Category Archives: Dealing with stuff

Right now

I sort of wondered if posting this would just be too much of a revelation of how difficult it is to say good bye this time to these folks. And this in spite of the fact that I know it was right and good for them to go.

Then, I thought, it is where I am right now. I will post it because it is colouring my life right now and so if this blog is about life and how I live it, then this is very much a part of living life for me right now.


It will get better. I hope. No, actually, I know it will. But right now…


Do you find yourself grieving as hard as I am?

How hard is that, you probably ask, and why?

Very hard, it seems. It hurts and tears at my gut

And my eyes, normally dry, are full of tears.

The “why” is easy, my friends have moved away,

Out of my sight, out of my neighborhood.

And when I visit places where they’ve belonged,

I’m flooded with memories that make my heart hurt.

This morning, the place of prayer was empty

‘Cept for me. One friend sick, another gone.

Just God and me, and memories.

So this morning, God heard my tears.

Among my prayers for others,

He listened to laments.

God, the Beloved God that I have learned to seek,

Knows how I feel and hears me.

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Filed under Day to Day, Dealing with stuff, Poetry and Stuff

Today was quite the Sunday

It was.  And still has a bit to go before its over. 

There was so much grief and sadness wrapped in with excitement and anticipation.  The adventure of new things mixed in with the loss of the old ways and customary things.

Final – well not "final" is the true sense of the word but conclusive enough for now – goodbyes were said to the Friesen’s, Randall, Lauralea and Micah, as we all sort of hung around, not really wanting to be the ones to leave first.  Maybe not so many tears were shed as just a sense of deep aching in the heart.  These last ten years have been so good.

Beginnings took place as well.  Marc begins his new adventure as our part time office /administrator/speaker on some Sunday’s person while we wait for a new pastor.  He is going to do well.  I appreciated what he said this morning.  I think that means he is going to let God use him to take us along the next steps of the path.  So this will be a good adventure with him and God. 

I began teaching the youth class today as well.  What a great bunch of youth.  I am going to have a good time with them.  We are exploring Spiritual Pathways together and the truth is that I will probably learn at least as much from them as I teach.  So, this part is my little corner on the adventure too – as well as speaking about once a month. 

In some ways today seemed a bit like spring – like the mother and father birds giving us the final nudge off the edge of the comfy nest, watching us spread our tiny little wings as we flap them furiously and begin flight on our own.  The nice part is that there seems to be this updraft that is carrying us along.  Our wings may be way too small for the job but we are helped along by a force way bigger than we are. 

So, this is it.  We are off and flying solo with a lot of help.  And it is, I believe, going to be good.

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Filed under church, Dealing with stuff

Surrogates for Tears

Maybe if my eyes stay dry
My lips stop quivering
I swallow the cord
That ‘stricts my throat,
Maybe then it will not be
Reality, this “good-bye.”

“That’s a good girl,
Don’t cry.”

But what I want most is to weep.
To let it go; let the sweet
Release of tears
Ease the ache.
But years have won their way.
I have forgotten how
To let sobs voice my
Heart sounds. Its door
Craves opening.
It can not.

“That’s a good girl
Don’t cry.”

A parting wave,
False smile,
Some tired cliché’s
Are poor relief for sadness.
So, I weep these words
As surrogates for tears,
And pour them on this page;
Healing oil
To ease my pain at parting.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Poetry and Stuff

Talking about things

I had a good talk with my spiritual director last week. We of course talked of many things among them my sense of call to some sort of ministry and what it felt like to be drawn by God to something new. She asked, “What draws you to this?” And so, I tried to answer with words, to express some of the feelings and desires that I have been sensing. They are somewhere between a gentle nudge and a long drawing pull – like a deep desire that I can’t explain and that won’t give me peace till I say yes to it, at least to begin the pursuit of this desire. Rather like following a path that leads somewhere with bends that I can’t see around and with a final goal that is not terribly clear.

So, I’ve put my foot on the path and I’ll go ahead one step at a time and see where God takes me. Sort of like being a pioneer, exploring uncharted territory, trusting that God has a map and that I am moving according to plan.

We also talked about some of my issues – my difficulty in expressing emotions, my stoicism in the face of emotional upheaval, my ability to get things done without becoming an emotional basket case when facing unpleasant or emotionally trying situations. My issues have both good and bad sides – that I am aware of. The ability to carry on has served me well in life and in my profession. I don’t regret that I am this way when it comes to being strong enough to get a difficult job done. What I do regret is that I also find it difficult to express my emotions in situations where it is perfectly acceptable to do so. So, I rarely cry. It would be a great relief to cry sometimes.

And I do not say “good-bye” very well. There were too many farewells in my childhood and they occurred too frequently and affected my willingness to allow people into my life. Protecting my emotional self I think.

Now, I am having to say good-bye to two people who have let me become good friends, and who I have allowed to really know me. Two people and their kids that I have come to love as I have not loved friends for ages. Two people who have lived out lives of faithfulness to God and who have, by their lives, encouraged me to do the same. And I am struggling with my emotions – which are just below the surface. Emotions so strong and yet I do not cry.

My spiritual director and I began to explore some stuff from my past that may have contributed to my reticence to show emotions. In doing this she asked me about other ways than crying that I can express emotion. And I told her that I write. In the midst of distress, I write poetry. If I am extremely joyful, I write poetry. I can say what my heart feels in poetry and it is a relief – an emotional relief – to me.

So, today, as I experienced a range of emotional feelings saying good-bye to Randall and Lauralea and wanted to burst out in tears and have a good cleansing cry, I found myself realizing that I needed to write. So I guess I have been emotionally crying this afternoon, sitting at my computer, expressing some of this in words. And with the writing I feel a bit freer emotionally. Maybe a good cry is faster and better but for me this seems to work.

So, if you don’t like poetry, skip the next post. Its just me blubbering anyway.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Reflections, Writings

Made Me Think

Reading Randall’s post and the words to the old hymn came to my mind;  My Hope is Built on Nothing Less by Edward Mote.  Here are the words thanks to Cyberhymnal.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.


His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.


When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.


Even economic Tsunamis should not wash away really solid foundations.  Not to say that they won’t be shaken but the rock under us should be solid.  We must not let our affluence trick us into choosing to build our lives on wealth which can come and go seemingly overnight.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Poetry and Stuff, Quotes, Reflections

So, the time has come…

Sometimes we get to see a person demonstrating obedience to God.  The places He takes us aren’t very often what we would have dreamed up – but there you go – God’s ways sure are not like ours. 

Randall resigned this morning.  He’ll be off to a new place soon.  In a field.  We may have to write a new version of "The Church in the Wildwood"  if you are old enough to know how that one goes.  At least his neighbors will be quiet – or far enough away that they can party and he’ll never know.

We have learned so much from God as he has pastored our church.  Now, I guess, God needs him somewhere else for a bit.  We send him off with blessings and prayers and a lot of tears.  But it will be good.  If God is in it, it will be good.

But it is hard saying farewell to someone who has been a good friend.  Oh, we don’t have to stop being friends – we’ll keep our connections in this blog world.  But things won’t be quite the same and we will miss the presence of Randall and Lauralea

We love you, Randall and Lauralea, and that will not end here.

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Filed under Day to Day, Dealing with stuff

Challenging stories

Jamie tells a couple of stories over at his site.  They are reflections of the life he and his wife have chosen to live.  Stories that come out of their experiences as they share the streets and neighborhood with the people in north Winnipeg. 

Read them.  They may challenge you to rethink some things about your own life and what God wants from you.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Reading