Category Archives: Reflections

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.

Refrain
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.

Refrain

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.

Refrain

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.

Refrain

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

It seems as if fall is approaching – along with all of the regular activities.

Today has been a full day.  I just got back a bit ago from coffee with the group of us women who get together once a week or so to read and discuss a book – and talk.  Maybe the talking is the most significant part of why we meet.  This year we are going to begin with reading The Real Mary by Scott McKnight.  That should bring us up to about Christmas.  Sort of fitting. 

We have a good time together.  This year we’ll again invite other women to join us.  We’ve purposefully kept the group fairly close and small so that we can learn to know and trust each other.  If the group gets too big we may have to rethink the format of meeting.  We need this sort of a group.  This morning I was talking to the husband of one of the women and he commented that we women have a good thing going on – that he finds it hard to read scripture himself but that now his wife does and enjoys it.  He was sort of lamenting the lack of this type of group for men – also being realistic and saying that the kind of sharing and support we women have is hard to do for men.  And that is true.  No less necessary though.

Another man in the congregation shared that he had just lost his father.  Women could easily hug him and express their sympathy but the men hang back.  I think they need some of this kind of support – need to learn that it is OK and good.  But there are some unseen sort of barriers that keep men from being able to do this.  Another fellow mentioned this, and said he thinks the men need to support each other more openly.

At least the need is becoming more evident.  Maybe something will move in that sector.

For myself – it has been a full day.  Preaching a sermon is good work and rewarding but it leaves me feeling as if I have done some physical work.  Sort of tired and reflective and in many ways satisfied.  Hard to describe.  It takes some emotional energy or something and at the same time leaves me feeling good. 

It also evokes some inner questions and it is a bit hard to articulate but it makes me wonder where I am going with all of this.  I feel torn between pushing ahead on a course of action that I think might be right for me and holding back, being patient so that I discern the right action to take.  This is a hard place to sit in – this waiting place.

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Filed under church, Reflections

Makes me wonder

This afternoon I had to run to the closest shopping centre to pick up a bit of stuff for supper.  As I was driving away from the grocery store, two police cruisers passed by in front of me.  Unusual to have tow in a row I thought.

They pulled over a few feet ahead.  On the bench "sat" a guy looking a bit passed out.  The officer went over, picked up the remains of his twelve pack of beer and put it into his open trunk.  Then he turned and was joined by the second officer.  They were trying to rouse the fellow as I drove by.

It always makes me wonder when I happen upon an incident like this.  I wonder – did something traumatic happen to him to make him turn to alcohol for solace?  Did he spend his last money on such a short lived solace?  Is he just another guy from a northern community that couldn’t resist the readily available booze available here?  Is he really just another alcoholic?  No way out of his addictions? 

It is sad to see stuff like this.  And yet there is so much more I don’t see on a regular basis that exists every day.

God have mercy.

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The problem of evil

This will probably sound like a strange post but…

Sometimes adults do things that are so tainted by evil. Running up against these things in people that previously were highly esteemed is hard. It shatters our sense of trust and confidence. We see them succumbing to the temptations of power and money and not even being aware that these things are eating out their very souls. Evil is not always blatant but can be subtly pervasive in its corruption.

It makes me aware of my own need to stand openly before God and others and to live a transparent life. I’ve lived long enough to know that I could succumb to the same pressures that bring others down and that I too could hide it – from everyone but God. But then there comes the almost inevitable series of unforeseen events that seem to bring selfish acts out into the open.

The way we adults live in this world must make God weep. What harm we can do to our children and the world we are leaving them!

It makes me realize that seeking God and living in ways that are right and pleasing to God should be always kind of at the top of my priority list. I also think that it takes a community effort to keep on track, to keep me accountable and true. I guess that should be the way the church works in this world. I hope we (the church) don’t fail to love each other enough to keep each other on track. I think that God wants to use his people to bring healing and health where evil tries to get away with destruction.

As I said, this post may seem to be dealing with a strange and obvious issue in rather non-specific terms. I guess I’ve just come up against a real situation I find baffling and sad.

And it has made me think.

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Last Friday Off

It is great to have a day off – like today.  The sad thing is that this is probably my last Friday off for several months.  In two weeks time, school will have started and I will be back to doing dental check-ups for the kids at school enrolled in the school dental program.  I enjoy that when I’m doing it but it leaves me little time off from dentistry.

So, today, I had better do some things I enjoy.  I have errands to run and I wonder if there will be much time for anything else.  I also plan to run down to Saskatoon to welcome Patrick and Amanda home after their visit to Africa.  And there are some errands to do while I’m down there too.

This week has been full.  We did have a good meeting with our potential buyer for the dental practice.  I think he would like to buy the practice but maybe not for what we have evaluated it as being worth.  We know we have a great practice but the cost of buying any practice, let alone ours, for a new grad is bound to be pretty intimidating.  So, we are exchanging thoughts on the value of the practice and the value of the building.  Then we wait. 

We are sort of in the waiting phase for a lot of things.

Then, there are concerns for people, some ill and not wanting to be, so being stubborn about that.  I think that Christians should not ignore the normal physical warning signs that our bodies give us, preferring that God speaks to us or writes signs across the sky before we can accept illness as a fact and start taking the steps doctors advise.  It is frustrating to see a friend doing this.  I would like her around for a few more years to learn from her how to listen to God in my life.  But this kind of stubbornness with regards to her own health is not anything I want to imitate.

On the other hand, I think I have managed to go for a good long bike ride everyday this week.  It is good to just get out and ride.  It becomes a time to talk to God and I like the kind of communication that we carry on during my time outdoors.  There is something about this prairie sky that I ride under in the evenings that displays God’s creative power in unique ways.

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Filed under Day to Day, Reflections

Confessions of a closet speaker

I spoke today in church as Randall is away on vacation. My text was Romans 11:1, 2a and 29 to 32. I guess I would have to say that I also incorporated some of the verses in-between as well. My topic was on how we are grafted into the old story – the old covenant that God established with his chosen people; how important it is for us to know this history that we now have our roots in as well, how those ties with this old story of faith enrich us and nourish us as branches grafted in by our faith in Jesus. Well, there was lots more said and the details I may post over under my words section.

I have a confession to make – I like speaking. I like preparing and the way it takes me deeper into my study of the Bible. I like the way God shows up and guides me along as I delve into the scriptures.

Romans is a book pretty heavy with theology. If nothing else it stimulated my awareness that it is a subject I would like to know more about. I wonder if this interest in theology arises out of my own awareness that God is way beyond my understanding. So then, why bother trying to understand God? I am not sure why but it feels a bit as if he/she is beckoning; inviting me, if you will to discover more.

This is a bit of the sense of the “weirdness” that I alluded to in an earlier post. I find myself in a period of unsettledness, as if I am waiting for the next step to become clearer.

I am trying to take things one day at a time, being attentive to what God is moving me towards. I could jump in and start into a next project but I am still not sure if a new project is what I need – or what God wants for me. How do I respond to this itch in me, this drive to move towards something more? It is pretty much retirement time and why develop these desires now of all times in my life? And there are also all the other parts of my life that lay claim to some of my time. So, I am trying to be reasonable and patiently await a bit more clarity as to what the future might hold.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff, Reflections, Worship events