Thursday, November 25, 2010

Snow Day

It's been snowing all day. It started last night and it hasn't stopped. The weatherman told us it was coming and I can't say that I was surprised but still I'm not happy.

I don't like snow. And I don't understand why people do. I just spent a while on Facebook and you should see the statuses... everyone seems so happy about it! Yes it's pretty and you can have some fun in it... if you don't mind being wet and cold. It's quiet and peaceful. That's about it.

So I've spent most of the day making the best of it and trying not to grumble (yes I realize that this blog is sounding very grumbly) or resent the disruption of my day. I cleaned my house and vacuumed, I cleaned the fish tank, did my dishes and washed the kitchen floor. And I'm blogging - something I've neglected for a long time. And while I've been checking off a long neglected to-do list I've been mulling this over, wondering why I'm feeling so out of sorts.

Yes there are the obvious reasons... dangerous driving conditions, missing work, shovelling, slipping & sliding. But I think the thing is that I am truly a West Coast girl. I live on the West of British Columbia and have my whole life. I've grown up with rain, living on the edge of the rain forest. I love the smell of the wet earth, green and musty. I love the sound it makes on my roof and I love how I can smell it in the air when it's coming.

We've been told that this winter we should expect cold weather and lots of snow. I guess this is my way of venting and bracing myself for it. I guess that I will have to make the most of my "snow days" and learn to accept them when they come. There isn't a whole lot I can do about it is there? So you know what? "Singin' in the Rain" is on TV and I'm going to watch it and enjoy every minute of it. I think that's the closest I'm going to get to rain today.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Full Circle's been a year.
And when I say that I am not talking about counting the last 365 days either.

Last August 29th our lives took a definite hairpin turn (not just a bend) in the road and the rollercoaster ride began. We gained a son-in-law, a grandson, another son-in-law and lost a nephew in just under 365 days.
Like I said...whew.

So last weekend Tony and I went back to Princeton, where we were when this whole rollercoaster ride began. We felt we needed to go back there and finish what we started.

And it was good.
Being able to reflect on the past year and seeing that, even though it didn't seem like it at times, God was there with us through this whole journey. He saw us through the disappointments, the fear, the busy-ness, the stress and the joy. I don't know how many times I read Jeremiah 29:11 during this time.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
In the middle of it all I'm not sure I believed it, in fact there were times that I was downright mad at God and told Him so and questioned His plans for me and my family.

Too bad that hindsight is always 20/20 and our foresight is sometimes non-existent. Now that this year is done I can say "Yup, it wasn't so bad. God was with us." It sounds so trite and I'm sorry that it does.

But He was.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"It's A Mystery!"

I love a good mystery.

We had a couple of mysterious happenings this morning at church and it got me to thinking about how much fun they can be and how much I enjoy them.

Yes I know there are plenty of bad mysteries out there but today I'm talking about the fun ones - like who gave you the anonymous Valentine's card, where exactly is Noah's ark or, like what happened to Pastor Wes this morning, who washed your car for you while you weren't looking!? It's a mystery!

This is probably why I love geocaching so much. I tie on my hiking boots, grab my gps and drive to a trailhead. Looking out over a huge forest-covered mountain I think "there's something hidden out there just waiting for me to find it. Where could it be? It's a mystery." After I find it I just want to do it all over again. That's probably why, as of today, I've done this process exactly 1646 times!!!

I think the best mystery for me is what exactly heaven is going to be like and look like. I try to picture my loved ones who have already gone there, walking the streets of gold, and I just can't. Yes I know that John does his best to try and describe it to us in his book of Revelation but I seriously doubt that his words do it justice. Not for me anyway.

So I guess, for now, I'll just have to live with the wonderful, delicious mystery!

But let me tell you something wonderful,
a mystery I'll probably never fully understand.
We're not all going to die - but we are all going to be changed.
You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet,
and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes - it's over!

I Corinthians 15:51 (The Message)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Are You Needy?

A couple of Saturdays ago I went hiking with my cousin.

We probably hiked for 3 hours that day and talked and visited the whole time. Hiking is so great for that. We talked about our kids, our grandkids, our families, what's been great and what's been not so great in our lives.

One thing that I've always appreciated about my cousin is her insight into what makes people tick and how much she loves to delve into how God works in our lives. She loves Christian non-fiction, learning more and more about the human psyche, where I just glaze over when any book is deeper than a good Karen Kingsbury. She made an observation that day that has stuck with me ever since. She said "I think God created us needy."

I don't think I've ever thought about that before. My first reaction to that statement is that being "needy" is not a good thing. When we hear the word needy we equate it with someone who is annoying and cloying. But the more we talked the more I understood her statement. We talked about our grandsons (they were born within a few months of each other) and how needy they are right now. Their whole world revolves around their parents and what their parents can do for them. Isn't it amazing how God created our children this way? We are 'forced' to take care of them 24/7 which ultimately forms this bond that connects us to our offspring in a way that nothing else ever will because they are so needy.

I've often wondered why God allows us to go through bad times. I think we all wonder that. Maybe it is because He wants us to need Him just like our children need us when they are born. We are born with this insatiable desire to fill a void and then we spend the rest of our lives trying to fill it when it really is so simple... go to the Father. The One who gave us life. It never ceases to amaze me what the world thinks it needs at this point... the list is never ending. Money, sex, work, parties and vacations... there is definitely enough things to choose from. Or we can fill our lives with good things - spending time with our spouse or our children, volunteering and taking care of others, going to church or building a house in Mexico. Good things. But they're all just things, they are not a relationship with the One who loves us and made us. We need Him, plain & simple.

So thanks, my friend, for giving me so much to think about the past couple of weeks.... looking forward to our next hike and our next talk.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thankful for the Storm

A couple of nights ago we had a wicked wind storm. Of course living in a rural area with many large trees it was inevitable...our power went out. Great.

Being the techie that I am I don't do well without my gadgets. What am I supposed to do now? And it didn't take long for my daughter, Tessa, to start experiencing Facebook withdrawl. "What am I supposed to do all night!" she complained. Wow, are we really that bad?

Soon Tony brought out the propane lantern and put it on the kitchen table. Even though it wasn't quite dark yet we gravitated towards it. Jenna got out her text books, announced that this was perfect for her because she needed to study for a class anyways. Tony grabbed some Outdoor Life magazines that he hadn't had a chance to read yet and Tessa decided that she would knit with me.

We had some hot water in the carafe so the girls made some tea and I made a snack. We started telling stories about how it would have been in the 'olden' days and pretty soon we were just laughing and talking and catching up. Before we knew it three hours had gone by.

Sometime during that evening, Tessa, in all her wisdom said, "Actually this is a lot of fun. We should do this more often."

Hopefully we won't need God to send us another storm to remember that.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Be Still

The older I get the more I realize that I really don't like wasting time. And if you're over 40 maybe you're feeling this way too? It's not that I don't love my leisure time, I really do, I just often feel that I need to be doing at least two things at once, even when I'm relaxing. And I'm not sure why that is, all I know is that it's getting worse.

When I drive I listen to an audiobook.
When I clean my house the TV is always on.
When I watch TV I knit.
When I talk on the phone I empty my dishwasher.
When I have to wait I read a book.

I'm not sure why this has been on my mind... maybe because I've noticed that I become anxious when I am forced to do nothing. Am I afraid to be alone with my own thoughts? I'm not sure.

I know what the Bible will tell me, they are words that I have heard and sung my whole life...
"Be still and know that I am God..."

But can I take them to heart?

Monday, April 12, 2010

What a Difference A Day Can Make...

What a difference a day can make.

On Wednesday my life was as it always has been and on Thursday I became a grandmother.
This little human being came into my life and I was lost.
So many things became important
and, suddenly, so many things became unimportant.

My view on the world has changed now that he's in it.
I smile at families with babies.
I stroll through the baby aisle just to look at the little clothes. I'm shopping for a carseat.
I'm actually looking forward to babysitting.
I can't wait for the next time I see him.
I am a grandmother.

What a difference a day can make.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

With Glowing Hearts....

The sights & sounds, for good & for bad, surrounding the Games in Vancouver have become an integral part of our province since Jacques Rogge said those few simple words in 2003, "The International Olympic Committee has the honour of announcing that the 21st Olympic Winter Games are awarded to the city of... Vancouver." And then it all began...

VANOC became a well used word on the news, we heard everything about the planning that was going on as well as all the protesting and inevitable controversies. Then the countdown changed from years to months and it started to become real. Still I had no plans to "be there" and thought I'd just watch it on TV.

The months then dwindled down to days and an almost palpable energy began to sweep over the country and our province. If there was any question as to our country's patriotism and the pride we have in our nation, it was dispelled the night of the Opening Ceremonies. Never have I seen a more beautiful collection of Canadian images and sounds. That swell of pride became a tidal wave and swept us up in it - me included.

I am at a loss to say what happened after that. When I was in Vancouver, during the games, I watched hoardes of people, no longer strangers because they were bound together by this great thing, laughing and dancing, bursting in spontaneous choruses of O Canada, all wearing the flag and red & white, obviously awash with national pride. It was beyond what I expected and I think beyond what anyone expected.

And then it all came together with the best hockey game, I think, that Canada has ever experienced. What happened to the quiet and polite patriotism that the world expects from us? Well it sure wasn't around that night!!

The 2010 Olympics Games may not have been the best choice for our tax dollars, and that will always be up for debate, but I do know this:

The world's athletes are a shining example of courage and determination, not to mention, fitness. Maybe now we'll get off the couch and get out there and when things get rough we'll stop whining and try perserverance instead.
Our national pride has been rejuvenated and our sense of community has been restored. Maybe now we'll feel more connected to each other and be more willing to invest into the lives of our neighbours.
We've rediscovered that Canada truly is the best country in the world. Maybe now we'll stop taking it for granted.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day...

I have noticed lately that a lot of my Facebook Friends have changed their profile pictures. The idea is to post a picture of you and your significant other in honour of Valentine's Day. Since I am a "jump-on-the-band-wagon" kinda gal I, of course, had to join in. Here's mine....

That photo was taken 29 years ago (while he was visiting me at Bible School)... almost to the day. A few weeks after this was taken he proposed, on Valentine's Day. Best question he ever asked!! Best answer I ever gave! Needless to say, February 14th is one of my all time favourite sentimental days.

And so I've been blessed, with a man who loves me, despite the fact that I hate to cook, I dust only when you can write your name in it and I forget anything that I haven't written down. And I adore him regardless of his aversion to any clothing that isn't camo or plaid, his insane need to sneak up on me and scare me and for making me sleep in the back of our truck in the middle of the dark wilderness. Our marriage has had its share of heartaches but looking back on those 29 years - its been full of fun, laughter and joy. Like I said... so blessed.

So now we've entered that phase in our lives where our daughters are grown. Not long ago "men" started coming into our house and finding excuses to stick around and it seems that two of them have perservered, gotten past the whole "yes my dad owns many rifles" tactic that he tried and, to our great joy, they have decided that they want to join our family and be in it for the long haul.

There is nothing like seeing your child happy and in love. I pray that God will bless them and give them joy, happiness and adventures as they start counting the years.

Happy Valentine's Day!!