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By Helena Smrcek

Last night my husband and I drove some freezer meals to a friend about to have a baby. I looked out the car window at the darkening countryside showing the first signs of spring and thought of the amazing favour and blessing God has bestowed on us.

I pondered the days when we had a penny jar in our garage-conversion kitchen. How often did we have to empty it to buy a can of cat food for our sweet pet, while I made pancakes out of the box mix for dinner?

Then I though back to the days of grocery shopping with our little kids, calculator in hand, ensuring that the contents of my buggy wouldn’t go over our weekly budgeted amount.

Years later, making several meals for a family of soon-to-be seven without worrying about the cost, thanks to our farm, and chest freezers, I can’t but thank God that His mercy followed us through all the days of our lives to this exact moment.

I find the old truth of being blessed while giving—more so than when receiving, resounding in my heart. My feet and back do ache. Ten hours in the kitchen will do that to anyone, but I’m profoundly grateful for this experience. Being a giver blesses my soul.

As we continued down the country roads, I thought of heaven, primarily because I wanted to bake a couple more desserts, but ran out of time. Can you imagine existing without time restrains? Having the opportunity to pursue all your interests? Talking with friends as long as your heart desires? Meeting countless new people, starting with Jesus and the Apostles? Not having to rush? Ever?

I have been sorting through my book collection last week, filling up a few boxes for our local thrift shop. Some have been sitting on my shelves for decades. How do I know this? There was a CD Rom tucked into the back cover of one. For those who know what I’m talking about, don’t laugh. Parting with books is a bit of an emotional experience for me, for I wish I had time to read them all, as intended.

I talked to my husband over breakfast this morning, about my thoughts of heaven. He wondered if there will be books there. I think so, for God definitely is a writer and gave us a book to guide us through ages, while we wait for Jesus to pick us up and take us home. I don’t dwell on Heaven too often, but perhaps because it is Easter, or maybe because we are at the tail end of a global pandemic, and many of us lost loved ones, the thoughts just keep returning.

How will it be? Bible gives us but a few hints. There are cities, well, at least one, with walls and gates. There are streets, and homes. I hope there are farms. Definitely gardens, as God already gave us one, when this whole thing started here, on Earth.

Perhaps the most important matter that came to mind was the overall feeling of safety and peace. For there will be no evil, no poverty or lack of anything. Think of that. No hurtful words, no intent to insult, no physical assaults, no wars. Also, no banks, and no interest rates, inflation, lack of job security, no calculators in the grocery store, and no penny jars. What’s even more important? No political agendas. No sickness. No suffering. No death. No tears.

What will we do? I personally think we will do what we have been created to do. What is that? Well, that is easy. What gives you the greatest joy in life? Gardening? Walking your dog? Writing? Cooking for families? Hosting Easter dinner? Worshiping Jesus?

When all passes away and our time comes to depart, all that we’ll take with us is our soul, including our God given gifts, and the relationships we have here, on Earth. That’s it. Really. So, once we have that firmly established, it makes our priorities and choices clear.

This Easter let’s focus on what is truly important. Our families, friends, and those whom God placed in our path. Find a way to show them that Jesus really did die on that awful cross. And that He chose to do so for us. His big picture? I dare to say it was Heaven. The eternity awaiting us, in the presence of our Father.

But let’s not live only future-focused. What happens here and now truly matters. While else would God leave a huge part of Himself with us, His Holy Spirit? He is here to guide us, show us what is our role in this broken world, and what can we do to make this Earth, our temporary dwelling place, better for those around us.

Churches will be filled on Easter Sunday, as we collectively remember the greatest miracle of all. Jesus’s Resurrection. My wish and prayer is that this year our hearts would be opened in a new way, and the Holy Spirit of God will be able to speak to us clearly. There is power in clarity of purpose.

This is the time of grace the Bible speaks of. Our time to be the power for good. To be Jesus’s hands and feet. Let the Spirit guide us to where we need to be and do what needs to be done. For God in His mercy, His infinite wisdom and grace, chose us for such a time as this.

With grateful hearts, let’s embrace our mission and step out, bold and powerful, filled with intent and mercy. The world needs us, that is obvious, but what may be less clear is that the people we see every day need us the most. Think about it, why else would God place them in our path?

About the author...
Helena Smrcek
, a journalist, author, and screenplay writer, believes in the power of a well-told story. Her readers can expect a captivating page-turner, filled with thrilling suspense, and heartwarming romance.

She started in publishing as a high school student, freelancing for her local newspaper. Her journalism carrier took off in 1999. Within three years Helena accumulated over 100 by-lines and interviewed Ann Graham Lotz, Carol Lewis, Cec Murphey, Kelita and others. Her stories, many of them covers, have been published in Canada, USA, Bermuda, New Zealand, and Australia. In 2002 she accepted a position at Listen Up TV, a current affairs program.

Helena became a founding member of Write!Canada, and The Word Guild, a Canadian national association of writers and editors. She is a graduate of Jerry Jenkin’s Craftsman Class, Act One, Donald Maass’ Fire in Fiction, Writer’s Police Academy, and several mentoring programs.

She regularly attends writers’ conferences and is a past or current member of such organizations as Word Weavers, American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, Toast Masters International, Boni, The Writer’s Guild, and others. Helena loves to participate in NaNoWriMo and hosts a writers’ group.

As an entrepreneur, she is familiar with marketing, branding, and social media. She has volunteered with YMCA, mentoring new Canadians pursuing their business dreams, and was an active member of her local Chamber of Commerce.

When not at her keyboard, Helena loves listening to audio books. Working on her hobby farm, and traveling. She lives in the Waterloo Region, Ontario, with her husband, two adult children, two dogs, several cats, and her favorite goat, Rosie.