And the story continues...
He thinks to himself, she must be the most beautiful bride and nods in confirmation. He steps back, breathing such a deep sigh that he nearly trips over the step behind him. He catches himself and his breath to realize she is about to approach him. The pastor motions for him to step towards her, accepting his bride. He wipes his hands one last time and steps forward with such anticipation that he nearly faints. He bends down ever so gently…with drops of his perspiration joining her tears. She is beautiful. He leans forward, kisses her forehead ever so lightly. He feels her breath on his neck, sending a tingle and sensation through his body he has never experienced. He steps back and with one hand he lifts her chin and with the other holds her at the side as they turn to face the pastor. His wait has only intensified with that simple kiss.
Throughout the ceremony he sneaks glances at his beautiful bride, so as not to disrespect the pastor or God. But…but…he can’t help it. He has loved her for so long. He has longed for her even more. They agreed with their first kiss, to wait. They would keep their relationship pure until their wedding night. Many times it was difficult to close the door and leave. He remembers the joy and relief in her face when he said “Of course I’ll wait, it is only you I need. It’s only you I want. And only with God’s blessing will I carry you into our home and our bed.” From that day on, he hungered for her. He would wait forever and he was glad today was the beginning of forever.
Finally, pastor had spoken the words they both had longed to hear, “I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.” He pulls her close with his left arm, nestling his hand securely around her waist and with his right brushes the ringlets from her face with a single finger. Staring at the beauty before him, he waits to kiss her. He whispers the words, “I love you. I’ve longed for you and I’m even happier we waited.” She looks to him, her tears begin and he knows she feels the same way. He leans down and kisses her with more love and emotion than ever before. She receives his love, returning it with single kiss on his cheek before they turn.
As he walks along the side her leaving the church, he becomes overwhelmed with his emotions. They receive their family and friends and pose for the traditional pictures. They are introduced for the second time as the newly united couple at the reception. He leads his bride through the guests to the center of the dance floor. With a light kiss to her forehead he nods to the band. And the music begins. They dance as if no one is watching, their eyes unable to leave each other. The music started slow, and then he realized something had changed. It wasn’t the music but instead the lighting. The sunlight had turned to moonlight. He couldn’t remember when they left the reception. All he knew for sure was he was dancing with his beloved on the balcony overlooking the lake.
This was started in January of 2008, I hope you enjoy. :) Lisa
He waits, half joking with his best bud and then it happens. The famous music begins to play and he turns around and sees the most beautiful silhouette standing in the arch…He shifts his eyes from the silhouette only for a moment to share a look with his father. He wonders if his father had felt this way looking at his mother nearly fifty years prior. The music changes tune and he looks down the aisle. The silhouette steps out of the darkness and into the light. Her first step causes him to step back, close his eyes, and inhale the gentle breeze. A breeze smelling of apple blossoms, just like the first day he met her. As he opens his eyes he watches her walk as if floating in her approach. Her smile reminds him of the day he met her and the quiver in her lip triggers the eve of his proposal. The smile that melted his heart upon first glance coupled with that nervous quiver, had him falling in love with her all over again.
He remembers the laughter and tears in planning for just this moment while realizing she has started the walk to join him, for today and their forever. The light and glow surrounding her smile, illuminates her entire being. She is radiant, causing his heart to beat faster. He doesn’t remember her walk down the aisle taking so long last night during rehearsal. Yet at the same time, he is glad she is walking slower; or is it that time has stood still. Regardless of the reason, he finds himself enjoying each moment and savoring it like a fine dark chocolate, remembering they are her favorite.
As she gets closer he hears something beating, no it’s pounding. She is halfway to him. He recognizes the sound, realizing it is his very own heartbeat. He questions himself, ever so briefly. “Why is my heart beating so hard?” She has taken another step. His palms are beginning to sweat. His heart is beating so fast, as if it is playing their song. He tightens and flexes his fist once, twice…one final time before wiping the sweat onto his rented tuxedo. His best friend pats his shoulder, as if that would calm him. Two more steps, she is getting closer...
Would you like to read more? Come back tomorrow.
Yesterday morning, after dropping my theatrical genius of a daughter to her six-hour play practice I decided to travel home a different route. The sunshine, ever so bright, an abnormal characteristic for an Upstate New York this time of year was brilliant. With its warmth on my cheek I veered to the right instead of the left to find a breath of heaven.
Snow snuggled against a fallen tree, ice around patches of grass along the banks, and remnants of winter trapped by the coolness of the water’s temperature.
“Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:2-3
There was a time I would have missed the brilliance and beauty of this serene creek. I’m ever so thankful for my relationship with Jesus. There is more to faith than believing in God. While one’s belief in God is important, it is our relationship with Jesus that defines our faith. As a child I joined my Gram and Aunt Nancy for church on Saturday evening. The thing I looked forward to the most was dinner after church, not time in worship or prayer to my heavenly Father.
I was baptized in 2006 in the Living Water of Jesus Christ. A few seconds under the water in baptism renewed my heart and spirit. Each day I look forward to the way God will work in my life and use me. Sometimes I might not understand the way my day transitions from the alarm going off to snuggling in for evening prayers yet I know Who is leading the way so I trust Him.
It is easier to praise God when things are going wonderful yet it important to praise Him, thank Him, worship Him, converse with Him, and pray regardless of our circumstances. I challenge you shout your praises to God regardless of the weather in your life. Just like this stream, there is always Son available in the cold of the storm.
In that day you will say:
“Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
Isaiah 12:4 - 6
Yes, there is one more special gift to share from this past Christmas. As my mother went through the jewelry looking for the locket she came across this beautiful necklace with an “H” so delicately hung with roses to enhance its beauty. Although she doesn’t remember where this one came from, no one else in the family has the initial “H” so it must have been Heidi.
Each time I share a piece of writing or speak, there is something to remind me of my sister. Hence, the reason for receiving two special gifts this year. My parents wanted to give me some choices as I prepared for future speaking engagements. Too sweet, eh? While I love the necklace and look forward to wearing it when I speak, it was the beautiful box that grabbed my heart more.
A small cylinder with pink hearts painted along the outside and a large pink heart on the top. While the brown and pink are beautiful it was the word “Heidi” written in my sister’s handwriting with a blue pen atop the pink heart that captured me instantly. This is the best gift box I have ever received thus far in my life. One signed by my sister with a necklace adorned with her initial.
A too sweet and blessed Christmas thanks to two GREAT parents! Love ya!
Yesterday I shared the beautiful golden book given to my mother, by her grandmother, my Great-Grama Searles when she was a girl attached to one of Heidi’s gold necklace chains. A priceless and precious gift of the heart from my parents to me BUT this wasn’t the first gift of remembrance given on Christmas morning, it was the second.
In the middle of our gift giving our daughter noticed a small package under the tree with her name on it, one that wasn’t there the evening before. Wrapped in red, green and gold plaid wrapping paper was a pair of silver earring. Shrieks of joy and thanks were lifted and she couldn’t wait to wear them. As I watched her open the box and saw the earrings ever so gently lifted from the box I recognized the earrings bringing her so much joy. As tears welled in my eyes and started to moisten my cheeks I could see Heidi as if she was sitting across from me laughing with those earring on as we enjoyed a “sister day” lunch date.
I’m sure my sister was smiling ear to ear looking down on her one and only niece enjoying her peace sign earrings. As I tried to wipe the tears from my eyes before anyone could notice I said a prayer of thanksgiving. I’m thankful for a daughter who is not only pleased but super excited over a gift of the heart at Christmas. A priceless gift’s value is determined by the love, thoughts, and bond reinforced through the selfless act of giving. Isn’t this what Christmas is all about?
God freely gave His One and Only Son to be born a baby here on earth with the knowledge He, Jesus, would need to be crucified and die for the sins of all people in fulfillment of the Scriptures later in His life. A priceless and selfless gift…what gift do you have to give this year?
Although Heidi wasn’t making a joke or tossing wrapping paper snowballs at me from the other side of the Christmas tree this year, her presence and love was felt. Each year since Heidi’s kidnapping my parents devote time and energy to one special gift from the heart in remembrance of their beloved youngest daughter. And each year…I cry.
This year was no different. All the gifts are unwrapped with thanks shared around the room when I hear “There is one more under the tree for your Mom. Can you get it for her?” Unsure of what might be in the tiny green box with the big red bow I open my card to read the homemade card from my parents.
Next to Santa’s big rosy cheeks I read
School teacher who cares
Mother and wife
Writer – Author
I can feel the warmth of freshly salted tears forming beneath my eyelids and I haven’t even opened the card. I’m a sucker for a gift from the heart, almost always, okay, always with tears of appreciation to follow.
The words written within the card are a treasure for to be kept in my Bible yet a few I would like to share with you.
“…a small photo locket…looks just like a small book…belonged to your Great-Grama Searles…the chain was too tarnished so we put Heidi’s gold chain on it…together showing your love for writing and your sister and the backing of the whole family past and present. ..We are very proud of you.”
A card signed with love from my parents with many more words of love, encouragement and remembrance. My great-grandmother’s golden book placed on my precious sister’s gold chain, a priceless gift from the heart. Mom removed the photos of my grandparents (bummer) so I can place my own pictures within the book. I’ve thought and prayed on this since Christmas day and still undecided of whom or what will be tucked within the pages of this little treasure of a book.
Thank you mom and dad for always knowing exactly what I need, I love you. My mother worded it perfectly in her post on yesterday’s blog, “…I find things change and we cope better but not easier......we won’t forget Heidi and she will always be in our heart but we do find other ways to make memories and joy in our life…” The evidence in is in the book…both the jewelry worn and the words written between the covers of “Where’s Heidi? The Search Begins.”
Have you ever noticed how much “more” you grieve your missing loved one on a holiday? I’ve heard people say, “It will get easier” but it doesn’t. I don’t believe a holiday without Heidi will ever be easier. There might be a new sense of normalcy and traditions started yet the love, bond, and closeness of my sister can’t be replaced by a new tradition. To modify or add a new tradition for the holiday might help to cope and get through the holiday but they will never replace our missing loved one.
In truth, I believe the words “It will get easier” are meant to encourage us as we prepare for joyous family gatherings with the knowledge there will be an empty spot both in the celebration and our hearts. I don’t believe it gets easier. Each holiday without my sister is just as painful. I will probably never get used to her absence. BUT I do look forward to the holidays and making new memories with my family, friends, and neighbors.
Holidays don’t get easier but they do become welcomed, festive, and joyous occasions again. In my experience, there isn’t one that stands out as better, or easier than the one before. We celebrated our 18th Christmas without Heidi less than two weeks ago. This Christmas wasn’t any easier than the first one without her yet the joy and laughter in the house was far greater than it was on that first Christmas. We still miss Heidi’s laughter, jokes, and holiday hugs.
I believe holidays are a stop on the roller coaster of life without someone close to you. In the days, sometimes weeks or months leading up to the holiday one’s heart races with anticipation. Our car slowly climbs the steep hill. What will this year be like? Will they find her before the holiday? How can we still remember __?__ this year without stealing the joy and celebration of the holiday? Then the holiday comes with the energy and speed of the rollercoaster jetting down the anticipated decline. Adrenaline, laughter, tears, and thankfulness come over you as the car hits the plateau and flattens out for a bit.
As with any roller coaster, and grief, another hill is bound to come. I’m thankful for my relationship with Jesus, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Christmas eighteen years wasn’t any easier to celebrate without Heidi at my side yet the joy of Christ’s birth and the HOPE we have for the future – made the holiday a new, joyous, and memorable holiday. Heidi will never be forgotten. Learn how a few small gifts keep Heidi’s memory and the joy of Christmas moving forward in our family over the next few days.
Have HOPE, holidays
might not get easier
yet they do get BETTER!
One of the benefits of living in beautiful Upstate New York is the luxury of unexpected days off due to weather. Generally, I wear my pajamas inside out alongside my daughter and the other students when the weather man predicts a substantial amount of lake effect or a big storm headed in our direction. A snow day equals an unplanned, open-scheduled, and glorious day of doing whatever we want because it had been marked as a “school day”. This past winter, every snow day was spent wearing my author’s hat to work on my book and get ahead on upcoming blogs. As much as I look forward to a snow day, today I simply wanted to return to work after over a week off to see my lovely first grade cherubs and get back into the routine of elementary school teacher.
Instead of a return to school for hugs and stories of vacation splendors I enjoyed a couple hours in devotion, prayer and study before retreating to the couch for a two hour nap. The snow continues to gently fall and blanket the earth. It is beautiful to watch. My daughter and I opened the blinds so we could simply sit and watch the majesty of God’s artwork on the landscape. Dad’s Irish Stew in the crock for supper tonight, tea steeping, and our creative juices flowing, it is time.
A couple more hours of sleep, the netbook charged, and the snow still falling…let the snow day begin!!! It is time to put on my beloved author hat and get to work.
Until tomorrow…Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Last year my one-word was “faithful”. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times, places, and ways this word appeared in my life this year. Sometimes it was a word of encouragement at the exact moment I needed it. Yet there were also times it was used to rebuke me, a reminder to keep my faith and not to lose heart. Before the snow melted last year I noticed my word, “faithful” used in writings, advertisements, and in conversation more than I realized.
In preparation of this year’s word I prayed for God to reveal the one-word that could help me to be a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, writer, speaker, and for this word to continue to grow my walk with him…as I help others.
One word kept reoccurring but I ignored it, “This is Mom’s word for 2011, I can’t take her word.” As if my mother could own the word. I continued to pray with this one word repeating itself and waking me in the middle of the night. I was still apprehensive of using Mom’s word (there I go again) until I wrote out my Scripture verse for 2012; “…my HOPE comes from Him…”
If this isn’t enough confirmation then I’m not sure what would be. In thanksgiving I added my one-word, HOPE to my bookmark for 2012. HOPE comes from the Lord – no one or nothing here on earth has the power or ability to provide the HOPE we need to survive life’s trials, celebrations, and journey.
I choose to be HOPEful this year. I pray for my life, writing, and speaking to provide God’s HOPE to others as they read and listen. I pray for others to place their HOPE in Jesus Christ and His power to heal. I pray HOPE is revealed, discovered, and shared with everyone I meet.
My one-word…HOPE. What is yours? Feel free to post it below or on the forum page – either is fine. Happy New Year!
At this time last year I was still scouring my Bible in prayer to find the Scripture verse the Lord had for me, for 2011. I had never thought of having a piece of Scripture to focus on, lean on, and trust in for one year’s time. BUT after reading a couple different blogs I started to realize there could be benefit to this New Year’s tradition. Totally different than a goal or resolution – instead of giving something up I was agreeing to focus on God and trust Him through His words.
My verse for 2011 was Isaiah 4:6, “It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.” There were many times throughout this past year I felt overwhelmed and nearly trampled with life’s hurdles yet this verse came back to me each time. I didn’t need to hide from the struggles but instead trust in His shelter and shade, His protection is sufficient when I trust. I’m thankful for this verse.
As I prayed and asked God to show me the verse of Scripture He had for me this year I always ended up in the Psalms. Each time I read I was drawn to the same chapter so I focused on this for a time. This past Sunday as I sat in church the urge to open my Bible up to Psalm 62 returned but this time with the verses. As I read, tears moistened my eyes:
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him! He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress. I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
Psalm 62:5-8 NIV
A longer piece of Scripture to study, memorize and trust in yet one that warms my heart even as I share it with you. It wasn’t until I was typing this blog that I noticed the theme of God as my refuge in both my 2011 and 2012 verses.
You might think this is my one-word for 2012 but it isn’t. You will have to wait until tomorrow’s blog to find out the one-word the Lord placed on my heart. Hint – It was and remains my mother’s one-word…I hope she will share. lol
I’ve written this verse on an index card to be used as a bookmark, similar to my 2011 verse of last year. I’ve included my one-word and Scripture verse of 2011 on the back as a reminder of God’s provision and love in the past as I move forward with a new verse and word, knowing when my eyes, ears, and heart are open to others as my year progresses in His will, not mine.
Be sure to read tomorrow's blog
for my One-Word of 2012!
What Scripture Verse will you trust in for this year? Feel free to share here or in the Forum. :) Lisa
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323