Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
I am trying to get back to some creative projects in my life and it is proving rather difficult. There are just so many practical and necessary tasks and of course, valuble time with people and occasional guests and oh yes ongoing correspondence and my part-time job and then the unexpected and usually welcome interruptions that I like being able to respond to. I find it hard to be creative on cue, but I think it is something I must start to do- schedule my creativity.
I have been taking a module in identity (those life lessons God enrols one in and then provides lots of learning opportunities and homework and tests, you know the kind) and today when I was praying for someone while cleaning the bathroom, I realised I was asking God to BE an advocate for them when in fact, he already IS our advocate. So I changed my prayer and it became a declaration of sorts instead of a plea. And I think my life reflects that as well.
I live like I am pleading for something more, hoping for something better, asking for something to work out for me. When in fact, I could be declaring all the things that are already true (but perhaps have not been fully developed). It is my identity, even if it is still being formed, and I am made in the image of the one who has no trouble stating who he is. He identifies himself as I AM. He is all. He is my all. It is true and I don't have to plead over and over again for it to be so - truth exists because He is truth. I just have to stand on it and live in it.
I am a creative woman who loves God and people and is ever-expanding her world of wonder.
This is a street sign in Saint John, NB.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
It seems that one never gets too old to deal with identity issues, in fact, I believe we will continue to develop and have opportunities to become more whole in who we are and how we see ourselves as long as we live. This past weekend I was playing poker with friends, and although I kept getting what seemed like great cards in my hand, they amounted to nothing over and over again and my pile of chips went into a steady decline, no matter what tact I tried. At one point I got really frustrated at another set of cards that failed to amount to anything, and I dishearteningly proclaimed, "So much potential, but nothing ever comes of it. It's the story of my life!" And at that moment, the mantra seemed to be true for so much more than poker that I was overwhelmed by the idea that it might really BE the story of my life.
I retreated to my bedroom for a few "freak-out tears" and asked God if this was truly the case: if I in fact had failed to do much with the great potential he had deposited in me. The answer came slowly. Yes, of course, every one of us does not measure up to the incredible potential that God has put in us; in fact, this is one of the reasons we need redemption. We fall short. That is no surprise. But it does not have to continue to be the story of my life. There is Jesus, there is grace, there is always a second chance.
Every time I respond to the nudging inside my spirit to be kind to someone, to be a faithful and true friend, to be honest and embracing when I would rather not be, to speak and sing extravagant words of encouragement to those in my care, and to take the time to create and write...these are the times I feel most alive and I know I am reaching for my potential.
I have learned that success cannot be measured in terms of outward accomplishments such as wealth or fame or laudable achievements. It can only be measured in faithfulness to the challenges that come across my path. How do I deal with the people and circumstances God has placed in my life and how am I developing those abilities that he planted in my soul through all of it? If I have spent some hours this day seeking his guidance and grace in accomplishing these things and then doing the best that I can, I am content. I am truly me. And I am a success.
This is a Stella D'Ora lily still blooming at the side on my house this week - it is never too late for beautiful results.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Whew! I just came back from my third road trip in 7 weeks and though I love traveling and driving, I am glad I didn't say YES to a fourth one to Nashville this week!
I am continuing to read Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in truth, reality, and embracing the constantly changing journey of faith in a refreshingly honest and accessible way. One thing he says that has stuck with me is how the reading of the bible has become a solitary practise when it was always meant to be read and discussed and wrestled with in a community setting where questions could be posed and multiple viewpoints, additional knowledge, and various insights could give one a more balanced and definitely more interesting reading experience.
In fact, I would daresay that many things that we do privately in our individualistic culture are meant to be done in a community setting, especially where matters of faith and character development are involved. You can't hide in a community; you can't isolate yourself in a community; you can't get away with bad attitudes in a community; your inadequate beliefs will be challenged in a community; your inconsistencies will be brought to light in a community; you have to be honest with yourself in a community; and you will learn to love your neighbour in a community. These are all good things.
Spending countless hours with others in a car or at a retreat is a small taste of community life and I can testify that I am a better person for it, because it challenges me to be open and honest 24/7. It also presents me with a bigger picture and a larger experience of who this wonderfully creative and multidimensional God is as I come in contact with many who are very different than I am yet nonetheless, totally made in his image.
This is a horse in New Brunswick hoping for a snack instead of a photo op. Sorry, buddy.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I was driving home from an osteopath appointment yesterday and turned on the radio just for fun. There was a talk show going on and they were discussing how to make your kids more safety aware, especially regarding strangers. The guest was a police officer who had some interesting things to say. She dispelled a few myths and made some very good points.
1. "Never talk to strangers" is a bad motto to follow. It is normal and expected that children (and adults) will talk to strangers everyday. Instead, she suggested the guideline, "Never go anywhere with anyone unless you talk to us (the parents) first." She said kids should not be made to fear all strangers. Sometimes kids have become lost and the rule, "Never talk to strangers" kept them from asking for help.
2. Some parents say they would rather instill fear in their kids than have them get hurt. The police officer said that making your kids fearful is really a harmful thing, since someone who is fearful is more vulnerable to deception. Most children have an inherent instinct to be able to tell a safe person from a bad person and when they are made fearful, this instinct is tampered with and they are just fearful of everyone. In the long run, this makes them more susceptible to those who are predators as these offenders often are good at manipulation and offering a fake sense of safety, and since the child is looking for safety but is not sure what that looks like because his judgement is clouded by fear, he is an easy mark.
Wow! This was a big reminder for me not to let fear rule my decisions nor be a motivating factor in my life as it is a deceiver and opens the door to more deception. Yuck! Let fear go...let love and discernment in.
This picture was taken in Old Montreal on my birthday.