifts – our children and grandchildren.

Home of Grace (every song has a story)

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Every song has a story, this one was written for a family member who gave her son up for adoption.[/clickandtweet]

One of the most important elements for me when I write a song is prayer, especially when the song is about something very sacred. Adoption is, I am sure you would agree.

If I am writing a song for a specific person, I try to put myself in their shoes. I may not know all the details to a story, but as I walk in that person’s footsteps in my mind, I formulate questions like, “How did they feel when they found out they were having a baby?” “How will a new baby change their life?” “Do they feel alone or afraid?” In this case I am writing for someone who has adopted their child out. For those who have been adopted into a family, the questions may vary.

Home of Grace

Verse One

No one’s sure what’s in store as we journey

How our choices shape the future and our hearts

And it could be you, and it could be me

Who learns to build a home of grace

Chorus

There’s no better love than to give away

No better love than to take

From one mother’s heart to another’s arms

Together we build a home of grace

Verse Two

If you could see up ahead around the corner

You might fail to find the courage to be brave

But He sees you, and He sees me

and wants to build a home of grace

Chorus

Bridge

It’s a mystery this gift of life

Oh the wonder of a sacrifice

Chorus

©Cindy Palin All Rights Reserved