I spent the day (well most of it) yesterday helping a friend move. J is one of the women at Sanctuary Covenant where I am finishing up my pastoral internship. Like many of the women who worship with us, she is single and has health issues that keep her from working a full time job. When an emergency arose in her life, she panicked and moved out of town to a situation that was way less than ideal. Of course circumstances change and they did quickly – thanks be to God! and she is back in the city now able to move into a new suite.
Yesterday was moving day. I never thought that this would be part of my job description. I had much loftier ambitions for the women – spending time in Bible studies and prayer together. Did not think that in many instances I would be the answer God was sending them.
I was not alone in this endeavour. I have never seen men with trucks who so fully embodied the command to go the extra mile for someone in need. They did so without any sense of obligation, did the job with cheerful spirits and gave freely of their time and fuel to drive the 150 or so Kms to get the job done. A banker,an administrator, a student and a pastor all working together to help.
And I have to say, she needed to get her stuff out of there. the “friend” that gave her a place to stay (charging rent of course) had the most filthy place – full of pet urine and feces, full of junk and boxes, full of nastiness. No place for a human to stay! We will never let her return to such horrid circumstances.
Do you know how procrastination complicates life and makes it rather embarrassing to finally turn in the overdue work? Coming back to this space feels a bit like that. Badly neglected.
So, in pictures and a few brief words here is what the past month has held – in part. Chicago for another class – Pastoral Care and Counselling. Finishing up my homework this week end.
Chicago was not all about class – visiting friends kept me busy in the evenings.
Then a stop in Toronto on the way back. Saw Niagara for the first time
and got soaked on the Maid of the Mist.
Since getting back, since Father Marcel is visiting us from Belgium, there has been non-stop guests at our house – mostly my own kids who have no fear of showing up at mealtime. We also welcomed a young boarder to our home, a young Chinese guy. There is always room for one more somewhere 🙂
And last weekend I made soup for 160 or so guests at the Soup on Saturday our church hosted. Here I am dishing up the last pot. Made three this size. Good soup too.
Since it was the Canada Day weekend one of our assistants really got into the act. Lloyd was a hit!
And on Canada Day itself we drove up to Prince Albert National Park for the day. We had a good time even though it was pretty cold and windy. Massa was much braver than the little kids who wanted to go in the water till we got right there.
Things may get back to normal – whatever that is – soon. May even begin to write here regularly again. Miracles happen.
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2010. That’s about 31 full 747s.
In 2010, there were 102 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1733 posts. There were 114 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 46mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was January 6th with 162 views. The most popular post that day was The Staff Party.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were randallfriesen.com, randallfriesen.blogspot.com, sharonkent.blogspot.com, maydt.blogspot.com, and tertl.blogspot.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for linea lanoie, john o’donohue quotes, challenging stories, lingala lessons, and l lanoie.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
The Staff Party December 2009
Quote from Eternal Echoes by John O’Donohue May 2009
About October 2007
Challenging stories August 2008
Talking Theology October 2010
It has been a busy Christmas this year, the house full of kids and grandkids. It is beginning to slow down but the house is a bit of a mess and there is left over food almost spilling out of the fridge. I guess I should not have to cook for this next week unless we get sick of left overs.
It has been a bit chaotic and the stillness of a quiet house will be welcome.
This afternoon, Rachelle’s bunch left for Saskatoon where Asen and Ronin were to board a plane for Vancouver. They just called and the flight was cancelled so are on their way back. That means another trip to Saskatoon tomorrow morning and then another to Saskatoon the following day to get Rachelle to the airport. I realize that some people commute to and from work for what is a 90 minute drive – but we don’t and all this driving is tiring and disruptive to the day at the very least. Oh well, life on the prairies.
I am trying to read a very thick text on the history of our denomination for my January class that starts in a week and a half. Have a short paper to write too. I am strangely unambitious. Maybe it is a surfeit of food and sweet treats but I seem to fall asleep in my chair as I read.
There are some days when it almost seems as if a subtle shift happens in the universe. Well, maybe not in the universe as much as in me. It is as if I am suddenly looking at a familiar scene but it has shifted slightly and I can now see it from a new angle. And it looks different. Brighter maybe. Clearer perhaps.
I have felt some of this over the past 24 hours. I’ve gone from one side of the picture to another, one which gives me a better perspective. And so in some things that make me despair, especially things that seem broken and unfixable, I begin to see in the whole situation some of the wonder of what it means to just be human and vulnerable and imperfect. But still loved.
Amazing, really. And wonderful.
Tonight we had a wonderful staff party and I had fun. Maybe I drank a bit more wine than usual. But it was good wine, good company and good food.
Thank you God for all these good things about life.
But lately it just seems hard. It would do me a world of good to write and sort of let out some of the tension that comes from dealing with difficult situations that life has brought my way. But, I know that some of the people who read this are just not interested and should I do it? I also have learned that in spite of my best intentions, what I write affects other members of my family who did not choose to make their lives public.
So, now that you are wondering if Leo and I are having a major issue – NO. We are just fine.
I am simply having to deal with those end of life issues that any of us who care for elderly relatives have to deal with. And it is just very hard. I am not the type who makes a decision and that’s that. I have to agonize over what is best; what is the right course of action. It is easier making decisions for myself, but life and death decisions for another person are a different matter.
Today that is what the day was all about. It looks like the right decision was made. The next few days will tell, I guess. Auntie F is in hospital and is getting good pain control, hydration and tonight when I left her was already looking better.
Those of you who know my auntie – She and I would appreciate your prayers for her peace and comfort.
Well, as soon as Leo gets a movin’ we will head over the border to Gibraltar. We are staying on the Spanish side a few hundred meters away from the crossing over point. Last night we were beat after traveling all day – but we made it. Worst was the 3 hour bus ride from Malaga. we stopped at about every town. Took us an hour to get out of the city before we hit the “autovia”. Fortunately this hotel is nice and we had a good sleep.
We’ll likely do mostly a walking tour, ride to the top of the rock, see the apes and maybe some caves or a museum.
We paid for this internet connection so maybe we’ll get to load some pictures. Will see if we don’t run out of time!