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Special Places - Thank you for the birthday fun!


I cannot thank you all enough for the wonderful birthday wishes and celebrations in April. You made me feel so loved across several states and groups of loved ones.


Currently, I am listening to an impactful book, This Boy We Made: A Memoir of Motherhood, Genetics, and Facing the Unknown. In this narrative, the author, Taylor Harris, mentions one of the cities I visited last month as I celebrated my birthday and my dad’s special day: Charlottesville, Virginia. Her words remind me of the rolling hills and beauty I found there near the fabulous Caspari Retail Showcase on Main Street.


While we drove through the mountains one snowy morning, on our way to the Caspari store to do some serious gift shopping, we researched the background of this unique establishment. We had no idea there was such rich history behind its location in Charlottesville. Part of the story is that a company executive with family members in Charlottesville established its ONLY United States retail location in this university town full of exciting cultural activities. Because Charlottesville is also the famous location of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s primary home, the company also donates a portion of one of their product lines to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Like it or not, your purchase of their “Jefferson Garden Study” items help to support Virginia history … and my beautiful state of birth!


The Caspari store was filled with fresh orchid plants so, as you can imagine, I was in heaven. I saw beautiful paper products, china and acrylic tableware, linens, crystal stemware … oh my! My sister, Cheryl, and my daughter, Victoria, love all exquisite paper products like I do, so it was a delight to share these moments in my new favorite Virginia store with them! Did I mention that the only other Caspari retail store is in … wait for it … Paris, France? (I may need to go visit!)


Well, enough about their history! What about your history? Do you have a special store or location that gives you almost giddy joy when you visit it? Is there a place you can go that takes your breath away because of its beauty and its invitation to escape your present reality? There are several local stores and restaurants in Texas that offer me a few moments of refreshment. I visited several often while we were caring for Robert, and I still consider many of them as favorite blessings because they were there for me then and continue to be there for me now. I have very rich memories and feel loyal to these special places.


Find your places that give you peace and joy — places in the midst of challenges from Life Unexpected — even for only a few minutes. I wish that for you this year as we celebrate life together.


Thank you, again, for honoring my birthday and for giving me several moments this year which remind me of God’s blessings. I know I am deeply loved because of you.


Listening Library: Hold On (Riley Clemmons)

https://youtu.be/I9F8R9R8XVs


When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. (Psalm 94:18 NIV)



Hold On


Never wanna feel like I did back then Sitting on the floor as the walls closed in Running out of breath, suffocating Get me out, get me out


Oh, giving up was making a mess of me It took me falling down to get on my feet Running out of hope, You made me believe In me now, in me now


I found my faith dancing through the fire By the grace of God, I'm a survivor The voices telling me quit, they're only liars Only liars


Hold on When the rope you've been holding is down to a thread Hold on To the air in your lungs when you've got nothing left And when your legs start to stumble Run to the light in the tunnel The victory's worth all the struggle so Hold on!

Hold, on, hold on Hold, on, hold on Hold, on, hold on Hold, on, hold on


Never thought I'd get to a silver lining Now I'm waking up to a sun that's shining We all got something inside that's worth fighting for Fighting for


I found my faith dancing through the fire By the grace of God, I'm a survivor The voices telling me quit, they're only liars Only liars


Hold on When the rope you've been holding is down to a thread Hold on To the air in your lungs when you've got nothing left And when your legs start to stumble Run to the light in the tunnel The victory's worth all the struggle so Hold on!

Hold, on, hold on Hold, on, hold on Hold, on, hold on Hold, on, hold on


I found my faith dancing through the fire By the grace of God, I'm a survivor The voices telling me quit, they're only liars Only liars!


(Repeat Chorus)


Songwriters: Dan Muckala / Phil Bentley / Riley Clemmons

Hold On lyrics © Reservoir Media Music, Wintergone Music, Phil Bentley Publishing



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