Monthly Archives: October 2004

Just looking back

This time last year I wrote a bit on thankfulness.  It still stands.  So I will republish it here.  Maybe that is laziness but I meant it then and still do.  And I have guests to take care of today.

I don’t gush thankfulness.  Oh, there are times when I am full of thanks and it bubbles out but they are the times when some big event has just turned out as I would like it to.  Most of the time my thanks is for smaller more ordinary things.  The things that go on and make life what it is.  The things that give my life direction and meaning.

Just this morning, I was thankful for the sun on the golden leaves.  Thankful for the good cup of coffee in my hand as I watched the sun come up.  Thankful for the good nights sleep, a warm house and a comfortable and safe bed to sleep in.  For the place that I call home where I feel safe, where I can relax, where I can sit at my computer with it’s high speed access and communicate at ease across the globe. 

I’m thankful that I have family that are important to me and to whom I am important too.   I’m even thankful that they need me and feel at ease enough with me secure enough that I love them to unload some of their burdens on me.  And I am thankful that I can pass on their needs to God.  And that he listens to me and helps me carry whatever burdens I have picked up.

I am thankful for the work I have to do.  Not everyone has a career they enjoy.  Not everyone has seen God work through them as they practice their line of work seeing God use what I have to offer is a blessing indeed to be thankful for.

I am thankful for friends.  I am thankful for the mutual love and care we can give each other.   And I’m thankful that I can make new friends and that some friendships grow and become deep and meaningful.  I am thankful that I am married to my best friend and that our marriage is still full of love and mutual respect.

I am thankful for my senses and that all are still working adequately.  As I start to see the changes that age makes, the senses of sight and hearing, touch, smell and taste become more precious.  I can’t count on things lasting forever so I will be thankful for each day that I have them.  And every day that I can still think and react appropriately, I will be thankful for my mind; for the ability to learn new concepts and skills, for the pleasures of reading and listening to music and laughter at a good joke.

 The list could go on at length because there are so many things that I live with each day that I need to appreciate and give thanks for.  So many little things I live with and assume will go on and on when I know that they cannot.   So I will give thanks for each day I am given, for each moment of good health, for each moment when my mind is clear, for each moment when I can move around on my own, and in my times of distress, for each time when God shows me my utter dependence on him. 

I will thank God for his never ending provision of all I need. 

 

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A day off

Today was the first day I have had off in a long time.  Well, not exactly all off but mostly.  I did go in to the office to see one patient first thing this am.  But it was one of my patients I also count as friend and so it was a little bit more like a visit than work.  Course she couldn’t say much with my hands in her mouth, but anyway…

After that, I came home to my daughter asleep on my couch.  She had left Saskatoon very early to bring kitty up to the vet.  He needed to lose some parts and it is enough cheaper here that it easily paid for her to spend the money on gas to come up here.  She was studying and fell asleep, so I let her till it came time to meet Leo for lunch. 

Then to the bank to talk about a student line of credit.  That went well I think.  Spent over an hour working over the figures with our banker. 

Then shopping for a few things before coffee with Randall.  And we just happened to run into Marc and he joined us later.  Almost had a mini blogfest.  One of the best things about blogging is the people one actually gets to meet in person.

Then I decided to join Leo and Rachelle for an evening at the movies.  Went to Ladder 49.  That is a great movie – well worth watching.  Even at the price a movie costs nowadays.

And today was Prince Albert’s 100th birthday as a city.  We are older than the province.  I guess it paid to be on a fur trade route back then – as far as development went.  So in honor of the big day there were fireworks up in the park.  I decided to drive by and see how they were.  By PA’s standards they were awesome.  A little short of the fireworks at La Ronde in Montreal – but hey – this is just little old PA.

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Post-op

Her eastern european accent was thick.  Just had some extractions – going over the rules (ie:post-op instructions).  You know – no smoking for 24 hours; no alcoholic beverages, etc.

“Vat!  You’re joking, no?” 

Explanation follows of the reasons for the rules.   Silence.

“Just a leetle bit of vodka vould be ok, no?”

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Talking on the phone

Just getting off the phone with my oldest daughter.  Cool. 

We were talking about her studies. She is really working hard and I am becoming more and more proud of her.  She is upgrading her high school subjects – her high school performance was abysmal – she dropped out – then went back a couple of years ago as a “mature student” .  She is paying for these courses now and working her butt off.  She did pretty well in her Chemistry test and called me about that. 

Getting a phone call like this is worth rejoicing over – compared to last weeks hysterical call over the falling air conditioner.  I don’t think I’d better divulge that story yet.  Later on – maybe much later on – it will be laughed about.  But not yet.

She is actually exploring the idea of going into medicine.  That is almost a frightening thought since guess who gets to help foot the bill???

As we were talking though, it was crazy how much like me and Leo she sounded as she told how excited she was about getting to dissect a fetal pig soon.  One of the girls in her class who is going into nursing has “issues” with this I guess.  Rachelle is a lot more pragmatic – get over it she said to the other girl – we’re doing it to learn – and you are wanting to go into nursing. 

Sounds like she has a good advisor too.  She is going to help Rachelle plan out her courses carefully for the next few years.

But the real  little gem for me in the whole conversation?  She was afraid she was going to end up with a parking ticket and said “Mom, I was praying so hard that I wouldn’t get a ticket.”  And she didn’t.  Now that is a tiny little weeny miniscule thing – but to me it is a spark worth fanning.

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Tonight- thoughts on missions

We had guests with a fantastic story tonight over at the church.  Hearing the stories of people who have been faithful to God – that seems to be a good way for me to experience some of the presence of God too. 

I always used to think of missions evenings as a bit of a drag – and that sounds terrible since I have been the speaker at too many of such evenings.  Maybe part of that feeling came from going to tell a story about a place and a work, being somehow encouraged to tell what the mission was doing more than my story of how God was working out his will using my life and work.  I know God was at work and maybe used my attempts to relate this to others but somehow things have changed around now.  Maybe it is partly just becoming more mature in my faith to where whatever I do for God is less about the work I am doing (although, in fact, it may be exactly what God wants me to be doing) and more about what God is doing through me in the relationships I have with people.  So no matter where I find myself – here or in the Congo – God can use me somehow.

That statement is pretty convoluted!  In any case, something has changed in me to where I find it really good to hear the stories of other people’s faith.  And this evening was good.  Hearing not so much about what God was doing in this couple’s “work” in Pakistan but hearing how God worked in their own lives and hearing how God used them to affect others around them.

So I guess I would say about future missions speakers – forget the artifacts and such and speak about how God is working both in your own lives and in the lives of those you were called to serve.  Although as a kid the artifacts and the whole exotic different world that missions speakers explored was fascinating to me and God probably used that stuff too as he was calling me.

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A full and good day.

This was the first in what may become a regular discussion group with coffee after church.  Looking at some of the hard questions we are asked or have about our faith.   

This morning we attempted to explore the question “Why do we believe there is a God?”.  I was a bit disappointed that some of the people who may actually be seeking the answers to the questions were not part of the discussion.  But I guess we who were there need to ask these kinds of questions too so we can know where and how to deal with the question when we get asked.  Thought it would be most interesting to have a real atheist there to ask us the question.  It’s pretty easy to discuss the answer when we are all looking at it from the same side of the fence!

Then home to entertain my sister-in-law and her fiancĂ©e.  He seems to be such a nice guy.  Easy to be around.  (If you read this Rob – we like you and think Terry’s going to be happy.  So welcome to the family.)  Hope there will be many similar afternoons like this to come.

Then in the evening – went to spend time with friends.  There were only four of us women around the table tonight – drinking tea and talking.  We had a good time.  We are reading the Ragamuffin Gospel and talking.  It was good tonight to share some of the ways we have experienced God in our lives.  It seems we’ve had pretty similar experiences.  The experiences have involved letting go of pretty hurtful stuff, being desperate enough to let God take all of that stuff and then really experiencing the love and acceptance of God.  We decided that having kids makes a mother really desperate at times.

We also have experienced the same desire to really know God.  That sort of desire that has driven us to search deeper into the Bible as well as the need to spend a lot of time in prayer.  We have also been, and are still, frustrated by the dry spells we have when it is hard to return to that place of pure delight at being in God’s presence- of that almost insatiable appetite for God.  It was good to share these things.  It is more common but less healthy for us to struggle on our own.  I think that finding friends to help us on this journey is just what we should be doing as the church. 

A fun evening.  The end to a full and good day. 

 

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Tired

This has been a very tiring week.  A lot of things at work seem to have added together to make it that way.  So blogging has been a bit sparse. 

Other things seem to add up to make the whole atmosphere of life just heavy for me right now.  Some of what is going on in the world like the stuff in Iraq makes me feel very tired and make any attempts on my part to live out the kind of life Christ would like seem really futile.  Life here just seems to go on uneventfully while on the other side of the world people are dying; children are being blown to bits.  Sometimes it just gets hard to take.  And governments are so immovable.  I hope somehow, somewhere, someone can respond to some of those hurting people in the way that Jesus would like us to – with love.  Maybe love that they could see, not just greed and love of power and arrogance.

I have a tendency to despair when the world news is so bleak, so full of pain and suffering.  I suspect that this is not the appropriate reaction either.

Today I spent the day with my grandson.  That little life is changing so quickly.  He spends more time upright than on all fours now.  And he is beginning to communicate with “words” or some semblance thereof.  We went out to the park, played some silly little games and just had fun together.  But I sure didn’t get much else done.  Tomorrow we have some of my in-laws for lunch so we are going to eat simply.  Hope the weather cooperates for barbecuing hamburgers.

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