Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Special Memories

Today is a special one for my husband and I. Forty-eight years ago was our wedding day. It was a wonderful time with family and friends and the beginning of a wonderful life together. However, I would suggest anyone thinking of having their wedding a week before Christmas should think very seriously about being all prepared weeks before the mayhem of the Christmas season!

Actually this week has other memories. Ray’s birthday was yesterday, the 18th, my youngest brother’s birthday is on the 20th and on the 23rd of December 1956, my dear Dad died and his funeral was on Christmas Eve. My mother was left with a farm to run and four children from eighteen years to ten years old to care for. My wonderful mother died a few years ago and never married again. Today all her children are committed Christians who know how blessed we were to have such marvellous Christian parents.

I am sure we all know that “special memories” can bring great joy as well as great sadness. Christmas was always a very special time in my family when Dad most years would be just finishing the harvesting of crops like wheat or perhaps barley. He would have to rush away from the paddocks in his truck to go and find a tree for us all. That first Christmas without Dad is one of sadness, one I remember the dear friend who invited us to their home that day taking my suddenly weeping mother into a room to let her cry as she comforted her. Us four children were taken for a walk outside in the hot summer day. I don’t remember now what we did except kick at the black soil, find sticks or rocks to throw. Perhaps it relieved our own emotions a little but it all seemed like a bad dream.  

Christmas in England 2002

Christmas is the time we remember the most important, miraculous birthday of all time when God showed us how much He loves us by coming into this crazy world in the form of a small baby. It saddens us that while the “world” should celebrates this “Special Memory”, so many times the name of Jesus is missing from the card, the songs, the festivities. We watched a special Christmas show on TV a couple of nights ago. Beautiful singing, good entertainment but after the hour Ray and I looked at each other in huge disappointment. Not one song mentioned that baby Jesus. Not one song pointed in any way to the true meaning of Christmas and this has been an increasing pattern over many years.

As with our Wedding anniversary today, Christmas should remind us of life, of a life lived in love of that Baby Jesus. Ray never ceases to amaze me with the thoughts he puts in poems. A few days ago I made a remark about how the falling rain had refreshed the dry and dusty trees and flowers along the road.

           The Freshness of Love

The Freshness of our love remains
Though years have come and gone
It remains vibrant and strong,
Strengthened by life’s strains
Made possible, we proclaim
By Heaven’s refreshing rain!

The freshness of our love endures
As young love has matured
Each the other enriching
By mutually engaging
And never asking in vain
For Heaven’s refreshing rain!
The freshness of our love sustains

When times are dry with pain
A secret river still flows
Where only God knows
And the source maintains
With Heaven’s refreshing rain!
                                                               © Ray Hawkins 2012
(Ray's Bethlehem Warrior Baby now available in shops and e-book)

May we ever hold close the “special memory” that God’s love has forever been shown in the Christ who began his earthly life in a cradle and died for us on a cross.

After completing her nursing training, Mary met her husband in Bible College nearly 50 years ago. They have ministered in churches in Australia and two years in England. Her first inspirational romance was published nearly twenty years ago and she is now the author of 19 titles. Ray contirbutes to the ICFW blog devotions on Fridays and now has five devotional books published.
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  1. Happy anniversary, Mary. May you have more memories of joy than sorrow.

  2. Thanks for your lovely blog, Mary, with its special memories. God bless

  3. Thank you, Alice. We certainly do have far more joyful memories than sad! One I should have mentioned, only it is Christmas and I wanted to mention that more, is the memory of receiving my first ever contract for a book. Then of course there is that day I received that first book, Search For Tomorrow", with my name as author on the cover. Wonderful, wonderful memory, but I never dreamed then it would be only the first of nineteen book covers. Today, I am still in awe at what God has been doing in my life.

  4. Thank you, Jo-Anne,I couldn't resist sharing that wedding photo!

  5. Congrats on your wedding Anniversay Mary and Ray.