January 1, 2019

Dearest Friends,

What a gift you are to me and what a gift we all share to have been given another day, another year to extend love and compassion to ourselves and those we are in relationship with!

Presently, while I am enjoying harmonious and loving relationships with my wife and four daughters, it’s important for me to share with you that it has not always been easy. It has taken a lot of grace and forgiveness to reach this place of harmony.

Whether it’s me, my wife, or each one of my daughters; each of us have encountered personal hardships and heartbreak. Each of us have experienced our own personal valleys, our own internal earthquakes.

If you’re familiar with my story (as I’ve shared in my biography, Delta Blues: From Darkness to Light), you know I’ve encountered my fair share of tragedy. And you know that I’ve fallen short many times throughout my journey as I’ve sought to be a compassionate, forgiving and loving husband, father and friend.

It’s taken me many years, and many twists and turns, to have arrived at this place where I can experience joy and peace in my personal relationships. And I want you to know that this joy and peace is available to you as well.

Whether you are a parent, a spouse, a daughter, a son, a sibling or a friend; you know that extending love and compassion to someone you are in close relationship with can be challenging if there is pain or grievances that exist between you. Nevertheless, I want you to remember that every day is a new day! Every day is another sacred chance to taste the sweetness of forgiveness, to enjoy and rest in the truth that you (and everyone you know) is deeply loved by our Creator.

I recently came across a magnificent quote by a writer named Katherine Mackenett: “Every time I witness a strong person, I want to know: What dark did you conquer in your story? Mountains do not rise without earthquakes.”

If you are in the middle of an internal earthquake, I want to encourage you to remember that in times of suffering there remains a gentle, quiet, compassionate and loving Creator who will show up if you choose to seek Him.

To each and every one of you, your presence and love throughout each year is a gift. Thank you for being a friend.


Terry and Charlotte Smith