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I am leaving for Manitoba tomorrow morning...way too early, really, but Air Canada likes to change your flights after you book them, just to keep things interesting. I had a list of items that I needed to accomplish today. Things looked good up until 1 pm or so and then the list and the schedule just began to ignore me and dance to their own song, something from the 90's, I think. What can one do? I went with it. Well, at least we were still moving, and dancing is always fun if you give yourself to it. So I did. I don't regret the leisurely lunch with a friend, nor the pedicure that Dean insisted that I get before I leave, nor the spontaneous YES to a simple request that meant so much more than just the errand. I am learning that time spent with people, serving people, doing things with people, even on a day like today when the list is long, is never a waste of time.

It is 11:39 pm and there are still 2 big items on the list: ironing and packing. But I'll get to them after I finish writing this, because this is important.

Yesterday at church, Dean showed a video on forgiveness. It was moving and relevant and the truth was so present I could feel it poking at my soul with its pointy bristles. Yes, I acknowledged, this is important. Not that I have any big unforgiveness in my life, I am pretty set in that area, but hmmm, it was a good topic that many people needed to hear, for sure. Good job, Dean. I went to the bathroom near the end of Dean's post-video talk, and while I was sitting there, one word boomed in my head: disappointment. Don't you love the bathroom revelations? Since I wasn't going anywhere right then, I asked, "Okay, God, what about disappointment?"

Here's how the conversation went.

G: Matte, you have some areas of disappointment in your life: things that have not worked out as well as you would have liked; people that are not wholly who you would like them to be; circumstances that are less than bright and shiny in your memory. You are okay with these things, you have resigned yourself to how things are, and you are not bitter. But you still carry some residue of disappointment around in you. And where it lives, where it clouds your brightness, you have not totally forgiven. It is the last little bit that you have not let go -changing your expectations, your demands, your wishes, your ways to align with mine. And until you let it go all the way, you are not free. Your life is partially in the shade. It hampers your full enjoyment of who you are today and what I have for you.

Me: (slight pause while I take this in) Yes, you're right. Show me the stuff. I want to let it go, every last bit of it, the dregs at the bottom of the cup and the fingerprints on the window. Let me come totally clean. I don't want my world tainted by resentment or disappointment, not even a gram or second of it. (flush)

I didn't even know I was holding onto it. Wow, things can be even lighter and brighter and there can be more peace and love and fullness in this gift of life? And I thought things were already pretty sweet. Amazing!

This preparation of my heart, I know, is more important than the ironing or the packing, which I will get to now.

Here is a photograph I took of a duck on Lake Ouareau, at our friends' cottage. He appeared when we walked down to the dock. I asked him to stay there while I got my camera, which he obediently did. He let me snap a few pictures of him while he paddled back and forth right in front of us, and then went on his way. Thanks, Mr. Duck.


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